A buddy of mine recently returned to the great state of Pennsylvania after a two year adventure in Los Angeles. He moved out to Hollywood land to chase his music and acting dreams, but Dave came back to PA to save up some money and decide if/when he’ll go back. Dave is the exact definition of freedom. Since I’ve known him he’s always done the shit that he loves to do. There have been times he’s admitted to maybe being envious of his friends that have set careers and maybe more of their shit in order, but I can’t see Dave ever wanting to change places. My friends and I have enjoyed Dave being home, and last night he stopped over and we checked out Judd Apatow’s newest film, “Funny People”. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was full of giggles, but in the end it turned out to be a dark life lesson movie, similar to the feelings I had after watching “Garden State”. Through the movie I couldn’t help but think about how the lessons in it could be related to my career philosophy that I’ve shared a few times on Corn On The Job. Here goes nothing…
You have an 8% chance of living, what does that mean to you?
Before presenting my quick review of the movie I’ll mention that nothing I say will spoil the ending or give too much away. In the movie, Adam Sandler plays a successful older comedian that finds out he has an 8% chance of living after being diagnosed with a rare disease. Maybe a bit cliche, but when his life flashes over and over he starts realizing all that he’s missed in life. While he can say he owns an entire garage full of exotic cars, he can’t say that he has one meaningful friendship or relationship established with another person. Let the dark humor begin…
Adam Sandler’s character, George Simmons, goes back to his roots in stand up and performs an incredibly depressing routine where he meets Ira Wright, a young, struggling comedian (Seth Rogan). Their encounter leads to a friendship between them when Ira takes on a position as George’s assistant. Ira travels with George becoming his opening act, his only friend, and the one person that knows about his illness. Like most movies, this one eventually becomes about a girl, and in this movie it’s about the one that got away. George’s career success, fame, and money blurred his priorities when he was younger and now its all crashing down on him. When George finds out from his doctors that the alternative medicine has miraculously made him ‘better’, he finds out it may have been too late in his life to build what really matters in life. Relationships.
How I want to be remembered
My favorite scene in the movie is one that takes place after Sandler finds out he’s going to make it. He’s sitting outside of his ridiculous house facing the water and he says out loud to himself “I’ve played it all wrong”. My whole life I’ve been taught that hard work pays off, and there is no denying that. What I won’t allow is hard work to ruin my life. Maybe I’ll have a wife someday, maybe a family, or maybe I’ll just always have great friends. Whatever happens, I always want to be remembered for the people I’ve kept close around me. Sure, maybe I’ll invent something ridiculous, or maybe more and more Corn Heads will join me here on COTJ and I can grow us into a career blog mecca and be remembered for that, but the people around me will always be most important. A career is just a job and money. Isn’t that what it comes down to? When you are told life isn’t going to last much longer, your job and your money won’t replace the comfort good people can give you.
But what is surely different from what you want, and probably different from what my friend Dave wants in life. To break into music or acting would be everything to him. While I’m sure he’d keep his relationships, I could assume he’d be willing to sacrifice them for a while in order to carry out his dreams. We are all different, and we all have different paths to happiness.
How do you want to be remembered?
We all have our prerogative. What’s important to you? I know us Generation Y workers must continually prove our worth to the older generations in the work place. Should our long term happiness be sacrificed for that? If you were put on the 8% list, what would you do, how would you be remembered?