Live and Learn

Luis Bahena

A few weeks ago I met a really nice man that was giving me advice while drinking a beer in a crowded patio in a bar over in North Park.

I don’t remember every detail of his advice as I did have a few cocktails under my belt but I did remember the general idea of what he was saying.

Basically, it was to follow your dreams and do whatever needs to get done to get there. That a college degree isn’t necessarily needed to follow your dreams and that eventually you will get there.

Right, because it is that simple landing that dream job we all want. I am to walk up to some publishing company and ask for a book deal and boom, my dream will come true.

Apparently it had worked for him. He left his home at a young age with only $35 in his pocket and eventually accomplished landing a good career. Well, now. Of course before that he had to live under a bridge for a while and ended up loosing a lot a few times in his past, but hey you got to loose some to win some right.

As alluring as his advice sounded, doing what I must to follow my dreams and all that, the idea of loosing everything I have and possibly living under a bridge to get there is not something I consider as part of the road to reaching my dreams. I like to believe that I’m a little more practical than that.

Sure, I get his idea of following your dreams but at the same time I can’t really drop all of my responsibilities to do that. I can’t just quit my job, stop paying my bills, abandon my roommate and leave him with my half of the rent to pay to go on to follow my dreams. It’s a little harder than that. Not to mention the requirement of having the training and education to be able to do what I want to do.

Just the thought of losing everything scares me, and I have to admit that everything I have now I have worked hard for. As the week progressed however, I realized that one of my very best friends was living that fear I currently have, only in a different way.

He lost his home in the beginning of summer, then he lost his job, and to add insult to injury, his car was towed right in front of him for not showing current registration. He pretty much had nothing but his friends.

He ended up staying with me and my roomate for a few months which was as much as I could do to help him out. I had to admit, having both of my friends in the house was the most fun I’ve had in a long time, but it was only a matter of time before my friend realized that he doesn’t have much here anymore and he would eventually have to return back home to Minnesota.

He had asked me in the beginning of the September what I thought he should do, stay here in San Diego and try to figure something out, or go back home to Minnesota and have his family help him out.

As I said, I tend to be rather practical, and as much as I enjoyed having him stay with us, the best thing for him to do was to move with his family and have them help him out.

So now, one of my best friends will be leaving at the end of the month and I couldn’t be any sadder. It’s hard for me to imagine my nights out or my late night dinners and movie nights without one of my best friends.

It’s easy to say just drop everything and follow your dreams, but doing it is much harder. We all can’t be selfish and we have to realize our responsibilities. At this point my friend realized what he has to do, and it comes at a cost of leaving all of his friends behind, but sometimes you got to lose some to win some.

Perhaps it is easier for some to do what they must, but I can’t help but to weigh out the cost. For now, I think I’ll follow my jam-packed schedule of school and work.

On the bright side, I have financial security and a nice warm bed to come home to, at the cost of taking the long road to reach my dreams. And with good friends such as the ones I have, the road left to travel doesn’t look so bad.