Eric Portelance

Digital Strategist by day, co-host of Attention Surplus by night.
I blog about technology, photography, marketing, ideas, and creativity.
Follow me on: Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px.

posts tagged “personal”:

8.24.2012 Home is a Feeling

About a week and a half ago, the relationship I was in came to an end. She and I lived in a small apartment together, so sticking around didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. I’ve been living off my friends’ generosity since then.

I’ve been back to that apartment twice now to pick up some essentials (read: clean clothes) to keep me going for the next little while. My ex wasn’t there. On the second visit, it struck me that both nothing and everything had changed.

On the one hand, it looked as though nobody lived there anymore. The television remote had moved, and her favourite record was now sitting on the turntable. She made the bed for the first time in a long time. But everything else was the same, right down to a few lone beard trimmings around the bathroom sink that always seemed to avoid my attempts at cleaning.

And yet, this isn’t home for me anymore. It doesn’t feel right. It’s no longer the place where I can retreat from the world when I need to switch into Introvert Mode, or simply relax after a long day. That sense of security, familiarity, belonging, love and trust disappeared overnight. It’s just a space like any other. A shell of its former self.

It has never been so powerfully apparent to me that home is a feeling, not a place.

personal ✳ essay ✳ home ✳ feeling ✳ love ✳ relationship 

10.5.2011 Slowing Down, Looking Around

I’ve been going at life pretty hard for the past month or so. Between the combination of work, organizing TEDxToronto, and some kind of social event almost every evening, the pace has been a bit hectic. But I realized I was starting to wear myself out and spread myself too thin. So I forced myself to spend the past two nights at home recuperating, rebuilding, and doing some thinking about future projects that I’d like to tackle.

Slowing down so abruptly can be pretty hard. Sean and I have talked about momentum on Attention Surplus a few times now. Most notably in Episode 13, Rolling the Rock Uphill. I’ve found it difficult to slow down so quickly and find that balance again.

One of the things I got around to doing that I had been putting off was answering questions on 10Q. The site’s premise is pretty simple. Each day, for ten days, they release a new question that you have to answer. The goal is to reflect on the past year and what you’d like to accomplish over the next year. At the end of the ten days, the answers are saved and emailed to you in a year, giving you an opportunity to consider what you had written.

I want to share my answer to today’s question, because it touches on something that I’ve recently learned is truly important to me.

Q7. How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

Keep pushing. The most important thing in life is to surround yourself with incredible people who challenge you to be a better person and lead you to memorable experiences. Life’s too fucking short to sit around doing nothing. Stay connected with those who inspire you and find new people who will push you even further. Put yourself in a position to always have the capacity and enthusiasm to say “yes” to those unique life moments.

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Have you had any life-changing, memorable, crazy, and inspiring experiences this past year?

  2. Who are the people in your life who inspire you to be better and push you to explore these types of experiences?

If you can’t immediately answer those questions, you should probably be doing some hard thinking about them and the type of person you want to be. I’m proud to say I’ve had some life-changing experiences over the past year, and have managed to surround myself with a group of awesome crazies who make me a better person every day. It’s trying to figure out how to keep the momentum going that’s the tough part.

introspective ✳ personal ✳ experiences ✳ life ✳ people ✳ work 

9.11.2011 Evolution

As you might have noticed, I launched a re-design of this blog today. One of my goals was to find a theme 1 that would be better suited to long-form text posts, of which I’m hoping to write a lot more in the coming months.

Years ago, I had a Wordpress blog where I would frequently write opinions on politics, technology, and other things. Over time, I let that blog stagnate and came to realization that I wasn’t willing to put in the time needed to maintain it. Instead, I decided to embrace Tumblr and everything that goes along with it — short form multimedia-driven posts, reblogging interesting things from other Tumblr users, and curating content that I discover around the web.

Times change, and I’ve found that I’ve been missing writing essays and short opinion pieces. So consider this an evolution of this space and my creative output.

What can you expect moving forward? I’m going to continue sharing my photography and interesting things I find around the web on a regular basis, but will try to mix in more opinion pieces about the things I’m passionate about these days: technology, creativity, marketing, and photography.

And you can still listen to me podcasting every week over at Attention Surplus, where Sean Howard and I discuss the methods and tools we need to live passion-driven, meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Thanks for reading.


  1. For those of you who are curious, the theme is based on the classic book The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. 

personal 

3.15.2011

Imagine my surprise tonight as I had just finished uploading Episode 4 of Attention Surplus, my weekly podcast with Sean Howard, only to discover that it has been featured in iTunes right alongside This American Life — one of the best and most popular podcasts in the world. 

We started the show only a month ago, with the help of a few good friends. We had no aspirations that this would be particularly good or that anyone would care to listen. And yet the feedback has been overwhelming. Words can’t describe this.

podcast ✳ iTunes ✳ personal