Ages Heh?

Holy smokes it’s been ages hasn’t it? There always seems to be something holding me back from writing… I think it’s called life or something of the sort. I guess when it comes down to it there’s always room for an excuse not to write and just as many to write! At the end of the day I see an excuse as just that… an excuse whether it be good or bad.

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‘Quick take a picture of me in the supermarket’

So wanna hear what they are? no… yes? well if you want to get through this post you’re just going to have to read through and maybe you’ll get caught up with what’s be going on :). Alright let’s start the list… I’ve been spending tonnes of time with this girl I love oh so dearly and here’s the kicker her last name is Bacon and she’s vegan… figured I’d get that out of the way, I’ve heard most of the jokes and she’s heard probably 20 times more of them then I have!

I’ve moved… twice but that sounds a little crazier than it might actually be haha. I originally moved up a floor in the current house I was in which wasn’t too bad, other than that spiral staircase that could have been used in the medieval time to stop troops from charging up the tower… let’s just say Zombie Apocalypse golden zone place to live! Downside, well it’s 4 floors up from the outside. The second place I move was a little tougher… we had to take everything down that zombie proofed staircase down three more flights of stairs through the snow and into the moving truck. After that it wasn’t too bad getting everything into our new place other than a semi slippery slope down the side of the house that in time was turning into an ice slide. It took 3 good days to fully get out of the old place but we did it!

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Packed up for the final move!

I have a few other endeavours I’ve been working on but due to some semi conflict of interest I’m going to keep that on the downlow until next blog ;)… guess that means you’ll have to subscribe to find out what it is ‘muahaha’ (my attempt at an evil laugh).

Other than that I guess my girlfriend and I are trying to watch all of the ‘Once Upon a Time’ episodes. Quite an interesting twist on the traditional stories I was used to as a child… cool side note we have the book with the Brothers Grimm short stories that tell their own side of the story as well!

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Our new room!

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My lovely girlfriend’s dog who is now living with us as well!

I’ve been a bit overly distracted from getting back to my writing so I’ll be posting what I have so far with some much needed updates in the next few weeks!

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Halloween with my love Harley & Joker

“Not a day goes by that you can’t choose to better yourself”

What is Success?

What is success… such a loaded question if you ask me. I had recently read an article talking about my generation (Millennials) starting to “set back” their career to enjoy life more.

I’ve talked about this topic with a few friends of mine as well, so what is the meaning of success? I guess in all reality there is not specific definition… well I mean if you look it up it’s something along the lines of:

1. The favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2. The attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.

But I mean inside of you, what do you feel success really is? To really sit down and think about it can really make you ponder some inquisitive things. Here in the Okanagan you can see it really holds different values for many people. I see individuals with “Alberta Money” who buy huge homes on the cliffs or on the water, they have big boats and lots of toys to go with them… yet they only use it two to three months of the year. Sadly that’s their image of success is work very, very hard for most of the year and then play a little (I’m sure they play hard but compared to their work I view it as little). Don’t get me wrong some of these individuals love this and it works for them, but I couldn’t imagine spending the majority of my life working for such little enjoyment/ fulfillment.

Is it money, "things"?

Is it money or “things”?

What do I see as success in my life? To start the less stress in life the better! But ultimately making a few really good friends, having a couple nice things… even then good company trumps material goods. I want to do things now when my body has the ability to recuperate after doing some crazy sport or trip or hike, I don’t want to wait until I retire before I start to enjoy my life. The experience I have are worth more than money can provide to me.

Is it being in the moment?

Is it being in the moment?

I read an argument about someone who’s an architect and that he’d spent a few years in school and another couple interning and is now in a job he enjoys working 40 hours a week, and will be able to enjoy himself before he retires because he worked hard. I applaud this person for his determination and enthusiasm but not everyone has the patience to do these things (Is financial security that really matters?). Does this make us lazy? Hardly, everyone has different ambitions and goals… and some of us just don’t have the mental capacity to break our backs for 8-10 years to finally start having fun and enjoying life… some of us want to live now because there may not be a tomorrow.

Moving to British Columbia I think was one of the best things I had decided to do, the people are such inspiration to grabbing life now and making the best of it!

Look from one generation to the next and see the contrast from Ethics to Fashion and Ideologies… they change constantly. I’d say every generation dating back hundreds of years think they had reached the best point in humanity, and that how they live is the way to be. Maybe each generation was right in their own respect but we are ever evolving intellectual creatures and will continue to change our values for many years to come.

Is it friends and special connections?

Could it be friends and special connections?

I originally wanted to talk about how I see success and what it means to me… but as I continued to write I just want to inspire others to stop for a minute and think about what success means to them. It might be a happy family, secure job, lots of money… or a life filled with amazing adventures with little to no money. There’s always something you can change in your life and never be afraid to do it… but it’s okay if you are, because change is strange 😛 but your happiness is more important.

Success can take time and determination; my slacklining is a great example, I have people tell me how amazing I am (I know I have much further to go)… It really is very humbling because I can still remember the first day, the second, and even the third; I would get up and fall, and fall, and fall again. All I wanted to do was just stand and walk! If you’re going to be scared, you’re better off being afraid doing something new than the same old thing!

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Is it doing something you love?

Success is what you make of it, if you’re not happy change something… it may not always about the best job or the most money, but to me success is what brings you the most joy in your life without the sacrifice of your smile.

Be happy in what you do

Be happy in what you do

If you’re interested in writing a guest article, don’t be shy and leave a comment or email me at Justinparkinson89@gmail.com

Lucid Living

Find appreciation for the small things to the big things and you can change how you see the world, you will be able to find love in everything!

“Love is everywhere it’s up to you to search it out and create it”

Journeys Continue

I was really split as to what to do once we got down from the mountain. There was a free vegan lunch at the park for the community and I really wanted to go; at the same time I had already skipped almost 2 days of a festival I had already paid for. I hung out at Cottonwood Falls mulling it over with great people around as usual and in the end I left before the free lunch.

The decision to leave felt right… most of my trip I went with what seemed right in the sense of I should do it and by letting go of my comfort zone in the process. I started off with the long walk to the orange bridge that was seemingly so far but only took my about 30 minutes to make it there. It’s amazing what determination can do for you… keep in mind there was still an overly large pack on my back.

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The Orange Bridge

I waited about 45 minutes to an hour before I was picked up but it all worked out as the guy drove me right to the ferry. I found some great sweaters at the dock that I’ve always wanted and I managed to strike up a deal with the women and got one for cheaper than I expected. Just before I took off I saw she had some wire wrapped crystals and I offered up some of my nice quartz I found up at the crystal caves for her generosity she offered me. I’d given more away hitchhiking despite having had less than before, but no matter what happened I seemed to be provided for; generosity is undervalued today and even just a smile can perpetuate wonderful things.

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This sweater

The ferry was nice to ride with mountains and water surrounding you, being the one of maybe two people who boarded on foot was kind of neat sensation too. I arrived on the other side of the water in Crawford Bay where there was two kids playing harmonica together… the skill and synergy they had, blew me away. I walked up to the little hut on the hill and picked up some yummy ice-cream after being in the hot sun for a while (first time I really paid for anything since my trip started). I was taking a moment to appreciate everything that had already happened and great experiences to be had, when someone began to strike up conversation with me about my Starbelly sign… next thing I knew I had a ride to the festival!

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I paid my camping fee… even though I could have easily snuck in without a car. I made camp in the back of the field for some nice peace and quiet, got ready for a jammin’ evening and off I went. Once inside the gates it was such a cozy small festival, very family oriented which made it feel so peaceful and lovely. I began to peruse the vendors and found some really neat things, unfortunately I had a pretty tight budget but did manage to get some great scores. I had been looking for a waist pouch (many pockets not a fanny pack :P) for a while but could never find any masculine ones that I liked… and fit me, but I found one that works just perfect! What an amazing start to a festival season! I later found a ring that snagged my interest… and I’ve maybe worn one or two other rings ever so it’s a big deal :P. The evening music and later on into the night was fantastic. I got to meet many great people unfortunately I didn’t get much info from anyone there but it was fun and those memories are now locked away :).

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Sunday night I headed in a little bit early so I could get a bright start in the morning hitching back to Nelson. Unfortunately there was a group of younger kids/ adults that were blaring their “obnoxious” music and towards the back of the large field… it was a huge field but the music went all the way. I was getting very angry and just wanted to sleep, and normally I can sleep through anything. At one point I was about to yell out at them to turn off their music very aggressively  but instead I decided to go and ask politely. One of the guys walked over and apologized right away and turned it down… from there I pretty much passed out when I got back to my tent. What did I learn here? You don’t have to choose the aggressive or rude route to solve things even if you think it’s the only way such people will react; The outcome turned out peacefully and how I would have liked it dealt with if I were in their situation. That night I went to bed with a peaceful mind and a sense of accomplishment.

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***All photo’s are in raw form as I had to reformat my computer and didn’t re-install my editing software, enjoy the originals 😉 

Unfortunately this writing has taken longer than I expected and I will be back with more fun stories from my Adventures! What’s next? To Nelson then to Nakusp Hot Springs…

“Be grateful, and never be afraid to ask for help… The Universe is working in your favour.”

Connections

There’s much to catch up on as usual, many things have happened and many changes have come about!

Our beautiful moon

Our beautiful moon

Let’s start with work I guess; in November I managed to hit “Experts” level for selling phones. I really didn’t expect to reach it, my goal was actually only to hit 25 devices but I managed to nab the 35 (Experts) in one month. ‘Yeah big deal’, you may say but now I get personal business cards instead of having to write my name out every time on blank ones… oh did I mention I also receive benefits now ;). That’s the hype at work.

Our first bad snow day

Our first bad snow day

So it’s been on the to learn list for a while that I’ve wanted to snowboard… I’ve always been able to Ski but I wanted to be one of the “Cool kids” haha. It’s not really that I’ve always just been more intrigued by boarding. One of my co-workers managed to grab some cheap lift passes for only $20; I decided that the time was right to jump on the learning train.

Mariam & I

Mariam & I

It was a wonderful day to go great company and beautiful weather, I rented my gear and up the hill we went I was pretty anxious the whole time, despite having watched many… many YouTube video’s to hopefully aid the learning process. Caleb was the friend that was pretty much teaching the group, we all needed a bit of help; there 6 of us all together. Oh did I mention he was rockin’ an 80’s suspenders snow suit with a blond wig. I think I did pretty well, I didn’t stick by his side too much and I kind of did my own thing cruising ahead of everyone most of the time. I fell a whole bunch mind you and my butt was super sore… as Caleb put it ‘I’ve never seen someone use their butt as an anchor so much‘. I was picking things ups slowly… in my mind I was, but Caleb said I was doing exceptional for my first time. But there was something missing, everyone kept saying ‘don’t worry how fast you’re going’, my reply: “I don’t care how fast I’m going… I just. Can’t. Turn! And if I can’t turn when I go off that hill then I will be worried how fast I’m going”. 

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It was our second run… and our last because. We took ages to run the first one so it was almost closing time. I started off and wiped out twice and pretty darn hard! We hadn’t even made it to the lift yet.  I took some deep breaths held back from cursing and moved forward… to my amazement I hit some sort of good swing, I found the movement I was missing and it was all down hill cruising from there… pun intended. I was super stoked, I did it, I mastered… well figured out how to controllably turn and look like a half decent boarder, woohoo. We made it to the top of the hill for our last run and the fog began to roll in; I had finally made mega amounts of progress but now could see barely 20 ft in front of me at any given time, good news was I only fell maybe 4 times compared to the… oh I don’t know 45 from the first run.

The following day I was in so much pain I felt like I had been playing in a tumble dryer for a whole day prior. I was suggested to try this stuff called Arnica… and let me tell you it is works of magic. It comes in many different form but I go the sugar diluted 30CH, I took five 3X a day within two days I felt like brand new.

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Some exciting news, I’ve developed a great relationship with a girl named Mariam who happens to now be my partner/ girlfriend. She struck me as kind of strange at first the way she greeted me several months back, but there was a connection that just drew me to think of her more than I normally would when I meet a girl. We continued to talk for a few days with her resisting my charming self but eventually I cracked that wall and we began going on dates for a few weeks, and ever since things have been pretty good!

We went snowboarding together that day I had many falls ;). It was nice to have a caring gf around to make me feel better after the 10th, 20th… fall. Especially after I watched some guy do some cool tricks on ski’s which I can do; I think my exact words were ‘I should have just borrow a stupid set of ski’s *grunt*‘.1462939_10153564740475022_604131859_n

Mariam lives in the next town over so unfortunately we don’t get to spend as much time as we would like together but we make do… Skype is a wonderful invention :).

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Last bit of news and maybe the biggest, I’ve decided to change my diet and I am now officially a vegetarian. I’d say a few years back I could never see my self eating vegetarian, despite always caring so much about the world. I’ve grown a lot especially in the last year and I’m open-minded to learn almost anything. As my love for the earth has grown over the past few months I continue to research things online and watch documentaries, the thought of becoming a vegetarian was seemingly edging on the boarders. One day I had just had enough of seeing what we are doing to the earth and made the choice to fully commit to cutting meat out of my diet.

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I don’t want to get too much into it and no I don’t really have anything against other people eating meat, it’s their choice and everyone is entitled to live their lives how they please… well within reason that is. If there’s anything I’d suggest to the omnivore’s out there is look for free range and locally raised / produced meat products.

Thank you to all my followers, Jules is thankful for the support of her guest post and I want to invite others to email me/ hit the guest post tab on the left for your very own post to shine!

~ Everything is connected into the fabric of our lives; be respectful and you will reap the benefits.

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Who do you want to be?

Hello to all of Justin’s friends and supporters! I’m Jules, one of Justin’s long-time friends and colleagues.

I’ve been invited by Justin as a guest blogger and my topic of discussion today is something I don’t just feel but AM…creativity! It’s a burnt out opinion that not everyone can be creative and I fully intend on shattering that perception as long as I have breath in my body. EVERYBODY and I mean absolutely everyone is creative. Humans are a curious species by nature and we are all capable of taking something we think or feel on the inside and turning that outwards into a tangible item whether it be something you’ve written, said, painted, sculpted or engineered.

Art is more than just technique. It’s about feeling. It’s about expression. It’s about taking something that is purely YOU and getting it out into the world for other people to look at, interpret, and appreciate. I grew up in a small town of 3000 people in Southern Ontario and at age 6 my dad discovered my talent for drawing things to scale. We traveled to Florida a lot for summer vacations as a child and my thing was to get postcards and then bring them home and enlarge them on my sketching paper. At age 6 I could take a postcard of Mickey Mouse and the gang and enlarge it to the size of an 8×10 or larger purely from vision. I could figure out angles and measurement without the need of a ruler or protractor (something that doesn’t come easily to everyone). My father decided to put me into art classes outside of schooling. Naturally, I was totally averted to the idea as I was a REALLY timid child. But to art classes I went and surprisingly enough to me I stuck with it for 7 years. Art class became kind of “my special time”. I didn’t have the perfect childhood. Times at home could be very rough on me emotionally and art class was an hour and a half a week that I could just go and be with other artists to get away from it all. No talking was necessary. I just needed that time to go inside my own head and let whatever it was that I was thinking about or feeling come through those firing neurons down into my hand and out of my pencil or paint brush. Art for me was therapeutic, as is for a lot of other people. It’s a chance to express yourself freely without judgement or fear, and that is why it is so important to me to spread of the word, nay beauty, of art!

As I got older, teachers wanted an answer… “What do you want to be when you grow up Miss Monk?” My father pushed me to find something to do with my art. I can remember at 12 years old telling my father “Dad you can’t make any money being an artist”. Now I think, “how sad that the world we live in doesn’t encourage artists to believe in the importance and value of what they’re creating”. I sincerely did not believe I could ever have a life making art. I thought it was just something I was good at that didn’t matter. The years rolled on and I continued growing my knowledge and technique taking art in high school and finally venturing away from realism and into the surreal. Abstract. Wow! It was something new and completely different for me. For the past 5 years or so I’ve been focused on integrating my realist technique with portraits INTO an abstract kind of background or scenario for the character and my goodness what a challenge it has been. I’ve never had more fun than when I don’t know what I’m doing. It just goes to show you that in life, whether it’s creating a piece of artwork, or applying for a new job or a promotion at work, or going out of your comfort zone dating someone new…you HAVE to push yourself to attempt the unknown….you never know how you might surprise yourself and find something new that you absolutely LOVE that you didn’t think was possible or could ever happen to you.

After high school I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. My family thought medical would be a good idea. It’s a good job, with good pay and I was caring enough to be able to handle the stresses and responsibilities of nursing….yet I wasn’t convinced. I applied for a double major at the University of my Nearby City of Windsor and got it. Visual arts and communications…I wasn’t excited. It just felt like “the NEXT step”, you know? It was like I was following the succession of events that society has shoved down my throat as the normal thing to do. Go to school, get a job, find a husband, buy a house, have some kids…and then, well you know. I continued pondering what my life would be like. “Would I ever leave this area?” A lot of people would go to school and eventually follow those same successions of events and NEVER leave. That couldn’t be me. I thirsted for more. One day while lying in bed and watching “Whatever happened to?” it dawned on me, “It would be so cool to work in the movies”. A few hours later I had googled every school I think in nation for film. The next day would change my life’s path.

I got a call from my adviser at The Vancouver Film School asking if I’d like to be a part of their student body in the following terms. I told them I had thought about it maybe after 4 years of schooling at home in Windsor. They proceeded to ask me why not do it now? I couldn’t for the life of me think of a good enough reason to say no. I applied and got in. Then came the inevitable question…”how am I going to afford this?” It just so happens they had a scholarship for a FULL ride to their school. So I applied. It was an essay based off a few key questions like “Who inspires you the most? Who are you? And where do you want to be in 5 years”? I thought of all the b.s bluster they might WANT to hear and then thought…”I’m going to write it from the heart, because if they don’t like that then they don’t like me and I don’t need to go to school there”. Out of hundreds of applicants, myself and 2 others won. I would be going to school in Vancouver, for film, completely free. I couldn’t believe it. If it had not been for that curiosity provoked inside me to search for something more, to keep it creative…then I wouldn’t be writing to you today.

After school I came back to Ontario to work. That’s where I met Justin. I was his supervisor for the AM800 A team (a broadcast promotions team in the Windsor-Essex County region). We made friends immediately and began a friendship lasting well over 3 years now. Justin and I both have the same view of helping others around us whether it be locals in Windsor or all the way in Haiti, which is where we traveled next. As many of you know Justin traveled to Haiti for six months to live with Emily Hime, at Maison Ke Kontan Orphanage, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. What many of you might not know is that I filmed it. Justin and I spent about a year of our friendship fundraising and working for the orphanage in Haiti to try and make a small difference. After being in Haiti my thirst for travelling became even more insatiable and my next stint would become working as an international photographer on the high seas. For six months I traveled Alaska, Central and South America working as a photographer for a cruise line. I have a blog about it that I will post at the bottom.

Arriving back in Canada, just two weeks ago, I’ve been experiencing an array of emotions but mainly just being very thankful for this colourful life I’ve been living. One of my mantras is that “No one will fix your situation but yourself” and “If you are not trying to fix your situation, then you have no right to complain”. Before leaving for life at sea I was feeling stagnant and depressed. Living in isolation for six months has given me a profound appreciation for such things like driving my car, or watching a movie with friends which may seem mundane to the people who experience that on a daily basis but I promise you, every little thing you experience in this life is a blessing and do not forget it.

My life’s message and purpose, I’ve discovered, is to share my knowledge and creativity with the world and to inspire others to not become stagnant or unchallenged by life. So my challenge to you, whoever you are that is reading this, is to get out there and try something new. Apply to something you didn’t think you could get, try something you’ve always wanted to but were too scared to, go out and meet some new people, share some interesting conversation with a stranger, try new food, create something that is completely you whether it’s a song or a painting or a piece of furniture! If I can get one thing across to you it is that this life is short, it’s unpredictable and it’s both horrible and awesome at the same time so live life for the quiet moments you took for granted, don’t settle for a less than remarkable life and lead a life that will have you remembered long after you’re gone.

Peace and love,

J.

Please visit my photography website at www.jlynnphotographyart.com if you’d like to see what I do for a living and book a photo session. Capture those moments in life and have a tangible keepsake for years to come!

You can also check out more of my artworks and talks at my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jlynnphotographyart and my blog: julialynnmonk.wordpress.com/!
There’s ALSO my youtube.com/julialynnmonk and my twitters at twitter.com/julesmonk and twitter.com/jlynnphotoarts.

Please do like, share and tweet my stuff if you enjoy my work as an artist. Help me to inspire others to keep dreaming and making those dreams a reality!