Apr 7, 2010

Just one great idea can change everything... A very real promise I made to myself.

It's Wednesday. I cannot remember the week starting. In fact, all I remember is chillaxing last Sunday at the beach and then it becomes all a blur. I've had almost no time to do anything. This week has been, in a word, a turd. A huge, smelly turd. A humongous dropping of fecal matter which has left me with absolutely no time and energy to do anything. But I'm smiling.

Yeah. This is going to be one of those "Aha Moments" posts, and I'm not talking about that 80's crap band. Bear with me. I've been drinking.

As much of you know - or at least the ones that have been loyal and have been reading since a long time now - you know that out of the three people that do write here, I am the one with a self owned business. That means that I cannot go on long vacations, I cannot get sick for more than 2 days... because there is no other coworker that can be there when I'm not.

Look out kiddies, if you want to have a business on your own, that's one of the luxuries you might have to say goodbye to. Two weeks vacation? Yeah. Right. Keep on dreaming.

When you have a business of your own, it's sort of a different story. Yes, you give it your all while working under Last Name and Last Name. The difference is, when you lose a big account, some people of your group, including maybe you, will be fired. When a small business losses a client... you might just have to close up shop. That means every cent you poured in there. Every ball point pen you bought. Every tax you paid. Every computer, paper, clips, sticky note. Every bank loan you made. Every credit card purchase you did. All you did, erased. Gone. Done. Fin. The End. Finito. Kaput. Thank you for playing "Who Wants to be an Ad Agency".

Am I losing a client or something? Nope. Will it happen? OF COURSE! Why am I writing? 'Cause I had the shittiest dream the other night. Last Thursday, I dreamt that I had lost it all. My clients had given me their middle finger and all of the sudden, I had lost everything. I had to close up shop. Needless to say, I woke up at 7:00 am, scared shitless. I tossed and turned and finally gave up on those 5 more extra minutes and left for work.

The thing is... I never said a word about my dream. Fast forward to last Saturday, I'm talking to my sweet man and telling him about my dream in a very romantic dinner for two. I had a couple of drinks... um... ok. I had quite a lot to drink. See, my Mom called the restaurant and gave us a bottle of wine as a gift. (First of all, how cool is my mom?) Second... I had that bugging me and I needed to blurt it out. So, I asked him what would happen if we lost it all, if we had to close up shop. What would we do?

Now... this is the moment when it becomes so logical. This is the moment when life tells me: see, this is why you will reproduce with this man. Because he is wise. Wanna know what he told me?

He took a huge sip of his whiskey and then he proceeded to ask me some very simple questions. Had I been poor or lacking some money at one time? Sure. (Am I rich now? No. Just to drive that point across) Did I survive living with little money? Yes. Would I miss not going on vacation from time to time? No way. Most importantly: would it mean that I would have failed at what I do? No.

But the best sentence came in last.
"The moment it happens, pack your bags honey. We're going on a two month backpacking tour".

Holy Jesus H Christ, please come down from heaven or wherever you are hiding and kick me un the butt - what a great idea. While I was focusing on losing it all and the anxiety that comes with thinking about that, he was thinking of enjoying one last big one. One last show. The one thing we haven't done in years. Time for ourselves. Time to enjoy life. To enjoy the world. To enjoy each other, alone in some place where no one can call us. Where no one can find us. Where no one can call us to say that they need to revise a flyer or a press ad (it has happened before, we've traveled with the agency's hard disc) Just a backpack and...walk. Laugh. Drink. Enjoy.

Suddenly, losing everything seems like no such a big deal. Can I work anywhere else? Sure. Would I want to return to a regular Ad Agency? No way. But you know what? It's not a big deal. The idea of going away and disappearing for months... seems more precious than anything else. Fuck what it costs. Fuck what would happen next. Doesn't matter. We'll deal with that later.

Months ago, some "friend" of mine defined success and told me I wasn't doing my job right. Success, according to him, was having more clients and more clients, so I can have more money and more money, so I can work more and more, so someday people will respect me. The thing is... I don't need people to know who I am. I don't need the prizes. I don't need the recognition, nor the big firm. Been there, got a tshirt. While he left to find success, meaning to build an empire of his own - which I totally respect; I left to find quality of life. And...

You know what? I've had the pleasure of traveling the world. I've had countless nights of delicious dinners and wine with the man I love. I've been able to buy myself one or two pairs of shoes without feeling guilty. I've had the ultimate pleasure of inviting my friends which I love dearly for drinks, dinners and even trips. I've been able to help when someone has needed money, be it friend or family. That is success. If tomorrow I have to close up... I had the time of my life.

So... it's just a job. Nothing else. Cheers my friends, to making it. Cheers as well to starting over. I'm ready, life. Bring it on. Love... Me.

Oh! The route? We start in France, move to the UK. Then we turn to Spain. Make a right to Italy. A week or two in Greece. Then off to Japan, China, Russia... You name it, I'll fly it. Life is good. I'll drink to that.


Rick said...

*Sigh* That is what I call "a moment of deep reflection and finding out how kick ass your life really is"

Thanks, Your findings inspire me to look at my life.

Great post!

RestrictionsApply said...

Bravo! Very well done indeed.

Jake said...

Pure fuckin' 100 per-cent awesome.

Joker said...

Life is unenjoyed until you realize that what you're doing is justifying your education. When instead you live to fulfill your interests and passions, you suddenly smile easier. Or so says the would be yoda blurting out from my brain. :D

Ad Chick said...

Great post. I've been in biz for myself coming on 28 years now. It's exhausting. I have it up for sale. Getting lost for 2 months anywhere would be perfect. Then I'd get a job bartending, ride my Harley, and say FUCK IT. I dream this dream every day.

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