It's been quite a while since I spoke with you all. With everything that has happened to me in the last few months you would think I would be here pouring out my soul to all of you, the problem is I haven't.
Writing has always been my getaway despite the many eye rolls I get from my friends & family that read what I have to say. Whether it was the blog I kept throughout college, the lyrics I used to write for my songs in high school, or the poetry book from middle school, writing has always been my best way to cool off.
I come to you all to tell you that I am exhausted both mentally and physically.
Losses & Gains
D.R.E.A.M.'s mission is more than just making cool clothes and donating to Mental Health NPO's. This is the start to help bring change to the world and provide an outlet to millions of people around the world who struggle with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, bipolar disorder, and more.
As someone who has been battling anxiety his whole life and who has had big battles with depression, this mission means a lot more to me than most people may know. I think that is the primary issue. Based on some of the things that have happened to me in my personal life recently I am starting to get the sense that people forget why I began D.R.E.A.M.
I am a giving person. It is my biggest strength and my Achilles heel because human nature typically tells you that it feels good to receive but tough to lose. In the past few months, this has come back to haunt me.
At this point, I want to come out and say that I was told that I have not been generous enough with what I'm building at D.R.E.A.M. and it has stuck with me for months. I've had the typical hatred from some people online saying the donations aren't enough, but you can't please everyone. It also feels like some people think I owe them when now that we've done so much as a movement. I want to say that I'm proud of all we've done for this brand together (this includes you, Dreamers). I especially have to say that the help of the DREAM team (all the content creators and personalities who have helped push this brand forward ) have been the backbone to all this and thank you all (you know who you are) for working with me to help get this message out to the world.
Every single day I wake up and spread this message, fulfill orders, talk to supporters, take on the customer service, work with my designers on new designs, speak to print shops and clothing manufacturers, come up with new ideas for clothing & donation events, and I even have to deal with my own life. I appreciate the help I get here, but I've always paid my personal and financial debts to anyone who has assisted.
However, as a rule of thumb, I want you all never ever to help someone then refuse to take anything from it and then complain about it down the line. That is not cool.
In the past six months, I have significantly shrunk my circle of trust, and although it felt terrible at the time, it feels great now knowing that I am surrounded by people who genuinely care about me and everything I am trying to accomplish in this world. I urge you to try and do the same.
Most of my friends and family see me as someone they can come to when they need anything. I take pride in being that person but as of late I've needed people to help me and it's almost impossible for me to do that. I always take the time out of my day to help out others and if you're reading this smiling and knowing I've helped you I just want to tell you that it's always an honor for me to lend a helping hand because I know that a lot of people may not want to do that. However, it is becoming exhausting to do this.
I've had someone recently tell me that they don't enjoy my complaints anymore because they come to me as their "break" from the drama in the world. That's someone who is really close to me too. I don't blame this person at all, but that makes me feel I'm not really able to open up. It's kind of like how superheroes may feel. I'm not saying I'm some superhero, but it's definitely a similar feeling.
It's like when a superhero saves the world, but people are still upset at them for destroying the world while trying to save it. Or when they get mad at the hero for not being able to rescue someone for the first time in two years. People have expectations of you, and when they are not met they lose it. The problem is, I've set mine extraordinarily high and I'm not sure if I like that anymore.
On the other hand, I am guilty of believing people will match my energy and that is incredibly wrong of me. There are times where I reach out for help, and the reciprocation is not there (or at least the way I would do it). This is wrong of me, and it is something I am working on, and I think this will lead to a much better mental state for me.
If my story was written to be the one who helps and only helps then so be it. It's time to embrace this as a gift rather than see it as a curse.
The circle got smaller. The responsibilities are growing. The expectations are on a different level.
Quitting never has and will never be an option for me. However, I need to make some changes to not only get our message out there to the world but to also save me from myself.
- I am drowning out toxic relationships/environments.
- I am being more patient with the process.
- I am removing all expectations of others.
- I am embracing the role that I've created.
- I am not letting my emotions get in the way of anything I do.
D.R.E.A.M. Moving Forward
Currently, I am working on doing a complete website overhaul that is going to help bring in some awesome features to help get our message out there in a more impactful way. I can't share some of it yet, but donation transparency is going to be on a much stronger level. I am also working on tightening up the message in a more clear and concise manner so it can resonate with the world in a more digestible way.
In terms of the "process" of orders & delivery, I want you all to know that I (and some people who are now helping me out part-time) are doing what we can to help get things out as quick as possible. Typically, when an item is in stock, it ships the same day but there is some issue with inventory, damaged items, and sometimes with lost packages. I try and work my way through all of these and if you allow us to continue to get better, we won't have to deal with these issues much longer. Check out the FAQ page where I have created a roadmap to help you all understand where everything is and how things go around here.
I understand a lot of you expect orders to go out quickly but sometimes things happen that cause it to be delayed. Have patience with me and I promise to deliver. 80% of the time orders go out within 24 hours but for the 20% of the time please let us get to it and we will deliver you the best product and experience possible.
Also, thanks to the success of Bloom Again, we are going to continue to try and help out other causes that relate to Mental Health as we did with Sexual Assault Survivors. We plan on helping out foundations who help aid with childhood autism initiatives, Alzheimer's initiatives, Eating Disorders/Childhood Obesity, and more.
I don't know how much change I can help make in this world if I don't try everything I can. Until my dying breath, I promise to fight as hard as I do to help leave this world a better place than when I entered it.
Until next time Dreamers, never stop Dreaming and always Dream Big.