You ever have that moment when you realize that what you had previously thought was just "the worst year of my life" is actually just your life now? It happened to me, slowly, over the last year. After years of repeat blog posts lamenting about how horrible a stretch of a chasing we were stuck in, the only difference being the dates and times they were posted, I finally figured it out: Hey Shane, welcome to your life now.
Chasing dreams (if you're not independently wealthy anyway) is a complicated mix of risk, chance, hesitation, timing, environment, guilt, and lots and lots of deep thinking about it all. When you're young, or just new to something, it's all about the risk. You just say "fuck it" and go hell bent, because you don't have it yet and you desperately want it. It's easy to ignore all other components because you're so singularly-focused on that dream. Then things start to happen slowly over time, and each new thing introduces a new part of the Chasing Dreams Equation. What you'll find you're left with eventually, is a whole bunch of crap you have to look over, analyze, weigh out for pros/cons/relevance, and finally make decisions on. Big decisions. Painful decisions. But also "I did the right thing and I feel good about that at least" decisions.
I had a great run. I chased almost twenty damn years throwing caution to the wind, ignoring my life, and all those other silly parts of the CDE that come after risk. I regret none of it. I still long for it. But those days are over. To rebuild my chasing career, I will have to find a new path, a new method, a new philosophy going forward. Because the old way doesn't fucking work anymore.
For me, the battle I've always fought wasn't dealing with the pain of missing out, hell that's easy (bottle of wine and ignoring social media for a few days). My battle has always been with myself, fearing that becoming responsible and dealing with missing out while taking on more life responsibilities would harden me to the point of losing my passion. In other words, becoming so good at being a good loser that I'd lose my lust for winning. I still fight that battle every day, and the fucked up part is, I honestly don't know if it's even an issue. Part of me thinks I'll always be trying to find ways to get out there and video tornadoes, regardless of where I am in life. Most of me in fact. But that tiny percent that keeps whispering "Hell dude, a few more years of missing out and you won't even care anymore" keeps me on edge. After all, I didn't sacrifice the prime of my life just to get those prime years....I did it for the rest of them.