It used to be that sitting down in front of a computer to talk about my experience was something I did when I occasionally came down from the woods. I worked hard to have a life that was lived entirely outdoors and writing about it helped me feel like I was maintaining a connection to everything that I had left behind. Honestly, I’m not sure if I was sharing things with people for what I perceived was their benefit or to prove to myself that I still existed. Regardless, putting my thoughts out into the world for anyone to see was something that I had never done up to that point. My life has changed significantly since those days. Back then the hardest decision I often faced was which piece of beautiful coast I wanted to camp on that week. Slowly, over my last year of travel, I had decided to recommit to the world of tax forms and alarm clocks, though I couldn’t really tell you why at the time. I guess at some point I begin to look for change regardless of how much fun I am having.
Back in my travel days, I felt like I had some responsibility to shape how I shared my daily life for the enjoyment of the people that I was lucky enough to share it with. Emphasize the beautiful parts, minimalize the boring/painful stuff. I didn’t feel like people wanted to hear about how many times I almost electrocuted myself to death when I was installing the solar system on my truck or what it was like to learn how to repack the wheel bearings on my truck in the field. In hindsight, I may have been incorrect in that assumption. There are a hundred stories of things that felt trivial when they were happening, but looking back were as important as that capturing that perfect sunset.
Most days, I saw amazing things and had a wonderful time discovering new things about myself and the world. Some days, I dealt with the same kinds of things that most people do… How will I make this life work, am I doing what is best for myself and my the people in my life, etc.
Moving back home after years of life-changing adventure has been unsurprisingly challenging for me. Somewhere deep inside I knew that coming back was an eventual inevitability, Lawrence was the place that I first realized I could have an active hand in the direction my life took and that success (however that may look) might be available to people that don’t have access to generational wealth/support.
To say that I moved back would a bit of a false statement, though I don’t think it would be fair to say that I just ended up here either. I knew full well the direction that my body was headed in, I just had no idea what I would do here when I landed here. Somewhere along the way, I had decided that it was time for a change and hoped that the ether to provide some direction once I got here.
Just as expected, this little town did provide… Within two months of coming back, I found a spot on Mass St. that had somehow gone unrented for something like six years. The building was owned by Rod Ernst, whose family had owned and operated a hardware store across the street for something like a hundred and ten years. Long story short, we shook hands and just like that, I had a new space. Now I just had to figure out what to do with it.
The very first thing I noticed when I walked into that little studio was that it had really good light. I’m not one hundred percent sure what that actually meant, but it felt like a room that I could do something with. It’s taken a lot of time and energy to for me to admit to myself that returning wasn’t really the painful new beginning that I feared as much as a continuation of the trajectory that I’ve been working so hard for. Here’s to doing whatever it takes to stay in that good light. Thank you for taking the time to read this today.