Saturday, 20 December 2014

Editorial: An Old Fool...

Well, it finally happened. That moment where I stopped and said, "shit, I am old". So I was enjoy a quite Friday afternoon, drinking a coffee at my local Starbucks and drawing in my sketchbook. When around a certain time after 3 PM, I noticed a lot of high school kids coming into the cafe. Loud and noisy bunch, even with my headphones on, I began to notice more and more things that were bugging me. I noticed, hey, they haven't bought a coffee or even a bagel, 20 damn kids and not one of them bought something. Keep in mind, where I live by Royal York and Bloor is a pretty classy neighbourhood and none of these kids looked underprivileged. Then I noticed all of them going to the bathroom, together, and drinking booze in the bathroom. I just thought, shouldn't you kids be doing something useful with your life? Homework? Studying? It was embarrassing to see 16 year old kids stumble drunkly out of the bathroom. I thought, shit, we are a world at war here and all you kids can think of is drinking in a bathroom and trying to get your dicks wet?! And then I really thought hard, what about you? Don't you remember when you were that age? I wasn't on the honour roll. I wasn't a good kid, but that's not to say I was a bad kid by any stretch. I was troubled, I think. I am not sure. To my readers, I must confess, I don't have a good memory. I remember big moments, events and times, but details and little things, I tend to forget. I want to remember more, I want to know what kind of blocks I was laying down, the blocks that became me. I think sometimes, maybe I hurt people, maybe I wasn't as good as I thought I was, and maybe I have a life ahead of me to make up for all my mistakes. But that's what got me thinking about those kids, and what could I do to help.

I think it's easy for all of us to judge. We do it all the time, all of us, in some way or form we are constantly judging the world around us. And let's be honest, because f*ck me if I feel that we can all be way more honest with one and other, even if it hurts. I think of how little time we all have and man, I get scared, I worry on how dishonest we can be.  And hell, I get shit from my family from this a lot, and you know I can admit sometimes I may come off as an asshole, but I don't want to sugar coat things. Am I worried about my finances? Absolutely, I fear Visa is going to send a hitman and murder me. Do I need to find another job or more work? Yes, yes I do and that may involve working overnight to pay off my debts and to be able to look into getting my own place. Do I feel alone sometimes? More like most of the time, I just can't see a future with someone in my life. I hate my body, I want to work out. I want to be a better artist, I want to see more of the world and I seriously want the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup before I kick the bucket. This is me just being as open as I can be without me showing my browsing history. I am saying all this because I know that I can do more for the present and for the future, regardless of my past. 

I feel a bit like both of these characters.

I know people and programs in this city that are doing and trying to do a lot of good, especially with the youth of today. And knowing that, I know what I need to do next. I want to do something for the youth, I want to help out, make a difference. And why not? What I wouldn't do to go back in time and tell my younger self to focus, to pay attention to the big picture, to realize how much more your worth. I am no saint and I don't think I am trying to be, have you seen how many times I used "I" in this blog alone, it's extremely self help in a way. At the end of the day, we all have the ability to make a difference and to be a difference, we can be pretentious or self righteous, we can tell our selves that we are always doing good and can do no wrong. Or we can just open the door, and go outside. The world is out there, we have to give a chance.

So I guess to close this off, I wanted to apologize about being a grumpy old man. It's so easy to complain and point out the flaws in others, but I think taking the step back and looking at your own imperfections, looking at what you can do to make the world a better place, that's the first step. I am not sure what I am going to leave behind in this world, but I am going to try and leave something worth talking about, something that can inspire courage and compassion to love without question. Okay, the sap is dry from this maple tree, I will see you guys later, thank you for reading and remember to keep chasing the storm.