by Jon Sullivan - 2023-06-13 - Jonism

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About a year ago was the point where I committed to moving to Oregon. It didn't go as planned. Which I'm grateful for.

My blog post from a year ago, with the actual move still 3-4 months away :

"I'm heading to Oregon with no agenda and no limits. I've been 25 years in San Diego. It was a truly incredible phase in my life. But now it's time for a new phase. A fresh start. Not reinventing myself, but more just trying to exhaust the place."

It seems like waaaaay more than a year ago. And the "not reinventing" part turned out to be completely wrong. I am nothing like what I was a year ago. My crappy prediction wasn't due to things just not being as easy as I anticipated. It was due to everything and everyone here just making a massive sea change the obvious path forward.

- I thought I'd be catching crabs on the coast every week. It surprised me that everyone on the coast didn't. But you can buy crab anywhere here. And given the endless adventures on tap, standing in one place for 3 hours to, hopefully, catch a legal crab just makes little sense. It's cheaper. But only if you ignore opportunity cost. Too much good stuff.

- I'd gone all in with Stoicism, and I assumed I'd be roaming around the countryside in the context of the four virtues and ignoring what I don't control. But what was the point of that? Once I was here it turned out joy and beauty and magic didn't require a formal philosophical system. And as a city boy I'd made it all complicated. Oregon made me feel silly for that. Just be kind, always, remember we are all one. Love those around you and love yourself. Simple.

- I planned on not being a hermit. And I thought that mainly meant just getting out and doing things. Maybe making friends here and there. A concert maybe. It hasn't worked out that way. Being social wasn't a new skill I had to learn, it was a wave that has carried me along since the day I got here.

I didn't know I'd cry this much. I didn't anticipate the tears of joy being so......... always. I didn't think I'd be so happy it would feel crazy. I am crazy happy now. Which, as a concept, I would have labeled complete fantasy a year ago.

I didn't know James and Marilee would be the great friends and mentors they've turned out to be. I didn't know that watching them be a loving couple would bring me a comfort that had been completely missing in my life for so long. I know it seems weird. And maybe to old friends it seems like copium. But if it ever was, that's long past. They have taught me so much. Helped me so much.

I spent last weekend at a party Marilee organized. Just a friendly potluck so folks could see their incredible new house. It was a transformational two days for me. I sat on their epic porch and the allergy brain fog drifted away. I stared out at the world and meditated on what this meant a year later - "But now it's time for a new phase. A fresh start." I chatted with new friends about weighty topics. We talked a lot about God. We ate some great food. We shared stories. We laughed and cried. It was a weekend of love.

On the Sunday there I got up at 5am after sleeping in my car for the first time. Good trial run for car camping I figured. With the sun still coming up I went for walkies in the woods around their house. If there was ever a moment where I could really be called "new Jon", that was it. Walking through the woods as it was waking up. Feeling each step leading me on that "fresh start". I have reinvented myself. There was no other way. But so far this has come while being carried along, out of my control. I need to work on a plan again. What do I really want post transition? Who am I really? What other unknowns am I missing out on?

I'm not a hippie. But I'll allow that perhaps...... perhaps...... I'm hippie adjacent.

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