Garner Pass in Torres del Paine

📍 writing from Roseville, CA

It’s been a wild few months. I was just starting to recover from a 100 kilometer trek through Patagonia 1 when a friend and I found ourselves crawling out of a totaled Ford Explorer2 in rural Chile, stranded in a town too small to need a gas station or an ATM. Not that we had any use for gasoline at that point; we were just happy to be alive.

In the weeks since, life has only escalated in intensity with international insurance negotiations, wire transfers, Chilean military police and U.S. FBI reports3, new friends, unexpected reunions, and tearful goodbyes. I’m lucky to be alive and frankly glad to have kept my shit together because it’s been a bumpy ride.

my newfound hammock spot near Dry Creek, Roseville, CA

visiting home, again #

I’m staying with my parents in Roseville in my childhood bedroom. Five years ago I flew to New York to build a startup. Twenty months ago I drove to San Diego to escape covid. A year ago I heeded an internet friend’s invitation to Huatulco. Today I’m packing for Colorado, this time entirely at my own direction and with no one to receive or accompany me.

Each return visit home makes it evident how much I have changed; those parts of me which stayed consistent; how much my definition of home has changed. Seeing my parents older and my siblings taller presents the passage of time in a frame impossible to ignore, set against the backdrop of familiar childhood pictures and memories growing ever-distant.

Meeting old friends and exchanging stories offers a peek into parallel universes. A college degree. Marriage, a house, two kids and a dog. What if I had stayed? What if the club owner never introduced my ex and I? What if we had collided with another car instead of a ditch? A few boarding passes and meters of gravel road have defined the course of my life more than any plans or maps I ever laid out.

Yet here I am. Discovering more of who I am and what I find valuable and significant. Better at calming down and listening to my body. Meeting more friends who share similar hopes and visions; planting seeds together for future possibilities to emerge. Ever grateful for the people I’ve met, the stories I’ve heard, and sunsets I’ve seen.

Life seems to be headed in the right direction but I can hardly claim credit for choosing the path taken. I have only the faintest compass heading on where to go next. So on we go.

Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

the conclusion of a relationship #

We were together an amazing and intense nine months, my longest and most serious relationship yet. I miss her dearly; her and her loving, beautiful, wise presence near me. Our time altered the way I see myself and the world for the better. It exceeded every idea of what a romantic relationship can be – it was, simply put, magical. With time I hope to share more reflections and memories in a way that is healthy and respectful to us both.

My focus now is on creating a healing environment around me, and respecting her need for the same. Splitting up with someone I care about is hard. There’s no avoiding this pain. It seems that with love and relationships; the greater the potential for something special, so too the possibility of hurting one another. It’s what gives the whole thing potential to exist. No south without north, light without dark, or pain without pleasure.

I feel grateful for the time we had. Sharing things publicly means making sense of them and right now very little in my life makes sense. I’ve been journaling daily, but finding it hard to publish much. It’s confusing and painful to untangle my emotions and identity post-breakup and separate them from my evolving relationship with self-discovery, creativity, and identity on the internet.

So I’m taking things day by day. Going on long walks, spending long afternoons in my hammock, and giving myself unhurried space to heal. It’s helping.

flying into Denver, CO. peering west at the Rockies

next steps: Boulder, CO #

Over the past 19 months I’ve changed locations 70 times for an average of about once per week 4.

These numbers are boggling my mind but what’s really mind-boggling is the effect this has had on my ability to focus. To be clear; it’s all but destroyed it. So much time and brainpower figuring out logistics, booking reservations, transporting my body through space. So little time spent watering plants, making music, painting in the sun.

I’m signing a lease in Boulder, CO for a year. It’s a place where I can walk to a coffee shop as well as to a trailhead. There isn’t a ton of these spots across the country (trust me, I’ve looked). I’m simultaneously terrified and ecstatic at the prospect of furnishing a place after simply slipping in and out of countless pre-arranged, pre-designed, pre-lived-in spaces.

I’m looking forward to unpacking my things onto shelves instead of calculating what best to leave in my suitcase for maximum departure efficiency. To have space for hardcover books and succulents and a coffee grinder. To be able to buy oats and chia seeds in bulk without wondering whether I’ll have enough room to take them with me to my next place. To have my blender again!

I’m also excited for the potential space for rituals. For regluar walks to familiar parks and cafes. To finding a new favorite hammock spot. To have a standing desk that goes up and down and for the ability to hang my mind map posters on the walls and leave my notes on the floor. To have a place where I feel safe, comfortable, and a little more grounded.

I’m not sure if I’ll be in Boulder the entire year. Maybe I’ll grow restless and head out halfway through. Maybe I’ll spread my roots and buy a house after this lease. For now I’m sitting here choosing out spatulas and bedsheets and I’ll update you all when they arrive next week.

Boulder, CO

other updates #

Relational has been busy the past few weeks figuring out how to tell people about what we’re building. A one-liner for now:

relational games is a studio producing collaborative participatory media experiences while open-sourcing the discovered practices and communications infrastructure to the commons

It’s a mouthful but captures the core ideas. We’re working on a website to be shared soon. In the meantime, check out some design fiction I wrote as part of a group exercise to figure out where we’re headed and what might be possible.

In the meantime I’ve also been:

Thanks for reading. Be safe. And always have fun. A few more photos below.

sometimes you get attacked by a cactus. Point Loma, San Diego, CA
Río Ibáńez, Chile
Cisnes, Chile
Puerto Varas, Chile

  1. post pending ↩︎

  2. post also pending ↩︎

  3. post pending. I have a lot of writing to do. ↩︎

  4. I put it in a spreadsheet. cool visualizations inbound! ↩︎