Tied into a life of adventure.

F-unemployment isn’t that bad.

First light hits the Wheeler Crest, Eastern Sierra, CA

Coming home after traveling for nearly three months has not been nearly as difficult as expected.  I love Northern California.  As my plane came into final approach at SFO, I felt excited and anxious to be back on the ground in my adopted home.  Even before I left Buenos Aires, I began thinking about how I would return to the Bay and take advantage of my newly discovered free time, f-unemployment.

I put the “f” in front of the dreaded word not to curse it, but to kill its edge.  Sure it’s dreadful to chip away at my savings and think about how terrible the economy is and how long I might be searching.  I might get a new job in a week.  I might get a new job in a year.  If I really want to freak myself out, I just think about that.  Realistically I need to be ready for both possibilities.  But on the other side of the coin, I now have time to do what I love: photography, skiing, climbing, gardening, reading and relaxing.  Best of all, I have time to reflect on the trip I just completed rather than forget it in the day to day grind of a speedy return to the office.   Years ago I remember someone telling me around a Yosemite campfire that in life you either have time or money, but rarely both.  True.  I might not have steady income now, but I do have time to do the things I love.

So after flying in on Wednesday, grabbing a Mission quesadilla and unpacking boxes of clothes and items into my Berkeley apartment, I decided that I would spend the following week in the Eastern Sierra backcountry skiing.  The weather looked good and I had always dreamed of going back there with no real schedule or commitments.  Even better yet, my girlfriend reminded me that she would be on a business trip to LA for the majority of the week.  So on Sunday afternoon, I kissed her goodbye, loaded my car and began the six hour trek to my friend’s home in Mammoth.

The week has been just as I had hoped.  I have reconnected with friends, skied mountains that had been in my gaze for years, focused on shooting skiers and even had time to reflect upon my trip to Patagonia.  No, I don’t have a job yet, but that’s fine with me.  Having time for myself to readjust and focus my energies on what I love most is far more valuable than a paycheck.  And who knows, it might just eventually lead to getting paid for it.

Resting on the skin up Mt. Tom's Elderberry Canyon

Headwall of Mt. Tom's Elderberry Canyon

Jason takes a knee descending Elderberry Canyon

Alex harvests Sierra corn on Mt. Tom

Discussing options midway up Old Man's Bowl near Convict Lake, CA

Popping air off a cornice in Old Man's Bowl, Convict Lake, CA

Late afternoon light on the Glass Mountains, Eastern Sierra, CA

Sierra wave wraps up another great trip to the Eastside.

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One response

  1. Jennifer

    Your nature photography is just incredible. Submit to the National Geographic photo contests.
    Sounds like you’re spending your free time exactly as you should. People who are too afraid to just get up and leave their soul-sucking job are missing out!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM

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