Wednesday, December 23, 2015

An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3


Every story has an unsung hero - a character in the background that, while quiet and maybe rarely seen, leaves immeasurable impact on the developing plot line. It is likely them that make the difference in a story, movie or performance going from good to unforgettable, from beautiful to enthralling, from touching one person’s heart to capturing an audience. 
You continue to infuse our projects with every ounce of creativity and expertise you possess, improving upon them in sometimes subtle, sometimes monumental, but always stunning ways.

You are an incredibly patient human being, always allowing for the time, space and breath necessary for projects to reach their potential. 

You are exceptionally thorough, creating and then capturing details that few others would consider - a rare character trait these days, and such an important one. 

Your work ethic is out of control -- borderline nuts.

And on top of it all, you are respectful, professional and always stick to your agreements, no matter the circumstance - qualities I admire and seek out in potential partnerships.  

You are an artist, craftsman and gentleman. Working creatively alongside you has been vastly rewarding, fun and eye-opening - I continue to learn much from you.

I am honored to collaborate with you creatively, and grateful to call you a friend. I am proud of the work we have created to date, and of our committed ambitions to capture the world through voice, lyric and video. 

So many would benefit from having your heart, motivation and focused camera lens on their projects - thank you for choosing to create alongside me. I have high hopes that we continue to create things together for the remainder of our lives. 

$.50 Philosophy

Upcoming Posts:

"An Open Christmas Letter to my Dear Friends"

"Good Enough Work"




"I'm Goin' Country"

"Dear Jif"

"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #4"

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

La familia - Part II

As I said in “La familia - Part I,” we are family in every sense of the word. Here’s the team:

The Parents
Pablo - the father (Padre)
Pablo is a science and technology teacher. He loves music and technology, and is always working on things - 3D printers, Drones, synthesizers, etc. 
We share the same favorite artist - Stevie Wonder. 
Fun facts:
He loves Star Wars and owns 7 pairs of Star Wars shoes. (Geek) He also loses his keys daily.

Vanesa - the mother (Madre)
Vanesa is a pre-school teacher. (Like Miss Nan) She is extraordinarily funny, a wonderful cook and very artistic.
She loves her three (now four) boys and we want for nothing. 
Fun facts:
She is painfully funny, and might have the best Instagram account I have ever seen. She also speaks with a lot of expression, which makes her a captivating storyteller. 

They are some of the wealthiest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and they acquired it through experiences around the world (US, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Morocco, Iceland, Argentina, Italy, etc.) and through the wonderful relationships they share with friends. 

Additionally, both of them love their chosen vocations (teachers) - a big influence on the happy lives they lead, I believe. They are outstanding as a couple and as parents, and they make me laugh every day. 
Pablo teases Vanesa for being unable to speak English, despite studying it for years and living in the US for a year. (She can’t… yet!)
She teases him for dressing like he is still in the 90s. (He does.)

The Boys
Carlos - eldest son (hijo)
Caros is 6 years old. He speaks English very well, and we are making strides on reading the language.
He is very bright and has played a major role in my acclimation process to the Spanish language and to the city. I am forever grateful!
Fun facts:
He is obsessed with Star Wars like his father, and leads us in epic battles through the city park. His aim with a finger gun (Credit: Nick Lambert) is impeccable. 

Dani - youngest son (hijo)
Dani is 4 years old. He is too sweet for his own good, which means he can often charm his way out of trouble. He loves to laugh and kiss, eat lots of treats and make silly faces. 
He admires Carlos a great deal, and despite being two years younger, does a great job of keeping up.
Fun facts:
He spills his cup of water at every meal -- every meal. He loves to play hide-and-seek, but refuses to hide alone, so each round ends just as soon as it begins. We are working on it. 

Moving across the globe from anything and anyone I knew without the native language would be a challenge, but this family and their friends made me feel at home in a matter of hours. We tease, play, kiss, hug, dream, eat, party and laugh together, embracing each day with optimism, tackling whatever challenges await us.

Like my family back home, I believe they appreciate my energy and attitude. And, like my family back home, they are less than impressed with my eating habits -- smashing endlessly one day, only to (unintentionally) fast for the majority of the next.

Carlos, Dani and I, the three sons, are some of the most blessed kids on the planet. I will spend the rest of my life seeking avenues to repay them for this opportunity. 

$.50 Philosophy 

Upcoming Posts:
“An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3”


“An Open Christmas Letter to my Dear Friends”

“Good Enough Work”




“I’m Goin’ Country”

“Dear Jif”

Monday, December 21, 2015

Spotify - A Year in Review

My Spotify - “A Year in Review” - results are in. 

The findings, at first glance, are amusing as hell, but I finally made sense of it. 

According to Spotify, I listened to 535 hours of music in 2015 - that’s 22 days of music, people! 

The data shows that I basically hung out with two black dudes from R&B and Hip Hop (D’Angelo & Kendrick Lamar) and two white females dropping Pop anthems. (Meghan Trainor & Tori Kelly)

The results are still funny to me, but I believe it makes sense.

Here’s why:
I love the timbre of black voices. They can produce darker, sexier, often times powerful sounds that other voices simply cannot replicate. With Funk and Soul music seemingly being genres of the past, it is in R&B and Hip Hop that I find these sounds.

Pop music, on the other hand, speaks to the endlessly optimistic and hopeful side of who I am. Lyrically playful and over the top, they dream for the heavens and still ask for more from life and love.  I also appreciate the competitiveness in this musical arena, where artists are constantly fighting to remain on the charts for a fanbase that quickly screams "next song."

I was fortunate in 2015, as my favorite new artist was able to unite all of this in her music. Jess Glynne came on the scene with a popular Clean Bandit song in 2014 entitled, “Rather Be.” She went on to release her first solo album in 2015, and it is toooooo cool. 

Here are two wonderful tracks - one live (acoustic) and one studio music video. And yes, that is really her voice:
"Ain't Got Far To Go"

"Hold My Hand"

I also wanted to mention Chance the Rapper, who I believe is the most exciting artist to keep up with in popular music today. If you are not watching yet, begin immediately - it feels so good! “Sunday Candy” is a great introduction for those of you less inclined to explore Hip Hop. He fuses Gospel and Pop elements into this piece, and if the music does not grab you, certainly the video will.
"Sunday Candy" (Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment)

Lastly, I just found this woman - V. Bozeman. Evidently, she is a contributor on the popular show Empire. I have not seen the show, but I love this song. V is an astonishingly beautiful woman, but it is the joy with which she sings in this video that attracts me most. If you do not watch any of the videos listed, at least watch this one. It will be a perfect, uplifting tune to start your week. 
"Smile" (feat Timbaland)

Hope each of you now as a new artist (or two or three) to enjoy! 

$.50 Philosophy

Upcoming Posts:
"La familia - Part II"

"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3"


"An Open Christmas Letter to my Dear Friends"

"Good Enough Work"




"I'm Goin' Country"

"Dear Jif"

Friday, December 18, 2015

La familia - Part I

Moving abroad. 

It would be a difficult pill for my family to swallow. Not because they do not wish for me to have everything my heart desires, but because we are close. We spend a lot of time together. We work, cook, travel, sing and party together. 

In short, they would miss me and I them. But this was important to me. They felt it. They knew it. And like always, they rallied behind me. The search was on. 

I interviewed with several families throughout Europe - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - Spain drawing the most inquiries for reasons I do not know. It did not matter much to me where I went. I simply wanted to live and work in another part of the world.

One particular family stole my heart, and I was crushed to learn they had chosen another American over me. They wrote a kind note, wishing me well and stating, “We loved you, Alex, but our kids prefer to be with a female.” It softened the blow, as the kids wants and needs come first -- then those of the parents -- then mine. 

I had a couple rather attractive women reach out to me with lots of engaging and inviting messages. While they may have been harmless, they appeared to have ulterior motivations for inviting me into their family. I chose to look past these opportunities, as it did not feel right in my gut.
(See upcoming post, “The Gut,” to learn more.)
Who knows though -- maybe I am missing out…

I was quite close to moving forward with another family of teachers. They were as kind and inviting as they could be, and would have treated me like a king. However, none of them spoke much English, including the three children. Not knowing any Spanish, it would be very hard for us. We could communicate, but it was challenging. I asked for a couple of days to consider, but with no other opportunities available, I was going to agree to become their au pair. 

Thennnnn, this dude named Pablo showed up.

I was camping in southern Illinois with minimal service when we first started chatting online. The pictures of his family, his wife, Vanesa, and two boys, Carlos and Dani, looked happy and fun. They had just finished spending a year in Texas, and their eldest boy, Carlos, had picked up the English language. Now that they were returning home, they did not want him to lose all he had gained. The tenants in their 2nd apartment were leaving at the end of November, so they thought, “Let’s find an American and let them stay there, in exchange for spending the afternoons/evenings with the kids, working on English.” They set out to find the perfect female companion to care for their children.

Thennnnn, this dude named Alex showed up.

He had pictures of himself playing music for two beautiful girls. (My nieces: Elly Rose and Lillian Grace.) He talked of a desire to step away from corporate life to see another part of the world, invest some serious time into his creative projects, all while sharing of himself with another family. He made a solemn commitment to take great care of the children entrusted to him. 

Furthermore, this guy could sing. Pablo (the crafty dude that he is) had googled him and found some recordings of him with a St Louis diva named Kim Massie.

I imagine it went something like this.
“Ahhhhh,” Pablo mused, “by day a writer, by evening an English teacher and by night lead vocalist of my funk band...”

Whether or not he will admit it, I remain convinced that half of the reason why they chose me was so Pablo could have a white dude singing lead on “Play that Funky Music.”
--Seriously, we have our first gig on January 2nd, 2016. The setlist includes KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and the Gang and Al Green -- it's going to be a party. 

In any case, we scheduled an opportunity to chat when I returned from camping. 

On Sunday, the “interview” began, but it was different than all the others. We just hung out and talked life, careers, interests, family, etc. Finally, one of us realized that we had been online together for ~2 hours, and we should wrap up. There was just this sort of mutual agreement and understanding that we would be moving forward together.

Now, the placement of this post, following “Impaired,” is on purpose and the reality that follows kills me. The words for this series are intended for my family here, yet three out of the four (Vanesa, Carlos & Dani) cannot read them.
-Vanesa speaks some English, but it is difficult.
-Carlos speaks English well, but reading is difficult.
-Dani is four years old. 

The truth remains -- I cannot reach them as I so desire. 

I have been back and forth on this piece for quite some time. Try as I may to relate all that these people are, I fall short. I guess some things were not meant to be captured in words. 

In any case, the family that I met is something special. They are loving and affectionate, playful and funny and extremely giving. I am a son and a brother, no less than Carlos and Dani, to Pablo and Vanesa. We, all of them and I, fit together beautifully. 

There are a number of interests, passions and values that bind us, but one philosophy in particular seems to ring true for us all, which is this:
It is ok to not have as much to give as another in a particular relationship or agreement, so long as you are giving your all.

I am completely outmatched with regard to contributions in the arrangements set, yet I would never be made to feel as though that was the case. All they ask for is my best, and I strive to give that.

Return to meet the individuals that comprise this team in "La familia - Part II." 

Enjoy the weekend - I am off to see Star Wars... in Spanish. :/

$.50 Philosophy 

Upcoming Posts:
"La familia - Part II"

"Spotify - A Year in Review"

"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3"


"An Open Christmas Letter to my Dear Friends"

"Good Enough Work"




"I'm Goin Country"

"Dear Jif"

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Note: I have done my best to be politically correct in this post. If I have fallen short, please forgive me. I had the best of intentions.

The moment I arrived, I developed an impediment that continues to challenge in intriguing, often frustrating ways.

I have lost my voice.

Mind you, I am not ill. I simply do not speak the language of the people that surround me.

For some, it may not be much of an ordeal, but for me it is everything. We all have a passion, whether we are aware of it or not, and people are mine. Communicating and interacting with them is what I do. It is what I long for most.

Imagine Picasso’s world if you removed his paint brush, or Beethoven if you took away his piano.

In using these examples, I am not comparing our levels of mastery over our respective passions, but the gravity of how our worlds are affected when the tool we utilize to pursue our passions is limited, even removed.

Surrounded by people, yet they remain out of reach.

The city I live in is not a Madrid, Paris or Hong Kong type, with so much traffic from around the world passing through on a daily basis that finding a speaker of your native tongue (particularly English) is commonplace. Albacete - wonderful and hip in so many ways - is not that type of city.

According to those I have met, it is Spain how the majority of Spaniards live it. Like a foreigner coming to the US and experiencing a mid-sized city --- not all of the United States is a Los Angeles or New York type, as some might believe.

(See upcoming post, “Albacete,” to learn more about this place.)

My world is startlingly different over here, but I am doing my best to take motivation from the trying situation, studying videocasts and listening to podcasts to become more versed in the Spanish language. My rolled "R’s" remain horrendous, and, I am sure, immensely comical to those I pass during my runs. Nevertheless, I am making strides. (Poco a poco -- little by little!)

Best wishes from Spain - we have almost earned our weekend!

$.50 Philosophy

Upcoming Posts:
“La familia - Part I”

“La familia - Part II”

“Spotify - A Year in Review”

“An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3”


“An Open Christmas Letter to my Dear Friends”

“Good Enough Work”




“I’m Goin Country”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Merry Christmas, USA

About 5 years ago, the holidays were approaching, and I began to write. December is always a reflective period for me. The non-stop hustle through spring and summer begins to ease back, as we bundle up and slow down, embracing the arrival of winter.

I do a lot of writing during this time to friends and family, as well as to myself. It is when I begin drafting objectives for the upcoming new year.

During one particular year, I began reflecting on all things for which I am thankful. This lead to thoughts on how I am such a blessed individual. And then, as it always should, the most important question arose - the "why."

Why is this so?

It is in thanks to where I am from, who I am surrounded by and the overall spirit of the people from my country. It is the ways we choose to express ourselves through art, entertainment, sport and enterprise. It is our traditions, our food, our dress and demeanor, and the way we greet one another. It is all the things that make being an American so special. Not better than other places - just beautiful, unique and original all its own.

I immediately began thinking of our armed forces and the sacrifices they continue to make so the nation as we know it can remain intact.

"Merry Christmas, USA" was soon born.

I love so many different genres and kinds of music, but I have a special place in my heart for hopeful, optimistic and encouraging music, and I wanted those emotions felt through this song. 
(See upcoming post - "Spotify - A Year in Review" - to learn more.)

I did my best to capture some of the scenarios that might arise when our troops would return to their families at this time of year.
"Soldiers coming home for the holidays ahead. For some this is the first time they will tuck their kids in bed..."

I implored listeners to dig deeper and give more during this time of year and beyond.
"I'm proud to see we take time to give back to those in need. If only we could make this an every day routine..."

I asked that we make time to pay respects to the past, and that we ensure we remain present with the loved ones that do surround us.
“Remember those that are gone. Embrace the ones who’ve made it home…”

To close, I tried to capture a common American household scene during this holiday.
"When the day is done and everyone joins round the Christmas tree. And people join in hands to share their New Year hopes and dreams..."

Christmas is an important and special time for so many of us, and while, as a country, we might have developed some materialistic traditions around the holiday, I still love the way we celebrate it.  I wanted to capture that in what I can only hope becomes a great American Christmas song.

I like to imagine having the opportunity to sing this in front of a large, 100+ person orchestra at the white house or at a grand holiday gala for the troops with people tuning in from across the country -- maybe even around the world. 

Music continues to be the greatest way to unite people. Periodically, we must use it as an avenue to come together, to set aside our differences and remember that while our strategies to keep this country strong may differ greatly, our aspirations largely remain the same - that it continue to prosper and flourish.

Cheers to you and yours through the upcoming holidays.

$.50 Philosophy 

Upcoming Posts:


"La familia - Part I"

"La familia - Part II"

"Good Enough Work"



"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3"

"Spotify - A Year in Review"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Future Wife (A Letter)

Future wife, (wherever and whomever you may be)

I thought I would go ahead and draft a letter to you - just so you know what is in store for you, and can begin preparing accordingly.  Additionally, this will allow you to hold me accountable, should I ever fall off course during our journey.  (I am certain I will.)

In no particular order:
Growing and learning are everything to me.  While I will always be Alex and bear many of the characteristics I have always possessed, there will likely be new missions and projects underway quite often. It is my nature.  

I do not sit still well.  I have seen a grand total of two tv series all the way through, and I often get bored or fall asleep at the movies.  I will still take you though. 

My family is everything.  Like any, we have our strengths and weaknesses.  We are supremely crude, so you will have to forgive us.  I think you will appreciate how often we laugh though.  We go to lots of music festivals and eat lots of food - both good and bad.  We wake up with a lot of energy in the mornings - obnoxious, I know.  When you come aboard, you will be a sister and a daughter - we do not do “in-laws.”  We will look to you to make us a stronger, smarter and more caring bunch. If you can make us more fashionable, healthier, more global and more interesting, that would be great, but not a requirement.  Above all else, we wish you to be comfortable and happy with all of us just as you are.

Furthermore, it would be great if you would be willing to live and raise a family in the St Louis area. Living in Spain has taught me the importance of living near family -- it is daily practice here to see friends and family as you are out running errands.  While one can certainly have an enriching and well-connected life with loved ones from afar, there is something special about having them in your backyard.  
See upcoming post “Albacete” to learn more about why this is so worthwhile.

I have a host of wonderful friends - women and men alike - that will treat you like a queen.  Some of them I have known for years, and others I have known for weeks.  They are a brilliant blend of creative, loving and supremely fun human beings.  We spend a lot of time together, and I have every intention to continue doing so, so please embrace them as they will embrace you.
(Side note:  If you are reading this, you can learn more about them in the ‘Open Letter to a Dear Friend’ series.)

I believe cleaning up and looking nice is one of the daily avenues spouses can impress and express that they care, so we should try and make this a habit.  Except on Sundays.  We do not get dressed on Sundays.  House rule.  

While I like to dress well, I really dislike laundry.  It would mean a lot if we could make a trade on chores and this one was one of yours.

I am an extremely affectionate and physical person - touch is important to me.

As previous loves can attest, I talk fast - too fast sometimes - and occasionally say things I did not intend to say or should not have said.  If I say I did not mean it - I am being honest.  Try to quickly accept my apology, and let’s get back to the fun stuff.

With that in mind, you will have to be ok with the fact that you cannot be my first love. Our lives have not played out in such a way for you to do so. You can and will be my last though, and certainly the one to relish in the period when I understood, practiced and lived the art to my utmost. I strive to continually grow in this sphere.

When in doubt for my birthday or Christmas, lingerie.  

Trust is the cornerstone of brilliant relationships.  We must establish this from the very beginning and cultivate it always.  My hope is that we remain independent people with some independent interests and pursuits that have simply decided to commit certain aspects of ourselves to one another, and one another alone.  The concept of marriage continues to be challenged by generations, and I think modifications to it will continue to arise in varying degrees.  Nevertheless, marriage is something I desire in my life.  You, however many kids we can afford, a couple of dogs, a cat (when my dad dies…) and our ever-growing circle of friends.  It will be challenging and crazy and exhausting and fun and completely worthwhile - I’m pumped! 

Lastly, if you do not currently drink tequila, I would begin practicing.  

Two final thoughts for you:
In People:
I value kindness over status, class over intellect and a keen sense of curiosity above all else.

In Life:
I value experiences over possessions, happiness over accomplishment, health over financial riches and relationships with people above all else.

Sometimes I dream of who you are, what you might be doing and where you might be.  I sometimes wonder if I have already met you.  Maybe we are just in different places or different times in our lives - not yet ready or in position to make such a commitment.  If my father is at all correct, the woman chooses the man, so I await your selection.
Side note: His fingers are crossed that you are an underwear model.  I am not opposed.  

I remain patient (mostly) but excited for whenever you might arise in my life.

Until then, go enjoy life - people (females mostly), places and experiences - learn all you can, stretch your heart and get fired up for what lies ahead.  In our circle, we frequently say - “while the past is quite bright, the future will be grander than we can currently dream.”  I believe that, and I look forward to embracing it all with you.

All my love,

P.s I vote we climb Mount Everest for our honeymoon.  We can discuss this.

$.50 Philosophy

Upcoming Posts:

"Merry Christmas, USA"


"La familia"

"Good Enough Work"



"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3"

Monday, December 14, 2015

An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #2


I have a big, dumb, goofy smile on my face as I write this thinking of you.  5,000 miles away and I can still feel your goodness.  

I love so much about who you are and what you stand for, but I will remain focused in one realm for this letter.

We initially had a conversation at Bonnaroo, and have since had several others, on the importance of caring and loving yourself.  You discussed some of your daily practices, one of which was actively reminding yourself of your beauty, of your heart and of your goodness - not only during times of unrest, but as daily routine.

This was not something I did, but I liked it and saw value in the practice.

It made me think of the scene from “The Help,” where Aibileen is speaking to the little girl.  

“You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.”

We all yearn to be better versions of ourselves, and it is easy to become frustrated and discouraged that we are not yet there.  A daily moment to express appreciation for who and what we are to ourselves is a rejuvenating and worthwhile practice.  Since beginning to do this, my mood and my overall well-being have improved dramatically.  

From your teachings have come a number of lessons that make up a large piece of chapter 3, The Physical Self, of the book I am writing.  Should you read the book, you and all others that know you, will see your influence loud and clear. 

Cheers to the woman who taught me a valuable practice - to love and care for myself each and every day.  

You breathe warmth and positive energy into every person you meet.  Our group is healthier, loves deeper and smiles bigger because of you.  We need you, and we love you.

$.50 Philosophy

Upcoming Posts:
"Letter to my Future Wife"

"Merry Christmas, USA"

'La Familia"



Friday, December 11, 2015

The Power of Prayer

I believe in the power of prayer.

In April of 2015, I began praying - extensively and out loud.

I pray extensively because I have a lot that I am grateful for and a lot more that I desire.

I pray out loud as my hope is that the divine is only able to hear verbally expressed thoughts and hopes - not the rambling musings of what can often be a crude, petty and naive mind. It might be a long shot, but it suits me.

I remain uncertain if hopes expressed in my mind or out loud can affect the outside world, or rather move the divine to affect the outside world in the manner desired - my understanding of the traditional conception of prayer. I am not willing to say it is not so, but I am not certain of a relationship between the two.

Because of that, I do not depend on prayer alone to be the source of my blessings. Instead, I believe in it for what it does for me internally (clarity, mindfulness, openness, etc.), which then prompts external activity. (action, commitments, effort, etc.)

Here's what happens when I pray:
I pray to be a better human - more understanding, less wasteful, more active, less self-consumed, etc. In doing so, I am reminded of the ideals I hope to uphold, which I then strive for through action.

I pray for my nieces to be courageous, original, healthy and happy. I then work to show them things that excite them, and invest love and confidence into them. In time, I will teach them to be healthy and active.

I pray for the relationship between Stuart and Kelly. I then try to surprise them, make them laugh, support them through their endeavors and listen to them individually and together as they develop as spouses and parents. The hope is that this fosters further growth of an already incredibly positive and healthy relationship.

I pray for the health and well-being of my parents. I then strive to keep them active, assist as they utilize new technologies and expose them to contemporary ideas and people. (business, arts, etc.) The hope is they will remain hip and healthy for years to come - I think they are doing an outstanding job.
Side Note: This is likely the area that my actions serve the least. Traveling overseas does wonders for my father’s blood pressure.

Some prayers are for things outside of areas I can directly affect through my actions - a loved one having a successful operation, for example. While I remain uncertain if my prayers can have any impact on such situations, I pray for them anyway. I just like the process now.

Prayer, for me, stands as an opportunity to connect with the divine - whatever (and yes, if) it may be - in the only way I, as a human, know how - using language. The words hopefully have impact on how my world continues to prosper. If not, they at least serve as prompts to me to dig my hands back into myself and the world around me for further cultivation.

It has been a tremendously refreshing and rewarding practice.

$.50 Philosophy

Upcoming Posts:
"Future Wife"

"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #2"

"The First Week"

"La familia"

Thursday, December 10, 2015

September, October & November

Last week I shared that I lost my job in late August, and was now, ~3 months later, moving to Spain. What I did not share was what unfolded during those in between months.

Once things had finalized with my company, I began organizing my professional materials to pursue my next gig.  I interviewed with a few companies, but was not terribly excited by much of anything. To clear my head and give myself some space to think, I decided to make a trek out to Yellowstone. I camped, hiked, ran, biked, read and wrote.  I visited old friends and made several new ones.

During the drive home, I realized that I had met more people in one week’s time than I had met over the last few years - work colleagues and clients excluded. This was enlightening as well as upsetting to me, as people are my favorite thing on this planet.
(You'll learn why if you read Ch.1, “The Circle,” of my upcoming book - “The 5 Investments.")

How could I have made more friends in a week than I had made over the last few years?  Upsetting, but not a complete tragedy. 

Here's why:
I am already surrounded by and blessed with a remarkable group of people.  If we are getting the entire group together, we are 60+ easily - and that's excluding my parent’s friends, many of which have now become intimate with the circle we have built over the years.  I had not continued to meet new people, as I already have a tremendous amount of friendships. 

It remained an issue though because I love meeting new people and building new relationships.

So, I desired to get away - not to part from my family and friends - but to seek out other people, other cultures and extend the network elsewhere.  And not because my group is not more than enough, but because with more of them we could learn more, do more and see more, as we grow and cultivate the lives we desire.  I quickly began seeking opportunities to travel overseas. 

Teaching would be wonderful, but time consuming, and I have a number of time-intensive projects underway.  That's when I stumbled into the idea of being an au pair.

As an au pair, I would be able to live in another country, meet new people, study a foreign language, share of myself and my culture with another family, and continue to invest into the projects that interest and excite me most.  Maybe not the coolest or most elegant method of living abroad for some, but an avenue that would give me the opportunity I desired and not exhaust me financially.

I could not have stumbled into a more perfect opportunity - and it is in complete thanks to the family here.  You will learn about them and all of their talents, gifts and charms in an upcoming post - “La familia.”

Getting here was no small feat, and took investments of various resources from a number of different people.  See upcoming post, “Acknowledgements,” for further details on this front.

We are just over 1 week into this excursion and the amount of experiences are too many to count.  I will attempt to capture all that unfolded in the upcoming post, “The First Week,” but will allow the pictures to do the majority of explaining.

Wishing you all well back home and elsewhere! 

$.50 Philosophy

Upcoming Posts:
"Future Wife"

"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #2"

"La familia"

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Staying Connected

I wish to continue to travel and work/write creatively.  One of my personal goals for this trip is content development across a number of different mediums. Music, letters/essays and a book are my current top priorities.

In order to continue working creatively, I have to establish an income across these mediums, or outside of them.  I am still working on this area presently, and always interested in learning of new opportunities.  Do not hesitate to reach out. 

Here is my contact information, as well as my social media accounts.  For each, I have indicated how and to whom I communicate, and/or what I intend to share.  Feel free to join along on any or all of them.

Hope this is helpful!

Personal Email:
--General communication - friends, family, professional associates, etc.

Booking Email:
--Booking - music for corporate events, weddings, private parties, etc.

--This houses all of my information, and can connect you to my various projects. 

--Essays, Letters and Reflections

Facebook (personal): AlexanderRuwe
--Harassing friends from afar

Facebook (music): AlexanderRuweMusic
--Music, Video and Live Performance releases 

Instagram: AlexanderRuwe
--Photos from afar

Skype: Alexander.Ruwe
--Staying close with friends/family back home

Twitter: AlexanderRuwe
--Articles on Business, Leadership, Arts and Music

--Video and Live Performance releases

Upcoming posts:

"Future Wife"

"An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #2"

"La Familia"