Posts Tagged ‘Reflection’

Open Letter To My 18 Year Old Self

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

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July 15th, 2015

Dear Speed,

Hey!  Pay attention.

It’s July 15th, 1989 and you just walked your future wife home to her parents house.  Yes, you end up getting married to your high school sweetheart that you just shared your first intimate kiss a couple of weeks ago on May 23rd after school that left you breathless and you don’t remember your feet touching the ground as you walked home grinning.  More on that later dude.

I have many things to tell you and I want you to listen and take some advice from an older version of yourself shown above.  That shot was taken in 2013 when you were 43 years old.  This is the last one before you started shaving your head.  I know you like your hair now but later in life it will start to be more like our Dad’s.

I know you won’t take all of my advice and making mistakes in life is part of the process.  You will make many in your lifetime.  Everyone else around you does.  Along the way, you will hurt people you care about and you will understand that you can’t go back in life to say goodbye to people you love when they leave you suddenly.

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Let’s talk about the present.  1989.  Right now you are 18 years old and weigh a buck sixty-five and your waist is 34.  You live at home with your parents.   You can’t dance worth shit and have no rhythm.  You have made up your mind to go to Ajax High next year before High School ends.  At DO’C you started to feel more accepted and you feel better about your appearance.  Good job on the desert boots buddy 😉

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A couple of months ago you finally told Karen, the girl that liked you in Grade 7 that you liked her back.  She is your world now and you are already in love with her since you were strong friends that know everything about each other.  I’ll fast forward to 2015 and you still love her since you have shared so much of your life together but things are different now.  Your life is so different and you have never felt so disconnected and alone but you are more thankful for the little things you have.  More on that later.

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Right now, I want to talk about a couple of things and ramble a little.  You never really have this opportunity to talk to your younger self.

I wish I could go back a little farther and tell you to pay attention in French class and to study the language so you can speak two different languages.  If you did, you would make more money which is not super important in life but I think it would have changed the outcome of your life and who knows… maybe your marriage.

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Right now, you have not really dated anyone.  Patricia didn’t count and Stacey was a summer with your hands running wild on each other.  You have not grown older and matured like I have and you are so young you have not had a chance to really look back and reflect on life.  You are not a deep thinker and your just moving through day by day.

If you could go back to the summer of 1988 you will not be able to realize that your “what if” girl is on the edge of your life.  You don’t see her as that person.  I can’t make you go back in time and I don’t want you spoil anything now with Karen… but over your life she will pop into your mind and make you wonder.

If you could go back one year… I would want you to go back to the summer before and walk across Harwood Ave to the other townhouses on the other side and knock on the other redheads door.  The one with the freckles.  Tell her that you want to go for a walk with her.  Then, I would want you to walk down to the lake with her and stop her dead in her tracks and kiss her on the path when she is mid sentence about something.  Just get the guts and plan your precise move and just do it.  Make her forget the world for 24 seconds.

If you could do that for me… you will help me get that “what if” out of my system.  Then you would not think about what it would be like to kiss her all your life.  Don’t worry Dan…  you will be fine in your relationship with Karen and into your marriage and you won’t stray and be faithful to her.

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Over your lifetime you will have three “what if” women in your life and two of those will be after your marriage ends.  (Yes.  It ends, but when it does…  your life will begin again.  So don’t worry)  These two women enter your life at the wrong time in your life and they can’t grow and develop.  So I need to tell you about things to make your life better and more ways to keep relationships and be more appreciative through communication and actions.  You can never control if the other person will like you back as much as you like them.  All you can do is be “YOU” and do the right things and if they stay they will appreciate the person you are and what you bring into their life.

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First let’s start with some house keeping issues and things to remember and work on:

Thee couple dirty magazines that you bought at L&L gift shop when you were in grade 11 at 10:30pm after you have to wait till everyone was out of the store is not worth it.  Your Mom will find them in the briefcase in your closet and the thought about her knowing will be far worse than the 4 minutes of pleasure looking at them 😉

Hang out with your Dad more.  When he comes home from work and goes downstairs to watch TV.  Don’t just come in and go upstairs right away.  Go sit with him and hang out.  Even if you don’t talk.  Just hang out and watch “The National” with him and talk more.  They will retire and move to Nova Scotia so you need to spend as much time as you can with them before they go east.

Appreciate more what your Mother does for you.  She cleans your room and makes you all the food you can eat.  She slips you money all the time so you can go out and do things.  I know your nice to her but hug her more.  Mom’s like that and you don’t understand that they like that stuff… so now and then.  Give her a hug and tell you that you love her.  Take the time to slow down and talk to her.  Kiss her on the cheek as much as you can.

Call your Brother on the phone since he doesn’t live in the house.  You wasted so much time and you hardly know him.  More on that later.  You will regret this the most… so do this right now!  You can’t go back in time.

– Don’t knock it till you tried it.  I know you have a silly expression that you won’t eat anything you can’t spell.  But you need to try new foods and get used to different foreign cuisines.  The food is incredible. 

– If a street performer makes you stop and watch you owe them a buck.  Don’t be cheap.  Also don’t be shy with panhandlers.  Go buy them a coffee and bring it to them.  You always act like your busy and you don’t notice them.  I know you do.

– You only get one chance to notice a haircut so notice the small things and complement the people around you.  Notice them and acknowledge it in their presence.  Women think different than us and it bugs the shit out of them if you don’t say something right away.

– Always buy good shoes.  When you are older than always buy good sheets and pillows.  But now… always buy nice kicks.  People notice them and you will feel good in them.

– Eat lunch at school with the new kids.  Meet new people and when you are older try not to eat lunch at your desk and eat with other people and get to know them better and be more attentive to the people around you.  Since your going to Ajax next year there are so many new people to meet and get to know.  Don’t be shy and challenge yourself to interact with everyone.

– It’s never too late to apologize to someone.  Damn.  I’m typing this to you and I need to do some apologizing to people. Be sincere and acknowledge when and how you let them down.  Some people might not forgive you but you need to live with yourself and you have to put yourself in front of them in person if you can and apologize to them.

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– Protect the people that are absent.  It’s going to be in a book you read in 2004 at work later in life and this is so important and also very hard to police yourself.  If you are around people and they are talking about someone else… stand up and protect the person they are talking about that the people are talking behind their back.  Try not and talk about other people behind their back yourself.  If you mind your own business you will live a more peaceful life in your mind and also it will show yourself better in front of those people and they will respect you more.

– Look people in the eyes when you thank them and try and do a better job at remembering names.  You suck at this so you need to practice.

– Always take the time to thank the host and search them out and thank them personally.  Also write more personal small handwritten notes to thank people and send them promptly.

– Be a good listener and try and not think of the next rebuttal as the person is talking.  This will help you in marriage and with women.

– Practice those Kegel exercises you are reading about in Men’s Health.  They will come in handy.

– When you start working in the investment field downtown Toronto later in life buy some stock in a company called Apple and buy as much as you can and afford.  You can thank me later.

– Buy all the orange properties in Monopoly.

– Smile at strangers.  You might cheer them up just a little.  Everyone has battles they are facing and as you get older people will have more battles.

That’s all the little bullet comments I can think of right now.  Let’s go back to the topic that will consume you in much of your life ahead.

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More about the young girl who is your best friend that your suddenly kissing and want to spend every single freaking minute with.  😉

Let me give you a little teaser for you below:

Congratulations!  You got her.  She is the “one”.  You told her that you liked her and caught her off guard.  Right now you are together all the time which you think is good but you need to set a trend early and keep that going the rest of your life.  I know that I’m telling you to keep a balance and don’t spend every minute together.  The trend is that you need to start is to be independent.  You need to be alone to get things done for you.  You still need to see your friends like Nose.  You need to keep playing basketball with your buddies.  You also need to make her independent and for her to keep her relationships with her high school friends that she will drop cold as soon as school ends next year.

I know I’m telling you things and you won’t listen but trust me.  YOU NEED TO SET A TREND.  So as you move through life with her she needs to be used to you being with her and showing that she is a priority in your life but you also need to be doing stuff with your friends.  If you don’t she will resent anytime that you want to do something with friends and she will control you and make you feel guilty.  Later in life when your friends tell you that she has you “whipped” and you try and laugh it off.  You will know it’s the truth.  Don’t worry.  You will be happy overall in your life.  You will just regret not starting that trend so it lasts through your relationship and when you spend time away from her… it will feel “normal” to her.

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She will also get more beautiful with age.

You will have many good times together and grow as people.  You will finally have two beautiful kids together after loosing the first one before you are married.  I don’t want to tell you to much of the future, but your Daughter will be such a sweet soul.  Then when you think that it should just be three of you in your family, you decide to try and have another child and you get your Son.  Another gentle soul and your two kids will help you push through life.

You will be together for 23 years.  You will be genuinely happy.  Since you have two kids you can confidently say that you had sex twice in your 23 years together.  All I want to say is don’t settle for a sexless marriage.  It’s wonderful and so important.  Being intimate together is what makes us feel alive and being wanted in life by your partner is so important.  You need to communicate your feelings to her.  You need to be with someone that wants to be with you in that way.  You need to have someone you can kiss passionately and you need someone to lie naked in the afternoon and dream about the world and hold each other.

BECAUSE… Before you know it… she will suddenly approach you one afternoon in your 23rd year together she will tell you that her and her parents have decided that she will take the kids and move into to her parents house.  After that afternoon you will never to ask her why.  You will never have a meaningful talk about anything with her after that sentence out of her mouth.

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Then you will find the Rules Of A Gentleman online and the front and the back are so important in life and you promise to not settle in the future.  You promise yourself to keep someone on their toes by following the back and you will try and attract them by following the front.  Your main” tumblr will outline things you want and miss while micro-documenting life.  Your private one will also help you bookmark the reminders of what you have missed and the healthy and much needed deeper connection we all need in relationships through intimacy.  Bottom line.  Make a fucking effort for the other person and follow the Rules Of A Gentleman.  It’s a good start to hopefully a long lasting relationship.

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You will meet the most sensual woman you have ever been with in 2014 and you will have the most craziest sex in your life and wished you had it like that when you were married.  You will plan out how to seduce this woman to keep her on her toes and keep her guessing.  You will think about the next time after you say goodbye to her.  She will do the same for you and she will surprise you also.  It will hit you that you have only spent periodic moments with this woman and you have had more intimate moments with her over the period of 8 months than you will have in 23 years with the woman you have now.  That’s just not right.  So you need to have that that commitment to the other person and they also need to have it with you.  Don’t settle.  I can’t type it out here but I will funnel it to you somehow through this little symbol using the keyboard   (y)

So put your mouse over it and all the thoughts and ideas will flow to you and enjoy.  So when you get fixed after your second child you can really enjoy your time together anytime the mood strikes and not be just a sperm donor a couple of years later after your first child is born.

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You really need to eat clean and eat proper portions.  You need to lift a little weights and keep yourself in good condition.  Nobody lives a perfect life but you will feel better about yourself and be more confident as you get older.  You need to be healthy and strong.  You don’t have to be perfect but the more commitment towards yourself will help.  That’s all you can do.

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Let’s talk about our Mother.  She is simple and sweet as you know.  She is so much older than you and people on this earth will not last forever.  My simple advice is to call her all the time when she moves away.  You will regret that if you don’t.  One day she will be in your life and the other she will be gone.  That’s all I’m going to say.  Call your Mother when she retires.  Technology will help in the future with talking to people through the internet and you can see them with a video camera on your computer.  Just call Mom as much as you can.

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Now for your Brother who will pass away of Liver Cancer a couple of months from now.  I know with the 18 years difference between you that you looked up to him more of an Uncle since when you were little and could remember things he was already living on his own so he was more of an Uncle you would go visit during the year.  Cancer is something that strips away your physical shell as well as your insides and you were not around to watch him disappear from his normal healthy self.  You were not living close to him so you could not be in his presence and for that you will be forever guilty for not asking someone to drive you to him so you could have hung out with him so you could spend a long amount of time together to truly get to know him.  So after you read this.  You need to go and see him and stay with him for a while and hang out.  Let me share things and memories of his life and our parents lives when I was not even born yet.  You also need to call him.  I know he didn’t want to depress you with his condition and burden your mind with what he is going through.  You just need to call him and make the most of the days you have together till Cancer takes him from the family.  This will haunt you if you don’t.  It’s haunted me.  He died at 36 years old and I’m writing this when I’m in my mid 40’s and it’s just not right.

Appreciate everyone and be thankful for all the opportunities when your in the presence of them.  You never know what tomorrow brings and if you will have a chance to speak with them and see them again.

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Before I let you go and live life your way and hopefully with some guidance from your older self.  Let me do some more bullet points of some things off the top of my head:

– Don’t focus on what the Wilson’s across the street are doing with their lives.  People around you will seem like they have it all together.  You have no idea what is happening behind closed doors.  Just because they drive a BMW does not mean they own the car.  They just own the bumper and you can own the bumper too and make payments.  Don’t be focused on what others have.  Just be grateful for what you have… no matter how little or small.

– Learn to be a “Plan B” person.  So when Plan A doesn’t happen don’t let it bother you and you get worked up in negative energy.  Just use that time to focus on “Plan B” and do something else and don’t waste the day spinning your wheels and bent out of shape about how “Plan A” didn’t happen or work out they way it was supposed to.

– Forgive people who make valid apologies.  Really forgive them.  It will help both of you.

– Eating is wonderful, delicious, joyous, experimental, strengthening, nourishing and sociable.

– Write love letters.

– Listen to people who are sad, and really hear them.  Make an effort to understand them and empathize with the way they are feeling.  Help them in ways you would like to be helped.

– If you love someone, tell them.  You might not get another opportunity, and you should never let yourself live with a “what if”.

– Travel whenever you can.  It is important, exciting, invaluable and liberating to explore the world and cultures.

– Live life for yourself.  Learn to say “yes” and learn to say “no”.

– Discover new and great music.  Not all music is just on the 3 radio stations you flip through.  Get an ipod and create playlists of music that helps you with moods and helps you with motivation, thought and reflection.

– Document life to leave a legacy of moments when your not on this earth anymore.  Your Brother will pass away of Cancer and when you look back you will notice you don’t really have video or too many pictures.  As technology develops it will allow you to capture sound and video and you can cherish the sound and movement of the people you love.

– Take pictures of yourself even if you don’t like how you look or you think in your head that you will take more pictures when you loose weight and look better.  You never know when a Bus might take you out on the street so you need to have pictures that others can see you.  It’s great to take 1,000 pictures of your kids but if you don’t have any pictures with you and your kids in the same picture they won’t have any of you in the future.

– Be interested in other peoples lives and that will be worth more than tying to make people interested in yours.

– Try and fall in love with someones naked soul before their naked body.

– A fast nickle is better than a slow dime.  (always loved that saying)

– Find gratitude in small everyday things.  I have been at the lowest point of my life and somehow I was happy.  I had nothing.  Bitterly nothing.  I would love to explain what I was going through but if it happens to you… then just embrace it and see the positive inside the “not so great” stuff your battling through and going through.

– Dress up warm and play in the snow.  Try and embrace the cold of the winter.

– You don’t need a reason to help people.  You don’t have to know them also.

– Start drinking red wine now so you can understand how good it tastes.

– Drive different roads to get places and look out the window more as you pass the countryside.  It’s also ok to turn the car around when you pass something interesting instead of saying in your mind that you passed it and you can’t turn around now.  It will take you 47 seconds to turn around.

– Stopping a car when your driving somewhere to make love in the back seat is underrated.  Daytime or nighttime.

– The happiness of life depends on the quality of your thoughts.  Dream + plan while reflecting.

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I know I’m trying to say everything in the world to you.  Just do things that makes you happy.  If you try and live a good life and be a good person you will genuinely make the people around you happy.  There will always be bumps in the road.  Without them and having all the roads straight with short cuts will not make you appreciate the twists and turns in the journey.

I love the saying “Live Forever And Die In The Attempt”.  You need to do this and be true and happy.  Apologize if you make mistakes and be a good person to yourself, the people you care about and love and never stop laughing and exploring.

Maybe 20 years from now I will write to you again and help you out for the last part of your life.

Enjoy life!

Dan

Explore | Do Things Different | The Questions We Ask

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

We all need to do things differently.  To get outside and explore.  I’m not happy what I’ve done so far.  I need go get out more.  You don’t have to go far to get outside and do something different.
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In the spring of 2013, Canadian adventurer Bruce Kirkby crossed the Georgia Straight from Vancouver to Victoria on an inflatable standup paddleboard. In this award-winning short film, he contemplates the true meaning of adventure. “Very thought provoking. [The film] says more in a few minutes…

“The Questions We Ask” – Bruce Kirkby in a Kalum Ko film from Kalum Ko on Vimeo.

jsdoiTREST Year In Review | 2013

Friday, December 27th, 2013

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Last year I took some screen capture video of me scrolling through my Tumblr.  Thought it would be fun to do it again this year also.  The quality of the video is not in HD… but you get the point.  It’s neat to see pictures from the year mixed in with the regular “filler pictures”.  You can see movies I’ve watched (not enough) and also the music that I posted.  You can see happy times and also sad times.  I had someone in the past that haunted me.  Overall…. it was a year that just went by.  2014 will be different and better.  I will raise a glass to that!  You can hit my Tumblr here:  jsdoiTREST

JSDOItrest 2013 Year In Review from Speed on Vimeo.

Candy Chang | Before I Die Wall

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

1-beforeidieI received a book from K-Land called “Before I Die” by Candy Chang… which I went through in two days.  Such a great book and such a great project.  After the first day of reading… I wanted to see a wall in Ajax.  I thought of the the Ajax Main Library would be a great place to start since the demographics that use that library due to it’s location + size would be perfect mix of the young to the elder members of the community.   I tweeted out to the Town and the Library and they responded.

I sent them a proposal of having a free-standing wall that could be taken apart and moved to Rotary Park in the Summer and be outside and in the winter it could be moved inside the Library.

We will see what happens and the Town’s response.  I told them that I’m sure I could find people to help me to build it and even donate a couple bucks to by some wood and chalkboard paint.

If you have 6 minutes… please watch the video from TED TALKS from Candy that explains how she started it and where it has grown to after she put up one wall in her community.

You can visit the Before I Die website here.

With regards to the book… I thought it would be great to keep it moving forward.  I created some instructions at the front of the book that makes each person who’s hands it falls in have to write their first name, city and their “before i die” statement inside the book… so each person who reads this can also read who’s hands it has passed and those person’s individual statements.  Hopefully the book travels far and touches many people and I hope they start the same type of project where they live.

It’s Ok To Have A Cloudy Head | It’s Sometimes Hard To See Where You Are Going | Hard To Focus

Friday, February 15th, 2013

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Just get through today.  Just go day by day.  Just keep going forward.  There is no finish line.  Keep your head up and your heart strong.  I do that.  I have been humbled, dropped to my knees where it’s hard to get up.  I try and get up and I fall.  I fail.  I make mistakes.  I make many mistakes.  I forgive.  I try and forget.  I regret.  I try.  I have good days.  I have bad days.  I am thankful.  I appreciate things and people.  I’m excited for those who I have not met yet.  I am blessed.  I am human.  I am a man.  I am a good father.  I am not a good father.  I have ups.  I have downs.  I am judged incorrectly and others perceive impressions that are incorrect of me.

Day By Day…

I am thankful for many little things.  I know that.  My kids keep me going.

Day By Day…

Winter | Darkness | Cold | Quiet | Inside Hiding

Friday, December 21st, 2012

a winter

It’s a special time of year… and it’s also a time for new beginnings.  A time that we reflect and look forward into a new year.  It’s also a time to focus on our family, friends as well as ourselves.

We stay in more.  We get scared to go outside in the dark.  We are too chicken of the cold & we tend to live inside in silence without music.

Open your eyes, dress up, get outside, go for a walk, go for a hike, go for a drive.  Turn on the radio.  Download some new songs for a new year and let them play.  Phone a friend.  Go out for coffee.  Shovel some snow.  Buy a $5 gift card from Tim Horton’s and give it to the garbage man, the secretary at school or even a stranger you see walking towards you.

Have a great year!  Kiss your kids.  Tell them you love them.  Phone someone you went to high school with.

Just keep doing!  Just keep going!  Just keep dreaming + trying to better yourself as you move forward.  You can’t go back and change the past… you can just work on today and each day that comes.  Just focus on today.  Make today great!