Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Short piece of fiction


Hey, I wrote a little story after getting inspired by the Olympics. Figure it has a shelf life because, well you'll see. So I decided to put it here, on my old blog, for no real reason other than I just like creating content. Read it if ya wanna. Cheers.

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His motives were clear, win. Oddly the first thought that entered his mind was that of his mother. He wondered if she was having a good time, and what kind of hotel they were staying at. That thought quickly dissipated, and then he focused on the noise. Not on purpose, he never really focused on much on purpose. It was loud, overwhelming almost. He didn’t know if he would be able to breath in this noise. This hadn’t been the way he practiced.

But this was the Olympic games, he had no other option. He heard the signal and dived into the crisp water with an uneasy demeanor. He wasn’t focused, he didn’t know if he would do it. In the first two seconds as he was underwater he felt like giving up. He could fake an injury, save himself the embarrassment. No, that wouldn’t save any embarrassment. He needed to finish this race. Now he was above water, too much above, he shrunk back down. This was his event and he knew exactly the proper position to swim in. He knew what he had to do. He knew how to do it. He was going to win this race.

Keeping swimming, just like in training. Push. Harder. Get there. I can win this. He thought. Losing was not an option, he knew it was clique be he trained to hard not to win this. Strength, mental strength was all he needed. He could practically hear his coach yelling into his ear. He probably would hear him if it wasn’t for all this fucking noise. He thought.

During this moment of thought he realized what had happened. He was done the race, he was the first one to touch the wall. He won the gold medal.

He thought again about his mother, he knew she was having a good time now. His father would be proud, they would tell all their friends. The other competitors were good too. Were they? He hadn’t noticed. Still, he accepted their congratulations and said they put up a great fight. He thought again about the fact that he had just won a gold medal. What did that even mean? He wasn’t sure. He congratulated his coach. He had a great coach and owed a lot of his success to him. Now they were both Olympic champions. He was an Olympic champion.

It wasn’t until they gave him the medal that he first understood what happened. He had accomplished the only thing he ever wanted to. He accomplished his life goal. Very few people in this universe know what it feels like to complete their life goal. He did. He was 19 years old.

What next? What now? Who am I? He thought. In winning the Olympic gold a rush of feelings came over him that he never knew he could experience. It didn’t feel like he thought it would. Then again, he never really thought about what it would feel like. He thought about the possession, the gold, about winning. He didn’t know what winning would bring. Emptiness.

He would try again, to win. He would win again. He would smile. He would go on to win 19 medals in the Olympics and become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. He would never feel as good as he did before he ever won. He would always want that feeling back.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

The next book


A lot of people talk about “the next chapter” in their life. Using this writing analogy seems to be fitting enough. After all, if the main character of a book were to move to another country, to start another job, to live a different life, would that not require a new chapter? If not, a new book.

Changes are coming my way. I’m moving to Amsterdam for a year to work for ING Bank as an Online Reporter/Copywriter. My real world ascent has reached its peak and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. In this circumstance, I’m using “stoked” to mean “terrified but excited”, more accurately, anxious.

Living in a different culture is an exciting concept to me. There’s got to be a wealth of knowledge that comes with complete immersion in a different country. I feel like I’ve been missing out on so much information, and in that way I like to view this opportunity as an extension of my schooling. I won’t want to skip lectures like “touring down city canals 213” or “smoking at coffee shops 101” or even “riding your bicycle to work 333”.

What I’m going to miss in Canada is anything career based. My radio show, my writing, the act of applying to exciting jobs and the idea of moving to Toronto. I’ll miss my friends’ (parents) cottages, I’ll miss getting together with friends to go out, or stay in. I'll miss the fam. But I’m OK with that. I’m lucky to have established the kind of base I have in Ontario and I’ll be excited to come back.

For now though, I’m excited to leave. I want to be on my own. Being independent has always been something I’ve identified with and the act of going to a different country and singing a yearlong contract is the ultimate extension of that.

I’ve used this blog as a stream of consciousness related to my decisions about the next step after University (all three posts of it, oops). I guess I’m hoping that my path will help other people decide what they want to do.

My only advice is to get involved. Figure out what you like and follow it. Go out there and make decisions, join clubs. If it doesn’t work out, good thing you’re young. TRY AGAIN. Make connections, make small talk, shake people’s hands, set friends up with connections. Help others; not because you think that it will come back around, but because you want to. Listen to music. Do things that make you happy.

Find something that you’re not afraid to work really hard at.

Thanks for reading, this is the end of this blog. I’ll be blogging about my European experience on another blog which I am yet to set up. It might be a Video Blog (us in the biz use the term vlog) (always wanted to say "us in the biz use..."), or a Podcast narrated by yours truly. I'll send the link out on my social media channels.


Cheers,
Mackenzie 

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Why I made my Facebook profile public

Admittedly I haven't written a blog post in a while. So why not justify something which many people will think is outrageous, making my Facebook profile completely public. I mean, especially given I'm in the midst of applying for jobs. Why would I do this? Have I lost my mind? You might ask. So I'll offer a couple of reasons why I decided to do the unthinkable for such a media savvy generation.

Firstly, I honestly don't think I have much to hide. Sure I'm no saint, but its not like I'm up to anything that a social, university student wouldn't do. Allow me to ruin the surprise, on my profile you'll find pictures of me drinking. Yes I said it. You'll find my opinion on topics which many won't necessarily agree with. If you look hard enough you'd probably be able to find pictures, posts, etc. of things that aren't even condoned by the law. But I'm OK with that.

My message to potential employers is clear, wouldn't you rather hire someone with a little bit more personality transparency? The fact is I'm not trying to hide, but to stand out. Amongst a sea of locked down profiles I'm offering mine on a silver platter, to the common conception of salivating potential employer absolutely intent on digging up as much dirt on me as they can get.

And you know what? If that's what they're doing, if I walk into an interview and they have a print out of a picture of me at Beta nightclub with a beer in my hand, I'll make it easy on them, I'll walk out. If a company is seriously going to have a problem with my personality, with who I am and what I choose to do, then the job wouldn't fit. I don't want to work for them anyway.

I also have faith in reason. If I walked into an interview and they showed me a post/picture/comment from 2007 all I would have to do is explain how I've changed and grown as an individual. I would tell them to look at the past year of my profile, and then make their judgements.

Then, of course, there is the argument that I cannot control what OTHER people will post on my wall or tag me in. My solution? Remove the wall function from my profile and turn on Facebook's feature that allows you to 'approve' anything you are tagged in. Now my profile is moderated completely by me. I just have to remember to sign out of my Facebook if I leave my computer in the living room in order to avoid a status hijacking (or at least hope that potential employers would figure out I'm not willing to express such public love for "Big black D").

So potential employers, go nuts. I'm not trying to hide who I am, I'm trying to show you something real, something other people don't show you. Call me crazy, and admittedly this might come to bite me in the ass but I'm up for the experiment. My Facebook profile is now public, I am applying for jobs, and those are my reasons. Hope you enjoyed this, and I hope I've swayed any of you curious enough to read the entirety of this post to do the same.

Cheers.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Lasts

This year is going to be filled with the word "last". Last academic year, last Rugby season, last class, last exam... What I'm trying to understand right now is how this will possibly not equate to the last time I'm ever going to be happy.

There's a lot of things I have to figure out amongst a sea of "lasts" that will mean a great deal about my future. That's the reason I created this blog, there's got to be people out there like myself; students struggling to come to grips with their future - looking desperately for answers. Or not even looking, but hiding. Hiding in University towns and cities all over this country because of the decisions the present will hold for the future.

This blog will pose as my stream of consciousness related to these decisions. Somewhere that students can come to relate to the anxiety, yes anxiety, that is associated graduation University. For at least the last 16 years of our lives we've been involved in the education system. Now it could be time to get out, and that scares the shit out of us.

Join me throughout this last academic year in my online journal, also called a blog. I want this to be somewhere you can relate to what I'm posting. And hey, if you've already got everything figured out then you can use this blog as a resource for a digital ego-boost, doesn't matter to me.

I've started this thing out on a solemn note, but that's far from my goal. If you'll kindly notice the name of my blog "My real world ascent" it implies an uphill journey - because that's what I believe is truly going to happen.

Amongst a world of "lasts", this blog is writing the tale of a young man who has always been concerned with the most important last of them all...the last laugh.