Tag Archives: Thirty Something

What Life has taught me about Success and Failure

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

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It is the beginning of a brand new month so you know what that means, an opportunity to write new goals, create and build new relationships, and begin a new fresh start. It is hard to believe that summer has come and gone and September was merely a blip within the space time-continum. As we continue to look back at our old summer photographs longing for those late night evenings with such laughter and pleasure upon our face, there is still something within the air during the fall months leading up to December and January that we can all appreciate and enjoy.

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I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about my childhood, as you can tell by this image, life was beautiful. So curious and full of wonderment, happiness was definitely instilled within family life. We were never without, but we also were taught the value of hard work. Things didn’t get handed to us, we were always taught to work hard for what you want.

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We played in sports such as Baseball & Basketball where I learned a lot about being a team player. I always dreaded try-outs. But once I was on a team I enjoyed the game, they were some fun and exciting times especially the year our team got to go to a tournament and we had to travel to a different city. We won some games, we lost some games and as a child losing can be devastating but at the same time preparing you for life.

High School is always a life changing experience, another brave new world we are thrust into that is new exciting adventurous but it can also be very tiresome and stressful part of personal development. Creating a balance of fitting in with everyone but at the same time coming into your own as an individual. I was the type of teenager that blended in with everyone, could get along with pretty much any “group” associated with growing up. You know the stereo types, “The punks” – “The Goths” – “Preps” and “A/V geeks” and the list goes on.

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But I really found my home with these core group of friends, they changed my life a great deal. They embraced the overly eccentric side, and took me in as one of their own. We had the greatest adventures and spent a lot of time together, I will always consider them my second family.

They taught me to embrace one self, to never fear to be different in a world where we are all trying to be the same. They taught me the value of friendship and what it meant to be a friend something I carry with me where ever I go.

Relationships have always been hard for me, but again, we sometimes win some, some times we lose more then what we realize. They always say that its best to cut the cord on a relationship. But as I spent some time reflecting upon the past I realize I’m still in good contact with a majority of individuals that pulled on my heart strings. And even to this date when I see them post pictures of the beautiful life, I can still smile at the memories and emotions they had brought into my life.

Although in high school everything on the surface looked and felt good, normal as normal could be, there is and always will be the dark side. I’ve attempted suicide 4 times, 4 times, I wanted my life to come to a bitter end. Even though by the happy photographs taken, well nurtured environment of friends & family. I just couldn’t bare to go on in those four moments.

Even to this day, I sometimes worry that those emotions will come back in a brief instance and I won’t be able to prevent myself from harm. My only safety net has been taking life day by day and not get too overly stimulated by one or more emotions. I kind of wanted to talk about it some what because we don’t speak openly about it too much. It’s negative, no one wants to hear about it, overall a dreary subject matter. But we all go through bouts of depression. Sometimes those bouts of depression becomes too much for us to handle. I never really talked about it much because I was always so worried what people will think of me afterwards.

Will they say “this guy is mentally unstable” when really we all suffer from different degrees of depression at one point in our lives or another. And we all develop our own way of handling it. For me, there was always this little voice inside my head that told me “You’re not done yet”. As if there was a higher calling in my life, there was purpose for me, still unfolding as we speak and don’t give up the fight just yet. But for others it might not be the same, perhaps they keep all their emotions bottled up inside and have no where to turn because of the fear of rejection and feeling different from everyone else.

When they should be able to have that courage to speak out, to share their pain with others and have that acceptance. Its okay to feel what you feel and no matter what, as long as you have the courage to make it through to the next day you can win over these temptations.

I also believe being completely immersed as an artist we feel deeply connected to the world around us. It wasn’t until I took a personality test where I found out why I am the way that I am. I have an ENFJ personality type. Also known as “The Giver” – Extraverted Feeling with Introverted Intuition. If you are reading this blog and know me very well you’ll notice the similarities.

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Dreams has also been a constant theme within my life, when I was a child I always wanted to be an animator, I loved animation. Bringing life on screen that was once only an image in your head has been the ultimate goal. Story telling at its finest. I use to LOVE watching Bugs Bunny and Tweety show, Dark Wing Duck, Batman, Gummy Bears, Duck Tales and the list goes on and on.

Those where the days where a lot of values were embedded into my brain. Where stories had a moral to it and was written like a life lesson and not just for the shear entertainment of it.

From there I found myself completely in love with the storytelling in Films.

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Tim Burton being my all time favourite director for style.

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George Lucas for his constant pushing the boundaries with how Technology & Storytelling interact with each other.

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Steven Spielberg for his child like curiosity

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James Cameron for his drive and ability to constantly push Innovation within Filmmaking.

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And finally Francis Ford Coppola with his over-the-top personality combine with a passion and drive to change how we look at films.

We see these people as highly successful individuals, but, if you ever taken a look at their past it was riddle with failure. Failure caused by a lack of understanding, a lack of being open to new possibilities within their field.

If you haven’t watched this documentary made about American Zoetrope and their beginnings, do so! It has always been a great source of inspiration to see some of the greatest filmmakers of our generation deal with personal struggles. Dealing with Studios that have been creating films a certain way for decades, and losing money in the box office because the audience was looking for something different.

And in walks Francis and his team at American Zoetrope who wanted to be that change and understood where the future of filmmaking was headed. Which had less to do with spending a lot of money to pay the same core actors seen in the same style of films.

But the future of filmmaking was story driven, dealing with issues that were current with their times, being bold and embracing the culture that will transform a nation.

This is how I feel about Television and the Web, as we move forward in the future, it becomes less about the money and more about getting the story ideas we have inside our head, that is just itching to be released upon the world. A great story does not come from the seeds of money, a true storyteller will always be driven by the heart of the individual. Anyone can get paid to do a job, but it takes real courage and sense of passion to tell a story from the soul.

And as SLR cameras come down in price year after year making tools of the trade becoming more and more accessible I predict there will be more and more future generation of storytellers picking up their camera and sharing their ideas with the rest of the world. Which is exciting to see how many awesome projects are on the go.

Human Stories is one in particular, where you can see the passion and creativity is instilled within each one of their videos. Driven by sharing the lives of people that have touched them and not by how do we make a living off of this.

And it’s funny, it feels like just yesterday I was sitting in high school sharing my passion for the educational process to get where I am today and having one of my teachers tell me “If you goto Mohawk, all you’ll end up doing is creating safety tapes at Defacso” – Boy, wasn’t he further from the truth! I kept my spirits high not letting his negative remark get to me.

Even when I failed to get into the Television Broadcasting due to my grades being just below what I needed to have them be, but, I still remained persistent with my vision. I dropped out twice from general-arts and science knowing it wasn’t where I wanted to be. It wasn’t until Pre-Media program was developed where I found my true calling, and found myself the next wave a life changing friendships.

When everything was all said and done, I was in the right place and at the right time with the right core group of friends. I might have been late in game graduating from Television program when I was probably 26’ish but it would prove to be more valuable that I never was accepted before hand, as Mohawk was just in the transforming period of switching their studio to HD.

Being exposed to brand new technology that would change the way we watch Television and share our stories created a peace of mind that I am currently on the right path.

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Graduating might not seem like much to some, but education is very important to me. And going through so much struggle just to finish and see my vision come true gave power and testament to my persistence in life.

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Before I begin my last few points I really wanted to take the time say thank you for reading up until this point, I hope it gave you more of a window into the mind of one creative to another. And even more so, one human to another.

And while trying to maintain a decent public image, I value transparency, using this blog as my portal to express certain aspects of navigating through living ones life. And if my words and views expressed has the ability to inspire or create a relatable emotion or deep sense of connection within the reader I’ll do it. After all, we are not robots, we are human.

The last two years of my life have been one of great stress and pain on my soul. After spending two years working in an environment that I loved to be in. The economic powers that be could no longer support me. Being laid off was very hard to handle, I never went through that before, I’ve quit a job, leaving on my own terms. But never laid off.

The emotion was strange, you can’t help but personalize it, thoughts run through your head like “If only I did this” or “If only I pushed more to stay on top”. But truthfully no one can for see the future as much as you plan for sustainability in a business, as technology rapidly changes, things are being outsourced every single day. It becomes difficult to predict anything at all anymore.

Having lost the job I loved to go to my depression towards life started to come back to me, I had this overwhelming feeling of self-doubt in my abilities. Not to mention I just turn 30 this past year, your next thought is “Now what?” – A normal person would have picked up the pieces right away, Bills needed to be paid and life does go on. However I took a different approach by spending an entire year on E.I while I sort through the catalogue of emotions one goes through after a loss.

It was probably one of the most liberating experiences I’ve ever went through in life. I know people have a distaste for individuals sit on E.I while, you, a hard working employee bust your ass off so I could stay at home and think things through. But keep in mind I’ve probably been working since I was 9, I put the same amount of money as you do.

So I never felt guilty about staying on it for as long as I did as that is what it’s there for, to create safety net when times become tough.

On top of all of this, I lost a part of myself, a dear friend of mine who has been a great supportive individual in my life had a falling out.

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I felt crushed, not that it happen, but that I let it happen. That I let my anger and disappointment get the better of me to the point that I took my frustration out on the rest of the world. I felt completely lost, alone, and probably the worse feeling of despair that I ever felt in my entire life.

And because of my inability to express my emotions in a constructive manner, I destroyed the one thing that matter to me the most was the bond between two friends.

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If I regret one thing, it’s letting my emotions at the time get the better of me and losing 2 years together. Two years that we’ll never get back and that makes me sad.

So why put all of this out there, what is the point you ask? You will fail at one point or another in every aspect of life. You will undergo personal struggles every single day you decide to be in this world.
But you will also succeed, you will feel joy like you never felt joy before.

And there is someone out there, that is going through a similar instance, your problems are not just your own and can / should be free to connect with those people. Life cannot exist without death, Happiness can not exist without sadness. We wouldn’t know what love is without having the friendships there for the foundation of life.

Don’t ever be afraid to be human, even it means sharing your weaknesses, for with out weakness we wouldn’t know our strengths.

– Stay Legendary and always true to one self.
Michael.

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Thoughts on Relationships & Dating

“We don’t always need advice. Sometimes all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand.” via Marc & Angel

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Relationships have been on my mind for a number of months now, it wasn’t until one of my favourite female bloggers came out with, “Addressing the Divorced Elephant in the Room” that I felt compelled to do so. This blog entry came from Team Liz & Kit. I enjoy their style of blogging because they really have opposite lifestyles at the moment. They have interesting female perspectives on a lot of different topics. So definitely check out their blog… after you read mine of course 😉

I thought I would dig deep for this one or at least as deep as I care to divulge. Relationships or should I say dating, to me is a cruel unusual form of punishment these days. I don’t think dating in itself is cruel, I think technology has really done something to society that takes the personal out of being personally responsible.

One would only hope that if you were dating someone that they would not, could not, end a relationship like this…

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But apparently this is becoming part of how we treat and deal with individuals on a daily basis. And for some reason I’ve grown to be disappointed by all of this, perhaps because I’m very attached and open to all aspects of my emotions. A tad bit old fashion. After all I do believe in opening a door for a lady, sending flowers, and writing poetry about how much seeing a certain look in their eyes lights up my world and when females smile, in this, child like way. Well it just makes me want to melt.

Technology was meant to improve the way that we live, but, should not be how we address our personal responsibility to one another. Out of mutual respect towards each others feelings. Regardless of the fact that perhaps there is no respect, there should be at least common decency. It seems like we’ve openly become this society that avoids pain and hurt like the plague. Which is all well and good, but really, it only serves your purpose and not the other. This type of selfish act, depending upon how attached the other person is to the relationship is, takes away the necessary steps to actually cope with a relationship gone wrong. It leaves them empty inside, struggling and looking for answers in all hours of the night and using “Wiki-Help” and their fabulous & insightful cartoon depiction to get over someone. Which by the way, I for one believe that is a slap in the face of human emotions.

So with all of this in mind, dating, relationships have become so strange to me. I love, the ideal relationship, the kind you only find in romantic comedies. Or if you went to any old age home and you asked your grandparents how they met the love of their life. But these days I find those stories to be to far and in-between. Not to say they don’t still exist, but it seems like you have to go through a couple mini long term relationships just to find the “one”. And thats heart breaking, and what is even more heart breaking to me is I don’t have the high school sweet heart story, or college love story, to tell my future kids about. Those are the relationship stories that have so much hope and filled with history.

The only stories we have is, “I tried e-harmony because I was too busy to have a personal social interaction with someone, so I had to do an impersonal match with someone on another screen instead of finding out about the person the old fashion way of asking questions and getting to know them personally” … Too long? Perhaps.

Again just another way technology doomed us all, and in another few years, we won’t have to use a site to find a match you’ll just be matched at birth like some other countries have been accustomed to.

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I am not 100 percent sure where dating & relationships will go in the near future, all I could say is I hope it has some retro feeling to it. It’s difficult, people are so judgemental and make a decision based upon what they see and not what they feel. And what they feel is something that grows over time. But our time is so precious and busy we don’t really appreciate those moments that make time stand still, the moments our parents felt probably every second they were together.

I hope I am wrong, and if your single & reading this, I hope you discover your storybook love story in a way that best represents what you want.

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Perhaps the true conclusion to draw from “A true love story never ends” is simply it never ends and never really has a beginning either, we merely go through experiences during the course of our lives to find out what truly matters to us the most. Mutual love, respect, honesty, loyalty & always infinite in both receiving and giving. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes, how many different ways you do it, or how you get there. What matters the most is that you’re there. And at that moment you too will receive the kind of love story only shared in movies regardless of age, demographic, or circumstances.

So, What do you think about relationships and dating these days? Leave a comment!

Be well to one another, and as always, Be Legendary.
– Michael

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Is embracing your inner Schmuck a wise idea?

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This past week I learned one fundamental about myself, there is a lot of pent up aggression I don’t tend to release, and when it doesn’t get exposed too often it builds and builds until there is just an explosion. And when I share this aggressive side, people are a little taken back. They become so accustom to the “Nice Guy” part of me, that the aggressive behaviour I share with the rest of the world every once and a while becomes a turn-off.

So begs the question, is it healthy to embrace the inner “asshole”, does it pay to be nice all the time? Humans are humans, we are a chamber of emotions. We can lock up a majority of the negative emotions for a greater part of our lives but does it do us any good? And is there a healthier way of expressing it?

Often times my frustration comes from people’s lack of understanding of who I am, I strongly believe that I am a futurist. A person who is a head of the times. I get frustrated when I have so many ideas swarming in my head and have a need to express my future plans with people or share what is happening around the world and people just don’t get it.

I often turn to alcohol, to numb my brain from all the ideas that I want to be able to work on just so I don’t get too far ahead of myself. And I am able to freely express them. But with that comes the darker side to my personality, the side I spent all week ignoring and kept locked up. Then, there is this tipping point, where it becomes an explosive amount of energy.

Before I use to be worried about what I would find on my phone the next morning, who did I text, who did I call? Now it seems to be a different pattern of “OH God, what did I share on Facebook!” or “What person did I message on Facebook that I alienated a friendship with. Sometimes, I just have to laugh at the shear ridiculousness of my personality.

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There’s no point in complaining or feeling bad after the fact, and, I don’t like playing the “Blame it on the alcohol abuse” the evening before. All you can do is forgive yourself and move on.

Truth is, everyone is like this. No one will admit it in person to you, because we disguise our personality behind walls like Facebook. We want people to love us, and know how to play up a character. Then there are those that just use social media to vent, there is no positive side other than sharing things they love but for the most part creating rants through FB Status updates. And we become accustom to their personality online, mean while they are actually really nice in person.

And you can say “I don’t do that” or “What you see is what you get” but you know that would be a lie. Lets be honest with ourselves here for one second. We are human, we have emotions that need to be expressed. We have anger, we have happiness, we have sadness and all of these and countless more needs to be expressed. Don’t go hating on yourself for saying something out of anger want to express it in fear of not being accepted.The more you share, the healthier emotionally you get.

Finding ways to share it that is not abusive to other people is the important part, don’t worry about how ridiculous you might look. Or how other people will perceive you to be after posting something. If they judge you based off of words written on a social site, they are really judging themselves. “Judge not lest ye be judge”

I don’t make any apologize about not censoring myself, it is just the way I choose to live my life. And some will subscribe to my lifestyle while others will not. It’s learning how to accept my behaviour, when it becomes untamed. Don’t think for one second that I am “That person” because my personality tends to fluctuate within a matter of minutes and that’s the way I’ve been, and continue to be.

This week, was just one of those weeks, I had a lot to celebrate for, and by over indulging in bad habits I might have over board which just simply brings out a different side no one is use to.

Do you ever get like this?

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5 Things I wish I knew in college as a creative

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I learned in my college years at Mohawk College as a Television Broadcasting student the past few weeks. And had many conversations with highly engaged community driven creative individuals and I can’t imagine what the future for creatives in the city will be like in 5 to 10 years down the line.

The industry is changing very drastically even from a month-to-month basis that it’s hard to know how everything in the digital space will pan out. I’m not going to write something like Television is completely dead. It really isn’t, but how we consume our media has drastically change.

Our society has slowly changed, we no longer have valuable family time on a Friday night, watching Family Matters, Full House, and Whose The Boss. We no longer sit down at 6pm & or 11pm to watch the evening news… why would we? We’ve checked out our facebook, twitter feed and got the news updates as it is happening in real time. It use to be normal just have one single television set in the family room where we could all congregate, and then, it became normal to have a television set in every room of the house… okay, I’m exaggerating, perhaps one in each bedroom, plus a family room.

But as the digital age progresses, fewer people are watching “television” the way we use to think television should be watched. A majority of television consumption is now through our Smart phones, Tablets, laptop and desktop computers. We are also consuming media in shorter lengths of time because our attention span as dwindled down right to the core. If it doesn’t capture our attention within the first 30 seconds you’ve lost the audience. If you’re not a die hard fan of the concept why do I care to watch it in the first place.

So with all that being said, I wonder what kind of education is being programmed into young idealistic minds today to shape the future of tomorrow. Are they learning about the importance of content being produced and know why we create with an idea of cross platform purposes. Are they merely being taught the basics of video production or other technical aspects that would go into storytelling or finally are they being taught to think in new innovative ways, and think beyond the box we tend to put ourselves in.

So with that being said, I comprised a short top 5 list of things I wish I knew when I first got started in College.

1.) Networking, biggest favour to yourself is getting out in the community and network with other creatives, bring your friends, along with you too, force them into it if you have to!

Networking at events such as Creative Exchange, anything by Factory Media Arts, Cobalt Connects, get out there now, even if you’re just starting out and have nothing to show, it doesn’t matter. The skills you develop by actually interacting with people that are doing something in real time will go a long way with your professional career.

And you never know, you might just end up with a job with a simple handshake and a smile. Find the grassroots networking events, Startup Drinks comes to mind, which is a great networking event that happens once a month that will allow you to easily break the ice, but be consistent when attending. Once you do that, bring a friend, then they feel comfortable and may know another individual that might consider it of value to make connections. That is how we grow together as a community and build long lasting relationships with our peers.

And if at all possible, if you see something missing and you think the creative community could benefit from, build your own networking event. Reach out to the people you wish you could see more of at networking events, never get bogged down being and be an island only to yourself and a select few. The more individuals you know the more opportunities are then created for you to grow not only as a professional but as a person as well.

That’s what I ended up doing over the last year, after I attended my first Web Series meet up in Toronto, I fell in love with the energy that flowed through the space. It was something I was already passionate about so it only made sense to me that I wanted to bring that energy to the Hamilton Creatives.

And don’t be afraid to take the lead, and be a leader if you have to, even if it’s not widely accepted in the beginning. The more you work on building your connections the more people get to know what you’re up to and trying to accomplish.

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2.) If you’re not on social media, start now! And I don’t mean just the usual suspects (Facebook and Google) I mean twitter, Linkedin, even instagram. Use them to build your digital presence, another fellow Mohawk Grad actually brought this up. And after thinking about it, it was so true. You don’t have to have a company twitter account, it is more about getting into the process of interacting with again your community, building trust online, and creating engaging conversation.

Just make sure when you do sign up for twitter, you make your user name as simple as your first and last name. Try not to make it too crazy. The friend I spoke of which most of you reading this probably have seen his tweets, has gone through a few name changes and the only reason for this is as he continues to grow his following on twitter he has changed his work place at least once or twice and with each time he does, he merely changes the end of his twitter handle to reflect the company that he might be working for.

Linkedin, another great way to build relationships and potential leads for future job opportunities. Again, regardless of work experience, start building your professional connections now! It will make the transition process of being a student to a professional a whole lot smoother.

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3.) Take a business course: I would have loved to have more of an intensive class within the 3 year program that talks about the aspect of being a creative entrepreneur. For those individuals that have a passion and drive to build their own business. To be able to learn more about team building, managerial, sales, marketing side of production services. And the knowing what a reasonable rate is for the line of work that you’re doing. Obviously it will vary depending on the situation, a team of one won’t charge the same price as a team of 5 or 6 individuals as a company so that is a must to take into the consideration.

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4.) Development of boundaries: In other words, don’t ever let anyone walk all over you and take advantage of your skill sets as a creative. There is a statue of limitations on proving yourself in the industry and get away from the “It will be a great demo reel piece.” Knowing how much your time is worth, how much your equipment costs and your educational background. You are not a ‘starving artist’ there is no such thing, you just have to develop the right mindset as a creative well in advance before you dive in.

I can tell you through my experience, I spent almost a grand total of 14,000 dollars on getting all of my equipment. I saw it as an investment opportunity, and I haven’t regretted that decision yet. I also spend money every time I go out and buy a new external hard drive so I can properly archive and maintain raw footage just in case if I have to go back to something.

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Now going back to education, if your in Television Broadcasting, you’re using industry leading, cutting edge equipment that probably costs more than anyone is willing to admit. You’re trained in the art of storytelling, knowing what drives a great emotional piece that psychologically compels the viewer to share. You’re using equipment has to be properly taken care of and update and software that costs a pretty penny, unless of course you do it the old pirate way.

So knowing where, when and why you’re setting the boundaries is key. This isn’t a hobby class you’re taking this is your professional career and people have to understand that but most of all you have to understand that. And you might have to say no to projects you really want to take on, but, if you say yes all the time and especially with little to no pay being rewarded it will be that much harder to break later on in life.

5.) Follow your passion: This one is probably the most important of them all. Follow your passion, passion & enthusiasm will set you apart from everyone else. Never let the industry drain your passion to the point that you become jaded. The minute that you come across like that, get out of the way.

And there is a big difference between being realistic and jaded, even when your realistic you still have enthusiasm but if you’re jaded you just rip apart anything that someone new wants to try. And it becomes more pessimistic view on the world. Never let someone else’s path derail you from yours.

Even if they have 30 years worth of experience behind them, the fact is, times are changing. What might not have worked 10 years ago when they first tried to implement the very same idea, could have a completely different impact on how it could work now. Be mindful of these individuals, and stay true to your passionate side, keep the imagination alive and be open to endless possibilities, hang on to that as tightly as possible!

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And my final thought for all of the above is always stay true to yourself, never try and pretend to be like someone else! Be as real as possible. You don’t need to impress anyone, you just need to be you! Let your passion shine through your work like the golden sun breaking through the clouds of a stormy day.

Love and cherish every minute that you spend filling your head up with knowledge and truly empower yourself to be the best creative individual you can be.

– Cheers Michael

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The most powerful weapon human kind has, the power of choice.

A few days ago I had a few meetings to go to and a few things to sort out with my life, probably one of the better days I’ve had in a little while. I noticed something about myself when I started talking to someone about some of the stuff that I’ve done in the past and what I am looking forward to do, I get really soft and silent when it comes to certain subjects but very loud and animated when I discuss things about community and just in general certain stuff I am passionate about.

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It’s very strange what happened, I wanted to ask to get into this certain program that will help me develop what I want to develop in my field of video production and storytelling, but that’s not what the weird part. The weird part came after when someone sent me an email to a link to the very same program I was looking for more information on, which brings me to the conclusion that this is something I need and must do.

I might have to sacrifice a few things in my life at the moment but I am prepared to take those sacrifices on to continue to build what I would call my legacy, sounds a little bit vain, I know but having an ego is not necessarily a bad thing to have in life. It just means you know what you want, and the image you want to leave behind. And this is merely one part of the legacy I wish to leave with the rest of the world.

These blogs of course are apart of that, making sure I document every step leaving my footprint upon the world and making sure people know, I was here, and I am never to be forgotten. The other most powerful moment of the day was having a conversation with a young creative entrepreneur I met just about a year coming up this August. He is two years younger than I am, but he has this passion and drive and ideology towards life in him that I’ve never really seen before at a relatable level. We talked about his project which is this festival he started and how I come to cross paths with him called “A mid-summer nights dream”.

This is something I captured of the day event festival.

His outlook on life was very refreshing to see, a majority of individuals I meet or are friends with are slightly older than I, and there for have become jaded by pursing something new and with a sense of purpose. That I really enjoyed my conversation with him. His story about struggle and not knowing if the festival will be a success or not but something told him inside of himself to just do it and keep going. “Push on through” as he said things happen during the right time and place it is suppose to happen.

Needless to say he is very excited for this years festival and I to am as excited because I watched his progress and seen how much effort and work he has devoted himself to this festival that it will pay off in droves. I think the festival will have a bigger turn out than last year now that people who were there are helping to spread the message. And I think it is the best time for a festival like this.

You can see it, within the past two artcrawls in Hamilton even for the summer the amount of people that are out and about exploring James St North which is the centre for not only Hamilton, but Hamilton’s Art & culture community. The last artcrawl almost felt like supercrawl which only happens once a year and they shut down the streets, there was enough people and energy that fills James St N that warranted that to happen so people could freely walk down the street rather than a sidewalk.

The exciting growth in Hamilton’s Arts community grew organically, and that growth and excitement is now hitting a huge turning point in how art and culture can revitalize a city.

The third most thing that happened to me on that very same day was a friend of mine took me to a bar and I very suddenly realized that they had karaoke, which again gets me going sometimes when I want to express that side of me. Nothing like belting out my favourite songs to sing to unleash the musical creativity in me. Since I don’t play any musical instruments Karaoke and singing to me are the next best thing I can do to satisfy that need.

Karaoke Playlist: Frank Sinatra – My Way, Bobby Darin – Mack The Knife, Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire, Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World, Jerry Lee Lewis – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going on, AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

Afterwards my friend that I was with said to me that she didn’t realize I had the range of music, and I was a renaissance man of talent, which often goes unnoticed. This made me smile, because this is how exactly how I feel about me and my art. A few of my idols as artists such as Michelangelo, or Da Vinci were best known for a wide range of talents and I always transplanted that idea in developing my creativity. So needless to say I feel like I’ve done something right now that people are starting to take notice.

It is important to me not just as an artist but as a human being to be able to freely explore the endless pool of abilities that God has given me, and I’m not much of a religious individual, I grew up catholic but I find organized religion to lose its purpose when you have agendas that have nothing to do with a calling from a higher power. I do believe in God, I just don’t believe in the catholic church. I don’t believe in going to a place of worship every Sunday especially since God and the spirit of God is all around us and surrounds us. I believe in celebrating in my own way and I think God would want us to do that.

“For qit will be like a man rgoing on a journey, who called his servants3 and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five stalents,4 to another two, to another one, tto each according to his ability. Then he rwent away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and udug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now vafter a long time the master of those servants came and wsettled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and xfaithful servant.5 yYou have been faithful over a little; zI will set you over much. Enter into athe joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be ba hard man, reaping cwhere you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here dyou have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You ewicked and eslothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 fFor to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And gcast hthe worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place gthere will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 25:14-30

This bible story always stuck out in my mind when I think about talents and abilities, and finding purpose within your talents to be able to share with the rest of the world the gift that which you have been given. Never fear your abilities, realizing that you have so much to give, and the more you give freely of yourself, the more ye shall return by the grace of God.

I am more of a spiritual human being rather than a God fearing individual, so hope you didn’t read into this as if I was just that. I am open to the endless possibilities that can and will only be discovered after departed from this body and where our souls go afterwards. And if you don’t believe in anything like that I certainly hope you’re making the most out of your life if you think that this is the only thing we have to look forward to.

I am eternally grateful for having this kind of mindset that was nurtured within me, to be humbled by not knowing what might happen after we pass on, but appreciating all religion’s just as they individual belief systems. My favourite religion teacher once said to our class “The secret is just to do and be good, if you do and be good with your life that’s all that matters”. And I believe that to be true. Just do the best that you can with your life and not be afraid. There are no right or wrong answers just experiences. So go and experience as much of life as you possibly can. Be good to your neighbour and fellow man/woman. And love as much as you can with out fear of being hurt in the process, because even in pain there is always a reason and I believe with all my heart and soul that you would not be given a bad experience you were not meant to handle.

Best part of being human is our ability to adapt and gain strength even during our darkest moments, the human spirit will always prevail.

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What’s your purpose?

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” ― Gautama Buddha

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I’ve always struggled to find my purpose in life, I’ve done everything I was suppose to and every time I did I would find myself unfulfilled. Sometimes it felt like I was floating down someone else’s path and living someone else’s life.

The only thing I love is art, and creating art to be viewed, to be heard, to be read, and the excitement I get when someone see’s something I’ve created for the first time and the initial feedback receive is absolutely thrilling to me, unmatched by anything I have ever experienced before. Even when the impact is negative, I don’t take things straight to the heart, I do listen to suggestions about the craft I might be participating in.

One constant theme through out my entire life was storytelling and the art of telling a riveting good story, something that is driven by characters and their purpose. I suppose that’s why I am a sucker for a good 80’s movie. Back before we could honestly say “That movie had some amazing CGI effects”

With my novel project, I wanted to do something completely different, not that I am doing this to make money although that is the end result but it’s about working on a project for a short period of time and then having it self-sufficent later on. Basically while I sleep it could still be generating an income.

I think it takes more courage to do something you’re afraid of doing because the result could go south, then not to try anything at all and follow the path with least resistance. It’s the resistance that makes for great stories to tell at the end. And I think that is part of my purpose is to find that and be daring, not afraid to do it because in the end it could lead to something absolutely beautiful and pleasurable and I would and could be in a position to help others that are in a similar situation.

So I suppose in short, when I talk about passion and purpose within my life, in a nut shell is to be creative in everything that I do. Tell stories that create emotion within people and never hide my talents from the universe and explore how they can all interact with each other building a unique force of passion that challenges me.

So what’s your purpose in life?

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Passion and Purpose – Vlog

So, the question in the video is, what is your passion and what is your purpose?

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