Earlier this year, I found myself sitting at Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth, TX, with a good friend of mine, Michael Jackson. We were enjoying a round of burgers and beers before going to the Alice Cooper show that evening. Looking at the tickets, I read them aloud to Michael:
”Ace Frehley and Alice Cooper. Who’s Ace Frehley?”
I looked across the table to a pair of eyes that realized a solid generation stood between us, along with a solid measure of Texas “Bless your heart”.
“That’s the lead guitarist from KISS.”
That night, I realized how little I knew about rock n’ roll, as well as how much I really enjoyed it. There’s something about the scream of an electric guitar that sets my heart on fire, similar to the way it felt to rev up my motorcycle and let the engine roar me down the roads in Mexico.
2020 and 2021 seem to have blurred together in what has been an uncomfortable change-of-scenario for almost everybody worldwide. Times like this are when I think rock music is especially relevant, as well as a drug-free anxiety reducer. Few things feel better on a stressful day than driving with your windows open and belting Girls, Girls, Girls at the top of your lungs while the wind blows through your hair. Heaven comes in many shapes and sizes.
When I lived in Mexico, I’d take my motorcycle on a ride every morning – to nowhere. I made a playlist that would make a can of hairspray melt, and enjoyed the freedom I felt while driving Snakebite down winding roads and stretches of open highway.
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to ride a motorcycle. In college, I collected pictures of my ‘dream bike’ and fondly gazed at her while I’d work. That dream bike’ happened to be a Suzuki Boulevard M50 – the exact bike I purchased in my 30’s.
Motorcycles are one of the best ways you can get yourself killed on the road. The amount of things that can go wrong in a road scenario can make your anxieties peak. However, once you swing your legs over the bike and fire up the engine, those fears go away and you find yourself enjoying a quiet storm of peace as you shift gears and throttle down the roads.
I learned something when I rode that motorcycle; I learned that there are things in life that set your heart on fire, often known only to the person experiencing them. When you do something you love, and I mean really love, all of the noise in the world seems to go away – if even for a brief moment in time.
Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, once wrote:
“A minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.
Perfection comes in many shapes and sizes. If we’re lucky, we will experience brief moments of it during our lifetime. Those moments will crystallize and make all other moments in our life somehow more clear, understood and placed.
Lately, I’ve been asking my network a simple question:
“When you spend more time doing creative/artistic things, what impact does that have on your work?”
I’m at a point in my life where I’ve begun to accumulate a collection of creative endeavors that I love. Artwork, design, apparel, music and putting an intentional hand on the way I do things – rather than just doing them. This shift in focus has helped me understand something about myself; I love it when I feel like I’m in love with what I’m doing, and acting as the reflection of my highest, creative self.
I started to look around at my life and all of the things I’ve fallen in love with. Some, I’ve been able to make a living doing – such as marketing consulting and website design. Others efforts have existed purely because they are things I love doing, such as creating artwork or writing these blogs.
This year, I’m picking the theme “Love it to death” as the mantra for my art, work and life. I want the output of my energy to reflect a man that truly loves what he does, helps others in the process and shows a dedication to building a strong foundation for his family and future.
“Love it to death” is about finding the things you love, and investing your time and energy into blossoming them. At the end of your life, it won’t matter how much money you’ve accumulated, where you went to school or what title you carried on your card. Your life will be measured by the moments of joy, love and peace you experienced – as well as offered others.
So, love it to death. Love the people in your life with the kind of love that feels alive. Make messes and give yourself time and permission to clean them up and learn from them. Take a risk. Win it all. Lose it all. Keep on trying.
Life is a beautiful gift, and loving the life you’ve been given is the first step towards making the rest of it a beautiful journey that you can understand and appreciate in your own lifetime.
Love it to death.