Every so often I like to come on here and just give an update on what I've been up to. For me, 2018 has been super exciting so far; I've spent the first part thinking deeply about my future, setting challenging personal goals towards better aligning myself with my morals and values, and taking steps towards directing my career and life towards a more fulfilling and gratifying future.
Although I haven't been shooting as much a I normally do, I have been setting myself up to be shooting much more in the future. By slowing down and 'making moves' towards my future career, I hope to put myself in a direction that will more than make up for the lack of shooting lately. With the creation of "A Magazine" I've found a new spark and excitement that has motivated me to start conversations with potential clients and outlets that I couldn't be more excited to potentially work with.
Aside from the promotion and marketing of the magazine, I've also begun planning a long-term project that combines my passions with my craft. In short, it's a photography and interview series that highlights individuals who have committed their lives towards bettering our planet. Remember that story I did on Paul of Grow Calgary? That's essentially being used as the first feature. The project will have it's own life with a dedicated website, and will also act as an outlet to explore other passions and topics within that world. The site will house a blog focused on outdoor living, environmentally conscious life-choices, and conversations around living a more intentional life. It'll also touch on my introduction into #vanlife and living a conscious, minimalistic lifestyle.
I've been intrigued by the #vanlife lifestyle for the last few years and gave it a test-go last summer with a beater van I bought for $500. Even though the van I tested with was FAR from perfect it was still enough to confirm it was something I wanted to get more involved with. So, I bought another van. It's a MUCH less flashy van but it's also a MUCH more practical one. This one doesn't catch fire and checks off most of the boxes I required in my search.
The "new" van is a cargo van, but after plenty of research, I believe this is the right option to go with; it'll be much easier to customize as it's basically a clean slate, and it will also make "stealth camping" much easier in cities, as it's pretty obvious when someone is sleeping in a classic VW Vanagon.
The catch? It didn't run. While knowing I got a great deal on it, I also knew I would have to sacrifice some free-time in return for the financial gain. I've essentially been spending 90% of my free time in a friends garage working on the van. I spent countless hours learning mechanics, opening the engine, and making it run, and now we're on to the body work and modifications to make it livable. I'll go into more detail in other blog posts soon.
Although there's definitely been moments of overwhelming frustration, I still can't be more thankful for the situation I was able to put myself in. I've been able to sell most of my belongings (again) and move into a house with two friends that are both mechanically inclined and super handy. Not only do I have two friends who are generous enough to teach me and help me with the project, but I also have a place with a heated, fully equipped garage. The process, although challenging, has been extremely rewarding and has given me so much needed confidence in the skillsets that are likely required when dealing with a van of this sort.
Aside from being busy with the above projects, I've also been focusing a lot of my energy on re-aligning myself to be more in-tune with my moral and ethical beliefs. While spending more time educating myself on issues I find important, I have started to understand the importance of taking action in my life to reduce, or help, the problems I find troubling.
For instance, I've been actively trying to reduce my environmental trace by gradually taking steps that not only simplify my life, but also make me feel less guilty about my contribution to our landfill and plastic problems. Step-by-step, I've introduced new routines into my life that have not only become a normal way of life, but have also become a fun, personally rewarding challenge to work towards. Once I began reducing, I started finding entertainment in seeing just how little I can produce. Below is an example of my day bag that I carry with me and the few contents that help this process..
In addition to reducing my waste contribution I've also been putting more effort into other areas such as drastically reducing my meat consumption, being more conscious of my purchases through buying used or researching ethical brands, repairing things before replacing, and just generally living a more intentional life.
Through these steps, I've found myself living a generally more humble and focused lifestyle. By putting limitations and intention in each decision I've found my life to be simpler with less distractions. By reducing my belongings, simplifying my diet, and limiting what I consume I've narrowed down my options and, with less options, comes easier decisions. By simplifying these day-to-day decisions I'm able to focus that mental energy on decisions that have more weight and importance. Also, I can now finally validate my habit of wearing the same pair of jeans all week long.
So yeah, things are really good. I would consider the current phase of my life a 'transition phase' and although these phases can be uncomfortable and a true test of patience, I couldn't be more excited for the near future. By making all these big decisions now and sacrificing a lot of my current free time, I'm confident that the future will bring a more creative and fulfilling work life, a lot of exciting adventures, and a life just generally more aligned with the person I've become, and hope to be in the future.
Thanks! Looking forward to sharing my new projects in the near future!