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Chasing The Bright Lights

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As I write this I may or may not have healthcare. If you're young and reading this, like fresh out of highschool young, you probably don't care yet. If you're older, like you hate your job because you've been there so long -- healthcare might be one of the things keeping you at your job besides the paycheck.

To be honest, I may not have health care and about 5k in credit card debt -- I may not even have a job and have chosen instead to be a freelance podcast producer as a way to put food the table, but i'm just thankful I don't have any kids or a wife.

This would make my situation a lot harder to live out and grow past.

Living in a live/work office for a home on a two-year lease and add to that a three year lease for a 2018 car of the year with all the bells and whistles. I’m without a clue on how to make all these ends meet. So how did I get here?

It's simple. It's a mix of making a lot of mistakes and lying to myself here and there--from not being true to who I am and what I want actually want from life to taking big risks without calculating too far ahead or at all. Trusting my gut, as they say.

See I want to be famous--I used to confidently believe I wanted to be famous for singing or acting and I dedicated damn near 14 plus years of life to the pursuit of this "happiness". So far I've recorded at least 100 songs only 3 of which had ever been published. Self published at that and I've been in two bands and a few partnerships with a couple of producers. None of these projects ever grew legs enough to be taken seriously by anyone but the people involved in making the music.

To say the least, i'm a bit bitter and disappointed in myself. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret it and that's mostly because regret won't change a thing about the past. If anything, I've met some of my favorite people in life because of these choices.

From making a best friend or two to meeting my only two girlfriends at different periods in the journey, chasing the bright lights has given me many gifts in the form of people that i'm lucky to have ever met in this world full of chaos and political gossip.

I'm only 29 years old but if I ever met my 14 year old self -- I'd probably think that's old and mostly because i'm afraid of getting any older. When I watch elderly people who have trouble crossing the street and hold up traffic, something deep inside of me is buried even deeper. Fear.

For two reasons. If they're that old and crossing the street on their own, chances are high they didn't end up rich. In fact, chances are high that they ended up alone too. Obviously no one is caring for them as they work to cross the street. Not a butler, nurse or family member. Just alone.

The second reason is that their bodies aren't working the way they used to anymore -- so health is an issue and it gets in the way of living a good life.

Ironically, my desire to be famous drives me into such a work-a-holic frenzy that I never make ANY plans -- including making plans with friends or enjoying life at the beach, a park, or even going for a hike. All the reasons people usually want strong and healthy bodies. So, I suspect I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

To add to the irony, my father fell into full blown illness by the time I was 8 years old -- that illness is known as Lou Gherigs disease or ALS. This disease was made famous by the social media viral contest known as the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The reason I say it's ironic is because ALS completely paralyzed my father in every way except his mind and eyes so living a normal life was out of the picture fast. So, here I am a healthy able bodied adult male who fears growing old and unhealthy -- who doesn't take advantage of his health in any way and aimlessly makes efforts at becoming world famous because he believes deep down that the fame and influence that comes with will make him happy.

It's ironic because I know it won't make me happy and I know that the dream isn't reachable if I don't make it more specific -- and even then fame is a crapshoot.

So those are a few reasons why you might want to care if I have health care or not -- if you have health care or not because famous or not that age is coming. Life has a way of making sure that happens and no religion or doctor has yet to find the antidote for it — since the dawn of civilization.

A few questions come to mind that need to be asked right now -- How does one live a life of a purpose and can a person actually know their purpose?

Does it matter how old you are or does that affect your ability to live your purpose?

Should you quit your job or stay and deal with what's going on inside of you that's making you feel miserable at work?

How about staying in school or dropping out?

Chase fame or live in the shadows?

All of the questions lean on extremes of emotion. The trend is pretty clear.

People never really talk about how extreme it is to make a decision with certainty. Sure, you could find a way to argue that not every decision is extreme but is that really true in regards to making choices about how you should live your life?

Any person who takes the time to ask if the way they're living their life is the right or wrong way has taken an important step. An extreme step.

This type of question is aimed at your fundamental beliefs about yourself, others and life as whole. Even if you take no action the question is extreme.

One of the reasons I don't have too many close friends, no matter how outgoing I appear to the world, is because not too many people invest enough energy in the direction of this question.

I'm confident that my intuition is accurate because I go out of my way whenever I meet people to engage them in this idea in a manner that is hardly noticeable because of my background as entertainer.

From making corny jokes at the expense of my own ego, to deflate the defenses people put up at social gatherings, or behaving assertively as an intellectual to establish myself as a person worthy of being hypothetically placed at the top of a social gathering hierarchy. EIther way, when done correctly it puts people in a disposition to listen to enough of a degree that I'm given a look at their character as a person.

This doesn't mean i'm good at math or that i'd win every argument -- when I say intellectual i'm referring to the ability to understand from a top level view what the social gathering would see as the highest moral position possible at the gathering.

There's something fascinating that happens when you don't fight for the Alpha male or Alpha female position in a group while simultaneously not allowing yourself to be put into line as a follower of the group.

To lone wolf personalities -- this is second nature and hardly begs to be examined as long as it works. It's in my nature to intuitively make sense of things at all times so concepts as abstract and highest oral positions at a social gathering happen under the radar of my awareness or intentions. It's just how I operate.

A friend of mine named Chris Lee once argued that it takes a real genius to be a successful fool. Whether that his original thought or not I can't say but i'm glad he shared that thought with me because it makes good sense in a Machiavelli sort of way.

So, making a decision is just like the saying that goes -- when you say yes to one thing you're saying no to another. It's binary and black and white and extreme.

Yes, life has shades of grey so where does that leave the statement I made in the paragraph just before this one?

Who cares?

Only someone who is really at the end of their rope and truly has the desire to live their life on purpose would have read this far -- anyone else has better things to do with their time. For example, maybe they're enjoying their life in a carefree manner without asking such complicated questions that us overthinking souls tend to do.

So, what now? What can you do with this information? How can you apply it practically? Well, it depends on what you want out of life.

Part of the challenge of living on purpose is being content with what you're not doing, what you say no to when you said yes to something else. No fear of missing out. No looking back.

It took my 14 years of self help to realize I wasn't going to the books for the advice they gave me but for the questions they helped me raise.

My mentor Joe Apfelbaum once told me that there is nothing worse than the right answer to the wrong question. This idea implies that the question is important than the answer.

So, if you're looking for answer you're putting the cart before the horse. If you're looking for a question -- you've got the right idea.

You are as unique as you are similar to every person in this life. Put your pants on one leg at a time, eat, shit and sleep. Shit, shave and shower. Yet, the order of your experiences shape everything you've become and are becoming.

The way you interpret your experiences and relate it to what's happened in your life and what could happen in your life is all you, baby.

So I can't give you what you're looking for but I hope i've helped you think of some questions you might ask yourself -- hopefully it leads to more questions and efforts of discovery.

In this case, the process is more important than the product because the process is the question and the product is the answer.

We assume that we can only know if we've lived a good life once we die -- I think we may never know and it's probably better to assume that we never will know if our choices were the right choices.

Imagine going bowling with a curtain over the pins or playing video games with the tv monitor off so that you can't see what you're doing.

This is life -- to a large degree so we have to re-evaluate the way we're keeping score in life if we want to enjoy it.

Keep in mind just because i'm making this argument doesn't mean i'm living life this way. I'm learning to live this way too. I'm in the process.

It's like the say -- the journey is what matters.

Most of us just want to make sure we're on the journey that matters but the question is who gets to decide which journey is the journey that matters?

To quote Shakespeare's Hamlet -- That is the question.