“I know there are old demons, which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death. . .Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying ‘our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.” These words were spoken by French President Emmanuel Macron at ceremonies on Rememberance Day 2018. They paint a stark warning to the world, given by the leader of France. Another quote also pops out at me today. ‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’ The quote is most likely due to writer and philosopher George Santayana, and in its original form it read, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
A video on Global News’ website shows world leaders marching down Champs-Élysées in show of unity on centenary of Armistice, but one familiar face is missing from the crowd. After the march had completed and the world leaders had taken their place, Donald Trump and his wife strolled in at a leisurely pace. This comes only a day after Trump cancelled a visit to a graveyard with fallen heroes of World War One because of the rain.
Today, a massive disrespect for the fallen soldiers, for those who have fought, for those who have served has been shown. Trump has shown he is incapable of proper social ettiquite. He has shown that he does not care about history, he does not care about those in the service, and he has clearly shown that he thinks himself more important than anyone else on the planet.
This brings us to the bulk of what I wanted to write to you about today. I try to be as fair as possible. I try my hardest not to judge people because I don’t know where people have come from. I don’t always succeed, but the important thing is that I try. My family members have served, have fought and have died so that I could have the best life possible for myself, and at the moment, my life isn’t all that bad. I try to honour their sacrifice every day that I can. I try to be the best person that I can be, and I constantly try to improve myself so that I am taking advantage of all that they have given me. The gift of freedom (whether illusionary or not) is a huge one to give. To give up your own freedom, your own life for someone else’s ability to life a life of happiness is one of the greatest gifts that I can think of.
November 11th is a time of reflection for me. It is a day where I sit and reflect on all that I have been given due to these sacrifices that have been given for me, and a day where I pay silent tribute to those men and women who gave their lives for mine.
I find it a huge insult when someone who is supposed to be in one of the highest positions of power in the United States says he’s not going to be attending a service dedicated to these men and women because of a few drops of rain, and then decides that he is too good to take part in a march used to symbolize understanding of the sacrifice made by these fine men and women while paying tribute to them.
I watched some of the videos that were captured when Donald Trump arrived at the ceremonial grounds. Not only did he not take part in paying tribute, but it almost appeared as if he was taking a long, leisurely stroll and walking in like he owned the place. What this tells me is that this man has no respect for those who fought in war, he has no respect for those that have fallen or come back with permanent mental/physical scars, he has no respect for the world leaders that were present, he has no respect for the people of his country and he has no respect for the position of power in which he finds himself.
This callous, uncaring display of ignorance is something that everyone should be upset about. It shows a massive disregard for freedoms, for the sanctity of life and sacrifice.
Before I go on and ramble too much on this, I’m going to finish this post here.
To all the individuals who have served, I salute you. I thank you whole heartedly, and I express my utmost thanks for what you have done. I look up to you.
I’ve made my fair share of decisions over the last couple weeks, but none as important as the following two:
- I’m leaving my job in December to focus on my own goals in life
- I’m moving into a more professional market come the new year.
I’m terrified of these decisions, but I honestly feel that it’s what I need to do to make myself happy. I think that it’s the right decision to make, despite how terrifying it is to make life-altering decisions like this.
Let me address decision number 1 first:
I’m not happy with my current job. I’m not happy being stuck in one spot, I never have been. Having to wake up only to go into work and serve people a product isn’t what I want to do with my life. I feel trapped, I feel glued down, and I feel stuck. When I think of going to work, all I feel is despair and disappointment with a side of a possible anxiety attack. I don’t want to be earning money for someone else for the rest of my life. I want to be free. I want to do what I want when I want, and how I want.
I decided I’d rather quit my job and focus on my schoolings while getting Blaze-in’ The Trails media up and off the ground, using school to focus and sharpen the tools I have, using my schooling to give me that razor-sharp edge that I so need, and I’ll be using portions of my student loan to sink some finances into the media company while I have the money in hopes of having something to fall back on, something that will pay the bills when I’m done. I plan to grow this company into something that is sustainable.
Now for decision number 2:
This decision ties into number one as well, but I wanted to highlight the fact that I’ve spent the last month of my life designing a brand new website in my free time for Blaze-in’ The Trails Media. It’s not just what some people know as the blog. It’s a complete, bonafide website, and it’s been turned into a one-stop shop for people who wish to know more about me, my team, the company’s approach to things and it’s got a professional style blog integrated into it. It even has room for full team bios and portfolios. I’m still not perfectly happy with the layout, but this is just me nitpicking about things until I officially release the website for public viewing.
Leaving everything I’ve been taught to do for the last 13 years is a terrifying prospect. I’ve been taught that to survive, I must have a job, I must earn money, and I must be a good employee lest my boss get rid of me. I must go in, do my job, keep my head down and go home in order to earn a pitiful amount of cash which the company decides is adequate compensation for my time, effort and energy, and in some cases the toll this takes on my body. This mentality has led, in part, to mental and physical health issues.
I know I’m capable of so much more. I aim to prove this. I aim to chase my dreams, I aim to make something of myself, and I aim to show the world what I can do. I’m done playing by rules that someone else designed to keep me in essentially what is servitude. I’m letting loose a battle cry:
Move over world. I’m coming for you.
Travel. Adventure. Exploration.
These are the things that I have an unquenchable thirst for. Those of you that have been following this blog know by now, that this is something I talk about over and over. This thought will continue to come up over and over again, most likely until the day that I die. I have an extremely heightened curiousity about the world around me. Some might almost call it an obsession that borders on insanity, but this thought, this idea is what drives me to keep going. I need to see what else is out there. I need to see what’s over that next hilltop. I need to see what lies around that next bend in the road. Sometimes it drives even me insane. It’s like a nagging voice in my head, a driving force in my life, and an ache in my body and soul that I cannot sate.
Recently, I set foot in Japan on one of the most epic adventures of my life thus far. I saw some really amazing things:
- A vampire cafe in Ginza
- Tokyo from the top of Metropolitan Government Building
- Aokigahara Forest
- Takeshita Street
These are only a few of the amazing things I saw. To list all of the sights would take you days to read through, and I don’t want to subject you to that, especially if you’re still following this blog for some odd reason.
I took a month and a half after I got back to settle back into my normal routines, I took some much needed time to work on school projects, I took some time to wrap up my independent study in Anth 398. Once I felt comfortable enough, low and behold, my brain began churning once again. The gears began to turn and work on new thoughts, ideas, and places to go next.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m leaving my part-time job in December to focus on school and media aspirations. I’m going to be sinking myself into my bachelor’s degree as much as I can while honing the craft I’ve come to call anthropological journalism (travel documentaries, filmmaking, travel influencer, travel journalist). I took some time to sit down and think about what this meant to me after editing and uploading not only the trailer for my final video project for Anth 398, but the entire video in four segments, each of which is three to five minutes in length. The entire project is 17 and a half minutes long. The first segment will drop on November 15th, so keep your eyes peeled.
That’s when it hit me.
I live in one of the most vibrant provinces in Canada. My province and even my city have some of the richest history, some of the most beautiful sites and some of the most mysterious places in the country. I came to the unavoidable conclusion that if I’m going to start down this path, there is no better place to do it than my own backyard.
Within the next few weeks, providing the course load isn’t too hard on my schedule, I’m going to be filming locations around Edmonton, highlighting various places in short videos. Next summer, I’m planning to get my car back on the road, and I’m looking into the feasibility of traveling around the province to highlight people, places and things to bring to you all from the comfort of your laptop or mobile device, where ever you find yourself. At least that’s the plan.
I’ve started pinning places on Google Maps. I’ve got places of interest, touristy places, abandoned buildings, haunted locations, and I’m looking into adding a category along the lines of “places of cultural and historical significance” or something to that effect. If you have any suggestions of places that you’d be interested in hearing about or seeing footage of, feel free to drop it in the comments of this blog.
I’m still in the conceptualization phase of this project, and this project may be something more akin to a longer-term focus, but it’s an idea that once again seems to have consumed me from the inside out, and I seem to be obsessing over, which tells me only one thing:
I must pursue this idea to see if it has any merit. I must at least try it out and see how it works. I must see if it’s doable, and if so, this could be the start of something absolutely amazing.
Hopefully, this gives you a sneak peek into what’s going through my mind right now. I hope you all are well. I hope you seek out your own passions and your own adventures. I hope that you find whatever brings you happiness and pursue it with all your hearts.
That’ll be it for now, before I start rambling too much.
Until next time: I’ll see you on the Trail.
I know I’ve been saying I’ll get the Youtube videos up with some sort of regularity but I find I have trouble sticking to any sort of schedule I set at the moment. That may come in the future. In the mean time, here is the first of what I hope are many videos chronicling my life just as I am. I’m hoping I’m going to be able to post every few days, as I’m really enamoured with having content on my youtube channel.
Eventually, I hoope these videos will turn into something more than just “personal reflections in the moment”.