The Time I Almost Cried While Playing a Sam Smith Song

That sweet voice was singing through my headphones and into my ears.

“You say I’m crazy, cause you don’t think I know what you’ve done …. But when you call me baby, I know I’m not the only one.”

And I got emotional, right in my DJ booth. “Why the eff was I about to lose it over a Sam Smith song?”

  Did I really almost cry while listening to a Sam Smith song?

Did I really almost cry while listening to a Sam Smith song?

There are many reasons why we cry. But ultimately, it’s when that emotional switch is flipped inside our head. Crying happens when we hurt, physically or emotionally; or when we are moved or inspired; or when we empathize with someone’s somber or euphoric emotions. We also cry when we cut a white onion, but that’s not what this is about.

I was recently watching this video about they key factors in finding your perfect job. It’s worth the 5 minutes, so watch it before you proceed with this article ... and yeah the guy does get a bit annoying so if you want to skip ahead, go to the four minute mark.  

Okay, hopefully you actually watched it and would agree that the key takeaway was this powerful statement:

Everyone should have a dream so deep, that when accomplished, the only response are tears of joy.

Have you dreamt that deep?

I can truly only reflect on one time in my life this has happened to me. It was back in early 1995, I was halfway through college and I had written a letter to Beckett Publications asking for an internship that summer

Beckett published magazines that covered the sports collectibles industry and I was a longtime subscriber. With a hopeful future in journalism it was a dream of mine to work at the company and write about sports, especially about sports collectibles (baseball cards, autographs, etc.)

When I sent the letter, I was not answering an open call for interns, or responding to any type of job bulletin board. It was just a shot in the dark, just a total dream of mine and one of those, “I’ve got nothing to lose, so might as well try moments.”

The initial letter was sent to Dr. Beckett himself, and naturally was met with no response. And after a few weeks, gave up on that dream. But all was resurrected when a chance phone call to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch led me to chat with Tom Wheatley, whose name  I remembered from bylines in Beckett articles. As a freelance writer for the magazines, I figured he might have a better idea of whose name should be on that second letter. My dream was rekindled.

Approximately one month after that second request was sent, I received a phone call from the guy I sent that letter to. He was inviting me to Dallas to spend the summer as an intern in the editorial department.

I hung up the phone, walked toward my mom and started to cry.

I hadn’t experienced happiness like that before. And more so, I certainly hadn’t dreamed like that. I had did not have an “in” at Beckett.

The realization of a dream, one that I had worked relatively hard to achieve made my emotions completely overflow.


For many of you following along, you know that I recently left my day-to-day job to devote myself to building my business and become a top San Diego wedding DJ.The decision was less a “dream realized” and more about honing in on what was important in my life and eliminating things that were no longer sparking joy.

I’ve quickly experience what so many others who have made similar moves before me have said, the more joy you allow into your life, the more joy will naturally find you.

Back in August when I wrote that blog post that got shared more than 12,000 times I didn’t have a dream attached to it. I wasn’t asking for anything. But it resulted in a similar situation as described above ...  phone call, like the I got 20 years ago, asking me to fly to another city to contribute and share my talent with a group of people.

This time I hung up the phone -- well, tapped “end call”, since we don’t hang up phones anymore -- walked toward my wife, and this time I didn’t cry.

You see, I didn’t have a dream of DJing a worldwide conference for Lululemon. In fact, with the trip just three weeks out, I didn’t really emotionally process what was happening. I was just excited and so grateful for the people around me that were happy for me and knew how “big” the opportunity was.

Fast forward to the first day of the conference and 15 songs into my first set.

It hit me.

As alluded to earlier, it was Sam Smith’s “Not the Only One.” This song is emotional enough if you really focus in on the lyrics. And at approximately 7 a.m., with just about 100 people in the lounge focused on their conversations and breakfast, I had this moment of solitude as the music was playing in my headphones.

That moment, realizing I was DJing in Vancouver, for a clothing brand I adore and have worn for many years, coupled with the music got to me.

DJing for Lululemon was not the dream, but DJing and doing things on my own terms was. I was living that moment. And I almost cried … okay my eyes welled up for approximately four seconds.

It was one of those situations where I had to purse my lips and stop focusing on the music, think of something happy and move on. Otherwise I would have looked like some awkward dude standing in the corner crying.

At the beginning, I mentioned that hurt, joy and inspiration is what makes us cry … or at least makes me cry. And if achieving a dream so deep also makes us cry, are we crying because we are happy at a dream realized, or sad because a dream realized means it’s no longer a dream and we’ve reached the end of a journey.

I’m not sure. But what I do know it’s amazing to want something so bad and finally get it.

Go ahead, dream big. Dream deep. And then have a good cry at the end.