Summer Dreams

Antler’s Cafe – coming off the trail

Tim, Alicia, Cait, Lina, Steve, and me

Last week I finally started updating my new porfolio site www.BigWilliam.com. Head over and check it out. Of course, it’s not designed yet or anything, but I just wanted to get some content up for the time being.

I’ve also finished working there trial here at Anasazi, for a little while (you and I don’t know when I’ll come back). Let me just say that I’ve LOVED working on the trail. I love being in nature especially, all the TrailWalker friends I get to meet here, and getting to know the YoungWalkers. I started a blog about TrailWalker life here http://trailwalkerjournal.blogspot.com but I haven’t been updating it enough. But I have some stories I may be adding to it one day.

I have been surviving the summer heat here by purchasing large quantities of ice cream. It really helps! Oh yeah, and sometime A&W Rootbeer too. Can’t go wrong with a Rootbeer float every now and then.

Since finishing walking the trail I have put my efforts into re-starting my freelance programming business (currently called “Vendo” but I might be changing that name). I’m working on my personal site www.herbalnoni.com (new design isn’t finished yet, but it’s there), and I’m starting a new one for a new client (which I’ll announce once it’s finished).

I’ve been focusing on my personal schedule as well. I’ve found that when you work for yourself, you have to keep a strict work schedule. There’s no “boss” or “office” to keep me accountable, so I have to write out my own schedule and stick to it. One thing that helps me is this creative work place called GangPlank which allows anybody to come and work and collaborate. Themed in pirate flags and lots of computers, it’s my favorite place to get work done. Frankly, I LOVE it.

I also love the new ward I’m in. Nice people.

Alas, all this love, but I am heading out. Why you ask? Because I’m freaking awesome that’s why! Oh, so you think I just float around and do whatever comes my way and keep no stability in my life… well… okay you win. Expect the unexpected. But really, I do have a direction, and I’m testing out a few ideas before I go for it all the way.

I’ve been doing some soul searching and I’ve found that I have a recurring passion in my life: to create fun situations and learning environments. That’s a fancy way for saying I want to become a teacher. So I tried it out: I set up my own free class for the public and taught an HTML class. I also signed up to be a Substitute Teacher for the Mesa Schools District (although I didn’t get to do it because of a long story about my hands being too calloused for the fingerprint card and it taking too long to process, etc. whatever). So I’m trying things out in other ways. I’ve tutored a few people about how to make websites. And don’t forget what we do as TrailWalkers: teach wilderness skills baby! So yeah, I’ve been trying this out for a while. I’m going to consider a few other options first, but then if those don’t stick and this one does, I’m going back to school for a Master’s Degree in Education. (Horray for more student loans!) Well, hopefully I don’t have to incur more student loans. I’m (fingers crossed) hoping that I can create a successful freelance business to pay my way through college. Pray for me on this one, please.

I’ll be looking for a job in Utah when I head up there.

Okay that’s all I have time for. If you’ve read all the way here then GREAT. Have a splendid freaking fantastic day.

–WBC–

Still Around

Donkeys In The Road – Gunlock, Utah

Man I feel like I’ve been up to a lot and a little at the same time. 2011 feels like it only lasted a few weeks!

But this year has proven to be both simple, and drastic. The simple part is: I worked some trail jobs and build my Freelance Portfolio. The drastic part is: I stopped pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Yeah, that’s right – no more Engineering Degree for me. And for a very good reason. I had this huge awakening in February and realized that my passions really are in making websites and helping people via nature (hence the freelance work, and consistent trail jobs for the past 6 years). Not so much on the mechanical side of things (even though I was getting straight A’s). However, I will still watch a rocket take off in awe and sit there and think about how it all works 🙂

I’ve been working pretty hard this year at building up my skills in website awesomeness. I have new clients, and new strategies for how I run things. I’m pretty happy with it all. Overall, running my own business as a freelancer has been hugely rewarding, but is also just as challenging and at times can be super tough. Right now my portfolio is not up. I took down the old site because I just didn’t like it very much. As soon as the new site is up, I’ll be sure to blog about it so you can go check it out. Most of my work comes by word-of-mouth anyways.

I LOVE trail work too. Nothing in the world beats going out for many days, or weeks at a time and living off the land (with Anasazi) or camping out (with Aspiro). Yeah, I forgot to mention that this year I tried something new: I spent the Summer (and Fall) at Aspiro. It was a totally great new experience and really opened up my eyes to what other programs are like. That’s what I went for. I loved what I learned at Aspiro, and especially the people I got to know there. I am also very excited to return to Anasazi in the Winter and come back to some of my roots that I’ve planted there. I think I will always want to have a part in this type of work – even when I grow up (I haven’t grown up yet, okay?)

Well…

here I am, still in Utah. I keep pushing back my plans to move to AZ for the Winter due to various reasons:

  • Ended up working at Aspiro for a few extra weeks
  • Decided to stay and help out some family with moving their stuff
  • Working on some websites with clients located locally
  • The Holidays… why travel around when you can just stay here?
So by the time November came around I didn’t see any reason to travel back South again just to come back up here for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I decided to stay here until after Christmas.
Not that we even have any big Christmas plans.
Yep, my family is pretty cool. We don’t ever make big plans, and just see what happens. It annoys most other people. I’m proud of it because I’m always ready for whatever happens. Comes with the territory.
Have a good life, and in case I’m not back here by the time Christmas rolls around… Merry Christmas.

–WBC–

El Norte

I left Phoenix (shown above with the sunset) and took a trip to Salt Lake City this week. Not so much as a vacation, but to get some things done. I hitched a ride to St. George with my buddy Lincoln and Reggie (“my buddy” includes 2 people). I spent the week sleeping on the couch at Tamra’s house. Got to meet her awesome and roommates: Caroline, Kandace and Jenny. They live in a beautiful duplex on a hill that overlooks the city. Each morning Tamra made the most healthy smoothie in the world, and after she and Kandace and I would go for a run. St. George has some of the most beautiful scenery surrounding it hands down. I don’t care where you are from, and no matter how green and magnificent you think the mountains are where you live. Nothing compares with red and white sandstone hills with etched markings of wind and water, with black lava rock and green junipers painting the rest of it.

While there I zipped over to Moab and attended the Aspiro Tryouts. Aspiro is an outdoor therapeutic program similar to Anasazi, but they do adventure based activities (rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking, etc.) instead of wilderness survival. After the tryouts I was pulled aside and offered a job right away! This made me really happy, but I had to postpone the offer because I’m committed to work at Anasazi until May. If you’re thinking I’m leaving Anasazi for good, that’s not true (it never is for those of us who are “lifers” there). I’ll be coming back in the Winter to Anasazi as usual.

I have made a big decision: not going to pursue a degree in Engineering anymore. I realized this in January when I got my acceptance letter into the program. I was not excited when I got it. I didn’t want to believe it, but it was true. Needless to say I’ve decided to pursue Experiential Education as a career choice at this time. It is what I’ve loved doing for many years now, and so much that I hadn’t realized how far I had come with it. My education is in it, and 90% of my work experience is with teaching in the outdoors. It’s not that I don’t like math and science and rockets and computers… I love it all, but my passion has shifted to people.

I’m still doing math and programming on the side. I have a need for this technical stuff as well in my life. I still want to know how things work. I’m pretty happy doing these two things as a balance.

Really, if I could contribute anything to society right now, it would be the understanding of the true connection we have with out planet and how our modern technology is actually a part of it. Let me explain for just a minute: we are connected to our Earth. Not just in a spiritual way but literally physically. Our cells, and atomic structure are based off of carbons just like our planet. We resonate with it, whether we realize it or not. Most people don’t see this. We only watch movies about it (like Avatar) and wish we had it too. But my message is that WE DO! This has become more apparent to me the more time I spend in the great outdoors – sleeping on the ground, and not separating myself from nature with modern camping equipment. I hope I’m not sounding too off the wall here. I completely support the expanse and discovery of our modern technology. Someone told me this a few weeks ago and I agree: “What we are doing with technology is natural, because our planet has produced us and given us this ability to create what we have made.” Now I still believe we have to fix how we do things and make our technology cleaner and less intrusive to our planet. The paradox of our existence is our ability to create and destroy simultaneously. But I wish we respected the balance of our planet among all this invention and modern living. Too many people are scared of nature, see it as dirt, or disregard its importance. I get to work in a place right now where I take kids who don’t understand nature and after a few weeks in the wilderness they realize how ALIVE and connected our Earth is. And once they realize that, they become better people too (thus is the concept behind therapeutic wilderness programs). We seem to take for granted how dependent we our on our planet until something changes – like a natural disaster – and that is when we realize how fragile we are without the complete support and cooperation of our planet Earth. I wish the general population would understand this better. I know there’s a lot of people out there who know this, but there is still too many individuals preoccupied with their image or their bank accounts to care enough about where it all comes from. We are married to our Earth, and must understand it. Our practices need to change more than just using a recycling bin. The best thing is knowledge. Learn what our Earth is and understand why we are who we are – because of our planet. Lastly, I’d like to build myself an earth home. They are pretty dang cool.

Winter ’11

It seems that blogging has not been a priority of mine for quite a while now (around a year). I’ve been blogging since 1999 fairly consistently, and with pleasure. But I don’t know why lately I’ve been neglectful of this blog. Perhaps I lost interest because of other things. Or perhaps I just felt like I shouldn’t be telling the world about my personal life as much. I can’t really say for sure. But those reasons are a slice of it.

It has been interesting how things have evolved over the years in the blogging world as well as the wonderful attention the internet has now as compared to 10 years ago. Obviously Facebook has captured the biggest audience by being the best at re-creating our social lives online, which I believe has a significant impact on how we communicate with each other today. i.e. I was just talking to my roommate who created a Facebook group so he can get addresses of all his friends to send wedding announcements to. It was then that we realized: “How did we ever get all of the addresses of our distant friends and family before Facebook?” As the saying goes “Everybody is on Facebook.” Whatever. I think it’s a great trend, and I think they’re big enough now that they will always be successful – kind of like Microsoft. Both companies can get away with a few dumb mistakes and still recover just because they are so well known.

Moving on…

It’s Winter now. And those of you who know me know that I am more of a desert rat than a snowboarding junkie. I think that’s why I’m loving Arizona so much right now 🙂 Working the trail has never been better, and I’m keeping super busy during my off-weeks doing Calculus and freelance web development. I feel like I’m pushing my limits with all of these things I’m doing. It’s a good push though – because I’m always finding more efficient ways to do things and multitasking. I am definitely more productive and efficient than I have been for years.

So here I sit in my room and finally taking time to write on my blog again. I have a feeling I will be blogging more often. I also feel like there are some more adventures which await, and that keeping a blog through it all would be worthwhile.

If you’ve read this far I am impressed. I’d be bored by now 😉

Here is a fun video for you: The “Techno Viking” in Berlin…

Cycles: Cause and Effect

In this world of duality, all things & variations are possible. We entered into a physical existence for the possibility of experiencing joy, misery and many types of outcomes. Many can have cycles of misery and loss of control, or cycles of joy and increased agency.

The Gospel outlines the path of continual growth – avoiding all pitfalls and building upon greater agency. These decisions enter the individual into a cycle: Some cycles for better, and some for worse. Either one may have effects which will not be seen in this lifetime, but after many years from now. Imagine the personal hell of realizing that after hundreds of years a particular habit you have been doing is detrimental to your progressions. How hard would that be to change; and would you have rather changed your pathway while living on Earth, when the habit was young and more pliable.

–WBC–

What’s This?

I never could have predicted this. Homesick for the city? Actually wanting to be surrounded by noises of public transportation machines roaring down the street busied with people going places and their faces being lit up by lights from stores all around? Really? Are you kidding me?

I came down to SLC for Sven and Brenna’s wedding. It was awesome and I loved being there when they made their vows. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you care about people until you see them do big things in their life (like get married. BTW, I’m sorry to all of my friends out there whose weddings I missed; Sometimes for whatever reason things don’t go as planned). This is one of those times where I realize that I have some super awesome friends right here.

Frankly I like SLC. I’m not going to explain every reason why I like it, I just do. It’s awesome here and I’d love to stay. But my Summer job is elsewhere and I won’t be done there until October. I’d like to stay, but I have to work the job I have right now. That’s fine. I’ll be back.

Looking for Outdoor Jobs until then (in SLC of course!). I’m done with Recreational Therapy though. I want to try Outdoor Education instead. Know of any jobs? Send me a note. Thanks 🙂

I’ll be travelling back to Jackson tomorrow (today actually… it’s 12:30am).

–WBC–

Travels and Decisions

I am back in Salt Lake City after being gone for over a week. I drove to Rexburg with Tim and Bradyn two Sunday’s ago, and I got back by getting a ride to Logan (stayed with my brother Sterling for a few days) and then hitch-hiking to Farmington where I took a train to Salt Lake.

In Jackson, WY the weather was perfect, though cold on our first day. I went rafting, mountain biking, and still found time for finishing some website projects. Despite the hardship of staring at a computer for long amounts of time, I really enjoy being involved in website design, structure and maintenance. My clients are also happy with my work too 🙂

In Jackson I found a job at Dave Hansen Rafting. They need a person to help at the front desk. I accepted it, because, well, I just wanted to be up there this Summer. Now I have to be back in Jackson this weekend, ready to work. I’m taking it because I can work 2 days a week if I want. I’ll need the flexibility so I can still freelance. The big down-side of taking this job is it will last until October – so I’ll have to postpone a semester of school until January. But maybe this is a good thing because I need the extra time to get out of debt first.

I also really want to work for the Forest Service. I thought about this a lot while in Jackson and really felt good about pursuing a Forest Service job. I just need to volunteer my time with them first, before I can land a paying job with them.

There’s a lot of work ahead of me, and I’m trying not to overwhelm myself with too many options and commitments. Between my new Jackson job and website freelancing, I’m also supposed to 1. start day-trading with my 401-K $$, 2. finish my online Calculus class, and 3. volunteer for the Forest Service. Oh yeah, don’t forget about some basic recreation in between all of that too! Yeah, it’s too much I think. I’m still deciding which thing to let go of. update July 1, 2010 1. I’m not doing any of these three things! I have decided to stick to working at Dave Hansen and building websites. Those two things alone keep me plenty busy. I hope to work for the Forest Service in the Fall. –WBC–

Yin and Yang

Over the years, life’s little let-downs can start adding up and turn whatever faith you have into a cynical anticipation of expected failures. Despite attempts to accomplish dreams in life, past unfortunate events create a learned behavior which leeches away all hope and motivation to succeed in the future. A truly damning state of mind, and one which has been adopted by so many.

Yet, some success stories have illustrated that it is only in these states of mind that we discover our greatest potential and power: the ability to choose our own destiny.

When exactly does the change happen? When will the negativity recess and the positivity grow?

The irony in this is, that the mere expression of my own self-doubt is an indicator of a desire to abolish that mentality and turn it into self-confidence. The question I keep asking myself is: will I be able to do it.

–WBC–

The Great Outdoors

The great outdoors: it changes people. Everything I needed to know about life I learned in the Great Outdoors.

And you may imagine, as I used to, that being able to enjoy the outdoors requires special equipment such as big maps, special shoes, or backpacks. No, you don’t need them. But you use them sometimes for safety. But those aren’t the things I learn from. No, it’s really the interpersonal interactions I find out there. Whether with mother nature, or the people I’m with.

–WBC–

Pondering Life

as i sit here i’ve wanted to write these things down so i would remember them. and i will do that here:

i’ve gone through some phases: growing up wanting to live in the wilderness (forced to forget that dream from society) and then returning and almost touching that lifestyle while working at Anasazi (realizing it can be true) and spending many days in the desert with others who actually lived life the way i wanted. i learned a lot from them and i can say that i’m 80-90% sure i could make it if i were to leave today on my own. but, having a desire for education i am here in school instead – required to live in an apartment and follow some rules. at first i felt forced back into it b/c i didn’t want to return to a busy life of school. that’s okay, i’m open to any experience, knowing that none lasts forever and it can only allow me greater perspective on life. however, it’s hard to live a life you don’t exactly want. i’ve pondered this a lot and received some insight: it’s not wise to seclude oneself into the wilderness with no other human contact. i decided not to be a lone traveler.

so what do i want in life? it seems like ever since i started asking that question years ago i’ve never stopped. i’m starting to realize that knowing what you want in life changes as normally as life itself does. so the greatest thing i can want is to know what direction my life is going in.

true, i’ve been depressed in the past, like most people get when they don’t know what they want. in those situations you just have to make a choice; even if you have no reason for it, because if you don’t make a choice then you’re choosing nothing and that’s the worse thing you can do to yourself. plus it will prolong depression.

so make a choice. write it down and acknowledge that good and bad will come of it. i have to choose my lifestyle after i graduate. there will always be another choice after that.

i just started a personal progress plan today. the idea is not new to me. i’ve done this a couple times in the past. odd that i had to be reminded of it again though. if there was ever a time when i needed a personal plan that time is now. when i’m not tied to school anymore i will be free to go in any direction. how thankful i am to have that… any direction i want. i thank God for that.

i’m realizing that my childhood curiosity of electronics has not truly diminished as i had thought. i went to the career fair the other day on campus and whenever i passed by the companies that made semi-conductors (computer stuff) or did stuff like that i gaped at the jobs they were offering and then realized i couldn’t get them b/c i don’t have a degree in electronics but in communications. note: i did not say i regret having a comm major. i figured i might one day want to become involved in electronics again but not like this. i left the fair with a bit of confusion.

I’m drawing from many sources. i’m pondering the present and the future.

sorting out some of my thoughts… wanna see what i’ve decided so far? this, in chronological order…

1. must finish school. i will have a BS in Recreation Leadership and Communications.
2. internship jan-apr. i have three options and i will go with the best one that accepts me.
3. officially graduate (yep, i need one English class which i will do in Mexico after my internship, if they let me)
4. pay off loans. teach english in the orient (15K/year) or return to Anasazi. or go back to the internship.
5. if i can work for an electronics company as a “communications person” then i bet i can still get a piece of the technology action and perhaps fulfill both dreams at the same time. maybe they’ll pay for my graduate school as an electrical engineer.
6. research and invent. i have many ideas and i want to implement them. i want to invent better paradigms for waste management, better travel options for people, and many other things. in essence this is inspired by the Gospel (13th Article of Faith).
*. among all this i can envision a family. shy to admit it, don’t know why, but sometimes i desire that wonderful family atmosphere i see so much here at school. other times i’m bitter towards it.

the list will always go on. there’s never an end to life’s plan…