Details: A Love Letter

One of the things that makes me *ME* is my attention to detail. I’m obsessed with details, almost to the point of neuroticism. If you’ve ever worked with me on a project, odds are pretty good that I’ve asked you to move something over a pixel or slide a cut back one frame. “No one will notice it but you” .. Yeah, you’re right, I will definitely notice it, and it matters to me.

I’ve worked hard on knowing when the details are important and when I should just let certain things go. It’s a daily practice because I notice EVERYTHING! From that odd reflection in the window to the untold pain behind your words, I love details because THE LOVE is in the details.

Details are what makes you who you are. They individualize you. The way your dimple slides up your face when you fill with laughter is a detail. The way your feet hit the pavement and shoulders sways as you walk is your detail. The way something feels in your hand, or the movement it puts in to your body is a detail.

Details are style. The little nuggets of love from the person who crafted it. The reminder of the human on the other side of creation. An intentional design choice inspired by the universe through the artisan’s unique history.

Details are Love. They’re buying your babe lilies because they’re her favorite. They’re making sure you don’t get cilantro on her tacos. They’re the extra effort to make the world a little bit more enjoyable for another person. ~||~
They're the way your character moves or a title comes in to frame. The weathered look on their face; the pain behind their words.
I love details because THE LOVE IS IN THE DETAILS.

Shai, Keeper of the Records, @kafkaesque_koolaid nailing all the details before his next scene for @gatheryourarrows. MUA: @mar5_15, Photo: @kileymac

NOT Knowing.

“I don’t know” is a funny little phrase that we tend to not embrace as humans of the modern age.

We act like we’re supposed to “Know” everything, right now. Today’s society is all about being specific. “This is what I want, this is how I need it to be done, and I need it to be done yesterday.” “This is how I want the person I’m going to marry to be.” “This is how I want my in-n-out burger.”

I feel like you lose a lot when you’ve got to “know.”

The scary part about knowing is the opposite polarity of what we feel like we get when we “know.”

There’s beauty in not knowing. Let me tell you why.

When you don’t know, the possibilities are truly endless. You could be supported and shown up for by the universe in so many ways that your three-brained human vessel can’t even begin to conceive.

What if everything we are looking for lies on the other side of not knowing? Every moment of love that takes our breath away. Every smile that makes your heart skip a beat. Every opportunity that makes you jump up and down in your kitchen with excitement.

What if all of the best things in your life lie on the other side of not knowing? Would you trade “Knowing” for an infinite potential of happiness? For a well of love so deep that you couldn’t even fathom it before you decided to just surrender in to “not knowing?”

Let’s rewrite the story of “not knowing.” It doesn’t have to be scary; it could be exhilarating. It doesn’t have to cause anxiety; it can cause peace knowing that there are infinite ways for your dreams to come through.

I feel like we so often lock ourselves in to these boxes of how things are going to be to help give some sort of balance to the entropy that is human existence. To make us feel like we have some control.

The beauty is, what we really know, is that we don’t know anything. We’re a three dimensional, three brained human meat sack that has been on the planet we call earth for less than 3x10^(-7)% of the existence of our visible universe. We’ve grown up with trauma and raised by other uniquely un-perfect humans. Do we really know what’s best for us?

And do we really need to know?

At World's End

Persephone enters the underworld.

And even Hades’ heart is warmed.

Because those who’ve been through hell

Deserve the beauty of a goddess

At world’s end

The Chase for Himself (Epilogue)

The Chase for Himself (Epilogue)

Here’s the kicker: All that was just a story. Be it my story; it’s still a story.
And if you’re paying close attention… all of it was my responsibility. Every single ounce of it. All the pain, heartbreak, anxiety, and all the happiness, adventure, and ecstasy (that wasn’t really mentioned) was my responsibility.

It was all there not to hurt me, harm me, or punish me. It was there to teach me.

It was there to teach me where I was out of alignment with myself. Where I was out of integrity. Where I was not fully showing it. It taught me how to have more compassion and empathy than I had before. To show up for who EVAN is and not what I thought some babe wanted me to be.

@traverbohem called it the Katabasis in #manUNcivilized. Joesph Campbell called it the “inciting incident” in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. It’s the moment where the protagonist and thrust upon a journey of growth that he would have otherwise sat safely in his cave. One that he couldn’t have reached without the universe forcing him to show up, against all odds, and fight with his heart to persevere through it all, and again arrive on the shores of Ithaca to his son and wife, the hero of a thousand stories.

The real bitch of it all is this: What the fuck are you going to do with it? What are you going to do with all these things that tried to break you open and split you in two?

Are you going to sit around, sulk, and say “Look at all this pain I was in? Can’t you see how much I hurt?”

Or are you going to say “Look at how fucking strong I am? Look at what I’ve overcome. Look at all I’ve done, and all that tried to beat me, and here I am, a warrior with an open heart, ready to serve at the greatest purpose of the all”

I can’t speak for anyone else.. But I choose the latter.

“I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar” – Wash.

The Chase for Himself (Part 5)

And the rest was actual history. In the short span on 3 months, we went from concept to creation. Neither of us had any idea how the fuck to actually go about making a “movie,” especially one that would be as experimental as this. But we started. And we were going to create it with our own money. We divided and conquered. We distilled our parallel journeys over the last few years and brewed a story that came from the heart and soul of each of us. A story about pain and rebirth. A story that didn’t need words or dialogue, and left the person on the other side to see what they felt inside of them, not spoon feeding them our message.

We knew if we were going to start, that we had to go full blast. We couldn’t cheap out on a single thing, because then it would be corny and stupid as fuck.

If you know Nick and I, we’re about as perfectionist as it gets. Neither of us have any patience for mediocrity, and we certainly weren’t going to create a piece of art that had our names on it that was corny as fuck.

It was a fine line we would have to tow. This story had mystical lands, grandiose scenes, and high level symbolism. It wasn’t an undertaking for the faint of heart.

I called in every favor I’d ever accumulated in my life in Truckee to get what we’d need, leveraging relationships and people to get us in the locations we needed to make this a reality. We acquired state and federal film permits for these locations, scoured prop and costume shops in Hollywood, and spent a ton of money on Bezos Land to make it happen. Nick built a trapdoor and tested it in his back yard. My dear friend Angelique created this amazing book I envisioned that would be at the heart of the story.

We bought plane tickets for our friends, found the dopest set of vintage lenses to use for character, and got everything we needed.

Between us, we’d spend about $15,000 of our own money on an idea. A hunch. A passion project.

We had so many debates if we should do it, but at the end of the day, we both felt that if we didn’t try, knowing that we could have the chance to do it, it would be something that we both would regret for a very long time.

The “what-ifs” would kill us.

So we did it. And it was the gnarliest, dopest, scariest, painfulest, amazingest 4 days of my life. I’m so grateful for the friends who spent countless hours on the island with us. Who slept on mini ramp airmatresses when our Airbnb fell through. Who looked for food with us, patiently, when all the restaurants closed.

But we did it. We did something so many people could never imagine having done. We took an idea, a really big fucking idea, and step-by-step, figured out how to make it a reality. And then we would spend the next year editing and creating the actual fucking product. That would be it’s own hell, because.. we forgot one small thing.

When you spent 15k in two months, and fully devote yourself to a task, you aren’t paying attention to your businesses. And you become short of work, and food, very quickly.

That was about the time Saturn decided I needed to learn a little lesson about juggling pentacles. And he wouldn’t stop until I was literally about to die.

There was a stretch there, spring 2018, that only a few people very close to me know about until now.

I had to move in with Nick because I literally couldn’t feed myself. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t pay my rent in Tahoe, and there was no money to be made for me there, so I moved in to the extra bedroom at nick’s house, and begun helping him get his business rolling, while we worked on the movie in our spare time.

There was a stretch where we literally kept eachother alive. For more than 6 weeks, I lived literally, I do not exaggerate here, not knowing where my next meal would come from. I would wake up, and have to figure out how I was going to eat breakfast. Then it was lunch. Then maybe I had sourced dinner. For more than 6 weeks.

One of us would get a job, and we would be able to help the other, and then vice versa would happen.

After about 3 months of being so hungry and brain dead from shitty food, I would go home to Texas to recover and schedule my first break of the year.

In 2018, I made $740 up until I nailed a “huge” corporate video gig in July. The first 6 months, I literally made $740. I applied for jobs I never wanted to do. I did things for money or food that SUCKED. But I survived.

I remember having a conversation with my dad, and it will stick with me for the rest of my life.

“Dad, if I have all these skills. Literally can work in any industry, and I have an astrophysics degree, my own business, a track record of all these huge clients, and I can’t feed myself.. What about those people who have to live like this for years? Who don’t have this education. Who don’t see a way out. What about them? How fucking hard would that be if I didn’t have the opportunity for eating dinner at my friend’s parents house. How many people live like this every day of their lives?”

A lot of fucking people.

It created a level of compassion and empathy inside of me that I’m so fucking grateful for. It created a level of resilience and level-headedness that is unmatched.

We are now the people that will be dealing with NEEDING to get paid, and we will look around the car to see if we have a granola bar and a bottle of water for the hungry guy on the corner.

“Told the homies: Nobody go hungry”

Because I know what it’s like to not be able to buy food. Pay your bills. Borrow from family/friends and deal with the guilt. It destroyed me, and I rose like a phoenix.

After nailing that job, I snagged another large gig with Facebook in Minneapolis, and it got me through the year, right up until Saturn felt like doing one more retrograde to end 2018. I was rolling in to January with a broken heart, and a broken mind. I thought I was in a good enough shape to pay off about $8k in debt that I’d accumulated over the last year.. and then the January blues would strike again.

I had been bouncing back and forth between Tahoe and LA, and the universe was pushing me to get the fuck outta truckee, no matter how much I loved my little mountain oasis. I couldn’t hide in the mountains any more.

I now knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make Cinema. With my heart and fucking soul. I wanted to create businesses and build empires. And I couldn’t do it as efficiently as if I moved to Socal. So in March of 2019, Nick and I got a place in Seal Beach. The rent was literally 3 times what I paid for my place in truckee, but I knew that the opportunity would be so much greater if I just sent it and spent time there making it the fuck happen.

And now we’re here. I’ve been living here “successfully” for about 6 months, and only had one or two close calls, but I trusted my way through them, KNOWING if I put my trust in myself, and the universe, that I could make it happen.

And I did.

And I’m so fucking grateful for that.

Because now I’ve learned, after spending soo much time chasing the carrot on the stick, and what I really needed to do was this:

Stop, pick my fuckin chin up, and watch the carrot come to me.

No need to chase when you learn to magnetize and be yourself. When you trust in your worth and skillset. When you trust in your ability to persevere.

So is the story of The Man who Chased Himself, and found that everything he ever wanted now sits at his feet, ready to be experienced.

If 20s were this fuckin’ wild.. I’m excited to see what the 30’s have for me.

If you were a part of this journey, I love you dearly, and I’m so grateful for those of you who helped me through this. Whether it was simply listening to me, helping me pay for dinner, helping me owe you until  I could get on my feet. For showing me my power. My soul.

Truly. Grateful is what I am. And what I will continue to be.

I’m ready for the universe to exceed all expectations. With my heart on my sleeve,
“I came with my dick in my hand, don’t make me leave with my foot in yo ass, be cool!”

  • Evan, From Earth

The Chase for Himself (Part 4)

I would find out 3 weeks later that I passed the class with a C-. That woman gave me the grade, because I showed up and did everything I said I would, after I owned my mistakes.

But the battle wasn’t over. Now I was graduated, with a bachelors in Astrophysics, a minor in Technology, Arts, and Media, and an Associates in Fine Art, with no fucking clue what I was going to do with my life.

Depressed, and living on my brothers couch in boulder, I was working for the Colorado Daily, hustling to make $3/photo to eat.

My close friend Nick Tarnofsky called me one day: “Evan, I have a song I want to make a music video for, and I don’t know anyone but you who knows how to do video stuff. I have $200 bucks, a case of beer, and I can buy dinner. Are you down?”

And then goes history. I called Scott Thompson, the dude I went to NZ with to come and help me with lighting, and Scott knew of this perfect abandoned horse stable off his fishing spot that we could sneak in to after dark and film.

We ended up winning that competition. After a nice skate session in Erie, enjoying the fruits of our labor, Scott asked me: “Have you ever thought about doing this for money?”

Not until that moment, no! And now we were in the full midst of starting a video production company.

An astrophysicist and businessman walk in to a bar…

We met with Boulder’s Unreasonable Institute, a group of young entrepreneurs who help people start businesses, and planned to move to Tahoe, where we would spend a year snowboarding after college and try to see if we could start a business.

We moved in to Scott’s parent’s house for a few months while we drove up to Truckee every day and showed up to every real estate business in the city, decked out in suits. We stood out like sore fucking thumbs in that town.

We thought we had a great idea. At the time, real estate was just shitty virtual tours. These tours were hosted on someone elses account, so they were not only bad, but they were horrendous for google search. We had a better plan: Real Estate Video.

Down side is we were 4 years too soon. No one wanted to pay for that shit. But on a whim, the CITY OF TRUCKEE gave us a shot to film a commercial for them. We slayed it, and then we started getting all this commercial work in town. Now we were a fucking advertising agency.

We weighed heavily if we were going to get jobs at the ski resort while we did this as a side hustle, or if we should fully commit, knowing that if we leapt, that it was the only way to make rent, and we’d have to make it happen.

That year, we won New Business of the Year at the Best of Truckee Awards. Two young ass shred rats taking the award from some decently stiff competition, 30 years the younger of anyone in that room.

That carried us on to many different projects, but we quickly ate up all the work in the area. We had a business model of creating videos that people could still use 5 years later.. which, 5 years later, put us out of business lol.

I was still super heart broken and my depression only got worse as I fought determining my worth by clients who wanted to pay us pennies on the dollar and didn’t want to pay us on time. It was straining Scott and I’s relationship, because we lived together, and worked on very different schedules.

Scott started working on a Real Estate video project with a friend of ours, and I had zero interest in doing that at the time. We had just got our first film in a film festival and I was starting to feel that pull towards creating TV shows and Features.

I started creating things with my friend Drew, who owned Dark Horse Coffee Roasters. That was the seed that brought me to where I am today.

After a lot of come to heart moments, I decided to have the tough conversation and tell Scott that I wanted to follow my own path. That I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go, but I needed to do it by myself so that I was the only fucker affected by it.

This happened around my Saturn return at 28, and I was up to my tits in debt we had accumulated. In my sheer need to escape, I decided to take on all of the debt from the company as part of me buying out the company. After some quarrels with that deal, I realized I was paying a very large sum of money for a name I didn’t even really care about. So I said fuck it, owned up the debt, and dissolved the company.

I was in a little bit of a weird place, and some weird as shit happened that I’m not going to discuss on this platform, but lets just say it was about as wild as it fucking gets and I’m not proud of it. At all.

That put a lot of extra baggage on this game though. A whole lotta psychic problems. But I also had a transformative awakening experience that made me sure of some soul contract shit that had to get resolved.

Then I got a couple really dope jobs. I got hired to go film a yoga retreat in Molokai Hawaii. I would be filming SEMA in Las Vegas (a dream), and then coming home for 12 hours, leaving for HI at 4am. My dude was going to be the chef on the trip, and got very ill at the last minute. I didn’t know anyone of this adventure to HI, but this being my first time in HI, I was beyond excited. I had always wanted to go HI, and I was going to fucking MOLOKAI! The most OG experience of Hawaii I could get.

On this magical trip, I also met someone who would literally change my life. Someone who would spark so much growth inside of myself. Someone who would push me to be a better man, and shed off every layer of untruth that was inside of me.

Then I had the darkest nights of the soul. Depression hit an all time high. I had no fucking clue what I was going to do with my life, but I was in it.

I definitely thought about ending it a couple times, but I had made that decision when I was 12, the first time I contemplated suicide, that I wasn’t going to do that. That was quitting, and it would only hurt my friends and family more than anything. So I just had to cry and cry until it didn’t hurt anymore.

After paying off all the debt from the business that had been killing me, I finally started my new company, Viscerah. Not even a month later, Nick called me.

“YO! I’m workin on a new EP, and I have a song I want to make a music video for. Can I send it to you?”

I was completely blown away after the first listen, and had to hear the whole EP. He sent me the rest of the demos and I called him back screaming “YOU DIDN’T JUST WRITE AN ALBUM! YOU WROTE THE SCORE TO A MOVIE!”
“So.. do we make a movie?”

The Chase for Himself (Part 3)

I returned to CO with more free time than I had had all my college career. And I had a lot of school work to do.

Right before I left for NZ, I had a moment of reckoning when I forgot a painting on the day of critique. I ran to the studio at 6am and threw paint on the board. I put the painting up and sat in the back of the class embarrassed as fuck at the work I was presenting.

Some kid went on about how much emotion was in the piece. How the “reds signified my internal angst, while the yellows showed the light at the end of the tunnel” (Actual quote)

I got an A- on the piece. The highest grade I had got on my piece of work in the whole time I was at school. I freaked out and went to my advisor office that day.

It was a scene out of a movie. This mother fucker had stacks of student documents to the ceiling surrounding him from every side. There was barely a place for me to sit, and the dude didn’t even look at me when I walked in and he asked me to sit down. I learned this was pretty standard for CU. Gotta love how they treat you when you pay 40 grand a year to go there.

He asked me what I was there for today and I said to him a statement I will never, ever forget.
“what’s the hardest major in the [school of] Art’s and Sciences”
“Could you please repeat that?”
“What’s the hardest major in the Arts and Sciences”
“I’m not sure I understand your question”
“Look, if I switch to engineering, none of my credits transfer and I have to start over. Same with the business school. So, what is the hardest major in the Art’s and Sciences”
He pulled his glasses down and stared at me with a confused look.
“Uh.. Astrophysics.. or Organic Chemistry?”
“Give me space.”

And that was that. I was now studying to be an astrophysicist from the school who has graduated more astronauts and won more Nobel prizes in the subject than any other university in the world.

When I got back, it was quite the doozy. I went from drawing for 3 hours every day and flirting with chicks in Art History to being surrounded by the nerdiest, stinkiest group of dudes in the university.

And I was very sick.

You see, that stress, combined with all the medicine and poor lifestyle habits, was starting to actually kill me.

I would later learn how fucked up those antibiotics I was taking were, and realized that I was a Guinea pig for western medicine. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

Only I could do that.

Fast forward and I was almost done with school. I had been juggling this crazy amount of school work with this infatuation of the most amazing girl I had met in my life at that point.

I was skipping Quantum Mechanics to spend an extra hour with her in the mornings. I was fucking up baad.

I started to sense this space being created between us as our graduation dates got closer. Remember, I’m an intuitive one. We had become “official” a few months earlier after a 5 year long ebb and flow love affair, and I remember the night I asked her officially, starring at myself in the mirror, starting to cry, and said “This is going to hurt like fuck”

I knew, but part of me didn’t want to listen. I dove in, and gratefully I did, because that was some of the most emotionally rewarding times of my life.

But I knew that was soon to be over. One night, on a heavy snow storm, she came and picked me up from class and we went to dinner. At home, we were watching something and I felt her pull away from me. It was time to address the elephant in the room.

She was going to SF and I had no fucking clue what I was going to do with my life. She felt it was time we came to terms that long distance wasn’t going to work and we needed to break this off.

It was snowing feet outside, so I couldn’t just walk home, and it was too gnarly to drive. So here I was, just having broke up with the girl I actually had convinced myself I was going to marry, and I have to stay at her house. I wont ever forget that 24 hours.

I finally got home, and I remember watching her drive away from my house the next morning, not saying a word to each other, until I broke the silence with “don’t be a stranger, k?”

I made it to my first Quantum mechanics class in a long while. And we got our tests back.

  1. My second test of 3, and I’d failed them both. I had a D- in a class I needed a C- in to graduate in just one month. My phone dinged, with email confirmations from both my parents and grandparents that they had booked their flights and hotels for graduation.

There I sit, with no fucking idea if I’m actually going to graduate, heart broken, sick, and completely lost.

And I fucking lost it. Straight off the deep end.

I booked an office hour with my teacher and I sat down, and closed the door. This is exactly how the conversation went

“What can I help you with, Evan”

She stared at me with a hint of resentment, knowing I had not shown up to class more than 30% of the time, and of those 30, were almost always late, and definitely not paying attention.

“I fucked up. And I apologize. I disrespect you, and your class, by choosing to spend more time with a girl than dedicated on your class. And now I’m here to pay the piper. I’m not asking for extra credit. I’m here to ask you is it possible if I am PERFECT from here until graudation, to pass your class with a C-. I’m not going to gradschool. I just need to get out in the real world. Is it worth the effort, or do I just need to give up right now”

She sat and honored the space as I had tears flowing down my face, but was as composed and honest as ever. She told me that if I got perfect 100s on all the homeworks, did well on my last test, and the final, that I could pass her class.

I buried myself in that class. I showed up to every single help hour, every single work shop, and went to both study sessions for the exams if there was more than one. I aced every single homework. I got a 97 on the last test. I learned an entire semesters worth of quantum mechanics in 5 weeks. And then came the final.

The final for quantum mechanics was my last final, at 7am on the day I was supposed to graduate. My 3 hour final was at 7am, and I walked at 11am. I would be taking a test and having no fucking clue if I actually passed the class or not, and then immediately graduating. At the end of the 3 hours, I stuck around for 5 minutes to see her explain 60% of the test to another classmate. I definitely botched it.

I ran home, put on my cap and gown, and skated down 16th full blast to make it to walk for graduation, gown flowing in the wind as I skated mach 5, debating my fate and actions of the last semester.

The Chase for Himself (Part 2)

After making the most money in a single paycheck that I had ever made in my life (over $1000 in ONE Paycheck), we hit the town. Our roommates boyfriend (who she was definitely cheating on) (and was only our roommate because you needed a chick to get on a lease in NZ because the dudes have a history of fucking shit up) was in town, and bought us all a couple Jagerbombs. We had just got paid, so we bought a couple rounds. We were partying at my work establishment, so the girls bought me and crew another round.

For those of you keeping count at home, that’s 5 full Red Bulls in the span of a half hour. Now, Boulder Freeride was sponsored by Red Bull at the time, so my tolerance was quite high, but 5 bulls was enough to make any dude with balls full of testosterone flip off the wall.. And that’s exactly what I did. And then learned a very valuable lesson.

Never show off for a girl.

On the second attempt, I went to add some flair, and my foot got caught on the wall.

I was drunk as a skunk lying on the ground going GIVE ME A MINUTE! Scott looks at me and says “BRO, stop bitchin, straighten your foot out, and let’s go!” “Wait.. straighten my foot out?” I looked up, and my right foot was completely backwards on my leg. At that moment, I did what any drunk asshole would do, and I spun my foot back around. Then the pain truly kicked in.


Needless to say, that trip was cut a little short. After a shot through the abdomen to bring my 70% chance of dying on the airplane home down to a measly 30% chance of death, and 36 hours of plane flights on baby Vicodin, I was home for 8 hours before I had surgery in the morning.

That was the day that I learned I was allergic to Fentanyl. After what was supposed to be a “quick surgery”, They had to sit me on the table and make sure I wasn’t going to die on the operating table. In the process, all local anesthetic had worn off, and they couldn’t get me any pain meds until I was awake to insure that I didn’t die. When they started to wake me up, I yelled from the darkest demons in my loins.

My brother said that they heard me yell in the waiting room, through 4 hospital double doors. Full fight or flight, I tried to get off of the table and run the fuck outta there. They kept pumping me full of pain meds and when asked what my pain level was, I screamed and flung spit in to the nurses face like the demon from hell I was in that moment. She said “Okay, you wont remember any of this” and pumped me full of some new shit that took me down a notch. This story determined that was a lie though, because I definitely remember it lol.

The healing process from that injury was wild. That night, no one told me that I had to stay ahead of the pain and wake up at 3am to take more percs. So queue another one of those screaming fits in the middle of the night. The doc put me on the max dose of Percocet, every 4 hours, until the bottles were gone. In the midst, I was allowed to finally take a shower after 4 weeks of rotting on the couch. That would turn to be disastrous..

When I was getting out of the shower, my mom’s glass shower door started to creak open slowly. I watched it in slow motion, and crutched towards it trying to stop it from hinging open. I realized I wasn’t going to make it and tried to back out, but it was too late. The door hinged, cracked around the bottom latch, and came down like a guillotine. The company installing the bathroom door went against code and didn’t install tempered glass.

There I stood, butt naked, with no glasses on, blind as a bat, and something inside of me started to scream. I looked down, and there was a HUGE pool of blood. I still couldn’t put any weight on my right leg, and my toe on the left was about to fall off after being sliced open. I screamed for my mom, who was on the other side of the house vacuuming. She couldn’t hear anything. Luckily, my dog did, and was doing circles around my mom. Prince was known to HATE the vacuum more than anything, so him being around her warranted a shut off of the vacuum. “PRINCE! What?”

A faint scream was heard in the other room. My mom came running in, and thankfully, I had managed to put a towel around myself. There I stood in the door way in a 10ft puddle of blood, about to pass out from blood loss. I watched my mom start to pass out as she ran towards me, and some maternal instinct kicked in, keeping her alive enough to get me horizontal, call my dad to come and help, and get my ass to the hospital.

I had cut the tendon and opened my shit right down to the bone. I refused pain killers because I had literally just got off the gnarliest addiction from the percs.

You see, being a patient in America, they prescribe opioids like candy, and after having that crazy first round, I became physically addicted to the medicine. I am one to push myself, so when I had 1 perc left, I decided it was time to quit. I tried to quit cold turkey.

I didn’t sleep for 3 days. I had spiders crawling all over my body. I couldn’t sit still. My eyes were black. I couldn’t stop sweating. On the fourth morning without sleeping, my mom woke up for work, found me on the couch tapping away at Fantasy Football (the only thing that kept me sane), and said “You still didn’t sleep last night? Take half that fucking pill right now”

I slept for 18 hours straight, woke up, took the other half, slept for another 12, and I was no longer addicted.

Needless to say, my pain tolerance was high enough at this point that I didn’t need anything for this “minor” injury.

The shit part was: it wasn’t healing. Something happened in the emergency room and they didn’t get me cleaned out right. So I was started down the gnarliest set of antibiotics we have, short of Cipro.

That would haunt me for 3 more years.

I was tired of sitting on the couch, and pissed that I missed half my snowboard season, so I went to the same PT facility that the dallas cowboys used and told them: I know this is a 9 month recovery time.. can we do it in 4?

I threw up the first day of PT, once from pain, once from cardio.

The Chase for Himself (Part 1)

Looking back on the last decade, I saw one common theme across the board: Chasing.

I started my 20s chasing EVERYTHING. Experiences, places, things, feelings, women, success, knowledge, peace, happiness. If it could be chased, I fuckin chased it. And if it could be ran from, odds are good I spent some time running from it too.

I quickly realized that I also experienced things that so many humans could only wish to experience in their whole lifetime, and that was something that made me extremely grateful, and extremely anxious.

At 20, I moved in to my first apartment with 3 of my best friends that I still talk to almost daily. On move-in day, we opened the door and my mom immediately walked out because of how disgusting the apartment was. Every other unit in our complex got new carpet, except for ours, which had a new 10ft by 8ft puke stain from the rugby bros last party in the middle of the living room floor.

The property managers didn’t think that we were worth putting new carpet in for, because “We were 4 boys” and “Couldn’t be trusted with nice things, like new carpet.”

That was a theme of worth that pretty much sums up my entire 20s lol.
After a whole lot of standing up for ourselves, we got new carpet, and the good times rolled.

That span of my early 20s consisted of a whole lot of self-discovery. I was helping run the largest collegiate club in the world, Boulder Freeride, a collection of students who were down to snowboard, ski, party, and fuck-up as many things as humanly possible. It was a group of kids leading kids, with us only being slightly more sober and straightheaded than the rest of the bunch.

It was as close to a frat as you would have any of us ever admit to say, and I’d get popped in the mouth by a couple friends for even uttering that phrase, but alas, it was a group of people who all shared similar interests.

That sophomore year was the first year I broke over 100 days on my snowboard in one season. I was still an studio art major at the time, and I arrived to many a class late, stoned, and in ski-gear, board in tow.

June 6th 2011, at 21 years of age, I decided it was time for a break from all that snowboarding and partying and that I needed to move to New Zealand to continue partying and snowboarding. My buddy Scott and I bought a couple plane tickets to Queenstown with no idea where were would even stay, and no jobs in tow. We just wanted to snowboard and document it on a blog in video form. I convinced Boulder Freeride to let me go and take a hiatus, so long as I created content and managed my duties of creating a new website and membership system from the other side of the world.

We would eventually find jobs, and so started a look of waking up at the crack of dawn, catching the bus to the hill, riding until 1:30, catching the bus to work, working until 2am, partying until 5am, and then starting it all over again the next day.

Anyone who knows me, knows my body does not operate like that AT ALL, so it was only a matter of time before I broke. And when I broke, I went full fuckin bore.

I was working at Winnies Gourmet Pizza Bar. Winnies was a family establishment during the day, and then the hottest babes in NZ would slut it up for drink specials in the evening. It was pretty wild, and it was definitely the place EVERYONE wanted to work at. I got a job washing dishes in the back because the manager had spent a season in Breckenridge, and I’m a smooth talker. I slugged my way through my first night, only burning the fuck outta myself once (still have a pizza shaped scar on my arm from it), and got the job, on the condition that I would need to hurry the fuck up quick lol.

NZ was fuckin WILD. The bars closed at 5am, and the last food joint, Fergburger (which has the best burger on the planet, and I will straight up fight you on it. Yeah, Whis, Splitz is FIRE, but its my #2, sorry not sorry) closed at 5:30 am. One of our regular establishments was this bar that had a miniramp in it. You could get a liter and skate an indoor ramp all night. It was also during the Rubgy World Cup that we lived there, and if you know anything about NZ, the All Blacks are the biggest thing in the world to those people. I’ve never started drinking at 7am before, but there wasn’t much choice at that time.

Negative Attention is Still Attention

“Negative attention is still attention”

That was a deep realization I came to recently. “I’ve got a thirst for self destruction and I’m scared of it”
Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I had written and wired this neuron that equated attention to love, in any form. Even negative.. hell, especially negative attention. You know.. the kind of attention where there’s a lump in your throat, and you’re spewing emotional baggage out because you feel lonely, hurt, lost, misunderstood, etc?

Only as I knock on the door of thirty years old has my self awareness allowed me to see that I would lash out in these patterns in my life when I was feeling these ways, and grasping straws for attention from the people I loved, even if it meant I was a crying ball of bitch. Somewhere I was taught (attention == love), and I’ve spent a good chunk of the last 7 years rewriting this story inside of myself.

Only now do I realize all the shit my parents were going through in their own lives that might have influenced these beliefs inside of myself. That’s because I’ve finally felt strong enough inside to be able to sit down and look at it.

A few years ago, I started to wonder why I couldn’t remember much of my childhood. Did it all get erased? Did that big accident a few years back knock it all out of me? Was it all the weed? Or was it the trauma? DING DING DING.

I had blocked it out.
And I realized that I spent much of my childhood in my own little world. That’s why I have the imagination that I have today. I spent so much time practicing it to escape the chaos around me.

My parents divorced when I was 6. I found out because I went looking for my toy box and it was gone. My mom bent down to tell me that my toy box was at the place my dad would be staying at for a little while. I held that little white lie with me up until my dad remarried. I was crying at their wedding, and everyone thought it was so beautiful because I was so moved that my dad found someone amazing (and she truly is amazing). But I was crying because I realized, at that moment, my parents were never getting back together again.

That little piece of trauma was so wrapped up in my life that I had only begun to dissect it many years later, when my best friend Cam brought something new home for the apartment. It was a dope thing, and everyone I know would have been stoked on it. And I should have been stoked on it too. But I wasn’t. That got me curious. I retraced that feeling of “Why do I get so anxious when something in my environment changes, even if its good?” I went back and back to that moment of the missing toy box.

Holy fuck was that a wakeup call. That little moment had affected every single day of my life going forward in ways that I was completely unconscious about. That got me thinking what else from my childhood was affecting my every day life. Then I realized “fuck.. I literally don’t remember much of anything from my childhood…”

Why? I asked myself. I started to contemplate. Piece by piece things started to unravel. At first I was mad, like anyone would be when they realized that they had been influenced by so much of their life that was entirely out of their control. Then I started to have compassion.

My parents are amazing people. I love them so much and I’m so grateful for them. But one of the things I’m not sure that has even been realized or acknowledged outside of myself was how much their shit became my shit.

How much pain my parents were going through individually that myself and my brothers were just by-standards to. How much stress my Dad was under after losing the woman he married “for richer or for poorer, in sickness, and in health, til death do us part.” How much stress my mom was going through trying to put two groms through private school while managing an 80 hour work week, and still making it to all my games. How much both of their hearts hurt for the decisions and repercussions that were made. That made it a little easier to dive in and start to dissect these things I had been carrying with me.

If you guys are close to me, you know I’m incredibly “sensitive.” It’s my superpower. It comes out in my attention to detail and nuance. My ability to read people and situations. My ability to think outside the box. My sensitivity goes so deep in to my nervous system that I only have to take about ¼ of anything for it to affect me. That led me to a life of masking the sensations, because being incredibly sensitive while you’ve got chaos all around you growing up, was not very safe.

No wonder I’ve felt so unsafe all my life. No wonder I’ve been afraid of love. No wonder I have no idea what a healthy loving relationship actually looks like.

This doesn’t give me an excuse to carry this anymore though. In fact, the awareness of it means that it’s my fucking job to own MY shit and not pass this down the line to people in my life, and especially the children I bring on to this rock, if that’s in the cards for me.

When things would be okay, THAT would feel like chaos for me. What the fuck is “Okay” and how does one cope with trusting that someone loves you when your youngest memories of love are filled with screaming matches, substances, war, and being forced to pick sides.

Little fun fact: I solved my parents custody battle. I was walking out to the car with my dad at like 7 years old and we were talking about trying to figure out the days when we would be going back and forth. I thought it would be a good idea to go 5 days back and forth, because there’s 7 days in a week and that way, we could evenly split up the weekends.

Two grown ass adults had been arguing back and forth about all this bullshit, and my little ass figured it all out. That would be a borderline nightmare for the next 11 years, but it’s a hell of a lot better than anything else they were proposing. That was the state of turmoil they were in.

It’s with that understanding that I must now rewire the inner child inside of me. Somedays, like today, I have to literally sit down with my 7 year old self and talk to him. Ask him what’s wrong. Tell him that it’s all going to be okay, and we just need to breathe, and trust that things always work out for the best.

Because they do. Even when its scary. But you can’t freak out. That never ever ever has made it better. Even though it feels that way, because that negative attention, it never helps in the long run, and we’re in this for the long run.

What’d I get from my parents divorce? That best little fucking brother on the planet I wouldn’t trade for the world, and the most amazing step mom that is a angel incarnate. I was given an unbelievable set of skills and compassion. I was given an unbelievable amount of strength.

Just like I said: It always works out for the best, even when you can’t see it right now.
So don’t freak out. Breathe. And Trust.
And most importantly, LOVE.

Because no one ever became lesser by choosing to love, even when its scary.
Remember: Negative Attention =/= Love
Even when it feels like its all we’ve known.

Trust that you’re worth it.
Trust that you have a path ahead.
And Love,
Like its your fuckin’ job.