This Doesn’t Define You…

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Documentary
Tags: , ,

Goonies, Astoria, Oregon, Portland

I’ve just come off some of the most memorable months of my life. I finally tracked my Z – a car I spent the last two years (often in strife) rebuilding – at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for ZCON (a personal triumph in and of itself).

Traveled to the west to explore Portland, Oregon. Left the US for the beautiful shores of Ireland (my first ever trip abroad). And even when back in NY – kept the party going with a rowdy group of Australians in town for a friend’s wedding. I’ve seen some amazing sights, and met even more incredible people. For the first time in a long time, I felt alive. I was living life, the way I always dreamed of living it.

Six months prior, I lost (what I thought was) the love of my life… but even before that, I lost my way.

For all the good my documentary will hopefully do – identifying, and exploring on camera, a stockpile of emotions I spent years burying, really took its toll on me. The term blood sweat and tears couldn’t describe my journey thus far more accurately, as I’ve literally bled for this project… but in the process, lost all sight of who or what I was.

And then, as if it couldn’t get any worse, my three-year relationship ended. And in that moment, I died – or rather the old me did – and I’ve come to see that as a blessing in disguise. With a clean slate and no strings attached, the long fog that had clouded my vision finally parted. I didn’t know who I was, or what I wanted, but I was DAMN sure I was going to find out.

The past six months have meant so much more than words can describe; a culmination of personal growth that’s been a long time coming. A truly awakening experience; one that I hope is just the beginning, a move towards an entirely new way of thinking, a new way of life!

Of course, I’m not foolish enough to believe that I can continue to live my life on permanent vacation (although wouldn’t that be amazing). And my recent adventures come, quite literally, with a price (as my bank account has taken a hit from said adventures). But as I settle back into reality, and take mental stock of my life as it currently stands, I keep hearing this voice in my head saying – This doesn’t define you…

I’ve been thinking that for a while actually – regarding my cars, my home, and even my “disability” – but was long afraid to act on those words. I was comfortable… unhappy, but comfortable. I’m surrounded by these things… material possessions; things that I thought defined me (or that I needed to define me). Maybe If I have enough (insert cars, electronics, a home, etc.), I’ll eventually be happy… feel like I’ve done something with my life. But deep down, I always knew that road was a dead end. I just couldn’t face it, until now.

I’ve been to hell and back with this project (both the Z build and the documentary), but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Yes, I injured myself (twice), spent way too much time and money, and generally induced a state of anxiety so deep that I have no doubt was part of what caused a loving relationship to fall apart… But I’ve learned so much about who I am (and what I truly want) in the process.

This isn’t a race, and I’ve got a documentary to finish – I imagine it will take several months to wind down my life as it currently stands. And if I’m honest, I don’t even know what it will look like when the dust settles. But big changes are coming, the time is now.

Jay

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