Everyone is there to celebrate. It’s true to say that people love fame. They love the bright lights and the red carpets. Everyone loves the high-life, the fashions and the idea of private jets or vacations in Monaco. You think of places like a stay at Hotel De Paris in Monte Carlo or a walk around the yachts in Monaco Harbor. You imagine yourself at check-in, approaching the desk and asking questions like, “Excuse me, but is my suite ready yet?”
It’s true. Everyone is around when the lights are bright and the drinks are free. Everybody’s there when the venue is “All you can eat” and somehow, you, yourself are seen as a conduit to a life beyond comparison. Let’s face it, anyone can buy themselves a sunset view.
But wait, something changes when the lights go out. The crowd goes away. You sit and decipher between real people and plastic smiles. Something happens when the venue is over.
There’s no one around and no more distractions. There’s nothing to solve the loneliness, not even royalty checks, or fans, not fake friends or real ones, and not the people who hang around, hoping that you’ll smile and put them in your good graces. No . . . At the close of day, the emptiness of a hotel room is sufficient enough to realize where we fit and who we are.
I think of the crowd and how they roar. I think of the moments of presentation. I think about our performance and the reciprocity and the outpour of emotion, which is great. But what happens when the show is over? It’s just life again, right?
I think about the ideas of positive detachment. I think about the life I have and the life I want and the discrepancy between the two. In fairness, I have never been to the Hotel De Paris, Monte Carlo. I have never watched the sunset from a veranda that overlooks Monaco Harbor.
I’ve been downtown. I’ve been to City Island. I’ve been to the top of buildings in Midtown and had a few of my dreams come true.
I’ve seen the view from the rooftops of Los Angeles. I’ve seen the beaches in Malibu. I’ve been in elevators above The Riot House and heard someone ask me, “First time in L.A?” as if I managed a trick and found myself popular.
I’ve seen the Hollywood sign and been through Beverly Hills a few times. I have seen different places on my own steam but rather than mention the trivialities of who, what, where and when, I suppose it’s best to get to the point.
I am sure of one thing, which is if ever there is a divot in the heart; or, if ever there is a hole where emptiness swarms like a bottomless pit and churns like a dark despair; nothing in the world, not fame, not fortune, not the attention from fans, friends, loved ones, not sex, not a prime location, not pills, drinks, nor lofty powders can solve the void. Not at all. They can placate the dilemmas for a while but eventually, the crowd goes away. There comes a time when the lights over the ballroom turn out. The high comes down, and in the end, the mirror is the only honest thing you’ll see (which is why I seldom looked).
In turn, I have come to an agreement with myself and in accordance with my new plan, I have a contract which I have signed on the dotted line. I do not mean this physically or literally. No, I mean this in a figurative sense.
I have commissioned a settlement within myself that states there is no more win or lose. There is no more popularity or appeal to the crowds. There are no more critics or the need to please them. There are no more post-mortem meetings to discuss where I went wrong or what I could have done differently. Instead, I greet myself at the end of the day with the mindfulness of a constructive conclusion.
From here on out, there is only my effort, my work and my plans on what comes next. I am a train on the tracks to my future. I am the locomotive.
In the past, I have sought through different ways of navigation to make my way and change my life. I have worked for my life resulting in a dovetail of options. I have surrendered my pride. I have submitted. I have allowed myself to entertain those whose voices are other than friendly. I’ve “Kissed the ring,” so-to-speak. I have endured in order to gain momentum and move forward, yet, I found myself spinning my wheels and going nowhere.
I understand now. The road to success is a lonely one. Not everyone buys a ticket. The lights aren’t bright enough to demand a crowd or a huge following. No one is around for this part. It’s lonely. However, I get it. My destination is not always a place that I can get to alone. We all need help. We all need guidance.
There are times when we have to be quiet. No one has to be right or wrong. We don’t have to prove ourselves to everyone. We don’t have to be alike or similar or deliver ourselves like anyone else.
Not everyone dares to be great. Then again, not everyone dares to be different either. And perhaps that’s it. Maybe you being you is absolutely what the world needs.
Maybe you being you and comfortable in your own skin is the way to make it. What if you allowing yourself to be matchless and unique is the only ingredient to your success?
What if being different is the best thing you could ever be?
I am different. As a matter of fact, it took me decades to allow myself to be different. It took decades to realize that I do not not have to fit, that I can create my own pattern and that I don’t have to seek approval at every turn. But more, it took me decades to learn that I have everything that I need to be successful.
But remember, success is relative. Success is a state of mind. This is a belief system. Success is a mindset; it’s a pattern of life. Success is the ability to come to the end of the day; there’s no one else around, the crowd is gone, and the mirror is the only thing that shows the truth — But fortunately, the reflection you see is enough to fill the void.
Otherwise, nothing else matters.