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If you just stepped on a pile of shit, read this

May 23, 2022

You’ve watched Animal Planet on Discovery or something similar. You’ve heard of Dung Beetles, right? 

These pesky little six-legged creatures push shit all day long. Up to 250 times their weight per night in fact. They mold it into a ball so it’s easier to move it around. One of these balls of poop can weigh up to 10 times the Dung Beetles’ own mass. Imagine that. 

These beetles don’t even have to drink or eat because the dung provides a full five-course nutrient full platter to feast on. 

They’re so in love with their dung that sometimes they even steal it from their buddies. 

Maybe they know something we don’t.

I was sitting down on my upcoming father-in-law’s couch, holding onto my laptop, and staring at my bank account balance. 7k below-freezing.

We had just returned back to Finland and my fiancé was 3 months pregnant with our son. She’d gotten laid off from work upon our return because the economical situation had changed dramatically while we were away. 

I had a failed business in my hands, no job (in fact I’d never even had a job), and no proof whatsoever that I had any kind of skills someone would pay for.

We were in the world of shit to put it gently. 

I’d always been an entrepreneur or a freelancer, ever since high school, and I’d been able to avoid having a job. In fact, I had been dodging that bullet for a good decade and a half by that time. I considered myself unemployable because I had listened to the same rap from the celebrity entrepreneurs you have. 

But now I was looking at the barrel straight in the eye with the added bonus of having a child on the way and no way to provide food, shelter, or security for him or for my spouse.

This is the kind of dung we find ourselves in life periodically and then we just got to roll with it. Like the Dung Beetle.

In hindsight this ball of shit often turns into growth, a lesson life has served us and we must find a way to make the best out of it.

Nobody in their right mind invites misfortune to their doorsteps. But once the uninvited guest arrives you have no option but to embrace them. 

So I needed to find a job and I needed to do it yesterday. It’s one of those moments in life when you are standing on the edge of the cliff, knowing you must jump against your will and without a parachute. 

That moment is the worst. 

Then on the way down towards your impeding demise you need to grow wings. 

It hurts like hell but far less than the ground coming at you at terminal velocity.

Had I known that six years later I would be standing on top of a flourishing career as a senior product designer, in the best company Finland has to offer I would not have believed it. We have a wonderful, healthy 5-year-old and my spouse has her dream job. 

Did it hurt facing the ball of shit ten times my weight? Yes. Was it frustrating, scary, and hard to get that ball moving? Yes, it was.

And sure, life has served us many more of those smelly curved poop balls and we’re still practicing how to roll with them.

So embrace the dung because it’s all up in there. Nutrients and all.

A black and white photo of the author Jussi's smiling face with shortcut hair and a short beard
plenty more loot in the vault

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