I want the courage of my son, Max. Today he starts his dream job working at Greensaw. This is a wonderful construction company that uses salvaged materials, and for my son, who loves to roam around abandoned industrial buildings, and loves the inner city, this is a dream come true. The only thing is that he is starting a an apprentice, pushing a broom, cleaning up, doing whatever it takes to get him to a place where he can learn this trade.
At first I was dubious, concerned that this law school drop out was going to end up broke (which is still certainly a possibility since he is not getting paid), and would fritter away his time. When I asked Max if he was still thinking of graduate school, he indicated it depends on how much he likes this job. So I was plenty concerned. And I am sure he heard that in my voice- my voice of reason, fiscal responsibility, and my voice of higher education.
But Max is miles ahead of me. He has found a passion, and he is going for it. His youthful optimism will carry him far, and I just know he will be happy and find success.
Then I actually looked at the website. Wonderful wonderful people- with a fabulous sense of purpose, and great communal feeling. It made me feel like Grafik when we were getting off the ground 30 years ago. An optimism that they can achieve a corporate structure different from the traditional design/build outfit. And reading the bios of the members of GreenSaw- I felt myself wishing I was 25 and could join them. Each one was more interesting than the next. I understand why Max fell in love with this place and can not wait to go to work tomorrow.
Which brings me to Courage. It take courage to do what you want to do- convention be damned. It takes courage to not worry so much about the financials, and know that things will somehow work out. It takes courage to do something you have never done before. And I realized as I sat in front of my piece today, that I could stand to muster up more courage myself. I think my first Friday off is a good first step. A move forward to reclaim some of the courage I had when I started Grafik. Courage that somehow got lost with paying salaries, putting two kids through college, paying a mortgage, and growing up. I think I am finally at a point in my life then I can start to think about how to face the next stage of my life with renewed courage and purpose. And I thank Max for helping me to get there.