When I was 20 years-old, I had a religious experience. That was over ten years ago, and ever since then I have been trying to deepen my understanding of the spiritual realm and what exactly it was that happened to me. Up until that point, I was an atheist because I thought the idea of there being a God was superstitious. It sounded too much like a fairy-tale. I was wrong. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is the book that started it all for me. I’ve read it at least five times by now, and I have all his other books. Tolle is a true modern day Buddha – a very rare type. I am Catholic and try to live everyday for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I do not claim to have had the hardest life. But throughout my teens and 20’s, what I went through was no picnic. I started isolating myself in my early teens and my psychological health kept declining from that point on up until my “religious experience”. I did not know what was happening to me. All I really knew was that I was in a lot of pain. I wrote about all of this in a 12,000 word memoir that I posted here on my blog. I started working on a memoir before age 20, but I hardly ever had plans of making a book out of it. I believe it is complete as it is.
I started a website/homepage in my late teens. I thought it would be great to share my experiences and knowledge in certain fields. I soon discovered that web-design and content production were not simple. Blogs are a lot of work if you want to be taken seriously. Online content production started as more of just a hobby for me than anything else. However, in my late 20’s I started taking it a little more seriously. I finalized my memoir, posted it here on my blog and began writing blog posts on a regular basis. Topics usually revolve around philosophy, theism, travel and chess – though I also have another blog specifically for my chess life at http://cjtchess.blogspot.com I also do some journaling about specific events in my life. I did have an “images” page of my life photos. However I decided to take down the images because I thought it was rather self-centered – sort of like I wanted to say to everyone – “Hey, look at me”. This is also the reason I deleted my facebook account 3 years ago, the narcissistic – “look at me” – quality that facebook displays. Recently I have also been interested in video editing/production. I started a Vlog (Video Blog) on my YouTube channel, “Cultured Monk TV”, where I talk mainly about issues regarding mental health and depression (the link to it is the YouTube icon here on my homepage under the “Follow Calvin” menu/tab).
In my 30th year I discovered a love for travel. I was in search of new experiences. I wanted to see new cities and meet new people. I achieved this to a degree. I met a good friend in the Desert Southwest town of Tucson AZ. Together, we decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and wander up the West coast. I made a video of this on my YouTube Channel. I also got to spend time in San Diego, CA and Los Angeles, CA. We made it all the way up to Northern California (Redding) and then went our separate ways. It was a grand experience! I met a lot of people and had an amazing time. I want to keep the new experiences coming. I want to continue traveling and to write about it. Of course, it might be a while before I have the (financial) freedom to travel regularly, and the internet is already flooded with travel blogs so it’s not likely that travel blogging could be a realistic source of income.