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The Sun Came Up

Have you ever had a moment where it was the darkest hour? Night came, the moon hid, the stars stopped shining and your world was on fire?

We have. Quite literally.

There is an old saying, that it is darkest just before the dawn.

If you would have told Krista and I that a little over a year ago we would not only face a catastrophe that would put our business on its knees for 8 months; but face family struggle, financial struggles, interpersonal struggles, and the realization that tomorrow is not promised at all through the loss of friends and acquaintances that meant a lot to us and our friends we would have laughed in your face.

But the above happened.

The night came, the stars hid their face and we felt the sting of death on so many fronts.

The greatest pain that I personally felt throughout this year was the death of dreams and parts of myself. They were dreams and parts of me that I am now glad to see gone. But in the moment, it hurt. It hurt so much because my identity was tied to them.

I depended so heavily on what I thought life should look like. I depended on my own strength, on my own wishes, my own desires and not on my purpose.

I was very self reliant and very much the picturesque "I got this, work harder". (stole this quote from our resident Project Manager Jason)

However, when your life gets turned upside down, you find yourself not being the one making the decisions.

This year was full of other people making decisions for our future. It was full of strangers telling us what was going to happen with our business, with our tools we worked so hard to acquire. It was a year that was out of control on so many fronts that left us grasping for straws of hope only to be left with more questions most of the time.

We were left to grapple with direction and purpose for over 6 months before we settled into where we were going.

A lot of different versions of Krista and I showed up. We found out a lot about ourselves and a lot about our community.

People would bring meals, send messages, stop by just to say hello, give hugs and well wishes through cards and texts that would save the day for us. It was an incredible season of grace, empathy and compassion. Also, one of pain, heartache and distraction.

I can't tell you the day or time but one day something changed. We embraced the season, we chose to look ahead and commit to the actions that would develop us into the people that could lead something well. Dont get me wrong, we had built something beautiful with the help of great people but in this season we changed. We made a decision to change, and to take the lessons we had learned and use it as fuel to go somewhere new.

Simon Sinek says it best when he talks about measuring actions. "I cannot tell you the day or time but I do know if you just keep going to the gym, if you just keep showing up in every condition, one day you will look in the mirror and you will look different." "It will not be on the first day or the first week, maybe not even the first month...but it will happen." "The same is true in becoming a great leader. We measure the actions, because the actions lead to the type of results that honor people and the process."

So that's what we did. We started to build again and thanks to some amazing people in our community we started to dream again.

We started to imagine what could be different, how we could be different. We started dream about the ways we could show up for our community and give new life to dreams for others. We started to wonder what it would like if we just opened our doors one more time.

So, we did. We opened our doors with no certainty. With no commitment of what we had previously. Not for us, but for others. We launched with people at the forefront of our heartbeat. We launched again to build something that lasts for generations to come. We launched with not a thought of ourselves. I can say that with full confidence because it is how we live now. We live LOVED. VALUED. CARED FOR. every day. It is inconvenient most of the time. It requires much, but it is worth it. We do not do it perfectly but we do try and show up every day this way.

The funny thing is, we never saw the sun come up. We just woke up one morning and the darkness had subsided. The black sky was replaced with sunshine and painted colors that we ourselves did not paint but the heartbeat of others did.

The picture above is a true testament of this. This is our Head Instructor Jacob sitting inside the control room that we just installed with a vintage Allen & Heath board that has been outfitted to do an amazing job of capturing the performance of artists all over the country. He sits in front of one of our 3 backdrops of a YouTube channel & podcast that will help other people do what we do so well. LOVE. VALUED. CARED FOR. He sits in front with a grin a mile wide because he is living on purpose doing what he loves with people he loves. There are now nearly 2 handfuls of people who call FMG their home and provider. THIS does not happen without embracing the uncomfortable truth that we had to change. We had to grow. We had to choose new actions to get new reactions.

The Sun Came Up....

We didn't know when...

We didn't know how....

There are still clouds....

But we are here, living on purpose with a purpose imperfectly to the best of our ability.

That is enough.

We choose to trust in the fact that we measure ourselves by the actions we take instead of the destinations we reach.

That has changed everything.

I hope this helps you find a way to show up in your own dark night. It doesn't last forever but you can choose for it to.


Zack Schuyler

VP Student Experience

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