We should be all True Believers in the righteous possibility of our own Greatness. To aspire to great heights while staying true to yourself, and to where you came from; That is The American Dream. That is the great golden ring in the sky.
Go out and achieve, little Lebowski, but in the same vein, do not demand that our definitions of success are the same. A nine to five with a wife, a couple of honor students, a dog and a beamer in the suburbs sounds nice to some, and I wouldn’t ever begrudge you that. That’s the safe, that’s the secure. The Normal. That’s golfing on the weekends, and nice holidays in Mexico, and little league, and comfortable. At the same time, that’s not me.
Success is taking off for a month or a year in Peru. To skydive on mushrooms in Bali. To wrestle a hammerhead shark, and come out unscathed. To shoot dice after filming a music video in Des Moines, Iowa with a bunch of East African immigrants who can’t quite grasp this white terror and his silly Mohawk. To muck around LA with emerging stars, going bowling with dinosaurs, dancing on the counter at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank at 4 am, after they’ve politely ask us to leave.
To mock conformity, and dance in graveyards. At Midnight. With mescaline and wine. To hold hands on the beach at sunset with that special girl who’s so full of life and love and wonder, and to know that it couldn’t ever possibly work out. For your friends to have the reasonable expectation that you could appear at any major music festival anywhere in the country at anytime. To secure backstage passes when you get there. To romp with locals on New Years in New York or Chicago or Boston or DC. As long as it’s someplace where you can see your breathe in the air in the cold clean night. To confidently give directions to a cabbie in any major city, leading into the heart of the industrial section, because you know of a party.
To know a guy who knows a guy who gets us floor tickets to the Lake Show. To eat crawfish gumbo in a shack somewhere outside of New Orleans. To truly enjoy a cheesesteak in the only city in America that knows how to make them right. To shoot guns with cowboys in the High Desert. To drink Maker’s Mark from the bottle at 3 am, downtown Chicago, 27 floors above the street on the second night of Lollapalooza, and to truly understand that Life Isn’t About Finding Yourself, Life Is About Creating Yourself.
Photo courtesy of Joseph Isaacs — True Believer