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A lot has happened in 2017 that I feel like only worked against me in every single way. Not to be all sad and helpless, I had the best beginning of 2017. Never thought I would ever work 2 jobs, and I ended up working 3 jobs at once. The last job was the one I least attended—still counts. I'm a lazy person, so to me that was a huge accomplishment. The least attended job became my full time job about 7 months into 2017. Since then, it's been none stop anxiety. But, the bigger picture is pretty big so I'm sticking it out. The last few weeks of 2017 made me so antsy, I couldn't wait for it to just end. I had a mental count down of 2017 since around October. It is kind of foolish for me to be waiting on a certain date to end when in reality its just another day. What else doesn't add up is that it became 2018 in Toronto, while parts of the world were already living through their 2018s. So the fact that I was relieved that it had turned 2018 at the time that I had witnessed it, made no sense at all—kind of like all of 2017. Food for thought.
Well to be honest, one really great thing happened to me personally in 2017.
Ever since I came to Canada, about 13 years ago, I would always see black cats crossing my path. When I was younger I didn't even notice or care, but as I got older I became aware that, apparently someone once said if a black cat crosses your path, it's bad luck or whatever. So, it kept happening to me, not every week, but occasionally. It happened at random times, and mostly times when I would be alone. It got to the point where I would say in my head towards the universe, "Ok I get it, I'm cursed, you can chill out now." I even purchased a small black cat key chain from chinatown a couple years ago that I still have to this day. Slowly the black cat didn't mean bad luck to me anymore, I decided to take it as a good sign of some sort at the time.
What a sign indeed. One chilly night, I believe sometime between October & November, I came outside on the porch to sit on the steps for some fresh air. (I still do this, or go for walks, really and truly helps clear the mind.) I was rubbing both my eyes with my palms when I heard two "meows" pretty close to me. I lacked to mention it was night time. About 9-10pm. I open my eyes and I take a look around just to see nothing more than the bushes, homes, and the parked car in front of me. As I look down to my feet, a black silhouette of a cat and 2 big beautiful green eyes starring at what felt like was into my soul. He meows again and starts to rub against my legs. This was such a big shock to me. I had a really rough day prior to this encounter and I was rubbing my eyes because I had been crying. After I pet him for a while, I decided to go back inside, and I guess he was thinking the same thing. It took me an hour to get back inside the house because he would shove his face right where the door is supposed to open and I didn't have the heart to kick him aside. It was kind of cold and I'm a sucker for animals. At the time, my roommate didn't want to let him in, which I understood.
The next day I was outside taking photos, testing out a new camera (rebel t6i). I hear the same two meows I heard the night before. As I'm looking around I don't see anything, until he walks out from behind a car towards me. I honestly didn't think he would come back. There are so many outdoor/homeless cats in this neighbourhood and I thought for sure he had a home. Although there are a lot of them, I've never been able to even pet one.
He kept coming back everyday until my roommate and I decided to just let him inside the house to see what he would do. The first night he stayed here, in the morning I couldn't find him until I got to the fridge and looked up just to see him sleeping up there. What a character. I decided to buy him a litter box and food and he never wanted to leave after that. I let him out to explore, do his thing and he always comes back. He's so smart. He is so vocal and makes it seem as though he's actually listening to you when you speak to him. He follows me around, sleeps in with me, lays on the table beside me while I work. He's everything thats keeping me sane. His name is Jeff. He relaxes me and lets me know some how that whatever Im going through will be ok in the end. He was sent to me at the perfect time.
2018 seems like a fresh start, metaphorically speaking. Any day could be a fresh start because its a new day. As long as the world is turning, so are you. But—not forever and that should be everyone's motivation. We don't have billions of years. We only get a few, some aren't even as lucky. What I really learned from 2017 and all it's glory, was that every one struggles and that the only thing keeping us from fulfilling our goals/dreams is our own minds. People are fake to hide the fact that they really struggle and thats a whole struggle all on its own. Whats important is having a plan. Having multiple plans and ideas for the future. If one fails, throw it out and start the next one. I truly hate the phrase, "If plan A didn't work, you got 25 more letters!!" You're going to need those 25 plus 25 more. The best projects in life happened from ideas that are rejected by most because they seem "impossible." Use motivation from the smallest things and watch them grow as you move forward. Watch how your priorities start to change.
You can be in a slump and feel like you don't know how to get out. it can last days, months, or even years. I feel like I've been in contact with this slump for some time now, and every few months, maybe every other year, I seem to fall back in. But each time, its gotten easier because I keep telling myself, I've gotten this far, why not a little more?
Who knew that a symbol of "bad luck" brought clarity and happiness into my life and that a change of fake numbers on the calendar made me feel so optimistic and good inside.
Everything happens for a reason I think. Everyone needs a little light in their life. Be the light to your own world. Create your own happiness. We are people in a very big and beautiful world. Find your Jeff. Jeff doesn't have to be a cat, he can be that hot bath you take at the end of every week because it relaxes you. Jeff could be the book you're dying to finish but seem to be stuck. Jeff can also be money or Jeff can be your kids. Find your motivation and do what you can to get it, maintain it, and progress with it. Turn that bath into a jacuzzi at your new crib. Turn that book into the most capturing piece of work for your audience. Regardless, your work will be appreciated. The only thing trapping us is our minds.