Over the past year, I’ve developed immense respect for those who make a career for themselves on their own. Though I come from a fairly privileged background, I have endless amounts of admiration for underdogs and the little guys who get to the top without much hand holding. Chris Gardner, the author of memoir “The Pursuit of Happyness,” is a perfect example. Same goes for J.K. Rowling and Oprah, who earned their stripes with determination and passion. But, as I learned this week, the journey can be trying.

I’m in DC for a few days, and yesterday I had lunch with my long-time mentor Matt, who has been giving me career advice and guidance since my college internship at Townhall, for which he was writing at the time. Like many folks at TheDC, he has done really well for himself all thanks to work ethic and drive.

“Nothing was ever just given to you,” I said to Matt, who grew up in a tiny farm town. “You climbed to the top on your own.”

“Yeah, but there was crawling, scratching, and running too,” he said with a laugh.

In other words, the path was anything but smooth and required careful navigation. There
were many let-downs, I’m sure, but none of them broke his spirits. He kept going. And that’s what the rest of us have to do when life events make little sense to us.