Summary of my year;
2017 will be all over in a couple of hours (which is pretty crazy to think - I mean it didn't feel like all that long ago 2016 was coming to an end but here we are), and at this time of the year I always seem to find myself reflecting on the past 12 months. Usually the good and the bad. BUT in saying that, I wanted to touch on some of the highlights from the year I've had (in chronological order).
Kicking off the year, we moved houses which can be a pretty exhausting procedure. Especially when you have a hoarding problem like I do.. While moving I found unopened letters from the bank from like six years ago, like what's up with that? I can admit, I am getting significantly better and doing my best to only hold on to the necessities - that being said I still have a long way to go and that goal is probably significantly out of reach for someone like myself unfortunately. But moving forward - it was great to move out of the old house we were living in and close that chapter of my life. A handful of things happened while we were living there that weren't necessarily good things, and it was a relief to be surrounded by new walls. Also this is the first house I've lived in since I moved out of home that is pet friendly. AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE I GOT A PET TO CELEBRATE..
That being said, I'd like you to meet Harrison (or Harri with an i) - although I'm sure you've probably seen me post about him in the past. Harrison was abandoned and somehow found his way to my friends place, and she couldn't keep him for a number of reasons.. I went and met him, and he was so beautiful I had to take him. I would not recommend driving an unrestrained cat in the rain, I think he sat on the dash right in front of the steering wheel staring at me and meowing the entire drive home, but he settled in quickly. That being said, we have our ups and downs.. The ups definitely outweigh the downs (except when he has crazy eyes that are all black and scary - or he's trying to escape, we live near a main road and he's just too silly for the outside world just yet). But he sleeps under the blankets and loves a cuddle. Sometimes I hear him pretending to be a bird.. He's snuggled up next to me right now as I write this.
I had the absolute pleasure of being invited to witness my friends Aidan and Jade get married and start the next chapter of their life together! I will admit, I don't get to attend many weddings, now I'm not sure if that's just because my friends aren't getting married yet or if people just know inviting me to their wedding is a bad idea? But regardless, it was great to suit up and feel a little more important than usual and my oh my was it a spectacular day. Now despite having a bad perception of time and almost running late, and finding the location not being the easiest task in the world (we stopped at three of the wrong weddings before actually finding theirs - apparently Kuitpo Forest is a hot spot for weddings for future reference). But if you know Aidan and Jade, the day was just so perfect and had so many characteristics that just summed both of them up perfectly! I had such a great time on the day and it's really beautiful to see their love continue to grow (I didn't think that was even possible for this couple!
I was lucky enough to spend two weeks with my very close friend Ben Wrigley from Third Eye Visuals (who is always keeping super busy and often booked out months in advance - and for a very good reason). We were working hard on a bunch of visuals for the brand, which I have more to release very very soon, I promise. This project was super cool. I had the opportunity to not only work closely with Ben, but also bring a bunch of my other friends on board to capture them spending time doing things that make them happy! And we managed to capture a bunch of really awesome imagery to represent the brand. I've known Ben for years now from the music world, he came out and did a bunch of tours with the band I was working with and the dude just absolutely kills any work that he does. It's been really cool to not only watch him progress and achieve his goals along the way, but also grow and develop a friendship with him. Although he lives in Brisbane, we find the time to talk to each other almost every day!
Next up was the Wrecked Third Birthday event.. Now I had spent months leading up to this working on a whole new range of products to release on the night. I literally invested my whole life savings at the point to pull the new range together and make the event happen. I hired out a space at a venue in the city, which was a cool little unique bar. You had to enter the space through a wardrobe, which was really cool and relevant - you know how Wrecked is a clothing brand, and clothing gets kept in a wardrobe? Yeah you get my drift. So we had a pop up shop in this space, whole new range available for the first time at the event, I supplied a bunch of food for everyone who came. I had never done an event like this where Wrecked was the only appeal to attend, and thankfully it wasn't a failure.. A bunch of people rolled in for a look throughout the night, especially some friends I hadn't seen in a long time, and there was nothing but positive feedback. It was a learning curve, and like everything I made mistakes and would do things differently if I were to do it again, BUT all in all it was a great night. Plus I still love the range of clothes I released on that night!
I made my way back to Melrose for the third time for the annual Fat Tyre Festival hosted there. I grew up not far from Melrose and it's always a good opportunity to head 'home' and see family and friends I don't see often enough. Now the Fat Tyre Festival is an enormous bike event hosted over the June long weekend. As I mentioned, this was the third time I've been there with the brand and it just gets better and better. It's really cool to have an annual event where I can try and progress and step up my game each time I go back. My very good friend from school, Jye Hayward is an amazing bike rider and I swear he lives in Wrecked (now I'm not sure if that's by choice but it still counts). It's a good chance to spend time with him and his crew over the weekend, who are all absolute legends and always make me feel welcome back might I add. In the past, I've packed up our area and gone back to my Mums each night to sleep, which is a lot of effort setting up and packing down each day - this year we camped with the guys and had the best time. Midnight BBQ's, and generally running a muck. If you're into bikes I suggest you make your way to Melrose next June long weekend (or at least look into the event itself more), camp out and have a blast. If you're not into bikes so much, just check out Jye on social media and be blown away by how talented he is on two wheels!
You've probably heard me talk about the music world a little bit here and there. So outside of Wrecked, I work a day job at a cafe (basically to cover my living expenses and pay for Wrecked stuff), and I try to be as involved in the music industry as I can.
I had the chance to tour with a pop punk band from Canada called Seaway. Before the tour kicked off I hadn't heard of the band, and I don't think I had even checked them out. Now I will admit, it is pretty intimidating signing up to spend two weeks with a bunch of complete strangers you've never spoken to before, but I love touring. On this run I was driving and selling merchandise for the band (as well as handing out Wrecked flyers along the way, have to sneak in that cheeky promo game). So a quick run down on this tour, we had been assured we only needed an eight seater van from the promoter, which I booked. I'm packing my bags the night before I fly out for the first show because I'm always super organised like that and I get a call from the promoter saying we'll need a 12 seater with a trailer to fit everything (how this wasn't realised earlier I'll never understand but whatever). I land in Melbourne the following day, and have to wait almost two hours for the van situation to get sorted - not to mention we ended up stuck in the biggest piece of shit I've ever driven in my life (not exaggerating - pictured above). Now I was planning on sleeping because I knew we had an overnight drive that night but that's how it goes sometimes. Got the van, got the trailer, got the band and off to the first show. Overnight drive to Sydney, straight to the show, followed by another overnight drive to Brisbane.. Right, if you were to do the maths on that, it leaves not much time for sleeping when you're doing all of the driving.. I think those three days, I managed to squeeze in a little sleep each night just before doors to the show opened. Two nights in Brisbane, back to Sydney and then off to Adelaide. On the way to Adelaide, 20km out of Hay I must sadly admit that I ran out of fuel for the first time in my life. The petrol station was very little help when I called, as was road side assist - so I had to leave the guys and hitch hike to get fuel. Leaving them in the middle of the outback, pitch black at 11pm in a country they had never been to before.. How appealing? Luckily none of them had seen Wolf Creek - fun fact, I was an extra in Wolf Creek 2. We all survived. After the Adelaide date I dropped them to the airport and had to return the van to Melbourne. I literally dropped the van off, caught an Uber straight to the airport and only just made my flight home. I was really pushing it for time.
But I can admit that this was one of the best tours I've done to date. I really clicked with the guys in Seaway and I can call every member of that band one of my close friends. Even though we don't live in the same country and don't talk as often as I'd like, they're all legends and I know we'll cross paths again (hopefully plenty of times) and kick it off again. We did have a lot of down time on this tour to do cool shit around the country, including mini golf! Also they dropped a new record recently, make sure you check it out if you like pop punk tunes. Boys are on.
I pretty much came straight off the tour with Seaway and started the biggest event I had ever had Wrecked involved with - The Royal Adelaide show. And I will admit that coming into this one I was shitting my pants. Fun fact - I had never attended the Royal Adelaide Show (despite living literally straight across the road from it for three years) until I had a stall there. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew the show itself was enormous. Without the help from friends and family, I definitely wouldn't have been able to pull this one off and I'll be forever grateful for those that helped me when I needed it the most. Loading in and setting up for the event took two days alone, and then we had ten days straight working it (12 hour days), and two days packing up and loading out. Like I said, I didn't know what to expect but being such a big event I was expecting it to be chaotic. The weather would have had a huge impact on attendance, and deterred a lot of people from coming. I mean, it was grey and raining for most of the ten days which was a total vibe killer. This was a super expensive learning curve for me, we spent the first five days playing around with the general layout and way things were displayed to get it the best it could possibly be. Now I'd class the event itself overall successful in terms of people seeing the brand who may not have otherwise (but financially it was a bit of a struggle). Next year if I were to do the event again I'd do a lot of things differently, but that's all apart of progressing and learning from mistakes. I wouldn't know otherwise without doing it this year. Don't get me wrong, I still had an absolute blast (even though there were days where I was super stressed out and it felt like no one was stopping by). Plus I had a few chances to walk about and explore the show. My highlights were the mouse circus (literally a miniature circus filled with mice), the goats, and the pig racing. Also, since this event I seem to see a lot more people kicking it about in Wrecked threads. AND I will admit I still get just as excited as the first time I seen someone wearing Wrecked.
One of my pals from the music world called me to see if I was available for some driving work for a couple of weeks. After not hearing much for a little bit I followed up again to find out the work was cancelled. But just before the event kicked off the company hosting it realized that they did in fact need more drivers on board. He called again, and I was on a flight to Sydney the following morning.
The event we were working was the World Polo Championships. Not water polo, horse polo - World Championships (how big does that sound). I knew absolutely nothing about the sport but slowly pieced it together over the couple of weeks we were there and I'd like to think I have a relatively good understanding of it now - but I will admit I'm not ready for a game just yet, I probably need to learn how to ride a hose before diving into playing polo.. We ended up working much longer days than originally anticipated (16 hour days instead of 8 hour days) - but all in all we had a lot of laughs along the way, and a couple of cries, and a few moans and growls. I will admit, at times it was pretty surreal - some of the cars and people we were driving were ridiculous. There was one point in particular where I needed to drive some people to their helicopter. That's right, their own personal helicopter. The van was out of action and I was in a brand new Range Rover. So instead of one trip to get them there, I had to do three trips - now the catch was I had to do it in the same time as one trip (I'll leave what speed I was doing to your imagination). Anyway, to get to the helicopter I had to fly (Range Rovers have so much power) down the road, up this guys driveway and across his own personal polo field. On the last trip I was driving away and watching the helicopter take off through my review mirror. It was literally like a scene from a movie. It was a cool event to be apart of, despite the long days and super frustrating moments along the way.
I was asked to tour with a heavy band from Wollongong called Graves. I've known the guys for almost as long as I can remember and watched them evolve and kick goals for a long time. I was out with them on their album release tour last December, and it was cool to tour with them again - although this was their last tour as band. This run I was driving, selling merchandise, as well as tour managing not only them but the entire tour package (tour managing is my favorite job in the music world). I flew to Sydney to drive to Brisbane to kick this off. We made our way down the coast and had a few off days in Wollongong in the middle of the tour. Then Adelaide and Melbourne to drive back to Sydney to fly home to Adelaide. I snuck into the Virgin Lounge at the airport before my flight and squeezed in a shower and ate my weight in free food, whoops. It was cool to have the opportunity to spend more time with these guys. I think it was pretty smooth sailing the whole time, we had a few hiccups along the way but sorted them out quickly. Plus I think the fact they asked me to come out again makes it evident that I do a good job which is reassuring!
Outside of everything else, I also completely rebuilt my website. But I mean, if you're reading this post then you're on my new website and I hope you love it as much as I do. I won't go deep into details but I was having heaps of problems with my old website that supposedly couldn't be resolved, so started from scratch and built this one up alongside my designer! I think it's a huge progression from the last site, and I'm so happy it's finally live. We had a bunch of hiccups getting it on the web, but we did it!
If my year didn't already sound pretty busy, I managed to squeeze in a small screen printing course. It was super weird to do the whole studying thing again after being out of the game for so long. But I must admit it was nice to know I still have it in me. Especially considering I have been tossing up the idea of studying again when the financial situation isn't so restricting and I can actually afford to do so.
My close friend from school Brodie became a father to a beautiful young girl, Grace Louise McPhail. To see the joy and happiness she has brought to his life is amazing! Also, I'm an uncle, not literally but Brodie and I are that close that I'm a hypothetical uncle I guess?
And while I'm on the topic, my cousin (well basically big brother) and his wife also had a beautiful young girl, Willow Kate Bartlett. BJ and Chaya have been together for literally as long as I can remember (their wedding was probably the last wedding I attended back in 2011? I'm prepared to be corrected if I'm wrong on this one). But their love for each other is so pure and literally like a fairy tale, I am so happy for them to start their family together (I think our whole family has been waiting and expecting this for years now). I know they'll be the best parents in the world.
I swear no boys will play games with either of these girls when they're older..
Now I know that if you've read all of that, you're probably thinking something along the lines of how awesome and productive my year was. I will admit that I think 2017 was one of the best, and one of the worst years of my life so far. While everything I've written probably sounds really good, please keep in mind that I have only touched on the highlights of my year. I haven't mentioned any of the low points like:
- when my car got defected on my birthday which I still haven't fixed
- the amount of time I spent unemployed and could only afford to feed my cat (who always comes first)
- the times where my mental health was playing games and I didn't leave my bed, sometimes for days, or when I did leave my bed to go to work only to make it worse (something I don't ever talk about, and something I know I need to work on)
- when my Pop passed away (which I will touch on in a future post at some point because I feel I will need to get it off my chest sooner or later)
- and let's not forget about when I forgot how to ride my bike and landed on my face instead of the wheels, that was a nasty one that took weeks to heal properly
There's probably a stack more negatives, but that's just a few of the main ones (after all I was aiming for this to be a pretty positive post). Just keep in mind that people always paint a picture on social media that only tends to show the good things and portray the image that their lives are pretty perfect. If you're feeling down, you're not alone. We all have ugly days. Just remember to keep spreading the positive vibes when you can, and be kind to each other - look out for your friends and family, and even strangers if they seem down and out about something - you don't know what someone might be going through, and sometimes something as simple as a smile can make a world of difference believe it or not. Wrecked is not only a brand I use to try spread positive vibes, but also I am for it to be a reminder of the shit times that you've managed to overcome. We've all been there at some stage.
Have a safe holiday period, and I wish you the best of luck with 2018. Keep finding a reason to smile, keep spreading the positive vibes, and keep looking out for one another.
Jesse - Wrecked Clothing