I was in the shower recently when I had the near-religious experience that caused me to start this blog. A voice said unto me, “What is LeBron James?”
And I said, “A basketball player.”
Then the voice said, “What will he be in 20 years?”
And I said, “I don’t know. A coach, maybe. Maybe an owner. Maybe he’ll be, like, an announcer or something…”
“Wrong!” the voice thundered.
I was truly confused. I mean, here I was answering with my real voice, a voice that I only heard in my head. This was the onset of madness, I thought. Or at least, it’s final stages. The time had come to run naked through the streets. That way, they could catch me while I was still unarmed.
And all this couldn’t have been happening at a worse time. I’d just quit my job at UPS, a job that I didn’t actually hate, but because I had boss for which there was mutual hatred, and little did I know, I was soon about to be suspended from my bullshit job as a Real Estate agent. The funny thing is, I actually thought I liked the Real Estate agent gig. I thought I was going to be a great agent. “Best in the city!” I cheered myself by saying. The reality was, I wasn’t even the best in the office.
But as I wondered what on earth LeBron James could possibly be in 20 years, I started to wonder more and more about what I was right then. I wasn’t a Real Estate agent. I hadn’t been a UPS worker even though I’d worked there. I hadn’t been a parking lot attendant or a rental car agent or a middle office guy doing P&L reports for first Smith Barney and then Lehman Brothers. I had never been any of those things because I had always only ever been one thing. And the thing I was, I hadn’t even realized until my ex-girlfriend at the time had told me.
And it sucks, the work we have to take on just to make money. This is why your job sucks. Look at it; look at what you’re experiencing. Consider how much you hate it. Consider why you hate it. It’s not what you are, it’s simply what you do.
And I understood, just like that. I understood that it was the greatest blessing on earth if you could profit financially from being what you are but the greatest crime on earth to stop being what you are simply because it didn’t turn a profit. Cause surely, there were basketball players that didn’t play professionally, but that’s what they were; basketball players. And if they still played whenever they finished working those jobs that sucked, still played just to enjoy the feeling they’d always had when they played, well, that was a blessing as close to actually being paid for playing.
“In 20 years, LeBron James will be a basketball player,” I said to the voice.
“Right,” the voice said. “Now, what are you?”