01 Feb The Beauty in the Tension
Things have gotten a bit different in my life since I randomly bought a 15 year old boy an Xbox 360.
For years I searched for meaning. For years I came up empty in the meaning. For years, I worked anonymously through the ranks just like everyone else wondering if I’d ever find the meaning for the stirrings in my heart.
And I found it. I found my purpose.
I didn’t know if Gamerosity was “it” when I talked with Cat about it. I didn’t know if Gamerosity was “it” when I spoke with Ryan, my business partner, about helping me out with it, nor did I know when we formed our Board, got our logo, created our Facebook page or anything in the “process.” It took 10 months before we had our first campaign and another couple months after that before our site launched, so in-between all that there was simply wonder. After our first campaign, who we are and what my role was in this began to take shape and before I knew it, I was the Director of a Non-Profit, a manifestation of my heart.
What people don’t tell you is the process that goes on during this stage. And I totally understand why. Being in any spotlight makes you vulnerable. You want to present yourself and your organization as strong, unbreakable, trustworthy, and all those other qualities that draw the masses to you. But what do I care? I’m just an ordinary guy.
What people don’t mention is the heartache in the process; the disconnect in the time-space continuum between your dreams and your present reality. Leaders see things in the future, it’s a part of what put us in that position in the first place. I don’t look at Gamerosity as it is in its present state, but I see it in light of all the dreams, goals, and plans we have for the future. I see the impact we’ll have within our “space” and I see the absolute paradigm shift that can happen if these things come to pass. I’m not willing to concede to the present because I know the good we have planned for tomorrow.
But that’s what breaks me.
See, there’s this tension that goes on in my world between the need for me to be thankful and excited about what’s going on now without growing complacent and settling for “good enough.” The reality is, people look at Gamerosity and they (by and large) love it. The thought that what we’re doing with Gamerosity isn’t something I’m content with comes off as almost offensive, as though presenting their child with a Hero Package isn’t good enough to me. But that’s not the point. The reality is, I want so much more in our relationship between non-profit and child.
I want so much more than a Facebook post and random “check-ins” with the family. I want to change things for families who’s children have cancer. When we made our Mission “Changing the Treatment Experience for Kids with Cancer” we mean(t) it. So I find myself warring in my heart, pitting future against past as though the two can’t coexist.
There’s a discipline that I’m learning in all this. To truly, 100% embrace the work that’s being done today. To celebrate the change that’s been made. To bask in the reality that there’s a ton of non-profit leaders that wish they can make the kind of impact we’ve made so far. I’m also learning how to truly, 100% embrace the work that comes in building for the future. I will not settle for less, and I will not allow anyone to force me to settle. This is my dream, but it’s also to the benefit of hundreds of children everywhere.
We’re going to change things. I’m going to be a part of it, but I will not allow myself to sulk and live in misery because we’re not there yet. I will hold on to the joy set before me. I will praise God for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I will live in the beauty of this tension that pushes me today, and invigorates me for tomorrow. And I will not allow finances, closed doors, or laziness to get in the way. I was born to do this.
I get discouraged every now and again that the money isn’t there to move forward with these things. I’ve worked extremely hard, willing to sacrifice compensation in order to build this organization into a sustainable change-making non-profit. I don’t care about compensation because these things work themselves out. I truly believe that it’s not my job to find a way to pay myself so I can fully focus on the organization (mainly because, if I begin to make that my focus, we’ll lose the purpose of our organization). Paying me isn’t what this is about. It’s about paying for the things we need to take the next step. Innovation costs money, and I’m not willing to give any of our retail and platform dollars to anything other than Hero Campaigns, the children are our first priority. So we search. For external fundraisers, grant writers to lace up their boots, and opportunities that present themselves. It’ll come, I know it will. It’s not about money, it’s about time.