Last night was a little bit ridiculous – I was so fervently excited to wake up, that I couldn’t get to sleep.
All My Heroes
All My Heroes Are Weirdos is a song title on the album Myth Takes by a dance-punk band from California called !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk), that I was introduced to by a friend called Jamie back in 2007 when I worked at Leeds Festival for the first time.
I loved the band and although this was definitely not my favourite song, I fell in love the with title in an instant. It sums up perfectly how I see the world around me.
There’s one Hero I talk about a lot on here, my Grandma –The Idol, who got me writing this blog in the first place and has been my real life role model since forever, but she was always the exception to my rule. I didn’t like the idea of idolising people and putting them up on pedestals – especially “celebrities”.
Until now, that is.
The business idea I mentioned in Pimp My Brain hasn’t disappeared into Buddha-loving, Menorca-cycling abyss; it’s actually something I’ve given a lot of head and heart to over the past few weeks. I’ve been almost satisfying my insatiable appetite for brain expansion by learning about Heroes in the ethical fashion and beauty space, gorging on YouTube interviews and documentaries.
So far, I’ve been intimately familiarising myself with the founders of conscious brands: Anita Roddick, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Safia Minney as well as the lesser known brand founders like Paola Masperi, of Mayamiko. And I’ve been feeling that inspiration that I used to only hear people talking about.
Heart of Hearts
What makes a Hero?
Well to me it was always the subtle non-conformists, the ones who are slightly off-centre but don’t shout about it so much it pierces your eardrums. The ones who don’t try too hard to get their message across visually that it looks uncomfortable. It’s the people who care about humans, animals and the planet. The people who know that as much as they spend their life learning intellectually, they’ll never actually know anything. And I think most importantly, it’s the people who ask why.
Watching these documentaries and interviews, I’ve been noticing characteristics that all of these Heroes have in common and what makes them special. As Simon Sinek says in his Ted Talk (and website/book) on leadership and influence, they inspire action because they Start With Why.
They have a purpose and a zealous devotion to that purpose which is totally contagious – you can’t help but want to get involved. They’re excitable, enthusiastic and they educate through storytelling. Their tenacity is beyond admirable and their resilience is sometimes difficult to empathise with. They’re a little bit off-beat, some would say wacky, and they often get ridiculed for their ideas before the masses latch on.
But one thing is absolutely certain; they never give up.
Hey ho, there’s an open casting call for Heroes
So the Pimp My Brain idea I have absolutely no doubt will not turn out as I thought it would, in fact I know it won’t because my heart isn’t fully into it. But it was just the second brick laid in my path that’s leading to somewhere.
The first brick came in the form of this blog which has helped slightly detach me from the online persona I’ve accidentally and naively created on social media to date. It’s an online identity that more or less only shows one facet – the I’m on a night out having a few drinks with mates facet, which is probably one hundredth of what I’m actually about.
Through writing about a plethora of subjects from mindless consumerism, to vegan ambitions, to wardrobe minimalism, digital detoxes and fast fashion, I’ve started to get my actual personality online. And from that I’ve not only expanded my cranium to the point of near explosion, but I’ve recuperated old friendships that have lain dormant for years or found friends in total strangers.
There’s one human in particular who was a little bit of both. We’ve known each other twenty-two years and spent five years at school together where we probably exchanged no more than seven words. She was a goth and I was a gjmp – Scouse word for geek (I wasn’t donning a latex mask and biting a chain on my way to English Lit.). Over the years since then there’s been a few Facebook likes and even a few real-life conversations containing more than seven words, and although I could tell from a distance that we’d really get on, we kept our online distance.
She turned out to be one of the first people following my blog and yesterday, despite the thousands of miles between us and lack of syllables exchanged, we’ve laid the third brick in our yellow brick road.
We’ve set up an online magazine about stuff we care about – a work in progress for now. And I hope you can’t keep up with my thoughts and ideas, because neither can I.