If You Build It…

It’s rare for me to get good news while at my day job. That’s not a complaint, just a reality I share with billions of other people around the world. So, you can imagine how happy I was when my coworker (an amateur screenwriter) gave me positive feedback on one of my stories, offered to do the adapted screenplay, AND sent it to his cinematographer buddy to see if filming a short would be feasible.

It was a bit surreal. If you would’ve asked me 10 years ago where I’d be today I wouldn’t know what to say. Today, if you ask me where I’ll be 10 years from now I still can’t tell you a damned thing. The difference, however, is I no longer dread that question. I might not know where I’ll be, but I can tell you what I’ll be: ready. Ready to jump on opportunity.

I’ve learned something about myself since joining the cogs of Corporate America 4 years ago: I will do anything to be free. Freedom is subjective, of course, but my idea of freedom is the ability to make a living the way I want to.

Since getting out of the Army almost 10 years ago, I’ve met dozens, if not hundreds, of people obsessed with making money. “What are you studying? That doesn’t make any money! Get a Master’s to make money! Then you can do what you want, like make more money!” I’m not saying they’re completely wrong. It’s true money doesn’t buy happiness, but a large bank account balance never depressed anyone.

My point is there are too many paper chasers out there. Hell, I am one, which is why I have a day job in the first place. And there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s the alternative? Dying in a gutter? I’m just saying there has to be a middle ground. I refuse to believe the only path to happiness in this world involves shoveling shit for decades at a time for the opportunity to shovel less in your golden years.

Here’s my philosophy: be polite, work hard, and when opportunity knocks, open the door. I don’t know if sending my manuscript to my coworker was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I don’t know if it will lead anywhere profitable or even positive. What I do know, though, is that one of these random opportunities will one day lead to the freedom I’ve yearned for all my adult life. Until then, I’ll keep answering that door.