Dan left yesterday.
It’s only the second time in my life I’ve felt heartbreak regarding a male companion.
A few months ago there were 7 of us here. Aaron arrived in August, Dan in December, J and T in January, and a few of Aarons buddies were scoping out our scene for two weeks in January. We had some amazing adventures together, and every day held a new flavor of celebration. Life at it’s best, and we were all keenly aware of it, and said so to each other nearly every day.
Aaron was pulling hot girls as often as he wanted – which was often. One of his two UK buddies was at least as skilled, and would bring girls over here from the local club and fuck them in our outdoor living room regularly. We had a group guided trek up a local volcano in the middle of the night, all of us tripping on mushrooms which was literally a peak experience. The guys would regularly go clubbing together while I stayed home with one of my regulars, and Dan, J and T all did well with the local girls.
Our conversations were so engaging that we often regretted not having recorded them to publish as podcasts.
Then J suddenly announced he would be leaving. He’d decided to go get a steady job to pay down some heavy debts. He was airborn the next day. Only a few days later I decided that I did not work well with T, and told him so. T is a smart guy and was well liked, but there was conflict on a task, and I didn’t want to risk a future pattern of disagreement. In this co-operative venture there is a chain of command, and I took the most drastic means to maintain it. He was scheduled for a trip to Singapore in a few days to renew his visa, and I accepted his offer to not return.
We were down to three, but it was a good core group. Me, Aaron, and Dan. We get along great, and it’s always a pleasure to see any of them arrive at the villa, and to arrive back to the villa when any is there. Greetings are genuinely warm; celebratory even.
Business progress had been slow, largely in part to the loose working schedule. We’d put more importance on bonding as a group and on lifestyle then on regular deliberate and scheduled business efforts. We worked when we wanted to, usually on our own, and didn’t put in anything close to regular office hours. As a group starting several new businesses we acted as if we were inspired by Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week. And in Bali we were living the dream. On my dime. After taking on the expense of building a new compound, hiring new local staff as well as housing and feeding and paying monthly expenses for all the new interns, not seeing much business progress let alone a rise in income was stressful. Sure, I like the guys company, and yes, I have long term confidence in the projects, but are we going about this the right way? Am I paying for not much more than companionship?
And then yesterday Dan started an uneasy topic while we were playing ping pong. He mentioned that he’d been feeling home sick.
I nearly asked him right away if he was leaving, but played it off as a passing emotion, and helped him talk in and around his emotions, hoping to talk him completely out of them. But no. His mind was made up. In fact he’d made plans with his brothers to hike the Rocky Mountain range. They may be in the wilderness for as long as 7 months.
Dan explained that he was not prone to feeling homesick. Unlike myself, as a kid in camp he never felt that emotion. I was surprised to hear he missed home at all, as he had seemed so enthused about being here that every day he seemed outright jubilant. It seemed to me as if he’d found his place in a brave new exciting world. He has a rare quick wit combined with a sensitive spirit and an outrageously gregarious extroverted personality. A guy who made playing ping pong seem like a world championship between titans, even when cheering from the sidelines as a spectator. And the night before leaving he’d bedded a local hottie. But he complained of her being intellectually boring, and I suspect a big reason for him feeling homesick might have to do with parallel feelings. He must be wanting that deep connection that we get from family. That’s a connection that I like to make with my girls – I make family out of them. He’s not a skirt chaser and wants more than one night stands. Perhaps he couldn’t see the girls he’d met here as worthy of familial bonds.
Dan found a flight the same day he broke the news, and left that evening.
I’ve had lots of guys tell me that they want to come out here, but in the end they get cold feet. One guy flat out told me that coming out was as intimidating as the first day of kindergarten, and so he couldn’t do it. Dan was a rare guy in that he was willing to make the big leap and come out here at all, but even then the change was too stressful to maintain, and he wanted to go back to his roots.
Yesterday I had the plan to author a post about a job offer out here. Instead of seeking an internship that can lead to a partnership, the plan would be to offer a paid position for a specific task. But when I write I always wait for certainty. I wait until I know all the ideas are ready to come out, and they come out at once in a flood, as fast as my nimble fingers can type. But my process is also honest. Autobiographical even. I can’t write about anything that I don’t feel, so I’m not about to write a pumped up inspirational post about all the incredible benefits of joining in the team and following the dream if I’m not personally feeling pumped up and inspired.
I love life out here, and don’t want to be anywhere else. I love the projects I’m working on, and don’t want to be working on any others. I believe in what I’m doing, and I know that with the right team we can all exceed even our very large expectations. We are at the beginnings of greatness, and having a hell of a time even being at that beginning.
But the story is not only about hope and inspiration.
It’s also about doubt.
And so that is what this blog post has to be about.
This isn’t a blog post about inspiring people to follow my vision, and to join my team, and together to realize financial greatness, male comraderie and explore sexual and romantic adventures with tourists and local Indonesians. This is a blog post about about what stops people from being able to do that.
Most people are not built for adventure and change. There is evidence that some of us have “the wanderers gene”, which affects dopamine receptors and makes us prone to seek out novelty. But even so we all find comfort in familiarity. We create order and structure out of our chaotic lives, and find such comfort in the stability that it’s the human condition to prefer the comfort of the known, even when the known is not comfortable.
But we can’t avoid change anyway.
I want stability also, but no matter how much I seek it, stability is naturally temporary. I have to assume this is the human condition.
I’m very relationship oriented, and always have been. Nearly every post on this blog is about relationships with girls. Naturally I’ll use relationships as metaphors for broader life issues. So when I think of stability and feeling at home, I think of the family that I create, wherever I am, with my girls.
When I click with a girl, whenever we are together, no matter where we are, we are home. We are each others family, and we belong together. There is no one else we want to be with, and therefore no where else we want to be. Our primary conditions for happiness are met. Sometimes I feel that way near all the time with a girl, sometimes the bulk of the time. Regardless, that feeling of being home with my family doesn’t last forever. People change, relationships change. I want something new and find it, or the girl cheats, or more usually I step out first then the girl gives herself permission to do the same.
A month ago I had M and N19 and the newer Sally18 were out here in Bali, but my passion for M has cooled and she’s back in Java now. Also I have less mood for N, again, and see her little lately. There is a new virgin girl I’m dating, and there is much about her that I like, but it’s questionable whether I’ll find a strong physical passion for her. I recall once being in love with a teenager in Thailand whom I didn’t prefer to fuck. She was a virgin when I met her, and grew a big crush on me. It was odd because she was the girl my heart welled up with love for, however it was a second girl who got my dick hard. Something similar seems to be happening now; eighteen year old Sally is the airhead fluff that I love to scream with, while 22 year old smart and personable V gets the motor sputtering but not really going full out. I’m curious enough to see if that will change. We have plans to give her some tramadol to make breaking her in less painful – tomorrow might be the day. Hope she’s finished her period by then, as she’s leaving to visit her mom for a few weeks the next day.
But today she only again ignited strong romantic feelings and energetic body felt connections, while the dick was often placid. So the feeling of being right on track doing exactly what I want to be doing with a clear vision of how to get where I want to go has shifted towards uncertainty.
S18 is from a town called Bogor. She says that the girls there still marry at about age 17. As virgins. I’m interested in going girl hunting there. I like the idea of virgins, lately. I figure that I’m picky about physical characteristics, but once I find a girl who turns me on, she can turn me on for years, so if I can find a smarter virgin girl who is my type of hottie, my interests and passion would be better placed, and perhaps I’d also start in on a new adventure that includes babies.
I’ve been unsatisfied with many of my local staff lately, including my personal assistant. So it’s been on my mind to fire and try to replace them. Finding good help out here is extremely difficult.
So even my sense of home is now disturbed. I keep my rituals – I go the gym, and I maintain a careful diet. I still have girls who love me; N, and M and S and V all seem to, troublesome as they all can be. But everywhere there is flux.
My health itself is often tenuous. I could go out any month, or I suppose any day.
I’m navigating in a sea of uncertainty.
Whereas before I felt I was holding a GPS in calm waters on a sturdy ocean liner, now I feel I’m on 50 foot sloop with a chart and a sextant on a moon-lit overcast night. I know roughly where I am, and I still know where I want to go. But it will require patience, skill, and craft to navigate.
I’ve had different ideas of what greatness means, throughout my life. In my late teens and early twenties greatness was about being enlightened. Several times in my life greatness was largely about love. Lately greatness is about dramatic financial success, male comraderie, an ongoing chi-kung practice, good health, and young and pregnant hotties who love me.
I suppose we all have somewhat different and changing views of our own idealized personal greatness.
But I also suppose that common to all of us, is that in realizing our goals, we must navigate through uncertainty.
That means not only stepping out of our comfort zones into the unknown, it means not only exploring places that we’ve never been, it means not only developing parts of ourselves we are as yet to be aware are undeveloped. It means not only cultivating bravery. It means not only burning our bridges so that we are forced by necessity to mother the invention of our own future. Not only carefully assessing risk vs reward, and expecting to often wind up accepting the losses that come with risks.
It means making a conscious choice of habit to do all of these willfully and frequently, as a lifestyle. Not as an accident. Not just when the chips are down. As a lifestyle.
The known is soma. Comfort and greatness do not mix. I’d go so far as to say that comfort and a great life can not mix.
A great life is a life peppered with uncertainty, heartbreak, pain, and doubt.
That is deliberately factored right in. It’s not wrong turns or accidents that lead to these things. A strategic life must include them.