Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Passion In The Face Of The Naysayers

I am supposed to be working on an essay on humiliation for a new writing class. But this is what happens when I have an assignment with a deadline. All of a sudden I get an idea to write something else.

I was inspired by an email this morning. It was in response to a request for help for the son of a lifelong friend of mine who is looking to break into what was at one time my business.

When I heard that he had found a passion for radio and the music industry I cringed. I know what the inner workings look like. What's worse is I remember what they used to look like. I asked her if there was still time for him to change his mind and his major. But she explained this is what he wants to do. Who was I to sap that enthusiasm from him?

He's relocated to the West Coast. Which I can't say is a bad idea. If the predictions of the death of radio are true, it is sure to die a much slower one in a town where people spend most of their day inside a car with only a radio and time to fill. So I reached out to my cousin. (I know, I talk alot about my cousins. I'm Greek. There are many, many cousins!)

His response was akin to my first reaction. Was he crazy? Talk him out of it! And, Are you sure you want ME to talk to him?

Funny, how differently my own thoughts sounded coming from someone else.

Suddenly I remembered leaving teaching to go work for WXTU in Philadelphia, months before it was about to switch to country music. People looked at me cross eyed. They told me I was out of my mind. It was a tough business. I was too nice to be in it. I barely heard the words of discouragement much less allow it to sway me. I didn't care because it I knew what I wanted. I was full of enthusiasm and on a mission.

Fast forward to today and I am once again on a path propelled by my passion. If I listened to all the people in the publishing world telling me how hard this was, how the industry has changed, how print is dead, blah, blah, blah, I would wearing a green apron and standing behind the counter in Starbuck's asking if you wanted room for milk.

I'm not because I don't care what the naysayers have to tell me. I didn't listen when I got into radio and that turned out to be a very good career move for me. My passion made me succeed then and it is what will make me succeed now.

But then why, am I, like my cousin so quick to be that voice of doom for someone else ? I don't know the answer. Maybe it will show up in that humiliation essay that is due Monday. In the meantime, if you know anyone in LA who can help a young guy who is determined to follow his dream, let me know.

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