So last Saturday I had some heavy shit go down with a family member’s health,
It all turned out ok so far awaiting more testing but it got me thinking that this shit has happened a lot in my life and really has made me who I am today for better and worse
So what significant things have shaped who you are today?
When I was 9 or 10 I was walking into the cloakroom at school and down by my feet was a copy of Iron Maidens S/T album on tape.
To this day I have no idea where it came from or who’s it was.
I hid it from my parents for years and used to listen to it whenever they weren’t around, this and a copy of Straight Outta Compton that a kid gave me in year 7 pretty much defined my musical preferences for the rest of my life.
Getting up early, it’s sunny! can’t get out of the house quick enough, fang it down the bowl, quite often first there. TAF would roll up soon after and we’d be well into it by the time anyone else turned up. Long summer days, sometimes used to be 30-40 dudes there at a time from kids with rainbow twistie packet pads (who we’d snake mercilessly) to carloads of older dudes like the S.I.C. crew whose lines were too burly so we’d sit back and watch and learn. I used to wag school and go skate there by myself. We used to keep skating into the night if the light hadn’t been smashed (which was rare, i think i even smashed it myself once or twice).
Only place I ever spraypainted - a big “There Is No Tomorrow” right around the lower section of the bowl (thanks for the idea Poss). Left wrist is still a bit wonky from when I broke my arm there. Still sometimes have skate dreams that I’m skating there. Anyone talking shit about digging it up and reliving old times is dreaming - council smashed it to pieces before filling it in - I know because I still have a piece of it.
This clip is spooky - pretty sure I wasn’t there that day but there’s so many familiar faces - like looking back in time. Can’t believe how long ago it was now! Also, spewing they didn’t play “Evil Wicked Goats From Hell”!
My cousin used to live a block from that bowl, we used to go skate alot on weekends. Was always a bit scared of it as there was talk of someone getting mad air and hitting the grate at the bottom and dying, pretty sure that was little kids stories.
Never knew it was filled in.
Heh, that grate was known as “the gateway to hell”. The story I heard was some drunk dude rode his 10-speed straight into the deep end one night. The light was probably smashed so he may not have seen the 12 foot drop until it was too late…
There’s lots of little one’s for me, but here’s a few of the bigger ones.
Growing up on a farm, (and still being able to go back there): Has helped to keep my head screwed on. Numerous time I’ve returned home thinking I was the coolest, most intelligent, in-the-know person ever, only to discover after five mins talking to Stevo the down-to-earth farm hand, that I was actually a massive cock-head.
Listening to my Father talk about how he was bullied at school, and how much that still affects him, 30 odd years later: Seems obvious now, but deciding at a pretty young age to never tease anyone ever, has turned out to be a pretty good rule to live by.
Working in a bar: Spent a good five years working with, and having to deal with, a much larger cross section of society than I would have otherwise been subject too. Met people I aspire to be more like, but met a lot more that I make a point of not becoming like.
Rupturing my spleen: Realised I wasn’t indestructible after all.
Brendan Bailey: Taught me that non-drinkers can be trusted after all, and that vegans are tolerable - even though Stevo reckons that’s bullshit.
Going camping/tramping(hiking) since 3ys/5yrs respectively with my family/dad and then 2 years working in the bush definetly gave me an appreciation of the outdoors and good tolerance of rain, cold and things lookin a bit shit in general.
But it also let me see some amazing sites/sights and feel I had seen enough of NZ to move here.
Being an overweight child all through primary and secondary school taught me never to tease, judge or generally comment about peoples physical appearance.
Got teased enough to know it hurts. And when people make off handed comments, even when not intentionally hurtful they can linger. I certainly developed a tougher hide from it. I think that moulded me into being more thoughtful about peoples self-esteem.
Like beaker said, once you get over it you start being so much happier
When I was 19 or 20 I got beat up pretty badly by another sydney skater (long story short: a couple of years earlier me & a friend intervened when he was beating up his girlfriend really badly, police were called, he blamed me & held grudges). Not only did I pretty much stop skating in the city after that but it did something to my confidence so even now I don’t feel comfortable in some places, and i became a bit more nervous & apprehensive in general.
My parents weren’t married and contact with my dad stopped earlier than I remember. I think that and growing up in a poverty-line single parent household somehow led me to the social margins for all of primary and high school. Growing into adulthood I found myself being pretty sympathetic to outsiders.
In regards to bikes, my mum always had my siblings and I on bikes. I remember my first geared bike, a pretty low-end 21 speed ‘mountain’ bike. I was stoked. The best part was the splattered paint job. Also, I grew up across the road from a primary school that had a private loop road for parents dropping off kindy kids. I used to be out there every day after school racing the other kids who lived on the street.
I didn’t get my licence until I was 21 because I couldn’t be bothered getting it since I just loved riding everywhere.
Made a conscious decision to move out of the city and into the country to pursue my urban/regional planning career. I moved into to a small country town of 2000 people called Waroona all by myself with no friends at 23. The whole town knew my name and who I was after about 1 week but I quickly realised I was an outsider and would need to live there for at least 20 years to be accepted as a local. At the time I was a full blown roadie who idolised Mario Cippolini so in a town full of footy players that type of european flamboyance was never going to get received very well…Needless to say I was thrust into a situation where I had no choice but to socialise and make the best out of it for my own well being. I learned very quickly that you will only get some good out of a situation if you’re willing to work hard for it. The same people who apparently ‘hated’ me when I first moved into town were sad (almost offended) to see me leave. It was like that Doc Hollywood movie…
Had all sorts of shit go down living and working in the country, from having sawn-off pig hunting rifles pulled on me for just doing my job (and getting suckerpunched for talking to someones female cousin which resulted in a full-blown bar brawl) to catching massive Marron in a creek that ran behind my property. Most of my Friday nights consisted of lawn bowls and winning meat packs and beer carton raffles (then riding home maggotted). Beers Instead of Gears yo.
I grew a pretty thick skin in a short amount of time and advanced my career with the breadth of projects I was working on. Despite many weeknights listening to Niel Young’s Harvest alone with my dog, the overall experience was positive and made me realise a lot of ‘city’ folk are indeed the wankers they are perceived by their country cousins.