• Dustin C. Kinard

Loosen Your Grip.


I was once told, "It's not about the shoes you wear, it's about how you wear them."

Christmas has always been, and continues to be, my favorite time of the year. I've always gone out of my way to celebrate it, and I usually start way sooner than most others think I should. Of course, the older that I've gotten, I realize that there is so much more to Christmas than I realized as a child. I love the sweater weather, and the smell of fresh Christmas trees beside a crackling fire. I love gaudy Christmas ornaments and oversized colored lights. I love Christmas movies, Christmas music, and Christmas candles. I love the awkward family gatherings and good food. And now that I'm living in the city, I love the Rockettes at Radio City, the tree at Rockefeller Center, and the ice rink at Bryant Park.

However, as a child, what I obviously loved the most was waking up to presents beneath the tree on Christmas morning. I was one of those blessed kids who had divorced parents, from the age of two, so I got to enjoy the festivities twice each year for as long as I could remember. (I like to look at the situation as a positive, and more presents seems like a great reason to do just that!) My mother loved to buy gifts, hide them, and then surprise me on Christmas morning, however, my father and stepmother enjoyed taking me on yearly shopping sprees, so I could pick them out myself. And I loved both methods equally!

I was with my Dad in a store one year, weeks before Christmas, picking out my presents. (It's the worst, isn't it? Having to pick out something really cool, just to turn around and not be able to play with it for weeks!) Well, I was always an interesting child, showing interests in things that others my age didn't even think of. That year, at the age of approximately ten years old, I picked out an adult briefcase, complete with locks and codes, that I wanted for Christmas. My Dad, probably chuckling on the inside, picked up the briefcase and purchased it there on the spot. I was more than excited to open that present, and my dad only wanted me happy!

Looking back, I'm not really sure why I wanted that briefcase, or what I really did with it, other than hold my important documents. (Ie. doodles, posters, and other toys) Either way, I knew successful people, people who did something with their lives, carried a briefcase, and I wanted to be one of those people, even at the age of ten. I always wanted to be something big, to make a difference, to leave a fingerprint, and to use my gifts in a way that would impact others. I thought that having a briefcase would help me do just that. However, I was once told, "It's not about the shoes you wear, it's about how you wear them." And that goes for the briefcase as well. It's not about the briefcase you carry, it's about what you do out of that briefcase.

I find myself always trying to set up everything for success. From the pens and notebook I use to write, the music I choose to write to, the location I choose to write at, and the clothes I choose to write in. However, I'm coming to the realization that you can wait and wait to have everything just right, to have everything you think you need, in order to succeed... and you'll find at the end of the day, instead of achieving something, despite the lack, you achieve nothing. You wait for everything to be just right, and unfortunately, that usually never happens. Because of this, so many people miss out on great things in their lives. So, instead of focusing on the briefcase, these days, I choose to focus on what it is I want to do out of that briefcase, whether I have it or not.


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