This is a tough one to write.
I’ve been pondering how, how much and what to write for the last few days and I’m still not sure how this is going to pan out, but here goes…..

For the longest time I can always remember thinking that I never really ‘fit in‘, that I’m not ‘thought of‘, included, a ‘black sheep‘ and only really called upon when someone really needs something aka dependable.

Friendships always seemed to be a one way street; I’d have to initiate conversations, actions, and when the effort was made on my part, it wasn’t reciprocated.

I understand; people have lives they need to live, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, kids, pets, jobs, hobbies, interests, television, sleep, closer friends, longer standing friends that need their attention. I’m seriously not trying to have a go.

The name of the ugly beast of my problems is Loneliness. Something that people are more and more realising is a problem in this world, and yet the solutions that are on offer just don’t seem to work, at least from my experience.

I’m not sure what the solution is. I know that I want to lament like my brother James Gardin in this track.

I guess this post has been prompted by a weekend+ full of events chock full of people, one where I completely exhausted myself, and yet came out the other end of it feeling even more alone, helpless and hurt than I have for a long time.

I ducked out to Sydney Olympic Park on Friday afternoon for a quick preview of Hot Import Nights Australia, sniping a quick 60 shots which were edited down to a quick 25 for ZEN Garage blog once I had made my way out to Manly & found a cafe to edit and write at in. It’s not often that I do time sensitive stories, but in this case I thought it’d be ok having flagged it with Justin mid-afternoon, he said he’d keep an eye out and to let him know when it was good to go live. 2 and a half hours later the story is finished and ready for publishing, yet it only sees the light of day on Saturday afternoon (halfway through the event I’ve previewed). Who even works on a Friday these days anyways….

The reason I was made the trek to Manly was to catch the opening of the new(ish) Deus Ex Machina retail store, and to snipe that.

I had a pretty mad conversation with Jeff; one of the guys that work there. He’s from the states and has been in Oz for a few years, into punk music, bikes and stencil art!! Apart from Jeff, I met a couple of the guys from Young Henry’s, spoke to one of the guys from the surf adventure short film they premiered at the event and tried to convince one of the Deus I.T. guys that if you build a decent culture that people will make the effort to follow you and travel there, with respect to the Manly store not being on the Concourse, and also the absence of a Deus Ex Machina store at Westfields Sydney.
What I did lack though, was conversations with at least the other 2 people wandering around taking photos (one official Deus guy who I tried to initiate a convo with). I found myself standing around alone in the crowd of 100s of people, exchanging glances before hiding away behind my lens.

Saturday was the long one with Hot Import Nights Australia’s 3rd Automotive Lifestyle Festival dropping in to Sydney Olympic Park. It was good to see interstate friends from Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane and kind of hang out in amongst all the photo taking. Some time spent with Zofia was pretty refreshing; watching the Popping and All Styles dance battles, reminiscing our mis-spent younger years as dancers.
I got to meet Miss Sarah Atom, all the way from L.A. and have a short convo with her about the Miss HIN contestants and who my picks were, and also about Erica Nagashima & her Twitch streaming.
I got to catch up with Gwendolynne Gee throughout the day chatting about Christian Hip Hop stuff, and Michael’s absence this year, being in South Africa for their HIN event.

I think it’s amusing to see how the ‘car scene’ is now. There’s people with some pretty amazing builds that come out to 2 or 3 shows and think they’re a part of it, when in fact they only really know a slither. I was messing with one such owner when he saw me take a photo and say “Man, that’s going to be an amazing shot from that angle”. He didn’t seem to know who I was, so I told him I don’t know how to take photos, despite me having taken quite a few photos of his car since it was unveiled last year.
The other thing I found pretty hard to believe was when Luci Fang; who was crowned runner up of this years Miss HIN, saw my ZEN hat and exclaim “Oooh! Zen Garage!!!” Then at the end of the night as she was leaving she said “Keep following ZEN!!!”. I had to explain to her that I shoot and write for ZEN.

Final shoot for the weekend was another trip out to Manly, this time to the International College of Management School for Cars & Coffee Sydney. The cars were scheduled to arrive around 11am, so I rocked up around 10:30 and found Darley road flooded with people waiting in anticipation. I came away with some pretty cool shots of plenty of supercars, and saw a handful of familiar people in the sea of possibly thousands that amassed the school.

Safe to say I came home and crashed out for a few hours after all of that, but little did I know that the biggest kick in the teeth was still in store for me….

We’ve started doing dinners on Sundays as a family since Thursday nights were a bit rushed for my sister now with 2 kids. As we were having dinner, one of my beloved family members shared that they had been seeing a number of specialists who have diagnosed them with a stress related condition. At first they weren’t too forthcoming with the details of the stress, but as they talked more and more they revealed that they believed the source of the stress was me; specifically my lack of employment since last year. It was a bit of a shock, and took it as a bit of a cop out. Further to that, and more of a personal insult was that they believed that the stress that had been affecting them was not just from the last year, but extended back to the period when I was working for the church and the problems that arose, over 5 years ago.

It was at that point that I’d come to the end of my tether. I was all sorts of emotions and emptiness at the same time. I thought about shutting everything down. I was livid, broken, sad and upset.
It’s been a pretty awkward relationship since then. I don’t know how to deal, how to get past it, how to forgive…. I’m really really hurt and upset. I want to just run away, not deal with anything, but financially I can’t do a thing right now.

This (timely) new track by one of my favourite bands Shapeshifter really hits it on the head.

All of these recent experiences have got me up in my head questioning everything!!! How do I ‘fit’ in my family?? What other ‘families’ am I in that I’m not really IN? Driftfam? ZEN fam? Krosswerdz fam? Dancing fam?

I’m sure that someone will quote the bible as an answer, someone else will try to tell me I’m wrong, and what I should be doing, and others will just have a problem with some or all of what I’ve written. TBH this is just a way to vent because I don’t feel like I have (m)any other avenues available to me right now.

I want to investigate/ponder this further down the line, but until then, this will have to do.



A son of God & a son of Man, minister of the gospel.
#BeatRider #SNIPER #ZENthusiast

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