Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I fought traffic today without packing my light saber and Viking shield. I lost. A light rain killed me and worse, I missed an 8 a.m. interview I scheduled yesterday with a big-wig from a major convenience store chain. Rats. But no bitching or complaining. I take responsibility for my inability to leave the house on time or bring my cellphone (whoops). I hope to learn from these missteps and throw my frustration back into the effort.

The article I'm doing is about a man who went from one conveninece store in Quebec to engineering the largest purchase of a North American c-store chain the industry has seen in decades--the 2,000-plus Circle K chain which Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard bought in 2003. I've been listening to a DVD of interviews done by a film crew before Labor Day of thoughts from this man's co-workers. What surfaces again and again is how he inspired others to join the adventure. They talked about being given an offer they couldn't refuse in that the passion with which he spoke of his dream was overwhelming. They talked about his vision and being taken aback when he suddenly announced they would be the best convenience store chain in Canada (they only had 50 stores at the time). They thought it was pie-in-the-sky, but together they accomplished that and moved across the border into the U.S. Today with Circle K, they are rivaling 7-Eleven.

I think the difference between a visionary and a dreamer is that a visionary accomplishes what he sets out to do. Yes, you have to be a dreamer before you're labled a visionary, but ultimately, to be a visionary in the past tense means you've made it. To be a dreamer in the past tense evokes a sadness, a pity over someone who always saw himself one way and how reality never returned the favor. I think that's why people say you have to dare to dream.

Whenever I fail, like I did this morning, I try to take less and less time dwelling on it. I try to forgive myself and resume the journey. Since my life has been adrift lately, I haven't been living with the passion that I used to have. But seeing it in the lives of others inspires me to get in touch with my passion again. I remember having it. I remember being just like this convenience store entrepreneur I'm writing about now. Years ago, I started a not-for-profit that's still alive and doing better every day. I gave my all to a dance company for 18 years and traveled the world. I engineered an life in the arts by working as a professional journalist, meeting deadlines by day and dancing by afternoon and night. What happened to that guy? He needs to jump into that phone booth and burst out in that red cape and those blue Spandex tights.

You can't see me now, but I'm beating my chest, dammit. It's time to get in touch with my passion again, stir it up, get angry, pick up the sword, scream the charge and return to the ranks of those who die fighting.


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