Above; This is how I used to live. I slept on the floor and rummaged through a handful of bags whenever I needed anything. Occasionally I’d rummage through a plastic container. A person may look at this and think it doesn’t look soo comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are people out there with less and sleep on the street etc. etc. The point is compared to how I live now… This was a rough and minimalist existence.
This photo represents a significant reset. When I was younger, in my late teens and early twenties I literally lived in an apartment on the floor, outta a box. I had a box, in the box was clothing and bedding. Also a dollarama clock. A few keepsakes. That was the way till I got married (which didn’t last long) and on into my first place on my own.
I then had a bed, that was a big step up. Most of my furniture was folding or packable. I lasted on my own for about a year and then RESET. This time in Toronto. I arrived in Toronto off the train with nothing but a rucksack full of clothes and my bike.
Entering Toronto & a new relationship I really didn’t start to accumulate things like I predicted. My partner at the time had lots of life stuff, ya know like knives & forks. Her and I were similar in the sense that we didn’t really latch onto material things. If we could afford it, we had it but we didn’t lose sleep over not having the biggest TV. The biggest investment she made was a real bed. Before that it was just a box spring & mattress on the floor. The biggest investment I made… I bought a new bike. Making that bike three in my stable. Oh and a new desk! I still have it. Nice BIG work surface, that I don’t do any work on lol.
And then RESET… We broke up (I still kinda regret it). I moved outta the bedroom and into the living room where I was permitted to stay until a new place for me and my box of things could be secured; I found a place and surprisingly quick! I had a friend help me relocate. When I found that all my belongings fit into a single car load (less the bikes, cause they are awkward to fit in any vehicle cept for a truck or bike rack) there was a wave of relief & freedom that swept over me. Even my tiny new place felt like a castle.
And then RESET… I got sick; Long story short, I went a little bonkers. I couldn’t return to work and so the packing began. Again, all my belongings fit into one Toyota Corolla. Boarding a plane back to the East Coast, Halifax I began the process of starting over.
I bounced around a bit couch surfing with family, I roomed for a bit in a house full of university students (felt a little out of place as I was nearing thirty). Then I got lucky and found a kind soul handing me the keys to independence. I was destine to RESET at least one more time before discovering my arch enemy was the very thing that I was seeking feverishly. The idea and the fruition of being “comfortable”.
I have been in my current location now for over one year. I now have a bed, a desk, bookcase and nightstand with a vase. I have artwork hanging on the walls, art I picked out on my own. Some of the art I made myself. I have lamps, beautiful paper shaded lamps. I have room to work. I have room to stable my collection of bikes (which has grown to four bikes now). I have soo much stuff! More than I have ever had AND…
My comfort makes me LAZY AS FUCK! I mean sure, I leave the house every day for work and my heart really is in my work. But when I come home; I put on my favorite hoodie, turn the heat up and eat takeout in front of a movie. Usually sleep follows. I’ll sleep a couple hours and then check facebook, go back to bed. I hate checking my email, which is something I never used to let go unchecked. Waking in the morning is a drag, I don’t want to leave my warm cubby comfort for the frigid cold. I used to be hearty, fuck the cold and I’d walk, ride, ski ect. everyday! But now I take the bus. I walk fast from the door to the stop and bitch about how long it takes. I’m turning soft.
I’d ride out every night after work in Toronto to be social, drink and eat;
I was in peak adventure mode pre-treatment for my mental health. I felt like shit to such a point it was torture to sit still. I painted, joined & attended groups, fundraisers, public speaking events. I left the house every single day and never stopped from 8 Am to 8 Pm and sometimes later. But now, I’m a blop. I feel like a blop. Something needs to…
“You will be forced to choose between two tempting possibilities today. If it’s a choice between moving up in the world and making a positive difference. Make a difference.”
I had many possibilities to choose from today. Two was not the number. And I decided to hit everything with all systems go. If I had a choice, I made a positive decision. Today I managed to get the apartment cleaned, and I mean legit clean. Not just a 10 Minute Tidy. The dishes are washed, floors swept and mopped. The washroom has been scrubbed top to bottom. And the laundry is in the machine as I type. It feels good. And lastly I am catching up a little on my photography, editing the latest batch of photos. Topping it all off I’m blogging, which as you can see has been very sporadic.
I don’t know if I made any decisions that are going to “move me up in the world” but my decisions mos def made me feel like I’ve made a difference. My home is my castle and for a bit it was feeling more like a dungeon. A place I go to take off my dirty clothes, sleep and put on clean clothes. I even bought new lamps, paper shades and much softer light than what I normally use when painting/sketching.
really helps me with my Zen 😉
I found a whole new world. I am back to work now, most anyone that reads my blog knows I’m now working in the bike industry again. And… I LOVE IT!
I know transitioning is hard, I did it slow. I set 3 Goals, part time work (started at the QEII) then two part time jobs within 6 Months to a Year (I was hired on with FRED 6 Months after the QEII) I then worked for FRED and IDEALBIKES for another 3 – 6 Months and now recovery Day X lands directly on top of full time employment with IDEALBIKES.
I love it, I love my co-workers & my employer is amazing. I mean all workplaces have their hiccups and I am not always the most passive person making grinding gears a touch more common BUT… There is very little stress thanks to the management style of my employer.
I never thought this is where life would land me. I made a plan though, I sat down with my councilors. We started with the simple stuff, wake up in the morning. Shower, brush your teeth. Leave the house and be productive. Every Day! Even if your productivity yields the smallest of rewards.
And you know, I had set backs. I made mistakes. I lapsed once. I learned my life lessons. Here I am, standing at the gates of achievement. The gates have opened and I see nothing but endless opportunity. And it all starts with setting a small goal in the shadow of a bigger picture.
Don’t be scared, step out into the world… But walk at your own pace. Success comes in all shapes and sizes. Be kind to yourself and live to the maximum potential your situation permits. Satisfaction Guaranteed 😉
“Turn whatever life throws at you into a cool new adventure.”
I am 31 Yrs old today and I feel good. I feel like adventure still flows through my veins. Dreams of cycling, hiking and kayaking have been racing round in my mind. Got a few big rides lined up for this summer. Maybe I’ll even be lucky enough to make some new friends to adventure with 🙂
My recovery has been going very well, up to date I’ve reached and exceeded every goal. 31 is the year I’ve committed to moving forward and reaching new heights. Physically, Intellectually and Socially I have a plan to carve my mark.
I hope my followers will adventure along with me into my Third Year of recovery.
See ya on the trail!!!
Above; I title this “Misfit Treasury” just a casual doodle again over some casual conversation. A lot of my inspiration these days is really just random thought. I am thinking about hitting the library and checking out some books on anatomy. Study proportion, form, motion. I also have a huge love affair with Graphic Novels and whenever I pick one up an thumb through the pages my mind flurries with awe and envy over the larger than life creations.
Above; Sketched in my Moleskine @ Connections this image is inspired by the pattern on my dinner fork. I’ve been trying to maximize the use of my water based markers, brush and fine point. I am not always satisfied with how the color lays down but I left my markers out in community environments and its assumed by others my property is for community use. Soo the ends of my markers are getting all fucked up, some of them are just muddied up into bland puddle water.