Category Archives: Zero Dean

Not Everyone Will Understand Your Journey. That’s Fine. It’s Not Their Journey To Make Sense Of. It’s Yours

Zero Dean? Anonymous?

journey08Dear Quote Investigator: On Facebook I saw a potent statement about purpose and individuality:

Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.

These words were superimposed on a beautiful picture, but no ascription was provided. You have examined many quotations with incorrect attributions. There is a comparable problem that is endemic online. Sometimes quotations and images are appropriated without credit; original attributions are erased or cropped out, and new web addresses and logos are added. Would you please trace this saying?

Quote Investigator: The statement above was crafted by the computer graphic artist, photographer, and writer Zero Dean in June 2013. He wrote a post on this topic and created a set of vivid images which have been widely shared on social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. However, sometimes Dean’s name has been effaced or replaced by other identifiers.

In 2007 Zero Dean was a senior artist at a computer gaming company. He created artwork for games such as Rise of Nations and Red Dead Redemption. In 2009 he left his job and started on an epic road trip adventure. He has shared his experiences via his writings, photography, and art.

The quotation was written on June 26, 2013 and shared via a blog post and a pinned image on Pinterest. Interestingly, there were two different versions in the beginning. This was the longer version: 1 2

Not everyone will understand your journey. And that’s fine. You have to realize that it’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.

Quotations often are simplified, and in this case Dean himself immediately streamlined the saying to yield:

Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.

Below are additional selected citations.

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  1. Personal Communication via Facebook Private Message between Garson O’Toole and Zero Dean, Query from O’Toole sent September 29, 2011, Reply from Zero Dean received September 29, 2011, The blog post on containing the quotation was created on June 26, 2013 GMT: 22:42:24. A graphic containing the quotation was then posted to Pinterest. The blog post was rescheduled to be published the next morning.
  2. Website: Blog Zero Dean, Article title: Not everyone will understand your journey, Author: Zero Dean, Date on website: June 27, 2013, Snapshot on August 5, 2013 from Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Website description: Blog of the artist Zero Dean. (Accessed WayBack Machine on September 29, 2015) link