Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lost potential



When I was a teenager I was positive I knew exactly where my future would take me. I would become the most famous and successful pro-surfer to ever live, I’d be married to a super model, and I would retire at 34 after being named the ASP world champion for the 10th year in a row. Then I would spend the rest of my days running my own surf camp and raising my three boys who would grow up to be famous surfers just like their dad. For some quiet time I would turn to my art and crank out mind blowing feats of photorealism that would take the art world by storm and my work would become the voice of my generation. Obviously things aren’t going to work out this way anymore, but for a little while I KNEW what my future was and nobody could tell me different.

There’s a marked disparity from the future I predicted and the one currently unfolding as I type these words. I have failed at my dreams, but I had never felt like a failure. Lately I have been taking a lot of bullshit from the guys about all this watching from the sidelines. I sit there in the sand and I watch them go out there and rip, then they come back out and there’s me with my microphone. After a particularly good ride a surfer comes out of the water with his chest puffed out and a smile so big you’d swear some chick just blew him as he paddled in. It’s an amazing feeling and nothing in the world can even come close to comparing, and every time I see it in another guy I feel a little more like a failure.

I am not surfing, I am not painting, HELL I am not even programming! Everything I spent my life perfecting I have abandoned and sometimes I can’t even remember why. I wish I had an idea of what I want to do because then I could be working towards some kind of goal as opposed to just Forrest Gumping my way through life.

Friday I shot my last segment for the network and I got on the plane and made a promise to myself to NEVER do that again. I felt like a dirty prostitute whoring myself out to make a few dollars. Everything about it was so degrading and emotionally exhausting, but only because I have made it that way for myself (if I hear the word potential in association with myself one more time, I’m punching somebody!). Now that I am free I am not entirely sure of what I am going to do next, but I can guarantee this time things are going to be happening on my terms. The next time I have a prediction for the future I am going to work a lot harder for this one to come true. I am sick to death of people reminding me of what could have been, don’t they think I have already played that game a million times with myself!?

8 comments:

Jason said...

You always forget you aren't as grownup as you think you are. Fucking pick your nose and scratch your nuts for a few more years like every other 23 year old! You will be alright.

Trevor said...

Awww. You are so cute in your surfgear behind the truck! Just because you were a 17yr old prodigy doesn't mean you can't be just as successful in the immediate future. I agree with Jason! Most people our age aren't conquering the world, chill out and have some fun while you figure stuff out.

Breathturn said...

I hear you loud and clear. Life does turn and twist, eh? I recommend The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (esp the one translated by Red Pine). When I feel lost, the poetry brings me home again.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't beat yourself up for not being perfect. Nobody is perfect so you shouldn't beat yourself up just because you didn't have the perfect life. You don't really seem like the kind of guy who knows how to sit on your ass and do nothing, maybe you should try it. It does wonders for the soul!

John said...

I completely understand where you are coming from with this. Not because I once had a bright future in as a prosurfer that fizzled out. More because I know what it is like to have a goal everybody thinks you can achieve and then you just don't. It is a crappy feeling, but you need to get back up on that horse again and not let yourself get discouraged. You are an amazing guy, I am sure whatever it is you choose to do will be just as amazing as what you chose to give up.

Greg said...

Most of us don't have our entire lives mapped out as teenagers. Maybe this is a good thing you have this chance to completely reinvent yourself. Take this second chance at a new beginning as a blessing for having time to discover your true calling instead of looking at it as a curse for failing at something you might not have been meant for. This is a good thing and the sooner you see it this way the sooner you will be able to discover something even greater!

Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with with everything everybody is saying here. I also think you need to have a more realistic perspective on your future employment opportunities. You need to think of them as more of a way to make money in order to survive and less as a calling from the divine. Young people these days aren't satisfied with their jobs and end up roaming from career to career because they can't find satisfaction in what they do. It is not about job satisfaction its about life satisfaction. You can do anything you want to do, but the key is to be satisfied with what you do outside of what you do to make your living.

RGB said...

It's cool, sometimes I can be a bit pissy. Lets just forget about it! ;)