Wadi Rum Camel Ride

Feel Free to be Yourself

If you’re part of my mailing list, you’re aware of a new’ish direction this blog is going to take, or at least try to take. So rather than just posting the video and telling the story around it, I’m going to try spin it another way.

Just be you

I have written about this quite a bit, most recently, What Being Happy has Taught Me about Myself, and Beginning to Live the Life I Want.

It’s an idea. A hope? A dream?

That we are all comfortable enough with who we are, that we are free to be ourselves.

We are worried about society. We are worried about our boss. We are worried about significant others. We might even worry about our friends.

Worried what people will think of us.

But what if you didn’t care? What if you’re not supposed to be the person that goes to work every day in business casual suits? What if you hate corporate structure? What if you really wish you could get a sleeve full of tattoos?

What if you did what you wanted. And surrounded yourself with those that like and love you for who you are?

A reality.

A reality without stress.

A reality of not worrying about what people think of you, but instead, a reality in which you wonder which of your friends is going to join you.

Because let’s be real, if you’re just pretending to be someone you’re not, you’re going to attract others of the like that you are not. And then you can never be who you are.

Would you know you anymore?


Video from Columbia Sportswear

Current Soundtrack of my Life

Music has the ability to change your mental state, and other times it just represents your mental state for any given amount of time.

During some of my “dark days” years ago, I listened to a lot of metal/rock. For some reason, during climbing season I listen to a lot of underground hip-hop. But over the past month, I’ve been so extraordinarily happy that Top 40 pop music has really been speaking to my groove spot.

Some lyrics make it obvious as to why that song has made my playlist. Others just have a nice, upbeat feeling to them…even if I don’t know the actual lyrics or meaning of the song itself. And lastly, some of the songs just remind me of certain people that have been apart of this special time in my life, even if they aren’t particularly applicable.

Here’s the list. And then you can listen to all of them in the embedded YouTube playlist below. Enjoy! (Or make fun of me for listening to Top 40 Pop. Either are acceptable.)

Happy by Pharrell
Young Blood by The Naked and Famous
Mountain Sound by Of Monsters and Men
Best Day of My Life by American Authors
Counting Stars by One Republic
We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus (YUP!!)
Monster by Eminem and Rhianna
Come with me now by Kongos
Let her go by Passenger
Breezeblocks by Alt-J
Thiskidsnotalright by Awolnation
Titanium by David Guetta
Punching in a Dream by The Naked and Famous
I Love it by Icona Pop

(Please note: some songs contain explicit lyrics and possibly some visuals you might not want other people to see as they walk by your computer.)

What being Happy has Taught Me About Myself

The past 2 months have been completely eye-opening to me in many ways I’m unable to describe. I’ve discovered things about myself, accepted things people have often told me but rarely believed, and have really taken grasp of what it means to be “me”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always as real as possible. I’m never fake, and I allow you all into some of the most personal aspects of my life. People from the online world are never surprised when they meet me for the first time. I never take anybody completely off-guard. What you read on here, how I interact on social media, it’s all me. I’m like that when I’m staring at a computer screen, and I’m like that when I’m staring at you face-to-face.

But there are some things that I keep guarded. You could call that deception by omission if you want, but to me, I’m not hiding things from you because of you. I’m hiding them from you because of me and how I perceive those things to be when portrayed by others.

But it’s time to stop believing that.

It’s time to stop denying certain things that I think are awesome…

I make fun of bros.

But I’m totally a bro.

In the past 3 weeks I’ve collected 3 new straight-brimmed hats. On top of the one I already had.

I’ve drank more PBR than limited release craft brews. By dollar amount. And I have several bottles that are worth $50 a piece.

My collection of tank tops continue to grow. Even during winter.

I’ll never wear skinny jeans or skater shoes because they don’t appeal to me or look good on me, and I’ll never talk like a bro.

But other than those three things, being a bro isn’t really being a bro.

To me, the tanks, the straight brimmed hats, the beanies, the plaid (oh gosh, the plaid), the PBR, it’s all a representation of lifestyle. It’s not who you are.


I’m not uneducated. Far from it.

I’m not a thug. I’ve never thrown a single punch.

I’m not floundering for direction in life. I’m too tightly bound to a path I started to follow long ago.

I’m just a guy that loves climbing. That loves snowboarding. That loves the lifestyle these people represent. I can’t help that dressing in a certain way makes you think I’m fulfilling some kind of stereotype. I can’t help that drinking PBR makes me a lower class citizen in your eyes.

I’ve recently started looking beyond all that. Looking past the clothing. Looking past the language (if it’s possible – it can’t get definitely get to be too much at some point).

And looking at the people behind their mask.

They are like me, only able to break free from the norm. They sacrifice financial stability to do what they love. They are passionate about one thing. Obsessed maybe. And they live it day in and day out.

I am like that on so many levels. But unable to break free from the self-imposed shackles. It makes so much sense that I connect with these people: the driven, the passionate. Why shouldn’t I try to be more like them? In ways that I am comfortable doing so?

I’ve always been envious of people that just do not care. I’ve been drawn to these people too. These people are so confident in themselves, in whatever they’re doing, they really don’t care what others think.

And I’m beginning to gain that confidence in myself. I’m beginning to let my guard down. And be me.

I wish everyone could do this. But it has taken me 30 years to do it. I can’t expect everyone else to join in all at once.

It has taken me an entire month of utter elation to realize all of this. It’s amazing what being happy can do for your psyche. Especially for long periods of time.

Denying who you are, or what you want, or hiding those things from others, is one of my biggest turn-offs when meeting someone for the first time. Never deny yourself happiness. Or inspiration. Do you. Be confident. And you’ll attract others that want to be around you.

Don’t be surprised if I’m wearing one of those wide-banded leather bracelets like the lead singer from Nickelback and owning that isht the next time you see me. You might make fun of me at first, but eventually I’ll trap you in my web of confidence and you’ll see what being happy can do for the other aspects of your life.