My name is…

I hear a old Harley rumble by the busy street my local pizza bar is located. It’s rustic looks mixed with fine art offer a visual flavour that resembles something out of New Orleans. A mix of old and new clashing into a unique mix.

I get the window by the street usually. Large garage door style windows allows a street style eating minus the actual hassles of being outside.

I often come to sit alone. If I was in Paris it would be a French cafe. But I am not. So this trendy little pizza bar has suited my needs thus far. This is my artist retreat.

The summer has been hot and I feel the wind bush my face. Offering timid comfort in such hostile times. I come here to be inspired. Why? I am not entirely sure. I rarely come up with genius. And even rarer am I here for anything other then a cold beer in my moments of solitude.

However it maybe, I am here once a week.

At my service is a young blonde waitress. About a year or two removed from college.

Although both of us now live downtown. In conversation, we have learned we grew up in the same neighbourhood. Me being the better part of a decade her senior, would remove us from any of the social circles we belonged.

About 5 years is the age range where you’d associate with any older siblings. Anything more and it’s a generation removed. She was very much a generation removed.

I’d would be lying if I said, I had not stared at her. Wondering snotty nosed brat she was. But it would be hard to tell. She’s grown tall, pretty cute and is far from the rug rats thats ran around the neighbourhood when i was a teen. Regardless we shared a bond. Two lost souls from our old home town. Trying to find ourselves in the big city.

We developed a on going conversation. That would start when I got there and to be continued the moment I got the bill. So we would have 3 drinks to continue the story or finish explaining a certain event.

Over time this almost became a game. A “thing” we did.

What was funny, was we forgot each others name after the initial introduction. After a certain point it became awkward to actually ask again. So we would just avoid addressing each other directly. Regardless, we knew the roles to be played.

So the story would carry on. The key it seemed was once one ends. You Segway to the next story. Only to be cut short.

Often it’s places we’ve been and places we want to go. Jokes of the old neighbourhood.

We would call it, the home town engagement. People would get pregnant thinking the other would stay. Sadly these train wreck relationships were far too frequent.

Well, I never said we came from the most cultured of hometowns.

Over time we got along well.

A little too well. Her boss would start to cut conversations short. Often I’d tell her. It’s ok, I know it’s busy.

Solution. The late night beer before bed, would quickly transition to the happy hour drink. Fortunately for us and unfortunate for her boss. It was dead hour here. Far removed from the big busy offices. This place relied on the local weekend business.

Then it became apparent the issue wasn’t her attention away from customers. So much as her attention towards me. After a unjustifiable scolding. I asked for the bill.

Upon getting it I asked. “Sorry, it’s been a year or two. But what is your name again?”

We laughed and she said, “Next time.”

I avoided the place for a week or two. I heard her response as I left. She wasn’t happy about making customers feel welcomed. Being, well, unwelcomed.

A week rolled by, maybe two. Hoping things have subsided I returned.

So what was her name? Maybe it’s time for the punch line for this little story.

As I walked through the doors. I saw the boss stare at me with these eyes that said, “You.”

I took my seat, same time, same place. As I waited to hear, “Stella?”

I was greeted with, “Hello, what would you like today?”

Same time, same place, and a new face. As I turned, my hometown face was replaced with a new one.

"My name is…"

Slept 2 hours last night…

Auuugh Toronto is one great big sauna! I’m sleep deprived and working on a monster international project ( that really means I’m really big stressed) and I’m starving… Which is crazy because I ate so much today and I still feel starving.

Can’t wait to sleep.

So basically, I’m going to eat and then Sleep.

Oh nightmares…

Oh well bring it! Me and the sandman are gonna have a fist fight lol

I don’t get people…

First off, I’d like to say 99% of the message I get from tumblr are all very cool. I was happy with a dozen followers, but over the last year it’s really grown. 

When it first came out, I didn’t really know what I was going to do with this. But when I followed back, I saw a lot of pain. I figured I’d pick a positive theme for my blog. That maybe if I was to take time everyday to put into something. I’d try to do something positive. 

Along the way, I’ve share some and kept the more private ones private. But It’s encouraging to get so much positive feed back. 

But sometimes, TRYING to do the right thing gets you crucified publicly and basically cussed out. 

Maybe, I should’ve read more or asked about it. Maybe, I should’ve minded my own business. Maybe, I really should have mind my own business. 

I saw a post from somebody saying they wanted a boob job. Look, I respect peoples rights to their own body. But what I did say is the type of attention you get isn’t always good attention. Apparently, there was a good reason and there was a back story. I apologized. However, I don’t think self acceptance is a negative message. I also know girls who got boob jobs and first hand their opinions on it. Unfortunately, in this case it wouldn’t apply. 

I can’t help but shake the feeling of, how do you tear into somebody who only tried to help? I keep thinking of the story of Kingdom Come. Where it addressed the story of what it would really be like to be Superman in our fickle world. There was little to no disregard for any kind of respect or even appreciation for random acts of kindness. it’s just SHUT THE F’ UP! Because you said something I didn’t want to hear or feel is wrong. 

I try to be respectful to everybody who messages me. On the rare occasion you meet some people you really click with and are just… different. On occasion  you get a message you don’t agree with. But I’ve always been respectful when responding. 

Either way, you move on. Their are just some angry people. That’s fine. But it’s discouraging when you see a negative message and want to say something positive. Now it’s just read… go… “oh that sucks”… scroll on. If thats what that blogger really wants. Thats fine. 

I just think, maybe if we all took the time to talk and treat each other better. Show more empathy. THIS WORLD MIGHT BE A LOT LESS FUCKED UP PLACE WITH LESS FUCKED UP PEOPLE TREATING EACH OTHER IN FUCKED UP WAYS!!!!

Thank you. :) lol 

I’m learning about blogging, I thought I would share this. Very interesting. best selling authors talking about creativity.

Took a break from being me…

Ok, so I’m sitting here in a coffee shop waiting for a client to arrive for a meeting. I’m pretty lucky. I work as a designer. Art Director if i want to be pushy over my title. I get to do art for a living. 

For the last 3-4 months, i’ve been off the grid. I deactivated my facebook and cut my self off from my own personal social world. Friends I’ve had since Kindergarden have been rolling on with their own lives. I’ve been lax in replying to texts unless absolutely needed. I generally go to the gym and back home to check messages and manage the project. Also, trying to fend off agents and headhunters as best I can.

What it’s allowed me is an opportunity to step out side of being me. I’ve woken up when I wanted to, answer to nobody other then my self and had a lot of time alone to think. It’s amazing what you learn about your self when you turn off the noise. 

I missed the gym and being able to go everyday has been amazing. People think I go for vanity. I think everybody starts because they want to impress girls or boys or become more popular. But we stay for all the positive reasons. The gym is a place I can be alone. Its something I do just for me. It benefits only me. So it’s like meditation for myself. 

Also cutting my self off from the world, it allows me to ask in a very honest way, “who am I?” 

The thing that came up was I started to become very removed from reality and being sucked into “the creative life.” Thats the nice way of putting living like a rock star and having a ego to match. I started to design because I loved it. Never felt like a real job. 

But then suddenly I became known as a great designer. Suddenly, people I didn’t know knew me. They knew stuff about me when I met them for the first time. Or how I had a girl stand in a snow storm for an hour waiting for me to review her work. 

Then I just received one complement too many. 

Whats scary is I started to believe my own hype. I believed i was as good as people said I was. Sadly, thats the last thing I wanted. I want to be an artist and respected for my creative abilities. Not just another hyped up artist who rep carries him after his talent has stopped. 

Thats one passion gone.

Doc said I’ll never kickbox or compete in sports or martial arts again. Even after all I’ve been through. I never thought i’d never get to compete again. 

Thats my second passon gone.

The third is the realization that my inner image extends to my outer image. The last 6 months I haven’t been active in the gym. I maintain to stay healthy. Generally when it gets warm I ramp up my training and often get into summer shape. 

Well, in a couple weeks. I’m waiting for the whooshe. My 6 pack is coming along and my posture is improving. I look better and feel better. 

As much as I stated above, the gym isn’t for vanity. But it is a by product. Suddenly girls start to blush when they talk to me. I’ve come to realize  what has kept me out of my favorite place on earth, 

Getting attention from girls takes away my excuse not to move on. I wish i could say the break up was recent or even my last one. But it’s been almost 3 years and I still miss Nikki. Unfortunately, this bridge has been burnt years ago. She is doing well. I am happy. 

Thats the third one.

Sometimes, solitude is a beautiful mirror. It’s in our silence that we realize whats missing. Now that I know what I am missing. I think it’s time to find my passion again. 

Follow your Bliss /personal blog

It’s a rainy afternoon in Toronto. I’m sitting in a coffee shop coding up a website. I wouldn’t call my self a guru or a master coder. Some friends like to refer to me that way, but often I am humbled by many others who truly love to code. But I do think their passion rubbed off on me.

I’m a artist by profession. So coding and technical stuff is as far from conventional creativity as it gets. But I enjoy the challenge. Isn’t that what life is all about? No not challenges, but enjoying the process of things.

I’ve been out of the 9-5 grind for months now. I vaguely remember how its like to drag my self up in the morning, rush to work and getting physically sick from all the emails I would get. The constant phone calls, the people who all depend on you. Now I wake up when I want, work on what I want and I get to do it where I want. Stress. There was lots of it.

Sounds great right?

Well not exactly. The downside of having freedom is motivation to get the work done. Even when no body is watching you. Even when nobody will call or get mad at your for sleeping in until noon, you need something that wakes you up.

Although it’s been months, I was very upset with my self because I woke up at 9:30, opposed to on my computer checking emails by 9. I was up to 5 am last night. But i still find a way every morning to get up, drag my self to get a coffee and then put my butt in front of my computer and get to work.

The question is what is the motivation behind my discipline? Is it Tony Robbins every morning? Is it motivational posters all over my wall? Somebody who calls and wakes me up? No, its because I’m doing what I want to do. What i enjoy doing.

Sometimes I think to my self, I was put on this earth to do this. I wish i could cure AIDS, end cancer or maybe in some way help end the worlds suffering. However, my gift is to create things.

I find something magical to bring something into existence. This computer you are on now. The keyboards you use. Even tumblr or twitter or whatever you used to find this, was created by somebody. If they did not exist. These things would not exist.

I believe there is something special about that.

We all have gifts. But too often we pursue things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like. We become slaves to what other people think and shackled to the rules of a society that has less concern about your happiness, as it does with maintaining its status quo.

We should all follow our bliss. By that I don’t mean, sleep in, smoke pot all day, get wasted every night and live like a celeb crashing and burning. What i mean is, find where you belong. What you are born to do. Then do it.

Bliss isn’t about being comfortable or happy all the time. Follow your bliss means, to pursue what you love. Mondays will still suck. There will be days you wished you did something else, and there will still be days you wish you could’ve redone it. But the difference is, when its something you truly enjoy. Those things become speed bumps along the way. That in the end it will all be worth it. Even if it isn’t, at the very least, you can say you lived life on your own terms and by your own rules. Its better to having a crazy life and memorable stories, than have a safe life no body remembers.

I don’t know if that is enough for everybody, but it’s enough for me. My complaint isn’t that i don’t have enough free time to do my own stuff. My complaint is that I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do.

I get to wake up everyday, thinking, this is awesome. Any time, we have things that pull us forward. It’s a good thing. Often the fears that are supposed to push your towards a goal. Often pulls you back and away.

Following your bliss may not always take you to comfort and convenience. But it will take you to a place that whatever comes up and what challenges you face it will be worth it.

Over a year now…

I just realized, I’ve kept this Tumblr blog going for over a year!

My blog has been super active and it’s been slow. But over the course of this year. I’ve collected hundreds of followers. I’ve touched and have been touched by so many.

When I first started this, there was horrible news that a childhood friend committed suicide. I remember asking my self what can i do to help relieve the world of it’s suffering. So I decided to create my own positive place to help others. Yes, some people laughed. A girl i dated scoffed. But I believed the world needed this.

My blog isn’t huge and I wouldn’t say it’s original. But I’m happy that I have this blog. It’s my stand against the suffering in the world. I can only hope that it’s serves anybody reading this as a glimmer of light to help guide them when they need it the most.

I built this blog because I believe in you. Yes, YOU! Somebody I never met. Because if you are down. I have been there too. This is my way of extending my hand so you know you are not alone. You may not win today. But one day. Someday you win. When that day comes. I will say, i never doubted you. ;)

One candle can light a thousand. it will shine no less bright.

Personal blog from Miami

At the start of this year I vowed to sort out my personal life. I kinda expected it to be a case of seeing old friends and family. That maybe time away would somehow make it better like some fine wine. Like time would some how enrich it.

A few weeks in I realized that I came back to the very thing I was working to get out of.

Friends would make the same snippy bullshit comments. The type I think makes them feel better. But really I see it as a the worst kind of betray. I helped them when asked. I was happy for their success and I stood by them during their failures. When tables turned well it doesn’t go the same way.

I understand that a friendship or any good relationship isn’t a trade or exchange. But I also know that maybe I should look for those more like minded.

I actually introduced certain friends to their wives. I’m not even asking for the same. I’m just asking not to sabotage me when I’m trying to date.

So basically I felt pretty down over the last few weeks. And again my BS friends didn’t have a single contribution.

So what did I do? Well, I looked online and found the cheapest place I could just take off too. I found a crazy deal to some boutique hostile in Miami beach. In 24 hrs I was gone from the snow in Toronto to Miami to the first hostile I’ve ever been in my life.

The first night was kinda crazy. But I started to make friends, got to know the locals, I got to step out of my life for a few days for less then 600.

Being here sitting here drinking and hanging with my new friends from across the globe. I face the fact that tomorrow I need to return home.

In the little time I had here and my new found friends. I realized, the select few of those “friends” are not my friends. And when I get back maybe instead of returning home. I should consider building a new home. Maybe I shouldn’t settle on what’s important and actually take time to work on and discover what make ME happy and not just those around me.

And maybe it’s time I really moved on. I miss Nikki when our b-days past. But the past is the past. And I realized I should put the girls I met after nikki in the past along with her.

I can meet so many kindred spirits in one day. I’m sure I can find more back home.

"If you always do,what you always did. You always get what you always got"

I still believe. And these few days have showed me what I really want.

And I want something different.

As this chapter closes I’m gonna get off a plane. And start my next chapter or book in my story.

If I had one wish…

I would love to see the day when I world was more selfless opposed to being more and more selfish.

Until then… All I can do is try to be the change I want to see in the world.

In life there are 3 kinda of people. Those who make it happen, those who lets things happen and those who wonder “what the f**k happened!?!”

We all get to choose.