Michael Alago

A few months ago - during the harshest winter of my life - I stepped into a Chinese Restaurant for a late night refuge. Despite not being hungry, I shoveled an entire platter down - perhaps more out of obligation, than pleasure. A desperate attempt to glean momentary happiness - a sensation so far removed from my life, I couldn’t even recall what it it tasted like in the first place. 

Before departing, I cracked open a fortune cookie, and it revealed to me the following message -

“Success is rarely created unless you’re having fun at it”.

I sat and wondered. When was the last time I enjoyed - anything?  I could no longer recall what words like pleasure, happiness, and joy meant. They were just hollow words - without meaning. For I had no reference point - to what they conveyed. I was a dark void. 

I posted the photo of the fortune on Twitter, and almost immediately, received a “like” from Michael Alago - the A&R guy who discovered Metallica and signed them onto a major label.

I thought to myself - Michael must have been having a lot of “fun” in his hey-day. He took a little known band, and made them world famous. If he hadn’t enjoyed what he was doing, would we know of Metallica today?

In that moment, I realized how much of a chore mürmur had become in my life. Once my pride and joy - now something lifeless - like a corpse. I wanted to resurrect the project, but had no idea how. Perhaps - I needed to first and foremost - resurrect myself. Allow myself to have a pulse, before tending to my baby. 

A couple weeks after reading this fortune, I went back to Turkey for what was to be the final time I’d be seeing my father. We had some serious heart-to-hearts during that time frame. Conversations I will cherish with me forever. He looked at me in the eyes and said “Maybe, you’re just bored. Perhaps it’s time to move on.” But then contradictorily, talked of the great fortunes that are on my way - should I decide to refrain from my jadedness.

Perhaps my lack of inspiration - was due to my lack of fun. 

The other day, I found the same fortune cookie message on the floor - it had fallen off the door of my refrigerator. I took a look at it, and threw it away. 

Some lessons after learned, never require reminding ever again.

(Originally Published 8/2/18)