Total Pageviews

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Journey with a Singer Part II

As I  got home yesterday after a long day at work, Skylar was so excited to see me, and gave me this big hug, in her own way giving me the report of the day.

After a while, she just said: “Daddy, I want my phone”. That is how things are. Everything I have is hers. I mean everything!

Since she was a few months old, she was at a daycare downtown Toronto. She stayed there for a while even after we moved in the East end of the City. I used to go to pick her up in the evening, and because we had a long trip home, I thought it would be better to go to a nearby food court so that she could eat something before we hit the road ( I think my wife started that tradition).

After a while, she got used to our trip to the small Greek restaurant whose owner had become a friend of ours because we went there almost every evening. He even had a “Skylar Menu” which was made of rice, meat balls and a small bottle of chocolate milk, all for just three dollars. Skylar was so used to the small restaurant that, by the time we got there, she would run to open the fridge to get her chocolate milk after giving her daily hug and kiss to the owner.

The funny part was when we were on the street coming from the daycare, she used to say: “Daddy, do you want rice?” To which I said: “yes”. And then she would go: “And chocolate milk?” I would say: “yes”. Then she would say: “ok, let’s go”. It was as if she was the one buying. Then, remember, what it is mine is hers.  In a way, she was the one paying lol

Coming back to my phone, sorry her phone.  She asked me to give it to her, and of course she knows how to go on YouTube (kids these days!) and find her favourite songs. She loves a bunch of songs, but apart from Christian songs, she likes watching to her uncle’s songs. She calls him “Tonton Passy” (French for “Uncle Passy”). Once the music starts to play, she can’t stop dancing.

However, this time, she didn’t go to YouTube. She also knows where my audios are. She started to listen to the songs I have been listening to. Do you know what happened? An hour later, she started to sing them. She went from X Ambassadors ‘song “Renegades” (my favourite song for the moment), to The Eagles’ “Take it to the limit one more time” (one of my all-time favourite), then it was R-Kelly’s “The Storm is over” (yes I know I am old school). She blew my mind! We have a superstar in our home.

I am now so careful about what I say or do when she is around (not that I was doing anything wrong before). She learns so much by observing and listening that, I am now very conscious about what she is learning. It was so funny the other day when she asked me: “Daddy, I want to watch Colbert”, meaning Stephen Colbert’s show “The Late Show”. She has seen me watch that show every day, now she wants to watch it even though she does not understand any of it. When I asked her why she wanted to watch the show, she said: Colbert is funny…

This is a three year old kid…

Aren’t we all kids in a way? Don’t we also learn by observing and listening? I believe that what we see or hear does have an influence on who we are, what we do, and the results we produce. Unfortunately, we are so surrounded by negative influences that, it is so hard to focus on the positive. If you don’t believe me, just watch the news for a second and you will see.
I am doing my best to stay on the positive side of things. Really doing my best. My well-being depends on it.

Moral of the story? Do you want to stay positive all day long? Just call my daughter and you will be watching Colbert.

Always a pleasure,

The Journeyman

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Journey with a Singer

The other day, I went to pick up my three year old daughter Skylar from the daycare and here is what my conversation with her teacher went:

Teacher: Do you guys go to church?
 Me:  Yes
 Teacher: A Christian church?

  Me: Yes…. Why?

  Teacher:  Skylar has been singing: “Yes Jesus loves me" since this morning...

That’s Skylar!

 She is singing all the time. We have a Celine Dion in our house. The funny thing is that her Sunday school teacher told me the other day that, every time they ask Skylar to sing, she never does. But as soon as we leave church it is like she enters into a recording studio. I always have my phone ready to record whenever she starts singing. I have almost twenty songs recorded on my phone. It is something special. Needless to say that we cannot watch TV when Skylar is around. She sings so loudly that we can’t even hear what is on TV.

Now she is at the point where she has created her own original songs. Here is one of them (please don’t steal her song, this is trademarked lol). It goes like this:

We’re going to the Zoo
And we see:
Zebra eating food
Yeah, Bravo
(And we repeat the song 10 times lol)

Whenever she cries, all I have to do is sing a song and she gets quiet (she doesn’t care that it is a voice like mine lol).

Will she be a singer when she grows up? I have no idea. What I do know is that I will give her the freedom to choose whatever career she wants. Do you know why? Well, that is what my mom did for me, and I will be forever thankful.
Talking about my mom, I think about her a lot now as Burundi is experiencing troubles. Let’s all pray for peace in Burundi.

This was a little tribute to two of my favorite ladies. Of course there is a third one. She will get an entire blog by herself. Stay tune.

Moral of the story? Do you want to do something special for the ladies in your life? Just let me know and Skylar will sing for you. It will most likely be about Jesus

The Journeyman

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Journey Back to My Blog

As I was about to say goodbye to my friend on the phone, she asked me a question to which I responded: “I have learned to never say never ever again”. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but for me it does.

After a number of months trying my best to get out of a situation I was in, I finally gave up fighting. I was exhausted. It was like being in quick sand. The more you fight, the more you sink. As I was sharing the whole situation with Paul my friend, I simply told him: I have to stop the insanity. As Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." 

Thank God that, over the years, I have learned (most of the time, the hard way) to rely on a High Power. I had to let go and let God. Boy did He deliver!

The whole situation reminded me of a poem I read a number of years ago. It reads like this:

Broken Dreams
As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How could you be so slow"
"My child," He said, "What could I do?
You never did let go."
-Author Unknown
I am still in awe to what I am experiencing now. All I can tell you is that “I have learned to never say never ever again”.
More details to come. Let me first enjoy this haha
Moral of the story? Do you want to stop the insanity? Just learn to never say never ever again.
Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My Journey with Tahoy James

There are some things I see sometimes and wished I would have come up with the idea first. Have you ever wished you were the creator of Facebook? How about Uber? It is something that simple and convenient that I wished it was my idea. I wish I could sing like “The Eagles” (I know I am old school, please bear with me) or dance like the late Michael Jackson.

It was the same feeling I had when I read Tahoy James’ blog. I said to myself “I wished I had written this blog”. It is that well done. I totally related to what she was sharing.

Unlike Uber, Facebook or the Eagles that I will never have, I am glad Tahoy’s blog is being posted by…me.

Yes. Tahoy is our guest blogger this week. I hope it won’t be the last time that you will read a piece from her.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Tahos James in: “My Self -doubt”
I know you will enjoy it. Thanks again Tahoy

                                                   My Self-Doubt

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and wondered what am I doing?  Or why am I not further ahead?   Well you’re not alone. Self-doubt plays on our emotions and infects the mind.
I found myself rethinking my entire journey up "build my own business mountain".

I sat down ready to work, ready to take another giant step forward, but quickly noticed that giant step was really only ant-sized. At that moment I felt low and defeated. I began to rethink my list of important things to do that day. Should I be doing more? I thought, but what? What else could I be doing? I told myself not to panic. This was a giant step; it just seemed small to me, because after all I am my worst critic. 

That helped for all of five minutes. I then began to lose faith in myself…again. I reviewed my work and the voice of self-doubt returned. Am I good enough? Is my work good?  Is anything I’ve done to date “good”? At that moment there was a torrent of negative questions. Is this something I can do? Where am I going wrong? And then finally the cherry on top... I am NOT strong enough to do this, I have BILLS, I’m 28, and I CAN’T do this.

After a day of pacing back-and-forth, asking myself question after question, I remembered that I’ve been here before. This is the part of the mountain where the wind is blowing so hard you may lose your footing, and fall off if you don’t stand firm in all that you are.
I was happy this day was over. I had spent the day fighting with myself, which had left me an emotional wreck. 

A few nights later it was family movie night. Meet the Robinsons was the winner. Lewis (the main character) wants to be a great inventor but couldn't seem to get his inventions to work. He works day after day on a very special invention for his school science fair and knows that it will work. At the fair he meets a boy who says he’s from the future but Lewis thinks he’s crazy (who wouldn’t). Lewis begins to show his invention, but something goes wrong (due to the movie’s villain) and Lewis starts to doubt himself and doesn’t think he’s smart enough. The young boy he met tries to talk him into trying again, but accidentally brings Lewis to the future. Lewis is amazed by the future. He meets his future self and finds out that he is the single reason why the future is so amazing. Soon he starts to see how things change in the future, because he let his self-doubt stop him from moving forward. He learns that the boy he has gotten to know as a friend, is his future son, and he will soon not exist if Lewis doesn’t go back, push his self-doubt aside and keep moving forward to become the great dad and inventor he is meant to be.

The next morning I sat in front of my laptop and started working. My mind was clear of doubt. All I could think about was Lewis. I was Lewis. I couldn't give up; I couldn't let one bad day determine the outcome of my future. Like Lewis, I am the single reason why my future is so amazing.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Journey to Orillia

We drove a little bit late at night. I had been to this place called Orillia before, but it was about ten years ago. I didn’t remember much about it, other than it was beautiful.

Here we were on the road, and there was not much we could see, except a signal on the highway that said “beware of cattle”. We thought it was funny.  By the time we arrived at the hotel, it was almost midnight. I went straight to bed. We had to wake up early in the morning as breakfast was scheduled to be served a six O’clock. There was no way I was going to miss out.‎

You may be wondering what was happening in Orillia. I am glad you asked.

A number of months ago, Paul, my business partner, got this brilliant idea, and once he shared it with me I was totally on board. He realized that for us to do what we wanted to do, we must work with partners. These may be service providers, or simply other business owners with goals similar to ours.

Paul decided to go out and attend different networking events in the city. I can tell you that he met quality people, and I am glad we have them as our partners. One of them is Chris, an amazing guy with an incredible story. I was so inspired when he shared his story with us. Chris has created a company called INSPIRED INITIATIVES, and he is doing a great work with youth and their education.

Chris invited us to be part of his team responsible for delivering a series of trainings on behalf of the Ministry of Education. These trainings are happening in Orillia this week and next. That is the reason why I was there. I am going back there twice in the next few days. Now you know.

This place is simply gorgeous. It is in the woods near a lake and I couldn’t stop taking pictures during our breaks. We had about 160 students. Needless to say, we had a very busy work day. Chris led most of the training, and I was simply amazed to be part of this. I learned so much, and what the students created at the end of the training sessions were out of this world. Many of them discovered their passions and they were so happy about it.

One of the students came to me after the training and asked me: “What did you want to do after high school? Did you know what would be your career?” I said to her that I did not know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that my interests were around Basketball.  I pursued those interests and I found my career. I asked her what were her interests and she told me that she loved art. After I asked her a few questions, she knew exactly what she was wanted to do after high school.‎

I am really looking forward to the next sessions. I learned so much the last time; I am wondering what new thing I will learn this time. Thank you Chris for making us part of your journey.  Find your interests and a career may be born out of them. That is what Chris reminded me of in Orillia. 

Moral of the story? Do you want to find a new career for yourself? Just go to Orillia and you will meet cattle on the street.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Journey with Alix

I met Alix a while back on the basketball court. I saw in Alix a guy determined to play ball the right way and with an eagerness to win. Later on, I got to meet Alix when I started to attend the church that I now call home. With time, we have developed a strong relationship, especially now that we have been travelling a lot together. He is indeed a great guy.‎

A few months ago, while watching the NBA finals with Alix, out of the blue he asked me what would be my dream job if I was given a chance to choose a job that fulfilled me. I thought for a while, and I said: “My dream job would be to work around an NBA team. To go behind the scenes and see how they train, to be at the press conferences and in their locker rooms for interviews. That would be my dream job. In fact, I told Alix, I think I would even do it for fee lol. He just laughed.

Fast forward, a few weeks ago, a friend and business partner told me that he would like to introduce me to a great couple that recently acquired a newspaper. He believed that there might be a way to work together so I agreed to meet with them.

Last Sunday, the four of us sat in a coffee shop where my friend introduced me to the couple. While introducing myself to them I mentioned that I used to host a sport radio show; immediately I could see in their eyes that a bulb was switched on.

They got so excited because they were looking for someone who would manage the sport column of their newspaper. They went on to explain to me what would be the responsibilities of this role and to my great surprise they mentioned that they would provide me with all the accreditations I needed to attend all the major sporting events in Toronto.‎  I didn’t let her finish her sentence. I couldn’t believe it, so I asked her if she could repeat what she had just said? She repeated what she said and again my ears heard what I thought I heard the first time: “we will provide you with all the accreditations you need to attend all the major sporting events in Toronto". Now I knew I was not dreaming so I looked straight into her eyes and said: “where do I sign?”

Can you believe it? The job I explained to Alix came true! I get to watch the major games happening in Toronto and write about them. Is that cool or what? If I am not mistaken, I think the NBA All Star Game is coming to Toronto next year. Let me first check with my sources….Yes, they are happening in Toronto, man! That is soooo cool!
In a few words, be careful what you wish for…You know the rest of the story, don’t you?

Moral of the story? Do you want your dream to come true, just watch a game with Alix and he will ask you questions

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My Journey to My Birthday

It has been a heck of a ride this summer and that is an understatement. 

Last Saturday was my birthday, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your wishes. It was overwhelming to say the least.

This is the first time that I spend my birthday away from home. In fact I was in Ottawa to host a wedding on Friday. After the wedding, I went back to my friend’s house who hosted me.  He was waiting for me even though it was at two o’clock in the morning. We had a lot of catching up to do. By the time we went to bed, it was almost five o’clock in the morning. As I entered the bedroom, I checked my phone, and the numerous messages reminded me that it was my birthday. I had completely forgotten about it.

I went back to the living room and told my friend that it was my birthday. He got so excited that he went in the fridge and brought me an ice cream. My first and only birthday gift lol.

I woke up  in the afternoon (the trip to Ottawa and the wedding had exhausted me a bunch), and it was time to think about heading back to Toronto. The only bus available was at one o’clock in the morning. My friend begged me to stay for one more day, but I told him that I had a presentation to do on Sunday, and that there was no way I could miss it.

Here I am in the bus, back to Toronto, thinking about how busy this summer has been. It has been super crazy man. By the time we arrived in Toronto, it was almost seven o’clock in the morning. An hour and half later, I was on the road again to Whitby Ontario to do my presentation (don’t worry; I had time to shower lol). The presentation went great. I finally arrived home at five o’clock in the afternoon.

I realized that I had still some work to do. I took a short nap, and later that night I found myself on the computer doing some more work. I went to bed at four in the morning. I did the same thing last night. Since last week, I can count how many hours I literally slept. It is not a lot

It was so funny. My friend Paul texted me at four in the morning, expecting a reply maybe at nine in the morning, and he was so shocked to see my text back.

We are busy getting ready for our workshop this Saturday (click HERE for more info. We still have some spots left). It will be an intense workshop as usual, as we do it from nine in the morning until almost six o’clock. Do you think I will rest after that? No way. I will be hosting a concert later that night, and by the time I will arrive home, it will be time to go to church haha.

You know what? I know it’s crazy, but I love it. I love every part of it. I am doing what I love to do. I know it is very challenging to keep fighting even though sometimes I feel like giving up, even though sometimes I don’t even know how we are going to pull things off, even though sometimes I make more mistakes than good decisions, even though sometimes I have to literary rely on faith alone, I still love it.

At least, at the end of it, I will still be happy that I gave my all. The rest is in God’s hands

Moral of the story? Do you want to spend sleepless nights? Find your passion and you will celebrate your birthday away from home

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman