Scott A. Magie

I was a smart kid. Everybody always said, “You’ll achieve whatever you set your mind to do. The sky’s the limit!”

And I believed them.

I dreamed of playing football in the NFL, designing skyscrapers, skiing in the Winter Olympics, and making Hollywood movies. But skip ahead twenty years and my dreams are still on hold. In fact, due to my inborn lack of skills like multi-tasking, short-term memory, and quick decision-making, I couldn’t even hold my job as a waiter at the Something Fishy seafood restaurant. After quote/unquote “putting in my resignation,” I began quote/unquote “looking for a job full-time,” which is how I found myself glued to the couch every day watching reruns of Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo.

It wasn’t long before I was saying things like, “I could beat that Doogie Howser shmuck any day of the week!” and spending my leftover tip-money on Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book about how to win at poker. Then I met a guy named Ron, who invited me to a winner-take-all No Limit Hold’em game that could fund my newfound unemployed lifestyle for at least another month. The problem was, after rent and cable and Netflix and Phil’s book, I only had just enough cash to either buy into Ron’s game or to buy groceries.

The choice was easy. But poker, I quickly discovered, is much harder than it looks on TV… maybe even harder than waiting tables.

Today in this waiting room, after telling a complete stranger the extremely short story of my poker career, I find myself listening to her radical ideas about success and the fulfillment of my dreams. So what if I’ll never play in the NFL, build a skyscraper, ski in the Olympics, or make a Hollywood movie? She says success is defined not by how high I’m able to reach, but by whether or not I’m reaching at all and whether or not I’m doing what I was born to do.

Well, I wasn’t born to wait tables or play poker, that’s for sure.

No, I was born to write. And the sky’s the limit.

Copyright 2006 Scott A. Magie
All Rights Reserved