Beyond the Western
Living the Dream
Scott A. Gese

Image source: Trent Erwin / Unsplash

Two men discuss bettering their lives. One of them succeeds.

Beyond the Western

Greg and Milo were both welders at a busy machine shop. The work was hard and dirty. The six day work weeks were long and exhausting.

To take their minds off of the job for a few minutes each day, the two would relax and enjoy some spirited conversations at the lunch table.

On one particular day, they were discussing where their lives had taken them so far. Neither one was happy with where they were at. They both thought they could do better. Each wanted to do something different.

Milo made a comment that Greg totally disagreed with.

“You know, Greg, we’re only here because we chose to be here. We create our own reality and we could change it if we really wanted to.”

Greg disagreed with Milo’s comment. “What? What the hell are you talking about? Create my reality? I’m not here by choice. I’m here because my dad is a welder. He taught me how to weld and it’s what I know how to do. I’m here because this is where I happened to end up, not because I chose it. Plus it pays the bills and has a retirement plan.”

“I don’t agree,” replied Milo. We make choices all of our lives and each choice moves us to where we are right now. We’re welders because of our past choices whether we knew we were making them or not. Yes, you did choose to be here.

If we consciously think about the choices we make, we can change our lives and do those things we really want to do. I’m telling you, we don’t have to be here. Because ‘this is where we ended up’ is just an convenient excuse.”

“Okay Milo, If you believe that, why haven’t you done it? Why are you still here. Do you even know what you want to do with your life?” Asked Greg.

Milo didn’t hesitate. “Ya, I know what I want. I want to own a vineyard in the South of France.”

Greg had to laugh at that. “Ya, dream on buddy. And I’d like to write the great American novel. Problem is, I’m a welder not a writer. I don’t know the first thing about writing a book and I don’t think you know much about vineyards.”

“But that’s the thing, Greg. We can learn. we can do things that move us closer to what we really want. We can each start today if we really want to change our reality,” replied Milo.

“Back to that reality thing again, are you. Tell you what, you try to change your reality and I’ll watch you grow old as a frustrated welder.”

Their lunch break ended and so did the conversation.

Now more than ever, Milo knew what he wanted. He took Greg’s statement as a challenge. It spurred him on to begin making the necessary changes in his life that would get him away from being a welder and closer to his dream of owning a vineyard in France.

Greg on the other hand, did what he always did. He spent his free time sitting on the couch drinking beer and watching sports programs.


Milo focused on his goal of owning a vineyard. He made a conscious decision to spend his free time working toward making the necessary changes in his life.

He signed up to take French lessons at the local community college. On his days off he volunteered at a winery just outside of town. He learned everything he could about the business of growing grapes and the wine making process.

He studied viticulture and took a couple of business classes. Over time, his French improved to the point where he began socializing online with French vineyard owners.

For his yearly vacation he flew to France for two weeks and used it to gain first hand knowledge of the business. He personally met with a couple of the vineyard owners he socialized with online.

Periodically the subject would come up at work. Greg would tease Milo about not having changed his reality yet. Milo didn’t say a word, but kept a tight focus on his goal.

Exactly two years and six months from the date of Greg’s challenge, Milo dropped an airline ticket on the table in front of Greg.

“Going to France again are we?” Chided Greg.

Milo replied, “Oui, mais cette fois pour de bon. That means Yes, but this time for good.”

Greg was surprised. “When did you learn how to speak French… or is that all you know?”

“I know more. For the past two and a half years I’ve been taking French lessons. I’ve spent my free time learning all I could about the wine industry and how to run a vineyard. I’ve met with growers in France. I have money in the bank and a job offer to work at a vineyard in France. What have you been doing to learn how to write your great American novel?”

Greg couldn’t believe Milo was actually quitting his job as a welder and moving to France. He admitted he had done nothing toward learning how to write. “You’re really doing it. You’re really moving to France? You’re changing your reality.”

“I told you it was possible. You just have to want it. I leave in one week.”

That night, Greg started his own research on how to become a better writer.

He had a book to write.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.