Life Then, Life Now.
I don't even know how to open this up?
I keep typing in intro sentences then bashing the delete key thirty times to start from scratch.
I feel like I just have so much to talk about. And I have for so long. There's so many stories and so much information bottled in my head.
And I've just been weird lately, like my life has just been shifted from its' usual route and it's been hard to adjust.
I can give you the bad before I give you the good. I mean, I guess none of this is bad nor good.
If you're looking for some crazy inspirational story or some information about a party we're having, this is not where to find it. This is basically a story about the past few months of my life. It's long but either read it through or don't read it up to you. It has a few key parts, but I'll fast forward into those when the time comes.
Before I get into it, I found this song in my spotify playlist "music for writing" playlist and it very beautifully for a minute and sixteen seconds describes the mood of the entire story - well, as good as one minute and sixteen seconds can describe - it's so pretty
My life. It's been filled with so much stuff. I hate the word stuff because it's basically a boring word for "content" but me saying my life has been full of content is a lie, because the largest flaw in my life is that I haven't been able to break creative block to make content.
I feel like I have so much to share - like I haven't spoken on here in so long and I can't even begin to express how damn upset I am about it.
I'm not upset. Like at life, or anything. But I'm really upset at myself.
And with this whole "owning a brand" thing, it comes with a lot of responsibility, and part of that is understanding when you just fuck things up. Like it happens. People fuck things up. I fuck things up. My friends fuck things up. Life gets fucked up. Very sorry for the harsh language, but dulling that down just wouldn't give it the effect it needed right there.
I can dive in, but it's more like diving back.
It was the end of last school year. My life had never been going better. Every key component in my life was in line:
We were making clothes every day, shipping them out every night, traveling everywhere on the weekends, making it back for Monday morning classes in Chicago. My best friend Trey and I were basically creating stuff every minute of every day.
And that was the ball - it was rolling. We were in constant motion. We were living in dorm rooms but also living in Chicago. I got to work with one of my favorite designers and creatives to help design his store. We really integrated into Chicago, right around the time of finals.
I kept saying "I'm gonna write every day. I'll do it".
Like I used to tell myself that every morning. And I was - I was writing a lot. I wrote a ton. Some of it I never even put out because it was just for fun - but I was doing it.
And you see how, well, you're somewhere reading this right now? You can most likely hear my voice in your head. Whatever you think I sound like, you hear it. I type it to be heard. The act of creating that presence in writing is called personal tone, and it's something that means a very lot to me.
The more I write, the better personal tone I find. And when I don't write, it just goes away.
So school ended, I packed all my stuff up, and I went home.
I guess this is where the ball started to bounce a bit. It was rolling but it had a few little bumps. It slowed down.
Imagine the beautiful houses on the ocean and the pretty suburban towns and the white picket fence lifestyle. Alienated from the metropolos of the city, with the ability to sleep when I want and do whatever I want.
I just devoted a few weeks to.... well.... nothing.
It was beautiful.
I. Did. Nothing.
Well I shouldn't say that. To be honest with you, I ended up falling in love with my best friend.
The first week I moved back home I ended up packing a bunch of clothes into my backpack and moving in with Serafina.
And we spent every minute of every day together. For three weeks.
Three entire weeks.
Every morning we'd wake up next to eachother. Every day we'd do something new. Every night was its' own adventure, somewhere.
And it was an experience I can't even put into words.
Like it was super uneventful. We didn't even travel anywhere. We just lived in this beautiful little town.
It's called Newburyport.
And now is the time to say that I kind of hate myself because I had the best three weeks of my life this summer in this pretty town called Newburyport and I would go to bed every night telling myself "go write about Newburyport". And guess what, it never happened.
And that's where the ball slowed down a lot.
Serafina and I just hungout for 24 hours of each day, every day. We spent every moment together.
And for me, which I'll talk about later and I've spoken on in the past, I can't do this whole writing thing unless I'm in the perfect enviornment.
No, I'll just breif you on it now. I'm going to write an entire new piece on it but like, my brain works on certain scales based on location and enviornment.
I have to lock in a certain mode to sit down and write like this. Granted, this took me like twelve minutes since I've started and I generate information quickly because I type fast, but it's like if I'm not somewhere where I have a creative space, all my creativity seems forced.
And to write, I need a few hours by myself. And I just didn't have that all summer.
But I didn't really want it. like yes, I wanted to be writing and making stuff, but for the first time in my life I was so content with sitting down and having dinner somewhere new every night and watching the stars shoot across the sky until the sun came up.
This was the first time in my life that my life made sense to make no sense.
Like it was the perfect teenage dream. And in the moment, it made sense.
I fell in love with Serafina. She fell in love with me. And it was incredible.
The initial act of it is a story for another time - one I've been meaning to tell for a while, but just waiting for the right time.
And we sat outside and stared at the stars before bed every night, and it was like they stared right back at us.
The first initial times that we'd stay up through the night - it felt like when Pudge first started going out against Culver Creek rules with Alaska in Looking For Alaska. I loved that book.
We took my car and drove it everywhere we could.
Sunroof open, all 4 windows down, I didn't care how many times Serafina said "I'm cold lets roll them up" nope nope nope no shot it's only summer for like two damn months and I made sure I got enough summer air on my face to last me this entire upcoming Chicago winter.
I meant to write all about it.
But something I know about myself is that if I don't write about something in the moment, one of two things goes wrong:
- I just don't write about it in general
- I write about it later on and it's just not as genuine because the imagery isn't as rich and I can't describe the feeling like it was in the moment
Fast forward - week three - Serafina packs her bag and moves to Italy. Florence, Italy.
She took a class on Fashion Merchandising there at this amazing school Polimoda.
I go from spending every minute of every day with someone... to them being actually across the world.
Fast forward - I do nothing for two weeks, I hangout with my grandmother literally every single morning then I would sit outside and read a lot and just spent time with my friends from my home town. You know - summer shit.
Fast forward - I pack like 15 shirts, 3 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of shorts, my camera, my laptop, and $650 cash into my duffle bag
Fast forward - 3 hours later someone drops me off at the airport in boston
Fast forward - 7 hours later I land in London
Fast forward - 2 hours later I get off the train in Central London, walk to The Neighbors house (read some of the old travel blogs I wrote to understand the sentimental value of that location)
Fast forward - 3 minutes later I climb in the window of the house, throw my bag down, and claim the couch for the entirety of my stay.
I didn't have a plan all summer. I didn't want one. I wanted to spend summer doing summer stuff, as it could be my last before I start getting internships in cities to work for big brands, agencies, whatever.
Serafina was going to be gone for 5 weeks, I had nothing to do, so I thought to myself
Why not have nothing to do.... In London???
And bam. I flew there, showed up unannounced at my friends house, and moved in with them.
A bit different from the ginormous house we occupied in Newburyport, but still a beautiful apartment that I could probably never afford, right in central London.
And I stayed there for like, 2 weeks I think.
Every single night I went out clubbing until like 5am. I'd sleep till noon. Wake up, get food, walk around, hangout with kids from Instagram, eat dinner with the kids I was living with, play some PS3 when we had down time, then go right back out all night long.
I made this group of friends in London and they run all the promotion for the entire city Monday-Friday night.
Drinking is 18+ there so like, the entire culture is intensified. Kids start clubbing at 16 because they're allowed to at 18. It's just an entire different scene, and it's a way more fun one.
You can't club in America like you can in London.
Like there's just no 4 story club that holds 1,500 college kids that is packed out on a Tuesday night in America.
New York - Nope. LA - Nope. Chicago - Nope. Maybe some of the state schools have mansions that they do that in, like the frats and stuff, but still - Nope.
It was crazy. My entire time there was amazing. I spent like $300 on my flight and I think $400 on food over the 2 weeks.
Everynight I'd eat and drink for free at the clubs, so I was just treating myself to half decent lunches to hold me over until dinnertime.
Haahaha this cracks me up but one morning I had woke up and I was like about to throw up and I had slept at someone's house - come to think of it I don't even remember where - but I had to wake up early to leave. I think it was our friend Sofia.
I called my friend Rhys and I'm like yo I need to meet up with you right now and come sleep on a couch or something, I was already in that side of London anyways to I went there walked in sat on the couch and fell asleep for like four hours.
I remember waking up and being like holy shit thank you guys so much - they had like made me toast and stuff - amazing time.
Rhys said to me, he's like (in his london accent of course)
"Uhhh Chris. Do you ever feel like a rockstar?"
I remember sitting there going through my phone at embarrasing photos from the previous night - it was the 1500 people 4 floor college club place - and I was like "Rhys, only in London".
That's when I realized, like whenever i need to escape life I just go to London and have an entire life waiting for me over there. Which is one thing Instagram really did for me. And I'm forever greatful for. But yeah,
I was in London for a few weeks.
Fast forward - I wake up one day at noon, throw my 15 shirts, 3 pants, 3 shorts back into my Palace duffle bag, get on a plane.
Fast forward - 3 hours later I'm in Florence, Italy.
Fast forward - 3 hours later Serafina and I are in some club called Space with a bunch of foreign exchange students from Florida and the people who run all the promotion companies for clubs in Italy.
Wait, there was really nice steak and wine dinner before that. It was a Saturday night. Like 90 degrees out. I only wore these really thin, moderately short soccer shorts and a tee shirt. Even to dinner. Like it was hot there.
I moved back in with Serafina. Just like, across the world from Newburyport.
And we lived together there in this beautiful apartment her mom had gotten her.
I stayed for like 9 nights.
See, all of these topics are worth their own long, detailed, imagery based blogs that I kept wanting to write in the moment, I'd just keep saying "I'll do it tomorrow" or "next week" or "when I get a minute".
And sadly enough - I remember getting minutes here and there.
The week was beautiful. Serafina had class during the days most times, but I adventured by myself all morning every morning and walked to meet her after class at her school. We did so much shopping, Florence is the hub for a lot of cool brands like Moschino. Designer pieces are cheaper over there since the majority of the brands are made in Italy so they don't have to waste money importing them to America to then sell in department stores.
I had one of the best weeks of my life, just like I had experienced in Newburyport.
But at the end of being in Italy - I set up our first ever OHKAY party in Boston.
I was 8 hours off from Boston time. I brought this kid Tristan on board to the project. I call him "this kid Tristan" at this point in the story because he was just my boy at that point and I knew he had potential to help the project strive.
Basically I made some flyers, put them online, got them out to people, set up the venue information, hired a DJ, and hoped to myself
"Holy shit I hope people come to this event"
haahaha like I remember waking up in Italy sitting outside watching people walk by as I drank coffee thinking "I'm crazy to be investing all this money into someting that I'm halfway across the world from".
But back to Italy. It was so sick.
I'll have to show you photos sometime.
But now Fast Forward (We're almost done) (kind of) - I realize "wait how do I get back to America"
And this part of the story is just me doing typical Chris shit.
If you were a close friend of mine, which maybe you are, or maybe you feel like you are seeing that you've read about my entire life thus far since I've wanted to basically kill myself, you'd know that this is typical Chris shit.
It dawns on me one morning in Italy like oh shit.... I need to get home.
I kept putting it on the back burner just expecting there to be flights from Florence to Boston for moderately cheap. Plus, I didn't know when I was going to come back so I just wanted to wing it.
I'm pretty good at getting flights and getting around. Better than most recently-turned-19-year-olds.
So the goal was get home for as cheap as possible, with at least 24 hours between landing and throwing this brand party.
And I still can't recall if it was a sigh of anger or a sigh with a side of excitement - but I let out a ginormous sigh when I finished crunching the numbers.
The only plausible way to get back to America in a timely manner was to fly back to London, stay there for two more nights, then fly direct to Boston.....
Keep in mind I have just traveled two countries for 3 weeks with just my backpack, laptop, camera, and small duffle bag packed with clothes. Three weeks. I kind of just wanted the safety of my own bed and assurance there'd be a home-cooked meal for me on the other side.
So I book it. And Serafina actually left Italy a day before me. She like took her final then flew home.
I didn't have the $1800 to buy a direct flight back home, so for 1/3rd of the price, I improvised.
I had our beautiful Florence apartment for an extra night by myself, I just ate some nice pizza, hungout with the friend group I had made there, got some drinks, went out, then got a decent night sleep.
Fast forward - I'm on a flight back to London. I land at like 8pm
Fast forward - I'm back at The Neighbors house at 9pm
Fast forward - They drag me to some club by 11. I don't get to sleep until like 5am.
And at this point, all i wanted was to go home.
Like in the moment I was like woohoo yeeeaaaaaa i luv london woooo but in the back of my mind i was like man I want to learn how to teleport right this second and just get back to Danvers, Massachusetts.
Fast forward - I'm on a plane home. The only seat left on the plane was in Business class, so I was spending like a ton of money (not really, but like $550) to get this nice big seat with lots of room and good movies to watch and I just sat on the plane all night long just thankful the story was about to end.
See, but I never wrote the story. Wasn't that kind of a wild trip. It was the weirdest solo mission I've ever had, and it would have been so cool to have documented it better, but I hadn't. Because I suck. There it is. OHKAYCHRIS FUCKING SUCKS AND HE CAN"T WRITE BECAUSE HE"S TOO BUSY.
Ok so if you've read this far you're completely fine with me yelling at myself. I just needed to get it out once.
Fast forward - we get home. both of us, and we go back to living in Newburyport.
No! Wait! The Party!
I get home, right. I sleep in my own bed for like two nights. We throw this party.
Three hundred fucking kids come.
Oh my god!
It was so sick!
Like holy shit I was up there - fresh off the flight basically - still jetlagged - wanting to call Rhys and be like "wait! No! I do! Rockstar Mode Activated!"
And that part was crazy.
Like I remember Serafina turning to me being like "you really did it" and me being like "I don't get how, but lets uh.... crowd dive...."
And through all of that, which I'll talk about in a cooler blog, "This kid Tristan" became one of my best friends. And he's someone 2 years younger than me that I trust with so much. Like bringing him on board from an outside point of view sounded crazy at first, but I knew it was the best thing to do and I got to teach him so much through it, and I got to learn from him, too. Like it was just genuine fella time.
Fast forward - the timeline is ending - It's a week after the party, on like a Thursday, I had I think 7 days left before I moved back to Chicago.
Tristan calls me and tell me to call the venue and try to book another night.
I do it. They tell me only option is "Next Tuesday".
So it's like 72 hours before the time we'd essentially want the venue, I wire them the cash, we book it.
Now this time around I'm like fuck what are we getting ourselves into???
LIKE WE HAVE ONLY 3 DAYS TO NOT ONLY TELL 500+ PEOPLE ABOUT OUR PARTY, BUT GET 300 OF THEM TO COME TO BOSTON ON A TUESDAY NIGHT AT THE END OF SUMMER FOR A PARTY.
What happens? Three hundred and twenty people come to Boston on a tuesday night at the end of summer for a party.
And Serafina stood there and raised her shoulders to me on stage like she had did a week earlier and she said "Now you really did it".
What else could I say back to her besides "I don't get how, but uh..... crowd dive again".
We brought so much fun to so many people in one single night. T and I. With the help of so many people. Like I can't begin to talk about how much internal effort gets put in to have an external successful turnout. But everyone around the board helped. And it taught me that that's what friends are for.
And serafina and I remained in love.
And even when we had hectic nights and I was DJing for 320 teenagers and we all shook the venue when the into to Lord Pretty Flacko Joydee II came on, Serafina and I still managed to make it home by 3am and watch the stars float above us.
We'd just sit in the driveway and tell stories of our life.
And it's crazy. Her and I met under 2 years ago. But we both say it - our real life started when we met eachother .
And that's something I'll talk about later in life, but it's true.
So most of our stories are the cheerful Remember When's. But some are just good stories that we realize we hadn't shared under the stars yet.
So like - to put it into retrospect, all rockstars watch the stars. No matter what amount of rockstar they are, they still find time to be teenagers and sit in the driveway with a bottle of wine from the cabinet and a smile that never goes away.
Like I was so in love. We both were.
It was an irreplacable, once in a lifetime feeling.
I had never felt that way before with anyone else.
But it was like - my best friend in the entire world, and the coolest girlfriend I could have ever asked for.
My literal sidekick.
That night we watched the stars until they went away and the morning rose.
The sunrise was pretty. It varied in shades of orange until the sun made its' big appearence. I think it was like 90 out that day.
Fast forward - I pack up.
It was the 22nd.
I had lived the most perfect suburban summer of my life - with a mix of being a rockstar somewhere in the middle.
Only a little rockstar. Nothing crazy.
If I say oh I was a rockstar, some hater kids are going to screenshot this blog and try to use it against me - people love to do that.
Hater kids should't be allowed to quote me on anything because they'll never be able to write a book or create a personal voice .
Anyways! I pack up.
I'm going to write a book one day. I just need to get over this creative block. Which I think I have - I just need to get back into the groove of writing for enjoyment and posting it here.
I put all my clothes in my trunk. My desktop computer in the backseat. A suitcase incase I need to flea with heavy luggage. Some books. My DJ board. 5,000 stickers, OHKAY ones, and a few other knick knacks in the backseat.
No - I'm lying. I packed the backseat of my Lexus with every item I could fit in there.
I played a fun geometry game called "how many items fit in this car".
I hit capacity.
But last but not least, I put my sidekick in the passenger seat and we left Danvers, Massachusetts at 5am on the 22nd.
We mapped it out - to get to Chicago it would take us 16 hours.
Granted we had to stop atleast 4 times, giving ourselves an average of 12 minutes at each rest stop along the way, we'd tack on yet another hour, make that 17 in total.
We took off and we never looked back.
We had $150 in cash in an envelope incase we wanted to stop mid way and get a hotel for the night.
We just sent it. The two of us. Across the country. Well, half way, at least.
17 straight hours in the car. Just talking, the entire time.
Serafina and I switched off every few hours.
I think I drove 12 hours she drove 5. But we broke it up.
We stopped in every fun state.
Like OHIO. We made a bunch of Jake Paul jokes and references.
But we drove all the way. We watched the sun rise as we departed out of Massachusetts and we watched it set over the fields in Indiana.
And we got to Chicago that night at 11:50pm.
And there I was - in my first ever apartment.
Fast forward - a week goes by and Serafina flies back home. She got an internship at this brand called Vince in New York so she wanted to go back to Boston and hangout by herself and just enjoy the comfort of her own home before moving back to New York.
School started for me.
It was hard to adjust
And at this point, the beginning of this blog is wrapping perfeclty into the end.
The thing is.
I never adjusted.
And it's a ginormous flaw I have. I never ever adjusted.
It took me an entire month of living here in this beautiful house with 4 of my friends to just sit down and write something.
I've wanted to write for this entire month.
But I just was afraid to. I kept saying "I'll do it tomorrow" and never doing it.
You have no clue how mad I am at myself that I haven't created more content for OHKAY in the past few weeks.
I get so mad at myslef that I just don't make more, and it's a vicious cycle of counterproductivity and self hate to my creative sense.
But remember what I said about identifying flaws and recognizing it as a good trait.
This is one of them.
I know i've sucked lately.
I've been the worst.
I haven't put time into OHKAY.
And it hurts me so much to even say that.
But I'm going to now.
And I want to write more.
I still want to do video too, becuase this would probably be more fun to listen to on a podcast or a video or something.
I know a lot of times people don't love reading.
but I love writing so like - if you do like reading - thank you!!!! you rock!!!! you're a little rockstar too!!!!
Fast forward it's like the middle of September and I say "whatever - I'm going to spend as much money and time as possible to make my house into an atmosphere where I want to create and write"
And I did it.
I got some hue lights and some couches and some rugs and plants - i love plants - i hung up posters and I got a big white board and I started shipping out orders and I refunded a few people becuase we had some dificulties in production which I'll talk about in another blog sometime.
I just got back into the groove.
And I'm happy about it.
And I just need to write more becuase it'll make me happier.
And me and serafina aren't dating anymore. We're back to being the best friends in the entire world. No reason to try to make it work if it isn't going to work organically and we're super far from eachother and if we try to make it work and we do anything to hurt our 'relationship', it'll in term hurt our friendship. And we have this saying, she always says it to me
"If we're not 28 and rich and in serious relationsips yet - we're marrying eachother"
and I always follow it up with
"If I'm not standing looking at you holding your hand on my wedding day, I'll be standing right next to you as you tell some crazy story about the time we did shrooms and ran around new york city to my new wife and her entire family."
But that's about it.
I realized that sitting here for an hour and typing this made me really happy.
And guess what, there might be no single person out there that reads it.
But there's a chance someone will. And I hope it makes their day.
Like if one kid reads this through and tells me they enjoyed it, my job will be complete.
I just like talking. If it's through the form of typing - so be it. It's content. It's stories. It's something more to the brand than a logo on a t-shirt.
It's part of the experience.
I'm going to get back into writing. And with that, I'm going to get back into making more clothes and making sure I'm happy with what i'm putting out.
I really want to write a book this year. I don't care how much it costs to make it, I want to make like 50 copies and just give them out to people that want to listen.
I hope one of you hold me to it.
And like I always say at the end of these,
thank you for listening.
and if you're some highschool kid that doesn't know what they want to do in life - take a deep breath and put on some piano music (find a cool playlist and let it run through) and just start typing.
I was a very lost highschool kid two years ago and I made this brand as a project for one of my highschool business classes and just took it from there.
so like - as corny as it is - anything is possible.
hope u enjoyed it.
sorry for swearing a lot haahah,
post malone once told me
"rockstars are fucking gnarly!"
and then he crashed a bud light can backstage and went out to sing for an hour.
thanks for listening,