The rocks hurt my feet worse than I thought it would and sent me checking and double checking each step before I put my weight down on my city softened feet. I made it out to the end of the rock and stood watching a fisherman placidly looking for lunch. His back was to me, and the crashing waves made it impossible for him to see me, so I put my heads on my head and enjoyed a moment of exposed voyeurism.
I shook my head a bit, amazed at where the turns of this life have taken me. 5 years ago I was just another kid getting off the 6 train at Wall Street for 10 hours of work as a Futures and Commodities broker. I remember sitting in a bar a few months after I started work with a full glass of Jack Daniels in front of me hoping and hoping that life was more than this.
You see, I believe that bad jobs are like degenerative diseases, they slowly, slowly eat away at what makes you unique and ultimately human. A truly bad job strips a person of their dignity, which strips them of their will, which keeps them in said bad job. So I looked into that glass of whiskey and told myself that I would try and cash the checks that I had written to my future. I quit that job, got a better one, then a better one. I started a blog, got a camera, I got fired from a job I thought I loved, got another one and all along kept pointing that camera at things. I met people like Rich Tong, Erika Bearman, Martha Botts, Jamie Beck, Andrew Schmidt, Justin Chung and more. People who told me to be better or gave me a place to try to be.
I guess what I am trying to say is that while I stood on that rock and squinted my eyes in the sun I realized my life is as much (or more) about those people who hold me up, my “lattice of support” as Dave Eggers would say than it ever has been or will be about me. I am turning 28 in six days and you all have already given me more than I would have had the gusto to ask for.
The old man cast his line out one more time, this time impossibly far into the ocean and as I turned around I imagined him pulling in a fish he would talk about for the rest of his life because we all deserve a brush with greatness to remind us to strive for it.