I can begin by saying that in 2014, my life changed. Due to my stresses with my publication initiative, and back then I had lost the immediate family I had in 2006. I suffered 5 heart attacks, and now have 6 stents in my heart from numerous operations at Sunnybrook Hospital and Toronto General. They called me Full Metal Jacket there, and yes I was too young to have this many heart attacks. I was called as well, 'The Young Guy', by the nurses. Elena my amazing intern from U of T, said 'You could have called me to come over'. ..but no I didn't want to burden her with my health. Perhaps this has been my state of Being, where I have been self sufficient for most of my life. And my journey to this began at less than 12 months old, where I was found on a staircase, abandoned, or left to be found by the authorities. I was wrapped in a blanket, in a small basket, a baby on a staircase.
So I call this, a journey of the Heart. As it took a lot of heart for my adoptive parents to adopt and raise me, and I am grateful for their journey and sacrifices. This is why I created my publication as well, to honour the journey and story of so many whom lives have been changed by either life's circumstances or by war or adventure. I do see life as more precious than a paycheck or that TV you've always wanted. Life is where we learn to become better beings or for our soul to grow. To grow, I believe we must have a wider heart, and not fall into being petty or vindictive. I myself am learning from my own mistakes and have a plan to repair the mistakes I have made from friends to clients, before I retire to a squash farm I have planned, a year from now. Does this matter, in this hectic ever divided world we live in? I think Smiles matter and when people feel healed, and at peace. So as, my journey is about to end with my publication, new journeys can emerge, where I would like to continue to help people tell their story, in a different way, as I settle into a lifestyle, where I can grow my own food, have my own chicken provide eggs, and live a farmers life, close to nature.
But going back to what drives me. It could be my search backwards from the baby in the staircase, to finding a sense of purpose to life. What I have in me is strong, but is also in need of much nurturing. I don't have the usual family structure around me, as I often say to my interns...'That I'm an ENFJ', so in my past I started the computer club in grade 9. (just so I have an excuse to make our own geeky T-shirts and make someone's printer go off). I lead the Grade 13 Orchestra, performed at most every auditorium event in highschool, and lead my team in every shoot, to inspire them, prop them up, encourage them to success. And ...very often I would return home, alone with no uncle or aunt to call or text me, ask me..'how was my day'. To add to this, I had an abusive adoptive mother...the words from her are just awful. So what drives me to be good and kind? Well, during my visit to my cardiologist she told me that I was lucky to be alive because I actually grew 'collateral arteries!'. How about that! I felt super human and blessed after hearing that. And to segway, one parent a man was leaning against the wall at my art centre/studio in Mississuaga, where I was known to help kids. Get out of drugs, gangs, school problems by teaching them art. He said to me, while smoking..'I will give you $400 bucks if you fix my son'. Right there I felt, 'why aren't you doing anything?'.
Despite seeing so many follies of human beings, families, mothers, fathers not taking responsibility for their kids. One parent constantly hinted her son is going to military school if I can't fix him. And over time schools gave me their worse problem students, one guy threw a chair at his Principal. That I became known as the fixer with Art, guy. But this might be the cause of my heart attacks, which is all this pressure that ordinary males of 30-40 don't have imposed on them, due to people not taking care of their own. It's pushed on to me, and I do have that face that people easily turn to. I do still think that Life Is Beautiful and I carry no grudges or resentments. I turn my attention to growing plants and vegetables. So perhaps the innate love of what Life Is, drives me. I have no one to turn to for my problems...people have been turning to me since I was born.
My heart, my heart, is more than flesh, it's patient, its understanding, it's a connection to my world.