Leaving town but will come back to rock it!
These are my last few days in Toronto, I’m leaving town not having found my footing but its freeing knowing that one road is over and a new one is upon me. I came to Toronto five years ago hoping to get a job and build a life. I got a job and moved but that crashed and burned pretty fast.
After that I spent months wandering, doing everything I could not to have to go back to Windsor. I did everything from door to door, to employment agencies working odd jobs and so on. I went to college for advertising and just as I finished the economy imploded I was left to wander. I found a job but that wouldn’t last and I spend 2 years in standby. Too unsure of myself to move forward.
I got the door slammed in my face more times that I can to remember, advertising was a bust, most of it was of my own doing and I just felt broken. I didn’t know what I wanted. This was when I started writing articles for a couple websites here and there. I pretended I had something when in reality it was a shell game. I played pretend, when it was just a front built on sand and its slipped away leaving a choice to stay or go and I choose go because I fear it.
I’ve written about startups and technology, in one way I wanted to be an entrepreneur but was more of a wantrepreneur, I had ideas but couldn’t commit the time or energy because I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to go. I had to stop being paralyzed by my fear (of my diabetes) and that is what travel is for me. A chance to live, instead of survive, to get uncomfortable and face the truth and remake my own reality.
People seek stability, having some semblance of normalcy, I sought that as much as anyone but you are your own worst enemy and I didn’t believe that I had the skill or ability to get my life together. I was afraid to fail but I’ve been doing that for a long time now, so why not just tackle the mountain not just climb the hill.
It doesn’t matter what you do, all that matters is that you try. You define your success, no else does. You can let society tell you what you should do or should be or you can make that choice yourself and choose to clear your own way through the noise.
I’m almost deaf from the echo chamber, of expectation from family, a feeling of shame that comes from the falls, a lack of confidence when I should have no reason to feel do down and out. Today though I can’t wait to lift the veil and confront the fog. You have to be smart, realize you’ll make epic mistakes and know the risks you’re taking.
I’m traveling alone to prove to myself that I can, I’m going to hunker down and write a novel, finish my script and see if that will be a new opening to enter. Maybe it won’t be but I believe, that if I want it, truly want it then I can make it happen. That if can see my future, get good advice and go at it full force then the only roadblock I truly face is the fear that paralyzes, and the self doubt that causes your confidence to crumble.
All I have is a few seeds for a story or two. I stopped looking for work because I did not believe in myself or my abilities. So travelling is about living life, the challenge and the triumph, finding the hope to overcome the fear. To gain an appreciation of where I come from, what my parents did and what I can still do.
That is the journey, I leave Toronto with a mission to give these stories form, to take them from the veil and bring them to existence and if someone can relate to it, then I consider that a win. Let’s go!
So travel bloggers from around the world descended on Toronto for a weekend of networking, drinks and and fun across the GTA. It’s funny I have lived in Toronto for years and its surprising how easy it is to take things for granted.
From the diversity, to the events and the people you forget how great Toronto can be. It isn’t without its faults but then again, no city is. So TBEX is a goodbye of sorts for me to Toronto. Its the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
I’m not moving back to my hometown, I’m drawing a red line, to figure out what comes next and to break down my walls and test my absolutes beyond. I met some amazing people, some I hope I can learn from of what to do and more importantly what not to do. Although I probably will anyway. That’s just part of it.
Now its preparing for the mission to write a book, finish my script and see if I can do it. I’m not new to blogging but I am new to the commitment of blogging regularly. For the trip I’m taking starting in Thailand. I have no expectations, no plan, I’m gonna wing it. My friend Tony told me to write every day and meet someone new each day, that’s the only plan I got.
Prepare for the worst as they say. I met @DangerousBiz at the party, among many others at the party. I hope I can connect to some of them as I start my first solo adventure in June. Cheers all, these first posts are gonna be brutal but that’s just part of the journey.
I was at Mesh last week and I got a chance to see a MakerBot, one of those 3D printers that’s making the rounds slowly but steadily becoming mainstream. Here are a few pictures of one up close. Seeing it work is pretty damn cool and knowing you can download objects and print them out is amazing. What a great prototyping tool and I wonder what form 3D printers will take a few years down the line. Will we move beyond plastics and polymers as the technology becomes more accessible to the rest of us.
I spy me a tentacle
Printing out coolness one layer at a time
What is that in the makerbot?
You can go to thingiverse to find new stuff to print out. I guess that means you could model anything in a 3D modeling suite and create something that is printable. I look forward to printing out figures and putting them together in the future or at least if you have misplaced a piece of lego being able to print a new one out instead of make due without that one piece you need to finish your Lego masterpiece.
The 4th edition of LSMTO rolls into incubes
Just the other week another Lean Startup Machine came to Toronto, occupying the [IN]cubes office in Toronto April 26th -28th. I’m not a coder or a startup person myself. In reality I’m an observer whose seen the frustration and spark that goes on when you are forced to face strangers with your ideas and watch them either tear you a new one, confirm your hypothesis or reveal the unexpected. I’ve always wanted to get involved but I still feel like a newbie writer whose still searching for his sense of self, of belonging.
I’ve found in my own experience doing Startup Weekend and LSM that its the unexpected that really reveals a lot. Lean Startup Machine parallels the structure you find at Startup Weekend. You pitch, the best build teams and you go through the process of validating the idea. The only difference is that at Startup Weekend your team is coding from the start. I was helping out as one of the Toronto people who helped put it on, it always reminds me of the risks and rewards out there for those who are willing to head into the unknown.
At LSM you are working on the problem, seeing if that awesome idea you had at the start really has substance. More often than not what you thought and what reality says are 2 very different things. Soon enough most teams are pivoting so much they might as well be spinning. While at startup weekend once you commit to building going back and changing things becomes a tad harder.
I’ve walked the long road, the one that dips and turns, with barriers and locks
It’s not a single path but a maze I’ve been lost in fog as I try to find my own sense of self
I still don’t know who that Eric is, I can feel that guy but he’s been hidden away
Trapped by doubt and fear, That me is sheltered by possibilities feared will never come
I seek to find him, me by letting go of the dark by going with what I feel
After avoiding my heart for my head, letting my mind make the choice
When all it needs to do is understand, while the soul’s the one that owns the answer
I shall find the confidence to believe that the possibilities are still sky high not dug down
Let’s make that reality first in spirit, then in mind and through force of will
I believe that I am not that lone wolf, that I (we) have value and can have impact
To be a force for change, even if that’s just in our own lives to start, let’s open the door
Let’s bring about a better day for others even if its through the small things, they matter
So I’m outta here Toronto, I do not know if I shall return but love the city and her people
I’ve been beaten down by your grind, was made tired, frustrated but found strength in the dark
This is no white flag, this is a thirst to experience the world that makes up your soul
It’s about risk and leaving fear, hunger to live for that rare experience forged on the long trail
Hello world, we don’t know each other, Hell I don’t know myself but I can’t wait to
I hope you’ll help me find the spark, friends, lovers and mischief makers who live for the day
They’ll challenge me, and I will do the same, I shall have their backs and I hope they’ll have mine
Let’s break out of the bubble to feel the scale, beauty and the hurt that is the world we will change