I just received a notice to vacate from my landlord. They have given me 60 days. We’ve had a great relationship for the last 3.5 years and I’ve always paid rent on time. I was a pretty easy tenant for them and pretty ideal in my mind. The reason that they’re sending me on my way is that I rent the apartment from them and sublet out the bedrooms for short-term stays. I provide furnished rooms in a furnished home for people to stay at a great price and that allows me to live rent-free in my little 36 square foot closet room. I have done that for three years, knowing that it was against the term of my lease, but also assuming my landlords probably knew since a simple Craigslist or Airbnb search by them would have found my ads. Plus all the different people staying at my house all the time was a pretty dead give away.
This is a story of my 27th year on earth. Everything here took place between August 28th, 2013 and August 27th, 2014 and are in chronological order. I must say I’m a little blown away by what I managed to accomplish in just one year. The cool thing is that I’m no more special than anybody else. I’m no more capable than anyone else. Not that long ago I was a binge drinking college student spending many of my nights around the keg and my days at the library flirting with the girls. So if I can follow my truest of dreams and desires so can you. For me it was simply a matter of choice and then getting off my butt and doing it.
Here’s the happenings of my 27th year… (You can click on each photo to see more of that part of the story).
I’m 27 years old now and it’s August 24th 2014. At this point I don’t plan on being dead for quite some time. I write this only to be prepared for the possibility, and to make the information available so that it can be used upon my death. I’d like to live into my 80’s, but I’ve found life to be quite unpredictable. I’ve learned that I can rarely know for certain where I will be, even in twenty-four hours.
As much as I’d like to live on this earth in the manner that I am accustomed to for another half dozen decades, I’m also ok with dying because I’ve learned to look at the greater picture. There are seven billion people on this planet and I am just one. Beyond that there are millions of other species totaling up to an uncountable number of lives, each going about their own meaning. To think that I matter that greatly where my life is a necessity for this earth, well, I think that would be somewhat absurd. However, I do think that every move I make and every word I speak does matter. I believe everything that every creature or being does, does matter, and I believe that we all matter equally. But death is as much of a part of life as birth and I accept that. I know many people have not accepted that and when I die I know there will be some people that wish I was still here. They will be more than all right though, especially if they understand where I’m coming from by reading this will.
It’s been a huge week in raising awareness about food waste. I created a little media frenzy and my activism was picked up in La Crosse, Madison ran with it, and it blew up in Milwaukee. 14 stories were done between news, newspapers, and radio, and their stories were syndicated by other news outlets around the Midwest as well. There is no doubt that a big impact was made in the Wisconsin region with this campaign.
The idea that it is a “hippy” thing to outwardly care for our earth is far outdated. We live in a time when people from all walks of life are waking up to the destruction that our simple everyday actions are causing. No matter who you are or where you are, you can adapt little changes to start treating our planet, people, and animals with respect.
I recently wrote a story called Lessons Learned from a Year without Showering that was picked up by The Huffington Post. If you haven’t read it the link is there, but basically I went a year without taking a conventional shower and instead just went for a swim when I found a lake, river, or ocean. The story created quite a splash, but why, oh why, would I do something so silly?
One word can sum it all up: freedom.
Freedom from ourselves, freedom from social norms, freedom from money, and freedom from systems that don’t serve our best interest. My activism goes much deeper than the simple act of bathing and it seems most people got the message but here it is again, loud and clear.
*Update 04/20/2015- Today is my 2 year no-shower anniversary! Enjoy the story I wrote a year ago today:
As of today it has been one year since my last shower. Yes, I know that sounds crazy and a year ago I would have agreed with you. I was a regular showering guy for the first 26 years of my life. Well, maybe not every single day, but just about.
So how does a regular showering guy end up going 365 days and counting without taking a shower? It started with a long bike ride across the United States to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living. I set a bunch of rules for myself to follow to lead by example. The rule for water was that I could only harvest it from natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and rain or from wasted sources such as leaky faucets. And I kept track of exactly how much I used too, with an aim of showing just how little we need to get by.
When I was younger I worked hard to earn a lot of money to buy the freedom to pursue my greatest dreams and desires.
Today I have that freedom to chase down even my most far fetched dreams and I’ve tackled my fair share of them. However, that freedom is only in small part due to my hard work to earn money. On the contrary, I have learned to live with less, to need less, and to want less and that is what has given me the freedom to be who I want to be, to stand strong for what I believe, to be a part of something greater, and to run down every dream that I conjure up.
New in the United States is full of brain numbing, fear instilling, negative stories, but I am doing my part to change that!
In 2013 my activism was featured in 13 news stories that aired on over 30 channels across the USA.
My aim is to help wake this sleepy country up, and I’m using positive, inspiring, educational stories on the mainstream media to do so.
Here’s the highlight video of my news stories. I bet you can’t watch it without smiling 🙂
The long term solution to dealing with unwanted weeds is to pull them up from the roots. This is a simple concept that should be applied by anyone working to create positive change. Do not chop at the leaves of your issue, leaving it to pester the next generation, instead learn the roots of the issue and start chipping away from there.
Please share this as a friendly reminder to all.