The world lives off that adrenaline rush feeling of knowing that you could be the next big thing, your world could change in an instance. You could be that thing that you always saw yourself as, we have seen it happen, we have heard the stories, we have read the books. Its that place where we go when we are about to give up on that dream, when this dream doesn’t make sense because there will be days like that.
We are driving to Durban to do a presentation to the city of Durban for us to host a Marvin’s Room for the first time there. We get a call to say tomorrow morning come and present your idea to the executive team. We wake up at 2am and drive down to Durban to present at 10am, for this dream, for this idea that we don’t know if it will workout or not. Oh its Durban July weekend, we are arriving with everyone but we are not there for that we are here to work. By 12pm we are done with the presentation, it went well and now we are leaving Durban for Hilton in Pietermaritzburg. We didn’t want to do Durban July because its not our thing, we prefer to just take some time off and enjoy the countryside.
While driving back on a Sunday evening, I get a call asking that if I would be interested in speaking at the Meeting of The Young Minds in New York, I agree, obviously. I announce the news to the people in the car in the same manner I would announce that I am going to take a nap, in the most nonchalant way. Everyone is asking why I am so calm about it and not screaming? I give them the Kanye Shrug. In all honesty I take time to process things, I take my time to make sense of things in my head – the bad thing about it is that I lose out on being in the moment when that thing happens.
Fast forward a year later, a week before leaving for New York, I don’t have a Visa, so it makes sense that a plane ticket is not booked either. I am not panicking for some reason because I believe that God will show up at the right time. Come the night before, I have everything I need sorted out and I’m ready for New York as much as I can be. I get to the airport and I spend about an hour at customs waiting for my bag to be cleared, I am not connected to the wifi so I am losing mind, I’m not even worried that I could be sent back home. I get on the train from JFK Airport to the city which means I have to take the subway, the famous subway that I’ve seen in movies. I befriend this white guy who is a musician at the station and I let him know that I am new here and I need to end up in Harlem at some point. He guides me on how to get there but obviously he speaks to me like i know the system and the streets like 54th Street – this was a true Jimmy comes to Joburg situation but in New York. I don’t remember where I got off at first but I remember getting out of the subway and into the city and I was in a new place that I’ve never been, for the first time in my life I didn’t know where I was going or confident about where I need to be. I needed to find Wifi and beer. Found a place called Maxwell in Harlem, ordered a drink and asked for the wifi password – I was pleasantly surprised that Motorola battery life lasted that long given that i haven’t charged it much while flying.
Then it hits me, I’m in New York. No one knows me here, I am here to speak about my journey and dreams, I’m here to try something that my ancestors would’ve never even dreamt about, “I am my ancestors wildest dreams” line comes to mind. There is something that I like about being the under dog, no one is looking at you, no one is expecting anything out of you, no one is calculating your moves, your story is not known yet, no one is interested in your story yet. Everyone who has made it from rags to riches has been here before, every brand has been here before – you name them Google, Apple, Motorola and Marvin.
Everyone who is here works towards that moment when they get that break, that Trevoh Noah moment when he got the opportunity to host The Daily Show or when you saw Pearl Thusi on Quantico or when Diddy posted that image of him and Black Coffee just chilling at Diddy’s house. That moment that changes everything, we all work towards that, we all dream of that break, that move, that nod from the universe to say its your time now, this is what you have been working towards all your life. After this moment here, you will no longer be an under dog but a leader of your generation. Your time is now but if its not your time, you have to carry on pushing because when the under dogs rise again, you will have your time.