The Truman Show

 

It’s the wild west out here, a cowboy town with more jellyfish than people. Every truck has an exhaust snorkel, a spare gasoline tank, and a hatchet strapped to the hood. Palm trees, ficus trees, birds that belong on the cover of a national geographic magazine. Two seasons instead of four (that’s half!), a rainy one and a dry one

The city of Darwin (where I’m at) is closer to Papa New Guineau / Indonesia than it is to Sydney or Melbourne. The soil here is red, the water aqua green. It’s very strange to look at the water and think, there’s a whole handful of crocodiles in there somewhere, just sleeping in the mud and blinking.

My legs are sore from running because the best way to learn your new city is to run around it in a circle.

Right when I graduated college the economy crashed. And my solution for better or worse has always been, “Go wherever the hell the jobs are.” For that reason I’ve lived in a lot of tourist towns.

I feel at ease with the transient vibe of a tourist town. Tourists are happy and their faces aren’t stuck in a mold. Each day is a new experience and so people are more likely to smile, more likely to slow down, go for walks, buy another drink.

But the truth is, Northern Australia is a very weird place.

It’s weird for now, but after you live in a city for 3-6 months, you inevitably grow accustomed to the cooky and the odd. You learn how to buy groceries. You start to talk like the locals. Your brain starts to believe that where you live is normal life.

My problem is that I was born suspicious.

The Value of Advice

sparring session

Life Advice is not only cheap, it’s bad for the environment. Seagulls are always getting their innocent little necks tangled in the plastic trash of ill-given advice.

The highest form of advice is autobiography; one person shares what worked/didn’t work for them. But even if the advice giver is 100% honest (not likely), and the advice recipient is actually listening (not likely), the chances are still astronomically small that my advice sweater will fit perfectly over your shoulders. Nothing about success is “one size fits all.”

Investigating 100 paths yourself is far better than following someone else’s road.

I’m talking about going straight to the primary sources. None of that third party crap. I’m talking about academic research, the god blessed scientific method of experimentation.

If I stick exclusively to one sport, one city, one job, one restaurant… how many potentially richer futures am I missing out on?

Every day I murder a new version of myself. If I choose to turn left, then I’ll never know the future of the guy who turned right. Life is the first draft of a novel that you’ll never get to revise. Every decision deserves to be weighed carefully on the scale of justice.

Once recent example… I never would have thought to try martial arts because none of my friends and family were into it. But now I’m thankful that I did throw my effort into boxing/wrestling/grappling. The same principle holds true for other parts of my life, and it just makes me wonder what else is out there waiting around the corner.

Jungle Rain

bali rainforest

Deer by a river in an evergreen forest. That’s my spirit environment.

I’m dangerously far away from my element here in the jungle. I had to stare at those leafy green trees for a good five minutes before I realized they were sprouting bananas. Mangos, Coconuts, lizards on the walls, chickens in the streets. The weather is warm year round with only two season: rainy and less-rainy.

People have dark skin here. They don’t stop for the rain. True to island culture these people seem to exist in the present. No harsh winter lurks around the corner. The horizon is green. The rivers are heavy. When the wind whistles it sings the song of abundance.

I heard the author Hugh Howey say one time, “The characters in a Sci Fi world should never be surprised at their surroundings.”

Balinese people don’t stop to marvel at the miracle rain storms that happen once a day here. But I’ve lived in the land of forest fires and I’ve walked through the dry American West. My brain still can’t register the fact that the ocean I’m seeing is the Indian Ocean. And if I’m walking through the woods and an Orangutan reaches down and gives me a noogie, I don’t know, maybe that kind of thing happens all the time.