This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.

My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.


Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me:

Another day of tests

What do you do when your comfort foods - Mars bars, Miss Vickie's sea salt and malt vinegar, and a cold can of Coke, are not included in your list of foods to eat? What do you do when cigarettes, rum, or a joint are not either? Well, I'm thinking I better learn how to cope with my feelings without them, and get comfortable with the ups and downs of life.

I used to get so excited thinking about that smoke, and that lifted my spirits up enough to overcome the reality of sucking smoke and chemicals into my lungs and bloodstream. I started smoking when I was 28 years old, a time when I worked with two older women who smoked on every coffee break. I envied their ability to be calm, and relaxed, and attributed it to their cigarettes. The first one I tried was the hardest, but after a few forced attempts, I was already sticking them behind my ear, getting ready for the next chance. I really did feel cool, and looking back I think it was like my security blanket. That's what gave me the 'cool' feeling. Oftentimes chain-smoking would get going, and a pack would be consumed in a night, less than minutes between smokes. I just couldn't get enough, or maybe it was 'chasing the dragon's tail', always looking to get that initial 'everything's perfect' buzz.

I've often wondered why, when I feel low or down I do not want to reach out. Cocoon, turtle, basically any euphemism for depression and anti-social behavior. It seems there is a pushing away of others who may see me this way, or try to change it, or cajole it away. Maybe it's just the embarrassment of being seen as vulnerable, or weak and imperfect. To be in North American society, it seems one must be happy, smiling, talkative and gregarious all the time. At least that's the way it feels to me. When you are the one who instead feels introverted, overwhelmed, tired, cranky and irritable, it can be a difficult undertaking to go out. Many times I would have to will myself to go out, put on my happy face, and be the life of the party.

Alcohol was always an easy, and accessible option. I had found some inspiration for Halloween '09 after riding my motorcycle for a year, and thought it would really bring me out of my shell to dress up as as gay biker. For over a month I amassed several crucial parts to the costume: leather pants, vest, boots, and hat, aviator sunglasses, and pièce de résistance: a cheesy handlebar moustache I had grown a couple months.

Before heading out, I was preparing a song I had written for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, and was pumped with the progress I had made that night of October 31st. Getting primed for two parties that night, I thought I'd better have a whiskey and coke before I go just so I could pull off the show. Just before I left a 1/2 hour later, I had consumed 3/4 of a 26 oz. The police woke me up at the end of the Canada Line train, and asked me if this was my stop. After stumbling out of the station only to find my friend Keith was no longer at his place, I then picked up a cigarette outside the pack at his door, after a week of no smoking, and lit one up. Frustrated, embarrassed and angry with myself for getting so drunk, I berated myself and returned to the Skytrain, winding my way back to Broadway/City Hall. By 11 pm, I was home and took this picture to at least remind myself of my exploits. It would not be until my birthday on December 29th that any of my friends would be able to see me in this get-up.

Fast forward back to today. I'm looking forward to receiving a cheque from my new roommate Bruce, who looks to be stepping up in this world. After a two month stint at a university in Ontario, a volunteer position at the Olympics, he's found himself making close to minimum wage at a Gastown restaurant washing dishes. If all goes well, he will be able to have his own apartment in 4 months, and hopefully change his circumstances.

The process of finding a roommate has taught me to not overly consider others' opinions and actions, and to simply focus on my actions instead. After a lifetime of trying to control people around me, the white flag is flying. Sorry, Dido you are stronger than I. It's become ludicrous to continually fight and survive my perception of what other people think. The trick of the mind is trying to have me continually on a hamster wheel of addiction to approval, and outright competition with everyone. If the object of the game is to be happy, I would have been a perennial loser, and that again, is why a change must be made.

I often could do with an aggressive soccer game, an intense video game or riding my mountain bike down a steep cliff, anything to feel alive and not so preoccupied with what's going on inside me. I'm not on a team, video games for me have turned into addictive 3 day sessions, and I don't know how to ride my bike well enough to navigate a sheer cliff face. How about getting really interested in the world around me? My girlfriend, my friends, even strangers - ask them questions about their life and treat them like the single most interesting thing in my world. Considering today I decided to be fun and free, this would fit right in.

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