I spoke with him for a while before he started. He is a one-man business and does carpet cleaning to support himself while he pursues his passions for acting, modeling, photography and playing drums in a band. He said he'll do carpet cleaning until one of the other things takes off, if one does. He's been cleaning carpets 15 years and he's realistic and said he's fine doing carpet cleaning as long as it takes and enjoys it.
One thing was abundantly clear. Paul is one of the most genuinely happy guys I've come across. Ever. He is doing what he loves and supporting it with his own small biz. He smiles when he talks. He's relaxed. He transmits positive vibes. And, no, he's not on drugs. I could tell. He's simply at peace with his life. He's happy.
Paul also went to high school with me. I knew it was he who was coming to clean because my wife scheduled scheduled it, he asked if she was by chance married to me. I wanted to be there when he arrived because I hadn't seen him in years. I'm so glad I got to catch up with him.
You know it's funny because when I spoke with Paul, that quote from Bodhi (Patrick Swayze - RIP) in the movie "Point Break" enters my mind: "This was never about money for us. It was about us against the system. That system that kills the human spirit. We stand for something. To those dead souls inching along the freeways in their metal coffins, we show them that the human spirit is still alive." Bodhi had a wrongheaded way of showing that human spirit is still alive (by robbing banks to finance his surfing trips around the world), but he made a very valid point about the human spirit. And I think Paul Gibson is doing the same thing Bodhi was trying to do, though in an honest, legitimate, inspiring way.
Lots of guys Paul and I went to high school with are very "successful" because they are attorneys or investment bankers or whatever, but if you measure success by how happy a person is, Paul is one of the most successful people I know.
Here's to you Paul!
P.s. This isn't the first time I've referenced Point Break in a blog post, and it won't be the last. And the fact that Hollywood is re-making it is despicable. Just sayin...