June 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
The below journal entry was written on an ipod touch in a hotel room in Jakarta after a 2 month surf adventure. The trip was planned to recharge my internal batteries after a back injury and ruthless NYC winter that kept me out of the water for 6 months and left me working long hours in a bar (that part was my choice). I just returned from a boat surfing the best waves on the planet somewhere off west Sumatra. My head is spinning on the emotional high of the adventure, the uncertainty of where I belong in the world, the uncertainty of what’s really important in my life and what awaits as I return to “normal” life in my home of NYC. Below are my unedited thoughts and cerebral meanderings…
I chase waves… I’m addicted! I feel like it’s what I was put here to do. I believe everyone is addicted to something, so why does everyone think addiction is such a bad thing? I have to admire an “addicts” unwavering sense of commitment to their addiction. They know how to get things done while many of us let life pass by.
Does ur addiction get u up in the morning? have u found the thing u love? The thing u believe u were put on this planet to do? If you were to die today did you live your life or just survive it?
Why do we often wait til we’ve lost to show our love? Do u appreciate what you have or are you going to wait til it’s gone to miss it and wonder “what if” I made different choices? It’s difficult to accomplish anything great playing it safe. Will u sleep better having risked it all and failed or having played it safe and always wondered?
Does it ever seem like u live 2 lives? In NYC I feel like most people live at least 4. The one u dream u live, the one u came to live, the one u actually live and the one u think u should live based on what everyone else your age is doing. I want it all and I want it now. I like to look at my life like a Hollywood movie. Creating romantic mini stories out of special moments. It makes it more memorable. This is why I made this short. Simply pressing record to document one of my many lives, the one I dream I could live more often chasing waves around the planet with not a care in the world.
In NYC it seems like 6-7 day work weeks powered by 4-5 hrs sleep are the norm. The pace can become maddening. We become vampires. We’re all immigrants of some sort who came here w inspiration and something to prove, but too many dreams get lost in this concrete jungle. The strong survive but is simply surviving any way to live? Years pass by like minutes and what have we really done with our lives?
I can’t complain. I love this city. The art, the music, the food, the people and the opportunity to become anything your heart desires. The rest of the world has a fascination with NYC but having grown up here I need to leave to keep my sanity. a weekend getaway won’t do, It’s not enough time to unwind. I need to disappear. Start over. Have an adventure. I need to not have a plan, contact, or the false sense of security that traps most people in an unfulfilled existence.
My trip is now in its final minutes but I think back to only a few days earlier when I find myself distanced from the material world on a boat somewhere off western Sumatra. I made it! A dream that was born long before I knew it existed is finally realized! There are countless reasons and excuses (debt, relationships, responsibility) I could’ve made to not be here right now, but I didn’t. I quit my job, gave up the apt, moved my life back into storage, turned off the phone and I couldn’t be happier. In this moment I’m complete. The irony is in my greatest moment of happiness I’m also completely selfish with loved ones left behind, but pleasantly fulfilled. This isn’t my 1st adventure and I think many of them get it by now.
There’s a set approaching with my name on it. If I miss this chance it will never exist again. The rest of the boat is calling me into it. A crew of strangers only a few days before are now my new family at sea. Everyone here chasing the wave of a lifetime. I have to go or I lose respect which translates into wave choice. Respect means a lot in the middle of the ocean. It’s gained in different ways. Overcoming fear and throwing yourself over the ledge into a draining reef pass helps. Coming out with a few new scratches only adds to the experience. Over 40 hours travel. Thousands of dollars, 9 months slaving away behind the bar saving all culminating in these few seconds alone with mother nature. A wave that has traveled equally as far across great oceans ending it’s existence on the same reef I float above. It’s a religious experience. I believe we were destined to meet here. Two great energies aligning. Will it get the best of me as I bounce off the reef or will I escape from the heaving tube and tear the face clean off it with my fins? Only way to know is to go. With great risk comes great reward. I’ve experienced many a failure but not this time. This time is mine.
It’s almost time to get back to reality… whatever that means. The weight of responsibility is quickly setting in but I couldn’t care less in this moment because I’ve chased and caught another dream. I overcame challenge, took a chance and it paid off big. I figure I only live once, What memories do I want to have? Memories trading hours for dollars to get more things or hours spent exploring the world. I will never regret an adventure. It’s a chance to grow. The responsibility will still be there when I get back. Nothing will have changed except my eyes will be open, my heart aligned, and my mind freshly charged with new memories. You can’t put a price on new perspective.
The winter and time out of the water was tough but if I’m unhappy with how things are… Change. Nobody has a gun to my head. Be responsible with others feelings and make a move. What’s the worst that can happen? Life’s to short and the only limitations are the ones I place on myself. They’re not real. Do I want to make major life decisions Out of fear or inspiration? I know what’s important to me and I’m going to do it every chance I get…
This was the trip of a lifetime for me and I know I’ll be asked how it was. I can’t adequately put into words the excitement of showing up in a 3rd world country with nothing but a few surfboards and a backpack but no place to stay, the excitemtent of driving on curbs and through traffic speeding past cops to avoid them taking a bribe, slipping a few notes into a passport to expedite the way through customs after overstaying a visa, and ending up in an office, trying to order food I hope is safe by pointing because I lack a common language with the little old lady preparing it, getting on a motorcycle for the 1st time in the country I had a trip ending accident that left me cut open in a foreign hospital only years before. All I can say way that it was amaaazing… Hopefully this clip will show a little more of just how amazing it was. Hope you enjoy.
My family and friends always joke they want to come back as me in their next life. My dad just got 1st passport at 60, and I’m taking mom skydiving for birthday this month at age 61. They often ask how I live this amazing life. I don’t take my life for granted but I couldn’t imagine life any other way. I have challenges just like anyone but refuse to let them dictate my life. I wanted to capture a glimpse of my experience so family and friends could understand. It’s a bit weird posting for the world to see but I know this inspires me and hopefully will do the same for anyone viewing.
At 36 I’m supposed to be married with kids, a house, a steady job and some sort of secure plan for future right? Or am I? Who makes the rules? And what fun is it to always obey them?
I see far too many people depressed because they set the goals and followed the rules they believe they’re supposed to, rather than looking in their heart to find their own inspiration. If u ever want to learn a lot about yourself buy a plane ticket to an unfamiliar country and show up with no accommodation, contacts, plan or itinerary. Throw caution to the wind. See the world and always remember to DO EPIC SHIT
Having never shot a movie before I got an ipod touch 5 days before my trip, downloaded the 8mm app and pressed play. I didn’t know what I wanted this to look like so I whipped the camera out for 30 second increments whenever I aw something I’d like to remember. There were plenty of times my battery was dead, light was low or it wasn’t possible to bring the camera, but spanning a 2 month adventure I ended up with almost 2 hours of 30 second clips. I placed them together chronologically, sped up the play speed and added music to capture the emotion. The clip opens in NYC winter 2011 with LCD soundsystem – “NY I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” and Albert Hammond Jr.- “It’s Hard To Live In The City”. The Asustralia, Bali and Sumatra segments use Deadmau5- “I Remember”, and the final photo section finished with the Bag Raiders “Shooting Stars”. All created in Imovie.