I believe in the America of old. For the uninitiated, that means you don't ask for, nor accept, handouts. You don't complain. You don't make excuses. You lace up those work boots and make something happen.
If you want to know what America is/represents, I think Steve Jobs said it best:
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Last night, like so many others, I woke to my daughter crying. Cue Karen's equally tired response of yet another interruption to her otherwise peaceful sleep. On any other night, morning, or whatever you want to call the in-between shadow time when anyone not our daughter is sleeping, I would debate with Karen whose turn it was to go calm our progeny down. Last night, like so many others, Karen took that task on.
Normally, I would be content to roll over and head back to dreamland, only to wake up again later when Karen crawls into bed and kicks me for the extra hour of sleep I received that she was robbed of.
Last night was different. See, I set a goal that I'd knock out 2,000 words a day for the month of July. Yesterday, I missed that mark. The pesky little voice in my head wouldn't let me forget it, so out of bed I came to fire up the computer and knock out my goal. Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I saw a quote from one of my best friends that I'd posted on my desk.
My friends are amazing. Another inspirational brother doing his thing in L.A. and making no excuses for it.
My buddy shared that on my wall back in November, along with the Doritos commercial my friends and I made for their annual Crash The Super Bowl competition.
The quote isn't really so different than some might expect to read from one friend supporting another. The part I keyed on was his last line: Making no excuses for it.
Those five words lit a fire in me.
Some of my friends and I are attempting to thrive in professions where there are no road maps to success. A+B hardly ever equals C in the publishing and film worlds. Honestly, they equal broke more often than not. Stereotypes come from truth, friends, and I can personally vouch for the one about starving artists. Thankfully, I've served my time in that category and have no plans on going back.
Yes, you read that correctly. I said thankfully.
I've always loved the 4th of July. My aunt's house is situated perfectly for the hometown parade, the fireworks, and even the memory I asked permission from my in-laws for their daughter's hand six years ago. Yet this year, today, I feel like I have an even better understanding and appreciation for this amazing holiday celebrating independence.
I'm thankful my parents raised me to understand the value of hard work. That struggle is a hard, but necessary ingredient to finding and sustaining success.
That's why I'm up. It's not for the fireworks I'll watch later, or the hot dogs and hamburgers I'll enjoy. I'm up to hit that 2,000 word goal for the day. My way of celebrating this great country I live in. A country that affords me the opportunity to lace up those work boots and make something happen.
Here's to you, America. Happy Indie-pendence Day from a fellow indie.
Author. Actor. Rascal.