This was spurred by a recent episode of a favourite podcast of mine, in which two independent pro wrestlers and a lifelong musician (who also wrestles) were discussing how awkward it can be to broach the topic of their careers to a random acquaintance. Surprisingly, whenever the person gets around to asking "So, are you still doing the wrestling thing?" and they affirm that they are, the response is almost always positive. The three then speculate that it's because the person who is asking has usually given up on the dream that they were pursuing when they were younger. The example that one of them gave was the guy asking being a hockey player with NHL aspirations in high school.
This story made me think of a memory from high school. I went to St. Michael's College School in Toronto, which is known for, among other things, having a big and prosperous hockey program. As such, almost everyone at my high school played hockey at a higher-than-normal level and many had aspirations to one day play at a professional level.
One day, while I was changing at my locker for cross-country practice I overheard two of my classmates talking about another contemporary of ours and his NHL aspirations and how he wasn't that good. The line I remember is "One day Luke is going to have to come to terms with the fact that it just isn't going to happen." It struck me as so petty and shitty that these two would speak so meanly of the guy behind his back like that. His hockey playing doesn't affect them in any way, so why shit all over it? Also, it was funny to realize that all of the bros who were patronizing and shitty to me were also that way to each other.
The most telling thing to me is that I can't remember the names of those two boys for the life of me, whereas Luke Gazdic's name is easy to recall, for an easy reason:
That type of thing has to make you smile.
As embarrassing as it can be to hold on to dreams you started in your teens, more embarrassing is forgetting them and having nothing to define yourself later in your life. Really, being embarrassed about your dreams and goals is a result of how personal they are and how dear they are to the part of you that you rarely show to others.
I guess this is sort of a call to all my friends to keep working on what fulfills them and drives them. There is nothing embarrassing or shameful about that, despite what turkeys would have you believe. Making things and making things happen is fucking sick. In the spirit of this, I will share all of my dreams and goals, big and small.
- Write a novel.
- Land a kickflip.
- Finish two more zines.
- Write and put out an EP of my own music, all on my own.
- Play a show in which I am the singer of a band.
- Teach a university course.