Good tidings all! I assume everyone has had a sweet Christmas, and that you are either preparing yourselves for change, or for some extra health insurance for your liver in the wake of the New Years proceedings? Yes? No? Maybe? Whatever.
2013 has been a roller coaster for myself, in many ways. A maelstrom of highs and lows of (at times) unequal proportions. But this year was different in a life changing sort of way for myself. Not just in terms of working for Hit The Floor, but life in general.
Ever had an epiphany? An epiphany is what one might call, a moment of clarity. Perhaps even just some raw awakening that makes you realise the bigger picture of things. This could be life, love, work, or anything in between. For me, it was everything, and I can honestly say that this is the happiest I have felt in years with myself, and with life. Notice the lack of exclamation marks in this passage, this is as sincere as you will get from me because I mean every single word I say in this blog right here, without the use of over exaggerated phrasings and punctuation.
Like with everyone else in the whole wide world, we all have our share of highs and lows. We all eventually learn from our mistakes, and we all try to do what we can in order to make things right. But more importantly, we should all make things right for ourselves.
People need to worry about their own personal wellbeing, life, and importance a lot more.
This year I have, for the first time in my life, actually realised that I have never, ever really put myself first by any means, and actually thought for a moment… “What do I actually want in life, and where do I want to go?”. A mass of great and bad things this year actually made everything fall in to place, and when you kind of realise the bigger picture, and you realise your own self-worth and importance, every other worry you may have had about tedious or trivial things in life almost seems insignificant.
It has been refreshing taking the time to rediscover myself as a person, putting my needs first for a change, making sacrifices that needed to be made, and preparing to turn the next chapter in life without regret, without a moment of sadness, or without a moment of confusion.
For every bad thing that has happened to me this year, I couldn’t really care less for it. I realise that life can deal a heavy hand at times, and you end up coming across a lot of horrible situations and abhorrently moronic people, but if you can come out of a tunnel of shit smelling like roses, then good on you. Yes, I am giving myself a metaphorical pat on the back for the first time in my life, and I deserve it in all honesty. But let me tell you this…
To anyone out there who ever thought that you are not worthy of a better life,
To those who worry too much about what other people say,
To those who lack the confidence to do whatever it takes to make them a happier person,
For all who do not realise their own inner beauty within themselves and for the world waiting for them,
To anyone who finds it hard to let go of and move on from the past,
To those who find themselves misunderstood by many because they cannot express themselves properly,
To those who are selfless enough to put themselves last but not be appreciated for their efforts,
For all who are going through their own personal hell…
No matter what anyone dare says to you in order to quash any ounce of ambition, hope, desire, or passion out of the sheer intent of malice and selfishness, don’t let the bastards grind you down. You will often find that a decent percentage of the time that people usually will say horrible stuff towards another, usually out of spite, jealousy, pure ignorance, or purely down to the fact that they have nothing else better to do with their lives, and that ruining someone else’s happiness is just something that will give them some sort of hollow catharsis.
The biggest piece of self-advice I can probably give to you is that if you have big ambitions, a passion for what you want to achieve and express in your life, is that you should never, NEVER, let the past take a hold of you forever. Of course we can never forget some things, but once you learn to let go of what was and has been, and focus on the importance of the present, you can then pave the way for what will be in the future. Give yourself a goal in life, do not ever, ever let anyone else try and tell you what to do with your life under any circumstances. Of course moral support, a helping hand, and encouraging words and actions from others always helps, as well as a little constructive criticism, but for the love of what is right… do what makes you happy, and keep those closest to your heart right by your side, for they will be the ones who will undoubtedly stick by you in the long run.
It might not be now, it may be next year, it maybe a decade, or maybe even when you are on your death bed, but you will soon realise how important you really are in your world, and to those who love and care for you. Support yourself by believing in yourself, realise your own self-importance, and know that even when life provides its (what may seem like) eternal struggles, that in the end… everything will be alright as long as you want it to be.
Set yourself free, and realise your true potential in whatever you want to achieve. Whether that it be a place in the music industry, being a doctor, a firefighter, poet, dancer, painter, whatever. Do what makes you happy, and for no one else.
Anyway… that is my sincere ‘The Notebook’ style, BAFTA winning speech over and done with! Now…
This year of 2013, I would like to list three things that have made my year, and that has provided me with much happiness, laughter, and just reminders of how cool and awesome this year actually has been amidst the turmoil and tribulations of life and world events, in my own personal opinion!
1. GROEZROCK FESTIVAL
This festival literally changed my outlook on everything when it comes to festivals. The way it is run, the collective of like minded people from all over the world who gather together to bond with one thing in common… the music.
I had the best fucking time I have had in a long time over there, and guess what… did not even need to get drunk to have a good time! It also was the first ever time I have properly been to Europe. I was mind blown as to how much of a bigger world is waiting out there for me, and which I have now caught the travelling bug. Next year, I will start my voyage around the world, and see the places I want to see!
2. DDP YOGA / POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
This is an exercise and nutrition program led by ex-WWE / WCW wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, which incorporates yoga moves with an intense cardiovascular workout. This was actually recommended to me by none other than Chris Jericho (WWE Superstar/ Fozzy) himself, when I took part in putting on Fozzy in my hometown a few years ago. it was only until it came back about again after hearing about the rehabilitation of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, and Scott Hall (childhood hero of mine), by using this program that I really started to take notice. It was also due to the unbounded enthusiasm of Laila and Barney form Sonic Boom Six to get on this, that I finally undertook it.
Since July, I have lost 4 and a half stone… and I am still going to reach my goal. To be fair, I looked real ill earlier this year. Overweight (19 stone, shit son), smoking, at times excessive drink and drug use, and more. Now… I am not smoking or doing drugs at all, I have now decided to go properly vegetarian and not drink any alcohol for an entire year, and you know what? I feel fucking great! Now I am 14 and a half stone (and can party on knowing that I can fit in to medium / large t-shirts again, and 34/36 size jeans), I am still going… and come this summertime, I’ll have you all swooning at my DDP Yoga swag of a temple that my body shall be. *Ahem….*
Also, extra thanks to Adam from H2O for being cool enough to write to me regarding exercising tips and fitness! Fitness instructor by day, badass bass player for hardcore punk band by night.
3. MEETING LOADS OF COOL NEW PEOPLE
One of the perks of being part of Hit The Floor, is that you can travel all over the country / Europe, and meet so many great people at concerts and festivals behind the scenes, and out on the frontline. I feel blessed to have met so many fucking cool people this year. Most particularly at Groezrock, and in the capital of London Town. Here is hoping that next year will be an even greater adaption of that!
Extra special shout outs to everyone I met for the first time over this year from the UK and Europe, particularly Dutch Collin, haaris at Public City PR, Verran, the dudes in Turnstile / TUI, Riverboat Gamblers, all past and present members of Alaska [FRANCE], Matt and Joby from The Bronx, Mike D’Antonio from Killswitch Engage, Duane Denison from Tomahawk for providing the best interview I have ever conducted, Rob Damiani for being a great dancing buddy in Reading Festival VIP area, Laila + Laura, I Divide, and well… the list is endless. Anyone else I have forgot, do not be offended if I have forgotten you… much love and respect!
4. TURNING A NEW CHAPTER IN LIFE
Finally moving out of my hometown in a few months, free of all the idiots and bullshit that surrounds local life and its cretinous occupants, and free of (most) stress altogether now. It is a great feeling when you can safely say that you are turning a new chapter in life and you have no idea what is about to come round the corner. Sometimes, we all just need to stay in that passenger seat in the back, and let someone else drive for you. Relax a little!
5. SO MANY AWESOME TV SERIES
Dexter… Sons Of Anarchy… Boardwalk Empire… Ripper Street….
There has been so much awesome viewing on television this year. Normally I do not watch it but for these moments alone, it makes it all worth it! I think we all wish we could be either Dexter Morgan, Jax Teller, or Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson deep down, aye?
Anyway… you get the picture. With such a crazy year, this is no kind of shitty resolutions page. I am just filling in the void because I have not been doing the blog for about a month now, because boring real life had caught up! But alas come 2014, I will be publishing Pipebombs & Tomfoolery every fortnight instead of weekly, and I will also be including some very special P&T exclusive interviews with some celebrities from around the world on all different levels! Expect a bit of a boost on the blog, and making this better than ever before!
Last but not least, thank you to all the Hit The Floor staff who have been great and helpful to me since arriving here, and those who I have met and partied with this year… especially on my birthday / HTF Launch Party… blessed times!
And for all of you out there, remember what I said earlier on in the blog. You are someone, you are everything you want to be, just put your mind to it and start to believe in yourself. Don’t make a change just because it is a new year, do it because you want to make a positive change for life.
In the immortal words of my good chum, and self-professed ‘hero’ Marvin ‘El Nino’ Dent… “I am the world’s greatest, and that will never change”. You can be too if you believe in yourself.
Big love to all my family and friends, and extended family throughout Europe and the USA, that I have met and had the pleasure of meeting or talking to this year!