There was a moment today, when my mother sent me this photo, of my book on the shelf of Book People in Austin, Texas, where I felt proud. I don’t have kids, I don’t have a car, I don’t have a mortgage, I don’t have dental insurance (or maybe I do, and it’s included in my ACA insurance, but even if I do, I don’t know about it). I don’t have a 401k, I don’t have a motorcycle, I don’t have more than one nice suit, and that one suit doesn’t even live in the same state as me (and even that suit doesn’t live in the same state as itself anymore considering that the jacket is in Seattle at my buddy’s house and the pants are in Michigan).
I don’t have clothes on hangars, I don’t have a nice watch, I don’t have an extra pair of running shoes, I don’t have impeccable style, I don’t have a flush bank account, I don’t have a boat, I don’t have golf clubs, I don’t have a comfortable bed, I don’t have nice sheets with a high thread count, I dont have much food in my fridge, and what food I do have in the fridge are leftovers from the kitchen I work in.
I don’t have sinking amounts of debt, I don’t have a mountainous pile of regrets, I don’t have fear for the unknown, I don’t have fear of rejection, and I don’t have jealousy or contempt for people who have done it before or done it better.
I don’t have a lot of things.
But what I do have, I have in spades.
I have love, I have work ethic, I have creativity, I have integrity, I have friends who impress me every day with their kindness and generosity, I have family who go above and beyond for me, who encourage, who guide, who advise, I have people who inspire, I have people to laugh with, to talk with, I have mentors and teachers and even when they’re chefs and managers and musicians they’re still mentors and teachers.
I have appreciation, I have gratefulness, and I have thanks. I have an apartment in a city that is way to fucking expensive for my bank account, I have a coffee shop down the street where people still talk to each other like back in the day and there is hardly a computer in sight. I have a park down the street, and beyond the bridge I have an endless stream of bikerides and maze of hikes. I have travelled. I have slept on floors. I have eaten Clif Bars and Ramen noodles for lunch and dinner for weeks straight just to make ends meet. I have spent the last thirty dollars in my bank account on a case of beer to share with a friend because if it’s all going to come crashing down then I might as well have a buzz going.
I have seen the sunrise over the Indian Ocean on the Coast of Tanzania. I have hiked to an ancient village in the jungles of Colombia. I have raised glasses filled with wine over dinner tables in Paris. I have shot high-powered rifles on Namibian farms. I have run from encroaching tidal waters on California’s Lost Coast stoned out of my mind with my best friends in the world. I have cooked a perfect steak. I have spent nights next to gorgeous women. I have written.
I have a book. I have a book on shelf in Texas, between Chuck Palahniuk and B.J. Novak. I have no idea what happens next. I have no idea where this goes. But I can tell you this: I have been waiting for this moment.