I've always spilled my guts. But I've also always had really good friends who were great at gut-handling. I invest a lot into my friendships simply because I know that at some point, one of us is going to screw up. I need to care about you enough to be able forgive you, even if I don't understand. And vice versa. We're as thick as thieves, baby! :)
I have to admit that it's difficult to build this kind of rapport with someone. It's hard to make someone appreciate your core enough to not judge every single one of your actions. It takes a special kind of effort that most people aren't willing to give. Most people don't know how.
At Sean's funeral a few weeks ago, one of his 'old friends' was a speaker. He walked up to the podium and captivated the audience with candid stories about the times he and Sean spent together. Then he told us that he and Sean had stopped hanging out about 2 years ago.
"Sean had ISSUES," he said, "I loved him, but the guy had issues"
His statements didn't sit right with me. Maybe because he said 'but' instead of 'and'. Or maybe he could've said 'when'...But mostly, I think it was because he was talking about Sean's issues as if he didn't have any of his own. Like his whole life had been perfect. Please.
I was reading Jamie's blog and she has an interesting discussion about whether all popularity was created equal. She feels like the people who have made it to the top using traditional tactics (like blood, sweat, and tears) are more credible than those who have used another more controversial tactic (like sex, lies, or dishonesty).
I responded that what really matters in my book, is what you do once you're at the top. If you happen to reach that sweet spot at the intersection of success and fame, and you use your subsequent power to do good things, then I can't judge the steps you took or the 'issues' you may have had. It's not my place. Your journey is just that, yours. If you choose to share it with me, I should be so lucky. Maybe I'll learn something.
I find the concept of one kind of success being more deserved than another kind of success rather ironic.
Because as humans, we are biased to look out for self first. And that same bias is a cornerstone to our generation's relationship with our employers, institutions of higher learning, our political views and even our parents. Traditionally, it's viewed as selfish--yet, here we are blogging about it.
We're spilling our guts about how we quit jobs, denounce companies, and to top it off, we talk openly about our insecurities. And we're doing it with thousands of people who may not be good gut handlers. Talk about risky behavior.
We get intimate with complete strangers all in the name of 'having a conversation'. Or getting a job. Or becoming millionaires off the blog hits that come from our unsolicited, albeit controversial, honesty.
Every generation's moral arrogance is stronger than the one before it. Someday a younger, smarter generation will come along, Among them, will be the children of mommybloggers, and they will say our means were 'questionable'. They will pledge to make it to the top, but they will make it by doing something different. Something inherently 'better'.
They too, will wonder whether someone like me, who has done the things that I've done, really 'deserves' it. Because the truth is, there are some things that make total sense in the short term, but completely lose their relevance long term. That includes sex, lies and dishonesty. And maybe even blogging. Sometimes you need to look beyond the controversy, and just focus on the facts.
As cultural values continue to change, so will the tactics. And Seth Godin is right. The answer will probably be no, I don't 'deserve' any of it.
And I still won't care. My journey is mine. Let the work I've done speak for me.