Archive for August, 2013

The Greatest Adventure

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s been awhile.

I haven’t made a blog post since I lived in Virginia over a month ago. I’ve been quite the busy bee. Before I go into what I’ve been up to lately since I’ve arrived in Wisconsin, I’d like to talk about my move and why I moved.

You only have one life to live.

That’s it. Just one. I served 8 years in the military, met my wife, started a family and decided that the military route wasn’t kosher with raising our daughter. My wife and I got out of the military (she was in the service as well) and became government contractors. Making six figures a year is nice, but we lived in DC and had no family near by. Although the money was good, the job was brutal. I hated every last second of it. I loathed getting up to go to work everyday. My boss was in fact Bill Lumbergh from Office Space reborn. As a contractor I got treated like shit and talked to like shit. EVERY. DAY. I went to work everyday, so I could make money, just so I could keep going to work everyday. It was a STUPID cycle. So one day in June I raised two fingers up (you know which ones) to the world society told me I should be in and took my life back.

Life is not dealing with bullshit so you can fill up your 401k. There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future but not at the expense of the present. We are raised from birth to conform to societies notion of how to live life. This is one of the biggest travesties of our generation. We put more value in things than we do experiences. You’re not going to think about what car you drove on your death bed, you’re going to thing of the times you spent with the ones you loved.

My wife (the traditionalist) was scared to death with all of this irrational (rational) thinking I was doing. I was so far gone no one would stop me from doing what I thought needed to be done. So what did I do?

I grabbed life by the balls and took it to where I wanted it to be.

Wisconsin to be exact. My wife, my daughter and I live in my mother-in-laws basement (dropped that bomb eh). It’s around 1800sqft, so it’s got plenty of space and it’s virtually a separate apartment. I have space to do my photography, designing and other projects I do. I absolutely love my mother-in-law, we understand each other quite a bit. Danielle (my wife) lost her dad not too long ago and we had planned to have her mom come move in with us, as it would really be good for her well-being and ours. We were ready to pull the trigger on a big ole house in Washington D.C. (Northern VA) with a basement outfitted much like this one just for her.  I hate Northern VA (except the ethnic food!) and hated my job, so when I realized I didn’t want to be there anymore I had to ask myself where I wanted to live, and despite the odds, just move there. Cedarburg, Wisconsin is the GREATEST CITY IN MODERN DAY AMERICA, I can’t believe how lucky we are that my wife grew up here. But I digress, me explaining the awesomeness of Cedarburg, WI is for another day.

By moving in with her mom it helped our lives in a number of ways. We still pay bills around the house, but now everything is split, so it’s massively cheaper, meaning we don’t have to have such grandiose jobs. Life isn’t about money, like I said, it’s about the things you do with the people you love. My mother-in-law has always treated me like a son, and since I didn’t have a mother growing up, it’s a pretty cool feeling. She really does need us here to help around the house, she’s tiring out a bit. She rarely got to see my daughter (once or twice a year) and now she can see her everyday, and pass on her life lessons. The love in this house is just amazing. The best part is that we live around 100ft from Danica’s (my daughter) school which is also where my wife got a job doing something she really enjoys. The extended family living situation really needs to come back. It can make life a lot easier by working together. If you hate your mother-in-law though, this probably isn’t the solution for you. We could go get our own place, but why? We have privacy. We also have comfort in each other. We have more reasons to go do things together, more adventures to experience.

So here I am.

So what exactly do I do now? I do photography of course! And designing! I help run GiReviews.net as well as consult for BJJ brands. I will also be a US distributor for a UK based Gi brand very soon. I also take care of our little one during the day. Working from home and being self-employed is the greatest thing ever. I also work odd jobs if they come up just because I can. I love trying new things and meeting new people, so why limit myself to some conformist 9-5 job that sucks the soul out of me? I’ve been in Wisconsin for just over a month now and have already shot two major events. A charity event for the March of Dimes called Volley Brawl For Babies (the highest grossing charity in Wisconsin for the March of Dimes) and the US BJJ Grappling Tournament in Milwaukee (some of the photos from these events are in my Photography portfolio). I’ve met a ton of great people and am always networking. Not with the intention of networking, but it’s something that just happens. I’m quite the chatty fellow.

It would have been the most hypocritical thing I could have done in my life by continuing to go through life doing what I hated. What kind of lesson does that teach my daughter?

I’m going to leave you with some Alan Watts goodness. May it change your life.

If you say that money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time: You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is, in order to go on doing things you don’t like doing — which is stupid!

alanwatts

If you love it enough, you’ll likely be good at it, so just do it. Don’t worry about what society thinks you should do or what the norm is. This is your one shot to make yourself happy on this earth, don’t waste it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je3rQevW-cw

Another awesome comic:

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