Within the last month, I have tried on no less than five separate occasions to see Yayoi Kusama’s Festival of Life exhibit at the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea. The key emphasis is on tried because each time I went the line was down the block and completely wrapped around the building, and on at least two of those days it was cold and raining as well. I tried morning, afternoon, evening, weekend, and weekday-still the line seemed to be getting longer and longer each time. Now, growing up in Orlando, I consider myself a professional at waiting in lines because it is just how life is there: you wait in line at Disney World, Universal, trendy restaurants and bars, and also on I-4, which is the only way to get to any of those places. However, I chose not to wait because I believed eventually, whether by luck or probability, I would find a time where I would not have to wait so long. Finally today (on my second try of the day, mind you), I found the line to be miraculously short and jumped at the chance to see this exhibit that I had heard so much about. Wow! What an incredible experience-one that you could only get in New York!
While many of you have been waiting for me to post again, I have been waiting for many things to happen these last couple of weeks too. Who is good at the Waiting Game, a tumultuous time between test and result where nothing happens? Blindfolded, on a rollercoaster train slowly ascending a seemingly endless lift hill-every passing second fills you with more potential energy and adrenaline; however, you are pinned to your seat at the mercy of the invisible track laid out in front of you. Will it be a long ride or a short ride? Will it be intense or light? Smooth or Rough? To seasoned veterans it is easy to resist being consumed by the possibility of what lies ahead and to instead occupy life’s loading screen with other productive activities…but I’m realizing that I am not so good at removing myself from thinking and overthinking about what comes next. I’m also quickly discovering that this skill is key to being successful in New York.
There are so many things I want to say in regards to what has been happening since I wrote last on November 13. For the moment, however, I will focus on a lesson that has been proven to me through this last month and countless times beforehand. Opportunities are seeds with the possibility to blossom into beautiful trees or to simply vanish into the ground never to be seen again. Similarly, whether or not you obsess over taking care of a seed, it will grow or fail on its own time often due to circumstances that are out of your control. While it is scary to think of failure outright, comfort comes when you recognize that any opportunity, big or small, begins as a tiny seed-a simple possibility devoid of description. Therefore, It seems most advantageous to plant as many seeds as possible and disconnect yourself from the hope or weight that they might carry after you have done everything you can to facilitate their success. Also, it follows suit to treat every opportunity, seemingly big or small, with tremendous importance. All seeds look small, unimposing, and equal to our eyes; however, each one carries a tremendous, unseen potential that makes cultivating worth the time and effort.
Regardless of the amount of opportunities you are given in life, it is of the utmost importance to throw your full strength and effort into each one. Never allow yourself to fall into a habit of underperforming in any context regardless of the perceived size or importance of an opportunity. Your life is the sum of your experiences, and your legacy is the prevailing impression you leave behind on your family, friends, enemies, superiors, and colleagues. You never know which opportunity or person will open doors for you in the future; therefore, make your own luck by cultivating every seed with love, care, and passion. Make an impression on everyone in your path by working to leave each job, organization, or school better than it was when you opened the door for the first time. Instead of obsessing over the possibility, do what you can to ensure each seed is prosperous and then let it grow on its own. Treat each seed as if it will grow into a massive tree, and once you have done the work have patience. If it doesn’t work out do not worry, for there are always more seeds to plant.