Monday, November 05, 2012
You Only Get One.
Have you ever had an opportunity to meet one of your Heros or Idols?
Me neither, but I did get to meet this one guy once and I really was into the art he made.
He was what you might call a "successful artist".
I was in this big group show over in Williamsburg, and all of a sudden there he was.
Down from his castle on the mountain, or where ever he was living.
And so after a while I worked up the courage to go talk with him.
I mean, he's older than me, and I respect that you know?
When people are older than me?
They've been around longer, duh.
And so I stood there and listened to him be a total cranky grouch to this young woman.
And then when it was my turn I was like:
-I want you to come look at my work.
And then he was a total cranky grouch to me too.
And I loved ever single second of it.
Not because of the wisdom he was imparting, because I don't know that I totally agreed with what he was saying, but that was just it, here I was thinking that he was this wise old sage full of deep thoughts.
Turns out he was just this dude that kind of got lucky and rode the wave.
Just like most of the other people that become successful in this life.
Him: How often do you get to work?
Me: As often as I can, I mean, I have a family at home and I...
Him interrupting: SO! I had a family too, but I knew I had to work! So I left.
Me: Well yeah, but there's got to be a middle ground, no?
Him: NO! It's code!
Me: Code? Like, an artist's code... to leave?
Him: No, not code, like code, like code blooded!
Me: Oh, cold. I see. But I don't want to leave my family.
Him: ... Well. That's your problem.
It's easy to sit and spout like you know when you got yours already.
Of course the only way to get to the top is to be a code blooded dude that cuts and leaves.
I like to believe that, had he not made that life choice and still found his success, his advice would have been something more like:
Love your family, the people around you, support each other and appreciate each other and eat dinners together and laugh and be happy. Be happy with what you have and don't fuck it up. Success will come in different forms and along hidden avenues, so just be on the look out, but never lose sight of your family.
That isn't what he said though.
But it is what I would say.
Some day, if some punk kid tries to crack my brain for some life advice.
I will tell them exactly what I wish the grouch had said to me.
And you know, there is no judgement in his advice, he was just being honest.
But it felt so wrong in my ears, I knew that the only reason that life had put us together on the street that night was to solidify my own views and advice to myself.
That advice rings even more true recently with my current life changes taking place.
As parts of my life were sort of crumbling down as I was trying to hold them up, I just listened to my heart and took my own advice. It doesn't mean that anyone else has to take it, but I wonder about this a lot lately: If I hadn't got the chance to speak with this man that night, and heard his sad advice for success, I might not know what I had and what was really important to me. It might have made it easy for me to just walk away as well and let it all fall apart.
Everyone for themselves.
So even when the advice is not what you want at the time, it doesn't mean that it is worthless.
Again, patience is key.
Like I've always said.
Some of us have it.
Some of us wish.