Today’s Song of the Day
My favorite song from Sting is called Shape of My Heart. It’s an amazing and beautiful song, and today’s song of the day. Sting is the former lead singer of one of the greatest bands ever, The Police. I never get tired of hearing their most famous hit, Every Breath You Take.
Sting – Shape Of My Heart:
I saw Sting perform together with Paul Simon at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, a few years ago. A friend of mine gave me a free ticket to join her in her luxury box suite. She was a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, as well as a Hooter’s magazine cover model. She was beautiful and a lot of fun to hang out with. More on this later, below.
Maseratis, World Travel, and Luxury Box Suites
Back in 2013, I decided I was going to buy a Maserati, an exotic Italian sports car. A present to myself, for all my hard work. It was during my divorce. And I had concluded that once the divorce was finalized, since making such a major purchase isn’t such a good idea as one is going through the legal divorce process, I was going to get my awesome new wheels. I did all my research. Picked the model, a 2014 model, the color, everything. I even changed my iPhone screen photo to my soon to be breath-taking Maserati.
I was never one to buy extravagant material things for myself, other than nice watches and designer clothes. I liked to shop for clothes, and it was one of the few things I would buy for myself. I had my Jeep Grand Cherokee for years because it had a LOT of sentimental value for me. But I decided I would supplement my Jeep with a new sports car, not to sound cliché as a middle aged, mid-life crisis.
Not too long after this decision, I met a beautiful woman, who, as I mentioned was a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
Her boyfriend was very wealthy and had season luxury box seats at the HP Pavilion (formerly known as SAP Center), which included every event, including the concerts and all San Jose Sharks hockey games. But he was a bit older and seemed a bit boring, although I never met him. So she enjoyed hanging out with me because I was anything but boring. LOL. Idiot. Stupid. Crazy. Sure. But never boring! So occasionally we could go out together when he was out of town, to a nice dinner, drinks, fun.
I had already decided I was going to buy a Maserati before I met her. But coincidentally, she drove a Maserati! When I rode in it, it confirmed that it was exactly what I wanted.
The evening of the Sting concert, she invited a handful of friends, myself included, of course. We met beforehand to get a few drinks at the chic Santana Row, then drove together to the Pavilion.
I honestly don’t remember much of the concert! LOL. In the luxury box suite we had a lot of free booze – wine, beer, good liquor – as well as snack foods. I drank too much. By about the middle of the concert, I began talking with a couple of girls sitting just in front of the box suite. There was no window divider between us and the upper level seats. So by drink number who-fricking-cares, I climbed over the wall and sat next to one of the girls, the cuter one, of course. Not long afterwards, I helped her climb up into the luxury suite with me. I wasn’t thinking with my head-on-my-shoulders by then. You’re not supposed to do this – bring new people without tickets into the suite. Not long after this, me and the new girl went just outside the suite, in the empty corridor, to “get to know each other” more intimately.
Following the concert, my friend called me, stressed, because the HP Pavilion had contacted her and told her they had seen my violation of the rules, and that the entire season purchase of the box suite could be voided! She didn’t act too upset toward me, but I knew she was. These damn people see everything!
Fortunately, she was able to smooth over the situation a few days later and got off with a warning. The next violation would mean termination of the agreement and loss of the suite for the remainder of the season. They meant it. Boy, I would’ve felt like complete shit if things didn’t work out.
Just another example of my stupid behavior when having fun…but everything always turned out sunny-side up.
Not too long after this moment, my entire life changed. I thought I had about a year or two to live.
Then I met my stunning Katie, whom I wrote about in chapter 12. When this short relationship unraveled, I decided, it’s now or, literally, never, I would just go travel.
I resigned from my job as senior director of global marketing for a video microprocessor company in Silicon Valley. I made a very comfortable living. I made about a quarter million dollars per year in salary and bonuses, plus stock compensation which often added tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year additionally. It was enough for me. And I actually only lived on less than 50% of my income. If money was my primary driver I could’ve made a lot more of it in my life. (I NEVER told people, even family, how much I made or didn’t make. I never tried to impress a girl with money but sometimes I got carried away spending for fun or drinking.)
Within less than a week after Katie and I decided to “take time off” (actually it was my decision), I booked an overpriced one-way ticket to Berlin, Germany. I had no idea how long I would stay there, or where I would go afterwards, or if I would ever come back to the US.
I packed a large suitcase and hopped aboard my plane to somewhere.
I did return to the US a few months later, only to put all my possessions into storage, since I was still paying over $3,000 for rent every month on my two bedroom luxury apartment, with nobody living there. And I knew I would never be back. My apartment had been enough for me. I didn’t need more, even though I could afford it. When I returned, that’s when I found out Katie had died in a car accident only days earlier, when I went to visit her grandmother. It broke my heart again.
After a week, I left for Europe again. I gave all my possessions away to my cousin, a single father of 3 beautiful and amazing kids.
For the next 2 years, I would visit a number of European countries, and dozens and dozens of cities. I would meet thousands of people, hundreds of girls. And countless experiences. A million laughs. A few tears. And a lifetime of memories. A few short term relationships. And I would fall in love again with Marina, an amazing girl with a phenomenal personality which I adored.
I’ve spent a total of the equivalent of 10 years of my life traveling. Ten years. It’s shocking. I’ve been to so many places, at least 70 or 75 countries by now, 46 or 47 US states, hundreds and hundreds of cities. I’ve been to places not many venture as well. Some places I’ve been to many times; some cities and countries as many as 50-60 times. Many places I would stay for weeks or months, to truly understand different cultures and people.
There’s not a whole lot more one could do in life.
But I never got the Maserati, because I left the country. It was a good decision. Metal rusts and decomposes. My memories, the perspective it has added to my life, is priceless, and are forever.
If you have spent any time at all reading my writing, a lot of my personality and experiences become quite clear. I don’t look at the world, at life, like most do.
I always presume something, everything, is neither right or wrong, until I can critically think it through for myself and prove it is the truth, or not. It’s my best piece of advice I could ever give anyone.
My entire life has been one unique experience followed by another. It’s been anything but typical. I’m glad.
It’s true that one cannot know the truth to any reality until they can see the problem from every perspective. Confined perspective forces us to view things in myopic and shaded colors. It leads to wrong conclusions and answers. The world is full of half-truths and misrepresentation, convinced they are right, because they only see half of it. The moon is as equally dark as it is brilliantly reflective.
Try to see what others miss. Don’t let boxes confine you. Or let other’s words define you. Don’t let what others think restrain you.
Fear only yourself and God, because nothing else matters. You are the only one who must live with yourself constantly, forever. What others think will fade and become inconsequential, but what you truly know of yourself, when you are all alone and not comforted by all the concealing clothes and distractions, is the only thing that matters.
That Maserati. The huge house or mansion. That brilliant career. The huge number followed by countless digital zeros in your bank account will be zapped to nothing. See them for what they are.
Perspective. It’s the single most valuable thing in our lives; because it is the road through which we discover truth.
The vast majority of those in a herd have no idea why they are running in the direction they are trampling with all their furry and might. They merely follow so as to not be left behind. Humans are no different than a herd of any other animal in this regard. This should be abundantly clear to anyone with two connected functioning brain cells.
Know why you run. BECAUSE the cliff is coming soon for all of us. You’re better than a brainless cow.
IF you break away from the herd, if you dare to have the courage to live not as you want, or others want, but how we should, you will see that the world looks completely different, and that we can walk at our own pace, instead of how others dictate.
I don’t lack ambition, or capability, and I’m certainty not a “loser” as society may classify me as today. My priorities have changed and I guess I’m trying to figure out what I want or should do with my life. There were a lot of things about me that I needed to change. There still are, just less of them now.
My dream is to start a charity to help orphans and foster kids. These souls got raw deal in life, starting out the gate. Maybe one day.