Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm gonna be a nomad.

No, really, not just in theory but as a job, I'm going to be a nomad for an organization called Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) come February 1st. I'll be sailing back to California next weekend to continue my volunteer ambitions.

Check out this organization. It's legit. They do secret underground stuff in Southeast Asia where they hide and protect North Korean escapees until they can receive refugee or asylum status in another country.

The magnitude of human rights that are being violated in North Korea is astonishing. It's horrific. And the worst part is that we turn a blind eye to it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I woke up to this on Saturday morning:

It's from my 6 year old cousin Zach. It was 9.45 am and he was worried I hadn't set my alarm clock, but new he couldn't come into my room. Next best thing? An illustrated note under the door, obviously.

It made my day.

Reflect and Relax

I met a woman last night who, at the ripe age of 60, is taking time to reflect, relax, visit with family, and figure out her next career move. Okay, so she wasn't just any woman. She was my dad's cousin, but I had never met her until yesterday. In preparation for her visit, mom and dad both told me about her using words such as: nomadic, traveler, and never married. They told me I had a lot to learn from her. They didn't realize that I would become so infatuated with her that I would want to have coffee with her to pick her brain. How do I become you?

This is a woman who wore boots that looked like they could tell stories for days. A woman who has travelled all over the world and written for travel guides. She has had experiences that I can't even imagine and has called New York City her home or her home base, rather, for decades. This is a woman who can't imagine living without her bicycle and looks for good public transport in a new home.

And she's never married. But she's content. She enjoys her life and you can see it in her eyes when she recounts memories and stories long lost that she wouldn't have it any other way. Her bohemian, nomadic sojourn through life has made her who she is.

She has a free spirit. A simple bliss and freedom. She has spent her life meeting people and following life at the drop of a hat, wherever it may lead. Fearless.

How do you capture that? She had dreams and she raced after them. She travelled alone all over the country and the world. She has a beautiful community of friends, colleagues and family.

As I realize more and more about who I am, I think that's my greatest flaw. I'm full of fear. I think if there was an audible track to my thoughts, people would understand just how paranoid I am. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don't have anything funny to day? What if I don't know what they are talking about? Was that a joke? I didn't know to laugh. Oh, man.

There are so many things I want to do in life and maybe that's why I'm sitting still here in my parent's guest room. So many "buts" in between my dreams and me.

Solution: Have coffee with my new hero. Coffee conversations solve most things.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zooey or Dennis?

I'm back on the good ol' East Coast, snuggled in my bed (or the bed that is in the room that used to be mine), trying to avoid the responsibilities that are present before me: finding a job and figuring out a plan for my future.

But first let me back track a few weeks. Being a roadie: my experience is finished and I am now moving forward into the light or darkness or whatever is ahead. It was a beautiful and rich time, though challenging as hell. 2 and 1/2 months on the road, dozens of home cooked meals, 1 teammate left, 3 weeks in Canada (without the teammate who had booked this part of tour) without cell phone or internet, 1 new teammate joined us, 1 traffic accident, 1 "hit and run," 1 hospital visit, 1 almost-got-robbed-by-a-gang incident, hundreds of beautiful and outwardly centered individuals, 1 naked bass player, 1 ethiopian meal at 1:30am, 1 mom who made the 3 of us 9 sandwiches for lunch the next day, several extremely awkward contacts, and thousands of memories that I can't even begin to explain.

It was beautiful. Hard, but beautiful. And now I am prepared to begin whatever is next. But what is next is the question? So, I thought I'd just blog it out. Blog it ooouuuttt.

I've always thought it was necessary to have a job with meaning - of working with purpose and responsibility. That's a main reason I did Invisible Children - to fulfill my responsibility of a being a global citizen and I don't think that responsibility will ever wither.

Here's the bump in the road: I want to travel, like really, really travel. Like backpack across Europe on a sojourn for a few months. My roadie friend, Sean, has invited me (literally invited me on Gmail calender) to join him on a trip to Europe. You have to have money to do this, and I don't have much right now - health insurance is such a drain. So here's the predicament:

I need a job, but I also want to quit said job around summer time to galavant across the Atlantic. Thus I don't want a job with meaning because with meaning comes commitment and I want to be able to leave the job at a moment's notice. Working at a job without meaning means not living in the moment, which is annoying. I was watching Angelina Jolie get interviewed one time and she was asked, "If you found out you only had a week left to live how would you live it?" She replied, "Well, I already live in the moment, as if I had limited time left, so I don't think I would change anything." And then she riddled off being able to adopt children, going to Africa with the UN, go skydiving, blah blah blah. Then I realized you have to have money in order to live in the moment - on that caliber at least.

So here's where I'm at.
a) Dennis: I would love to work on an organic farm (WWOOF) for some time. Live and work in community - it's my thing. It stirs my bones. And there is just something natural about working with the Earth. But it doesn't pay, but, man, it would be amazing. (This is the Dennis reference - Dennis Quaid has always been the epitome of a farmer in my mind)

b) Zooey: I could prepare for living in the moment. Haha. I can live at home, get a job (say as a receptionist somewhere), and save up for my 2010 adventure. I could wear cute blouses and high wasted skirts like Zooey in 500 Days of Summer. Right?

So, it's just a matter of deciding what I want to do - what's more important. I've never been good at making decisions...