I am making a point to write more frequently.
A friend of mine recently said to me, “I hope you are writing everything down that is happening in your life right now, you are a living part of Pittsburgh’s history, and you should be sure to document it. You have started a movement here.”
Honestly, that was a pretty crazy thing to hear from another person.
It felt good though, because in a way it made me feel a little less crazy.
The truth is that when everything you have dreamed of and worked for begins to come true, the hardest part is believing that what is happening is real.
For four years I worked on my art simply dreaming about what it would be like to have the ability to truly be able to do it fulltime, and have my work recognized.
And then it hit me that becoming full time at anything is simply a choice to fully commit your life to it. And over the past year and a half that is what I have done.
For the first time in my life I have given myself daily to something not just through belief but also through consistent and persistent action.
At this point Sean and I are teaching art classes to the next generation of artists weekly, and speaking in school after school.
We are helping shape the future, and in that I find a purpose that I have never felt before.
The projects we are doing, and clients we are acquiring are getting bigger by the day, and it seems like each day a career milestone is being hit. I’m learning that at this point all that matters is working hard, progressing at my craft, and learning from the life that is being given to me.
I am asked more questions now, but I also have more answers, and I have discovered that I learn the most through teaching others.
I have decided to give away most of the things that I own at this point. I have donated most of my clothes, downsized my relationships, and am selling my house to move to the studio fulltime. It has been such a good change for me.
More and more I am realizing that having a large quantity of stuff is like having an anchor, and I refuse to allow stuff to limit me experiencing life to the fullest. Simplicity is beautiful, and I desire to live simply.
I want to make art, I want to inspire, I want to challenge, I want to experience life, and I’ve decided that in a large way, having unnecessary stuff takes away from the energy I can put towards doing those things.
I think that mastering the art of letting go largely is what life is about. As humans we desire to hold on, therefore in a way we hold back.
I think largely we see invested time as potential time lost, but I feel like true time lost is time that is never spent. So at this point I am downsizing and letting go.
I want to spend my time better and in a way, get some of it back by letting go of the unnecessary.
I want only the necessary in my life and all for a reason.
I think that my perspective is becoming more rare in that regard. Not many people get to do this, and simply knowing that makes me feel responsibly blessed. I feel power in having my words validated by actually having people desire to learn from what I have to say, and not just hearing the noise from my lips. I want to speak words now. Not just make noise.
I dress the same each day now, and work my best to honor the vibe or the character that I have chosen to live. I have learned that there is tremendous power in controlling the way that the world perceives you instead of being dictated by it.
Consistency is a consistent key.
As humans we are capable of being consistent, but also staying consistent while progressively changing.
As humans we can decide what we want to be, we can decide what we say, and we can even decide what we feel, and I find that miraculous.
The reality of what is happening right now is that I chased a crazy dream with a group of my best friends, and together we have started a movement that is helping change the city in which we live. Each day now, I am learning what previously took me months or even years to learn. I think this is because my dreams are what is at stake. And as of now, I am my dream awakened.
Right now everything seems heightened, from the way I see the world, to the way I make decisions, and the way I think and learn daily.
Maybe this is what being an artist is supposed to be like? Having a rare perspective on the world, and time period in which you reside, and to document and share that with others.
Everyday is terrifying, because each day truly is unknown for me, and the stakes are very high. But that is the cost of chasing a dream. I never know where my next job or idea is coming from, and because of that I am forced to be brave in my pursuit daily at this point.
Because each day I am afraid, each day I make the choice to be brave.
It feels good knowing that I am brave at my core, because my life is built on the ability to walk with fear while not being directed by it.
Because of this the thing that is most necessary to continue progressing is constantly being self aware and self-evaluating, at this point I am my own captain, therefore I know I am also potentially my own worst enemy.
In this there is tremendous freedom, but also tremendous responsibility in directing my ship, especially because I am not the only one on board.
But I have a great crew.
The people I work with each day inspire me to be a better person, leader, and friend. And knowing that they trust me to steer gives me confidence in what I am doing but also an accountability that I have never experienced in life.
Everything I do, I do with them in mind.
I love my team.
Each day that I am afforded another to chase my dreams I feel free.
At this point there is no turning back. For me I have put myself in the position where I have to perform, and I’m learning that it is a beautiful place to be.
Each day I learn, so each day I change. I feel like a dry sponge in a river.
To get where I am now I had to risk everything that I had, and because of that I know deep down that what I am doing is more important than what my life was prior.
Each day requires me to sacrifice everything, because now I am truly who I chose to be, not who I was told.
Because of this I have no regrets.
I think that is what recreating yourself is; the ability to sacrifice the old, in exchange for something new that you see as worth it that you get to choose.
At this point I know myself well, but am so different that I don’t recognize I see in the mirror. My mind is completely different, but my face looks the same.
I am something completely different than what I was when I came to this city. I remember the first time when I drove through the tunnel and Pittsburgh exploded in front of my eyes. I distinctly remember wondering what my legacy here would be.
At this point I’m still unsure of that in a way, but in a way I am not. What I do know is that I am in the position where what I do daily will leave a mark on history. This has changed my perspective quite a bit on the concept of time. I have realized that the ‘now’ is a beautiful place to live.
I desire to learn from my past, hope for my future, and conquer my now.
I am the captain of my ship, and I must move forward.
I believe destiny is real, and that a man aligns with it once he finds his purpose for himself only, and then selflessly gives his gifts to the world.
Your past is what made you, but the ‘now’ is what shapes you. With each second that passes you get a second chance.
You are always more than what you were.
Now is new.