Between Life And A Living

I came across a clip of Denzel Washington in an interview, talking about the difference between life and “making a living.” He spoke of the moment when it all made sense to him, the moment when his child was born. I thought long and hard about this notion and how I had spent my entire life trying to “make it” in the entertainment business. With a wife and daughter who depended on me now, I had to reconfigure my definition of success and realized how far it had strayed from my initial thoughts. It brought me back to the old days. During an appearance on Inside The Actor’s Studio, Dave Chappelle talked about a conversation he had with his father about success. “You’re a teacher. If I can make a teacher’s salary doing comedy, I think that’s better than being a teacher.” Those words that I had heard so long ago in my childhood bedroom of my mother’s house had somehow evaded me over the years, and I became so consumed with the successes and failures of my career that I had forgotten how to enjoy the little things. With drinks in my system daily, it became a never-ending chase of the “pop.” I realized I needed to take a step back and look at what I was doing before making my next move. Little things like the photos my wife would send me while at work or spending quality time with my daughter started to resonate with me more. Although I was always a beer away from being drunk, I felt as though my eyes could see clearer than they had in a while. On a regular day, my phone buzzed with a message from my wife, Brenna. The screen lit up, revealing a photo of her teacup, and a quote attached to it. I stared at the image for a moment, my heart swelling with a mixture of love and pride. Through everything that we had experienced, the ups and downs, Brenna was still here, loving me. I began to reflect on how far I had strayed from my original idea of what success meant. I had lost sight of what truly mattered, chasing after dreams that held little meaning when compared to the love and support of my family. A simple photo of a teacup managed to make me understand the immense importance of the little things in life. And in that moment, I realized that true success lies in finding happiness in the present, cherishing the love of those who surround me, and being grateful for the journey we share together. As I sat there, my vision blurred by tears, I made a promise to myself. I would reconnect with the joys and simplicity of living, cherishing every moment I have left in this world.

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