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Reading Juxtapoz‘ new May 12th edition magazine, I encountered a quote written in yellow and white on a light brown block,

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it read:



Encountering this quote by JR during his interview with Kristin Farr from Juxtapoz, it triggered a memory:

It was summer, 2008, I was young and just realizing that parentheses around your bank account balance meant you were in the negative. Being the independent type, it was an embarrassing tragedy; I was $40 dollars in debt and I hadn’t started my new job yet. It became apparent that I would, begrudgingly, have to ask my father for money and use my rolled quarters to pay for gas.

Without a breath of thought he said, “Of course! You only need $40?”

“Yes, and I’ll pay you back as soon as you can.” What he said next I’ll never forget, perhaps because of the simplicity of the statement and the fact that it was a real piece of advice from my Dad: “Maya, you can’t take it with you when you go. So don’t worry about it.”

So here I am, the same advice hits me on the page 72 of the Juxtapoz magazine but this time by the “photograffeur,” social activist and
street artist JR. Street artists may not be many people’s first idea for advice, but it goes to show: don’t let pride or judgement blind you from the wisdom of some smart folk who’ve lived a life. JR goes on to say:

“Never making a plan, that’s one thing I’ve learned… I used to be scared of what’s next, what’s the next project, but I’m not anymore. I realize a project fully and see if there’s another one, and that’s it.” (page 72, Juxtapoz).

JR talks with the same candid simplicity as my father: straining out all clumps of human drama and worry. I admire this ability and as I apply it in my own life, the part of me that worries and laments over fictitious, tragic scenarios starts to lose its footing.

Why worry about a future that isn’t here yet? Focus on “realizing a project fully,” being prepared and applying your efforts to something with value and integrity. It’s great to see this happening in the street and urban art world by individuals such as JR and being exposed to the public through media threads like Juxtapoz. I’m glad 1AM can be a part of it!