In two days, I’m going to be living a hipster bohemian lifestyle I tend to equate with those either half my age or double it.
For three weeks, I’m crashing on couches, mooching off friends, and hustling in order to to create a product that is ultimately totally unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. (I mean, besides entertainment value, which if you want to get philosophical with me for a second, may be the only product that actually has lasting value. But I digress…)
I always equated this lifestyle as someone not living up to their potential. Of having failed. Of somewhere along the lines, having taken a bad turn. Of being victim to fate for having to rely on others for certain essential needs like shelter.
I’ve never felt so lost. So insecure. So uncertain of what lies ahead of me. I have very little idea where any of this will take me. Or if anything will even come from my work and efforts.
Yet, I’m loving it.
For the first time in my meager years, I feel like I’m on the verge of doing what I am supposed to be doing.
I will refrain from saying that I’m following my passion or my heart’s desire (or any other New-Agey-hippy-hipster-feel good bullcrap) because I feel that life isn’t about you telling it what you want out of it and pissing and moaning when it’s not there for you, rather, it is simply the journey of discovering what it is about life you enjoy along the way. It’s about keeping your eyes open and seeing the opportunities and adventures presented before you.
Quite frankly, I don’t know why it took me so long to realize this.
Let’s cut to the backstory.
A mere three months ago, I started a production company with a director friend of mine and a very savvy biz friend. (THREE JAY FILMS). We are the 3 J’s. James, Nick, and Ryan.
Ah, well… Technically, it’s James, James, and Jesse. There ya go. 3 J’s.
In that incredibly short time, we’ve gone from the notion of “Hey let’s do this!” to:
Here’s a glimpse of our hectic May schedule:
We’re shooting a pilot on Oahu.
We’re shooting two commercial spots for Ford.
We’re in development with a Reality TV project set in Texas, dealing with a production company in Los Angeles, and network money in New York.
Holy shit, we have a lot going on!
And with me currently living on Maui, and everything taking place on Oahu… well, you see the problem, right?
Thus, my transition to living on people’s couches for a month.
How did I go from a good paying job to looking forward to surfing friend’s couches?
We were bitching about how much we really wanted to just make films. Bitching about how much we hated our day jobs. About how we were so much better than the crap we saw being put out there. (To be fair, maybe our egos got away with us).
But the truth was, we were all working in jobs that circled around film, that used our expertise, without really going in whole hog and just doing (pursuing) what it is we actually wanted to be doing.
We looked at each other and in, what to me, at least, seemed like a tribal meeting of minds, said in unison, “What’s stopping us from doing this right now?”
The answer was nothing!
Well, technically not nothing. There’s always something. Always some obstacle. But that’s life.
What we were really asking ourselves was, “If this was what we want to do, why are simplistic excuses that aren’t even excuses getting our way? Why are we going out of our way to not pursue what it is we’ve been training our entire lifetimes to pursue? Why are we putting our life on hold for a life we don’t even want?”
Here’s the answer we came up with.
The truth is — there’s only two obstacles. TIME. And MONEY.
Time was quickly eliminated. It’s a non-factor. If you take working as a given, then your time always needs to be spent somewhere. Might as well spend it doing and pursuing your goals, rather than someone else’s. (And truth be told, we have all the time in the world. Well, at least a lifetime, or three split between us. (Asking for more is getting a little greedy, don’t you think?) But that’s plenty of time to pursue a dream. To pursue dreams that we’ve already trained our entire lifetimes to achieve. All that was left was convincing ourselves to take that initial leap. To believe. To stop making excuse and just do it!)
Money. Well, it’s money. It’s a thing. Makes the world go round.
But I don’t think our concern was really about money.
I mean, stop and think about it for a second. When people are really concerned about money, are they REALLY concerned about money?
When you buy something that’s a hobby, when you pay for cable TV, or a book, or something recreational, do you really care about money? You do to some extent, but it sure doesn’t stop you from pursuing your recreation to some capacity.
So why is money an excuse when you’re pursuing a dream? At the very least, you should at least give a dream the same consideration (probably more, right?) than a hobby. And to be blunt, if you aren’t prepared to invest in yourself, I fail to see how anyone is going to want to invest in what you’re doing.
So, really, when people use money as an excuse, it’s not really about money.
It’s about success. Or rather FAILURE.
It’s about, “What if my dream sucks? Or I suck at it?”
Well, you’re never gonna know if you don’t try, right? Ain’t gonna be Spielberg sitting on your couch armchair dictating movies to your friends, writing lengthy reviews about how The Force Awakens is just A New Hop (P.S. It is). You gotta go out there, and make shit! Show the world what you can do!
So, that’s my May.
Gonna be couch surfing for the month and enjoying the hell out of it. Living off virtually nothing, in the hopes that dreams do come true. And, to be honest, not really going to be upset if things fall short. Because life really is the journey. (And I don’t mean that in some sour grapes, don’t-have-to-try-hard mentality. I literally mean, for us humans, time moves forward. We can’t stop it. Might as well make the most out of those moments in the pursuits of your dreams and goals).
Because life isn’t the moments you wish were. Life is the moments. Period.