Every once in a while we are taken out of our bodies, out of our minds and out of our world. These are the slow motion moments that suddenly everything is clear. For me, these moments often coincide with music. This time it was The Notorious B.I.G. – “Machine Gun Funk”. I am not exactly sure why this particular song spoke to me. It’s not one of my favorite Biggie songs and it’s not particularly moving lyrically. Don’t turn your nose up about rap songs being particularly moving, if you want to argue with that then go listen to “Keep Ya Head Up” by 2Pac and tell me that doesn’t move you. Interestingly enough, I am not necessarily a huge rap fan in my recent years. Granted, I love old school rap and I’m never opposed to it, but it’s not what I reach for. The last few years have me reaching for Frank Sinatra and Janis Joplin. If I’m in a particular gloomy mood I might turn to Jimmy Reed, there seems to be a time and place for rap and I just do not find myself in it very often any more.
Although, nothing seems to work better than good old fashion gangster rap when I need to get motivated to work out. If you’ve read my past posts, you know that I am fond of this method. So, having this experience come from a rap song meant to simply motivate a work out as background music was somewhat odd. However, here it was. The slow motion, the emotional awareness and the power of being in the now. Everything in my mind was clear, not clear in the sense that is all made sense it was just clear. The rest of the world seemed to slow way down to a snail like crawl around me. It was as if I had complete control over this moment in this space in time. It was brief and followed by a stronger sense of self awareness. For some reason I had this strong fear bubble up inside of me, that I think has been there for quite some time. I realized that I currently was building someone else’s dream and would probably continue to do so for the next 30 years of my life. For the next three decades I was to be someone’s tool, I was to be a means to an end. Is this all there is? Sadly, in a sense I am living the “American Dream.” I make a great living, I am financially comfortable to a point, I have great benefits, I have freedom to travel, I will probably own property very soon. This is the dream. This is what people from all over the world come to America to achieve and yet, it terrifies me.
I often joke with my fiancé that we should just throw caution to the wind and start our own business. While he laughs this off, I think if I came to him with a legitimate plan he would probably get on board. What makes us all tick? This is always the question that rolls around in my head. What is it that appeals to the masses, what is the secret formula? I wonder if we’ve lost the “start-up” magic that so many were able to achieve mere years ago. Maybe everything that can be thought of was already thought of. Either way, it’s terrifying. Maybe that is why so few people actually pull the trigger. The comfort of a 401K and health coverage is more appealing than the CHANCE your business will take off and actually turn a profit. Although, I find myself looking to the road of startup more often then I care to admit. Sure, you could just try something on for size while you enjoy the security of a 9-5, but I wonder if that is enough? I recently read “The war of Art” and one of the things he wrote that I found interesting is that you have to make your passion like your job. He then went on to describe his “routine” of waking up in the morning and writing until noon none stop even if everything he wrote was crap. I know what I was supposed to get from this, but instead I just found myself thinking “who has the time to wake up every morning and write until noon? Doesn’t this guy have a real job?”. A real job, indeed.
I say all the time that I wish I was really good at something. I wish that I had some kind of skill that I loved that no one else was really good at. I don’t think that overanalyzing qualifies. It’s a shame, because I am REALLY good at that. I wonder if I’ll be brave enough to take the leap one day to start building my own dream. For now, I guess I’ll just keep plugging away at the 9-5 until I figure out that I am only saving to die, really. I mean, it’s not like any of us is going to have any other outcome in life. So, what are we doing busting our butts to achieve “The American Dream” when we could be busting our butts to achieve our own personal dream. Even if that means we don’t end up having the white picket fence and the fancy car. Maybe we are too concerned with material items and the way other people perceive us to truly go after it. Maybe I just overanalyze things too much. I guess I’ll leave it to you to ponder.