Several of my friends have asked if they could provide financial support for APW’s mission of sustaining mental wellness through the arts and outdoors.
As much as I am touched by their generosity, my answer is always a firm “no thanks.” Why don’t we accept money, you ask?
To explain, here’s some context. Although this website is recent, A Perfect Weakness actually started in the year 2000 in my garage back in Indiana. Remember those tumultuous and awkward years? With a free 28.8k dialup connection provided by Allen County Public Library, it took me a long time to pirate the Linkin Park discography via Limewire! (Sorry, RIAA…)
As funny as those years are in retrospect, I was a pretty sad kid on the inside. Actually, I was clinically depressed. My life was greywashed. As much as I painted a vibrant color picture of myself as a happy person, deep down inside I felt empty.
I was listening to Hybrid Theory a lot back then. Chester’s scream was a hot blade that sliced through the chemical haze and allowed me to feel my pain for once. I could identify with being hurt by an older man in a position of authority when I was six years old.
I know you were in hell, Chester . I’m in purgatory for you now.
But in the end, it didn’t even matter. Rapcore wrapped my pain in a tidy twelve-pack package and allowed to compartmentalize my anger at feeling forgotten. I spent too much time by myself allowing my rage to fester and rot instead of telling people the truth about what happened to me.
So what’s this have to do with money? Well, A Perfect Weakness is a publishing company. As the general editor, I support a team of talented artists and athletes who create quality content. We speak the truth. Sometimes in love, sometimes in hate.
Because when it’s half past midnight on my thirty-first birthday and I wake up with tears running down my face because last month one of my coworkers decided that in the end, it didn’t even matter…
I hate the fact that some of the best members of my generation have felt like they didn’t have a choice to keep on living.
I don’t want to feel numb anymore. I want to make a difference.
Manda, I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to help you see past the darkness in your life. I know that you’re in a better place now, but that doesn’t ease the pain of your friends and family in Durango who have to go back to the office tomorrow without you.
My day job encourages us to have a healthy balance between our personal and professional lives by integrating the two. But right now, in my heart, I’m back on graveyard shift with all those who are trapped in limbo between despair and hope.
This is my December. This is my time of the year.
But this is not me alone. I’d give it all away to watch the sun rise over a small mountain town that is healing as it is hurting. I’d give it all away just to see one person choose to step away from that ledge.
Starting A Perfect Weakness was a leap of faith for me. I don’t know where I’ll land. But I do know four things:
Ace of Spades. I need to speak out.
King of Hearts. I’m no longer afraid of what people think about my story.
Queen of Clubs. I am passionate about helping people tell their stories of hope and healing.
Jack of Diamonds. I am blessed by friends and family who help me speak out and express a greater reality.
Not just the pain I feel right now for those who are hurting.
Not just the fears I face every time I tell my story.
Not just the work that I want to do to make a difference and save a life.
That greater reality is that you, too, can have hope. You, too, can heal. And with or without your support, the artists and outdoors people who contribute to A Perfect Weaknes, are free and clear to express the hope that lies deep within our souls.
If you would like to join us on our journey of sustaibing nental wellness in the arts and outdoors, please reach out to Fritz with an idea of how you can help by donating your time and talents at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by @aperfectweakness