The importance of reading was lost on me for about two decades. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the content that was in my hands, it was more about how I processed the information and how much my surroundings affected the penetration of the new information. Tapping pencils, sega genesis from my brothers room and even sound of whistling wind had me re-reading the same page two, sometimes three times. These flashbacks and memories date back to before social media was a huge part of our lives. It’s even worse now with so many distractions in our daily..
For me, I would complete a page scanning the words yet the information somehow entered the Brainuda Triangle. The frustration for the lack of focus was heavy. Everything about it boggled me. Internally or verbally speaking, reading just never worked for me. Then one day I started buying audio books on tape. Then it all changed. I became an information consumer, big time.
In 2010, after the release of our first film, I joined the workforce and for a little over three years I became a union worker in one of Vancouver’s largest unions, GWU 333. Prior to taking this coveted high wage position I had spent the past 13 months struggling financially to get The Fellowship of the Bearing to completion. During that time I learned a lot from the filmmakers on my team. They were all film school graduates and I was just a guy with an intense passion to show the world the greatness of the evolution of downhill skateboarding. Crazy things were happening in the Vancouver area and somehow I felt it was my duty to document it. Something I said or something our crew did as extreme riders compelled them to agree to work with me on a very low, out of pocket budget. To this day, it’s something that I am still very, very grateful for. Naysayers said it couldn’t be done yet we persevered and completed the project in October of 2009. Skip ahead 1 year and I was at the bottom of the ladder (literally and figuratively) shovelling rat feceeze.
Joining the labour workforce as a union worker also consisted of me commuting in my vehicle at least three hours a day. 2 hours on a good day or before and after a graveyard shift. Some people would find this time useless or waster and listen to music on the radio. Fo me, I always felt that it was an ideal time to consume education. It started off with photography podcast and I added Joe Rogan podcast for entertainment and forward thinkin’ stuff. Marketing podcast and Canadian Indy music podcast were also part of the nightshift playlists.. The day before my work week would start I would load up a ton of podcasts on to my little old-school nano iPod. Instead of sulking about the current state of my shitty ass job (well the pay was good!), I would consume copious amounts of information in effort to become more knowledge savvy in areas that I knew nothing about. If I was asked to work overtime, I would message my family to see if it was ok and then I would queu up 4 more podcasts. At this time in my life I probably consumed more information than I ever have. We weren’t authorized to listen to music when we were working. In some environments, I felt it was OK so I broke the rules. I don’t have any regrets. Sorry Management and Thank you too.
I suppose the reason for this post is to educate others that if they are caught in some sort of position or job that feels like a dead end career, it’s never too late to educate yourselF. Always learn, keep that brain primed. Get on it, download a podcast phone. Do it, like right now! If you’re in a long commute use that time wisely to educate yourself and basically just try to be a better person for others around you. In this day and age it’s easy to become negative and angry when you get caught in a trap life. I wanted to emphasize the fact that it’s totally possible for people to use their downtime, or they’re dead time to become better people. Better, or smarter. Both sound good to me.