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Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Journey to my mailbox

So far this week has been quite busy and I know the weeks ahead will be even busier with a return trip to New York and another one in Ottawa (Journeyman is my name lol). But don't worry because I make sure to relax and have fun sometimes (which means going for my free Sprite at Ngoma Lounge).

Talking about Ngoma Lounge, I was there a few days ago and I was pleased to meet a long time friend of mine. He has been in Canada for over 16 years (mainly in Toronto); I have been here for almost 9 years and it was the first time we met each other. Do you know when was the last time I saw him? Guess? No, you guessed wrong. It was longer than that! We were in grade 5. I won’t tell you how many years it has been (I know you still think I am 21). We had so much fun together as we reminisced about all the fun years.

I went back to Ngoma again yesterday (as I received a text from Diego mentioning that there would be food). I thought it would be for a short while (I eat fast). Guess what! I got home almost at 2 AM (can you believe that?). The live band was making things happen!

I was exhausted when I arrived home, but the package that was waiting for me in my mailbox got me excited (at first I thought it was a bunch of cash in the brown envelope. Why not?). As it turned out, it was a book. Do you know what the book is about? It contained information on what we need to publish our own book. Funny enough, the last few weeks I have been working on the final touches of my book. What are the odds!!!! Now I have access to all the information that I need (I think there is someone upstairs looking after me)

When I saw the book, another book came into my mind. I know you know which one. Good guess! It is “The Alchemist”. There is a passage in the book that says: “God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.”

The omens are those little signs that show you that you are on the right track, or that little help that comes to you at the right time exactly when you need it .What are the odds of me receiving a book about publishing your own book, exactly when I am about to do it. The funny part is that I don’t even know who sent it to me! There was no name of the sender on the envelope!!

When we are following our dreams, all we have to do is notice the little signs and listen to the little voice inside, and we will get there!

Moral of the story? Do you want to receive a surprising gift? Go out, have fun and go home at 2 AM. It will be waiting for you

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman
Twitter: @journeymanstory

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Journey to my wedding Part 1

Are you surprised by the title of my blog? Didn't you read about my wedding before? Why then Part 1 instead of part 2?

This is the story before the story.

I remember the first week I returned to work after my wedding. They surprised me with two cakes (they know that I am always open to opportunities when it comes to food). They asked me to give a speech (even though I was speechless because of the cakes). I told them that I was as surprised as they were about my wedding because things went so fast. They all laughed; but it was true.

About a month later, everything seems to be back to usual; but not really. When I think about it, my journey to my wedding really started in late October 2009. I was on the phone with my coach at the time, Sandy . She has made a huge difference in my life. After a short conversation in which I told her my usual thing “everything is fine there is nothing to worry about” (what a lie!!), she finally “gave it to me”. She spoke straight from her heart and told me what she really thought about me. I won't tell you everything she told me (you will have to pay for that, and of course with a commission for Sandy), but she mentioned one thing.

This is what she said (I am paraphrasing): “I like everything about you, but you have to know that, as a single guy, no woman will like to be with you if you don't want to open your heart and say really how you feel. You have to accept to be vulnerable and to admit that sometimes you are down. You are a human being like all of us”.

My God she was so right!!! Throughout the entire conversation, the thing that got me the most was “no woman will like to be with you” (who wouldn't be terrified, especially when that comment comes from a lady?)

I had to change.

Fast forward. This is what happened a year later:

One day in October 2010, I was heading to Montreal to attend my best friend’s wedding. I was on double duty as the best man and master of ceremony. The six hour trip from Toronto to Montreal gave me a lot of time to think (luckily I wasn’t the driver).

During the trip, I thought about my relationships, or lack thereof. I had asked out a number of people (not many, I must confess) and all of them had politely declined and offered to remain friends. When you consistently get turned down and all you ever are is a friend, I think it's time for a check-up from the neck up.

Here is what I found out during my check-up. My vision of the “right” woman for me had become a checklist I used to measure everyone I met. Only if she had seven out of ten on my checklist could I envision a chance for us to be together. As for the three remaining criteria, I thought I’d have enough time to change and mould her into a ten out of ten. Did my method work? I will let you figure that out for yourselves.

By the time I arrived in Montreal, I realized that my approach was not working and decided to turn to God. My prayer went something like “dear Lord, now the relationship thing is in Your Hands. I don't know where she will be coming from, when, how and who. But whoever You will send me, I will love her the way she is without trying to change or judge her”. After that, I went and lived my life peacefully knowing that I had put my situation in good hands.

That was my prayer on October 10, 2010. Just twelve days after my prayer, I met somebody in a very mysterious way (I think I have heard that God works in mysterious ways). We became friends and only two months later we were… married. Yes, you got it right. I am now a married man and I have never been happier.

My coach Sandy was right. I had to accept to be vulnerable and to be willing to be heart broken. Luckily, it was not broken.

Am I a bad student? (it took me an entire year to find the love of my life after my conversation with my coach). I don't think so. All that I know is that I am a very happy man.

Moral of the story? Do you want to get married? Just take a trip to Montreal and you will have a prayer.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman
Twitter: @journeymanstory

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Journey to a meeting with Tom

The last week or so I was speechless twice (it is rare that I have nothing to say about anything). First, it was when my co - workers surprised me with two cakes at our staff meeting (they got me good on that one), and the second time was when I met Tom Cunningham.

Who is Tom? I will tell you but I need you to be patient with me for now.
For the last three months or so, I have been part of Goal Achievers International, a company that helps people achieve their goals (I am part of the Speakers group). We meet every Sunday to discuss how we can achieve our goals and brainstorm on how we can help each other and hold ourselves accountable.

Last Sunday, we welcomed our new member. When his time came for him to introduce himself to the group, his speech moved all of us to tears. We were in the presence of greatness. Please take some time to see for yourself who is Tom. This is what he says about himself on his blog at

“Despite having Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) since age 5 and having had 4 hips, 4 knees and 2 shoulders replaced and being in hospital about 40 times, I have always had a positive attitude. My arthritis has affected every joint in my body from my jaw to my toes. Many of my joints have severe range of motion restrictions or are totally fused and unable to move. The worst surgery I have had to recover from was an ankle fusion that forced me to have about 5 posts sticking out both sides of my ankle area for a number of months. I also developed cataracts at the age of 12 due to high daily does of the oral steroid, prednisone. Later, at around age 25, because I was unable to reach with my hands and elbows to put contact lenses in any longer, I had intraocular lens implants. This surgery involves inserting a contact lens like device behind your eye while you are awake. Prednisone also stunted my growth and I stand 5'. »

What could we say after that? The only question I had in my mind was “what is my excuse?”

I cannot wait for this Sunday to meet the group again. Not only do they help me to stay focus on my goals, but I always go home so inspired to continue working on them.
Talking about goals, one of my goals this year is to reach 1 million people through my blog. Is it possible? You bet! With the power of social media, it is more than doable.

Here is what I found about my blog. So far I have over 4000 hits and my blog has been read in over 10 countries including Canada, the US, France, United Kingdom, India, Sweden, Russia, Italy, Burundi, Rwanda, South Africa…

What a blessing! When I started writing, I did not know that people would even read my stories. It is so humbling.

I would really appreciate your help and suggestions on how I could accomplish this goal. It has been a long time dream of mine to spread a positive message all over the world and your feedback has been so uplifting .

Moral of the story? Do you want to meet great people? Just get married and you will receive a cake from your co - workers like I did (I know it does not make any sense, but who cares lol).

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman
Twitter @journeymanstory

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Journey to a Jump

Before anything, I would like to thank you all for your wishes. I was overwhelmed by your support for my wedding. It is starting to sink in that I am actually married! It has been a fun ride.

It took me a while to get back to normal after a month of December full of emotions. Do you know what I was thinking about all the time? I was thinking about…swimming. How so?

I will respond to it by asking you a question: "How do we learn to swim?" For me, there are two options: you can take swimming lessons, or you can just jump into the pool without knowing how to swim. Either you die, or you learn how to swim as quickly as possible (it becomes a survival situation …).

Although scary, I am a fan of the second method. I like to jump without knowing how I will survive. With my back against the wall, I have to produce to survive. Do I succeed all the time? Not at all. Do I learn something in the process? All the time.

The scene is scarier for the one who is watching than for the one who is jumping. Do you know why? The person who is watching has no idea about what’s going on in the jumper’s mind. For me, it is easy to jump because I have been jumping for years. Now I am used to it. Am I afraid when I jump? Of course I am. But fear does not stop me from jumping even though sometimes I fall flat on my face (I think I would be better looking if I was not jumping all the time lol).

Okay, enough about theories. Let me share with you what I want to share.

We are in 2004 and I have been without a job for six months. I have no money at all. I mean nothing. I am working on a big project, looking for sponsors, but no one wants to hear my story. I am hopeless.

On this Monday, I wake up in the morning to go downtown, but I don’t even have a bus ticket. Either I stay home, or I find a way to go. I decide to go. I take my shower (yes, empty pockets but looking good), I put on my finest (and only) suit, and here I am, outside going…downtown (which was a one hour bus drive from home).

I am walking down the street; I pass the first bus stop and the first bus passes by. I am still walking; I pass the second bus stop, the third, and the fourth. By the fifth bus stop, I see a gentleman who looks familiar. Yes I know the guy. I approach him to say hello, and he has his hands in his pockets. As he takes his hands out of his pocket to greet me, he looks surprised. He just found out that he has two bus tickets in his pocket. He just exclaims: I just realized that I had two bus tickets in my pocket. Do you want one?

You might think that I am making this story up, but it actually happened! I jumped and went outside without knowing how I would get downtown. I have been jumping ever since, and that is how miracles have happened to me. But it started with a bus ticket (which was, at that time only two dollars and twenty five cents).

As I am writing this blog, I am in the water already. I have already jumped only this time it is not for a bus ticket. It is for something bigger. I will let you know about it when I am on the other side of the shore (hopefully very soon, otherwise I will drown lol)

Moral of the story? Do you want to learn how to swim? Go downtown with no bus ticket and you will meet a friend of yours. Maybe me.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman
Twitter :@journeymanstory