Small steps, Jason is what a former mentor and CEO once said to me when I was feeling frustrated from a series of failed test trials at work. I never forgot that even though the words are so simple, it resonated deeply in me coming from someone who leaned on me for the success of the project and had complete faith in my efforts. Every now and again those words pop up in my head especially when I reflect on how far I've come as a man over these last 5 years (and change). Not only am I talking about my mental health, but as a dad, friend and much more. I struggled before with managing my anger. I was the guy who cursed in traffic, worried anxiously over little things beyond my control such as the weather and other people's decisions, and was fragile when it came to my self-esteem.
Healing is a word we sometimes use loosely without much thought to its profound power and value. Externally, we are constantly healing, replacing dead skin cells and old hair follicles. Internally, healing takes place in a different way. It requires a lot more self awareness and motivation.
When I made the promise of being the best dad, I took it seriously and still do! Naturally, I stumbled along the way from time to time, being a dad who was impatient, selfish and angry, mirroring many similarities to my own father. However, I always managed to self-reflect after I faltered, hoping I wouldn't repeat the same mistakes by trying to identify any recurring patterns. By self reflection, I mean working with counsellors, meditating, journaling, and doing the work.
I've always carried a sense of creativity ever since I was a kid. I used to love writing short stories in elementary school for the class to read out loud. Throughout the rest of my school years, Art class was by far my favorite outlet, followed by Creative Writing to release my sense of quirkiness and ambitious imagination. Fast forward to adulthood and I chose the road more travelled, becoming a scientist, or more precisely a Food Developer. It's an enriching career filled with rewarding experiences, learning the science and development behind food manufacturing that most of us take for granted. But, after long days of repeated trials, I go home and relinquish myself of the title, "certified Foodie", devouring my microwaved dinner with great ease. Then, as the evening wears on, I gladly turn to my true passion; learning something more about who I am. The artist in me. The creator. The writer. The True me.
I just got back from my dream trip to Iceland, and let me tell you, I had the most incredible time there with friends Randy and Rene. I could go on and on about the vast, beautiful and ever changing terrain or the delish food we had (fermented shark, puffin, lots of lamb), or maybe ramble on about the new friendships we made but no amount of words can capture how important this trip was for me and how I feel today
What happens when you feel stuck? I used to have every excuse in the book for my unhappiness. It was always someone else's fault, or how shitty my upbringing was. I wasn't loved enough, or no one gave me what I needed. My negative attitude led me to a path of depression, anxiety and anger, never able to sustain a healthy relationship with anyone because I would constantly look externally for validation. So that's how I lived my life for decades. I was holding everyone else accountable for my misfortunes, when the answers all came from within.
I hate using the phrase bucket list because it implies life's like a grocery list of to-do's. Not to mention I despise the sound of that haphazard term. Check. Done. Check. Done. Sounds rather unfulfilling when your dreams are laid out that way. So, I'm just going to call it as it is. It's a dream that's coming true!
You probably guessed it. The book's not about cats. It's a witty and satirical follow up to my first book Living with the Dragon, Healing 15 000 Days of Abuse and Shame, and takes a unique spin on looking at life. Filled with sarcastic punchlines and deep-dish insight, I'm looking forward to sharing my latest project with you.