It feels good to be back.
It feels even better to be back with a purpose.
Tenmao. When I started doing this, I just wanted to put my art out there. That was it. To become an art celebrity in no time at all would have been great, but ultimately, the aim was to just get my art on to apparel and out into the public. It’s a simple goal, really, but it’s a process that has a fairly shallow objective and categorizes you a “whore” before anything else. Art that began as sincere images that came from the heart became calculated studies in demographics, trends, and marketing. I hated it in no time at all, lost the will to keep doing it, and let it die.
Flash forward toward near-the-end of 2016. My first son was born and I felt something in me come alive. I held him and made a promise to be the best father I could be. In my mind, that meant prioritizing him and the family first; anything that I enjoyed would wait for the betterment of my family. Some are reading this and thinking, “yeah man” while others are shaking their heads saying, “dumbass.” It’s a romantic idea that I watched my own dad do when I was a kid so naturally I’d do it, too, and I did.
Art stopped. Writing Stopped. Workouts stopped.
In spite of his political/ideological leanings, I was always a fan of Phil Anselmo and Pantera. An interview I’d read of his way back in the early 2000’s contained a quote where he said something to the effect of “if you don’t nurture the known talents within you, they’ll turn on you and beat your ass.” I learned every word of it is true. I gained crazy weight and my creative talents grew frail. Trying to call on them on a whim became a painful exercise that showed me how far my skills fell. Burying myself in what I’d re-prioritized as the important stuff (i.e. work, etc.), I’d look at a picture of my son and I my wife had taken and fail to recognize the man in the picture. I’ll never say I’m the prettiest pig in the pen, but I looked beat up. My son was sleeping but I looked like I was the one who needed the nap. “How long before this makes me no good to him?” I was exhausted, I was angry, and I was only falling further, faster.
It took a visit to a doctor to reveal to me that, much to my surprise, I was depressed. I’d always thought being depressed meant you cried alone in a dark room and wanted to die. That wasn’t me, ergo, I wasn’t depressed, but I learned it’s something much more sinister. That said, it became clear what had happened and what I had to do: to be the best man for my family, I had to get back to me and all the elements that shaped me. Art. Writing. Training. Family. Difficult balance to keep but for them to get the best version of me, it had to be done and the return to this page and all the gears that I turn is one step back on my road with many more to follow.
I’m fuckin’ busy like you wouldn’t believe…but I love every minute of it.
The inaugural piece comes from the two ideas that drive me daily: all sides of me must be nurtured and no half-stepping. In the past, I treated this as a side thing, a hobby. Now it’s what I do unfailingly, not just for the sake of staying balanced, but because, well, hopefully it’ll help someone out there stay centered as well.
In whatever you do, never forget to take care of YOU and perhaps above all else, when it comes to your goals or your aims, hold nothing back. Greatness can’t be attained without great deeds and there is no deed greater than conquering yourself.
Your dreams, your goals, give them everything; give them Hell.