Here Goes – Cristi Dragan

This is someone I’ve known for a very long time. He’s been the one I looked up to at 13 and is the one I admire at 16. Every time I think about the type of person he is, I remind myself that no matter what, there are people that love love and that enjoy life as it is. A few days ago I got to sit down (on the grass, in a park) and talk to him about himself.

This is a new project of mine. It’s called “& Friends” because monthly, I want to sit down with a person that inspires me and ask them questions about them. Then, I’ll post it here – so you can see exactly what it is that makes them so important to me.

Here Goes – Cristi Dragan:

M.S. : I met you 5 years ago. What message would you send to that boy?

C.D. : Buckle up your seatbelt ’cause you’re in for a wild ride. You’ll love it. So do everything you want, have fun, follow your gut. You’ll be ok. 

M.S. : Your passion is entrepreneurship. How and when did you realize you’re heading in that direction?

C.D. : I realized this around grade 10. I was at the entrepreneurial education class which I wouldn’t usually attend. The teacher told us that the next day the high school would be hosting a conference called “I want to be an entrepreneur” and that it will be during classes – which sounded amazing. The point is that I had a gut feeling. I didn’t want to go to classes, yes, but I knew that I just had to be there. It was the first time I attended a high school related thing with a notebook and a pen. I went straight to the front row and sat there. Dragos Anastasiu was the main speaker there and when he asked “Who wants to become an entrepreneur?” I raised my hand instantly even though I had no idea to what it meant. I learned then that that entrepreneurship is for the people that care. And caring is doing something about it.

M.S. : And what was your first project?

C.D. : I wanted to renovate the Mihai Viteazu high school bathrooms. It was also my first big failure. I didn’t raise enough money for the project and it went down horribly. Still, it was a huge learning experience. If that wouldn’t have happened, i would have been pretty lost.

M.S. : High school’s over. What plans do you have?

C.D. : Obviously, I’m off to university. I’m headed for the U.S. at Minerva School. I’m basically traveling the world. San Fransisco, a semester in Seul, Korea, one in India, another in China, London, Buenos Aires. I wouldn’t have accepted going to uni in the States unless it wasn’t as crazy as I am.

M.S. : What’s your biggest dream?

C.D. : I want to have an impact on teenagers across the world. To help the young generations trust themselves again. Also, I’ve been dreaming since I was little that one day I’ll buy a flat, take a homeless person and re-integrate him in the society once more. I’ve also got this obsession that I’ll be the best father in the world. I love kids and whenever I see them in the park with parents or grandparents I start crying because of how happy I am that the kid’s loved.

M.S. : Who inspires you?

C.D. : Gary Vaynerchuck inspires me a lot. He’s an entrepreneur and he vlogs as well. He’s really well known and straightforward. He speaks his mind he’s authentic… I actually had the luck to meet him in person. Just five months after I heard about him for the first time.
Someone else whom I love is Michael Jackson. He inspires me. His story helped me find the artist within me. He showed people that being sensible and childish is okay.

M. S. : What does Cristi Dragan tell himself when he wakes up and looks in the mirror?

C. D. : ‘My God, you’re the best!’ I believe that each and every one of us should look in the mirror and acknowledge that they are the best! I don’t thing that’s cockiness. I think that’s how it should be. Also, every morning when I have to kick some ass that day, I put on music. That gives me strength.

The one thing that always helps me is that each day when I leave my house I walk on my way to the metro past a church. That is, to me, a remainder that I have to thank God for my life, health and for all the opportunities he gives me. To be honest, the only time I was down this year was when I wasn’t thankful. It’s incredibly important to be just that. Thankful. For all the good and bad things.

M.S. : How does the ideal girl look like?

C.D. : Spontaneous, wild… She’s not scared to do what she feels to do. She’s a girl that respects herself a lot. Really authentic, nothing fake, just pure genuine.

M.S. : I know there was a period when you’d constantly write poems. Did you always have this or did it click at one point?

C.D. : It just clicked at one point. Last spring I was in love. And I was so agitated I needed to start going to the gym just so I could put all that energy in something. I would work out, lift weights and suddenly stop to write a poem. That’s how in love I was and that’s when it clicked.

M.S. : Send a message to the haters.

C.D. : Love the people that like you. You have to be ok with yourselves. Don’t get stuck on one specific person.

M.S. : What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far?

C.D. : The fact that I indirectly helped some people trust themselves. Yesterday I got a message from a person that told me that they wanted to commit suicide until I took that person next to me and helped them. There are kids that I don’t know who message me just to tell me they watch my vlogs and like them. That’s having an impact on society. To me, it’s all about changing lives.

M.S. : Tell me about ‘Vlog On The Street’. How did that story start?

C.D. : Painfully. I wanted to have a vlog for a while because I want to have an impact. I want to offer teens a platform to conquer their fears, speak, make themselves heard and find their voices. I went out with Sebi – a dear friend of mine – one night, and I told him that I was scared to start this. That I don’t know with what to film myself, how to fix the sound… He told me about the selfie stick and headphones. That night I filmed the pilot. That’s not online. I fell asleep knowing that the next day will be the day it begins. And it did.

M.S. : What don’t adults get about kids?

C.D. : We should re-brand the upbringing. We should call it the 7 years with mommy and daddy. We get to being teenagers and feel unloved and unappreciated because when we were little we got thrown around like hot potatoes. We don’t trust our parents because we’re just used to seeing them for five minutes after school. We have to deal with generations where our friends that kill themselves, girls that don’t look like models are destroying their bodies be skinnier just because the douche in school isn’t grabbing their butt…

Kids need their parents.

M.S. : How have you been seeing love lately?

C.D. : Love is learned. I do believe that. Because we’re quite autistic when it comes to it. We treat people like they re a pair of shoes or a phone. 50 years ago, if our pants ripped, we’ sew them back together. Now, we buy another pair. That’s how we treat people too.
M.S. : You have to choose 3 objects you know you need. What do you choose?

C.D. :

1. Phone – so i can call mom and tell her I’m okay.
2. A pair of ripped jeans.
3. A blanket to give to a homeless man.

M.S. : Do you have any favorite clothing?

C.D. : I like embroidered Romanian blouses, bandanas and a good pair of boots.

 

M.S. : Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

C.D. : In Vama Veche! On the beach.

I don’t know where I’ll be, but I know I’ll be fine because karma pays off. Everything you give comes back to you. I see myself in Vama Veche, somewhere nice with beautiful people. I kinda also hope I’ll have my first jr. then.

 

 

M.S. : Where in the world do you want to go?

C.D. : I want to get to Neverland – Michael Jackson’s Disney. I also want to get to Disneyland. Yes, I’m a child.

 

M.S. : What has been the hardest thing yet?

C.D. : To accept that I can really mess up with people and lose them. I would just go to them, grab them by their hand and tell them ‘I know, I’m an idiot. I know, I messed up with this thing’ and move on.

M.S. : What’s the song of your childhood?

C.D. : ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ by Aerosmith. It’s the first song I liked fully. It’s such a beautiful song about an even more amazing story.

M.S. : Something that all girls should know?

C.D. : You’re incredibly beautiful when you smile. Don’t have idols, be your own heroines.

M.S. : Something all boys should know?

C.D. : Being vulnerable is okay. Be yourselves. To be a man in a relationship means making her happy, feel accepted and loved.

M.S. : If you were to reinvent yourself, what would you do?

C. D. : I wouldn’t change a thing. I really do believe that God knows best. I always said ‘Your will be done’ even if it was with tears in my eyes.
I’d be just as wild.
Would not change a thing.

 


 

L-am cunoscut acum multa vreme. Ma inspira cand aveam 13 ani si o face si la 16. De fiecare data cand ma gandesc la genul de persoana care e, imi aduc aminte ca exista oameni care iubesc iubirea si si care se bucura de viata asa cum e. Acum cateva zile am stat cu el (pe iarba, in parc) si am vorbit despre el.

Asta e un proiect nou de al meu, se numeste “& Prietenii” pentru ca in fiecare luna vreau sa stau cu o persoana care ma inspira si sa le un intrebari despre ei. Apoi, o sa postez tot aici – ca sa vedeti exact ce au ei de sunt importanti pentru mine.

Aici este – Cristi Dragan:

M.S. : Te-am cunoscut acum 5 ani. Ce i-ai spune baietelului aluia?

C.D. : Pune-ti centura de siguranta, urmeaza o cursa al dracului de nebuna dar o sa iti placa. Fa tot ce simti, distreaza-te, urmeaza-ti instinctul, o sa fie bine.

M.S. : Esti super pasionat de antreprenoriat. Cum si cand ti-ai dat seama ca mergi in zona asta?

C.D. : Mi-am dat seama de asta in clasa a 10a. Eram la ora de educatie antreprenoriala, la care nu mergeam in general. Profesorul ne-a spus ca ziua urmatoare liceul va tine o conferinta numita “Vreau sa fiu antreprenor” si ca se va tine in timpul orelor. Defapt, am avut un instict. Nu, nu voiam sa merg la ore, dar stiam ca trebuie sa diu acolo. A fost prima data cand am mers la un eveniment legat de liceu cu un caiet si un pix. M-am dus direct in primul rand. Dragos Anastasiu era vorbitorul principal si cand a intrebat “Cine vrea sa fie antreprenor?” am ridicat mana imediat chiar daca nu stiam ce inseamna. Mai tarziu am invatat ca antreprenoriatul e pentru oamenii carora le pasa. Si a pasa e a face ceva in legatura cu asta.

M.S. : Si care a fost primul tau proiect?

C.D. : Visam sa renovez toaletele din Mihai Viteazu. Primul meu mare esec. Nu am strans bani pentru toalete, dar a fost o learning experience huge. Daca nu se intampla asta, nu stiam cat de greu e sa faci un fund raising.

M.S. : Termini liceul. Ce planuri ai?

C.D. : Clar, merg la universitate. Ma duc in State la Minerva School. Calatoresc prin lume. San Fransisco, un semestru in Seul, Korea, unul in India, altul in China, Londra, Buenos Aires. Nu as fi acceptat sa merg acolo daca nu era o facultate la fel de nebuna ca mine.

M.S. : Care e cel mai mare vis al tau?

C.D. : Sa am impact asupra tinerilor din lume. Sa ajut generatiile de tineri sa aiba din nou incredere in ei. De cand sunt mic visez sa iau un apartament, sa iau un homeless si sa il fac om, sa il re-integrez in societate. Am si o obsesie sa fiu cel mai bun tata din lume. Iubesc copiii si mereu cand ii vad in parc cu parinti sau bunici incep sa plang pentru ca ma bucure ca acel copil e iubit.

M.S. : Cine te inspira cel mai mult?

C.D. : Foarte tare ma inspira Gary Vaynerchuck. E un antreprenor si face si vlogging. E foarte urmarit e multi oameni si e direct. Zice pe nume lucrurilor, e autentic. Am avut si norocul sa il cunosc. La doar 5 luni dupa ce am auzit de el pentru prima data.
Inca un om pe care eu il iubesc e Michael Jackson. Ma inspira foarte mult, povestea lui m- a ajutat sa gasesc artistul din mine. Cat de ok era sa fie sensibil, cat de ok era sa fie copil..

M.S. : Ce isi pune cristi dragan cand se trezeste si se uita in oglinda?

C.D. : ‘O Doamne, esti cel man tare’. Cred ca fiecare dintre noi ar trebui sa se uite in oglinda si sa spuna ‘esti cel mai tare’. Nu cred ca e ceva rau. Cred ca asa ar trebui sa fie. In fiecare dimineata a unei zile in care trebuie sa fac lucruri importante, imi pun muzica. De acolo imi iau forta.

De fiecare data cand plec de acasa, trec in drum spre metrou pe langa o biserica. Biserica e reminder ul sa ii multumesc lui Dumnezeu pentru viata mea, sanatatea mea si pentru oportunitati. Singura perioada de anul asta cand am fost jos a fost ca nu eram recunoscator. E foarte important sa sa fii recunoscator si pentru lucrurile bune dar si pentru alea mai putin bune.

M.S. : Cum arata fata ideala?

C.D. : Spontana, nebuna, nu ii e teama sa faca ceea ce simte asa cum simte ea. E o tipa care se respecta foatrte mult. foarte autentica, nimic artificial, pur si simplu, ea.

M.S. : Stiu ca ai scris poezii intr-o perioada. Ai avut mereu chestia asta in tine sau s-a declansat la un moment dat?

C.D. : S-a declasat la un moment dat. S-a activat din plin primavara trecuta. Ma simteam asa agitat ca m-am apucat de sala ca sa consum din energia aia. Bagam flotari si trageam de fiare si brusc ma opream sa scriu o poezie. Eram foarte indragostit si atunci am descoperit chestia asta.

M.S. : Ce le tansmiti oamenilor care nu te plac?

C.D. : Iubitii pe oamenii care va plac. Fiti ok voi cu voi. Nu va blocati intr-o persoana anume.

M.S. : Care e cea mai misto chestie pe care ai facut-o pana acum?

C.D. : Faptul ca am ajutat cumva indirect niste oameni sa aiba incredere in ei. Ieri seara am primit un mesaj de la cineva sa imi spuna ca voia sa se sinucida pana cand eu am luat acea persoana langa mine si am ajutat-o. Sunt pusti pe care nu ii cunosc si care imi zic ca imi urmaresc vlogul si ca le place. Asta e un impact. Pentru mine totul e despre schinbatul vietilor.

M.S. : Povesteste-mi despre vlog pe strada. cum a inceput povestea asta?

C.D. : Dureras. Eu imi doresc sa fac vlogging de mult pentru ca imi doresc sa am impact. Imi doresc sa le ofer altor tineri o platforma unde sa treaca peste temerile lor, sa vorbeasca, sa se faca auziti si sa isi gaseasca glasul. Am iesit cu sebi, un prieten drag de al meu si zis ca mi-e teama sa incep sa fac vlogging. Ca nu stiu cu ce sa ma filmez, cum iau sunetul. El a zis de selfie stick, casti… In seara aia am filmat pilotul. Ala nu e pe net. M-am culcat stind ca ziua urmatoare incepe. Si asta s-a intamplat.

M.S. : Ce nu inteleg adultii despre copii?

C.D. : Ar trebui ca cei 7 ani de acasa trebuie rebrenduiti. Trebuie sa fie cei 7 ani cu mami si tati. Ajungem adolescenti, ne simtim ne iubiti, ne apreciati pentru ca atunci cand eram mici eram aruncati dintr-o parte in alta. Nu avem incredere in parinti pentru ca suntem obisnuiti sa ii vedem cinci minute dupa scoala. Ne confruntam cu generatii unde ni se sinucid prietenii, fetele care nu arata ca modele isi distrug corupl ca sa fie mai slabe doar pentru ca ‘jmecherul’ din scoala nu le pune mana pe fund…

Copiii au nevoie de parinti.

M.S. : Cum vezi tu iubirea din anii astia?

C.D. : Iubirea se invata. Chiar cred asta. Pentru ca sunem cm autisti in ce o priveste. Avem impresia ca oamenii sunt ca tenesii si ca telefoanele. Acum 50 de ani daca se rupeau pantalonii, i-ai fi cusut. Acum cumparam altii. Asa tratam si oamenii.

M.S. : Ai de ales 3 obiecte materiale de care tu stii ca ai nevoie oriunde esti. ce alegi?

C.D. :

1. telefonul ca sa pot sa o sun pe mama sa stie ca sunt bine.
2. niste pantaloni rupti.
3. o patura ca sa i-o dau unui om de pe strada

M.S. : Ai vreo haina preferata?

C.D. : Imi plac iile, salvarii, bandanele si bocancii.

M.S. : Unde te vezi in 10 ani?

C.D. : In vama! Pe plaja.

Nu stiu unde o sa fiu dar stiu ca o a fiu bine pentru ca tot ce dai se intoarce. Ma vad in Vama, undeva frumos cu niste oameni frumosi. Sper sa am si primul junior atunci.

M.S. : In ce locuri din lume visezi sa ajungi?

C.D. : La Neverland, Disneyul lui Michael Jackson. Vreau sa merg si la Disneyland. Stiu, sunt un copil.

M.S. : Ce ti-a fost cel mai greu pana acum?

C.D. : Sa accept ca pot sa o dau in bara rau de tot cu oameni si sa ii pierd. M-as duce la ei, i-as lua de mana si le-as spune “stiu ca sunt idiot, stiu ca am gresit cu chestia asta’ si sa continuam.

M.S. : Care e in cantecul copilariei tale?

C.D. : ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ de Aerosmith. E primul cantec din viata mea care mi-a placut cu totul. E un cantec frumos, despre o poveste minunata.

M.S. : Un mesaj care ti ai dori tu sa ajunga la toate fetele din lume?

C.D. : Sunteti al dracului de frumoase cand zambiti. Mi-as dori sa nu aveti idoli si sa fiti propriile voastre eroine.

M.S. : Un mesaj pentru baietii din lumea intreaga

C.D. : E ok sa fii vulnerabil. Fii tu insuti. A fii barbat inseamna intr-o relatie sa o faci pe ea sa fie fericita, acceptata si iubita.

M.S. : Daca ar fi sa te reinventezi ce ai face?

C.D. : Nu as schimba nimic. Chiar cred ca Dumnezeu stie mai bine. Si intotdeauna i-am zis ‘faca-se voia ta’, chiar daca cu lacrimi in ochi.
As fi la fel de nebun.
Nu as schimba nimic.

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