I have a friend, a very good friend, who was supposed to get signed to a professional football team, until he was dropped because he didn’t have Kes 70,000 to line somebody’s pockets. It’s obviously gotten to him, if the unanswered phone calls and seclusions in his house is anything to go by. It hurts because he is actually good at football, really, really good, and just because he didn’t have a spare $700 lying around, his dreams, which he worked really, really hard for, are coming down around him.

Makes you think about how much of our success is in other people’s hands. Like you can really work hard in school, be disciplined, always wear freshly-pressed clothes, and still take losses when the list of confirmed employees comes out. Doesn’t mean that hard work is trash just because it depends on who you know at the end of the day, just makes you alive to how fine the margins of success and failure are. One minute you can be in an office, with bleached white walls, strong WiFi signals and ergonomic seats, thinking about starting mortgage payments, or you could be home, with no money for your favourite deodorant, with an overdue salon appointment, thinking about how you will have to move back home if things don’t change in the next few weeks.

I think instances like this, where our friends are having a rough time, should make us appreciate what we have, and make us realize that yes, we have worked hard for what we have, but that is no guarantee for success. Of course it’s easier said than done, especially when it’s early morning and you’re ‘saying’ it in your pyjamas, but I genuinely believe that.

 

The feeling of being helpless sucks, that even with all his hard work, and discipline, it doesn’t count for anything. I hope it doesn’t trigger him to dig an emotional hole and bury his dreams and passion there. Depression and bitterness are usually lurking, waiting for you to overthink and then they strike, and it takes a lot of effort and opportunities, to wash off the lingering stink of their effects.

 

I hope your year has started off better, and that even if it hasn’t, you will be able to deal with the challenges coming your way.