My story is simple, sad, and just like many others. It began in Chalmette, a suburb of New Orleans, where I lived with my normal upper middle-class family. 2005 began just like every other year and was on track to be great! I had just graduated from college, bought a new car, my parents were getting ready to retire and my older brother was getting ready to start a family with his girlfriend. To top it all off in June I bought my first house. On top of the world!!!
Then June 29th came, and my world came crashing down. In a very sudden turn of events my only brother and best friend committed suicide. Then one week later my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and to top it off two months later Hurricane Katrina hit… And took everything else.
At that point I became numb to the world around be. No home, a scared family, and no sense of direction. It is during this time I realized that life goes on, whether you want it to or not. I was faced with the choice of moving on or giving up, and I had lost enough at that point to give up anything. I spent the next 3 years in a type of daze - living each day, but not really LIVING. When I finally “woke up” it scared the shit out me!
It was at this point I needed to find direct and purpose, so like many others I tapped into my creative side a found photography. I used this art form as therapy, and decided that I owed it to my brother and everyone else that died too early to live each day to the fullest and never take a minute for granted. Although its been hard, I try to live this philosophy each day (some more successfully than others).
This is where the Holstee Manifesto comes in. I found it by accident, just when I needed to find it! Ironically it was around the same time I found a public art project in New Orleans called Before I Die. I decided I needed something in my life that was a constant reminder of the simple beauty that exists in life, even amid all of the hardships and tragedies. LIFE IS SIMPLE, and so is beauty. So, I used both of these art pieces, combined with some of my own to create a space in my home which stands as a constant reminder that life goes on, and it should never be taken for granted. My wall is a space where I can share what’s on my mind and my friends and family can as well.
I am not the first person to be touched by tragedy, and won’t be the last. But through tragedy I have found the beauty and joy in life. And my passion is to share this simple beauty with the world so that everyone that is struggling can see that there is HOPE in tomorrow.
I know that this is probably more than you wanted to know, but hey, this is MY story. Thank you Holstee for sharing your passion with me, and I am working to share my passion with the world around me.
- Eric Nunez