Let me start this post by describing an existential bummer, to me:
An existential bummer is when you are in a situation that makes you happy; the surroundings are beautiful, you are enjoying the people around you or the peace of being alone, you are just happy, in it's simplest form. But at the same time you cannot help but feel that looming feeling of sadness, because you know it will come to an end, and that's a bummer.
Okay. So you can kinda see why I'm feeling this way. and it didn't hit me until half way through my plane ride home to Orlando. And it hit me hard, in multiple ways.
The first way was leaving New York. I felt great there. I knew I was going back to an environment that wouldn't be able to compare. The food, the people, being able to walk everywhere, having a certain kind of freedom. Of course I'm going to have an existential bummer about that but I was so focused on my goals, and food.. that I didn't realize what was happening until I was gone.
The next bummer extends from Orlando and my home. I have a lot of great great great friends here, my parents are here, sisters are here. I love them all to death. Seriously, you guys know who you are, and you have made my life so much happier, so much more productive, and just really fun. I owe you all the world.
So between these two things and watching my favorite movie, Interstellar, on the plane. You know that part where they get back from the first planet and 23 years have gone by on Earth and he sits down to watch the video transmissions from his family who he sees grow up right before his eyes in the matter of minutes and he has that crazy smile on his face while he cries, totally the biggest existential bummer ever. Damn you Matthew McConaughey & Chris Nolan.
Okay let me break from this idea really quickly and talk about my Monday meetings.
Monday morning I met with Ros at Anti Anti. He is one of those people who is just way too cool for no reason.. Like, how are you that cool for no reason. Anyways, We sat down and he looked at my book. He had a lot of great critiques and recommendation for my work. I really enjoyed how much he looked and how he had opinions about my work. I think that helps me grow a lot and see my work from different perspectives, so that meeting was fun.
After Anti Anti I took the train way out into Brooklyn to see Jen Mussari and the Ghostly Ferns crew. I had met Jen briefly at Creative South but I love her work so of course I wanted to meet with her. Ghostly Ferns has a little town house thing thats a really awesome space. 5 floors of greatness. I sat with Jen in the attic space and we chatted about life, a little about Bob Gill, and then she made me some really great British Tea. Which felt great on my throat because after a weekend of Creative South and then NYC right after, My voice is pretty much gone and hurts real bad. She took a look at my book and she seemed to like it a lot, she gave me awesome feedback, we laughed about some silly weird things along the way, and geeked out over screen printing for a minute. I'm really excited to move up and see those people more. Something about their attitudes and work make me feel so comfortable and happy. Jen is the sweetest, if you have the chance to meet her, do it, snap a polaroid, and ask for the British Tea.
Dinner and drinks, of course.
After that meeting I took the train back into the city, ate one last time at Nico's mom's restaurant, and also stopped by to say farewell to her before I left on Tuesday. I had some tuna nachos that were freaking amazing, and maybe another coffee cake with ice cream...
I went home after to drop off my stuff and then I left to go meet my buddy Mike. I met mike years ago when he came into my high school class to present his work one day. A few years later I shot some photos for him and his bands new album. My teacher from high school and now friend is also great friends with Mike so he texted and reminded me Mike moved up to New York recently. So i walked over and met him at a bar called Barcade. Great craft beer and a bar filled with old school arcade games. I promptly got my ass handed to me in Mortal Kombat, then played Ninja Turtles. Now, at this point in my trip I am exhausted. I have probably taken 100,000+ steps, I went out every single night, not that I'm complaining, but my body was tired. I thought about going home after a few beers but my mind said TOO FUCKING BAD. We then bar hopped for a while, ate meatball sliders at 2 a.m. which were fucking amazing. and then I could go home. The conversation with Mike was great. He knows a lot about the city and good places to go. We are both designers. We both think really alike in terms of wanting to have fun and just live while we can. So it was a really great time.
On Tuesday, I woke up, packed, ate lunch, got a little bit of work done then headed to the airport. I said goodbye to my Airbnb and grabbed an Uber out to Newark. I got to the airport early, they didn't have wifi, so of course I found a bar, had a 7&7, ate creme brûlée, and took a small nap.
Back to the existential!
This concept of the existential bummer is so fascinating to me, only second to space of course. The idea that I can be ecstatic and bummed at the same exact time is something powerful. It forces you to make decisions based on pure happiness, in the moment. You have to ask yourself, what do I want to do right now, because I know sadness is coming and there is nothing I can do about it. Thats why I just like to say fuck it and do what makes me happy. Of course we all have responsibilities we must take care of, I'm not saying to neglect your crying child or your job. But seriously, If you got hit by a car tomorrow and died, would you feel satisfied up until that point? You don't know the future and you only have memories from your past, but right now. In this moment, how would you feel? It changes second to second, but don't get hung up on the time passing. Make a decision and grab that shit. Hustle for that shit. If you want something, work fucking hard. Hard work to me promotes immediate happiness, whether you go out and pull weeds or you sit down and design something you love. It doesn't matter. Nothing in life actually matters, we all die soon, we are a tiny grain of sand in the universe, and once we die we are just start dust in the cosmos, man. This shouldn't bum you out, it's actually the most beautiful thing I can think of. It reminds me that I shouldn't be serious all the time, I need to be sporadic, I need to live in the moment and do what makes me happy, because everything else disappears.
Now I keep emailing and calling and working. I have some AMAZING leads in NYC. I'm talking-to some people I would have never thought I would be talking to. I have some work opportunities presenting themselves, now I just gotta keep at it. There is not time to slow down, there is no time for laziness. In this moment; hard work, family, friends, food. I want something, I'm working for it, I'm happy.
I will keep posting details on these situations as I can. Some of them I don't want to type about yet, but I'm excited. For real..
I also need to get thank-you's out right now. The people in my life are amazing and they need to know. So mom and dad, you are my biggest fans and my harshest critics. You aren't afraid to tell me the truth and for that I have a huge advantage in life. I love you. Of course my two ginger sisters, always checking in on me and trying to mother me. Victor Davila, my teacher, mentor, and truly great friend. Always checking in on me, supporting me, telling me to just do better. You have impacted my life and career in more ways than you know. Nico Guidicessi, Joseph Brueggen, Zack Causey, Andres Rutabaga (thats not really his last name but idk how to spell it so fuck it), Jamin Smith, Rachel Peshek, George Wright, Olivia Perez, Matt Cabrera, Ebone Grayson, Alicia Frederick, Kasey Mannes, Danny Bryan, Kyrstin DiMeirco, Josh Sweet, Brandon Stoker, my peeps at LURE, Lenny Terrnzi. You guys are all the best, you all gave me a lot of support on this trip and even though we all bicker all day I love y'all to death. Special thanks to Ana Gomez, who I had a great time with in NYC and who's gorgeous self was there to give me in person encouragement. She also likes good food, and likes to explore so it was great to have someone with me like that for my free time. Thank you to my New York friends, Monica, Mike, Emma, for the good times and great suggestions. And thank you to the readers who sit through my poor grammar and long posts. You guys are the real MVP.
Now it's back to classes and finishing out strong. I'll be back soon with more updates!