So, a while ago, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Most people around me would just pick something, and set to it: I wanted more than that. I wanted to do something cool, something epic, something that would change the world! Who doesn’t? I still want that.
I also realised, with a great deal of elation and feelings of enlightenment and superiority, that any human can put time and energy into any one thing, and become good at it, and turn it into a career. Anyone: anything. A construction worker that starts putting life energy into learning particle physics will, eventually, be a particle physicist, atleast informally: a particle physicist that spends all his spare time working with wood will end up with skills as a carpenter, and could probably give up particle physics and just make other people decks.
But what I didn’t realise was how much damn work it is. I wanted to be “Doing it All” because we can All do Anything . My plan was vaguely to flounce (my favourite form of transportation) between starting a few different businesses I have ideas for, acting on the side, blogging and youtubing as an accompanying hobby, and maybe starting a crowd funding run for my web series and my designs for a flying bicycle – each a herculean undertaking.
Part way through I realised something new: I would probably have to pick a couple. This would in itself take time, as I researched different options. I decided to combine in with blogging and vlogging, two items that I manage to write off the time for because they feel therapeutic (read: I actually just really like them.) So Journey of a Millennial was born – a vlog that consisted of me, talking into my phone, often while walking or driving, about various ideas to make the world a better (in my opinion) place.
Thar she blows, if anyone wants to see a bunch of ideas I have spent a bit of time working on:
But for all my brilliant (though I admit a certain bias) ideas…. without the work involved, it became a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury… Signifying nothing.
(That is one of my favourite lines that Shakespeare has written. Always wanted to use it in this blog. Checkmark. Hahahaha.)
I was dancing around, searching and searching for the next big thing. Around me, people were starting on small things, trying to make some money to have to spend, trying to make a name or start an organization, to trade time for skills or knowledge or money. But these earthly bargains were not enough for my Napoleonic complex: I wanted to start at the top, to find the idea that would revolutionise the world around me and put me in a place of success. I still wonder if maybe there were ideas I had but didn’t pursue that could have done so – like “Weedumentary,” a documentary series in the style of Vice investigating the effects of marajuana, the current market and dealers, and how legalization will change what that affects who how. (Or opening KW’s first “Utopia” marajuana cafe , a haven with water features, laughing rooms, productive “writing rooms” and – ofcourse – a vaping room. Or the bar that would be “The Bacchus tapas and wine bar” during the summer, full of ivy and Greco-Roman statuary, and become “The Viking Hall” in the winter – an outdoor patio with mulled wine, warm mead and fiery braziers (and maybe a hottub lounge?? ) to stave off the cold. Or a balloon that would make the current drone-style sky-bikes more feasible. Or a series/podcast interviewing everyday people about their lives and stories. Or an “Ask the Internet” series where I give relationship advice (a favourite passtime) to people that email anonymously. The list continues…)
Lessons from the Boomers:
The Importance of Hard Work
The sheer amount of work involved in making any single of these projects an actual success – including the ones I was already working on, like #OfficeLife (the web series) and acting – did not daunt me: I was raised (typical for, some would say, a Millennial) to see potential and possibility. This was an addictive recipe for dreaming big, but not conducive to Doing big.
I was spoiled by having things come naturally to me in school, and being raised in the middle class of an affluent country. I was a child of the infinite universe, putting out bits of effort here and there and waiting for “The Universe” to pick one and say “Look at this feedback, this interest, this “Luck,” clearly this should be your chosen field!”
It took me a while to accept what the people around me already knew: Yes, potential and possibility are limitless – but they are also nothing but conceptual alone. It is work that matters: it is time and life energy spent.
Yes, humans can learn and create anything (ish) that they put time and life energy into it: but the success of the output will be based on the amount of time and life energy that was put in – not on Talent, Potential, or Charm. On plain, boring old “hard work” and “time spent.”
My friends (including other Millnl’s) and parents had been trying to tell me “Start Small and Work Hard,” “Pick One and Make it Happen.” Apparently I had to learn the lesson for myself. For a while I found myself depressed about my grand dreams, having to pick only one or two – and small ones at that – to make it happen.
I eventually found myself dreading the idea of wasting time – of auditions from which, statistically speaking, nothing would probably come, the research into projects I might not end up doing.
Things take So Much Work, that I found myself fretting how I was putting my time and life energy to work – and ended up spending far too much of it Fretting. (Actually that’s something I’ve always done, like my father before me and his mother before him, but it helped to figure out that’s what I was doing.)
It took some time for my Napoleonic complex of a narcissistic desire for immediate success and grandeur to bow to a mantra I have always repeated, but whose meaning I had forgotten: It’s About the Journey. Or, if I may expand on that with what I have learned:
The Journey is Long. It takes a long, long journey to be successful in something. So, instead of choosing your direction based on where you want to go – choose it based on the steps, the tiny, dull little steps, that you enjoy. Because there’s gonna be a lot of those. And once you’ve picked, just start walking, and try to smile.
It was a Fun Vlog to Make, atleast
Anyway, during that process, in an effort to make my use of time more efficient, I figured I would make a vlog in which I discussed the ideas I was thinking about, and how they would work. I suppose one of my biggest hobbies is to fantasise about possibilities of what the world could be, and what ideas could do. (To this end, I am still planning on creating ‘Indie Passion Project ” – a website dedicated to people having ideas, seeing where they lead, collaborating on projects and making the world a better place.)
Actually, if anyone reading this has an idea they want to flush out, talk to me, I pride myself on my ability to take an idea and turn it into options and to do lists and business plans and steps. (its just the actual Doing of anything that has been more of a challenge lol.)
Journey of a Millennial was a vlog-blog series that was composed mainly of that – Me talking about ideas that I thought could change the world. The series on Mujtama – an idea for an online Syrian democracy to help them take back their country – had a bit more substance, and I may continue it on a bit… But aside from that it fit largely into the category of “Internet Masturbation.” (As in, I was doing it for me, and it got Me off, but I don’t know that it offered as much value to viewers as I thought it would.)
Who wouldn’t want, thought young Michael to himself, to see the wild ideas I am coming up with – maybe someone will even message me and say “your SkyBike idea is rad, I want to work on it with you!” But it is hard to keep people’s interest when you are offering just a dude with enough privilege to have a chance to just try and “find himself” going on about ideas he thinks are great. There are so many ideas in the world – it is real projects to improve the world that we lack. (again, hence the rational for the Ideas website.)
It was a blast to make, and to feel that the ideas I filmed myself on would – or atleast one or two of them – someday change the world. Thank you to all who viewed, or who would listen to me talk about them.
The Series is Over.
The Journey, however, is still in its beginning stages
What now, Millennial?
Well, I’ve decided I need to boil it down to the Acting that I am continuing, a moneymaker (currently Spider-Parties and teaching Art at Artshine, which may not be enough so I may take up waitering lol), a film project (which will be #OfficeLife until that one is released, plus a couple just for fun on the side) and ONE – count ’em, One – small, local-level entrepreneurial idea. (Currently I have 4 of those that I am trying to narrow down. None of them even made it to a #Journey vlog, or even a mention in this post, they were all to Local and not-Grand-Enough and Far too feasible haha. But who knows I may vlog/blog about them to help myself decide on one. I Really need to pick one though. Like seriously.)
Will I continue to vlog and blog? Probably a bit – I really, Reaaallly enjoy this. I have so many ideas and observations that I want to share with the world. #Unpacked will continue to be a thing – in fact a friend and I filmed me interviewing the Owner-Operators at KW Adventurer’s Guild just yesterday, and I have about 6 blog-post-drafts to tidy up and post.
#JourneyOfAMillennial is signing off, atleast under that title for a while. It was a series about ideas about doing things. But now, it is time for me to take a break from the ideas I love so much, and start actually picking and doing a couple.
I will, as always, keep the internet posted – because I enjoy that feeling.
As always, keep falling in love. With humans, with ideas, with animals, and especially – with the hum-drum day-to-day of life itself.