I suppose I’ve gone a bit too long without having an “About Me” page. There is actually a reason for this.
Who am I?
My name is Jason. I’m a few years off of 40, I have spent my entire professional career working in technology. I got my degree in Biology which has had a greater influence on my success than most people know. I I have two sisters, three nieces and a nephew, a mother (obviously) who is still living and a father who recently passed away.
I’m gay but not a strict democrat. I’m philanthropic. I have faith in infinity (or God).
I drive really fucking fast. And I’m a great driver. I like clothes. I’m a great cook. I’m smart but thought of as patronizing and somewhat superior. I know how to sew.
I look like that…on a good day. —>
Why are you doing this?
(I speak to the origin of the “sticky note” concept here.)
This blog isn’t about me though I am sharing deeply personal stories and occasionally what I call “truths”. A blog can already seem like something self-ingratiating and ego-born — in fact, the birthplace of this had more to do with others than it ever did me and the personal outcome I’m seeking is little more than to strip down the layers around me until I find what is at my core which I believe is where God is for all of us. If through sharing I have some type of impact on another person, this is simply gravy on an already delicious plate of self-discovery. I want to help foster the growing (and urgently needed) human connection I believe we are on the cusp of I write about here.
I believe there is grace found in enduring, learning from, and then growing from times in life that are excruciating – even when my choices caused life to feel this way. No grace is found in letting others go through the same when you could have helped.
In the almost prophetic words of Former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “it takes a village.”
What made you want to do this?
Project Sticky Note began one evening after I had made a series of very bad decisions which would ultimately cost me a friendship. My friend who had rescued me told me that night that our friendship was over in what was a calm and respectful conversation – at that time, I was more bad then good to him and I respect anyone who makes the decision to take care of themselves when they are being hurt.
That night we spoke about the real story of my life – no lies, no cover ups, no excuse making, no minimization or amplification — just raw, unfiltered, authentic, honest, in detail that made it clear nothing I was saying could be anything other than the truth. I accepted accountability. On both sides – the good and the bad.
As we talked it became ever more clear and real to me the impact I had on all the relationships in my life, both good and bad, and for perhaps the first time, I no longer deceived myself in to thinking things were at all circumstantial. Rather, I saw how I had contributed to each situation and ultimately had helped define the reality with my own behavior and choices, both good and bad.
We finished one of the last conversations we would ever have by me making a promise — that some good would come of my life and the choices I had made.
So then what…?
I wanted to expose the lessons (I then called them “truths”) I had learned on both sides — how to avoid learning things the hard way and how to learn favorable things faster. The teacher in me realized my impact was greatest when accompanied by a miserably uncomfortable amount of honesty and authenticity – it made things relatable. I have Brene Brown to thank for giving these things names and helping me come to understand this to be a life of excruciating vulnerability. (see footnote)
I realized God existed in that place where love and hate united, evil and benevolence collided, and where suffering and joy intertwined. And I realized God and I had been having a relationship for quite some time now and that there were messages, intuitions, or fleeting epiphanies my mind was receiving but was quickly discarding or forgetting.
Think about it — how often do you find yourself having a thought that came out of nowhere, an idea you wanted to follow-up on, or even are reminded of something you need to do? How often do these slip away?
For me it happens all the damn time. Not just those moments in the shower or on the toilet when one has clarity, but throughout my day. These were concepts, beliefs, aspirations that as quick as they came also vanished and I knew I needed to capture them somehow so I could learn more. So I did what any one would do…bought an enormous supply of “sticky notes” and began covering an entire wall of my living room with them. I put the pads and corresponding permanent markers anywhere I would be on a regular basis and started writing down the brief messages. You can see it evolve in the images here.
Okay, so then what…?
The commitment remained — I had to come back to these thoughts and I also still had to make my life have meaning and at my core, I want to help and connect with others. So I started this blog and my hope is none other than by taking a very uncomfortable leap in to greater and greater levels of honesty, vulnerability, and authenticity, that somehow, someone’s life will be changed for the better.
So that’s the story.
A bit about the visuals…
I have never thought of myself as a creative person and certainly never thought of myself as capable in any sort of art form. I knew I could not start a blog and not have compelling visuals and in my head, those visuals existed but I had no idea how to bring them to life.
So I’ve learned video and photo editing, started really studying photography and videography, began illustrating, bought a green screen and lighting equipment, a GoPro, a Drone, and still suck massively at doing all those things —
As I’ve continued to explore the visual styling and motifs, the one consistent part has been the use of my shadow versus my actual image…in all but a few occasions. This idea was born of the fact that while the situation, characters, and settings may be uniquely my own, I believe there is relatability and familiarity found in much of what I will share and I wanted anyone you might find this to find it more familiar than Jason-centric. The use of the shadow made it clear there is a person involved while also avoiding it being my image directly. All the shadows are me however. You can see how I do that here in a very early video of me producing the first background for this site.
The other visual motif has to do with light found in darkness and darkness in light. The two cannot be separated because it is only because of the other that either exists. You’ll notice my shadow is frequently found in what might be considered a pool of light, or that lightness is somehow covered in darkness.
*footnote: the real work of all of this is what ends up mattering most and generating personal growth – not just working through some checklist on vulnerability which is ultimately what Brene Brown has become which is a lot less than I expected and a shit ton of soundbites…a check list on how to live vulnerably. Really disappointing for someone I thought would lead even when things couldn’t be placed on a “Vulnerability Worksheet.”
This really shouldn’t be shocking if you’re following what this is all about — new perspectives, seeing things through a new lens, discovering. I love my drone, I love taking video and photos with it, and I love educating people on this technology.