Going All In
As a few of you will know, I’ve been doing some soul-searching, trying to figure out whether or not it’s in anyone’s interest but my own to keep writing here. Trying to figure out if it’s even in my interest.
I could just write in a notebook, I’ve thought. Maybe open a restaurant called Tacos & Beer that serves only tacos and beer. Maybe finish my Wim Hof Method instructor training, open a small breathwork and cold therapy center.
Or I could write more. Maybe quit my job and go all in as a freelance writer. (I’m reminded of something Townes Van Zandt said in the Be Here to Love Me documentary all the time: “There was one point when I realized, man, I could really do this. But it takes blowing everything off. It takes blowing a family off, money, security, happiness, friends—blow it off. Get a guitar and go.” I’m no TVZ. But I do think he’s right. If you want something in life, and I mean really want it, you need to be tenacious and uncompromising. Safety nets are where dreams go to die, I think. And as I approach 43 years of age, I’ve seen enough of my dreams die to know that they might not have, had I gone all in. But it’s not too late. It never is. Until it is.)
I’m still sorting all of that out. It’s harder when you’re not (as much of) a lone wolf anymore. If I were, I’d have probably quit my job and leaned hard into freelancing already. Alas, I’m a happily married wolf, so there are deer to kill and thoughts to think that go beyond just me and what I want.
Related to all of this, I worry sometimes that the things I’m inclined to explore in my writing, as well as the links that I share, effectively just drag you, the reader, into the things that are bothering me, both personally and societally, as a result of the excessive news-reading I do as a part of my job. As I wrote in a reply to a comment on last week’s I Didn’t Say That:
I'm increasingly hesitant to share big link dumps like these, particularly ones that walk directly into culture-war madness. Doing so often feels like purging after a week (or in this case, several) of news-reading work. Absent that required reading, I think I might choose to focus my energy on other, less maddening things. But with it, I find pieces like these sanity-restoring and deeply interesting—a respite from the news.
Where would my thoughts go if I were freelancing? Probably to a lot of the same places. The big difference, at least in theory, is that I’d be following my interests and writing about what I thought was meaningful and saying what I thought needed to be said. As it stands now, it often feels like I focus on what I do because there’s not a place for it at my job. And it’s not just that there’s not a place for it. It’s that much of my job is to support the spread of many views that I don’t, in fact, support. If you know what that feels like, well, then you know. For those of you who don’t know, the word “soul-crushing” comes readily to mind.
Where would my thoughts go if I were making tacos for people and telling them about a tasty Thai vanilla porter? Or if I were spending my days teaching and learning more about breathwork and cold therapy? It’s hard to say, as I’ve not lived those lives yet. But something tells me I’d still want to write, and still want to share that writing somewhere. In either case, I would at least, in my non-writing hours, be working to support things that I actually support. Things that are in many ways more important than the goatfuck that is our too-online society, of which I am regrettably a part. Things like tacos, beer, breathwork, cold therapy, and community.
Wherever my feet land next, I suspect that more writing will be forthcoming. I appreciate your patience, and welcome your thoughts, as I sort this all out.