52 Stories has only been alive for a few weeks, but it's already been such a fun journey. I've gotten to know people on a deeper level, learned how to have better conversations, and expect the unexpected (#1 lesson: always have a backup recording device). This project has brought me to places I otherwise wouldn't have gone to and given me a chance to speak with people I wouldn't have usually met. I think the greatest thing it's taught me so far, though, is that we are all not so different from one another - we're all searching for that balance in life, figuring out lessons along the way, and continuing to fail and succeed on the daily.
When my interviewees give me honest, genuine answers, I feel really grateful to be able to witness it all (as cheesy as that sounds). Success is simply learning to adapt to a string of failures and life is one continuous motion. It doesn't end once you've accomplished a goal as there will always be challenges around the corner. The world doesn't become easier, but you do become better.
That being said, I wanted to list a few things that I've learned from my interviewees over the past few weeks:
1. Nothing worth having in life comes easy. Every single person I've interviewed has had to work their a**es off to get to where they are. No one got to their position by doing the status quo and just riding the waters. No, instead they went out, paddled the surf and rode the waves with broken legs. Many people got to where they are by spending their free time studying for interviews, learning new skills, or networking the heck out of places.
2. They all took rejection and didn't let it stop them. Rejection is universal and those who have that perfect job probably had 500 rejections as well. But they didn't give up and they learned from their mistakes. They didn't let rejection define who they were and they kept going. Often times it's the people who get rejected first and keep trying who end up staying the longest in their industry. Why? Because they know they want it and they are less likely to quit later on in their career. Building up thicker skin allowed them to weather colder storms in the future.
3. They all appreciate someone in their life who keeps them grounded whether it be their parents, their significant others, or their friends. It's good to not float too high above the clouds or too close to the sun.
4. They were all extremely flexible and understanding in scheduling - thank you, everyone. :)
When I interview people in public, I often have people come up to me afterward asking me what I do and if I do this full-time. When I tell them that I do this as a side passion and that my real job is actually way different from this, they look at me in admiration (like wow, this girl is doing this for free?!!) The thing is though I get paid in things besides $$ for this website. After each interview, I become so inspired and it's something I truly enjoy doing.