Why I'm Still Mourning the Loss of Anthony Bourdain
I may live under a rock some of the time (ok, a lot of the time) due to anxiety and my inability to accept the crazy world we live in, but sometimes, certain news stories or celebrity gossip makes its way to me and I pay attention. A few weeks ago, the world (not just the food world, or the travel world, but the world) lost someone very special.
And I'm sad about it.
You may or may not have watched or followed some of Anthony Bourdain's work. He was a lot of things. He was a writer, a chef, a storyteller, a source of knowledge and inspiration for many. I only knew of him from watching his series, "Parts Unknown," an Emmy-winning original series on CNN, in which Anthony Bourdain traveled with an incredibly talented and dedicated camera crew to areas all over the world to intimately explore and connect with others. He researched where he was going, personally connected with the locals (and their food), and shared their stories with us, while he, himself, furthered his understanding of our planet and it's people.
I wasn't a crazed fan or anything. I can't say I've seen every episode or that few of them weren't as exciting to me as others. But the more I watched, the more I appreciated and respected Anthony. He was definitely on my list of famous people I'd love to spend an afternoon with. He was real. He didn't hide his realism, his problems, or his sarcasm. He called it like it was and he really could see people for who they were, regardless of their culture, location or status.
It didn't matter that he was famous or on television, that he was a world-renown chef or writer. He was just doing what he did. He got paid for it. He loved it. He didn't really care if you liked what he did. He just owned it. I'm completely overcome with inspiration by those who just own what they do, without worrying about anyone else, and without fearing judgement. Some people can do that, and some people can't. (I was even more moved by this youtube video about his inspiration here.)
I know I've always struggled with worrying about everyone else. I worry about pleasing people, upsetting people, and being judged. This has had its ebbs and flows as my business has grown and I meet more people via the worldwide web. But when I think about my work as a form of art, a creative expression of supporting and inspiring others, I feel less pressure. I feel like a work of art is something that we tend to just take or leave, without judgement. It just is what it is, because it's art. Not everyone has to like it or is going to understand it.
Anthony Bourdain was an artist like this. And trust me, I know there's a lot more to his story than what I'm sharing here. There's a lot more than any of us know about. But if you haven't learned something from him, you should. Watch some of what he created and don't be afraid to create what you are here to create (while you are here).
There's a part in the Youtube video that I shared in a previous paragraph in which he says something about wanting to share his stories with others, and how ballsy it is of us to think that other people might want to hear our stories. Why would they? It was such a profound moment for me to realize that even someone like him, someone so successful and famous could have thoughts just like the rest of us. And he was like the rest of us.
We are all at the same level, no one is above or below. Some of us step beyond the phase of wondering, "what if," and just do it. And he was one of those people. And I'm encouraged to be this way in my life going forward. I'm inspired to share the stories, experiences, and knowledge that I am gaining in my life in hopes that others will live a better life, be entertained or learn something because I had the courage and made the choice to share it. To look at my work as a coach, an artist, and aspiring writer as something I created rather than as a product or service.
To just own it, and be damn good at it. Just like him.
It's so sad to say, that as strong and intelligent as he was, he was fighting an internal battle. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the national suicide prevention line 1-800-273-8255.