Monday, August 15, 2016


Upgrade time.

Was thinking of getting yet another camera for this upcoming trip but decided on a new phone instead. Haven't had a new one in quite a while and in the spirit of downsizing for this travel, it hit the mark.

What I didn't expect was the tirade of how much my sales representative hated Key West while waiting for my phone to get programmed. I really should have been paid the phone programming fee since I had to listen to a lot during that hour or so. 

Strangers like to tell me a lot of things. And I guess I listen, so more flows out.

How do people move here not knowing what its like?

I mean come on. 

Also mainstream northern people don't seem to know what to do with themselves. Not all but I'd gather to say about 80% of America. Unless its easily served up to them in a multiplex of stores and entertainment sources.

As I listened to complaint after complaint about the parking, bikers, pedestrians, cost of everything, etc. (I think I was in shock when he mentioned this place should be more car friendly). I just felt grateful.

I really like living outside the norm. That includes not watching a shit load of crappy reality TV.  (I do like to get my Project Runway on though)

My really good friend Toni came down for her annual visit. 

Whilest hanging in the house the first day she started mentioning TV shows I had no clue about. Seriously, sometimes I feel like I live in a hut (and I like it)

Naked and Afraid was one. When the logo came up with an XL after it, I asked if it was going to be about a group of fat people.

It was a group of naked people dropped off in the jungle with one tool to survive. Seriously? After we started watching them pick ticks off each other I asked if we could turn it off.

Junk food. Junk TV. Do you know how it truly affects you? What mindless static you allow in? 

Watching other people trying to survive in bizarre situations. Social, physical or otherwise. Hell, even politics and the commentary along with it, have been just as bad. I can't watch.

Americans are so angry and afraid.

So on the most recent tirade from this guy whom I just bought a phone from, I tell him there are some really great people down here. "What do you like to do for fun?"

The only thing I could get out of him was trivia games. Everything else I told him about he shot down with "I hate that" or "I can't"

A lot of people can't handle living in the Keys. You do with less, you don't have the same stuff as up north but you get so much more. 

Everyone needs a tribe and I've found some great peeps to hang with down here. Be it 5 minutes or 11 years. We've all had a history that led us down to the end of the road and a  good majority are happy here.

Maybe its cause we didn't fit in up north. 

Talked with a friend who's moving back up and asked if he was nervous about heading back into "normalsville". He was a bit but has a growing family where there will be more for them up there.

He asked me what I've figured out so far living here. I told him I know I didn't fit into 9 to 5. The gray cubicle that felt like jail until I felt natural light on my face as I walked out.

I don't need a career or title, I just need a job to support what I love to do.

I don't need much to be happy. A good cup of coffee, a swim, a bike ride, yoga, paint, photos, a book that blows my mind, great friends, a bunch of stupid laughs.

After visiting with my friend recently and talking to this guy yesterday, I wonder. I wonder if people need this reality TV crap to feel like they are in a better place.

Watching people in survival mode on all levels does it make you feel like you're alive? Watching someone suffering as much as you are, does it make you feel not so alone? 

In reality, I think it just numbs you out. Kinda like eating a giant bag of cheetos.

Don't let yourself be numb. Find something you love to do (however small) and enjoy the hell out of it. Push yourself to try something new just for kicks. Connect.

Just try. 

That's what's on my mind today. I keep feeling like Florida is fully flowing through my veins. (been seeing a bit of Bloodline lately and it resonates) All of it. And I wonder if I'd ever be able to go back to "normalsville"?

Or at the very least take a bit of out of the norm back to normalsville.

Been trying to check off all the little details I need to do before I leave on vacay, but made time to go to the beach this morning. 

Sit and breathe with eyes closed. Do a little yoga, get in and swim. Going back to the yoga studio too cause I miss my tribe and am ready to not go solo anymore.

I felt like I was dying up north before I got here. Don't let those everyday cycles spin you out. 


Its a lesson I don't want to ever forget. Got a good reminder  of it while purchasing a phone.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Acceptance and GO

"to be free means to be free to satisfy one's preferences. preferences themselves are beyond rational scrutiny; they express the authentic core of a self whose freedom is realized when there are no encumbrances to its preference satisfying behavior" 
- Matthew B Crawford - the world beyond your head

So I haven't been writing much these days.

A funny thing happened with the mural. A quick weekend or two in Miami with artsy friends was a realization of the life I've always had in front of me... but denied it.

Denied it because I didn't think I could make a living at it. Denied it because I needed something "more solid". Denied it because I was afraid to be seen. 

But its been there the whole time, ever since I was a little kid and it makes me happier than I ever realized.

Have you ever thought about what makes you truly happy? The one thing that you want to do without any limits, expectations or worry about failure?

I'm most alive when I'm exploring and creating. And why can't life be exactly that? I mean, who cares what kind of job you have as long as you have time for what you love. Time for what brings you to life.

I liken this realization to a slow moving car crash. 

You brace for the impact, holding on for dear life, tensing up with each tick-ing movement. Then when you hit, a release. 

It wasn't so scary after all. It was the bracing, the holding back that took all your energy and effort for an outcome that was going to happen no matter what.

I've been in Key West for about 11 years. In that time, I started out marketing artists. Writing about them, discovering how they became. In a way, I think it was to help me figure out my stuff and feeling a part of art without the fear of rejection.

I dabbled in it myself. Had big plans, marketing and selling. But the work couldn't flow. After those Wynwood weekends I found myself really enjoying just doing the work. Not worried about the outcome but more curious of how it would turn out. Or what turn it would take.

So much JOY.

Add to that some great conversations and laughs with other people that like to do weird things. I came home thinking I don't care how much I make, or if I even become successful; I just want to keep doing THIS. 

This is the life for me even with its uncertainty. And it was acceptance that made it break open and flood in.

All I want to do these days is paint, draw, put weird images on board. 

I can't stop the images from coming. Yoga has even taken a back seat to it a bit but I still find time to stand on my head (cause it feels good).

Life feels brighter. Even on tough days at work I look around and feel really grateful for what I have. 

Getting ready to take another big trip too. The Greek yoga retreat that was born out of a night in a basement Hong Kong Irish Bar with two yoga teachers doing shots is happening.

The retreat should be amazing but I'm also going to see my Tio Luis who's not doing so well these days and am most excited about this. He's 99. 

Spain was my first big trip to break open that artsy part and I'm going back to say thank you and see him one last time. Even found a little surf house to stay at not too far from the farm. 

Throw in some Barcelona time, a day in Italy, Germany and its on. 

For now, its painting, figuring out how to pack a backpack for the trip, getting back to the yoga studio, updating and upgrading my phone for better travel pics and getting excited for more images to come.

Even time to hop a Greyhound to see my friend Toni in Key Largo for a weekend. Adventures in life in every form! 

Gotta kill that curiosity one weird adventure at a time.