Justin Ricklefs


Crack in the Windshield

I was running 5 minutes late to a potential client lunch.

Two brothers, partners in a business. Wanting to talk to us about helping them tell stories.

I slid into the booth with an awkward apology for being late.

With a bucket of chips and homemade salsa (by the way, no matter my intentions going in, it’s 100% guaranteed my willpower fails in this situation) in front of us, the conversation began.

We chatted about their business, their backgrounds and some of the ideas they’re looking to tackle.

Then they asked me to reciprocate. To tell my story.

As I am here in this virtual booth, I got long-winded. And went into lots of details.

Internships, having babies, moving cities, changing industries, getting fired, cool jobs, bad jobs, having more babies, then where I was when the idea for our marketing business was born.

One of the brothers stopped me and said, “I don’t know if you’re into metaphors, but I heard this one time and it really made sense to me. And it sounds like your story. This guy told me one time that life is like a crack in the windshield. You see precisely where the crack starts (where your story begins), but then day by day, week by week and year by year, the crack grows, changes shape, goes in different directions and ultimately ends. It’s never a straight line.”


He was referencing career specifically but his comparison is so true, not just for work but for life.

In these last couple years, our counselor and a good friend of mine, have both repeated several times, “Growth, healing and recovery aren’t linear.”

It’s never a straight line. It’s much more like a crack in a windshield.

Sure, we may have some general idea of where it’s headed, but it’s far from predictable and under control.

Even though I crave control almost as much as chips and salsa.

So as you twist, turn, grow, fall, heal, break and keep going in life, I think the crack in the windshield leads somewhere promising.

I’m just not exactly sure when we get there…

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