Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

So I went to order some new checks at my bank, and somehow I got tricked into answering a bunch of personal questions.

“Oh I see you went to Stanford… impressive.”

(3 years out of Chelsea Clinton’s Alma Mater and you’re not the next Mark Zuckerburg already? Hmm.)

“What was your major? Drama?”

(Oh you’re one of those actor types, eh. Dra-ma. No kidding.)

“Do you still make the same amount every year?”

(Or do you plead the Fifth?)

“What’s your current job..? Oh, so your making a difference?”

(Now you’re making me question whether I’m being selfish with what I’m doing with my life. I no longer like you.)

“I see you have a loan with us…”

(I love to see you squirm when I remind you of that. Remember: WE. OWN. YOU!)

“Did you know that you can save money by using the following new features?”

(I just saw your balance and I feel sorry for you. Here I got a 5 in my pocket. Take it. Buy yourself some Ice Cream.)

“You can set up your account to automatically pay your bills!”

(“Because I see that you are so EAGER to pay your bills–you just can’t wait another second!” They are paying me to say this. Can you tell?)

“You’ll get your new checks in 7-10 Business Days. Thank you Mr. Morales! Here’s my card, call me if you ever have any further inquires.”

(Call me when you make six-figures. You just wasted 15 minutes of my life. Thanks a lot.)

I shook hands with the guy and I left, feeling uber-depressed about my life.

But I didn’t stay that way.

Now here’s a sign of how much I have changed: a year ago I might have let this conversation eat away at me until I was frozen to inaction, but I had a good little talk with myself afterward. I asked myself:

“Well, what does this man know? He doesn’t know how difficult these past 3 years have been for me. He doesn’t know what I’ve had to struggle with, he doesn’t know how hard I have tried and what obstacles I have had to overcome. He doesn’t know me. If he did, he would be amazed at how far I have come.”

No, on the outside it may seem to some that I haven’t progressed much according to society’s fixed standards. But within me, the change has been monumental. It was during these three years that I discovered what my purpose was in life. (I’m a writer.) It was the time when I stopped caring what others thought I should do. (I changed acting from career choice to personal hobby.) It was a time when I faced the past (…) and came out with more clarity and more confidence in myself than ever. I’ve learned to create healthier relationships. I have learned to accept people as they are, and not try to constantly change them or “help” them. I learned to be more aware of the present and the world around me. I developed tools, I learned skills that have helped me find peace and well-being, that have helped me hum a little tune and change my perspective from negative to positive daily. I started this blog, kept it up, and have made some wonderful friends. (Life-long friends I hope.)  I have kept my promise to myself–I kept writing my novel no matter what ever happened around me. (You have no idea how hard that was. Now that’s an accomplishment!)

Little by little I have taken ownership of my life. I have begun to take responsibility for the choices I have made and will make. This is my life and no one else’s. Only I get to judge it because only I have lived it, and luckily…

I APPROVE.

You see, Mr. Banker. You may think I haven’t done much according to your standards, but according to mine:  I am a champion. I am a survivor. I have beaten the odds and I will continue to do so. Today I acknowledge my accomplishments.

I hope you, dear reader, will do the same. You deserve it.

“This is a true confession
of a man that lost his mind.
A real regression
when it’s you that you left behind,
but now I’m moving. Now I’m moving. Now I’m moving.”

much “now I’m moving, now I’m moving, now… I’m moving.”

Ollin

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27 comments on “Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

  1. tsbazelli says:

    I think if anyone’s read this blog believes you’re a writer and has seen some of that progress with you.🙂

    It can be frustrating sometimes when you feel you’ve changed and progressed, but there’s no external proof of it. You’re right, we should be proud of what we have done, and not let other people’s judgments color our self-worth.

    • Ollin says:

      “It can be frustrating sometimes when you feel you’ve changed and progressed, but there’s no external proof of it.”

      That’s totally on point T.S.! That’s exactly the feeling. No external badges to who everyone how far I have come, only internal ones. We tend to not appreciate accomplishments that cannot be symbolized by material or wealth, or even some sort of academic achievement.

      But there are so many positive achievements that deserve awards, that don’t ever get them. Maybe I should make myself a plaque and reward myself for gaining emotional maturity in the past 3 years!😉

  2. Agatha82 says:

    There’s a reason why the word Banker rhymes with Wanker (if you don’t know that word…well…it’s English slang for someone who er…wanks, if you don’t know that word, I’m too embarassed to explain it here so google it lol)

    Anyway, good for you. Glad you realised how far you’ve come.

  3. Magz says:

    Once when I went to an interview from a Standford alum linked email, the interviewer asked me why I didn’t go to Standford? I said I didn’t want to, I always wanted to go to USC. Being a Standford alum, he got mad. LOL!!! No didn’t get that job…Hahahaha! I was this close to shoving the Pencil he wanted me to pretend to sell up his….

  4. Magz says:

    What I’m saying.. is it only matters what you think of yourself cuz that’s who you live with, no escaping you…hahaha!

  5. Good for you, Ollin! Your words truly resonanted with me. Here’s to turning society’s fixed standards upside down in a absolutely wonderful way!

  6. Ollin, I can relate with you. But then, anyone who reads your blog, and is one of us, would relate to you too. It is like a clan being formed slowly, if you’ve noticed. And only a writer, an aspiring author, or an artist can understand the greatness of overcoming that internal fight. I, for one, have always believed emotional hassles within us are often more difficult to overcome than external ones with others. It is tough to acknowledge where we lack, tough to acknowledge what others disapprove about us, tougher to stay put in those circumstances–I know, I really do.

    In a way, I have always likened these struggles within to reaching better spiritual heights.

    To me, your overcoming and your passion is pure spirituality.

    It’s enigmatic, dazzling light.

    Love,
    BrownEyed

    P.S. Thank you for the re-ward Ollin; I feel elated! This is my first.🙂

    • Ollin says:

      Beautiful comment BrownEyed. Thank you, your words are so wonderful and encouraging. I wish us both luck in our respective journeys. You’re welcome for the reward. You deserve it!🙂

  7. Lua says:

    This is the great thing about blogging- I actually did witness how much you accomplished! I’m sure I only witnessed to a very small portion of those accomplishments, but I witnessed enough to tell that banker that he has NO IDEA!
    Sometimes we get so obsessed with where we are not, we forget how much we had to travel to get where we are now… Thanks for the reminder Ollin!🙂

    P.S: LOVE that song!

    • Ollin says:

      That’s wonderful to know that through blogging at least my blogger friends can totally see how much I have changed and accomplished! Now to get the rest of the world to see that… lol.

      Isn’t that song great? I actually never heard of the artist before, but I had pandora on and this song came on and I felt like it just summed up this point of my life so well. I thought it would be a perfect soundtrack to this post too. Don’t you just love when you find that one song that totally captures the feeling for you?

      Thank you for following me along for the ride Lua, and being a constant supporter. We’re gonna get there, my friend. I know it!

  8. That’s the key, I think! Taking responsibility – seeing for yourself that you are only human, as are all those people around you.

    A big step, and I’m still sidling my way towards it.🙂

    Thanks for the award! I can’t promise I won’t turn my blog on and off. It seems to flit as freely as my mind and mood. But it’s on for now.🙂

    Thanks Ollin – for thinking of me!

    • Ollin says:

      Well, I hope you give my readers just a little chance to check out your wonderfulness! I’m sure they will enjoy everything you have to say.

  9. “I learned skills that have helped me find peace and well-being, that have helped me hum a little tune and change my perspective from negative to positive daily.”

    That really is the key, isn’t it. Mind over matter, which is not as easy as it sounds, but certainly is worth the effort. From what I’ve read thus far on your blog, it seems you’ve persevered through life’s recent trials with such grace and optimism, and it surely inspires your writing. All that good energy you’re sending out is going to come back to you tenfold🙂

    And thank you for the award!! Oh goodie. This is great fun. Very flattered for it to come from you, and I can’t wait to swing over to your other blog winners!

    • Ollin says:

      Oh let’s hope so!🙂 Well I was going to give you an award soon anyways and I just didn’t want to wait any longer! You certainly deserve it. I love your introspective posts!

  10. Melissa says:

    I think we all get lost in our every day struggles and forget to acknowledge the things we have already accomplished. We make a choice to either stay where we are and never grow as people or take a step forward and learn more about ourselves. 🙂 When we do the latter, sometimes we forget to give ourselves a little pat on the back for growing.

    Thank you for the “reward”.🙂 I’m honored!

    • Ollin says:

      You’re welcome Melissa. It’s kinda cool that a lot of my new favorite bloggers are my frequent readers! You all are very talented and have such great and insightful blogs. It was my pleasure to bestow this award upon you. You’re very welcome.

  11. Mckenzie says:

    “On the outside it may seem to some that I haven’t progressed much according to society’s fixed standards. But within me, the change has been monumental”

    Love. This. Love it!

    I actually wrote it down, because it stood out to me so much.

    • Ollin says:

      Yes, Mckenzie, it seems you are on a similar journey. Don’t let the outside crazies get to you, you are making huge internal moves and that warrants admiration. Congrats!🙂

  12. Daw, shucks, Ollin. You’re spoiling me!

  13. “You may think I haven’t done much according to your standards, but according to mine: I am a champion. I am a survivor.”

    I love this!
    I would say that if you are a champion and survivor according to your own standards, then you are a champion and survivor… period.
    I wonder if those whose standards are more common feel this way? I don’t see a lot of that around.

  14. Kavita says:

    Ofcourse Ollin.. Only WE know what we’ve achieved (in the true sense of the word)… others can only speculate and judge…
    So, cheers to all the achievements and progress! And best luck with all your future endeavors as well!!! Yaaaaayyyyy…
    Have a great week ahead, my friend..

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