Countdown to 30 Post #10

Last week I told you about 2009, the year where I stopped waiting for life to happen, and decided to do things on my own terms. I took my show on the road, and traveled our beautiful East Coast.
After that I really kicked things into high gear with my radio show. I interviewed more artists, got more hours on the air, and started hosting a weekly band showcase at a local bar.
Everything that had to do with my hobby of radio was great, but I still was determined to not be a college graduate working at a coffee shop.

During my job search, one that had now been going on for three years, a job came up at the community radio station that I volunteered at. I thought, that’s it! There’s a job that I could actually get. I mean, I had already been working there for free for years! One problem though. You had to be bilingual to get the job, and I don’t speak much French.

So I had to convince them to take me on, with the promise that I would learn to speak French. I put everything into that application, thinking that it was my last and only shot at a career. I remember the night before I had to submit it being so emotionally exhausted that I needed to take a nap. I felt drained, and I knew that if I didn’t get this job, I’d be stuck working at a coffee shop forever. I was wrong.

That night, the night before handing in my resume to the station I volunteered at, I got a call from one of my hero’s from the big rock station in town! Someone I had spent years listening to on the radio, had somehow gotten my number and called me.

I couldn’t believe it. Not only that, he was calling to offer me a job. You see, I had sent him my resume in 2008, but there was no openings. I just thought he wasn’t interested in me, wrong again. He had kept my resume on file, and two years later he pulled it up once there was an opportunity for me.

I barely slept for days, I was too happy. I was living with my sister at the time, and she said there was a glow to me that she had never seen before. For the first time in years I felt like my college education and volunteer work at the community station wasn’t for nothing.

But getting a job at a real radio station had it’s challenges. More on that next week.


Countdown to 30 Post #9

This past weekend I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, go to PEI. I think what stopped me from going sooner was the fact that I couldn’t justify spending the money.
But I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone lately, so I forced myself to go.

That didn’t however stop me from adding up all the money I was spending as I went.

 That night while sitting in my hotel room trying to convince myself that it was ok for me to take the trip, East Coast Music Unplugged with our very own Darrin Harvey came on the tv! It was the episode where he interviews Ben Caplan. Darrin asked Ben about his live performances and how he was able to give so much during them. Ben then explains that he can give his all because he focuses on nothing but the show. He’s completely living in the moment, with no concern about what has happened in the past, and what may lie ahead of him. It’s all about the present moment.

That struck me. Why am I worrying about what my bank account will look like in the future? Why am I thinking about all my issues that I left behind in Nova Scotia? Right now I need to focus on the fact that I’m in PEI.

 Those thoughts were highlighted by the fact that I was having all these memories from my first trip to PEI. As I retraced my steps, I found myself remembering all these issues I had back then. All these problems that mean nothing now, and that I shouldn’t of been thinking about on a trip.
Doesn’t mean I don’t need to worry about this stuff, it just means that I need a break from it. I need to focus on the now, and only worry about everything else when I’m in a position to fix it.
You have any advice on how to not worry so much?

Countdown to 30 post #8

Previously on the Doug Ralph story..

I was a year and a half out of college working at a coffee shop when I was robbed at gunpoint. Soon after that I developed anxiety, and was eventually rushed to the hospital after having a panic attack.

I was at the lowest point I had ever been in my life. I had no idea what to do, and no one was able to help me. But something had to give, so I decided to at least change what I had control over.

Starting January 1st 2009, I decided to give up drinking for an entire year. The idea was that I would focus all of my energy and spare time into finding something. Anything but the situation I was in. With one condition though. I was not going to give up my 2-hour radio show at 2-4 in the morning (on Thursdays) without finding something as rewarding. If I gave that up, I’d have nothing but a crappy job.

About five months into focusing on my job search, nothing. Absolutely nothing. So I said eff it, I’m just going to do something fun. Around that time, a friend and I came up with the idea of being a traveling radio show. We got a bunch of our favourite local musician’s music, made cd’s and went on a two week tour of the East Coast (I was living in Ottawa at the time). We promoted their music while going on mini adventures and discovering what the Maritimes had to offer. It was my first real exposure to Atlantic Canada, and I loved it!

Returned home, and just coasted for a bit knowing that I did something amazing. For the first time in a long time, I had something to brag about.

Looking back over the last 7 years, those two weeks are easily my favourite.

Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

Countdown to 30 Post #7

I’ve gotten into this habit of sleeping in. On average I’ll get up at 1 in the afternoon, which isn’t horrible considering I work till midnight, and typically go to bed around 3-4 am. But it’s hard to motivate myself to change things when I sleep half the day away. So yesterday, after waking up at 1 pm, I challenged myself to make the best of the day anyways.

I decided to go hike Caps Split, and started my hike at around 6 pm. About an hour in, I had that feeling that I should turn around. But I fought it, and told myself I had to make the most of the day. I got to the end, and saw a gorgeous sunset.
But then the sun completely vanished. I walked two hours in the dark without a flashlight. Every stump looked like an animal waiting to attack me, every reflective mile-marker looked like a set of eyes. My heart raced the entire time. Although nothing happened, I put myself in a bad situation.
I could have been attacked, I could of twisted my ankle, I could have had to spend the night in the forest. I can’t even begin to explain how happy I was to get to the end of the trail. Two hours in the dark by yourself sucks.
The lesson here? I need to stop sleeping in, and beating myself up when I have days where I do nothing. Also, to always bring a flashlight.
Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

Countdown to 30 Post #6

Yay! It’s another Throwback Thursday into my past. A continuation from last week where I explained what happened in my life 7 years ago, that put me on my current path.

The year was 2008. I was a year into being a college graduated, working full time at a coffee shop and spending all my free time at a community radio station (all volunteer).

I was still putting out resume’s in hopes of starting a career, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere. By the summer of 2008, I decided to quit my day job so that I could focus on my job search full time.

After months of searching and not getting any further, I went back to my old job. That just made things worse. I felt as if I would never be more than a fast food worker, and that I would forever be wasting my education and talents.

Then in December of 2008, while working the late shift, my store was robbed at gunpoint. The masked man came into the store and pointed the gun right at my face. Once he had taken all the money from the cash registers, he told me to turn around. That scared me. Usually when someone tells you to turn around with a gun pointed at you, it’s over. I remember thinking, this is it, I’m going to die in a donut shop, all because I couldn’t get a real job. Luckily, they just took the money and ran.

After that I began to suffer from panic attacks. I tried to ignore them, but they kept getting worse. One day I collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor asked me what I thought could be causing these panic attacks. I told them I was going through a quarter life crisis. They laughed, and said there is no such thing as a quarter life crisis.

So there I was, stuck in a dead end dangerous job, with no future, and no idea what to do.

Something had to change though.

More on that next week.

Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

‪#‎DougRalph‬ ‪#‎RealityRadio‬ ‪#‎countdownto30‬

Countdown to 30 Post #5

It’s been 6 weeks since my last drink.

Alcohol has been an interesting thing in my life. I enjoy drinking, some of my best memories come from nights out, but I also feel like it’s held me back in many ways.

Just so we’re clear though, I don’t have a substance abuse problem. I say that not in defense to my drinking, which does has its issues. I say that because substance abuse is a serious problem and should not be treated lightly. What I have is an on and off again love affair with booze, or in other words, I’m your average drinker.

With that being said, I’m not trying to shy away from the fact that drinking has a negative impact on my life. I lean towards binge drinking, I do and say stupid stuff when I’m drunk, but I also become someone I can’t seem to be while sober.

I become an extrovert, I’m a lot more fun to be around, and I make great memories.

When I don’t drink, I save money, I’m healthier and I have a lot more time and energy. The only problem is that I keep to myself, and I never have as much fun.

With the goal of me improving my life before I turn 30, liquor is off the table. But if I can’t find a way to have fun, and make friends/find love, I’ll go right back to it.

So my question is, how does a drinker have as much fun without drinking?

Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

‪#‎DougRalph‬ ‪#‎RealityRadio‬ ‪#‎countdownto30‬

Countdown to 30 Post #4

A lot of people have been asking why things changed so much for me 7 years ago.

What happened in 2007?

Well, that was the year I graduated from college (for the first time). I graduated with honours from a three year course in Advertising. I even won an award for being the best Copywriter in my class!

The problem was, the world didn’t care. I couldn’t get a job. Well, that’s not true. I got a job serving coffee, while all my other friends were starting exciting careers.

That hit me hard. That I was a college grad working at a place that didn’t even require me to graduate high school. All that hard work for nothing.

Soon I found it hard to hang out with friends. They had money, 9-5 jobs, and exciting work related stuff to talk about. I felt like a failure when I was around them.

That was around the same time I discovered community radio (radio voluntarily run by members of various communities). I got a show from 2-4am, and began spending all my spare time at the station.

I didn’t hang out with friends as much, couldn’t afford to go out, and didn’t make much time for anything outside of radio and work.

That’s pretty much been my lifestyle for the last 7 years, and only now am I trying to break it.

Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

Countdown to 30 Post #3

A week into my countdown to 30 and not a whole lot has changed. But I kinda knew that would happen. In my head, I had planned to transform overnight. But I’ve learned over the years that just because I can think it, doesn’t mean it will become a reality.

I did have a good week though. I went out Saturday, Sunday and Monday! (my days off are Sunday and Monday). This is very rare of me to do. Usually at least one of my days off is spent doing nothing. Sometimes it’s both. And just like previous weekends, I didn’t want to go out at all, but I forced myself out, and had a better time than I thought I would. This is something I have to keep in mind when that voice in my head tells me to just stay at home and rest.

The other major thing I did over the last week was not go to the gym everyday, and contrary to my own beliefs, I didn’t gain 300 lbs by missing a few gym sessions! I want to be someone that goes to the gym every day, and I have no trouble motivating myself to, but too often I chose doing that over living life, and that’s not good.

Also, I’ve significantly improved my health by doing ONE simple thing (I sound like one of those spam emails). I’ll talk more about that next week.

Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

#DougRalph #RealityRadio #countdownto30

Countdown To 30 Post #2

I mentioned a few days ago that I’m going to try and change my life for the better before I turn 30 (March 2015).

I have made some changes that I will get more into next week, but first I thought I would give you some facts about me to help paint the picture:

I’m originally from Ottawa.

I fell in love with my first girlfriend 14 years ago.

I have not had sex in the last 7 years.

I have not dated since becoming a radio announcer, since smart phones existed, since Facebook ect.

I started doing radio casually in 2007.

I’ve been in three bands, playing guitar, bass, and drums (but not in the last 7 years).

I have a lot of acquaintances, but not that many friends (anymore).

I’ve been to the doctor once in the last 7 years.

I’ve worn the same two pairs of jean shorts for the entire summer.

I haven’t been to the dentist in the last 7 years.

I own about 5 or 6 different shirts.

I’ve never seen Back to The Future,The Godfather’s, any Jason or Freddy movie, The Notebook, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, The Silence of The Lambs, The Exorcist, Toy Story 2 or 3 or Spinal Tap.

I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, Dr. Who, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Dexter, Lost or How I’ve Met Your Mother.

I haven’t read a book in the last 7 years either.

So that’s what I mean by ignoring life.

Listen to me on 89.3 K-Rock Tuesday-Saturday from 7-midnight.

‪#‎DougRalph‬ ‪#‎RealityRadio‬ ‪#‎countdownto30‬

Countdown To 30 Post #1

In exactly 6 months I turn 30.

That number doesn’t really scare me, but where my life is heading does.

I’m not in a bad place and this is not a cry for help (this line is for my mother who may read this and get the wrong impression).

I just don’t have a life. I’ve spent the last 7 years ignoring it and that’s got to stop.

No more excuses, I need to get out of my comfort zone and I want to see how much I can change my life before I turn 30.

What does this mean to you? Whatever you want it to. I’ll be doing in publicly, so you can be a part of it if you’d like. Maybe it will inspire you, maybe it will make you laugh (at or with me).

Who knows what will happen in the next six months. I just know I need things to change.

Stay tuned.

#‎DougRalph‬ ‪#‎RealityRadio‬ ‪#‎countdownto30‬

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