My life was in a suitcase and I signed away my savings for whatever change I could pocket. My belongings were abandoned, never to be seen again. It was the first night of my new life which would mushroom into a series of different firsts: new countries, new jobs, new projects, new friends and a new outlook on life with each passing moment.
Now I am returning to where it all began but at another supposed height of my career (thus far), as opposed to the bottom and start of a rocky beginning. Along the way, I lost a lot. Respect, friends, family and a sense of home. But I also learned so much passing through, I learned my father’s words: “You can do anything you set your mind to”. A flawed point-of-view that he would drill in my head when I was a teenager, trying to rebuild a depressed son. He would always try to build me up and hit me when I mentally sabotaged myself: failing the ninth grade, getting kicked out of school(s), internalizing hatred and pretending I thrived on my classmates' psuedo-acceptance in the form of nick-named racism. It was challenging to follow his words when his own environment was topsy-turvy ranging from temporary homelessness, a mismanaged life and suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea (took him about 10 years to discover this issue and the source of his sensitive behavior).
Before leaving for Moscow, I made a pit stop to visit my father in his tiny town of Newport, North Carolina. The seafood there was incredible, but their Alaskan Blue Crab Bisque was the best soup I've ever had in my life. Very recommended, just to see a different landscape than what you're used to in the North and Europe. It's very peaceful and remote and I understand why my father enjoys it at his point of his life - but for me, it was too quiet and still for my current personality
I realized that what he was saying never meant that I would succeed at whatever I could. It was less than that, it was simply: I can do whatever I convinced myself I could do. In that, I would have personal success despite massive failures. I would fail upward, leaping from one falling tower to another as they all collapsed and I would land in another country – feeling its weight shift back and forth without certainty. A first of personal successes: My first show, first published magazine, first live-stream platform, first company. Around me, failure in every shape and form. I would get scammed, mislead, persecuted and vilified. But with each new job, I get a little more optimistic, stand a little taller and fall harder towards the end.
But there was trust with each party I joined. Each new job never accounted for the past company (and my) failures, only the strength in my ability and history in following-through. Their ideas were never exactly how I'd go about thing, but then again, I'm sure I was never the exact candidate they were looking for.
I tried different strategies in preparing and coping for each job. I'd tell myself to focus more on life, less on the job, don’t get so emotionally tied or don’t have more/less faith in leadership. But in the end, what I really learned is that I hate disappointment. I hate being disappointed and I hate disappointing others and when people trust in me, I try and make that investment worth their while. Dependency is such a strong motivator, it means someone is thinking of me, even if it means they only think of what I could do for them. It’s a little desperate, a little pathetic – but it has gotten me this far and financially, I have been paid the most in view of what the worst outcome may be. When a company's fate comes true, as it does every time – I am safer for a little longer, retirement is a little closer and prospects for the next job starts to dimmer.
In the coming month, I will be moving to Berlin. After a short stint in the Netherlands, I’m returning to the place I lost my wide-eyed naivete. There is no one left to trust but myself now and with it, trust in doing what’s best for the project I am hereby starting. I used to care what people thought about me, concerned it would hurt me in getting a job and to be honest – I’ve only been qualified for the riskiest things. Things where I was the best candidate because the rest had the integrity and foresight not to relocate for the same slogan sold to them time and time again: “It’ll be a one-stop shop for esports!” But I learned that as the scene expanded and incredible brands and names emerged, no one actually gives a shit about me. When something blows up in my face, then they will care, just for a moment to dismiss me once more, to laugh about me among their friends and then they will continue their lives – appreciative they are in such a safe and happy position. And that’s fine. That’s part of this life and a part of me. I won’t be respected because it’s not part of my demeanor. I am not quiet or reserved, but insecure, loud and uncomfortable with the silence because of what I can’t hear and from whom I cannot hear from.
- Cont. on post 2. Pic 1: Leiden, Pic 2, Amsterdam.
For most of my time, I've been staying in Leiden, Netherlands. Although The Hague is my favourite city, but the ambiance and 'provincial town' feeling of Leiden was quite romantic and cherished. I was amazed at how natural the city was in its beauty and in awe at how easy the pictures were to take, even for an amateur like myself.
I will be registering and owning a project with ESforce Holding Ltd. In fact, I started 6 months ago. I have flown to Moscow, Russia twice already and my view of Russians and Moscow has vastly changed. It goes without saying that their women are beautiful who exhibit a lot of poise, fashion and quiet demeanor, but the men are stern and welcoming (read: tolerant of me) but motivated by the responsibility of their job. Having worked with them these past few months has really enlightened me on their society and I've found Moscow to be more beautiful than the many European cities I have visited. The mix of old and new architecture, use of lights to create an expose of beautiful buildings and the great food has really left me feeling invited to stay here longer. Their language is soft and lyrical, even when pressed or frustrated they sound better than most languages I've heard before.
- Cont. on post 2.
I tried my best to take ideal pictures, but the weather rivaled that of Canada's winter: cold, windy and you lose your nostrils if you breathe in too long. Nevertheless, on my first visit, it was easy to bask in the candy-like colours the buildings were painted in and stand in the brightest places in the city
7 years ago, I was managing a team of players for nothing and spammed the forums looking for friends. By February, I will have 200 million subscriptions of my Dota 2 passion project and spear-heading something I've always wanted to do, but now have the decision-making and budget to commit to. I am sure I will be right back where I was after I left Los Angeles, in complete despair and hurt. But it being the only thing I can’t control or prepare in my life – so of course it will be the most hurtful and intimidating state of mind I will face. But as of right now, as I land on this flight that has just left Moscow, I can only look forward. I can only see the steps I did prepare for and fulfill this contract of trust that has been bestowed upon me.
Thank you, friend(s), for keeping me in mind.