67: Mariah Schumacher, Finding Beauty, Love & Great Energy (transcript)

ATTENTION: This is an automated transcript for this episode of “People I Know Show”. It has not been edited or reviewed. It will have some mistakes and sometimes be unclear.

In every moment, I can only love and try and give more beauty and find more beauty in what is existing for me, which doesn’t necessarily mean the physical world around me. It can be a hypothetical situation. It can be someone that is far away, it can be an idea, but I can’t focus on everything at once. And what I can give my attention to is where I want to give it fully.

This is People I Know Show, a podcast about influential people personal growth and being wrong. I’m Curt Carstensen. This is Episode 67. My guest is Mariah Schumacher. I am now back from Europe. And this episode and the following four episodes at least, will involve individuals such as Mariah, who you will come to know as Moss, that were an important part of my journey in Europe, why I was there who I met and got to know and learn from and why I traveled to the places I went. Mariah is someone that carries many very interesting perspectives. When it comes to energy and how we move about the world. Finding beauty. Do we love somebody if that person is not in our presence or in our mind? polyamory names and the pronouns Some people choose to use? Age? Oh, there’s so much I really enjoyed this conversation. It extends nearly two hours as some of my episodes have been lately. By the end of it, though, I wish I had more time. The conversation I felt was really that great. I truly hope that you gain much from it is really a great exchange of ideas that we were able to have. Remember to subscribe to People I Know Show on your podcast app so that new episodes automatically download in the short term I’ll be aiming for every Friday once again, and I always keep you posted during the opening segment here. If my plans are changing for the future, you’ll be able to find video and video clips. From this and other episodes on the People I Know Show Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages and channels. While you’re there, leave a comment, leave a review. Subscribe, do whatever it asks to engage as much as possible with the podcast you doing that helps more people find it. Links are in the show notes to help you get to those pages, and a few other related links from the conversation that I think are relevant now. To my conversation with Mariah Schumacher Welcome to another episode of People I Know Show Curt Carstensen here joined today in Crete an island, a part of Greece, joined by Mariah Schumacher.

Hello. Hi,

we are here are. I am here because of you because of decisions you made a while ago, and decisions more recently brings us here right now. So that among a few other things that I’ve learned about you so far in this trip, made me want to have you as a guest on the podcast. So Mariah, in your perspective, why are we in Crete today?

We are in Crete today. Because I have been traveling for a while. And you know, my dad and my dad came to join me to travel for a little while. And I finally was able to come to Greece. After thinking I would be here during the winter and winter is now almost over. And I was finally able to come based on some visa things. And so when these visa things cleared up, and I was able to come to Greece, my dad was like, Okay, I’ll come meet you in Greece, and then said, I’m gonna bring a friend His name’s Curt. He’s gonna be joining us for this trip.

And till that moment hearing my name you tend not heard that existed? No, I might not have existed we don’t know for sure. For sure. I probably did, though. In the story for me probably goes a little bit different like Yes, your dad and I work together. And I think it’s been several months since he he told me there is in fact there was a Minnesota Twins baseball game that I joined he and his his parents at back in like July August and yeah, I think that fourth ticket was for you. You were the person that was the person that was like a because around that time you took off for Europe.

Yeah, I didn’t know that actually, I had been planning on leaving for this trip for many, many years since. I mean long story since like elementary school, middle school. And for a while I had September planned as my leave date. And then at some point in late winter, I was like, I don’t need to wait any longer. I can leave whenever I want. I’m going to leave as soon as I can. And for me, that meant in three months, which was what was it? July 14. July 14 is the day that I left and that was a few months sooner for everyone in my life that was kind of planning around me leaving in September. And so I said yes to these baseball tickets, and then had to say no, because I will be out of the country. I didn’t No, you were the person that

was the person that’s funny. And perhaps if I wasn’t able to or didn’t go that day, who knows if that was the first time, I think your dad and I ever hung out outside of our workplace. Well, that’s funny. So if that doesn’t happen, then maybe when, and I believe he’ll be on a future episode of the podcast. And at that point, maybe we’ll get to the bottom of this. I don’t remember the the initial conversation about him deciding that he was gonna come see you. Yeah. Whether it was that first conversation where I interjected and said, I’ll go to or if, if he totally, if that didn’t happen, he makes it up. And you would have invited me at some other point.

You both like to travel, it seems. Yeah. And hit it off there as a few. With a few other things. It seemed.

Yeah, definitely. And that is, I guess, getting to my answer of why we’re here but still not because. So you had this plan, I’m sure for Europe, at least roughly the places you wanted to go and At imagine you can get into this unique people that would tell you about something and there’s opportunities through your online work opportunities. But ultimately, if this was the guy was just planning the trip for me, yeah, nothing against Greece, Greece has been great. This wasn’t a place high on my list. So but because it was your dad’s trip,

it’s adventure. Yeah, your trip,

huh? I was just, I’m going to wherever, that’s fine. I’ll go to Greece. And then so when the planning for Greece and he and I will take off soon and go to some other places when the planning for Greece is happening. Because I was busy with other things somewhat but mostly this like the grease part wasn’t my trip. I didn’t really want to interfere with it. You you all decide what you want to do.

Life trip.

And you it was you that wanted to come to Crete specifically.

No, not at all. Oh


I wanted to go somewhere. warmer because I had just spent three months, accidentally spent three months in Bulgaria. And it was the three coldest months to spend in Bulgaria. And so I wanted to go south, but I had to wait until I had to wait for my Schengen visa, which is this 90 days you can spend in most European European Union countries. I had already spent about 90 days there during the summer, mostly in Italy, because I loved Italy, way more than I thought I would. Because of that I had to be out of that zone for 90 more days, and I ended up spending all of those 90 days in Bulgaria. Finding so much love and beauty everywhere, but I was cold and I kept wanting to go as South as I could. And that meant Greece. And that meant Crete. Which is why we’re

like the southernmost part, but it’s it’s really not any it’s not that much. It’s gonna be nice. Tomorrow, I think tomorrow Yeah, a future thing to anyone taking in this conversation tomorrow as well in the past, it’s going to be sunnier and like 55 for our final day here, but maybe for you Sunday and 55 you haven’t experienced too much lately. I know I haven’t living in Minnesota.

Yeah, so comparing it to Minnesota is the way that I have been doing it. But when I was in Bulgaria, the most recent place I was in Bulgaria before Sofia, the capital, I was working in Polsky Tran Tron bash, which is like this northern central part of Bulgaria. And it was like 64 degrees one day and sunny like, three weeks ago, which was great. I was outside and I was in the sun. And then about four days after that, a huge snow came and it was my first experience of snow this winter, which is the first time maybe in my life that I only had One snow experience almost

had a non snow winter.

Yes. And that was actually my goal.

But I found myself missing the snow after a while and what actually happened great love of mine was traveling with me and still is there in that room over there. I hope they’re

not too loud. We’re trying some different things here with my technology a very I traveled very lightly.

Yeah, that makes sense. I think so too. I’m not paying attention to them at all. And we were out walking the dogs are only work at this place was to care for the dogs and care for the house, essentially, and it started snowing and we got very excited. And we took these dogs out for a walk on the fresh snow and it was super late at night and we had this full moon and we ran around with the dogs for a while made a few snow angels and then brought the dogs back inside and went to the town square in this tiny tiny village called rnc and we went to this town square at like 11pm. And built like five snowmen in this town square. It was super late at night. And the biggest one was in the middle of the square and we rolled up like four or five huge snowballs and then stacked them on top of each other made one huge base and another one and then another one. And it was so big, and then a few other ones around the square. So that was really fun. And I felt like my whole missing of winter in Minnesota because winter is the most of the seasons in Minnesota. It feels like sometimes it’s like half the year. I was missing. And so I felt like all of my pent up Minnesota winter energy got put into this giant snowman,

which was really fun. I’ll tell you the stand

was taller than me. So probably about six feet. Maybe a little more

and what accessories do you have for Anything

man have anything we

doesn’t need to

know. But we got really creative with like shaving the sides to make it seem really round and like, yeah, a few days later after the snow was melting, we saw the other ones that were smaller, melted pretty quickly. But this big one in the middle slowly turned into this like just pile of snow. And as we were walking by one day, we saw a little kid running around and picking up chunks of snow and running back over to the big pile and just adding it to the file. So it was continuing. Yeah, that was really fun. But before that snow, I was experiencing what felt like spring. What it really felt like I was in Bulgaria for the temperatures that started getting colder and going into the winter and then the temperatures that felt like okay, we’re past the worst of it, which when I was living in Minnesota, I felt like February was maybe when we would start getting past the worst time It also felt like it was when a lot of people were hitting their biggest, like, seasonal depression lows, because that long of a winter can be really difficult. I don’t

think I struggle with that. Is that something you’ve gone through in the past living in a winter state like Minnesota?

Yeah, that’s a good question. I think I’ve been around it a lot. Lots of people in my life are affected by the weather. And I think it just has to do with such a long winter. It feels like it’s six months long. Like there can be snow from October to April. Like I’ve had snow in early April. You’ve lived there long enough. It seems like it’s not so uncommon. Catch

it in May about once a decade. Yeah.

So having winter be that long can be really difficult, especially when I was living in very northern Minnesota. In the beautiful city of Duluth that I love so much. It can be really hard. To be inside and away from the sun, and kind of shut away from people, because you can’t go outside without it being dangerous for some parts of this season. And so experiencing a really nice kind of warm, playful snow was really nice. And then having spring come so early in the environment around me it was it really novel experience.

There’s got to be like, way more experiences than we’re gonna spend the time talking about right now. But I’ve already got a few questions just based on what you said, one that I want to answer based on the 90 days in Bulgaria when you entered Bulgaria, and you have an expectation of how much time you might spend there before probably going somewhere else or how, how does that and is that ties into the other places you’ve been when you enter a new situation? how flexible are you and how Head. Are you really thinking most of the time? Because you started? How long ago?

Started in July,

July in Europe? And currently it’s the latter part of February as we record this,

yeah. So

many months, many months and how flexible Have you been during that time? How much planning? How does that go? I’m certainly someone else could do it maybe somewhat differently. But for you, what’s that experience been? Yeah,

of course.

The most that I’ve planned so far was my first stop. And that was kind of for security reasons, making sure I knew when I landed, I would have somewhere to go. That was a little concrete. I wanted to find my footing a little bit and that was in Romania. I went to go work at a kid’s camp, like a summer camp, where everything was taught in English and you could be an English teacher, and were essentially a camp counselor. And that I had planned to stay for I think seven weeks, and then I would go wherever, wherever felt right. There was a concert I wanted to see. Maybe everything else after that was a potential and I didn’t want to tie myself down to it. I wanted to be as free as I possibly could to go wherever felt the most right for me, in my soul and in the deepest parts of me. And a lot of that trip has been that going to a place for any reason. And then feeling it and feeling what the next step is. That’s best. So Romania felt really good. And then it felt good to leave early. That felt right to leave early. And I did and then I was supposed to go to this other work away because this is the way I’ve been doing this. For so long with such little money is work exchange. Volunteer exchange. So I use the site work away, where I talk to someone see their profile, see what projects they have, they see my profile, what I’m all about in words and pictures and reviews if I have those and see if we’re a good fit timewise and what we want to exchange. And I was supposed to go to this place in Italy, in northern Italy that was close to the city where my favorite band was going to play. It was their first time in Europe, and I got on a bus and we’re staying over a couple nights in Venice, because I was going to pass through I was like, oh, we’ll see Venice had a strange experience in Venice. But while I was waiting, those few days, I got a message from them. When I checked in, I was like, Hey, I’ll be there in two days. Do I need to bring anything extra?

They replied, oh, sorry. We’re full now.

You can’t come, which was not what I was expecting. And so I very quickly had to figure out the next place to go. And that changed my whole journey, because I had met someone in a city in Romania on my way out. And they gave me the phone number of a different place that I could connect if I needed to. I was like, Oh, no, I have a place. Don’t worry. I guess I’ll take it in case but I really needed at

that moment,

at that moment. I did. And I ended up going to this completely different place that brought me to a bunch of different other places has left

does that so you’re, what, eight, nine months, whatever your math is right now is a small scale like you’re like living a life in Europe. And theoretically, legally, as a US citizen, how long could you do this going? you’ve explained to me that No, but what’s the name of the Shang? Shang? And you can be in certain countries for a total of 90 days

within 180 days, yeah, within

180 days, and then you go

and go to other countries.

If you didn’t 90 9090 9090 you could do that

indefinitely indefinitely. I’ve met people who have been traveling for five years, 10 years. And they just are they’re just doing it. There’s so many different ways that people do it. It’s fascinating. Some people are photographers. I met a tattoo artist who travels to different places and volunteers at tattoo shops is not volunteers that he gets paid. But this is enough to support travel because all you need to pay for with this way of traveling is the transportation and anything extra. I actually calculated today about my average daily costs, yes. Including plane tickets, which were the flight here was 500 pounds one

flight so far.

Yes. Okay. I try not to fly as much as possible, mostly for the environment and cutting down on even one like transatlantic

flight. That’s really important to talk about that. We’ll get to it, but I wanted to finish

Yep. Without. Okay, so with including this expensive, the most expensive thing has been my plane ticket here, including that including big ferry rides and bus rides all over all over. And one really expensive train in France. My average daily cost has been $19 a day,

$19 a day.

And if I took out those other calculations, it would be less than that.

So $19 a day and gradually decreasing probably on average based on that the longer you’re here, the longer before your next flight.

Yeah, and the longer I stay in one place when I was Bulgaria was a Very cheap country to be for me, as someone who is not earning money there there’s the whole Is that fair question. But I would stayed in one place for a month and a half, almost two months. And I was spending money maybe once a week at the local shop and it was maybe $10.

Because with the arrangement, you had a place to sleep, and the food was provided.

Yeah, I didn’t need to be spending any money. All the money I have been spending has either been for transportation, which was me wanting to go to another place, or it has been wine or like a new shirt or something that I feel like I want in that moment, but I think everything I’ve spent money on has been a want besides maybe some medical things. Everything else has been provided for me. It’s

fantastic. And then with our time here, this has been awesome. Rare, I’d imagine that it’s like a vacation. If you’re not, you’re not exchanging any time for any compensation anyway, so you’re, you’re spending more right now because of us because of here.

Yeah, for you. I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad my dad is here to having people come and join me on the travel is something I put out there. Especially for people who matter a lot to me like my family, and my younger brother and love of mine, and other loves of mine. And everyone is in totally new experience. But oftentimes, if the idea in this other person’s head is to have a vacation, which often is the only way they can do it, not everyone can drop what they’re doing for months or weeks at a time and go work on a farm we

call it which, for many of us, me included, even though I feel super flexible and free and a lot of ways I would have to stop doing that. Certain things that I’m doing, I could meeting you. And there’s some other people that I’m going to meet or see see, again, later in the strip that have done things a little bit different than what you’re doing. But they’re also in countries that they’re not born in. Yeah. And surviving for probably a lot less money than people realize, yeah, that I know that I wouldn’t be influenced by this by what you and others have done. And it’s just a matter of at the end of this, how much thought I put into doing my version of what you’re doing. I definitely be done. It’s not like if you have children, maybe it’s more challenging things like that. Yeah. But it’s, you’ve explained that you’re spending $19 a day over the course of that month, on average, on average, on average.

Yeah, and I really like those words, too. It’s important to me to, I guess, recognize that it is something that most people can do, it can do. It does take changes in your life around a lot if you want to change your life around a lot and change the way you’re living your life, it, there’s a lot of letting go and shaking up your parameters of how you want to live.

So I’m gonna there’s, there’s so many things I know we can talk for a long time about but what you just said there changing up how you want to live that relates to this question you’ve asked me once or twice and your dad just like an hour or two ago, you asked about or suggested something about someone’s energy. And you’ve already talked about this with when you’ve decided to leave somewhere. I think it relates to that if you’re not feeling like this is where I should be. It seems like you’re in a situation where pretty quickly, you can or will move on. And in the United States of America, many people, majority of the people probably damn near everybody have the type of life that you’re entering. is I don’t like what’s going on in my life. Either we’ve trained ourselves to think we can’t do much about it. Or we’re in a situation where financially and different commitments make it really challenging to do much about it. And I want to explore that the energy feeling not feeling something and then knowing that okay, it’s it’s time to move on.

Yeah. Nice.

Neat. I really like using the word energy.

I know it’s sometimes kind of comes with this connotation of maybe mystical spirituality or something that is very far removed from science or something like this. For me, that’s not how I use that word. I guess I just want to preface that because I was I was involved with the academic and scientific community for many Yours. And

that’s just what I’m going to say about it.

For me, energy, and listening to my own energy is paying attention to how my body feels. Because oftentimes how my mind is feeling and how my existence is existing manifests itself in my body. And I think that’s really important for me to recognize and often is similar for other people. And paying attention to that. I’ve been able to sharpen my mindfulness skills and pay attention to what I feel like that seems pretty simple. But it’s been a complex and difficult journey to try and be as attuned to it as I like to be. There are certain parts of this journey that I’ve been on where this traveling journey. There’s life journey and all the other journeys that are happening at the same time. During this travel journey, I have felt more and less connected to my own energy like listening to my own energy. And when I felt the most connected to it, I have felt so much magic. Just in everyday life. I was thinking about some sort of question I had about traveling or the way people think about things the way I think about things. And then I will meet someone at a bus stop transfer at 3am, who has insights to this very specific question about how can I love people more or how can I remember how much I love everything and embody that more to people around me. I’ll meet someone who is currently thinking about all these ways that they have learned to love other people in the world and will spontaneously share this with me. And I think whether or not I was aware that that was a question I was having or holding, this information would still have been brought to me. Information is constantly being brought to me and everyone. But being aware of what answers I am currently seeking, helps me spot them when they come to me and haven’t so quickly.

I, to me, this is something I’m trying to better understand about myself and perhaps it relates to everyone is, is these connections that we’re making, in our mind so frequently, like anytime we have a new idea, to me and perhaps scientific studies kind of back this up, I’m trying to learn more about it. But we can’t really have a new idea. We can’t just totally come up with something that doesn’t connect to anything ever it. We’re building on different things that we’re taking in, in our life. So it is new in a way, it’s certainly new to us at times. But it’s it’s adding to somewhat maybe related, sometimes unrelated things. And then the connection hits in our mind, and then it’s there. So if you had been thinking about these, these questions, and and someone else says something to you that’s totally unrelated to anything you’re thinking about. It’s information that you’re just less ready or willing to take in. But if someone has information that is replying to one of these questions he had suddenly your answer happens. And I think we can all experience that very frequently if we’re open to what’s going on around us and are very mindful of our thoughts and what they really have been meaning for us what we’re hoping for.

Yeah, nice. Good words. I had to thought To that, I might not remember the second one. I don’t right now, but it might come to me as I’m talking about the first one. Okay, the first one is relating to this idea of freewill. Right, do we, if the reason that I am sitting in this chair is because of every single thing that has ever happened to me, and the genes I was born with, and the psychology of my parents and my environment that has been shaping me and shaping my mind for my, my entire life has led me to have the brain that I have in this moment that is responding to this environment that exists in this way in this moment. And coming to that leads to these questions of whether or not I ever actually have a choice. Ever. I don’t know but I think accepting that for me accepting that It’s very possible that my choices were going to happen no matter what if existence was going to happen, and this big bang was going to explode bunch of life into the world, it couldn’t have happened any other way because it didn’t.

Have you been listening to previous episodes of the podcast?

No, no, I downloaded some but I haven’t

listened well yet. Episode I think nine and 35. Specifically, I get into my revelation about freewill or perhaps the lack of free will, which is the side of it that I’ve come to realize seems to be what’s happening. I mean, I don’t have all the answers. I can only raise my hand and say this is the one that I’m currently going with because it seemed like the best for reasons X, Y and Z. And you laid out my argument about a similarly to anyone I’ve met, especially those that I haven’t told them already. I’ve already, you know, come to that conclusion that it’s probably not gonna happen. It can’t happen any other way than it’s happening. But still the sensation is experienced for us as humans. Feels like we have all this control. We feels like I could have done that I could have done that when we probably can’t rection sort of probably we, based on the way that I believe it or understand it can’t. But the feelings that arise in those moments are arising because our mind at that moment time works the way it does. And we feel what we feel when we we feel like I should have done that thing. Or I wish I would have done that thing. Oh, I want to do that thing. And that thing that we didn’t do seems to be better than what happened or what we did.

Yeah, yeah. And it can be a useful brain pattern to is thinking about what you could have done. It may influence a decision that you make in the future. But that thought pattern maybe was going to happen anyway, no matter what right moving forward, which is super neat.

One thing The

second is that you got it. Yeah, yeah, I usually forget about them.

I put my fingers down here, which maybe can be seen sometimes if I have a thought I picked this up from my mom, I’ll like put a finger down here to try and remember what it wants. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes I just have fingers. Well, it

is an indication you that there was a second thought that you’re trying to grab. Otherwise, we get so deep into something else you’ve totally forgotten, but that’s usually what happens. I forget that I mentioned that there’s something else.

But sometimes that’s how it’s supposed to go.

Yeah. Oh, it can’t happen either way.

Okay, the other thing was that, Ah, okay. I have a bunch of words and I’m going to go with

this one, which is that information that is going to be brought to me consciously or subconsciously i think is brought to me no matter whether or not I’m conscious of it, which I mentioned a little bit ago already. I just wanted to expand on it a little bit. Beautiful Things are happening constantly. And I there have been times in my life where I’ve been so aware of it, that it is everything all the time. And a beautiful thing. Is that whether or not I’m aware that everything is always beautiful. It is still always beautiful. And I’ve had some difficult conversations difficult for me. where someone specific example in my head as I was driving in a car with someone past, a obvious monoculture field, this was in Bulgaria. And we were driving just through these fields of

monoculture. wheat or whatever it was. And by monoculture, you mean the same things planted there. And that field is by humans been made

to only be this this one crop, which is extremely disruptive, disruptive to ecosystems and a very unsustainable way to grow anything. And is extremely problematic for caring for this world. And I know that and as much as I can know, anything, and this person that I was driving with, when I said that, wow, this is so beautiful look at the sun and the trees and the birds in this environment that we were driving through. They were a little bit appalled that I could find beauty in this space. Because the only thing that they had in their mind was how terrible this was for the planet and how local gypsies were being used as slaves to harvest these crops and being paid super unfairly and

all of the negative

parts of this thing that was in front of us were alive and present for them in those moments. When for me, I was just seeing the sun and the green and the birds and the trees there. And we got into this conversation of recognizing and accepting that this, that these terrible parts of it terrible parts of this thing that was in front of us exist, is different from being okay with it and not wanting to do anything about it. In that moment. We couldn’t do anything about these terrible things that were happening. And I was finding beauty in the parts of the beauty that I could find there. Not really consciously but And how they just had some trouble accepting that my acceptance of the negativity there. Let me find beauty. I guess I’m losing some of the words there. But it was a difficult

conversation. I totally get your point. And I think I can relate it to my experiences with you on this trip so far as I don’t know how much of this we’ll get into this conversation. Yeah, there’s there’s certain choices that you’ve made maybe over recent months and years that are different than the ones that I currently do that may be different than the ones that you used to do. And I’ll just throw one out like you’re a vegetarian right now. Yeah. And you you’re a vegetarian that from my perspective of you interacting with me or your dad who currently still eat meat, you you’re not looking for that the reasons you’ve chosen to not eat meat. You don’t see us eating meat or telling you that we ate meat earlier. And and look at us with some sort of a negative about it. Whereas maybe someone that reacted the way that that person did in that car ride that takes an attitude of just searching for the negatives. might, might treat someone different asking that person what in that moment, but there’s, there’s an energy, the, you’re looking for as much beauty as you can find. And that that gives you an aura about yourself that I am more receptive to wanting to learn from you because you have this positive attitude about the things that you do in your life. Whereas if someone comes around me and see something different than I see it explains it in such a negative way. I don’t I don’t want that person. I’m not gonna listen to that person. Yeah. And so You two seem to agree on all the things that in the car right about the negative qualities of that situation, but your ability to still not Focus on it and change the mood based on it. To me seems like the superior way to approach that in any situation.

Yeah. I mean, one thing that I, I guess my initial response to all the words you just

put into the world is that it’s

difficult for me to

ever blame someone for having any perspective. Not that I think you were blaming this person or anything like that, but in a way of if this person’s brain as it is, in this moment is a whole history of their whole experience. I can only ever be interested in it. And this existence, if I’m picking this moment, and everything that exists exists, I really might lose my train of thought. And I’m thinking about how this other person that I love makes fun of me for saying exists all the time. But it’s important to me. So if I pick this moment where everything exists as it is, there is so much beauty in it. In the entire world, the entire universe, everything that’s happening is super beautiful in some way, maybe. But there are also terrible things happening. The only thing that exists for me right now is what I can perceive. And I’ve tried to put words to this before and I get closer every time I do it. So I’m going to try again. Right now what is existing for me is what I can sense and perceive. So it is, as I’m talking, my words coming through to my ears. I’m thinking about my clothes on my body. I’m thinking about the temperature in this room, and about you being next to me, and sometimes thinking about how my voice is being recorded, and not much else. Unless we get to another topic where something exists for me, a way that I talk about this sometimes is my family. I love my family so much. And

I don’t love them

when I’m not when they are when they don’t exist for me, and this is a way of kind of simplifying the universe for me, and I’m still figuring out the best way to phrase it but in every moment, I can only love and try and give more beauty and find more beauty in what is existing for me. Which doesn’t necessarily mean the physical world around me, it can be a hypothetical situation, it can be someone that is far away, it can be an idea. But I can’t focus on everything at once. And what I can give my attention to, is where I want to get it

fully. I don’t know how that compares to previous times you’ve tried to explain it but I’ve never heard you try to explain this before. In for me, this is one of those new new pieces of information that’s hitting me because I’ve never heard someone bring that up at all. And for me to try to bring it back to you and see if I understood it correctly. Like I said, you you have much love to give. But truly, whatever is not in your thought process in your mind in your space, somehow hitting one of your senses. Like your family is using example. You love them nearly, but if they’re totally out Have your mind at that moment and you’re in a different space with other people or with other things with nature and your might, your family is not a part of any of this. Mm hmm. In that moment in each moment as an individual moment, you don’t love them because nothing in your being is giving any love towards them because they’re somewhere else in whatever’s around you. You can love them that moment. Yeah. And that’s every moment in succession. And then your dad’s here right now. So you can love him in a way you maybe haven’t in a while because you’re spending time with him and he’s in space.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Thank you for giving that back to me. In some words, that’s helpful.

Is that correct or close?

I think that’s that’s correct. As much as it can be okay. For me. I want to always be growing and changing my words for it, but I like those a lot. And it’s really nice to have one other example I want to bring up that has been new or for me Is this person that I love in the other room over there, their name is ro, and we’ve been in. We’ve been living life next to each other for a really long time, like five years, six years something like this, and we’re in a polyamorous relationship, I live my life with polyamory, meaning that I don’t know. Meaning, I want to love anyone next to me as much as I possibly can, in whatever way makes the most sense for us. And some words that ro has brought up recently, that I really like that I resonate with pretty strongly is that it is very freeing to me in any given moment, be able to make up your mind Or choose to actively love this person or actively interact with this person, in whatever way makes the most sense. Both of us have the understanding that at any point, we could see each other again, I could walk out of this room and go find them and say, Hey, I don’t want to see you again for many years, like, this is how I feel right now. I just don’t feel a great love for you. And I need to move on. And they will talk about it more probably. But the way that this relationship is, is with no expectation in every moment, you can be anything and you can love in whatever way makes the most sense. And

I guess that’s related to what I was just trying to say.

Loving, loving What’s with you and your surroundings and what’s in your mind at the time and not? Yeah, not thinking That you should or have to love things that are people that aren’t necessarily present in the same way that you can give your loved those and everything that is present.

Yeah, yeah and not always physically present. You know, if someone comes to my mind that I love, then in that moment, I will be loving them right? In my brain. I’m loving them so much. And even if that experience is just mine, it’s it’s still there and it’s still real for me. But I can’t I can’t interact with anything that isn’t present with me in some way.

And surprisingly, like the freewill thing has come up in a few episodes. This is we’re in the 60s now I don’t know precisely this time as we’re recording this which episode this will be. But polyamory, polyamorous relationship, this is something that I’ve learned a lot about haven’t necessarily experienced with their experimented experience much but my belief How, for me perhaps to Best Live and maybe, maybe there’s others that haven’t realized that this is like an option that people are successfully, successfully like, achieving their life in this way and people with a lot of love to give, and instead of thinking, okay, because everyone’s always taught me I need to give that love to one person and restricted in that way. Well, in some cases rather than relationships and not fail, stop for a variety of reasons but some is I and I’ve experienced it where I, I feel I have more love to give than that for the individual that I’m with, quote unquote air quotes here. That it becomes a struggle for me to communicate that with the person that I’m with and they don’t understand it or accept it and the variety of things have happened in my life that I I’ve learned that Okay, I need to really communicate about this extremely well. And understand that not everyone’s going to agree with it, want it or accept it, but it is a challenge because commonly, we grow up in a situation I did and I think for a lot of people were what we’re feeling when it comes to love, and how we love and who we want to love doesn’t match the structure that has been put in place by our family or the society we live in. And a lot of people struggle in their loving relationships I think related to this, and just the the you bringing this up, thank you because I haven’t gotten to it and, and hours and hours and hours and hours of, of conversations I’ve had with people. But I think how it relates to what we’re talking about, at least from my perspective, is in that moment where you’re, you’re loving what is in your surroundings, you’re giving your energy as well. You can love what is near. And when you’re someone that in a situation where you are committed Lee loving to someone that isn’t in that space, and knowing that they won’t be, they won’t be happy if you were loving in any way, someone else in that space necessarily physically or sexually, just the fact that you are having any enjoyment with this other person that would bother them that really fucks up the mind and to try to like happy and love people and because you’re thinking someone else not gonna like this. That’s a part of it that I don’t know why we live that way. Why so many of us have lived that way where we continue you’re choosing not to

Yeah, hmm.

I just gave a lot there. So I

like it. I like it. I love it. Um, one thing, I think being in a relationship where any type of intimacy Friendship intimacy sharing, loving in some way even if it’s a monogamous relationship is frowned upon by one partner is just can be very unhealthy that can manifest in a really unhealthy way you can have any friends that are this the gender you’re attracted to, etc etc can be controlling that’s a whole nother whole nother thing. But one thing that I learned, okay one thing that seems to be relatively common and was kind of my one of the many reasons that I started trying to change how my how I structured my romantic relationships was feeling any sort of want to interact with someone that maybe falls out of what is accepted in traditional monogamous relationships right like Wanting to hug someone for longer or spend many hours with another person alone. Where if you have a partner or a long term partner, then maybe that’s not accepted. Maybe you’re going to be cheating on this person. And if that is the commitment that you’ve made, that I made with another person, and said that I’m not going to be I don’t know, oftentimes, monogamous relationships, in my experience come with all of these unsaid rules that are not really talked about. And if someone breaks, one that isn’t all the way understood that they are breaking it, let’s say spending a bunch of time with someone else. And the other partner sees that as breaking what should be done in a monogamous relationship. It can be so confusing And I was finding myself wanting to interact with other people in the world in ways that were outside of this traditional monogamy. Very essentially, and I’ve recently learned always learning recently encountered this big, super cool connection with a person right at the beginning of my travels in Hungary on my way to Romania. And we got along just like instantly so fast, and it was we spent like three days together because we wanted to and we could and just more and more getting to know each other. Just were just fantastic. It was so great and I really really enjoyed this person and ended up going back to visit them in Romania for a while. And it seemed like both of us recognize this really intense connection. And assumed that it was supposed to be a romantic and or sexual partnership. And this was after I’ve been living my life, polyamorous Lee. And recently we had this conversation. I haven’t seen them for a few months now. But we had this conversation about this assumption that we had, because neither of us, neither of us were really feeling a super intense connection on the sexual end of this relationship. We’ve seen you there for a while, but kind of recognizing that when we weren’t with each other, it was this connection about being alive is so cool. History is really neat. Traveling is so neat. I really like the way that you view the world and you seem to really like the way I view the world and we learned so much about what existence is like in general, we’re very good at information exchange about Mind and not all of the thing is a super beautiful thing. But figuring out that this that can be our relationship if we want it to be and it doesn’t have to have this assumed anything else. It seems like both of us assumed that, because we had this really, really intense intimacy and a bunch of ways, it meant that we probably also had this other intimacy as I had

had done. Have you gotten to that part of it yet? This person? Yeah, but whether you had a commerce should work, it doesn’t necessarily it’s not going to work right. matchup, right. It doesn’t take anything away from what else we have together.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it was this great conversation we had just a few days ago, and was another just learning point, and reminder that any relationship can be anything and for us at this point, in this moment, at least, it seems like what works best for us has been really psyched about life together. And being intimate in this way, in whatever way works best for us, but not in this sexual way. Romantic is a hard one to define because I Whoo, I want to woo most of my friends. You know, and I want to tell them, I love them all the time and get them flowers and whatever. Not that that means romantic. You know, this is all it’s hard to define that completely. But

Mariah, hi, let’s change subjects now. And I know you as Mariah. I’ve only known you now for less than a week. And I guess it’s been like five or six days since I first met you in Athens. Yeah. But I’ve known your dad now for three, four or five years. I forgot exactly what that is. When he talks about you, he calls you Mariah. Every time I’ve been with you and probably even when you met me, you introduced yourself differently. And that’s going to lead into a few things and I forget if it’s something we talked But earlier hopefully it’ll come back up cuz I think I didn’t put my fingers down here to help. Remember what I want to talk about? Maybe we’ll get to it if we don’t please forgive me. What if I’m if I’m new, I’m new again right now. I’m up. I’m reintroducing myself and I don’t know you. Oh, wow. Hi, I’m Kurt.

Oh, Kurt, nice to meet you. My name is mass

mass mass. Is that your given name? It’s not

but it’s what I like to go by.

Okay, why? Well, of course, I noticed that you’re given name. Why do you Why do you like to go by mass and when did this come about?


well, mass feels great to me, in the real world, and as something that can exist more for me and it seems to be existing for me as my name as I’m traveling. And

when I first started traveling, traveling I

for whatever reason, I’ve gone by Mariah My whole life, I’ve had a few nicknames given to me by friends. One was Maya, which was fun. I went briefly went by the nickname Marie in college, which was

silly. So you’re just deleting some letters. Yeah. Yeah. Those are deleting letters from your name. Yes. Ah cism

MOS is not MOS is one that I

was given as a possibility when I was talking about the possibility of changing my name or going by a different name for a little while. Bye, row. They were going, trying, they were searching for more gender neutral name for themselves and found it very easily in a really beautiful way. And I was kind of searching for a more gender gender neutral name as well. Mostly, to be like, Fuck the binary everything’s special. A spectrum including gender, and it’s important to me, but also something that felt right for me. And when I first started traveling, I went by Mari for a little while and it didn’t stick. I didn’t like it or feel connected to it very much. I went by miles sometimes. And if I ever I found that if I ever was going by Mariah as I was traveling, especially in the Balkans, especially in Italy, someone found out my name was Mariah. They would call me Maria. And, and I don’t I don’t feel connected to that name at all. I really love my given name. It came to me in a really cool way. before I was born, my mom had a dream that this redheaded baby was like, Hello, my name is Mariah. And then she gave birth to a baby with red hair and was like don’t have a choice in this. And I think it’s a beautiful name. I really like it but I, it felt inside of me It felt like it was time to change that a little bit. And when I started introducing myself to people as Moscow, who worked really well and I’m thinking about the first person I did this with, and it was this really beautiful connection that I made in Timmy shuara, Romania.

It’s a city it’s great.

One of the bigger cities in Romania, but I had this person from Israel, and her name was or grand, and I can’t totally make the throat noise.

It’s Like, oh Hon, I’m not gonna try.

And I had been saying at this hospital and it was really a great time and it was one of those, like, I see this person and they saw me very clearly. And I saw them very clearly which happens sometimes. And it’s usually a really, usually a really powerful experience. And they asked me my name and I said MOS for the first time, and it felt extremely true to me. And they were like, like the plant like life and then he told me what the name was in Israel. And I don’t remember I look it up sometimes because it’s beautiful, but it’s hard to pronounce it was close to the moon. But then he called me that all night and it was great. We went on didn’t had some adventures. I found a really strange dance club in the Like, industrial district, it was a really strange night. But this beautiful connection that I made was the first time I introduced myself that way. And it felt more true than anything else I’ve ever called myself that I was able to choose.

And so I’ve stuck with it.

And I suppose because we’re in Europe, and you’re meeting people from different nationalities and if the language is easier for people to remember and say correctly, yeah, other names you might give them.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, sometimes it is easier for people, especially when they connect it to this green thing that goes on rocks. And yeah, and sometimes Mariah is hard to remember, for one reason or another. People often connect it to Mariah Carey was someone that I don’t feel all that connected to, but I feel very connected to this planet and I feel really connected to mos i always have, it’s something that I will always stop and like, feel in touch. And it’s different everywhere. And I’ve experienced so many different kinds of MOS on this journey, and so many different kinds of myself on this journey, who and so it feels really nice. And it might be something that’s a little hard to

continue with when I do return to my hometown.

But I also believe that if I tell the people that love me that I might want to be referred to in this way, then they will respect I generally have people in my life that care about me and respect me, so it’s pretty cool. I like these people in my life.

I don’t have too much more time with you before we depart each other on this trip. Mm hmm. And even by the end of this conversation, how I how i do i don’t know. So I have a thing. And it’s my thing I think is kind of beautiful. in its own way, is I don’t give people nicknames very rarely, and that Samos honestly nickname, maybe it’s a name. But I like calling people by their given name, especially, especially those people that almost never use it.

Really Why?

Well, the place that I work with your father, our name badges, has everyone’s real name. So I’ve I’ve begun to like I learned people’s given name and call them by that

name all my bad bread. That’s like on Bradley.

Yes. And so when other people start calling someone by name is now the batch and like to still call them by the name of the band, even though I know that that’s not their name. For me, it’s a fun way to have like, if I’m one of the very few people that call someone by their given name. I feel like it’s a special connection coming from me, maybe not everyone receives it that way and I should be more aware of that. But I think There’s there’s something about like, I don’t choose my given no one chooses their given name the name given to them. And do I like or love my name? I don’t know it’s Kurt it’s not Curtis people sometimes question why it’s not courtesan. It’s Kurt. That’s what mom and dad decided. I don’t know. Yeah, this is the in this given me I’ve lived my life with this being my name. I don’t necessarily love it or not love it, like it or dislike it. It’s my name. And when someone calls me by name, that’s not Kurt. I don’t care if they like call me Curtis. Sometimes I’ll add an s to the end of their names for the fun of it. Because, to me, it’s it’s the I don’t know, maybe you feel a deeper connection than I do with names and or you’re your own individual. So you’re gonna feel something probably not identical to what I feel. But we think and look at names maybe differently and I, I do my thing, but I’m aware that you do your thing in your way. So now I need to better consider how I communicate with you and then other people based on that. I don’t know how exactly this is gonna change for me, but at least I have this consideration the ideas now going in my mind in a way that it wasn’t previously.

Yeah, I have something to add. Yes. So I have been pretty active in the queer community, and names are often a pretty big deal. They’re a name that is one given to you to someone. It can often be tied to many other expectations, especially for people who have a very stereotypically masculine or feminine name, but don’t feel very stereotypically masculine or feminine a lot of the time. And so, choosing a new name or choosing a name that feels better or closer to them. can be Super freeing in a way to take back their identity. This is not my experience with exactly with choosing this name or finding this name. With a lot of these stories that I’ve heard from people it’s not always like choosing a name. It’s like another name comes to them.

It arises in some way and it feels right.

Yeah. Which is super beautiful also, and that’s similar to my experience I I don’t get super dysphoric and I don’t feel disconnected from the person that is identified with Mariah other than the fact that I haven’t said that name out loud in a while.


I suppose while that threw me off saying it that’s so interesting.

It is, it’s a different experience for me, I for sure, but

I completely lost my train of thought when I said that name. And that’s really interesting. I just I want to acknowledge that that this experience that I’m having is different from a lot of the queer community, but I’ve been near people who have been given a new name by the universe or by themselves or by this community, somehow, and using their given name is would feel terrible and would would almost be like, calling them something that they are not, and that they do not identify with anymore. And so, hearing your perspective on this, I’m sure is not influenced by you wanting to have a negative experience for anyone of course.

And really, it’s if I there are individuals that don’t call by their given name because I sense that they really don’t want it like Right now a couple comes to my mind as we’re talking about. I, I This isn’t a 100% thing I did, but I yeah, like if it seems right, and that feels like there’s connection. Your dad, I don’t know anyone else that calls him Bradley. And he doesn’t dislike it. Perhaps I’ve asked him usually I’ll ask if that’s okay. At some point, especially as we get closer with the person and, like, go deeper into the conversation. But that’s I say it as often as possible. Because I don’t know. I think I’m here in this trip with him with you. Yeah. Is it because I call him Bradley? I don’t know. Does that relate to it in some way that I built a connection with him? Strong enough that I’ve, I’m on this family vacation of sorts? Yeah. Maybe? I don’t know. But I try to build connections. And if I think it’s a useful tool to build a special connection with someone, I do like to go that route. Clearly, I wouldn’t use someone’s name if they wouldn’t call someone a name. They don’t like whether it’s some mean word. Yeah, well Or the given name, if that really somehow seems to not be a good thing for them.

Yeah, yeah, I wouldn’t think you would. It’s very interesting to hear your perspective on it. It’s neat. names are interesting. And I really like the one that I’m using in my life right now. You can call me Mariah, or mos i will leave that to you. This will be this will keep

me up tonight.

And I will just because I am kind of existing as both right now and I’m with my dad right now who is calling me Mariah as he has my whole life. Oh, but he mostly calls me RIAA. If you’ve noticed that, which is just the second half of my name, which I do adore. And row is calling me moss because they are and that feels really nice and they know that that feels really nice. It’s it’s nice to kind of be assisting with all of them at once.

While we’re on the main topic, the they them I get it. And we’ve talked about just a few minutes ago somewhat you alluded to the spectrum and different things to meet to my understanding previously, and you can define yourself how you want here shortly previously, they is has become the proper pronoun to use for an individual that chooses to have it. And oftentimes, I think is someone that has had maybe a transgender type of experience or background. I think that’s where it’s mainly come to be like, what is the proper word for someone that doesn’t identify or maybe used to identify differently and you have used for yourself, and I’m going to have a conversation with Roe shortly. And I don’t know exactly how that’s gonna work for they even though to me it’s it’s Hammond you are she, you’ve you talked to this about yourself, you’ve seen to adopt this from my notice a few times. I don’t know if it’s every time and I don’t know easy it is to always change that when you’ve gotten your whole life maybe using a different pronoun. You identify or maybe they have identified you as they are. And it’s it’s, it’s a, it’s a changing a very firm language in my mind that I’m okay with why it’s happening, and that it could happen. It’s difficult. Yeah. And I want you to elaborate on this and why why this is happening for you.

Cool. Thank you. I just had a short conversation with someone about this an hour and a half ago using pronouns They them are gender neutral pronouns. And

that used to be plural. But now we’re okay as singular. I grew up, I was incorrect if I use the, to identify a singular person at some point in English class,

well, like the lexicon of the English language is constantly shifting and changing and so correct or incorrect is totally

based on usage and not on

Yeah, debatable. I think it the only thing that exists is right now, yada yada. But if you found someone’s phone on the ground, he would just see a phone on the ground. You’re like, oh, shoot, someone lost their phone. I hope they find it again, we should see if we can contact them. Somehow. You don’t know if this person knows a gender or whatever, but oftentimes for people automatically. They would already know how to use they are them in that type of situation. And I think If I don’t completely know the history of it, I just know how people have told me they like to be referred to, and how much sense it makes for me. Because I don’t know the freedom of not having to be tied to a certain gender or even like talking about a person talking about a person. I have a partner who is in Minnesota right now, and is going to fly to Thailand pretty soon. And if I’m casually talking about this person, I could be talking about them. I could be saying this person, it’s automatic for me now, which is super cool. I’m really glad that most of the time that’s how my brain is able to do it. But but it doesn’t matter if they are male or female. For me, loving them or for their actions in the world. For all of this, and using them as a default, which is what I try to do most of the time, unless someone specifies Oh, I like she her or like, he him just like puts gender a little bit back because it doesn’t matter so much. And I, I guess I prefer being called de them mostly because I like talking with the binary. But I do identify as female and I feel more. Most most of the time I feel more feminine than masculine but that swings all over the place and can change in any moment but being referred to as they then feels more free to me. But I’m also very comfortable being referred to as she her and I don’t enjoy that but as a default because I feel that freedom. I want to give that freedom to other people, especially when they say that they are some sort of gender non, like conforming to the stereotypes.

It seems to me like you’re an early adopter to something that likely, hopefully, I suppose as time goes on, becomes a more normalized thing for everybody and you you see it based on your experiences with different people that definitely require that are really want. They are them. You’re joining them in this experience. This is this makes sense for them. And it makes sense for me even though it’s different meaning you even though it’s a little not, you don’t quite have the same type of experience, but you really can relate and accept and love the fact that they’re on their journey. And you can you can go on at least part of that journey with them by adopting the day in them and just knowing that, for much of history, there’s usually a in favor of the men there’s been a gender discrimination in different ways that has made women’s lives less, less free, less, less able to make as much money. Probably a whole long list of things that are coming to my mind right now that commonly people see that as the issue and have now for some time. And just the fact that we use he or she plays into that I’ve been thinking that relates to one of the reasons among many that you’re okay of just doing away with those words, slowly but surely, as much as we can.

Yeah. And it can be subconscious too. You know.

I know that if someone is telling me a story about

this guy that did this thing and then did this thing and did this thing versus this woman who did this thing and did this thing and she did this in my head, consciously or subconsciously subconsciously, hopefully I may have these stereotypes built up, even if it’s the exact same story of someone doing something, I will have a different picture in my head of what that story was like or whether or not I would take this person side on the story just based on pronouns. And I think that’s true subconsciously, for a lot of culture because of this subconscious, patriarchal society that we’ve been living in for many decades. And just using them, and kind of taking away the gender element when telling a story can give a clear perspective and just it just kind of takes gender out of the equation when it’s not necessary. And I don’t think it’s necessary very often. There are people who do prefer to be referred to as she her or he him and That’s great. And I will always respect that there’s also these other pronouns and all these, like Zen and things like this, which are harder for me to interact with because I haven’t had anyone in my life consistently who uses those pronouns but changing to them or someone to adopting a she her pronoun that previously wasn’t using it is hard. whether or not they’re someone like very close to me or not. I will make a mistake probably over and over. And the most important thing with trying to change how I use pronouns for someone that I care about, is recognizing that I probably will make a mistake and it’s okay. As long as I as fully as I can communicate to them that I care very much and hear them and am trying to do this thing that is important to them. A lot of friends of mine who do want their pronouns to be different than automatic automatically given sometimes have trouble even bringing it up, or feeling safe to say, Hey, I actually prefer they them pronouns. Being able to say that sentence can be really scary, and a lot of people just don’t do it.

Is it gonna open up a conversation with you maybe don’t want to have in that moment or then other people, people. Naturally I think we all can be quite judgmental. And we need to unlearn some of those traits that lead us to be judgmental and I, I think relating to that, yeah, your, if someone’s identifies, he or she before you know who they are, then you have this picture in your mind. I’m going to try something here in just a second. I think relates to that because our imaginations, no matter how imaginative we think we are, we project things based on what the information we have we start, we just automatically I think, start getting these visuals based on what we know. And I understand what happens it happens to me, we’re going to do it still probably but making the types of choices choices or building a structure where less than that happens for ourselves and less that happens overall to have possible negative influences on anyone that’s not deserving of some sort of negative influence or


negativity that happens to people because they exist in a way that others have perceived as less than for some reason. So here’s my little experiment. I was gonna ask you this earlier, decided not to and for For those watching on the video maybe it’s less it’s less meaningful but if if for the individuals listening and I’ve listened start to finish maybe they’ve drawn some conclusions or some assumptions. But I’m now have you if you’re willing to tell me your age, because you are very intelligent and very wise I know your age are about within a year. And to me You seem very smart and all these ways into someone. Someone human, a human, listen, listening only to the conversation if I if I ask you your age in the first minute, and they know your the number you’re about to tell me, they may start judging what they’re hearing from you differently. If you sit at age 30 years older than you’re about to tell me, they might let you they might take your information differently because we do that we give more respect to certain ages, depending on who we are and who we think has the right type. perspective for what we’re looking for. Here’s the thing. And so go and tell me about yourself in that way and whatever else you think relates.

Okay. I’m going to first tell you my observance of myself in reaction to your question. Because

sometimes people ask me how old I am. I think that happens to many people. is being asked how old they are. And

for a few reasons, my reaction to that question is often hesitant.

Here’s me hesitating. A little bit. No, I would like to and I’m going to, I mean, maybe I won’t, but I am planning to in this moment I’m planning to. It’s just something I want to say about it is that

It’s because of my own reaction to this question. I tend to not ask people how old they are. And for similar reasons to using them. I tried to take it out of the equation when interacting with a person. Because sometimes if someone tells me how old they are moving forward, my perspective of them, like you just put into words will be colored by that. And there have been a few instances where I accidentally learned unintentionally learned someone’s age, after knowing them for a while, and it took me a minute to, I guess, catch up to that reality, even though it’s the same reality I’ve been living in, but it was essentially my stereotypes and preconceived notions about a huge catching up to how I knew this person based on my experience with Which

is neat and maybe it’s gonna happen to people as I say my age, which is now I’ve had a lot of build up to it.

The it’s I feel like for me is learning more about you this has been educational, and for random person, whoever it might be hearing us talk, there’s things that we’ve talked about, probably maybe not something they’ve heard of in the same way. And just this us having this conversation about age and then you tell me your age is going to be I think, a net positive on the conversation itself, getting others to maybe think of age differently or just excuse it, like maybe I won’t ask anyone anymore, but I’d probably not yet. I, as I’d like to know, because but I don’t like to judge on a believer. Oh, no, I’m doing everything wrong. Go on.

Okay, so I’m 2323 23 and I have met people older than me who act much younger and younger than me who act much older. But I, even after saying those words acting much older or much younger, I want to remove them and replace them with act with more wisdom or more mindfully. Or sometimes I meet people who are still hanging on to,

from my perspective still hanging on to

like family ties that maybe they act like the youngest sibling in the world still and have maybe not been able to move past that or maybe that’s my own perspective of them. But yeah, I’m 23 I think I lost track earlier this after my birthday. I didn’t Really think about it too much. And that was neat. But yeah, one reason it’s I just want to add one note to it. One of the biggest reasons that it’s a hesitant subject for me is because I went to college through a p SEO program, which is post secondary enrollment options. You can leave high school and go to a community college it was the best thing I’ve done with my education. I went to this great community college inver Hills community college, I really had a great experience there. And I went when I was 16. And then stopped going there when I was just before I turned 18 and left for college. I have a summer birthday, so I was always I was always the youngest in my grade or close to it. And then I went to college, and was it mixing with all these people and when they found out that I was 16 they had For strong reaction to it a super strong reaction. And because of that I really like stopped telling people or avoided it as much as I could because it seemed they just even if we were having some sort of really nice conversation and talking about school, or maybe I had this friendship that was coming, or maybe I had potential, like, romantic something or other. That’s a little different because of legality and

that is okay in Minnesota. Regardless, I notice a difference anyhow, that’s all

I know. I know it is. I really had to know.

How did you ever desert Beckham

but no matter what kind of relationship it was, people would have not always but often had a super strong reaction to it. And usually it was negative. It was like, Oh, God, okay, you’re 16 and then I would not interact with them in the same way. was very because of that I’ve kind of guarded it. And I also for other reasons was involved in other life experiences where I, the people around me were much older and I was inhabiting a role that was typically filled by people who were much older than I was.

And that’s my experience.

I would say University, me often, most people are going to be in that 18 to 2223 range.

What was college not University called? I guess people can also go to the university

but it can’t but the post post high school the first step post High School, yep, almost everyone’s gonna be that age. So those of you that took advantage of the great opportunity to get college credits while in high school and not pay for it at all.

Not at all. I don’t have to pay for the

books either. There’s, there’s one of my nephew’s is doing and I think one of my nieces did it. There’s a lot of people doing definitely that Seems like it’s just financially it’s, it’s a movie, you can’t afford it, how expensive post secondary education is. There’s a couple years younger that you can be and you certainly were. But there’s also the non traditional students that are 1015 2030 years younger, that clearly are in a different age range. And I think some people are going to treat those people differently, or maybe most people will because of that and because like college university is for so long for this certain age group of people mostly, and if you get on the periphery of that, it’s becomes a different probably the biggest fears for you. But what other people know that then this can be twice as different experience. And that’s not great. And I think some workplaces it might be that I don’t really experienced this a lot. I don’t see it this way. But if someone X number of years old has a boss that’s x minus 15 years are something their age? Mm Hmm, that’s going to be an issue because we perceive age in this way. And I guess we count from birth because that’s the only time that we can be certain of but I feel young. And if I could know how long before I die, hopefully many, many decades. If we can count number of years before we die, that probably be a better way to look at age or something. Because I hadn’t thought about that until this conversation. That because it’s, you know, how you’re living your life, what you’re doing with your mind and how you’re interacting with those around you is more important than how many years since you were born. And I think the how you’re living your life relates a lot more to how many years you’re looking to use useful in the future more so than the years that you live in the past.

Yeah. Something I want to add to that is that age is something that does not exist presently for me. I think those are good words for it. Where your age does not matter to me at all so far and in this moment, and what matters what is real to me is what is happening here, right right now. And whatever sensations I’m getting from you, whatever energy I’m getting from you, and whatever I’m thinking and experiencing flow out of me, towards you, or within me about you. And that’s my experience of you. And

then I’m not gonna tell you my age on many other episodes, so someone really wants to know they can listen to more watch more you’ll find out

yeah, it’s something that just

doesn’t exist presently and less I’m presently thinking about it or It’s a present topic I guess. And it can be something that is present like being 23 years old is different. For it is a different experience than anything else. Right? And I heard a story once about a group of like five people in a room all realizing they were 23 years old. They like, wow, we’re all 23 what’s been like for you so far? What’s it been like? We’re all this age. That’s neat. It’s been different for all of us, I bet What’s it been like, and having this conversation about that, and that’s really neat, too. And then someone, someone else walked into the room and they were 32. And so they had a different conversation, which is a cool story. It’s rose story. So okay, you can ask them about that if you want. Yeah, so I guess maybe that’s where it’s for and I have right now, but that may change. And one thing that is really freeing for me, and that I want to give to other people is that you don’t have to be tied to anything that isn’t existing for you right now.

And one thing I want to add to that before we We move on

is that jealousy, it may be a bit of envious envy. You’ve had was it eight months, traveling continuously internationally, where I’m even realizing this just being so far gone a week on this trip for me that it’s vacation. So I’m not like working. This is kind of work, I suppose, because I’m working on this project, ongoing podcast. But otherwise, it’s been totally freedom activities, dining, some drinking, just like I don’t have concern in the world. That’s not your total experience because you are doing these work away things and have responsibilities. But the reason I bring this up is over these eight months, you’ve gotten an amount of experience based on different country, different people, different jobs, the different interact constant, different interactions and ways like I feel like I interact with a lot of people in my day to day type of work and the way that I live. It’s different than probably what you’re experiencing. And I think the more variety in extreme different circumstances we put ourselves in in life is what gives us that wisdom and knowledge to our it doesn’t change our years from birth. But it changes our perspectives and amount that we’ve taken in and kind of rapidly in these times. So you’re not growing older, you’re like, if they cut off a tree, we tell the 2000 year old olive tree that he can measure how long it’s been around. So I don’t know that we can ever measure that in someone based on their experience. But I see your experience you’re getting now giving you a vast amount of wisdom in ways that you couldn’t have imagined. You’re now receiving and then I’ll can put that to use in other ways that you I look at my life when I’ve been at a certain job for so many years. Yes, I’m learning more. But am I learning as much as I can? In that time if I did something totally different, and sometimes I fear, no, the time could have been used much differently, perhaps much better. in other ways, I think traveling the long, long journey back to this point traveling is a way to age yourself with wisdom much more quickly than a lot of other activities that I know that I’ve spent my time using, even though I travel quite a bit compared to other people. But sometimes if you’re you’re just kind of doing the same thing getting a routine. I don’t know how much you can really take in but meanwhile eight months of you in Europe, can’t imagine all the things you’ve taken in.

I want to play devil’s advocate. Okay, do it and say that


Through mindfulness and

being present, and learning as much as you can, with what you’re given, can be done in any circumstance. And there’s no way I could ever know what an old fisherman who has been fishing in the same spot for 20 years could ever know. I could never know their experience, because they are the only one that’s living it. And I think that’s true for everyone. That the experience you’re having is so unique to yourself. And that’s such a treasure no matter what is happening in life around you or your history or the way your brain is working. If it’s being mean to you if it’s being super nice to you. If it’s beating you up about the thing you said or not.

In every single moment, your experience of being alive and existing is so unique

and is the only one that exists. And that’s super cool. And there’s an infinite amount of wisdom to be gained from that moment.

No matter where you are, what you’re doing,

I think, I believe

so if this was a car driving through Bulgaria, it was a Bulgaria car drives Bulgaria I would have been the person pointing out all the negatives going, you’re the person pointing out the beauty in at all is I’m being judgmental towards myself in ways that I feel like I misuse time because I I feel like I get more value traveling than my normal routine, which I think has its value. But I traveled it just done wonders for me, I think and then projecting that on a previous version of myself and the way that I use my time I’m then also projecting them other people and the way they use their time, which is not the right way to do it. So I like your perspective better, I will try to improve on taking some influence from that. And hope that your influences is shared or taken and beyond beyond just me because I really think your wisdom you will know that might have not come from your travel is really worth considering. And that’s a great perspective to have on on time and what we learned what we know and, and how we’re using our moments because I think I’m too judgmental on that. Thank you.

Yeah, a big like some words that came to me at one point were that there’s no wrong way to exist. And I try to remind myself that because sometimes I find myself doing some Without pattern where it’s like, why aren’t you just doing this thing that is perfect for me. In this moment, I believe that the way I’m living my life and traveling and changing what I’m doing as soon as it feels right, I can leave any of these work exchange opportunities whenever I want with very little consequence, and I did save up enough money where I can go stay in a cheap hostel for a few nights, and then re gather and change and I everything I own is in a backpack, and a guitar.

Which I think I don’t know where the videos frame exactly it I think it’s, it’s in the video behind you. You’re an artist so much. I feel like we could talk for a long time but for the sake of the battery on my recording device, for the other sharing this AB Airbnb, and respect for eventually, people watching and listening probably have other ways they want to use their time. I hope that they’ve enjoyed this as much as I have. Let’s get to it. two segments that I end most episodes with

segments. It’s segment time with Kurt. I’m gonna clip that out

every episode. Maybe I can’t do it sounds okay, the personal growth segment.


I feel like you are very aware of your growth and non growth in certain ways and part of being introspective and continuing to learn. Is there a story perhaps when you haven’t shared yet, during this conversation that you think indicates a lesson in personal growth for you?

Okay, you asked me these at the beginning to try and

keep them in mind. Yeah, I tend to prompt my guests on these in some way to make sure that I’m not totally putting someone on the spot. What if we are we’ll work through it. No big deal.

Nice. That’s a very comforting statement. Thank you.

I guess the one that is coming to mind is just Okay, the biggest contributor to how I’m finding and feeling my own growth is by meditation and yoga to another extent, but that’s physical and mental, and I try to find a good balance there. And I really like Sam Harris and Sam Harris’s waking up app is the one that I use the most. I meditate by myself very often also, but I’ve found a lot of guidance with this type of the past. Present meditation is practicing 10 minutes a day or more, to be as present as possible while sitting in silence. Usually silence are not just sitting just sitting and being, and trying to observe all of the sensations. And that’s all without judgment. And some of them sensations are thoughts. Some of them are body physical, a lot of them are environment. But all of them are arising in consciousness. And it’s fascinating to watch them. It’s impossible, hypothetically impossible to be bored. I still am finding myself being like, Oh, I’m bored. Sometimes if I’m on a long train or something, and I’ve listened to a bunch of podcasts or something like that, but when your mind is this infinite well of conscious experience, we don’t know very much about consciousness. But the best way to learn more about it is by looking by observing and we have it It’s here. It’s, I mean, I don’t know where it is. I can point to it, but it’s Hear, maybe it’s this and this and this and everything. And very hard to word, but it has been the biggest contributor to my personal growth.

Meditation is something I spent. Not much time on. I was gonna say, not enough to little that’d be very judgmental towards myself. Huge fan of Sam Harris. Also, I listened to every one of his podcasts back a few years. Great. And I began contributing to his podcast early enough that I get that I got that app for free, the subscription, whatever, I’m already contributing money. Yeah, just a little bit. But I know it’s a paid app. Not that it’s still not very, how expensive is for one person? It varies. But then again, what I love about this guy, and there may be differing opinions, I don’t know. But the one thing is, he charges for his podcast, and for his app, but if you email and say, I can’t afford it, they’ll take your word for it, no question and they’ll get to you for free. Yep. Which is the way that I think, I wish everything was done.

Yeah, it’s information, I

appreciate the work you’re doing person, I’m going to give you some money. Or I want to use what you’re doing person, I can’t afford it or I’m not going to pay for it. Okay, take it. But it’s the idea that we can see someone doing something of value. And we can offer what we think it’s worth to us. And that person can just accept it. And someday, if I ever do anything with my podcast to generate some income, that is the model I will use. If anyone’s willing to give me money. Yeah, if someone emails me now says want to give me money, then I probably should do it soon. But in the meantime, I’ve no urgency on that. I just want to keep doing better and having better conversations. And then at some point, I would do that. But that’s the way it is like I’m doing this because I think there’s value and if someone wants to at some point Give me some money. So my time is, is used in a way that I can do more of it great, but that’s what he does. Because he wants to focus on that as much as he can, and help people in these ways that he thinks need help. And if he can make an income based on what people want to give him, he’s gonna be able to keep doing it. That’s beautiful. Yeah. And I’m glad so glad with the toy we have more to talk about about that.

Yeah, you got to do the meditation now. So you gotta check it. Okay. It’s super impactful. Okay.

Well, yeah, I think I’m convinced now. The being wrong segment been wrong. I titled that because I

I don’t look at it necessarily in the way that we know we’ve already had this conversation, that at any given moment, the choice that we’re making is the only choice that we would have made. So we’re never really wrong. But what we can do is we can look at the former version of ourselves and think if I right now where to make decisions for the former version of myself. Which ones do I think That person did wrong and maybe which is like one of the biggest ones, that the former version of myself now meaning the former version of yourself, yep, was wrong about that you You’re now very aware of and you think sharing the story could be useful.

I think

my answer for this one is that

will slightly related to just relationships and how, in a couple experiences or during this travel adventure that I’ve had, someone has joined me one time it was my younger brother who was 14, and another time it was this love of mine row. And most recently, it has been you and my dad, which is slightly different because it’s kind of a group setting. But each time I have learned more about what it means to reconnect with someone The first one was the hardest. It was with my little brother, who was 14. And we were both completely new people, again when we met each other, which we talked about a little bit, and I, and he seemingly expected our relationship to just pick up where it was before. And it’s pretty easy. And we’re going to go forward and have a great time. But I think neither of us totally expected to have trouble adjusting to the new people that we were. And I experienced that again with Roe when they came and joined me. And in each of these experiences, it took this adjustment period of meeting this person again, even if it’s my brother, who I’ve known for his whole life or row who I’ve known for a long time and been very close with For a long time, these new moments of meeting each other, it was difficult and took some time to adjust to who this person was. And with my brother, he doesn’t know that, you know, he hasn’t experienced these type of strange, complex situations before I hadn’t really experienced this situation before. And I would have liked to have been more prepared for that, I suppose. Maybe set aside some time to talk with him, see what his expectations were for our trip. Things like that. I learned a lot from it. And I’m very thankful for him. Being the cool kid he is he we had an adjustment period when we actually parted where we didn’t talk for about a month. And then since then, we’ve talked about our experience and now we’re talking much more and have grown closer because of the experience itself. But in the beginning We were like bickering like brother and sister, which we really not done. But you are. But we are. Yeah, we but we had always gotten along really, really well. And yeah, at one point he like, threw his phone and I was like taking his phone and he wasn’t doing school. And we just gotten these silly little arguments, I think because we didn’t understand where the other person was coming from completely, which is something I tried to be good at. But at that point, I was I was trying to approach someone that existed in the past in my mind, and I wasn’t viewing him as this present person. So I think this, if I was there, as the person I am now I would want to be a little more present with him and give space for that adjustment time and feeling each other out.

You were wrong for having expectations that things should go a certain way based on this new version of yourself and this idea of this person Former person, they are both close with joining you on this big adventure. And clearly these expectations were set at a bar that weren’t realistic.

Yeah. Good words. Excellent.

Remember earlier in the conversation when I thought I forgot about something. I remembered it. Wow, briefly. We’re in Crete. Yeah. We are Island south of Greece. Mm hmm. Your dad and I flew here. Yes. Row and you took a ferry? Oh, my gosh, yes, we did. I would have taken a ferry if the timing would have made more sense. They didn’t really. And I have two weeks and I’m trying to use it as best I can. Most of the time. We flew. You could have taken the flight with us. Financially, your dad made an offer that seemed to be too good to refuse to me. You still didn’t explain why why you would take a ferry and not a plane. If it wasn’t He had both options.

Yeah, good question. The biggest reason is because of the planet and how

heavy air travel is on carbon emissions. And if I have the option to take a boat somewhere instead of flying, I would rather do that I’m really trying to minimize my air travel. I’ve seen over and over how much pollution it produces, which makes sense it’s a big heavy thing with a bunch of heavy people and heavy suitcases propelling itself into the air with carbon essentially and then flying around in the air with carbon and it’s not great for our planet. Another reason is because I with this long term Travel, I generally am viewing the time that I’m spending as all being very valuable. And time spent on a 10 hour boat ride, ferry ride across the sea is just as valuable as a morning or an evening in a place to me. So that experience is what I’m not going to forget and what I’m going to be very prepared for. When we take it back to Athens, you learn from it, and again, and I’m gonna do it again. Yeah, it was really fun because we went in, and we didn’t really know what to do with our tickets. We had a whole adventure trying to find these tickets, we had to switch over a bunch of times and go to a bunch of different ports. And when we got on the boat, we followed the signs to reception. And we’re like, hello. We have not done this before. Here’s our ticket. And they said, you don’t have a cabin. So No, we didn’t buy a cabin. They said, Okay. And we’re like, Alright, what do we do and they said, Go around, find somewhere to sit. And we walked around for a while and realized that the way that this ferry was set up was people would just walk around in the ferry and throw blankets and sleeping bags in a spot on the floor, or under the stairs, or in a hallway. And that was where they were going to sleep overnight because this was an overnight ferry, or people would go into the cafe dining hall type area, and put their pillow in their bag and their caged bird and their rabbit. And whatever else was with them, there was a lot of strange

things here. cows and horses, no cows,

no cows, no horses either. And, and they would sleep because the cheapest tickets are the ones that don’t give you a cabin. You just are allowed to be on the boat and so We found a little hallway and follow what everyone else was doing and put our stuff down. And eventually I slept on the floor after getting some fancy wine with row and playing back in. And it was a lovely trip but totally new and an experience that I’m really glad I

had. Well, we trip and now your expectations will be different in a way that we probably enjoy it even that much more on the way back and you learn a few things. Yeah,

like most things.

Wonderful. Riah moss. Yeah.

Thank you for your time with all this shortly. I won’t be seeing you for a while but I do intend to see you again and spend some more time with you and continue our conversations in the future.

Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for listening to People I Know Show find links in the show notes. Follow People I Know Show on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Please like comment and interact with the photos and videos that you find There, and whether it’s a comment online or an email, I’d love to hear from you. Perhaps leave a review on Apple podcasts or send an email to me Kurt Carstensen People I Know show@gmail.com Thanks for listening

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