A single line of dirt gives chase through careful rows of newly sprouted corn as my bus speeds up along Highway 51. It’s not easy to get around Wisconsin’s rural expanse without a car, but there’s something comforting about the rumble of an old coach bus, the gaping windows that give you the sense that you’re flying over the rolling farmland. I’m getting used to it. I’ve spent the past couple weeks traveling this state visiting family and friends. It’s been almost a year since I last visited home and with each encounter, after a few minutes of hugs and hellos, my friend/family member will invariable frown, level me with a serious stare and ask, “So… what are you up to these days?” I smile, vaguely wondering what the asker thinks I’ve been doing, clear my throat and try to explain. What comes out is something like… well… this:
[caption id=”attachment_772” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”September”][/caption]
[caption id=”attachment_770” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”November”]
[caption id=”attachment_765” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”December”]
[caption id=”attachment_767” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”January”]
[caption id=”attachment_766” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”February”]
[caption id=”attachment_764” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”March & April”]
[caption id=”attachment_769” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”May”]
Thanks to the occasionally unnerving powers of Google Latitude, these are visualizations of where I’ve been lately. It’s all in the country, but 26,602 miles can be a little disorienting. You see why it’s hard to explain?
So… what have I been doing
in all these places? Everything
. I’ve been listening, editing, coding, hiking, sailing, reading, writing, climbing, networking, designing and learning with a frenetic energy I barely knew I possessed. From September to November I couchsurfed and camped my way from Wisconsin to California in my twelve-year-old Saturn, seeing some of the most beautiful sights in the country along the way. After landing in Berkeley I turned down a great job offer in Madison, WI to continue working as freelance video editor and (broke) resultantly spent the next four months living and working out of half a tiny bedroom with my friend and travel buddy Emily (possibly the only person with as much pseudo-crazy, positive energy as myself). The house was small but with great roommates, the California sun and a fireplace keeping us warm even on the chilliest of nights (read: 45 degree lows), it was a great winter. In January I drove to Park City, Utah to volunteer for the Sundance Film Festival and also picked up a job as a driver for the wealthy guests of a cocaine-fueled private retreat in the mountains (this culminated when, after fourteen unbroken hours of driving in a Utah blizzard, I screamed at my boss in a fit of hangry exhaustion and he threw a pound of frozen wings into the oven in an attempt to appease me). In March I moved to a seven-person Berkeley co-op (“Should nutritional yeast be a community food item? Let’s talk about how everyone feels about that…?”). My favorite part was coming home from work on Friday nights to climb into a mob of cuddling people on the floor of the meditation room… legitimately, that was amazing. The same week I moved into the co-op, Emily and I also lucked our way into a gorgeous office on Oakland’s Lake Merritt.
Really, this is where we work!!! :) And this is how we feel about it…
So… if you’ve asked what I’ve been up to over the last year I apologize that I haven’t been able to give you a particularly satisfactory answer. It’s just been too much!
The good news is it’s about to get even crazier!