I’ve made a few wild choices.

ONE TIME, I WROTE A LETTER to famed artist James Victore.

I was a college design student who had spent a few months idolizing his approach to work, creativity, and life.

He agreeably welcomed me to visit his Brooklyn studio, so I drove solo for fourteen hours until reaching the east coast. I parked in midtown Manhattan and took the B train to his space in Williamsburg a day later.

“Nobody is going to ask you to do anything,”

he promised, and explained that initiative and a headstrong attitude would build the foundation of my work. He told me to chase down opportunities and follow my spirit wherever possible.

TWO TIMES THAT SAME SUMMER, I CHOSE TO JUMP out of airplanes flying some 13,000 feet above solid ground, placing all of my faith in parachutes and tall strangers strapped to my back. It was July and I went with a group of six other first-time jumpers. The entire morning was weird and unreal. You’ll gather in a room to watch a series of training videos. You’ll sign pages of waivers. You’ll zip up in a full-body jumpsuit to stay warm. (And if you were me on that day, your tandem instructor would show up late.)

Four panels of my jump—blurry screenshots from a video.

As our plane climbed to altitude, the air temperature dropped below freezing. I only really faced what was happening after the plane’s door went up and we scooted towards it.

There is an instant silence and stillness that fills the air when pilots cut a plane’s engine. I suddenly felt electrified in the worst way. Everyone leaps out, in singles and in pairs, so quickly.

During that first jump, I nearly passed out from the antigravity as we fell. My jaw was clenched and I didn’t make a sound until I pulled our parachute.

We were offered a discount on our second jump and reserved it that same day. The next month, I all but dragged my tandem instructor to the plane’s door, and he laughed as he pulled me back; we hadn’t received our go-ahead. We tumbled out of the plane and I happily screamed for all sixty seconds of the free fall.

ONCE, I PACKED MY LIFE into a seventeen-foot moving truck. I drove north on Interstate 55, hit a few potholes, and dropped anchor in Chicago (with Aria and the houseplants). Today, I work on a digital UI/UX team and take creative projects from clients on the side. My summers are spent on Lake Michigan, road tripping to the dunes, and container gardening on my rooftop.

When I have managed to bend things to my will, it’s been the funniest thing.

Not “funny” as in ha-ha, but straight up:

differing from the ordinary in a suspicious, perplexing, quaint, or eccentric way.


I’ve found myself perfectly pleased—blissful, even—and I’ve felt destroyed in complete defeat. With boundless thanks to so many people, I’ve gotten better at considering myself as wiser for the time (while I plot what’s next).

All I want is to stay really good at rolling with the changes. A patient and bendy nature pays off.

Last updated 15 September 2021.