His name is Donald. He’s a Brit. I knew him for approximately 1800 seconds, and he completely changed my life.

Last month I was in New York for Fashion Week and during my trip, I met up with my good friends Kira and Aaron at the 3LD Art Center for their Why Aren’t You Naked HD video exhibition. The place was filled with an array of artistic types sporting asymmetrical haircuts, creative dress, and introspective poses as they examined the art: multiple projection screens displaying high definition video installations.

I was talking to Aaron about the California job market when Donald chimed in, “My mum wouldn’t give me any spending mon-ay, so I went to make it myself. That’s what you need to do. You have a gift. You have presence, but you’ve forgotten who you are.”

He spoke about how many years ago, he became an Austrian antique dealer and how he felt we were similar in character and that was why he was so intent on relaying this information to me. He also advised me to “grow up and stop having people wipe my arse.”

Here was this complete stranger giving me a very serious and quite poignant life coaching in the middle of an art show: bizarre and incredibly random, yes; wonderfully and magically effectual – without a doubt.

We live in a society which sends the message that you can accomplish anything you want if you work hard and set your mind to it. Yet we are ruled by cultural mores and attitudes that silently build glass ceilings and rationalized excuses for inertia.

Had I not spoken to Donald that night, I might not have had the tenacity to make LITTLE MAGAZINE, so I’m eternally grateful to him for the most emphatic 30 minutes of my existence. After which, I promised myself to live by the following decree:

To not give up on your dreams and to realize every experience, every person you meet, every thought you entertain, any new thing you learn and teach, and every kind and terrible thing you do for love, is a marked contribution to our universe.



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