I can spend a couple of hours in a Patagonia store, in fact, it's long been my secret shame that I would give up my entire career just to fold pants at a Patagonia retail outlet. So today, while the girls rolled out some strange incarnation of fairies and princesses and manicures and tea and such, I slipped into Soho and spent the afternoon with some very cool people. I bought things, sure, but I mostly just absorbed the vibe. I used to live that life...the one that these dirtbags put front and center on their resume, but that time and life and obligation usually stifle. Now I mostly just make plans to return to it. Sometimes I manage them, and sometimes I go to Ikea.
It struck me today, while talking to a grizzled but impressively slapped together dude, that the things that I've always wanted to be, never much matched the ambitions my guidance counselor laid out for me. I suppose I always knew this, but it was on full display today as me and two Patagonia staff sat around and talked. When they asked me what I did I told them. They got interested. We talked some more. Naturally the conversation went to inspirations and expectations and how we all had landed in that one particular space and time. I babbled the typical stuff, about not knowing what I wanted to be but really knowing what I didn't want to be...and about wanting to have stories, lots of stories, and then somewhere in the middle of all of the back and forth it struck me what I really wanted now as an adult. I wanted to be a good guy, sure, but what I really wanted to hang my coat on was being the kind of person that the more you got to know me the more impressed you'd be. Sounds arrogant, but what are we shooting for here, abysmal? We're frequently warned of the dangers of getting to know the people that we like too much for fear of being disappointed. I want to somehow manage the opposite...you know, most of the time. Naturally, I'll reserve some crap moments for only my closest friends. There are worse things to aspire to, and sitting amongst some pretty awesome people this afternoon I became convinced that being the best human being you can possibly be isn't just a noble pursuit, it's practically mandatory.
So, there was all that free enlightenment and some expensive shirts. God bless you Patagonia.