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Life is A Young Man's Game

Walking across the graduation stage and realixing your adult or "real" life is about to start is a harsh reality many people are facing the next couple of months. Being a graduate of a liberal arts school with a degree in filmmaking (or, magic as my gf calls it) was a big deal in my family. I was the first person in my entire family to graduate from college. So, those grueling years at college, combined with the promissary notes for students loans, really left a bad taste in my mouth. Sure I received a four-year degree and my family was able to watch me at Navy Pier with proud tears in their eyes, but as I smiled and shook hands with the dean my blood ran cold.

 

"What now?" I thought as i looked at the sea of people who were congratulating their own children on a job well done. I had a degree, sure, but what did that even mean? What was I supposed to do next and why, oh why did I decide on such a useless major?

 

A month after graduation my best friend and I decided to start our own business. We got together money and started a corp. We decided the best plan for us was to do our own thing. We also set a goal for ourselves, to get bigger and better every year, and as long as improvement is seen we will keep on going. We just wanted to start right away because we felt that time is of the essence.

 

As I launched a rather large endeavor I checked in on my friends to see what they were doing. Many were moving to LA to work their way up, others were here working freelance, and some were just going back to their respective hometowns to get a 'real' job to pay off tgeir loans. As the years sent buy I saw more and more people getting jobs outside of the film industry with the assumption they would continue their dream on the side, like I do. We all even got together from time to time and talked about projects and the future. The future, what a weird concept to a 22 year old. Its like the future is soon but indefinate and most likely not measureable. We all continued on like that for a few more years and even more people stopped trying or got married and for the first time in their life understood responsibility.

 

Fast forward to now, five years later and it feels like a deja vu. I am having the same conversations with the same people and nothing has changed for them. I have continued the slow rise to the position I want to be at with more work and people workinf with us. I do have a day job, but I still direct and write every week. I talk about projects and see them to fruition. I miss many dinners, birthdays, special occassions, baptisms, etc, but thats what it takes and I knew that going in.

 

Thats why I have realized going after your dreams is a young persons game. I see more and more people choosing life and obligations over their career. Even I have things I have to put above everything else, stupid life things like shopping and laundry. The hard part is that in a few more years that mindless bullshit will take up more of my time. As we get older we fall in love and get a dog or a house and that all takes time to maintain. Then may be you have a kid or you get a promotion at your day job which is longer hours. Then you are making money and can finally do all things you wanted, so you do them. You eat well, hang out with friends, maybe buy a new car. Now you are 35 and have even more responsibilities that have to receive your attention.

 

when you get together for dinner with your college buddies you inevitably talk about the future you realize the future is like 5 years from now. You are no longer on your twenties but are pushing the other side of thirty, which would be fine except you are not where you want to be in life and your blood turns cold again. You realize that you can't live the frugal life you once lived because you have bills to pay. You can't devote that much time to your dreams because you have so little free time. Then common sense gets in the way and you set a date for yourself to accomplish a few milestones to get where you want to. You are happy and reinvigorated as you chat with your friends and signuficant other about the plan. But then something happens, the car needs fixing, your company downsizes, or taxes go up and you have to shelf your dreams once again- for the future.

 

That why its important to give it all you got when your young and aren't used to the finer things. When you have few commitments and nothing to lose. When you have so little common sense you don't understand what you're doing. When hearing "no" has not broken you down. And most importantly the future is a vast ocean of hope that is within reach, but still so far away.