Welcome to DECIDE NOTHING
Doing my best to get my nose in it.
Although I complained for much of my life of not knowing what I was supposed to be, the fact is that I knew when I was fifteen that I wanted to be a writer—and then I forgot for thirty years or so, partly due to a cloud of depression and alcohol, and also in wanting to build some sort of foundation for myself. It’s also true that I just didn’t have the courage—or the heart—to dive so deep at that early age. Even then I had the sense that it would be something that came to me later in life. In the meantime I had an early career in software and with my own conference business that I sold in 2015, became an adventure guide in Brazil and something of a later-in-life outdoor athlete, and then, finally, starting in 2019, began to dedicate myself to learning to become a writer.
I write because I love language and ideas and feeling—and most of all—expression. I believe that stories are how we tell ourselves into being, both as individuals and as a culture, and I want to be part of that telling. It’s also about connection, something that I felt to suffer from a terrible lack of for many many years, and which I now value so very highly. Writing brings me into connection with myself, with others and with the world in a way that, for me, nothing else does. It’s helped me to be more me, and I think what we’re all here to do is to to be our unique selves as much as possible, and to bring ourselves into deeper connection with everyone and everything else as much as possible, because as much as we are our unique individual selves, we are also all connected.
What you’ll find here are personal essays, meditations, pieces of memoir, interviews, travel writing, perhaps some poetry and whatever else comes up and out. I use writing as a way of exploring, finding my way though subjects that feel resonant to me, which lately include relationships, intuition, love, men and masculinity, gender, addiction, depression, sexuality, and living on Vantasy Island.
I called this place DECIDE NOTHING because that phrase came to me as a guide-star several years ago, before I really had much of a relationship with my intuition. I didn’t know what to do next, but what I did know was that I didn’t want to decide. I didn’t want to feel stuck trying to decide, and also, at the time, I didn’t want to cut anything off, which is the etymological meaning of “decide”—to cut off. I wanted to explore, and most of all, I wanted to become someone else. Not that the journey is over, not by any means, but that chapter of exploration has resolved into a chapter of writing, and of cutting off many other things that might take me away from writing. So, as with so many other things, I aim to “decide nothing” to encourage my intuition, to follow my heart, just as I “decide,” or cut away, things that aren’t on that path.
As I mentioned, I want to connect through my writing, and so—welcome! I want to know who you are and to invite you into a community built around the topics and conversations that emerge here.
If you're new to my work, here are some suggestions for places to start:
Less Warrior, More Clown – on 'masculine' archetypes
The Man Pays – on not being a father
Discipline, Safety, and Freedom – a conversation with fellow writer T Callahan
Round File – a memory from my youth in Maine
The Last Time – on closing chapters consciously
Jenny Eighteen – teenage sex, crashing cars and North Beach Pizza
Change of Heart – on my relationship with alcohol
What Keeps Me From Fucking Up My Life? – on intuition
I'd love to hear from you! What brought you here? What have you learned lately that has changed the way you live your life? What are you aiming to learn? Which stars are you steering by? Is there anything you're afraid of? Is there anyone that you'd like to hear me interview on the podcast? Anything you've read or listened to lately that you'd recommend?
Cheers, welcome, thanks again for being here, and please be sure to subscribe to receive new posts and episodes. Most of what I offer here is open to all subscribers for free, but over time there will be some things that I offer only to paid subscribers, including the full version of What Keeps Me From Fucking Up My Life?—a handbook for intuitive decision-making. That said, the main reason to become paying subscriber is to support me as a writer, to support the art of expression and discussion, and to support the creation of content that is meaningful to you.
In the early days of the internet, one of the primary memes was that “information wants to be free,” but many of us made the mistake of believing that meant not just free to be seen and read, accessed and shared, but also gratis, i.e. at no cost. The fact is, nothing is free, and rather than trade away perks or bits of your screen for advertising, I’d rather ask readers directly to participate directly, as I do with writers and creators that I choose to support. While I did manage to put something in the bank from selling my business back in 2015, I’m a long way from done here on this planet, and my life now is about writing. I can’t do much else if I’m really pursuing that, and your subscriptions support my ongoing work, tools, research, education and labor to produce what you are reading here today.
As a subscriber, you become a member of a growing community of incredibly diverse individuals, a collective of intellectual and emotional ferment that helps to push the world in a better direction.
Thanks for being here,