I was going to be a rock star, at least that’s what I’d planned. If you’d told the 19 year old me that later in life I’d be driving a VW estate with a roof box and holidaying on the Isle of Wight, I’d have told you that you don’t know me.
I’d had an adventurous childhood, one involving run ins with Police, a reputation with my brother at school (for the large scale pranks like locking the front gates with an industrial padlock) and some local fires requiring fire engines to put them out. I liked to be mischievous as long as people weren’t getting harmed. It felt natural for me to mature my rebelling to adulthood, and for me that meant rock stardom.
While in a band, the 2 songs that kick started any practice session were Rock n Roll star and Supersonic, both by Oasis. They are songs full of dreams, power, control and the feeling of being alive. Becoming a rock star was my ticket to all of them and on top of that I’d have continuous adventure and freedom along the way.
As a band, we’d recorded in a studio, done some gigs and had major fallings out, surely this meant we were headed for the big time?
Well, if only we’d focused more on practising and less on life style. Trying to live like a rock star doesn’t make you one.
I’d started to get advice from the pros, strangely all recommending the life of a rock star wasn’t for me. Conversations with bands like Blur and Manic Street Preachers ended in telling me it wasn’t my dream. I didn’t know famous people, I just wasn’t afraid to talk with them at gigs and bars. It turns out there’s one thing rock stars like more than groupies and that’s giving advice to wannabe rock stars over alcohol.
As a band we broke up, I wanted to experiment with different types of music, they didn’t, a common story. Other influences had introduced me to writing and poetry through movements like the beat generation. I was now writing my own stories and listening to the music of Bob Dylan & Tom Waits. I knew the rock star life wasn’t for me and if I was really honest, I wasn’t a good enough musician or songwriter anyway.
So how is this related to driving a VW estate and holidaying on the Isle of Wight? Well, if people I’d met for one night could see my dream of rock stardom wouldn’t make me happy (Manic Street Preachers sussed me out in 2 hours) then what actually was my dream?
It was pretty simple really, it includes the essential ingredient of feeling alive. Last year I went even further by defining a 10 year plan for a remarkable life, it helped me visualise and see where I would be 10 years from now.
I screw up often. Either by not being the best person I could be, or not realising how important something is for those I love. I’m not perfect, none of us are. The important thing for me has been the realisation that my dream isn’t a goal, it’s the actual journey. A journey involving continuous improvement, learning and doing to make the best impact on not just me, those around me too.
So yeah, on the outside I might appear to have the life my old geography school teacher had (he had wool jumpers and an estate car too). What’s cool is that it turns out he most likely had an awesome life.