What happens when life suddenly changes?
Maybe it’s not so sudden for what I’m writing. I don’t mean the car accident that leaves a person paralyzed type change.
I’m talking about the metamorphosis type. All of its life a caterpillar is a caterpillar. Then it goes into its cocoon and spends some time transforming.
Suddenly bursting out as a butterfly. That’s the sudden I mean.
Wanting something. Working towards it. Then achieving it but in the process seeing everything change.
Last week I went and saw the Anthony Bourdain documentary Roadrunner. He went from a chef to an overnight celebrity. Book, show, awards, and everything that goes with that.
The dream, right?
Except we all know how the story ends. Tormented and broken, Tony took his own life.
It reminded me of another one of my inspirations. Avicii.
He went from a kid in Sweden to a global superstar. Fly from city to city. Play to adoring fans. Party, vacation, and make tons of money.
But once again his life suddenly changed. And sadly the result once again played out the same way as Bourdain.
That’s why the question needs to be answered before that massive change happens. One viral video can turn a creator into a star. One investor writing a check can turn a kid into one of the most powerful CEOs in the world.
You see I write this because as I watched the movie it made me think. And that’s the point of art. To make us think. To inspire action. Self-reflection.
Bourdain as always hit home for me. Not because I feel those depressing thoughts but instead because I can see the change coming.
One year ago I had 300 people who followed me on twitter and maybe 700 on instagram. I had been a trial lawyer in Dallas. My world took place in the courthouse in Dallas. Contained and predictable.
Until I jumped into being a creator and entrepreneur myself. Then I went about putting out my ideas. Sending videos to the world. Writing articles. Sharing my stories.
A year later I have 14 thousand followers on Twitter. I have 22 thousand followers on Instagram. I know how I got here but it still feels like a massive shift is happening. It’s weird and I can feel that sudden change coming.
And I’m not alone. Many of you will go through this same metamorphosis. You will put in the years of work and then one day it clicks. You wake up and things are different.
People know your name. They message you asking for help.
You get interview requests, speaking engagements, and opportunities you never even imagined.
And then the next question comes. What’s next?
Because that’s the torment that became clear in the Bourdain documentary. He wanted the family life. The idyllic American dream. White picket fence, bbq, and family hanging in the pool. But he wanted other things too. He wanted that adventure, those stories, and that constant growth that comes from exposing ourselves to new experiences and people.
He was searching for the thing that would bring him peace. He never found it.
That’s the curse of the romantic. The curse of the artist. Artists flourish in pain. That raw emotion makes things clear but also screams to be unleashed on the world.
It’s why Bourdain is one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever seen. It’s why Avicii’s music connected to millions of people.
I wish they were still here to inspire us. To tell us the stories we need to hear.
I’m no Avicii or Tony. But I know I’m working to answer that question of what happens when life suddenly changes because I want to keep telling my stories and those of other people for a very long time.
I’m preparing for the long game by grappling with the difficult questions.
It’s time for you to answer the question too.
Mental health is a serious issue and if you need help, reach out. I'm happy to connect you to people who are in this space and doing incredible work to help people.