The American Dream. This saying always repeats in my mind. It was once an album idea. It was once a podcast idea. Most of all though, it’s just the way I think about life. The world we live in, now, our current living conditions, this digital age, where we’re never satisfied, where we can have it all, but it still feels empty, where we work all day long, and come home to still struggle…this is our American dream. I don’t think it was meant to be this way. It’s exhausting, and it’s the reason I’ve been studying and implementing alternative living for the last five years: letting go any and everything that doesn’t add value to my life. It’s why I only own the bare essentials. I used to call it minimalism. That word doesn’t describe it as much as “Essentialism” does. There’s things that I’m working on behind the scenes that will fall into place very soon. A year from now, my plan should be 100% complete. Until then, I’ll still be running this rat race with you.
I am not done. I’m sure you knew that already. I just needed to remind myself of that. I’m just getting started. I have enough ideas stashed away that I would never have to think of another new one again. But that’s not how I operate. New ideas will keep coming. Old ideas will keep trickling out. My brain, my blog, nashp.com, it’s all one big idea factory. It’s my little shop on the corner of an old downtown city, where just a few people stop by and say hello. They look at a few items, some items excite them, some they overlook. There’s a chair right next to the counter, where the old man, let’s consider him my regular, he comes by almost every day. He stops by in the morning for company and to see how I’m doing. That might be you. He sits at that chair, and just talks about life with me. About the weather. About what’s on the front page of the newspaper he’s reading. When you visit nashp.com just know that, if I was born 50 years ago, this little digital place I call home, would look like a little hole-in-the-wall nearby, with trinkets and woodwork, and leather wallets, and vintage shirts. It would have vinyls and maybe cassette tapes. It might even have a barber shop. Maybe it would have Pac-Man or a Double Dragon arcade machine. But instead, you get this: a little blog, on the corner of the World Wide Web, where my crazy ideas, experiments, and observations live. My idea factory.
We all go through phases, where we lose ourselves. We lose that fire. We lose our purpose. It’s humbling. One minute, life is perfect. The next minute, you’re feeling lost. For me, it comes in waves, and it comes in spurts. It’s not consistent. It’s not balanced. One month, I can take over the world. The next month, the world is pressing down on me. How do I go from holding that much weight, to feeling weightless? How can I go from helping so many people, to needing that amount of people to help me? This is a paragraph of emotions, trying to understand it all. I spent the day thinking about this current situation I’m in. What caused it to come back. What new pressure was added to my life that increased my anxiety and clouded thoughts? I lost my clarity. I’m a person of purpose and vision, and when that’s taken away, or put on hold, it messes me up. I only know how to keep moving. Being stagnant is suffocating. Similar to a shark, if it stops swimming, it dies. If I get complacent, if I stop swimming, I start drowning. Recognizing this allows me to start moving at full speed again. It’s the only way I know how to operate.
This entire year for me has been defined by mental health. I’ve seen both sides of it. The good and the bad. I’ve beaten it, I’ve helped others, I’ve created art out of it, I’ve watched it return, and I’m constantly studying the roots of it all. This is a serious issue that’s becoming a bigger problem by the day in our world. But I won’t let it win. Whatever talent and voice that I have, I’ll use it to combat this thing that attacks my mind. Staying aware. Staying focused. Staying creative. I just wanna be ok.