So I’ve had and followed one dream for most of my life… but I’ve been thinking a lot about what I really want lately… some major changes in my life over the last year have brought me to the point of questioning everything. Here’s the thing:  My dream is just a means to an end.  I’ve come to the realization that almost everything I want enough to chase it with all my heart is dependent upon who I am and how I live; not (with a few exceptions) upon what I have or accomplish.  This is personal stuff, but I want people who know me to call me on it if I’m not living up to it… if I’m not moving in this direction.  And for people who don’t know me; this is why I am an artist.

My Real Dream:

I want to be extraordinary… not “the best.”  Art is far too subjective for that.  But I want to be incredible.  I want to change lives and move people to tears.  I want to inspire.

I want to be consistent… in action and deliberate practice.  And I want to be congruent… between who I am, what I say, what I do, what I care about, and where I spend my time.

I want to leave behind a legacy.  I want the work I’ve done to outlive me and to be a part of something greater.

I want to make money doing things I would do for free.  I want to consistently create the art I would create anyway… and (fingers crossed) make my living from that art.

I want to be open-minded… and be willing to listen and really consider things that I’m uncomfortable with… to find vital lessons where I’m not expecting to find anything at all.

I want to surround myself with more friends, like the few I have that are willing to encourage me, celebrate with me, push me, challenge me, and let go and have fun with me.

I want to surround myself with people who are better than me at things I’m interested in mastering, and people who refuse to accept the status quo, who consistently demonstrate integrity and strength of character.  I want to be inspired by my friends.  And I want to inspire them in return.

I want friends who call me on my shit.

I want friends who expect those same things from me. And I want to be strong enough to be many of those things for them.

I want my results to speak louder than my words, my actions to be congruent with who I really am, my judgment to be governed by courage and determination.

I want to be willing to face rejection, and able to handle the blows and still stand tall.

I want to be willing to sacrifice everything I’ve earned if that’s what it takes to stay true to who I really am.

I want to live without mitigating my personality, to love without convincing, to make friends without adjusting for the circumstance of meeting.

I want to marry only one woman and live with her until the end of my life or hers, not because I value the institution of marriage, but because I value the art and beauty of love that grows over time.

I want to marry a woman who expects and demands greatness from me.  Not for herself, but because she sees it there and refuses to accept less.

I want to marry a woman who doesn’t pretend… either for her own benefit or mine… that anything will ever be perfect, and who doesn’t believe that perfection is the goal. 

I want to marry a woman who can see when I’m falling short and urge me to stay true… who would refuse to sanction any attempt on my part to sell out… even in dire circumstances.

I want her to be able to depend upon me to live up to the greatness she demands.  I want to be able to fight one battle till dawn and go on and fight another the next day… without sleep… because that is what must be done to take care of her.

I want to marry a woman of character, who expects greatness of herself, who respects herself enough to tell the truth… who loves deeply and freely… who embraces the joy of being a woman and doesn’t shrink away from the fire of vulnerability.

I want to be as bold in my relationship as I am in my best performances.  I want to be as solid in my relationship as I am in my dedication to my art.

I want to be capable of serving, of giving love, of creating with all my heart without any guarantee of reciprocation. 

I want to give everything and lose and stand as tall and as proudly as I would have if I had won.

I want to raise a family and be able to take care of them without question.

If I have a son, I want to be able to give him advice on being a friend, a lover, a father, a man… and to know by experience and practice that the advice is sound.

If I have a daughter, I want to be able to teach her about love, self-respect, work ethic, individuality, and dreams, and know that I’m teaching something I understand and live.

If I have a son, I want to be able to share the following poem with him and know that he has an example to follow in living it:

“If” By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head while all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting

Or being lied about don’t deal in lies

Or being hated don’t give way to hating

Yet don’t look too good or talk too wise

If you can dream and not make dreams your master

If you can think and not make thoughts your aim

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And greet those two imposters just the same

If you can bear to hear the truths you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools

And watch the things you gave your life to broken

And stoop to build them up with worn out tools

If you can take a heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss

And lose and start again at your beginning

And never breathe a word about your loss

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the will which says to them hold on

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue

And walk with kings nor lose the common touch

If neither foe nor loving friend can hurt you

If all men count with you but none too much

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds worth of distance run

Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it

And which is more…

You’ll be a man my son