One of the many things in my life that I am grateful for is the amazing people I share it with. There are so many that I am proud to count among my friends. Today I would love to share a tale of just such a man. In doing so, however, I would also like to share a lesson with you. That lesson in the importance of having a dream and having a strong enough ‘why’ to back it up. You may be wondering what having a dream would get you out of life. It is not what you get from having a dream that is important, but what it gives you. Before we get to in deep with this theory, allow me to share the story of my friend and we will circle back around for the lesson.
The story I am going to tell you is about my friend Travis, who goes by the name Treezy. We met over a decade ago when I was bartending at a small corner bar. He came in shaking his head and sat down at the bar. He ordered a Budweiser and proceeded to regale me with the story of his previous evening. It would appear this gentleman, who was to become a life-long friend, had a terrible misadventure with a young lady at a hotel. The story was a comical one that ended with Treezy sitting in front of me wondering just how he got there.
This man’s way of delivering a story was both funny and captivating. He came across as both humble, yet charismatic. It reminding me a bit of…well…me. The bar had just opened up and the owners were friends of a friend. I had come out of my retirement as a bartender to help them out and was working for tips. I had built up quite a following on the weekends and was looking to grow the crowd even more. I knew just the thing that could do it. “Want to make a few extra bucks?” I asked the young man. He eagerly informed me that he did and a partnership was born. While I serveved drinks behind the pine, my new friend energized the crowd and sold trays of shots. We both were working for tips, but still did quite well for both ourselves and the bar. Unfortunately, the owners turned out to be very unethical and I left a short time later.
I had lost touch with my new found friend and figured that would be the last time I would see him. Years went by and I found myself working at a new place called “The Hideout”. One fine afternoon, as I was cleaning and getting the place ready for the busy evening ahead. Crouched down below the bar I heard a voice say “Yes I’ll have a bottle of Bud.” Which was strange because I didn’t recall asking anyone if they wanted one. I popped up to see a man in a St. Louis Cardinals hat. It took a second but slowly it dawned on me. We both were shocked to realize who the other was.
To keep this blog post from becoming my third book, I will fast forward a bit. In the time we had been apart, young Travis had discovered karaoke and his ability to entertain and lift people’s spirits. “We don’t have that here!” I explained most assuredly. Months later we would have karaoke at that bar. It happened to be the very DJ that introduced him to it and he returned. Now we had a new way to team up. Myself behind the bar and him on the microphone. It also came to be that the karaoke DJ would gain another follower. This time it wasn’t for karaoke though. That person was Margie, who became the love of my life.
Through our years together, the three of us have went on to be an incredible team. We worked together to bring as much positivity to whatever setting we are in. Margie being the incredible DJ she is, Treezy being epic performer and myself fitting in. First, I was behind the bar, now I am behind the microphone as an MC of sorts. Deep in his heart Travis knew what his passion was and that was to entertain people and to lift their spirits. Often, this was an all consuming endeavor. By that, I mean both in terms of time and money. Unfortunately, for Mr. Treezy, being the self-proclaimed ‘Greatest karaoke rapper alive’ does little to pay the bills. If you have ever had the pleasure to see him perform, it is a title he arguably holds. Through a set of trying circumstances which including losing both his job and his mother, Travis found himself back in his hometown of St. Louis struggling to survive. This even included being homeless for a while.
Still, his passion to entertain others and bring a smile to their face burned deep inside him. How to be able to live this dream? He returned to Milwaukee and this year made the decision to become a DJ himself. He continues to work hard and is adding shows to his list of entertaining venues. He kept faithful to his dream. He refined it. He held true to it when it had seemed if the world gave up on him. He is now not only able to entertain and bring that joy to others, he is getting paid to live that dream as well. As his friends, Margie and I could not be happier for him. We are both extremely proud to not only be a part of his journey, but we are proud of him as well. Dare I say, I think his mom would be too.
If you have a dream and the world seems to be against you, do not give up. Stick true to that dream. Remember why it is important to you. If you keep doing what feeds your soul, opportunities will present themselves. It may take longer than you desire and you may have to go through some pretty lean times, like our friend in this story, but if you persevere and keep the faith, life will let you Live your dream.