My story is quite the mess, but it’s the source of my message. I’ll share it in more detail in the future. For now, here’s the abridged version.
My life can be broken into 3 distinct, but overlapping eras:
- My First Renaissance (1984 – 1994) – Stimulating period of my life. First born of four boys. Came from a lower-middle class family, but had supportive parents. Loved reading, learning and feeding my curious brain with knowledge about earth and all its creatures. Wanted to be a marine biologist (sharks!) or a herpetologist (snakes and crocs!) as far back as I can remember. Had first existential crisis around 5 or 6 when I learned we were killing our earth and all its creatures. Contempt for humanity in general, especially people who claimed authority over me, began at an early age too and ramped up from there.
- My Dark Ages (1994 – 2008) – Numbing, self-destructive, delinquent period of my life. First got high and drunk at 10 years old. Grew up in a rough area with rough friends. Daily life revolved around smoking, drugging, drinking, partying, dealing, hustling, scamming, stealing, scrapping, and being a hoodlum. Tough family life, difficult divorce, teenage angst, bad-ass friends, and indulgent, impulsive, unwise choices led me down a dark path of violence, crime, addiction, recidivism, and self-destruction. Was often reckless and brash, but rarely authentic and brave. Failed high school, but made it into business school as a matured student and graduated with honors.
- My Second Renaissance (2008 – today) – Redemptive and reorienting period of my life. A few “courage catalysts” reignited my curiosity and helped me rediscover my love for life and learning. Shifted my trajectory and got on a path of self-healing and regeneration. Became a certified coach. Worked with high-risk young offenders. Launched and failed a few businesses. Traveled. Started reading again. Helped my father win a precedent-setting legal battle defending freedom of speech in Canada and rebuild his life in the aftermath. Got sober. Built and launched this site. Experienced many defeats and some wins in my battles with fear along the way.
(It’s worth mentioning that my dark ages had many uplifting times and cherished memories with loved friends that I’ll enjoy for the rest of my life. And my renaissance periods had many dark times full of fear, pain and suffering that I will never forget either).
Looking at myself today in my early thirties, I’m still the same kid who drew that picture above and still have the same basic concerns.
The main difference is, now that I’ve lived through my own personal hell and come out the other side, I’m starting to slowly get a better understanding of what that dark entity in the middle represents, where it shows up both for me personally and in our society, and how we might defend against it and save our “Alive Earth” from becoming a “Dead Earth”.
This blog is to help me exercise my courage through self expression, story telling, creative writing, experimenting with new media, and speaking out against the modern tyranny of cultural PC-authoritarianism. It’ll be an ongoing experiment to say the least. Everything I’ll do and say here is as much for me and my growth as it is for you and yours.
Thank you for your time and attention. In our hyper-connected world, these are two of our most precious resources and I appreciate you giving me any of them at all. I hope what I have to say here educates, encourages, and helps you boldly walk your path in life and be part of the solutions we so badly need.
He helps men courageously overcome the fears and struggles that stop them from doing their “Brave Work“.
No stranger to fear and struggle himself, for most his life he was an addict and a criminal. But in the summer of 2008, after two back-to-back life-changing experiences, he began to realize he was wasting his life and squandering his gifts. That’s when he decided to do the hard work to change course, heal, and do his little part to help people and the planet instead of just hurting himself.
Today, Clay is a lifelong advocate of liberty, freedom of thought and expression, the free-market of ideas, personal evolution, and anything that helps raise individual courage and the collective courage of humanity.