OR HOW TO GROW UP TO BE A KANGAROO
"We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our pastdecide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it's our job to invent something better. " CHUCK PALAHNIUK
The other day I was sitting around a table with my two boys and their three cousins, and I asked each of them what they would like to be when they grow up. Milo, 12, says he is going to be a screenwriter and director of films that change the world. “Horror movies, Dad, but horror movies that help people,” he said. Cool.
Iggy, ten, reckons he will grow up to be an actor or a novelist. “Like Dr. Suess. You think his stories are ridiculous, but really they’re about everything.” He actually said that. Mad pride!
Eddie, 11, is going to be a pro skater, and start his own skate label called Queztion. Radness.
Then I asked the two little ones. Mickey, five, wants to be a fart when he grows up. And Minnie, three, told me she would like to be a kangaroo.
I can’t remember what I wanted to be when I was three or five, but I do remember that by the time I was 13 I knew for sure the rest of my life would be completely dedicated to surfing. I didn’t know how (hopefully turn pro), or in what capacity (happy to settle for sweeping out shaping bays), but nothing mattered more to me than making sure my future was all about surf.
When I look back today, it’s hard to understand the absolute conviction little me had in that idea (and that it actually worked – I’ve been making surf mags since I was 17), because these days I never feel 100 percent certain about anything. Every choice I make is clouded by a reward versus repercussion equation, and every action I take is affected in some way by a fear of failure. I’m not hamstrung by it, but it’s there, quietly lingering like a guy at a party who doesn’t know anyone. I don’t know if it’s a survival instinct, or if it’s just the mindset that comes with getting older, but these anxieties have a negative effect on the choices I make and the meanings I attach to life. Ha! Far out, what is this philosophical psycho babble? What I’m trying to say is, choosing to put your passion first can be a really difficult thing to do, but if you can find a way, things do seem to work out.
In this issue you’ll meet surfers on varying paths who’ve put their passions first – a World Champ, an author, an art student, a meditation guru, the son of a surfing legend, a filmmaker, a photographer, and a Flash Gordon look-a-like – all dealing with very similar themes in how they go about living.
They’ve made decisions that make them feel genuinely stoked with who they are, where they’re at, and what might come bounding around the corner next. You’ll read a lot about creativity, motivation, identity, and choice. These weren’t themes we were going after, but coincidental threads that bind the entire mag together. Their stories are inspiring, and applicable to all facets of life, from something as small as deciding to go for an early instead of sleeping in, to moving to New York just to see what living there might be like.
I’m not sure how that applies to growing up to be a kangaroo, but I’m sure someone addresses that in here somewhere too. – Vaughan Blakey
Above: Bryce Young soul arching across the equator. (Shield) Previous Spread: Ari Browne danger slide. (Skennar) Cover: Ari Browne, Baja (Mike Townsend)