Tag Archives: following your dream

I’ve kept it trill: true and real

So here I was, back in my apartment in Boston, hungover, overwhelmingly tired, with no cash, my credit card maxed out and maybe $7  to my name in my checking account. What a bizarre situation. I was ogling my last four cans of black beans, a bag of pasta, and a bottle of ketchup in the pantry. I was certain these food items were ceremoniously awaiting me this whole time to celebrate this special day of finding my new personal low. Doing a little math in my head, I figured that supply could get me through to my next paycheck, so I decided to max out the livin’ in poverty thing and spent my last $7 buying a bottle of 2 buck Chuck and one of those large Foster cans. I kept it trill.

This was back in a transitional period of my young adulthood, when nothing seemed to go my way. I’d guess it was around April 2011. The commonalities that were binding me together at the time were unsteady employment, steady unemployment and a broken heart.

Days before arriving in Boston, my home, I was in the midst of a highly unplanned and strangely thrown together last minute trip to Fort Lauderdale, then LA. Yes, epic indeed. Beaches. Babes. Booze. It was my very own cross-country adventure, from the (non) comforts of an airplane. This journey made little sense financially, since I had about $600 to my name. But fuck it, it felt right at the time. My best friends live in Ft. Lauderdale and LA. This was a good reason to escape the heartache and depression of the past few months and enjoy myself.

ft lauderdale

No money no problems. April 2011

I’ve always lived with a habit of spending money that I don’t have, and always entirely too quickly. So I was ready to have fun. You see, I was raised poor. I moved around a lot. I have an inkling that YOLO was firmly tattooed in my head as a baby, albeit subconsciously. So sure enough, by day 7 of my 10 day vacation, I involuntarily put myself on the Brokens Diet – a special meal plan consisting of Crunchwrap Supremes and McChickens. Anything left over was obviously saved for booze and hookers. Minus the hookers. Either way, we had the time of our life.

laudi nude beach

Found Captain America’s favorite hang out spot – he was rockin’ his USA G-String

While I seriously lack the grownup ability called saving money, I must have a sixth sense for limiting a budget. I started my vacation with $600 in my pocket. 9 days later, I’m on a red-eye back to Boston, not sure I have enough dough to afford the train ride from Logan back to my place. That’s $2.50. I was flying in at 6am with no Brokens backup plan. I figure that’s pretty pathetic from most peoples’ perspective. But that’s why most people are boring. I didn’t care because it would have figured itself out, either way, as life always does.

I did make make it back with a whopping $7 to throw around. I feasted on a dinner of pasta and beans in a jazzed up ketchup sauce, paired with a glass of Charles Shaw Cabernet. And a beer for desert. And I was winning.

Why? Because I always put myself out there. I treasure the story over the money. I’ll thirst for new experiences, unafraid of potential embarrassment or failure. I’ll celebrate life in the midst of craziness. It may come from my upbringing, but it’s my journey, personally and professionally. I value uncomfortable situations because they teach me something. I take incredibly outlandish risks that few seem to understand. And I make mistakes, but I also learn. Isn’t walking down a winding road so much more interesting and fulfilling than trudging along a straight and narrow path? Ultimately, I believe in unconventional wisdom rather than conventional wisdom. And it’s worked out, and it’s quite possibly the reason I am where I am today.

Dylan Shotgun

Drink your beer unconventionally – shotgun it! You my boy, Dylon

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

To be honest…

I suppose it’s appropriate to do this on Easter Sunday. There are elements of rebirth in the air, right? Spring-time, squirrels maniacally chasing other squirrels, I’ve spotted a few pairs of jorts… It’s been a year and half since I’ve posted anything on this blog. I guess I got busy. I guess life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Those other plans included a lot of work. And many long days. And equally long nights. Personal and professional. Epic triumphs that overshadow just as many failures, personally and professionally.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday. Rebirth.

I do have something to say now, I think. Over time, folks reading the blog have reached out and asked what I’m up to since dropping out of a Phd program. I didn’t make the time to respond and I’m sorry. Maybe I was waiting for the right moment to write again. 18 months passed by and here we are. I realize that I need to get back into this. This blog is who I am and I need to retrace my steps. It’s my foundation, and it’s not just about who I am, it’s the self-reflection and introspection that I’ve been lacking that’s beckoning to be unearthed and brought back. I realized this week, in rather harsh manner, that there are things in my brain that need to escape, otherwise I’m a deluded prisoner in the solitary confinement of my own thoughts. And that’s not a good place to be. Ultimately, I’m a writer, so I’m gonna write.

Hi my name is Igor and this is from an epic New Year's celebration

Hi my name is Igor and I get into weird situations. This is a New Year’s celebration in Miami.

Also, for those more interested in less of my own BS Psychology (I carry a Psychology degree) and more real world advice, I think I have a story to tell now. I say I think because you see, I’m very unsure about all this. I can’t make promises. It feels weird opening myself up again. I’m gonna take it lightly with the writing, one day or week at a time. I want to see how I feel and I won’t force it. I’m pretty busy these days, bla bla, but I’ll make time. I hate it when people say they are busy. There’s always time to make time for someone or something.

But for anyone expecting IGORoamandreport 1.0? Nope, this blog won’t be the same. I’m not who I was two years ago. Maybe none of us are. Expect the topics I write about to be more random. For starters, I’d like to add some comedy. I like funny. I’m not that bleeding-heart liberal preacher I was back then. Also, going against past convention, screw the squeaky clean shit. Yes, I’m open to cursing, so cover your eight year old’s eyes if they’re reading. Don’t worry, they’re probably too busy watching the Kardashians to read anything worthwhile. I won’t be cursing much because I don’t curse much in real life. But I will, a fucking little bit at least. You see, to me it feels like release. I’m over the politically correct bit. This is my voice. And fortunately, I have more freedoms as an individual to be able to publish this and get away with it. I’ll explain all that later.

Maybe this sums it up nicely?

I like to operate on instinct. This photo felt right in so many ways.

I won’t be self-editing like I used to either. A lot of this stuff coming out will be first draft. Maybe the quality will suffer, but the content will be rawer than before, which I see as a good thing. I might do some SEO, I haven’t decided yet. So what will I do, you might be asking?

  1. The journey is the journey. There’s something to say there. I went from a vicious combination of blogging, unemployment and depression to co-founding and running an exciting startup company in my field of interest. For me, it’s already been a somewhat long and winding road. You’ll get a ticket to ride.
  2. I will be more personal. I want to unearth a deeper psychology. I get happy about stuff. I get bitter about stuff. Maybe I get happy or bitter about the wrong stuff. I want to explore it. These days I have a bit of public figure status and maybe I need to be more careful. Whatever. Fuck it. I’m living a fast life and I want to talk about it. I talk about it because I don’t want to crash.
  3. I will share career advice. Okay, the truth is that I’m really trying hard these days to stay humble. So let me preface this by saying, what the hell do I know? I have, however, at my young age, been published in magazines, been featured in the papers, I’ve spoken at conferences at the world’s leading universities. It’s all good. I’m not trying to brag. I’ll just share what I’ve learned and if you want to listen that’s cool too.
  4. Environmental stuff. The answer is yes, I’m still concerned about the health of our planet. Look, it’s what I do for a living. I’ll write about it.
  5. I should probably update my About page too. We’ll get to that. Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.

I can’t think of anything else right now. The above list is not a guarantee. These aren’t promises. This is just a rough sketch of what’s to come. Or maybe not to come. I hope this is the beginning of something. In many ways, personally and professionally, I was once a baby, and maybe I’m becoming an adult now. I’m hoping these are my first steps. We’ll see where I can go.

igor

This is me on the right. A youngin’ growing up in Munich, Germany. Go FC Bayern!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under My Personal Journey

Tough Cookie: Surviving the Beast of Life

“What the hell do you think you’re trying to do?”

I’m approached by a young man.  One glance reveals the nature of this beast – no doubt he’s a type one old money Ivy League  product hailing from the Northeastern regions of the country.  He is wearing a white polo and khakis, his medium length blond hair is permed to the side, Ray-Ban’s on his head.  I can smell the overwhelming stench of some expensive cologne he probably received from his girlfriend’s family as a graduation gift from Yale.  His fingers have the scars of cracking one too many lobsters in his life; his Blackberry is in his belt holster, ready to be deployed at any potential fear of market fluctuation.

I’m crouched in the far corner of a room, facing the white walls, furiously trying to organize the work in front of me.  I look like a mess.  I haven’t shaved in days and my tired eyes are blood-red.  My white cap and my light green button up shirt have numerous salt stains from continual perspiration.  My khaki shorts are stained and dirty.  Drops of sweat fall on the papers that I’m shuffling back and forth; reorganizing; taking notes here and there.

“Hey guy, I’m talking to you.  What are you doing?” he asks me again.  I turn to face the beast and I give him a hard stare.  Little does he know or understand that these papers I’m dealing with are my only possession.  These papers I’m shuffling are literally my life.  This is serious stuff!  I pause.  Hmm.  The beast probably thinks I escaped the ward, I think to myself.  It’s no secret that my behavior is frowned upon in everyday society.  He’s here to round me up!   Cautiously, I turn back to my work, keeping him in my periphery.  I’m striving to organize these papers in the right order, dammit.  I’m seeking peace and harmony in a disheveled and disgruntled pile.  No luck so far, but I’m working on it, so leave me be man!  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

Leaving a PhD Program: Part 3 – From Stress to Success

It wasn’t too long ago when it felt like my world was spinning out of control; when the pressures of life turned the mumbo-jumbo in my head into a full fledged jambalaya.  It happened when the initial rush of leaving my PhD program subsided and my eyes got tired of staring into the unknown.  It happened when I spent two long and lonely months in my apartment updating my resume, filling out endless cover letters, and writing freelance while coming dangerously close to developing a mild case of agoraphobia.  It happened when my stint working part time with the Census was over and the reality of my empty piggy bank confronted me; or when I realized I was alone in my journey and

“Standing on a hill in the mountain of dreams, telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.” – Robert Plant

the problems I would have to solve were my own.  I made the decision to leave grad school so I lived with the consequences.  Still, the instability I lived under was threatening my sanity.  Here I was, in Boston, barely covering rent, without a job, and few friends to turn to.  The pressure was slowly building upon me.  I wondered, was I heading for a catastrophic collapse?

Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

Leaving a PhD Program: Part 2 – Pursuing the American Dream

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve left neuroscience graduate school to pursue a new career.  My journey is currently facing the double edge sword brought about by change.  Early on, I quickly realized that with avid support comes great cynicism.  Handshakes and hugs are equaled by looks of misunderstanding and intimidation, and admiration is met with jealousy.  And yet every morning I face the world with a smile, my head held high as I keep on truckin’, because after all, America assures us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Bobby Kennedy

My biography is about as unorthodox as the trail that I’m currently blazing.  Born in Moscow (Russia), my family and I moved to Munich (Germany) at the age of 4.  I spent my golden years of childhood there, years that pass too quickly we can all agree.  Before my 10th birthday I was back in a foreign land, finding myself outcast, deaf and mute to my English speaking surroundings – welcome to America! Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey