Last year I had the time of my life when I was invited to the Amber Lounge Monaco event as press - a conclusion of many things I was working towards. This is for the people who like writing and have things to say about themselves.
Consider this a confession, consider this an example of marketing or just consider this a guy writing about something from the heart. It is about the choices we make in life, it is about the work we put into them to achieve our goals and it is about plain passion.
About two years ago I made up my mind to become a real journalist for once. I had had similar aspirations before, I had been writing to several outlets for about five years for some money on the side. However, in 2014, I really decided to go for it. I started making content. Relevant ones. Regularly. I started interviewing people. I put my own brand out if you will. It landed me a job, it landed me recognition and only after a year and a half’s work, it landed me an invitation to the Amber Lounge party at the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
I was being brief with the escalation, but I would like you to picture this: I have been a really shy kid with some really serious family issues, being a teacher of English as a second language - as the only qualification to my name - from a small town in Eastern Europe and here I was, holding a glass of champagne with golden sprinkles, running across the lobby of the Meridien Beach Plaza in Monaco, trying to take a picture of Niki Lauda. I was in the freaking backstage with with F1 drivers and chiefs, fashion models, royalties, among all the press in the world you can imagine. Here, take a look again at me deliberately walking across Sky Sport’s camera during their worldwide live feed in THAT backstage at one point.
I took my first ever selfie at the event so that even I could remind myself: it was actually me being there and I was not looking at someone else’s pictures.
When I’m sitting alone among my cheap, old furniture in my rundown, grey flat I sometimes think back: how on Earth did I get there. How on Earth did I get to the place so quickly that - in many ways - manifested many of my dreams and goals in life?
Writing to me is very personal. Everything I do in life is personal to me, but writing is something very special. Maybe because I don’t really have friends - but do have some issues - everything drains down to a piece I write about - say - Formula 1. And to my therapist’s, too, but that’s another story. Maybe I just happen to find myself a narrative, a story to fit myself into. So when I imagine myself being somewhere, doing something it comes across my writing. Have I ever imagined myself being at such a super-exclusive party at Monaco during the Formula 1 weekend? Specifically no, because I had never thought it would ever happen, but it was certainly the ace of spades in the deck of cards I chose to play with.
Has it changed my life? Well, it was only a party. A helluva party, but still a party only at the end of the day. But the circumstances and the events leading up to it made it a very strong statement in my life and career. Quite recently I turned down a well-paying job offer in the capital that I would have killed for about a year ago. Why? Because it would have limited my freelance work and since now I can see the vast possibilities available - by being creative and diligent - I feel it would be a sin to limit myself in such a way.
But hey, that’s just me. There’s nothing wrong with office work. It’s a risk I took and it will be only myself to blame if it all goes south.
Why am I writing all this? Well, there are people out there who - like myself - have a hard time expressing their feelings, their thoughts and just generally themselves. They have difficulties with bonding, they are scared of immediacy. Some of the most creative people are like that. That is why they find alternative ways to send a message to the world.
For them it’s a genuine hell trying to reach out to someone and say “I really like you” but unable to do so. For them it’s a day-to-day struggle trying to fit in by trying to stay invisible. For some of them it’s depressive. And for some of them - and believe me, I know this - it’s suicidal.
But for these people - for us - getting down to business and really focus on one thing and working towards it, to find those alternative ways to express ourselves to the world means everything. And I mean: everything. And maybe, just maybe, we will all have our one shining moment when our work is appreciated and honoured - like mine was - and then we are genuinely on top of the world.
But you know, we all would be all content if we were able to throw all those things away just to have a boring office job, but have real friends. Because at the end of the day it is all about contact. It is only the means that change. For some people it happens in the middle of the crowd, quietly, with a beer in the hand. For others it happens by climbing a mountain alone and scream from the top.
And from that mountain top I would now like to say: thank you all readers for having me, my work and thank you all partners (interviewees and organizers like Amber Lounge) to have served as the mountain.