What I want to do in this next year of my life:
Just… be… me.
Here’s the real deal: Getting lots of press and some frickin awesome results with Change Heroes has been a blast. But, it comes with it’s challenges. In the beginning, I felt held back from being the real “me”. Having the new label of “do gooder” was a bit odd, and at times it was heavy. I am no more a do gooder than a do badder… hell, we are all both… or at a deeper level, we are all neither. I want to be straight up and REAL. This is the year of non-censorship…
So my mission as a 31 year old is to share whatever is real in the moment. And there are parts of this little blog post that are pretty “real” too. May as well start right now! This is my 30th year in brief review…
Within the last few days, Steven (my graphic designer friend who has been doing Change Heroes with me since day 1) and I did some math. We added up all of the Change Heroes and other donation totals, and figured out we just (as in 2 days ago) hit half a million dollars contributed to charity. That’s roughly 50 schools and libraries funded, and 50,000 children impacted. To think that this all happened mainly in the last year, is beyond belief.
I met a lovely woman in Victoria at the end of summer 2011. We hung out a little bit at first. Then a bit more. And within 4 months of knowing each other, we packed our bags and moved to Costa Rica. We lived in a little cabina near the beach, surfed nearly every day, and got to know each other really fast. I also got to know someone else really fast. Her 3 year old daughter who moved there with us.
The 3 of us went to the beach, rode our bikes, ate papaya and mangoes, and watched sunsets. I fell in love with that woman (I had already started to before we left), but what I didn’t know is that I would fall in love with that little girl too. The feelings crept up on me without warning, and every day I could do nothing but watch myself become more and more connected. A chunk of every trip I took away from them for business was spent finding that little girl the perfect gift (which always had to be something pink – she was obsessed with pink). On one trip I even found her a bright pink surf board that I dreamed of teaching her to surf on one day.
We moved back to Victoria in the spring of 2012. After being home for a few months, my lovely woman and I had some challenges in our relationship and in ourselves that couldn’t be resolved with us being together. The night we decided to part ways was quite quick and straight to the point. It seemed to make sense that we would do this separation. Then it hit me. All the feelings I had for that little girl welled up inside me and I cried like I have never cried before. It was uncontrollable. The sheer thought of not being able to see her was unbearable. I had hardened on the inside about my relationship with her mom, but I couldn’t harden to her. In a way, I didn’t know the full extent to which I cared for her until that night. And it is something I will never forget. On my knees in the living room that night was the darkest hour I had all year.
Today, that lovely woman and I have not “gotten back together”. We think it is a better fit to say that we have started anew. Our time away from each other lasted almost 3 months, and provided incredible learning and growth for both of us. We are having fun together now and looking at the future lightly with a priority of having fun and enjoying life.
And that little girl… well I play with her every chance I get. I sneak her bigger cookies than she is allowed to have, tickle her till she can’t stop laughing, and know that I will get to teach her how to surf on that bright pink surf board in Costa Rica someday soon.
2 moments that blew my mind:
1) Costa Rica, early 2012: I was chatting with a friend of mine who has done some huge things in social entrepreneurship, including forging a big partnership between his non profit organization in Kenya and Whole Foods (the awesome grocery store). I asked him how he made the connections and if he could introduce me to anyone there, as I wanted to forge a partnership of my own with them and Change Heroes. He told me that I would just need to meet someone there and begin a friendship (that’s how he started). The next day I went to the outdoor pool at one of the local hotels and started chatting with an older guy who had just arrived in CR and was soaking up the sun. I had the feeling I should tell him about a documentary idea I had that would take place in Kenya and other developing countries. “Wow that’s a great idea” he said. “You should meet my son in law!”. I told him thanks, and asked why and if his son in law was in film making. He said no, he wasn’t in film, but that his son in law was the head of the philanthropic arm of Whole Foods. My stomach dropped. My voice cracking, I said “Oh really? That’s awesome. I would love to shoot him an email. Where does he live? New York? LA?”. “No” he answered. “He lives right up the street”. Needless to say I met him, our women became epic friends, and we got to surf together too. He has since introduced me to people at Whole Foods and they have agreed to run a pilot program to test out a partnership when we are ready. That was a pretty cool 24 hours.
2) Kenya, late 2012: Darcy Turenne (www.hellodarcy.com) and I brought a 22 year old guy who funded a school though Change Heroes to Kenya to meet the kids that will be going to his school, and to make a mini documentary out of the journey. It was cool being in Kenya again, and playing with the kids and seeing the schools. But the most incredible part of that trip was watching a young man’s life change forever. It was 3 years earlier that I first went to Kenya, and… well… things have never been the same. I doubt highly that his will ever be the same either. Here is that mini documentary (amazing job Darcy!!!).
My 2 favourite girls and I (see the darkest hour part if you don’t know what I mean by “my 2 favourite girls”) went to Guatemala for a week in the beginning of 2012. We explored Mayan temples before sunrise, enjoyed some pretty awesome street meat, destroyed our rental car my plowing into huge speed humps at 80 Km per hour, and ate 5 different kinds of mangoes.
For the business minded: ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek, or anything ever written by Seth Godin (the guy is a genius).
For everyone on earth: Half the Sky. You know the change you hear people go through when they visit a developing country, like Kenya or Uganda for example? Well, save yourself the $5000 in air fare and expenses. This book will change you just like one of those trips would, all from the comfort of your own home.
For the men out there (and for the women to get for their men): ‘She comes first’, the thinking mans guide to pleasuring a woman. Guys, have you ever read a book on this subject written by a woman? The ones where they tell you to “go slow” and “take your time” and “feel what she is feeling” and other B.S. ambiguous terms? What the hell does “go slow” mean? “Go slow” to most men means actually taking your socks off before bumping uglies. This book skips ambiguity, and goes right for the numbers. Here are a few I remember… Do you know how many parts there are to the clitoris? Guess……………… EIGHTEEN! This book will teach you about every single one. And did you know that under 10% of women report orgasming after 7 minutes of cunnilingus, yet over 90% report orgasming after 20 minutes? And you thought you were missing the spot… nope… woohoo!
Words of advice:
Nadda. When I turned 30 I finally figured out how little I really knew about the world. Now that I am 31, I have realized that there is even more to know than I thought… so I guess I actually know even less than I did a year ago!
Looking forward to:
Spending lots of time with my BF Serena, hanging out with the boys lots in Van (Leo or course. Rhino I hope! And Pete… not likely – joking!). I am stoked to get to know Chris’ new little boy, and to watch Tony Z force biking on his new son faster than Tiger’s dad forced golf And lastly, I will surf at least 30 times in the cold water off the west coast, and pee in my wet suit as little as possible.