To live a life without stagnation and regrets demands courage and conviction when we have only fear and doubt. For the past two weeks I have been reflecting on what I want my life to become. The one phrase that returned to my lips in the darker moments: If not now, when? The power that this simple mantra gave me to overcome my fear and doubts was extraordinary. Perhaps it was time for me to own up to my responsibility to the most important person in my life: Anthony N. Chandler. Perhaps it was time for me to acknowledge that I have been living my life for other people’s approval, happiness and general comfort. I had been using the wrong prepositions in my identity construction: we cannot live our lives for other people, but rather, we must live with other people we love. I understand that clear distinction now.
Over this period of self-reflection I have carefully taken apart every aspect and supposition that I have lived through. I have abandoned the excuses we make to keep our lives safe. In March I will turn forty years old, and I have spent the past 39 years leading a life that would allow me to rise above the surface of social inequity. My life has been difficult, hard, and challenging by anyone’s standards, but I have accepted that with adaptation I could carry on until I left the tunnel. I am no saint; I am no devil either. But again, if I do not take risks for the experiences and people I want to share them with now, when will I? Never. So now it is.
In the past week, I have shot my best photographic work for my clients, Paderno and Base Camp X. I attended the fascinating baseball bat exhibit, The Fall Classic, to check out the brilliance of Graeme Cameron and the boys at Garrison Creek Bat Company. I went out and bought a wicked leather kilt for a late night showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I dressed up for Halloween at school for the boys and myself. I have been cooking when I want to. I have been sleeping very little; I have been running 5kms regularly. I look and feel better than I ever have before. Yes, technically I am still emotionally bleeding, there is metaphorical blood loss, but if I did not stay up now that I am up, then what would I have accomplished? I know who I am. I know who I want to run with. Denn die Todten reiten Schnell.
The name of this blog has been changed. If Not Now, When? represents a paradigm shift. It is about sucking the marrow out of life’s bones and running with the wolves. It is not about playing safe; it is not about worrying about the future. The blog will still examine my life as a commercial photographer in Toronto, but I firmly am confident that the content will become extraordinary just as my life has become extraordinary. Upcoming entries will look at a visit to Las Vegas with my Hasselblad SWC camera, a local mead-making workshop, my next tattoo [the viking compass], and a million moments in between.
Where will this take me? Wherever I want…and I want to go everywhere.