I find comfort in knowing that I will die one day. It springs me into action because we only have a finite time here in this world. Over the past couple years, I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to spend my precious time doing. I’ve spent countless hours journaling, researching, and talking to trusted friends about life, passion, and purpose. Through that challenging, introspective work I’ve realized there are things I currently do that I don’t actually want or need to be doing. In this post, I will try to explain what I want to do and why.

Believing in something greater than myself

Currently, my main goal in life is to live in balance with nature. To me, that means aiming to give it as much as it gives me. To be alive is to be in a relationship with nature and I believe the hallmarks of a balanced, healthy relationship are listening to, learning from, and treating the other party with the utmost respect. I also believe living in this way is what it means to be human. To sum it up in one word, gratitude. Like Skywoman dancing on the turtle’s back in the Potawatomi creation story “Skywoman Falling,” from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass. My life has not been the same since I read (listened to) Robin’s book, and my current life philosophy - which is captured in this post - is a direct product of the indigenous wisdom shared in her book. Please read it.

I feel a calling to love all life and help it thrive. I believe it is my purpose in life to be a good steward of nature and play the role nature intended for us. Clearly nature did not intend for all of the oil and gas inside the Earth to be lit on fire and exploded. It does not want to be covered in impermeable cement for millions of square miles. It did not intend for there to be any idea of waste or garbage. If there’s anything I can do to help nature be happier, I want to do it. I want to ride my bike to the farmer’s market instead of driving my car to Wal-Mart. I want to pick up litter I see on the ground when I’m out and about. I want to feel the gratitude I have for Mother Nature increase with each of these actions, as I help both the Earth and my soul.

Life is all connected. I believe there is a spiritual connection between everything. And if you choose not to get behind the spiritual concept of that, look at the purely scientific. For example, all living things would die without microorganisms. Owls would die without mice. Plants would die out without wind. There is a relationship between everything. Affecting one affects the other(s). I feel that many humans do not understand the relationships they have with the world around them, myself included. I want to learn more about the other beings I share the planet with and grow in empathy and gratitude for them. Humans have somehow distanced themselves from their relationships with their fellow lifeforms and have grown to believe we are separate from nature and have the right to do whatever we want with it, like mining, drilling, and polluting to name a few. This is not only wrong but also impossible. We are part of nature! We are children of Mother Nature. We live inside Her and are held by Her always.

I urge people to ask themselves: do you reciprocate the love that nature gives to you? Doing so benefits all of nature, especially the being(s) reciprocating. When you live in balance with nature, things in your life magically align, and life becomes more beautiful than you could’ve ever dreamed. Call it karma or whatever, but it is real and indigenous peoples know it. We humans in modern society have forgotten our role in the world, but nature will never forget our role so it’s easy to find our way again. Humans are meant to dance, sing, and show love to all living things. I think it’s incredibly sad that many people do not realize the world they’re missing out on by their disconnection from nature. Not to mention the negative impacts it has on all of us living things because of the imbalance caused by humans dropping the ball.

Ideally, there’s balance in all of our actions. Sadly, I don’t feel as though there is a healthy balance for a majority of humans in the world today, including myself. This is a shame because it’s in our best interest to have that balance! There’s a lot of lies our capitalist, colonialist society tells us about what we should want, how we should behave, and what is acceptable, normal behavior. These lies should be treated as such and cause us to seriously rethink all of our actions and look at life from a new perspective. Imagine a world where money and material goods aren’t valued over the lives of people, plants, or animals. Where buying produce at the grocery store doesn’t put the pollution of water and air on your hands from the pesticides, packaging, and shipping inherent in most foods Americans eat. Where it’s possible to breath air and drink water without fear of consuming toxic chemicals and petroleum-based products. This is the world I want to live in. I think that in the last 100 or so years we humans have accomplished some incredible feats of engineering, but we made a crucial mistake- before asking if we could, we didn’t ask if we should. Now, we need to re-evaluate the way we live, learn from our mistakes, and design our world with love and respect for nature at the forefront of our minds.

We all do our best with what we’re given

I’m only able to live the way I do, with the priorities I have because I do not fear for my life. I have money to buy food and shelter, family and friends who love me, and a healthy, capable body and mind. By many objective standards, I am more blessed than most in this world. Everyone’s situation is different so no judgement to anyone on the path they’re on in life because I will never know the depth of another’s struggles. I have nothing but love for everyone. I know we’re all being our best person. Doing our best. I hope that people don’t feel any judgement from me. Tupac said it simply: “I ain’t mad at cha, got nothin but love for ya, do your thing boy”.

No two living things are alike and therefore the callings of two different beings are never the same. So my goal isn’t to tell people what to do, but to try to share things I feel called to do and the reasons why.

Following the call

I want everything I do to be a true desire, not just a means to an end that I’m not 100% sure about. I have money saved up so I don’t need a job (aka the safety of money and health care) so when I’m working, I’m not doing my best. I feel weak because I lack the courage to quit. I lose focus quickly and it’s hard to motivate myself to start up again. I end up wasting a lot of time in no-mans-land being slightly distraught at not having a clear desire of what I should do next. It’s doubly bad because then, I feel bad about wasting time. I’m so excited to start this next chapter of my life without having to worry about my internet connection, making it to Zoom meetings, and finishing Jira cards on time.

I want to spend my time doing something I’m stoked about. I feel a moral obligation to do different work than I’m doing currently in my Monday-Friday job. Nothing is bad with the act of writing code and I do still enjoy programming but at the very least, I believe what is done with the software I build can be improved. The company I’m working for currently is super cool and 2 years ago I would’ve said it was my dream job. A network of solar powered computers monitoring air quality and weather data! I’m happy working for them but I think I can do better in terms of helping people live in balance with nature. I think I still have much room to improve in this area and I want to master something before I advocate for it. I know that I know incredibly little about nature. The names of plants, birds, and insects are lost on me. I want to learn how to play a musical instrument and eat a diet of 100% locally grown, organic food. I’m not doing these things now to the best of my ability and I believe quitting my job will not hurt my chances of furthering these desires.

There’s so many things I think are more important for humans to do right now than writing software for internet applications. My work has already hired my replacement in less than a month of me putting in my 30-day resignation. It’s not hard to find people when you’re offering a $120k/yr salary. But I think we need less people working for money and more people working for love. Love of nature, gratitude for everything Mother Nature has blessed us with. I think the environment would benefit greatly if more people quit their unfulfilling jobs. So how could I encourage someone to do that if I haven’t done it myself?


I don’t know what my future will look like but I trust that making the decision to quit my job will make my future path clearer and allow me to learn things and have new experiences that bring opportunities I may never have imagined. We process innumerable thoughts, many subconscious, and when we regularly do things that we’re not 100% happy and stoked about, it steals time from us to focus on what we truly believe in. The song “Society” by Eddie Vedder, sums up this concept with the grace of melody and guitar riffs. He sings:

When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed

In my experience, if you feel strongly about doing something and you believe it’s the right thing, the hell with it needing to be the “smart” choice, then it’s probably the right move and will help you grow. Once you make it, unforeseen opportunities will eventually become visible to you. Experiencing new things and learning from them is one of the greatest joys and miracles of life. I do not aim at “success,” I aim at being a happy human. Full of gratitude.

When I listen to Bob Marley’s “Exodus” lyrics, “open your eyes, look within. Are you happy with the life you’re livin?”, I do not feel happy with everything in my life. It’s impossible for me to identify all the things in my life I’m not happy about and know the solution to removing the “less-than-stoked-about” thing, but any nudge in the right direction helps.

Nietzhe said “given a why a man can endure almost any how”. If I feel like I have a “why” strong enough to power a “how” that is an uncomfortable, anti-capitalist, pro-nature thing, I’m going to act on it.

When struggling with big questions, ask yourself: “what will my future self be more proud of me doing?” Not “will I regret this?” If, in your life, you have the privilege of making decisions for yourself based on these questions, choose to come from a place of love and trust, not status-quo and fear. I’m proud of myself for choosing to quit my job. More proud than I would’ve been if I were to continue working full time writing software. Big decisions are hard though so start small and take wins where you can get them. For me, some small changes that unlocked big doors were downsizing my material possessions, going camping, and starting a garden. By doing those things I realized I need very little to survive and be happy. I don’t need any of the things society tells us to value- a house, car, fancy clothes, or anything like that! In fact, those things were holding me back from what I truly desired and until I freed up space in my mind by purging them, I was held prisoner by them.

I will continue living in my van, WWOOFing on farms and homesteads, and searching for real estate opportunities. I’m buying a 3/4 acre piece of vacant land in Detroit where I’m cleaning up the land, planting some native plants and trees, and then going to let nature do it’s thing. In the future I want to buy a larger property with a group of people where we can build tiny houses, grow food, and live together in community. Ideally, in a beautiful area where Quinn and I can trail run and in close proximity to a city where we can buy and sell at a farmer’s market. We can rent the property on AirBnb, host retreats, grow food, brew beer, bake bread, play music, and live simply. This sounds like heaven to me.

I take my role in the world seriously because I’ve seen the impact one small act can have. I also do not take my role in the world seriously because we humans are infinitesimal in the grand scheme of the universe. So I do my best, without fear of making mistakes.

Now, let me leave you with a list of things I already do but will have more time to do after Friday, July 30th, 2021; my last day of work at Very:

  • read
  • yoga
  • write
  • guitar
  • paint
  • run
  • sing
  • farm
  • dance
  • cook
  • meditate
  • volunteer

To some, this list may seem short and simple. But for me, I feel a deep passion and yearning for each item. I could spend all day getting lost in any of them. And that is exactly what I plan on doing. I have a long list of books I want to read, I’ve been craving doing yoga every morning, I want to write more poetry, and I want to get better at playing music. Through the lens of a capitalist society, these activities may seem silly and maybe even insane to choose over making 6 figures working on a computer. But they ignite the fire in my soul. They unlock doors I never knew existed, introduce me to people and places that make my heart sing, and allow me to be the best version of myself; full of love, passion, and gratitude. There’s magic in them. Happiness is my compass and doing what makes me happy aligns it and allows me to see where I’m being called to next. Maybe it’s a yoga teacher training, an Earthship building course, or an oil pipeline protest. Only time will tell but I trust I’ll follow the call when I feel it.