I very rarely plug my friends’ work in my blog (and I really should make a habit of it, seeing as I have so many wildly talented friends) but I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head since yesterday and I can barely bring myself to listen to anything else. Plus, the wildly talented artist behind it–The Bellwether, also known as Erik Stonikas–is a man who has worked hard to create his own destiny, something I champion and want to celebrate.
The Erik I knew back in the day was a man (er, boy/kid/dude–we met in middle school) of many talents. Throughout the years we shared our love of acting, music, poetry, film, and more. I fondly remember a summer of Friday nights spent atop an Elmhurst parking garage–The Place–where Erik and Andy, his partner-in-crime, organized weekly poetry readings. I brought in my seventeenth birthday at The Place with a surprise litany of poetic dedications from friends. Best. birthday. ever.
Today, Erik has found a way to practice all of the above in his daily life–and he makes money doing it. Huzzah! (Erik is a filmmaker, producer, web designer, blogger, musician, devoted husband, badass daddy–the list goes on.) Were his high school self to travel forward in time and visit the Erik of 2012, I’m certain he would be over the moon.
But Erik wasn’t always the awesomepreneur that he is today. Though we haven’t seen each other since high school, thanks to the magic of Facebook I’ve watched him craft his amazing lifestyle piece by piece. And it took guts. While the majority of our graduating class followed the fold, Erik made some very risky decisions, choosing to follow his heart instead of filling his resumé. His road was not simply less traveled–he paved it himself, machete in hand. Frankly, the world needs a lot more of his write-your-own-rules attitude. If we all were brave enough to buck the system and create our own lives instead of buying them, just think of the beautiful things we could make together.
Beautiful things like this.
See (and hear!) for yourself. Check out Erik’s production company, Clothesline Productions, and don’t miss his adora-larious blog, Dad As I Wanna Be (though, I probably should also credit his co-collaborator/wife, Michelle Holder, for their work-of-art/daughter, Eloise).
What about you? Are you living your best life? It’s never too late to create your own destiny. Make your music, do your art, live your dream.