Today's show topic is intense. If you're looking for a light and fun show, you'll probably want to skip this one. I was depressed. It was bad. I'm talking about it for the first time. On last week's show, we talked about how difficult it is to open up about the real things that might be going on in your life. The *unpleasant* things. Where's the place to do that? Social media doesn't seem to be the answer. I talked about feeling like I need to wait until I can wrap the story up in a neat "Hero's Journey" bow. Because people are conditioned to expect the Hero's Journey format. "Okay, yeah, sure, things were bad, but then what happened, *next*?" "No... things were just bad, and then they got worse. And that's it. I don't have a happy ending to this story for you right now." "Oh." I didn't want that. But I didn't know how to share something that wasn't good and positive. The stages I went through were: • Push, push, push (push forward with work, push down the feelings). • Reach a breaking point where my best is no longer good enough. • Things fall apart. • Get really depressed. • Feel numb. • Not want to share any of this. • Feel like I can't share even if I wanted to. • Finally decide I do want to share, but don't know how without being a "downer". • Conclude that if I ever will share, it needs to be a story that has a "happy ending" so people can tolerate the uncomfortable parts knowing things end well. Until recently, that's where I was. I wasn't happy with this conclusion, but it was the only way. I didn't think there would be interest or value in an incomplete story. I know that's wrong, I'm just telling you where I was. After last week’s show, I changed my mind. I decided I would start sharing about the events that took place over the last couple years. I just started sharing. I didn't know how many parts would be in this series. That’s why you see “Part 1” and not “Part 1 of X”. We haven't recorded a Part 2 yet—we're waiting to see what your feedback will be like. But I'm going to do what I set out to do when I started this podcast: iterate in public.