Perception and the highlight reel of time

If you had come into my life towards the end of 2011, you would have assumed my wife and I were fairly average for our ages. Married young, paying on a car for my wife, and a motorcycle for me, we lived in a town home, and had relatively little furniture. Our major purchase for 2011 was a new bed that I had bought with extra money from overtime. My wife was an aspiring young photographer, but we had yet to do any weddings together.

Had you entered my life in late 2011 you may have assumed we were relatively normal, despite our unique relationship spanning the oceans. You would have thought we blended in quite well. Into 2012 and onward, we became more and more successful, almost as if we were favored, almost as if luck had everything to do with it. If you had entered our lives around the end of 2011 and watched us acquire everything that we did afterwards, it would have been easy to become jealous, and to think of favoritism of some sort.

Had you entered our lives around this time period, you would not have seen all the hard work that had gone into all that we have now. The courting period. My working hard in England, saving to move here. You would not have seen the nearly four years of marriage, and commitment to each other just to get to 2012.

During 2012 I became a citizen, I paid my motorcycle off, I bought a brand new jeep, we bought new furniture, we paid my wife’s car off, we traveled to England to visit my family for the first time since I moved here. We shot weddings together. I sponsored my parents to move here. In 2013 my parents came to live with us, we bought a house, and a plethora of tools and fixtures that come with buying a house. We began to host birthday parties, and our success was erupting for everyone to see. In 2014 we shot more weddings than ever before, and my wife’s business began to grow. Being able to buy nice things for me was a luxury I had seldom experienced thus far, and was an experience in and of itself.

What many did not see was all the hard work that had gone into all that. The reason, as my wife pointed out, that more and more people became negative towards us in the end of 2014 is because they only saw the highlights of our lives. Up until and including buying the house, many cheered for us. When we stayed successful and continued streaking across the sky, those who could not live up to our example began to become jealous, and some would nip at our heels whenever they had the chance.

They do not realize the many years that have gone into building the life that we have. They do not see the many hours my wife and I put into working our butts off to live this life. They do not see the trials and tribulations. They do not understand what it takes to endure, because they have never had to.

The trials we went through as teenagers, and in our early marriage when first coming together permanently, has solidified our relationship and our individual resolve.

looking out

Those who met us earlier on in our courtship, have a better understanding of our trials. As 2015 comes into bloom, we are doubling down on our commitment to each other and to our own entrepreneurial spirit. It has taken this long just to start seeing real profit. My wife can now eye working from home on a permanent basis, while I finally wade into publishing writings I have had sketched out for years.

Nothing good is ever easy. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of patience, and a commitment to do good, no matter what others may throw at you or say behind your back.

Perception is important. Those who have known me longest know that I am in fact very humble by nature. Those who haven’t known me long probably perceive me as arrogant. That’s OK. Whatever arrogance I may have, I’ve earned it. I worked my butt off to be where I am today, and I intend to go further. Not for fame, not for glory, nor even for riches. But to live an authentic life that is all my own.

When you only ever observe the highlights, you miss the full picture. The saying goes ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ perception it seems, is everything.

If you want a good life, you have to work hard. There is no other way around it. You will have hardships of many kinds you will have to endure. If you use philosophy as a guide and believe in yourself, in your abilities and have a little faith. You can create whatever you want. Do not concern yourself with what others are doing. Do not concern yourself with their highlight reels. Your perception is important, and you should strive to see the best in yourself, and in turn become the best you can be. You really can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

Published by

Paul Townsend

Paul is a freelance writer who grew up in the UK and became an American citizen.

2 thoughts on “Perception and the highlight reel of time”

  1. I am extremely proud of you both. You have worked hard and proved that the American dream is possible if you are willing to work hard and apply your talents toward your goals. The wonderful part of your success is that you are able to use your skills to your advantage and not have to take guff from a unappreciative “boss.” I am so glad you were able to bring your parents here. I hope they are happy in their new home. God Bless you one and all and I wish you a happy, healthy and continued successful new year.

    By the way a great man once told me, “Don’t waller in the mud with your detractors. Just dust yourself off and keep on your path.” I found this to be good advice. I don’t waller with the pigs.

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