This entire post is a response to the article “What Happened To You?” written by Kristen Franklin… who also happens to be my beautiful girlfriend. I started writing it as a comment and then decided I wanted to share it here. Go read her article first if you’d like…
I still pretend and day dream a lot. It’s fun. I know my day dreams aren’t real, and that my life is not all that grand. But I’m happy with my life, so the day dreams are just… entertainment.
I think we all lose a little of that wide-eye’d-ness as we get older. Because we’ve lived through more failures than successes, usually, and we no longer imagine it’ll be different the next time around. We no longer belive we can be an astronaut, or a rock star… or a lion.
But I believe we still can live out some spectacular fantasies and make them a reality.
When I was 16 years old I proudly announced to my parents that I would not be going to college. There would be no need. I was going to be a rock star. Nevermind the fact I had only owned a guitar for about a year, and I was writing drivel with it. That didn’t matter, I knew I had the passion and the drive, and that’s all that was required, right?
At age 19 I found myself leaving my cashier job at a grocery store, to start a teaching job at a local non-profit social services agency. Far from going to a Rolling Stone photo shoot. But I kept playing guitar, kept writing music. And kept dreaming.
I flirted a few times with trying to go legit in the music business. I was flown out to Seattle and put up in a house for a week for a job interview with a leading music software manufacturer. I released a few original compositions for an opera I was working on. And I co-wrote some lyrics for a band in Texas on a song that actually got released. But still, no Rolling Stone.
I won’t go through all of the music I’ve released over the last three years, you guys have been around for most of it. And while I still haven’t graced the cover of Rolling Stone, I have now made a living from my record label and my music. The songs I’ve co-written have been downloaded more than a million times. “Summer of ’09″ has been referred to as the “theme song for my generation” on more than three separate occasions by three separate people.
And that’s good enough for me.
I still day dream about writing bigger hits, or a novel that will change the world and put me on the New York Times Bestsellers list. It probably won’t happen. But if you would have asked me the day I wrote “Can’t” in high school algebra class if I thought people would be tattooing parts of the song on their bodies, I would have also told you probably not. And if that’s happened, I can still believe that anything is possible.