Living In Joy.
Bringing to life the experience of city cycling is one of the many ways in which I get ahead IN life. Ignoring the extreme of cardio vascular exercise it provides, I have gotten back in touch with my inner youth and reconnected with my pioneered cycling craft. I’ve just amplified it to suit my age specific lifestyle. Often I have been recognized as a unique cyclist who has been seen cruising down a downtown corridor with a pair of Sony XB 500s strapped over a backwards SnapBack with both arms raised in a victorious celebration of whatever music I’m listening to. Living in a world of social limitation, my creative cycling habits have given me an opportunity to set my own legal freedoms, allowing me to ride as I please. If we, as a emigrated culture, are to learn how to avoid systemic obstacles that prevent us from experiencing a finer quality of living, we need to not only explore new ways of satisfying personal liberty but also embrace the modern approach to recreational enjoyment.
The change, for me, has been a gradual one. It wasn’t four years ago that I was focused on owning three “important” things: a good automobile, a good stereo system in that automobile and the knowledge as to the whereabouts of the next house party or lounge function. At 20 years of age, this is what I wanted. However, it is this way of thinking that preventing me from doing so much more at the time. Auto insurance and maintenance plus the surging cost of fuel was a direct reflection of my minimum finances. Employed or not employed, it didn’t make much of a difference. I was broke. And I wasn’t spending money carelessly either. You see, the way in which I thought was short term. I needed money now, for now, but what did that mean for after the now? I still wanted to enjoy all the joys that this world has offer. I still wanted to have fun. I still wanted to smile at the end of the day. But how could I do this and still be financially secure? As you can tell, I have given this topic a great amount of thought, and what I have taken from it is a need to shift the prioritization of my life’s desires. The solution lay directly in the means by which I live. Commuting. Reorganizing my travel patterns has opened up a world of opportunity that at 19-20 years of age I would never thought was possible. Travelling from one coast to another has been amazing. I plan to do more. Just one of the many new ways in which I now LIVE, I can appreciate the fact that I can continue fulfill my soul with one new journey after the other. The 3am bike ride atop the Gardiner Expressway is just another example. Understand: it is not about seizing the first opportunity life presents to us as “living” but rather educating yourself as to the best resources that are accessible to you and using them to fulfill the greatest life experience. That late night ride of mine was made possible through the BIXI bike share program, introduced to Toronto in May of 2011 (Click here for more info on BIXI Memberships). One of the two tickets of my return trip to Vancouver two months back was sponsored courtesy of the PRESTO card system, which had saved me over three hundred dollars in commuting costs in only three months (Click here for info on PRESTO). So you see, four years later, I am still able to live my life. Just in a smarter way. And there’s nothing unique about my situation. I work and pay taxes like any other resident of this country we call the “True North. Strong. And Free.” Free. The key word is all of this. Living doesn’t have to be costly. Recreation and leisure activities don’t have to break the bank just so long as we are optimistic to a rejuvenated outlook on life. Moving forward, I encourage everyone reading this to explore new ways that you yourself can adapt to in terms of changing the way in which you travel and get around. Check it out and see if my suggestions don’t save you from another stress-filled situation of how to relieve the already unbearable stress in the first place. And feel free to use me as an example of how to live SMARTER. I went from owing a total of $7800 CAD in credit card debt at age 22 to thousand dollar trips across the country for a weekend in less than two years. Yes. It is possible for all of us to get ahead.
This posting is dedicated to the lives of Shyanne Charles and Joshua Yasay. Taken from the world far too soon, may you truly reside in the skies and Live In Joy.
Looking back on the global mistakes we’ve made (greenhouse gases, depletion of oil and other natural resources, economic inequalities to name a few), perhaps its time we re-evaluate the possibility of starting over. A brand new society in a brand new world is a thought that most would find daunting, eccentric and unattainable. But let’s take some time to look at the facts before we assume anything. National Aeronautical Space Association (NASA) has had satellites exploring the possibility of life beyond the Earth’s atmosphere for decades, strengthening the belief that a mass exodus is one day, possible. Contrary to the belief that it is more likely to have human existence on the Earth’s moon (given our track record of astronaut arrivals), it is actually another planet that scientists have been exploring as a more likely future home of us. With the launch of the space rover Opportunity in 2003, it arrived on the dusty, red soiled planet just beyond the six month anniversary of its travel. Accompanied by the space rover Spirit, they have both been exploring both the archaeological and environment contents of Mars for the past eight years (six for Spirit who’s lifespan was cut short in 2010). Although no sitings of water bodies have been found to date, there is geological proof that past water activity was most certainly present. Allowing us to gather thoughts, is it now really possible that a generation from now, Air Canada will run non stops to both Tokyo and the Red Planet? The hypothesis is definitely one to consider, given the extent of research, data and analysis obtained from years of observations. Giving the human race a chance to start over is perhaps what is needed in this time of intense economic despair. Giving us a new chance to build financial stability across an entire population would be monumental. Just think: Landing on a new planet where an efficient means of productivity was mandated. Sufficient transit was provided. It’s almost like a utopia except its creation is a result of our failures here on Earth. Regardless of our decisions, one thing remains constant: our burning desire and capabilities to get ahead. This is both realistic and attainable with the right means of research, optimism and of course, funding. If we can achieve all this, then perhaps Biggie Smalls was inaccurate in his depiction of success because the sky is not the limit. Just something to consider as we continue to progress and move forward through time.
In a time when our global society is that the crossroads between smart growth and inadequate resource, I opt to take the route less travelled. The route less preferred. The route most neglected. This route, of course, is embedded in the humility of understanding that gas guzzling, V6 engines are not the best choice. Not today. The world of 2012 seeks to improve on various global issues, economical and environmental, in hopes of achieving one thing: stability. It is the stability of life itself that brings true comfort to one’s mind. Knowing that our lives are rooted in a stable foundation of economic growth and success is what I have come to know and believe we all strive for in my twenty-four years of life. Question is, how is this achieved? How do we go about creating a reassured sense of comfort and wellness? The answer is more visible than you think. You see, growth itself is not possible without some sort of backtrack. Think of when you were a child and you loss your baby teeth. That needed to happen in order for your mature teeth (which are much stronger and durable) to come in. Think of a caterpillar’s journey from cocoon to butterfly. Now apply that same philosophy to our lives. If we are truly meant to grow as a species, we must first assess what it is we can do to minimize the negative impacts of life before we move forward. Crime, poverty, environmental dangers. How can these all be solved? No, I do not have an all-in-one solution but I do, however, have the next best thing. Transportation. I have adopted a new way of getting from point a to point b and its not by only using the C (if you know what I mean). A shared mobile means of transportation can bring our entire human race to a peak of new successes never before achieved. Aside from the enormous economical boost, the health benefits that will be absorbed by the global population may be just enough to extend our lives well beyond the current life expectancy. Now, growing old and being able to do less and less is not the end goal. However, being able to live with sound comfort and stability throughout the majority, if not entire period of your life, is. If we approach shared means of transit commuting with an optimistic and unbiased mind, we can finally be able to do what no race, generation or species has yet been abel to accomplish. Global stability. Global growth. And for once, a chance at global peace.
Feb. 1/ 2012
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! The new year is upon us, and as such, I find it fitting to address a life issue I’m sure many of us (including myself) are trying to achieve. Stability. Life stability. I mean, what’s having money if you don’t have a stable life to invest it in? Before you know it, it’s gone. Just like that. Now you’re back to square one. Na. Fuck that. I’m sure none of us are trying to face that circumstance. It’s funny because I feel as though life has its own way of stabilizing itself. We just don’t realize it. I remember Summer 2008. I was young, short minded and eager to make the cinema’s next blockbuster. I didn’t care that my bank account was empty. I didn’t care that I could barely cook. This was NYC. There’s a million and one places to eat. What I did care about was making films and following my passion. Now fast forward four years and much is still the same but much is also different. Still creatively passionate in my music and films, I now seek a balance between keeping an excited heart as well as a mature mind. I’m 24. I’m still young and full of life. I can still get away with sagging my jeans on my ass in a V-neck with a 24-karat watch in the club. Trust. What I can’t do anymore is live check to check. What I can’t do anymore is call Dominos or Tai Chi on Kingston Road whenever I’m hungry and there’s nothing to eat in the fridge. I’m about stability. Now that includes my financial stature but, there’s more to it than that. I need to be able to come home after a long day’s work, airplay my latest single from my iPhone straight to my TV, sit down on my plush leather sofa and sip some Moscato. Grown shit. Shorty can sip some too (if she act right of course). Lol. I’m saying, I need that comfort. I need that “… na girl. Don’t bring your purse. Unless its for swag only.” I need that “Yo, Mom Dukes. Be at Pearson in an hour. Don’t ask questions, just trust me.” Yea, that sounds about right. And I’m gona do all of this by organizing my life around public transit. Now, easier said than done, right? But give me a minute to explain myself. You see, in a world where the basic economic standard of living is shrinking everyday, we as people need to adapt to a changed environment. A place where you can travel across the city to do business and its not going to take you an hour and a half to get there. A place where its okay to be making seventy, eight large and not own a vehicle. A place where parking tickets are inadmissible because the entire neighbourhood drives that vehicle to work throughout the week. Stability. We need more modes to transport. We need accessible means of commuting. The economy has turned to shit. People are dying. People’s lives are dependent on this change. So when I say “bun a whip” I really mean it. As great as they are, cars are one of the many reasons why we are falling through the cracks. The cracks of stability, that is. Like ASAP Rocky said, “Times is getting hard.” Yea, time’s been hard. The question is, how are we going to change that? By a fresh set of wheels as soon as we get a little bit of paper? No. Move to an area of accessible transit, buy a metro pass and join an auto share membership? Yea, that sounds more like it. The future does look bright. We just need to make bright decisions. So when you see me enter my $1.7 million upper east side condo after exiting the soon to be 96th Street Q station, don’t look surprised. Look expected. And when you see my beautiful daughter Jane (whom at the moment is still a thought but ever present in my mind) brag about her new beautiful bedroom, I expect the same reaction.
Peace and love,
Jan. 3/ 2012
A NEW DAY.
I usedta think that having a fresh whip or having the best street hustle was the only way to get ahead. Lol. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. In a time when luxury lifestyles and economic meltdowns coexist, I opt for the route less travelled. The route less preferred. The route less in demand. My vision for public transit is one that combines life’s successes and the world’s efficiencies and puts them all together into one big movement. A transit movement. I feel as though, if done right, public transit and a life of luxury can be conjoined together and not only coexist, but compliment each other. Like picture this. The hottest new artist has just touched down in JFK Airport, New York. His show starts in 30 mins at S.O.B’S on Houston. Its 9pm on a Friday night. The Van Wyck Expressway is jam packed. Same with the Brooklyn-Queens. Same with the Belt Expressway. Now the AirTrain has been connected to the LIRR tracks, giving it direct access to Downtown Manhattan from Queens. So the hot new artist hops on the train with his/her security and personnel, and arrives at Grand Central just after 9. Along the way, he or she has had an opportunity to talk with potential fans he/she might meet along the way as well mentally prep themselves for the night’s show, free of time worry as the AirTrain zips over Brooklyn. With his/her arrival at Grand Central, a quick 10-15 cab ride and they’re there. Not even 30 mins late for their show. Fans are happy. The artist is happy they didn’t get stuck in gridlock New York City traffic and its smiles across the board. All thanks to efficient transit planning and integration with New York’s concrete infrastructure. With a dream of transit once again, defining the way in which we travel, I see great things. Great accomplishments. New heights reached. New cliches formed. And, most importantly, a renewed appreciation for the accessibility and efficiency of public transit. With key foundations in place, I believe this can change the world. Picture artists, fans, singing along to a chorus that still glamorizes a luxious lifestyle. BUT NOW, it’s all as a result of our cultural dependency on public transit and it embeds itself into a normality of life. The way in which we purchase daily items, food, clothing, lotto tickets, whatever. It all ties into public transit. An integrated fare payment system that allows you to pay for transit using credit earned from a completely unrelated transit purchase, though with the same card/transit payment method. It’s like having your cake, eating it, and then being told that was only the first round. Now tell me that doesn’t sound sweet.