“Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin,
“I came to win, market spit me out like a tin.
“Got up, stood up, just gonna throw my hands up,
“I came to get down, I came to get down,
“Gonna get out my seat and jump around.”
Los Angeles, California, USA
“Our next comic coming to the stage is relatively unknown, but he knows his stuff. Please welcome to the stage – Jamil Damji!”
The crowd in the small comedy club clapped politely as Comic Jamil took to the stage, hand quickly wrapping around the mic to start his set.
Being the tiny venue this was, he could really only see about twenty or thirty people in the crowd, though given that it was a Thursday night, that was probably as best as he was going to do for the night.
Of all the things Lil Jamil and Young Jamil thought their lives were going to be, at no point did becoming Comic Jamil ever enter their mind. In fact, their current journey wasn’t even a consideration in the natural scheme of things.
And another fact was that neither thought they’d ever venture outside of Canada, but here they were in the United States, in one of the most populous cities in the country and performing on stage.
The previous year had been an incredibly hard lesson in…well, everything.
It would’ve been one thing to lose all of his money, his assets, and his house, it was something completely different when he ended up losing his family’s money.
While they hadn’t said they were disappointed, Jamil was well aware that his parents weren’t at all happy with his decisions and where they had led him.
2009 wasn’t spectacular by any means, either.
Popping like an errant bubble, the housing market had burst so spectacularly and so suddenly, it threw everyone for a loop.
And it soured Jamil on real estate.
The highs that came from investing didn’t prepare him for the lows, especially when he was seemingly right back where he had started. It was a disappointing time, but also one of retrospection.
Jamil had been a young man, still was a young man, and the allure of big money was – quite frankly – too much, too soon. There had been no real savings plan, no real future planning…
Just a kid with a bunch of money.
Now that he was back to not having money, the reality of his previous wealth had crept into his subconscious; the glorious old days, something that he definitely wouldn’t achieve being stand-up comic.
Not at this rate.
Los Angeles is a great city to live in.
Assuming you can actually afford it.
Comic Jamil had quickly realized that he absolutely could not afford to live in the city, especially not on a comic’s salary. Rhi-Rhi was being incredibly sweet and kind to her little brother by funding her brother’s crazy new outlet.
Unlike Jamil, Rhi-Rhi was still doing real estate and was doing a pretty good job of it, despite the turmoil left over from the market crash.
And as always, she was the best big sister on this or any other planet.
“It’s really a good investment to be in,” she said during one of their weekly calls with each other. “If you know what you’re doing, that is.”
“But that’s the problem,” Jamil stressed. “I didn’t know what I was doing!”
“True,” Rhi-Rhi agreed. “But that just means you need to learn more about it. I really think you had a great idea going with what you were doing, but maybe you aimed too high at first. You know that story about Icarus.”
Jamil did know and he nodded at the comparison. Maybe he had flown too close to the sun and got burned in the process. And his idea with getting homes and properties did seem pretty good and it ended up helping the people he worked with.
The interesting thing was that Jamil actually enjoyed the work he had done, more so than any other job he’d had in the past. And it certainly beat what he was doing now.
Maybe his sister was right; maybe he just needed to try again.
But he was going to do better this time.
This time, maybe instead of going it alone, he actually got help. Maybe there were other people doing what he was and they needed other like-minded people to be surrounded with.