Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

A Conversation With Myself When I’m 75 Years Old

Posted on | October 29, 2010 | 3 Comments

Several weeks ago, while checking to see if any bloggers had mentioned Colony of Losers I stumbled upon a mystery that shook me to the core. There was another Michael G Kimber from the UK and he wrote novels and poetry online. Which you can check out here.  I couldn’t stop reading. He wasn’t simply Michael Kimber but Michael G Kimber.

I wondered if at some point in the depths of my anxiety, I had built a fake identity as a British 75 year old and now was walking through dreams I never remembered having in the first place.

I quickly decided this was unreasonable and while I did suffer insomnia I was not Tyler Durden.  I wouldn’t be very good at not talking about fight club.

This is the face that has occupied many of my waking hours.

Michael G KImber A Conversation With Myself When Im 75 Years Old

That has me questing to understand the mystery that made this man who he is.  If I too would be able to acquire such cool glasses when I got a little older.

I imagined a life of fish and chips, British accents and that he happened to be my age almost 50 years ago. Most of what I imagined involved stock footage from BBC’s Narnia film series  with the spoiled little British kids and that girl who played Lucy that looked like a squirrel. But there was more to him than BBC stock footage and an imagined affinity for fish and chips and gigantic globs of Tartar Sauce.

I read his words and wondered if I too could have become this Michael Kimber. Thoughtful, intelligent and playful. Warm heart and excited about his craft he had recently discovered approaching his third quarter life crisis without a seeming worry in the world.

Would I at some point grow up to be this man? Would my ginger beard become gray and perfect?  I had to know.

Driven by ruthless curiosity and the intense buzz of caffeinated Coca Cola, I sent him an email. Looking to see if he might have something to say about the Colony of Losers and all I had done.  Strangely, I felt like I was seeking my own approval of the path I was taking. As though I had a chance to Marty McFly my way to the future to see if I was happy with the decisions I made as but a young lad.

This may sound silly  to you but how many of you have found a 75 year old clone of yourself on the internet?

I thought so.

He turned out to be a really cool guy. So I figured you guys should get to know him. Here is some words of the esteemed Michael G Kimber from the United Kingdoms.

Words of British MGK on Canadian One

Hello again Michael,

If my comments were to be restricted to one word it would be, ‘Wow’.

Clearly I should have taken a quick look at your web-site before I replied to your message in my guest book. It was quite a shock I can tell you. However as I clicked from link to link a picture of a frightened young man emerged, but one who had faced his devils full on and – eventually – beat them. By any standards that was no mean feat.

Here and now I must tell you that I have never had to deal with a problem of that magnitude, so I am not going to say to you ‘I know how it must have felt’, because I don’t. Your web-site has however opened a door to me into a room full of mysteries; just a crack mind you, and I don’t doubt that it’s a large room. But if it can do that for me, a man who frankly has never been in that lonely place you once inhabited, then surely it can do the same for those who have.

What ever your motives for setting up your web-site, and I am inclined to doubt the self interest suggested on your home page, it will surely benefit many young people who are searching to find what their role in life will be, and where, and who, they want to be in that life.

Having seen my web-site, you will have gleaned something about me so you will not, I think, be surprised if I say we are looking at life from its opposite ends. I note for example that you refer to yourself as being at the first quarter of your life. By that yard-stick I am at the three quarter mark in mine. But I am comforted somewhat by those statistics, for it implies that we shall both attain our century status. Now you at 26 may not be overimpressed by that idea but I can tell you that from where I am on that scale it is quite a comforting thought.

It is clear that you are well educated, articulate, and write with a dexterity I can only envy. The video clips indicate that you are self confident and speak with assuredness about your work., and you come – I am told – from a middle-class background. If I were now to suggest that you had everything going for you, I am sure you would respond by saying that I do not understand depression and the effects it can have. You would of course be right. What I do say however, is something that I think that you, perhaps because you were fortunate enough to have had an ‘epiphany’ moment, may already have discovered. That knowing what you do have, whether it be intellectual or social advantages, a particular talent, or simply a loving home environment, can be as important as ambition and aspirations. Am I being naive to suggest that to know what is already yours and to make use of that knowledge is at least part of what your web-site can bring to those who are searching for help?

As for your web-site, I doubt that I can contribute anything worthwhile. I came to writing quite late in life, and I am light years away from being a literary giant. My life has been modest by the standards of most familiar writers, and what I write is based not so much on life experience but on a lively imagination. (Sadly less so as the years go by, but that’s a cross I have to bear.) Nevertheless, it was generous of you to suggest that there might be a place for me.

One further thought. When I suggested that there may be a possible family link it was because I thought that you were from neighbouring Halifax in Yorkshire, England. Only when I found your web-site did I discover that you are from the ‘other’ Halifax, which of course makes it less likely (though not impossible). So, while we may not be destined to be cousins, if you feel the need or the wish to communicate further I will be delighted, and you know where you can find me.

With kindest regards,

Michael G Kimber

From Canadian Michael G Kimber to British Michael G Kimber

You wrote a very awesome letter and it took me a second to digest it.  What does the G stand for out of curiosity?  In my case it’s Gray.  A hundred years would be quite some thing.  I can’t even imagine what life would be like three quarters of the way through life.  I spent alot of my life dreaming as well.  Just recently got to the proper living of it into my list of priorities. Falling in love and rocking as you suspected a very substantial case of depression. In regards to helping people that wasn’t my intention. My life has taken a strange turn into advocacy. I didn’t necessarily intend to help anyone, just to document a common experience.  People have been moved by my story and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to help some people by sheer accident.

It is a shame that we aren’t cousins.  Probably way back in the day before my people left England.Tell me a little something about your life. I enjoy the strangeness of this interaction.

Sincerely,

I doubt you will forget my name.

British MGK to Canadian MGK

Hi Michael,

You are right; I am not likely to forget your name. But before I get to your question I would like to add a little personal note which may be of value to you and your readers. When I was your age many of the things we take for granted now simply did not exist. People may pick or choose which technological development has been most beneficial to society - and there have been many – but I feel sure that high on most lists will be the world wide web. WWW seems so normal and accessible these days, and in its capacity to allow communication between distant family and friends it is surely invaluable. But I have discovered that it also has the ability to allow strangers with a common interest to communicate. You and I are perhaps a good example, but your web-site takes this concept further and as it may well be a last resort for some. I wish you well in your endeavour.

Now you ask me if you can post my letter on your website, to which my reply is yes, if you feel that it adds anything worthwhile. Also an appropriate link might bring a few more readers to my web-site.

Good luck in your life, and may I presume to offer a little advice. Life is full of pyramids; they are everywhere, but there is very little room at the top and most of us never reach the heady heights. So be ambitious but let it not be all consuming. You can find satisfaction and fulfilment at many levels before you reach what you may perceive to be your goal. If you reach for the stars but catch the moon, it’s still a pretty good prize.

Best wishes, Michael George Kimber

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Comments

3 Responses to “A Conversation With Myself When I’m 75 Years Old”

  1. Mary Ann
    October 29th, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

    You guys may be the coolest living pen pals in the world. Loved reading this.
    Mary Ann´s last blog ..Chester- Nova Scotia sketch My ComLuv Profile

  2. Cailin
    October 29th, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

    Wow. I don’t even know what to call it? A coincidence? What a coincidence it is and even more that he actually responded and didnt think you were a crazy person. He seems like such a great man, I hope you two keep in touch :) Very cool, thanks for sharing. :)
    Cailin´s last blog ..Travel Yourself Guest Post from Find the Sky’s Nico Koenig My ComLuv Profile

  3. The Return of Michael George Kimber « Colony of Losers
    January 21st, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    [...] My older alter ego happens to live in Britain, write books online and have a stunning mane of gray hair, a beard Santa would envy and a compassionate intelligence that makes me seem like an asshole. Time travel was accomplished by googling myself on the internet. His name is Michael G Kimber. To read the beginning of our correspondance go here. [...]

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  • About

    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on twitter.com/colonyoflosersand twitter.com/quimbo. If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out Mindyourmind.ca. I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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