John Mann

John Mann

What is home?

Travelling, Family, People, Work, Exercise, Diet, Religion, Coffee (which could be a religion), Politics, Career, Goals, Dreams...

So many things contribute to who we are... our beliefs, our goals, and our dreams. Since I didn't write much last week, I think I should write a bit more this week. I think this is going to be a deep one, in case you haven't noticed. It is amazing to me what people are amazed by. What I find interesting, is what is amazing to one is not to another.

Ok, on to specifics about that... We went to the Georgia Aquarium this weekend, and it is a nice aquarium and really like the walk through with the whale sharks and that entire environment. The Pacific reef exhibit is probably amazing to others, but I've been scuba diving of the coast of Maui and well, that is what it looks like... except those blue fish kept poking at me when I blew bubbles. So after being immersed in it and then seeing it behind glass its kind of less than amazing. The dolphin show had the same experience for me. I have been to SeaWorld (Orlando and San Diego) and seeing Broadway shows (and being married to an amazing singer), it seemed like it was a little disappointing. However, watching the faces of my nieces and the excitement they had about the aquarium was really the true entertainment.

I have now lived here almost 6 months, I have lived in Seattle for almost 15 years, New Orleans for 10 years, Seminole/St.Pete for 12 years. I have traveled to Germany, France, Japan, Thailand, Costa Rica, and a few other places... Almost all 50 states (Alaska is still on my list)... I have scuba dived off the coast of Maui, Trained for Desert Storm, Rolled with Frank Shamrock, Thiago Alves, Oleg Taktarov, Gene LeBell, Jack Garrett, Brian Johnson, and now go to Tiger Academy under Eddie Camden. I've been through 4+ Hurricanes, 2 Earthquakes, and a couple riots. I have attended Broadway shows, performed on stage and TV, danced on the streets of New Orleans, and even danced with Massive Monkey crew on TV once. I taught Hip-Hop dance, and danced with San Francisco ballet. I have worked for SAP, Microsoft, Getty Images, and several other companies. I have done crossfit, p90x, and bikram yoga. I've been on an Atkins, Paleo, Vegetarian/Vegan, and SAD (standard american diet). Can you really say you've been Vegan if it is not for an extended period? Its like a smoker who says he quits 5 times a day. So let's leave out the vegetarian/vegan (for now), I'm trying though. Anyway, my point is this... Experiences create memories and create perceptions. Seeing a Broadway show like Catch me if you can (yeah, I really like that one) or Billy Elliot, and then watching a local performance of Grease it is not the same caliber.

The say, it spoils you. But I have a different take on that, it doesn't spoil you, it raises the bar. It makes me want to help performers reach that next level. It's like listening to Queen and then listening to Taylor Swift and wondering why she owns the world and Freddy Mercury died too early. It's not really a fair comparison, but you get my point.

All of that said, my question today is what makes "home"? Is it family? What defines family, your wife and kids? Your parents and siblings? Your grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles? Is home a place where everyone knows you? Or is home where you feel you fit in? Is home simply a dream that is created to have a safe place to go? What if you don't fit in anywhere, what if you don't have extended family geographically close, are you not "home"?

I feel blessed that I found the one person in my experiences, that understands me. Imagine finally meeting someone you connect with, and I mean at every level, who you can just look at and realize everything is ok. Luckily, she agreed to marry me. Thanks Susie!

So she is definitely a strong part of what home is, but one person doesn't not make home, it is environment, it is where you feel comfortable, it is the culture around you... it is so much... Pop culture is just as valuable as classics in today's world. I have realized that intellect is important, BUT, personality gets you even farther. If you are the smartest person in the room, and you make sure everyone knows it, you aren't so smart. If you are the dumbest person in the room, and no one knows it, you are far more likely to succeed then the smart arrogant guy. Everyone matters. EVERYONE. However, here is something I have learned, friendships are work. They take nurturing, time commitment, and respect. They do not occur over night, but they can end in a single phrase. Choose words carefully if you wish to keep your friends... But realize, you are not the most important person in their life. You never will be. They enjoy your company but they need to live their life. We all want to be a priority in someone's life. In everyone's life actually... but that isn't how it works. I'm lucky, I am a priority in my wife's life. And she is the only person who is a higher priority than me. We generally are selfish creatures... So don't be upset when people don't put you first, but also don't be a doormat.

It is simply about following through, do what you say. If you can't do something, than say that. Enjoy life, do things for fun with friends, not because of obligation. If it becomes work, re-evaluate that friendship. We are here to have fun and help each other, not to make money, or abuse each other, or fight over silly things. Try and help someone every day, and consciously smile at least once a day, you will tend to smile unconsciously at times, but make one a conscious effort. Enjoy your life, its really a fun place when you appreciate the simple things and not realize you need 4 gaming systems, 10 TVs, 4 cars, a boat, a 10,000 sq ft home, but you go outside climbing a tree, you do cartwheels in the park, you play... simply smile, help others, and enjoy life.

Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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