Some nights I think about what my late mentor would think of who I am today. Growing up I always felt that it was weak to cry, and I think deep down I still do. So I always fight the urge whether it is a sad song, sad video, or thinking of someone like him. However I remember him telling me that "it is okay to cry, sometimes we need to let it out", and I strive to become a better person by letting myself have that emotional output.
Growing up I had a really hard time opening up out of my shell, whether it was about the #unitedlivingconstruct @ulcweb or #polyinnovator , really any endeavor I was working on. I would do it in secret or worse not do at all because I was embarrassed of my ideas.
It took someone with a titan of a spirit like Tony to show me that it is okay to be myself. I started my ULC blog, and that is the road that brought me to where I am today. 200+ blog posts, 160+ videos and #polycasts as well each. Over 1000+ videos on #tiktok, and many more ideas to share with the world. I felt that I had something to offer, and him always listening to me. No judgements only openness and advice, and even if he thought something wasn't a great idea he would support me. Or gently guide me in a better direction.
The progress I make, or even just desire to make, makes me feel that I honor him with each and every post. It was his support of my Ulcweb blog that allowed me to feel confident sharing my ideas, no matter how out of the box, or even crazy they may be. I still don't share everything nowadays. In fact that is the reason why I created the PolyInnovator Manifesto. So that at least each part of my plan is shared somewhere, and for those who truly care about me and what I do can see my thought process. Perhaps share in my vision just as Tony did.
His Support in my Life
Around that time I was obsessed with the idea of traveling, secretly I still am, and he gave me advice and information on how to backpack across the US.
The U.L.C. is an idea of a innovation hub, much like an incubator, but rather citywide in a built from the ground up smart city. It was my main passionate dream to achieve before I realized I needed to improve in all #FourPillars of my life before I could achieve it. He helped me realize that dream through discussions, even pointing me in the way of the #freemasons or #socialentrepreneurship
Regret of Not Pursuing These All Sooner
Most of everything I do would have been monumental progress around the time of when I was still in contact with him. We ended up losing time together as I didn't push hard enough to find a way to meet him in person. Video calls are great, but aren't the same thing. I even failed to make it to his celebration of life in Iowa because I thought it was too far. I should have even walked.
I wasn't driving then, but now I do and have a car.
I didn't stay very consistent with content, and even was only doing writing. Now I do all media formats, and even have interviewed at this time 95 people on the PolyCast. Which has exponentially expanded my network, and he would be so amazed by that. Even more that network would be able to help him as well.
My life at work has always revolved around the pool or exercise in various capacities. His health was a constant struggle for him, and if I progressed sooner in my journey I could have been knowledgeable enough quicker to help him. 😢
My pursuit of following my passion, whether it was through the Modular Degree or in the lifelong pursuit of becoming a polymath would have meant the world to him that I work on those endeavors.
I even started consistently going to karaoke which is something I adore, and as I later found out he did as well. We could have dueted a bodacious rock song, or serenaded a crooner song. Something.
However all these things happened after he was gone. Thinking about how he might react now gives me melancholy-joy.
I only wish I could honor him more. I hope my success on that front alone could make him proud. #brother
This was a photo we took pretty early on, I must have been around the age of 11, and we stayed in touch off and on for the next 10 years. Him being actively in my life for many years in the first half of that decade before moving away, but even after he would still make time for me.