Living the dream: notes from the battlefield
What is “the dream?” To be successful at your craft along with fame and/or fortune? Or to keep a healthy balance of work and family? I know this: living the so-called dream leaves very little time for actual dreaming. Here are some bits of advice that might be helpful along the way:
No sleep till… actually, I’m not sure when. Today my wife and I left our house at 4am to catch an 8am flight to Mexico City from LAX. I have press starting at 8am tomorrow, then an exhibition in the evening (on my wife’s birthday… watching me skate along with thousands of other people is not exactly her first wish). We will fly home early Sunday morning to relieve grandma of childcare and prepare kids for the school week.
I woke up like this: middle aged and not camera-ready. There will be television crews waiting for us upon arrival this morning. Being recognizable means you’re on display at any given time. Cameras are everywhere and selfies are rampant. Lose your self-consciousness or become a recluse.
Haters also love their job. If you’re going to live on social media, toughen up. Don’t engage the trolls because you’ll never win them over and they have way more time than you to devote to inane arguments. Blocking is always an option, but I find it more entertaining to let the idiotic vitriol remain open to ridicule.
Airline miles are a solid currency. Collect them by all means possible; flights, hotel partners, credit cards, special offers, etc. The perks of being able to stand in shorter lines and board first are priceless. And maybe a bit pretentious, but worth the dirty looks.
Just say no. Don’t agree to every offer or opportunity or you’ll lose yourself along the way. Choose the things that will have the most impact, the ones you are passionate about, or the ones that benefit your family. At some point, your personal time becomes your most valuable commodity.
Enjoy the ride. I do what I love for a living but I never take it for granted. I’m 48 and I get paid absurd amounts to ride my skateboard (which I’d gladly do for free any day), and travel the world at other people’s expense. It’s ridiculous and truly a dream come true. I’m tired but thankful. Now excuse me while I go set my alarm.