The world seems to be in the middle of twisting and turning story, and we don’t know how or when it will end.

Just 6 weeks ago, I moved to a new city to embark on a new adventure. I remember driving across the country, my heart full of optimism, and my car filled with the scent of unlimited possibilities. With 3 months of expenses saved up, I was hopeful and excited.

3/4 of the way through my cross-country road trip, my car’s power steering went out. $700 later, I was back up and running. Since I was getting repairs, I went ahead and spent another $400 for new tires for which I was far overdue.

When I finally got here, I spent the first month emailing people, calling businesses, and trying to create relationships and close new video work, letting that same optimism drive me forward. I quickly realized that I had underestimated how difficult it would be to start a new life and a new business in a new city. People don’t know me here. Nobody trusts me yet. So the sales process is way longer than normally would be where I have a foundation built up already. But I still had time.

Then, one weekend I slipped on the ice and partially dislocated my shoulder. After spending another $500 for doctor’s visits and an MRI, I found out that I tore my labrum in two places. Luckily it’s not bad enough for surgery, but it needs ongoing Physical Therapy. Another unexpected bill.

3 months worth of savings turned into 2, and I started seriously feeling the pressure. I became reactive to my financial stress and changed up my outreach plan multiple times to try to find smaller jobs that could earn me cash more quickly. Then, right on cue, the coronavirus stopped the world from spinning. People started staying home, film productions got cancelled, businesses started laying off employees just to stay afloat, and restaurants shut down.

About a week into the global economic halt, Salt Lake was hit with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. There was some damage near the epicenter, but I was on the outskirts, and while I felt my building wobble throughout the day, I was safe and didn’t experience the worst of it.

I feel like you couldn’t make up a more ridiculous and ironic series of events. It’s like the writer of humanity’s story is playing some sick joke on us.

As I sunk down to a new kind of low, feeling unable to hold up the pressure that was piling on top of me, the rest of the world suddenly found themselves in chaos, too. It got to a point a couple days ago where I took a big breath and accepted my situation, and it became almost comical. Not to make light of what will be some serious ongoing challenges for many people, but how much more can be piled on top of us?

My bet is that we could handle a lot more. Humans are pretty strong, and we were built to navigate this kind of chaos. This is not new. Humanity has made it through much worse. As soon as you accept that the world will always throw pain and challenge at you, you can start putting meaningful effort into that which you can control.

Hard times are always the beginning of new and unexpected opportunities. With every death comes a new birth. And if you can stand up straight among the chaos, rather than crumbling down with everything around you, you’ll be ready to notice and grasp those opportunities that await.

This story is not over. And we have more control over our lives than it seems. It starts with each of our daily decisions. Focus on what you can control. And good luck!

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