Flexible Reality Articles.
Had a really good talk with my friend Laura about wanting to stay “home” more (Seattle) but also traveling a lot for work/speaking and being so far away from people we love. A realization we had was that it wasn’t about traveling and exploring to be away from home, but rather expand the grounds in which we call home—to be a citizen of the world. It’ll be nice to be Seattle for a week or two but then it’s back to San Francisco, Portland, and a return to New York City.
I was coworking at my favorite spot in Brooklyn today. I saw a patron who I see there frequently (a writer) and he introduced me to his friend. She was talking to me about her job, and how she has to work about 70 hours a week or so. While she was talking about it I interrupted her…
“What do you actually want to be doing?”
“What do you mean?” she asked, with some confusion.
“You look like you’re going to cry when you are telling me about your job. I can see in your eyes that you really don’t enjoy this. What do you really want to be doing?
"Well, I really want to start my own business (related to the field in the startup she was working at)”, she answered.
I looked at her directly (which I rarely do with people) and said “Could you imagine what you could do with those 30 extra hours a week? You could be working a full time job and then working on your own thing on the side when you get home, or you could just get peace of mind of not working yourself to death.
I’m not telling you what to do but there is nobody that should control your happiness but you. Don’t be pressured to keep a job because of societal pressures. If you want to bartend or work at a restaurant for a while just to pay the bills and think about your next move, don’t feel like it is a step down. You have control of your life way more than you might think.”
She sat there quietly for a bit, but I saw a little smile, and she simply responded, “You know what…I have a lot of thinking to do.”
I usually don’t do this with complete strangers but I could sense so much stress and pain when I looked at her.
I was waiting for this night for about 15 years of my life. It all started with listening to Pretty Hate Machine and Fixed with Casey Carter when we were kids.
Throughout my childhood and adult life there was one thing consistent…I listened to Nine Inch Nails all the time. It not only was just the music but the community of people I met throughout my life who loved NIN just as much as I did, especially those I met through #eric.
I thought I missed the opportunity to see them live and this year they announced they would be going on tour. All I can tell you that it was one of the most perfect nights I’ve ever experienced. The order of the songs were so fitting with what I have been through in my life, though I won’t say what songs because I don’t want to spoil it for those going.
When I saw Trent and co. perform up there, I felt as if the presence of all of those who live NIN as much as I do were with me.
Of all of the people I admire as inspirations in my life, Trent Renznor is the only one still living and have had the opportunity to be in the presence of. This is a night I’ll never forget.