My name is Jonathan Phipps. I am 25 years old, and at a time where I should be full-throttle in my journey forward in life, but at this juncture, I find myself wanting to take my foot off the accelerator and just coast for a bit. I want to enjoy the scenery I am surrounded by, both in my personal, physical life and in my mind, each and every day. Long story not so long, I have been moving at the speed of life, and it’s time to dial down, hit cruise control, and let the road unfold before me.
A bit of context on this: Since April of 2021, I have been a show host, director, producer and content creator for Cosmos Creative TV. CCTV is a budding network that myself and my dear friend Renee founded, as one way of taking our foot off the accelerator in our lives, at a time when we needed it desperately. But in the ever constant fram-and-bam and bump-and-grind of being a creative with a revving heart and a double-barrel mind, it’s easy to find yourself right back in the rat race. And sometimes, we don’t realize the toll it takes on us and the damage it can cause to us, physically, mentally and spiritually.
I had lied to myself for so long. Seeing people falling about in their mental health journeys and saying to myself, “that’ll never be me. I’ll know when to pull out. I’ll have an exit plan.” Swearing time and again I would step back if it got to be too much. Promising I would take the actions to get my mental health reigned in. Saying aloud that I would never let my work life and my personal life intertwine with each other.
And those words sound like Shakespeare sonnets to you, until you actually have to implement them.
I had told myself truckloads of lies about my mental health and stepping away from Cosmos. Until I found myself at a place I had only really experienced once before, in 2018.
I found myself sharpening knives to open my wrists and end my life.
I found myself wanting to jump from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I found myself losing interest and joy in things I once loved.
I found that my creative refuge, my apple orchard safe haven from the real world had been poisoned due to my mental health.
I found myself going back to the fans time and again, when I was threadbare and in desperate need of a hand to hold onto.
I found myself losing sleep night after long night, worrying over shows and having hellish and wildly unrealistic scenarios in my head about friends and co-creators within the network.
I found that, even in things I love and enjoy, such as attending races, traveling, etc, I was always going back to the happenings within Cosmos, and in turn was being leeched of any joy I could have gleaned from these events.
In short, I was moving at the speed of life, and had inevitably found the concrete wall I was going to smash into at some point.
I am early in this crash repair/slowing down process, but I am learning tons of new things in this new leg of the journey. Learning how to conserve my energy, and not burn out too quick. Much like the racers that have run at my home racetrack (North Wilkesboro Speedway), I am learning to make the most of what I have, and not use it all up in one shot. It’s a lifelong process, not a five minute, run-like-your-ass-is-on-fire sprint. And also, I am learning that it’s perfectly OK to run your own pace, instead of letting others dictate what you do and when you do it. And to be perfectly frank, these are lessons I took entirely too long to learn. But the beautiful thing about this is, there’s no expiration date on when you can learn these things. It’s never too late to run your own race at your own speed. Persistence and patience will land you in Victory Lane, if you have the willingness to do these things. And at the young-but-old age of 25, I am drinking from the fountain of knowledge every single day on this.
I hope my maiden voyage on this wonderful site has inspired you to take your foot off the gas and coast for a while and enjoy the scenery, and I hope you accept me and my story, as I tell it here over the next long while!
Much love and all the best,