The Next Chapter

It had been 17 months at the time of this writing since I was laid off from Vice Media, and my world certainly turned upside down, but at the same time I was still moving forward. It just didn’t feel like it at the time. I was angry, I was hurt, I was unsettled, and for the most part, I lost a bit of confidence in myself, because I thought that I would have to start from scratch all over again. That didn’t end up being the case, because I certainly had a great deal of experiences that followed that life-changing event, but it was hard to keep a smile on my face that possessed true meaning, outside of the obvious – that being my wife.

Much love to Alibi Entertainment, EOne, CBC, and RTR Media for helping me segue out of my 20s, because every opportunity is another badge of experience that I acquire, and it further develops my skills in ways that I may not appreciate immediately, but certainly leave an impact down the line. I’ve had my fair share in boredom, lack of motivation, and quite frankly, I had to retool my focus and dedicate myself to whatever would make me happy and fill the creative void that was opened up. I joined the gym, and I really dedicated myself to being better physically, in hopes that the rest would follow. Passion projects took a hit, friendships took a hit, family time took a hit, I was really in a place where I just didn’t want to be actively involved as much as I was before, and I didn’t feel the need to have to explain myself – I already talk a lot, but there was nothing left to be said.

When I turned 20, it was 2009, and I was about to enter my final year of school at Mohawk College. My mom and I moved from Scarborough to Leaside, and I pretty much had to figure out how I was going to make my way into the Post Production industry to continue to chase my dreams to become a video editor. I was pretty persistent when it came to putting out feelers and sending out cold emails to whomever I could find. I also looked at internships for Complex, Vibe, and The Source, because my love of writing was still there, and I felt like I could do that as well. I was trying to be overly ambitious and attempt to move out by the age of 21, because once you give a kid a taste of living on his own, and has proven that he can survive by paying bills and cooking (minimally, mind you), then you want that permanently. It didn’t end up working that way, but the intention was out there in the universe.

I’ve written profusely about my experiences in my 20s, and it feels like word vomit to keep bringing them up, but the biggest year for me was my last year of my 20s. A lot of things happened at 29, and I feel that the lessons learned in this year have set me up to go into my 30s with a growing attitude and a refined perspective on life. Getting married is one thing, signing your first lease with your wife is another, and having come-to-Jesus moments about your career path is one more, but the fact that those all came to be within the same calendar year, I’m grateful for each experience, whether it was a pleasant experience or a shitty one. I witnessed my hometown basketball team win a championship, and although sports is an extension of personal entertainment, I was able to contribute to it with my craft, and that’s an experience I’ll never forget.

Advice is tricky to give when no one asks for it, and I’m not so into myself that I feel the need to do so, but I will say that staying present and allowing myself to feel emotions as they come was a big thing for me to learn, especially when I got laid off. A contract ending is regular, but when you’re in the equivalent of a good marriage and out of nowhere it just ends and you’re left with no closure, that pain sits with you, and it sat with me for a while. The neglect that I began to dish out for so many entities, it was a trip, but slowly I found my way back and hopefully I can carry that momentum forward.

I’m happy to say that after that bout of turmoil, life came back around full circle, and I’m back at Vice to really pick up where I left off. The vibe has changed, but my spirit has certainly come back in a positive way that I know I can build from. Here’s to new memories to come and new goals to achieve.

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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