Thursday, April 1, 2010

The New Bohemians

Everyone dreams; some people chase them effortlessly only to be disappointed with failure, while others are lucky enough to achieve them, but sadly most are abandoned by their creators and eventually forgotten. So, it is a true inspiration when you meet a group of individuals who are armed with the rare strength necessary to both pursue and realize their dreams. It is equally inspirational when you witness the sacrifices that people have to make to abandon livelihoods that are considered by many to be the quintessential “American Dream” in order to pursue those said dreams. Perhaps the most socially engrained perception in our society is that in order to achieve happiness, one must get the good job, buy the nice car, build the big house, and live the rest of your days saving for an inevitably blissful, well earned retirement. But what if that retirement never comes? What if you lose your job and can’t afford the big house? Or worse, what if you wake up thirty years from now with millions of dollars in the bank and all you can think about is everything that you wanted to do, but never did? These are the questions that have plagued my mind for the past few years and that is why Mariana and I are abandoning our own personal “American Dream” in search of something different. Something I can’t quite place my fingers on yet, but something I saw in the eyes of our four other roommates that gladly shared their humble one bedroom apartment in Paris with us. In addition to the free rent they shared their stories and their passions, all seeking some form of livelihood that focused on personal interest rather than capitalistic gain. Each person held an absurd amount of talent in their respected fields of expertise and some even graduated at the top of their class, yet they all opted to temporarily delay the fiscally successful professional careers that inevitably lie before them to live simple lives enjoying the artistically inspiring wonder that is Paris. I have decided to think of them as “The New Bohemians” (sorry Edie Brickell, I hope that isn’t copyrighted).

Now please don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with making money and I think everyone can agree that it makes life a lot easier, but if it is done at the sacrifice of your own personal happiness or the welfare of those whom you love the most, then is it worth it? I don’t think so. That is why I am glad to see four individuals who are brave enough to travel down unconventional pathways and strive towards whatever it may be that brings them fulfillment. So, Hillary, Matt, Emma, and Bubba it is my sincerest hope that you continue to pursue your passions, whether they lead you to scientific glory, artistic greatness, or the enhancement of safer “segway tour” technologies, may you be among the lucky few who actually achieve their dreams.

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