At the age of 19, Orion Matthew Grant (yes, his initials really are OMG) decided to quit college and sell most of his belongings. He placed his motorcycle, his guitar, and a few other necessities in a U-Haul truck and drove the 15 hours from Tucson to San Francisco.
He had romanticized about living on the West Coast for some time. He sees living in California as an opportunity for personal and professional expansion—to spread his wings, if you will. Orion is a soulful, articulate, introspective young man who appears to see things far beyond their surface—quite an accomplishment for a man who just turned 20 years of age.
I sat down with Orion late one afternoon and was taken by his ability to see things that many of us take for granted (no pun intended). He is what I see as a new generation just heading out into the world with a keen understanding of their actions, and quite comfortable with living on their own terms. Orion speaks comfortably about staying true to his character, of understanding people from their perspective, and examining what feeds the soul.
It is a far cry from those who grow up believing that happiness, and life’s achievements require the acquisition a college-degree, a steady job behind a desk, and a spouse and kids at home.
There is no doubt that Orion is leading a creative life—he’s “being creative” as I call it. His dreams are not sequential patterned details. He sees his life as a whole, and relishes the opportunity to express his personal character in everything he does.
You can see the sheer joy in Orion’s eyes when he talks about where he is in his life. “I have a lot of options, I just have to find out what’s going to work the best for me. That’s why being out here in San Francisco is probably the best thing for me at this point in time.”
“I know that I love learning, but I hate school,” he says as he describes his reasons for taking a break from college to move to San Francisco, “I like learning more than anything in the world. I want to obtain as much information as I possibly can, but the school aspect of that just doesn’t seem to fit."
For him, creativity is expressed in how he sees the world, and how he sees his place in it. He describes "art" as an amorphous and ubiquitous thing--alive in much of what many of us do on a daily basis. For him, he knows that music and art will play and integral part in his life, but he doesn’t speak to a prescribed career path tied to financial achievements or accolades.
Orion loves to be surprised by what he sees as the joys of life—the opportunities that arise because you’re not blindly following the path prescribed in detail.
“There are some basic things that I just know I don’t want to do, and I think that is just as important as knowing where I am going. I know I don’t want to sit behind a desk. I know I don’t want to be in a motorcycle gang with a stripper girlfriend. I don’t want to be a heroin addict, and I don’t want to join the circus--really. I make short-term plans--like making money for rent, but as far as long term plans like how to interpret a career, I like being surprised. That doesn’t mean be stupid and just react to everything. There is a fine line between stupidity and free form business.”
Wise words we all should be reminded of, no matter where we are in our lives.
In astrology and in Greek mythology, “Orion” is “The Hunter.” It seems the name suits him well.
I think we can all learn a lot from Orion, so we are going to continue to feature him in a series about the lives of creatively-driven people—those who live life being creative. So, keep an eye out for a lot more of Orion Grant.