Saturday, August 29, 2015


I am currently staying in rural Bulgaria, doing a work exchange. The work consists of digging up soil for a stone path, sanding and oiling windows, and other various tasks like picking plums or trimming plants. I get free room and board in exchange for my work hours.

It's the first time in a while that I have gotten up early in the mornings and been around a lot of animals. The physical work makes my mind more quiet and helps me sleep better. I feel creative; I feel at peace.

I love this simple life, I love traveling, my passion has been ignited and my dreams have been set into motion. That constant yearning I always had to see foreign places, to not know where I will be next month, to learn as I go, to rely on my wits and spontaneity, has finally been fulfilled. I have always abhorred and revolted against routine and monotony, and this is the ultimate manifestation of that rejection, embracing adventure.

The more I see, the more I want to see.

On July 29th, I had a plane ticket back to Omaha Nebraska, but I decided not to take it. It was a spontaneous decision. I was planning to return because I thought I didn't have enough money to keep traveling, but I didn't want to separate from my travel partner/love, and there was so much more of Europe I wanted to see.

Going back to the states would have felt like giving up. Something I had to do; succumbing to defeat. I decided fuck that. I decided I will make this work however I have to, which included/includes being a lot more frugal, finding cheap or free accommodation, going somewhere very affordable (like Bulgaria), and having my friend sell my most prized possession back home, my acoustic Fender guitar.

I've learned that I feel certain pulls in certain directions. Urges calling me to do something, some type of intuitive desire. Fulfilling that desire is important, and once the commitment is made, things tend to fall into place. Once you make a specific thing your goal, or your way of life, it becomes the only option, and that is the way to make things happen. Your creative faculties then go into supporting this because you realize it's your only choice.

"Leap, and grow wings on the way down."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Support for a talented friend.

I am fascinated by my friend Chris. We have always related on a certain level because we both have a tendency to be introverted and I feel like we both notice a lot, especially when it comes to social situations. It makes a quiet person feel a little less awkward to have another quiet person around. 

He is one of the nicest people I've met, smiles a lot, and has a calm and quiet demeanor, so it makes some of this intriguingly dark art he comes up with all the more interesting. I never knew the ideas or stories behind these pieces of art until I just read the website he finished working on, and now I am even more impressed.

Monday, August 10, 2015


I feel kind of lifeless today. My mind wants to know why, but maybe there isn't a why. Maybe I need to just let emotions and mental states pass on by, instead of clinging and wanting to dissect and analyze them. Maybe I need to have more self compassion, that thing that a lot of us find so fucking difficult.

Switching up routines is important, health is important, creating is important, mental experiments are something I need.

Maybe getting in touch with dreams again?

Maybe doing that thing where I split up my sleeping hours?

Perhaps simply exploring my own mind could bring some clarity. I find myself seeking distraction all the time, and I think that's normal, but also sort of crazy. Constant stimulation is not an answer. Just allowing oneself to reside in whatever mental state is present without struggle or self judgment is an answer. That includes boredom and lifelessness. I already feel better delving more into this nagging background static of emotion. It works so much better than trying to ignore it or find reasons why I should not be feeling that way.

Acceptance transforms things, resistance deepens them. It doesn't have to be such a struggle.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Paris, the beginning.

I started my travels in Europe at the end of May. The 2 nights before my flight to Paris I barely slept at all. The first night it was because my friends had a party. I created some very purple art, had some good laughs, and even stared insanity in the face for a bit when a friend of mine had some sort of semi-verbally-violent and sexual-esque breakdown. The impact of this outburst was such that I and 2 of my friends all couldn't stop thinking about it the entire next day.

The last night before the flight I was just too excited and nervous to sleep at all, plus a couple friends of mine came bursting into the apartment at 2 or 3 am to "wake me up" and make me spend my last hours with them. I had a painting I wanted to finish for someone specific, and was going to miss these friends a lot, so I didn't argue.

On the flight I was actually able to sleep on the plane for a few hours, something I usually find impossible due to being in such close proximity to a bunch of strangers. I had Aphex in my headphones for a good chunk of that flight and now think of that day whenever I hear those tracks.

My travel partner and I were trying to keep things light, keep it friendly, stay off the awkward subject of the fact that we had both committed to traveling to a foreign country together on the pretense that we were to be a couple, and that I had called that off but we were both still locked into the non-refundable and quite expensive tickets.

In the plane, the largest and nicest one I had ever been on, I was exposed to my first experience of hearing french all around me. It was surreal at first, but this is something I would grow accustomed to surprisingly fast.

We got to the huge Paris airport, exchanged money for some euros, bought some wine at the airport, marveling at how cheap it was (3-4 euro for a bottle of nice looking red!) and got a cab to the hotel, still quite early in the morning. They didn't have a room ready for us when we got there so we sat in the lobby with plastic cups and drank the wine, unsure of whether it was allowed or not and therefore being pretty discreet about it. We didn't have a corkscrew so I did the old trick of pushing the cork down into the bottle, splashing some of the wine up my sleeve in the process.

We got to the room and noticed that it was one bed, contrary to what I had reserved. This added to that unspoken awkward chasm that we were both attempting to ignore.

I wanted to sleep but I was too hyped up from all of the various stimuli, the excitement of finally being in France. So we went out to find some food. We sat down at a restaurant and the waiter came up to me and spoke in french to me. I was way too tired to say anything, let alone attempt to say something in french, so I stared blankly for an awkward moment until he realized and spoke in English to us.
I finally knew what it was like to be the foreigner.

After eating I was actually able to sleep. I passed out for 11 much needed hours, during which I had a dream that I had been on my way to the airport to fly to Paris and had missed my flight.
The crushing disappointment I felt in that dream was so real that when I woke up to find myself really in Paris, I was ecstatic, and all of the other stressful details seemed insignificant in comparison.
I excitedly told my travel partner about this dream, then we went out to wander the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, got hassled by a very persistent man trying to sell us roses, and found a very stereotypical looking french restaurant. I got some mussels that were actually pretty terrible, way too fishy for my taste.

The next day we explored the area a bit, went to another restaurant, and ended up getting a bunch of wine and beer and drinking in the hotel room.

Somewhere in the midst of our drunkenness we came to an epiphany. I had always wanted to travel to another country. He had also always wanted this. We both wanted travel partners for this. The pretense of romance with each other was what made us actually commit to these plans, and even though things played out quite differently than expected, it got us both there.
It all seemed to have a purpose, an order within the painful chaos, and we wrote it down in my notebook so we could discern the next day whether this was a valid epiphany or just drunken silliness. The next day it still made sense.