Pain is an incredible tool to motivate yourself

bryansm“When I and my friends were 17, one of my closest friends died. That was a major turning point in my life, it was the death of innocence. That made me really angry – angry at how unfair the world was, and angry at life in general. But I learnt to live my life to the fullest, in the name of everyone who never had the opportunity to do so. It has taught me to never take life for granted, and to, at all costs, stay true to what you believe in.”

Those are the words of Bryan, also known as Blinky; a 28 year old Trini punk rocker, the son of a school teacher mom and lawyer dad, and who currently is in Europe studying for his Ph.D. “There are many other achievements on paper which come to mind – I’ve gotten a degree and two masters and worked with two different United Nations agencies. I’ve also lived in a couple of different countries and experienced some really fun and crazy things. However, those things don’t really speak to the true essence of life. My major achievement has just been staying alive and sharing the experiences of everyday life with friends and family.  In terms of the material things, the biggest achievement is releasing a couple of records with my band.”

Asked what he envisions for his future and what advice he’d give to others, he said, “I’d like to continue just playing sh*tty punk rock music and being a university lecturer or something like that. There are many possible paths in life, and I am happy walking whatever path I end up on. I try to not be too obsessed about the future. Music is my life: my passion and my everything. I love punk rock and hardcore music, the scene, and the ethical value systems of these sub-cultures. They are a mechanism for social unity, fighting oppression, and generally uplifting the spirits of everyone involved. On the other hand, I love to learn and I love to teach. I suppose that it is similar to music – I just love the sense of connecting to others in a mutually beneficial environment. All in all, I really feel as if I have been gifted so much from the world, and I just want to give back as much as possible. To others I’d say stay true to what you believe in. Pain is an incredible tool to motivate yourself. However don’t fool yourself. There is nothing wrong with being sad or angry – these are important aspects of the human experience. No matter what, always be honest – honest with yourself and with the world around you. Also, in times of true despair, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone, and also never hesitate to help out someone else in need – helping others is a great way to help yourself and contextualise your own experiences and grow into a better person.”

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