I went to see some of my friends play in a band this week. I've known some of them since school.
I'm pleased to say they were very, very good. But that's not what made me happy.
They're in their thirties, they are Dads, employees, boyfriends, husbands. But for an hour or so, they were five men totally lost in what they were doing. They were alive, present in the moment, released, not one of the ordinary people, empowered, confident, euphoric. To be honest, they were teenagers with a dream again.
That's what made me happy. It doesn't matter what it is, it doesn't even matter if you're good. Find your passion and never stop doing it. That's what it means to be truly alive.
On another note, one of them has stood his ground in a way I'd like to think I would, but I'm not so sure. He wrote and performed in a band that was good enough to get signed by a major label. But the label wouldn't release the finished album, it wasn't commercial enough. Rather than give in, they refused to release it. He left London and started a family.
But he never gave up.
Thanks to the splintering of the music industry, they're releasing a new album, one they want to share, in small way in Europe. And playing some dates all over the continent.
Go on my son! It's never too late.
That's the other side to the enthusiastic amateur. If you're truly gifted, you should follow it through. There's nothing like the joy of doing something well. Craftsmanship, inspiration, feeling your talent. It's good.