Reflections of My Past / by Stephen Bontly

Once again, I am returning from the shadows to tell my devoted readers about my crazy opinions. Although they might be few, they will at least know a few of the thoughts roaming around in my head.

I will frame this article around the past two years of my life. This time has been almost a flash before my eyes. Not once slowing down, I have traveled, learned, loved, cried, and experienced many things. Never really giving myself a moment of peace to reflect on what I have been though. The days in between my adventures have been used for rest. Gathering just enough energy to continue to the next project, next destination. 

You may wonder why I have started my entry this way. For my friends and family back home, I am returning back into their world. For my friends and family in Europe, I am leaving them, with an undecided return. For me, Its part of the journey. At this moment, I am able to finally take some time to go through my memories and try to sort through them. Remember, reorganize, reflect. It reminds me of what I constantly do with my bookmarks on Google Chrome. Honestly, it is a mess. 

I have met people from all different cultures, experienced their ways of living, and tried to imagine what it would be like if I was in their shoes.... But even so, I am unable to find a place where I feel complete. I see all of my friends working a job from 9-5, or finishing a professional degree program, or starting a family. When I take a moment to think, is this the point of life? To settle... what is settling? How does a person know when they are ready to just BE? 

When I started the Architecture program in 2011, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I had lived my whole life not really knowing what I wanted. But I knew, from the bottom of my soul, that I want to make things. By the time I finished, I thought I knew that traditional architecture wasn't for me. Today, I am still faced with the same problem.

If you have read some of my previous entries, you surely realize where my passions lie. On one side, diving deeply into the digital world, I work with a network of software to complete my tasks. Learning autonomously from mainstream tactics. School of Youtube, as some would call it. On the other side, design/build projects, craftsmanship, contributing to the build environment and working within capacity. A world I feel so comfortable in, I find myself wandering elsewhere. To the unknown. At what point does this digital society of pioneering trump (i hope he doesn't win) the analog style of remembrance, or vis versa? I have come across this question many times in the past two years. I want both... is this possible? 

I have enough knowledge to start with an idea and realize it. From architecture to technics, my skills are generally progressive to create a desirable product. However as I am still searching where I belong, I understand that only through collaboration, you can really achieve something great. But when you are not focused in one area, how do you find the correct team that will accept you? Am I now forced to work solo for the rest of my days? Do I have to sacrifice the time spent discovering just to go back and specialize in one aspect? If this is the case, were my acts of wandering worth it?

The only constant is this world is time, I only hope there is enough. This fall, I have begun to REFLECT on my adventures. REDESIGN my appearance. REDFINE my approach. 

As my travels in Europe come to an end and begin back home. I will see for the first time, where my value might take me...

Stay Tuned World.