My name is Ryan. I'm 38 years old. I live in Canada.
In the last three months I have quit my import craft beer job in Vancouver - after three years with the company, moved all of my belongings into my brother's garage on Vancouver Island, taken a month-long solo camping road trip down the west coast and across the states, come back to my hometown of London, Canada, to help out my folks with their dog kennel business over the busy summer, while they tend to elderly relatives, spent most of my free evenings enjoying the sunsets on Lake Huron, and in the last two weeks met an amazing girl who I just might fall in love with if I'm not careful...
What a long strange trip it's been.
My dad died when I was 14. I moved out when I was 16. I've spent the last 20 years moving all over, living in different places, couch-surfing, working different jobs, making music and art, and experiencing different people and places. Always searching. An artist is always in a state of becoming. One thing I have learned is that no matter where you go and or who you are, everyone has a story -- their own dreams and pains.
I've worked so many different jobs, and experienced so many different types of living… I've been a bicycle delivery person, busboy, worked in a jeans shop, waiter, bartender, worked in a dog kennel, concert promotion, music journalist, television host, dishwasher, worked for a drug dealer (not proud of that one, but I was desperate, and it was only for a few weeks), managed bars, worked in craft beer industry, been an actor and a touring musician, magazine editor, the list goes on...
I've done cocaine in limos with rock stars and I've slept on the ground and panhandled for change to get a slice of pizza - I've gone back and forth between these extremes a few times... I've battled through crippling depression, self-medicated for years with alcohol and drugs, and nowadays am living clean and finding happiness and peace with healthy smoothies and running and yoga. These experiences have taught me not to judge anyone. The guy sorting through my recycling bin for empties is no different than the guy driving by him in his big car wearing an expensive suit. I know this because, to some degree, I've been bits of both of them.
These days I am living a quiet life. I want to buy a little piece of land near water, build a cabin, and spend as much time as possible painting, writing, walking with my dogs, and hopefully raising a couple kids with a cool lady.
I hope you all feel loved in your lives today. If not, I'm sending a little love you way… :)
Bayfield, Ontario, Canada
P.S. If you feel like checking out my weirdo indie rap music, google "OK Cobra."
P.P.S. Feel free to write! I'd love to hear from others on this list.