BY JOHN ANGIULO
Recently, I was in Los Angeles. It’s a fine place. Beautiful most days. Occasionally, a historic fire or unheard of torrential down pour destroys everything. Also, there’s homeless tent cities down the block from six-million-dollar beach bungalows. There’s a sixty-year-old restaurant serving artery clogging meat slabs fifteen feet from a brand-new vegan eatery that claims it will “turn your insides into a new born.”
I met a ton of people, and it seemed that in each conversation there was an underlying itch to find out if I was worth their time; if I could do something to help their career. (Must be a massive disappointment for those people to know that I am NOT someone that can help their career.) They would name drop and test me to see if I knew this person or had been to this place. In the end, no matter what they really thought of me, they put on a fake smile, did the small amount of conversing they had to and then slid out of my life, pretending we might see each other again.
By contrast, when I came back to New York and went to a local bar I was greeted with a, “Oh my god your hair is so long I thought you were a bearded chick that escaped from a circus.” I stood there for a second, momentarily flabbergasted, and then I just burst out laughing. The person who had said it was wearing sunglasses in a bar at night and was swaying on his stool laughing as though he’d been sitting there for a few hours. That is when I realized something.
I like being in a place where people don’t care who you are or what you think. I love places that people can be themselves. These places have flair and diversity. New York city has it, nature has it, good parties have it, Swell Taco on a Tuesday night has it.
The changes from being in an atmosphere that was fake, to one that was real, got me thinking. I started pondering a bit about the world we live in, some of the problems we all face and I came to a conclusion. I think people discovering and being their authentic, realest selves is the most important thing any one of us can do. It’s those real people that find their passion and purpose and put it into motion.
Being real is how Muhammad Ali became the people’s champ, how Neil Armstrong got to the moon, how Jackie Robinson played major league ball, how Doctor J got that afro, how Phil Edward first surfed Pipeline, how the boys in Venice started skating by breaking into people’s backyard pools, how Aretha Franklin hits a note that stick in year soul, how Steve Jobs started Apple and how Christiana Figueres became the architect of the Paris Agreement (look her up).
In a world that has fake and phony people running around, what I’m saying is, be real. Figure out what it is you want from this life and go out and put it into the world. Do you, and see what dope gifts you were made to add to the earth. Cheers. (insert beer emoji)
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