I often wrestle with giving up the "dream." Mostly because somewhere along the line I was told that you can't chase a dream AND...(fill in the blank.)
Support a family.
Be a good parent.
Plan for retirement.
I'm constantly faced with the tension of a voice in the back of my head asking rather invasively, "What are you doing with your life!?" What's worse is when an actual person with an actual voice asks the same question. Without merit, most of those people aren't in my life for any significant length of time.
I have been chasing my dream for the better part of 15 years. But at this point, I don't consider it a dream. It's my life. It's what I love to do. It's who I am. Sure, how I make my income or pay my bills is far from conventional. But I like it that way.
I'm a rare bird, an odd duck. I don't like offices or cubicles or time clocks or cake in the conference room. I like making my own schedule, deciding when I need to work, working on things I enjoy, and a lot of times, working on multiple things at once.
I've found this to be unsettling for some. "You don't have like...a normal job?" "What do you do for insurance?" "Do you have a 401k?" "What do your parents think about that?" "How old are you?" And the list goes on and on.
The reality is, I love what I do. I'm legitimately happy. And stability is foreign to me. And that's a good thing.
I'm going to keep living. Maybe my album won't sell thousands of copies. Maybe I won't see my name in lights. Maybe I won't have signature guitars or amps or a street named after me. Maybe I'll be the old, deaf, bald guy in a wheelchair at my kid's graduation.
But one thing is for damn sure. My kids (Lord willing) will know without a shadow of a doubt that their dad loves what he does and he did everything he could to make his home happy and set a good example for them.
People, I love you all. Go do stuff you love. Start the business you've been thinking of for years. Ask out the girl who's light years out of your league. Propose to her. (I see you, Micah) Buy that RV and cross the country. Write that book. Make that movie.
But don't give up the things you love because they scare you, or they're messy, or they're not stable. We're better than that.
Finally, support the people closest to you. Invest in the people around you. Buy their art. Buy their music. Buy local produce. Give time away. Give things away. Give money away. And for the sake of humanity, take care of each other. Your family. Your friends. Strangers.
The world will only be a better place if we make sure that it is.