Get comfortable in your own skin - it’s the only one you’re going to get*
Today, a stranger told me some of his life lessons. He shared with me, a complete stranger, the same advice he gives to his beloved daughter of about my age. In light of this sharing with strangers theme, I am going to pass them on to you.
1. Your 30’s and on will be for your partner and your kids. Your 20’s are yours. Use them.
2. Protect your essence, that which makes you you. Work, people, lifestyle… can chip away at that, slowly and slowly. You never want to wake up one day and wonder who the hell you are and when you lost yourself. Don’t be whittled down.
The back story:
I fly a lot for work. A whole lot. Sometimes I loathe it, sometimes I like it, but rarely do I love it. I see flying as lack-luster, that wasn’t always so.
I once said that airports were where I felt at home. Those were in my travelling days, when I really was a wandering little bean. Lately, I have been more of a working bean, still a little bean, but a bit starved for self reflection and little moments of bliss.
Today, in the airport a middle aged business man sat down beside me. We were both cheering for Spain. I am not sure how the conversation started, but he began to tell me some of the lessons he learned in life. For them, I am grateful. I have been fortunate to have been given great lessons and told great stories by nearly complete strangers. Thank you. Thank you all for sharing.
Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go and it will be yours forever.
Paris Street Names
No grid in Paris, the streets are all named after something/someone important or relevant — and sometimes it can be really surprising or poetic. - Vahram Muratyan
My dad used to crank up the country on Sunday mornings. My mom was never a big fan, she preferred silence, coffee and reading. My dad on the other hand wanted to blast old country and classic rock, fry up some bacon a crack a carton of eggs in a hot pan. My dad’s morning routine was far more successful at rousing my brothers and I.
We walked into the kitchen, rubbing our eyes and dragging our feet. We’d sit down to a plate of scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon, then douse it all in ketchup. The boys and I would slowly make our way through breakfast as Garth Brooks belted out yeehaws and love y’alls from the stereo.
I still keep it up today, the country, eggs and coffee on Sunday mornings. Even on days like today when I’m sitting in the office. I still throw on some Luke Bryan and bob my head to Jason Aldean while sipping on a hot cup of mud watching the milk swirl around slowly turning the liquid to a more palatable creamy brown. It’s comforting to keep things like this up. I feel at home, even in an empty glass box down on Bay Street.
Coffee, country and a big Sunday breakfast. Nothing makes me feel more at home.
My St.Patrick’s day this year was nothing like I had planned. I don’t mean that I forget to hit up parties after getting hammered at my first pancake kegger (that would have been awesome). Rather, I slept through most of it.
I worked my first 25 hr day on Friday (7am Friday to 8:30 am Saturday). And as I lay down my data filled head on a cool, crisp pillow to drift off into dreams of arrays and colourful columns my brothers were getting up ready to start a day of pancakes, beer and everything green.
I woke up around 7:30 pm only to think that I had slept all the way through until Sunday. Fortunately, I had only missed the day drinking part and was still able to salvage as bit of the night. I poured myself a Guinness and sat down to a breakfast of beer & chicken wings. I flipped open my phone only to realize it ha stopped working.
Planning St.Patty’s day with friend who’d been drinking since 11 am sans mobile was going to be interesting. Facebook saved the day, I was given an address to meet my friends at a keggar so I set off into the city, trying to play catchup on the grub-way. I arrived at #178 only to soon realize that this was definitely not the right house. However, like a good Canadian, the young folks living there invited me in and we lit sparklers as one of their hipster-esque comrades blew bubbles.
After nearly an hour drinking and hanging with these new-found-folks I got a hold of the correct address and head off to a house just down the block. There I was surprised to see several different groups of friends had converged at one locale. I got the chance to see a whole wack of folks, some I hadn’t seen in years.
The night ended at a scummy bar called the Wreck Room where surprise, surprise, I ran into another old friend from middle school. I made it home relatively sober, but quite happy at the random evening that unfolded. A couple years ago I would have been pissed off, disappointed and ranting about how my day was ruined; and though there wasn’t much of a St.Patty’s day, I had a salvaged and adventurous evening.
So here’s to sleeping through the party & getting lost in a big city, smile on face & beer in hand.
After having some fun with Jazz in January it’s time to try something else.
And seeing as its blustery and snowing outside why not mix in a little of the snow and add in some sunshine. For February and March, the Monthly-Motifs-for-a-Mushless-Mind will be artists of Quebec & Cuba.
I’ll be picking 3 Quebecois and 3 Cuban painters and a few Cuban musicians and enjoying their art. If you have any suggestions please throw them my way.
Keep those minds from going mushy.
It was one of those weekends where I could’ve done a bunch of things, visited a bunch of people and made the birthday’s I thought I’d go to… but instead I found myself hanging out on the couch.
Grumpy, tired, lazy and bored I sulked. Then I did what most people of our generation do- pulled out my phone. But instead of cruising to Facebook or finding someone to complain to, I wrote to an old friend. One whom I hadn’t seen in a while and that I don’t speak to often.
I didn’t beat around the bush, my message was simple: I’m having one of those weekends, can you help cheer me up from halfway around the world? And then a quick life update.
Ten minutes later I had movie recommendations, jokes, funny stories and good memories on my mind. I settled down to watch True Romance, an awesome early 90’s young love & gangbusters flick that I highly enjoyed. It’s amazing how even when they’re so far away, your good friends- the ones who know you well, can brighten your day. And most often, they are just a phone call away.
I like Jazz. If you’ve been over at my place and commented on my old-man taste in music as I crank up the Louis Armstrong, then I’ve probably known you long enough to indulge you in my geeky side (ha! as if I ever had a non-geeky side).
Even though I like it, I don’t know much about it and that’s what’s MMmm for January is Jazz. So I’ve taken to growing my collection and am spending this evening drinking my favourite Chilean Malbec and listening to:
I will let you know what I think. If you have any albums you recommend or sub-genres, related books etc please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I now have an email. xo W.Bean
I have many more travel stories for you from my last trip, but not just now. Now I’m focusing on the new job I’m starting and the new lifestyle I’m creating.
The analytical side of my mind feels like it’s turning to mush. I stumble over basic arithmetic (let’s not discuss the sudoku puzzles I haven’t finished). But have no fear! Work is coming to the rescue. My very analytical job is going to kick my brain’s ass into shape. It’ll be painful and stressful I’m sure, but it’s good for me.
I’ve been thinking about the rest of my brain, and the mushiness going on up there. I love art, music, poetry, theoretical physics and ancient cultures. But in the past 5 years of university I let those interests slide. But no longer. I’m going to pick a Monthly Motif, a subject or topic I can get into for a month or so to keep learning.
I guess this is my 2012 resolution, to have a mush-less mind- to have a cultured mind that fosters creativity and exploration.
Feel free to throw in your two cents on the motif I’m looking into. I’m open to any great blogs, artists, info or opinions you have.
Here is where I share my stories, poems, thoughts and things.
There is no real rhyme or reason to any of it, just a few tales from my wanders.