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  • Writer's pictureBrian Martin

The Journey Begins:

Updated: Nov 23, 2019

Nov 12, 2019:

Uncomfortable spaces. That’s where I live, and sometimes the livin’ ain’t easy.

I don’t know when it started exactly. Probably in my early teens when I took up competitive swimming. I went from dog paddling to front crawling the fifty-meter sprint at the Canadian men’s national championships in about three years. Of course, within that period of time were nine practices a week, three of those before school from six til eight in the morning. I also had a great coach and a pool that I could walk, bus or bike to when I wasn’t getting a ride from somebody.

There’s a saying which basically states that “Luck is the residue of preparation meeting opportunity”. In the case of the above example I was prepared to meet the challenge when the opportunity arose which occurred because the eighth swimmer in the final heat had scratched and I had the next best time, so I was inserted. Sure, the story would have been far more interesting had I won the event, which I didn’t, but maybe the experience implanted something into my DNA that I carry with me to this day.

It never dawned on me then, but now I look back and realize that I have always been the kind of guy that if given a decent road map and proper instruction could overcome the obstacles, the peaks and the valleys, stay the course and reach the destination. What I have come to understand from this life so far though is that it’s truly not about the destination, it's about the journey and that’s what Project Big Skinny is looking to explore.

I am a retired air traffic controller, in my mid-fifties, married almost twenty-five years now to my first and only wife and am raising two boys in their late teens. I postponed my dreams of becoming a rockstar, songwriter, novelist, screenwriter/actor and general creative soul, because I realized at an early age that freedom fifty-five was a far more attainable goal.

This is where the luck part comes in. Through careful planning and copious quantities of hard work, sacrifice and commitment, I knew I could hit my goal of retiring at fifty-five because I was lucky enough to have a road map. That road map contained one very simple instruction, pay into this plan for this many years and you will receive this fully indexed amount of money every month for the rest of your life.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I have been queried over the years both before and after retirement about why I would even want to retire young in the first place and what would I do with all this free time anyway? As I have always maintained, and still do, the purpose of retiring early for me was so that I could once again re-investigate my creative soul.

As I stated at the beginning of the previous page I live in uncomfortable spaces and yes sometimes the livin’ ain’t easy. I have insecurities and doubts like anyone else might, as well as fears and trepidations about what other people might think of me as a no talent hack (my perception of me) trying to break forth into the creative arts. That’s when I figured that this might be a great opportunity, as well as decent self-therapy, for me to share with those that might be interested in reading about the path that I am undertaking.

Project Big Skinny promises to share with you an honest look into my life and journey as a creative soul. I will open the door to the uncomfortable spaces that I live in and give you a first-hand accounting of the road travelled, and not yet travelled by me.

I hope to articulate present events in my life by incorporating past experiences as my guideline for the decisions that I’m making as I head into my future. That probably sounds kind of fluffy and at times it will be because as I stated earlier, I’m a no talent hack (my perception). You see, to me that’s what insecurities are about. Never believing that what you have to offer has any value, so you don’t push that part of the equation too often.

My hope is to resonate with you the reader as a writer who is both honest and genuine and can share relatable experiences that might be therapeutic for both of us. What that all is will unfold in the pages ahead not unlike the acting course I’m taking where our major focus is on improv and one never knows where one is heading as every spoken word in improv promises the potential for a change in direction. Remember when I said I operate best with a road map and proper instructions well…forget about it. This will be completely freestyle.

Until next time.

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