“You know,” said the woman sitting next to me, “you should know he was a musician before he became an attorney.”
Earlier this week I found myself sitting in a room just offstage of a local theater while speaking to a man who’s stepped forward to help a local performance group bring a controversial play to the stage. But for him, the motivation behind his investment may very well come from somewhere deep inside. You see, before most of us became who we are today, we were someone much different long ago.
If we play it right, life gives us a good many chapters to explore, grow, and find ourselves. For some, we never really leave the past behind – carefully storing away a small nugget of an earlier time in a curiously protective manner. While we understand life moves forward, we never really want to fully erase any trace of the earlier chapters in our lives.
My new friend is well spoken and radiates a spark of genuine joy from his eyes.
“I met my wife in the theater,” he later tells me. “I’d been asked to fill in on a part at the last minute. Hadn’t been on stage in over 20 years or so.”
He’s speaking literally. They met on the stage, married and started yet another chapter in life shortly afterwards.
Actors from the performance poked their heads into the small reception room where a handful of people gathered before show time. A television camera is set up in the corner while another reporter fidgets with his camera. It’s nearly show time.
I think of the woman’s words earlier – those about him once being a musician – and how they led to this particular moment in time.
Most of us like to convince ourselves we make decisions based in logic and reasoning. Emotions, we tell ourselves, are a dangerous path to follow when making important decisions. Think, don’t feel, we force ourselves to believe.
Today I wear a jacket and tie nearly every day of the week. But inside, believe me, this is not who I see myself as. That person, as I’m sure is true with most of us, is someone rooted in a time of less responsibility, less concerned about the world around us.
Deep inside of me are remnants of the person who once competitively rode skateboards as well as later wore an over the top, spikey mullet rivaling Andre Agassi at the top of his game (in terms of hair, that is).
But today, ‘jacket and tie guy’ is always thirsty for a taste of a time considered long passed when measured by the calendar. To this day I still find myself eagerly looking over fences for an empty swimming pool or finding an excuse to drop into a half-pipe at a local municipal skate park. There will always be a soft spot in me for certain opportunities in life no matter how may suits hang in my closet.
As the curtain rose from the stage floor I looked back across the theater to see the musician-turned-attorney-turned producer sitting back in his seat. This did not follow any investment logic his broker might recommend nor could someone easily offer a solid reason for bankrolling such an undertaking.
But then again, the musician never asked.
– 30 –