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The Sobering Reality of Paying Your Dues

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It's unlike the rooms I've walked into before. 

Usually, new rooms are filled with hopeful energy bouncing off the walls. Rather, there was something dreary, sterile and beaten down about this space. Yet to put my finger on it, but in time I would have the answer.


As the days dragged, the thing I once couldn't put my finger on --slowly felt comfortable enough to reveal itself. And I opened up as it opened up. Beneath a well-put-together-facade was the face of exhaustion, fear and paranoia. It was the ugliest face I've seen in quite some time.

The type of face that rears its head when it's being challenged for its position. A rather shaky position but viewed as a challenge nonetheless.


Unfortunately, I wasn't there to battle. 


Instead, reap the benefits of honing a craft when you're thrown into the trenches. Fine tune talents that have been aching for a bigger stage. And work on the mundane tasks that catapult success when the right moment arrives for you to strike.


No. This face of exhaustion, fear and paranoia wanted me to suffer like they did. 


They wanted me to pay my dues. 


"You haven't been here long enough."

"You're still a rookie in your field."

"You need to start from the bottom."


That's just how the system is or is it?

"You can't just show up and claim your position." 


You must toil & labour for an inch of opportunity. Right?  Even though you don't get what you deserve, you get what you accept.


Like I said, I wasn't there to battle.


Instead, honour my craft by knowing it's worth. Not compromising my integrity by doing the things I don't believe in.

Many times blind ambition will have you forget, even in the most comfortable position, you must still negotiate your value. Insisting that others will see or recognize your efforts and reward you in-kind, is a fool's errand.


The reality of paying your dues requires you to step up, not put up.


Putting up with low pay vs. stepping up to match the income you want.

Putting up with disrespectful attitudes vs. stepping up to create boundaries.

Putting up with the state of suffering vs. choosing differently and seeking peace by any means.


Very often, stepping up requires you to put your shaky position on the line. For not an inch but the grand opportunity to land on firmer ground.

The question is are you willing to pay those dues?