I seem to get worse at this every year!😛
It’s now mid February, and while the flies in my mind have been telling me I need to write this, I’ve been procrastinating. A consistent trend now with my writing over the last few years.
Oh well, fuck it!
I move forward with where I am right here, right now.
When I look back on these last two years I can’t help but think that the pandemic was strangely a blessing for me. It put me in a situation where I could do what I do best – Use time in isolation to grow and evolve myself.
First and foremost, it allowed me to stay in Brazil without having to worry about a long term visa. It simply bought me time to come up with a better plan. I used that time to get myself on a path to long term residency. Then with the location piece of the puzzle figured out, I put my head down and built myself a solid financial foundation, another key piece of the puzzle.
With those two key pieces in place, the vision on the whole started to become a hell of a lot clearer.
It’s like at first when building a puzzle nothing makes sense and there’s no clear image. Then as you group colors and patterns together and the puzzle pieces fall into place, the vision on the whole reveals itself.
That’s how I feel about my life. It’s like I’ve had a vision for the last decade that is now really falling into place. I could always see it in my mind, to me it was crystal clear, but now it’s falling into place in a way that is tangible, where others can see it too.
Fun tangent here that I wont deviate myself with – What do the puzzle pieces of your life look like? If you were to put them together in a way to display to the world, what would be in that image? 😉
Staying on track – 2 years ago the location and financial pieces fell into place. This year some other key pieces fell into place as well. So let me tell you all about them😄
January 2021 – I moved into a dope new house
After living in isolation in a tiny ass apartment for much of 2020, in late 2020 I moved into a house way larger than what I needed so that I could have more space and be around people more often. I enjoyed this experience, and doubled down on it in 2021.
For months I was repeating in my mind “house near Gravata beach” (Gravata beach is my favorite part of Florianopolis where we mount the majority of our Highlines…more on this to come too😉 )
One day while hunting the internet for places to live, I noticed myself looking at everything with price filters. Catching myself in this thinking, I got rid of the filters and said let’s dream bigger!
After doing this lo and behold, a house right next to Gravata beach was available. The price was more than I was willing to spend though. They wanted around $8k USD/month for it.
So I message them and say something along the lines of “love the house and it’s exactly where I want to live. I’ve been doing research on houses in the area and while I think this house is incredible, it’s much more expensive than others I’ve seen. Do you have any flexibility?”
They replied with “Absolutely! This is actually our first time on the platform and we weren’t sure what to charge. It’s not $8k USD, we want $8k reals. (˜1.3/4k USD)(!!)” Let’s grab a coffee and discuss!”
Thus, how I found this dope ass house.
Now, here are some pictures of it for your entertainment.
Overall this house is a gamechanger. It’s right next to Gravata, so I’ve had consistent easy access to highlines all year, which has helped me to evolve tremendously.
Just look at where it is on the map – https://goo.gl/maps/9PZTSFQgrn7YeRiv7
It’s a 5 minute walk to Mole beach, directly next to Gravata (a 15 minute trail), a 45 minute walk to Barra, a 20 minute walk to Joaquina, or I can also take a stroll on Rendeiras and look out at the lake by my side. DOPE location. I have everything I need within my fingertips, with beautiful nature and scenery all around me.
Here are just some general shots of the area where I live, truly beautiful 🙂
If I’ve learned anything about myself over the years, it’s that my environment matters. My living space, what I see on a daily basis (my visual diet), the scenery and nature I have access to, has a huge impact on my state of mind and energy. To have a place like this was an incredible blessing in constantly keeping me in a blessed state.
But this house is not complete in it’s description without a huge character….
May 2021 – I rescued an Angel now known as Cadena!
If I could describe Cadena in a tinder profile, it would read as follows…
“Hey! I’m Cadena! I like to annoy horses, roll around in dead fish, chase after birds, climb boulders, and run around like a madwoman! I only eat fish, meat, and rice. Fuck veggies! I got a tight lil brazilian booty and I swing both ways😉 Oh yea and last, I grew up on the streets. Don’t fuck with me.”
Here’s the story of how this little angel showed up in my life.
Flashback to December 2020. I tell my friend that I’m thinking of adopting a dog. He tells me that I’m too forgetful and distracted and I won’t handle a dog well. We leave it at that.
Flash forward to April 2021, I do a solo ayahuasca ceremony. This same friend was curious to do it with me, but I wanted to go alone, so he then did a separate ceremony 2 weeks or so later.
A few days after his ceremony he sends me a text that says “today your life will change forever”.
Oh boy. What did this crazy Argentinian have up his sleeves?
He tells me that he will show up at my house later on. I was at the Sauna and was returning home.
Upon entering into my house, he is sitting there with this little angel…
He says to me “This dog is meant for you. It very well could be the Ayahuasca is still in my system but this dog is destined to be with you.”
I laughed it off but hey, Ayahuasca works in mysterious ways! (Ahow!)
Our first interaction I sat down on the sofa. You could see she was emaciated and scared. Super timid. Almost shaking because she was nervous of people.
She came up to me and nestled her head into my knee. I melted.
I knew from that moment on that this dog was going to stay in my life.
He told me that she was abandoned near the job site he is working at. There was someone who was a pure breeder in the area, their pure breed got knocked up. The owner abandoned all of them, and also even worse, for some reason cut off their tails.
He had been taking care of her at the job site for the last few days. Until he decided to bring her home to me…
I had always said to myself “One day a dog will show up in your life and you will know this is the moment”, and that’s how it felt to me.
Naturally there are doubts about how I live in Brazil. I wanted to wait until I get residency. How will it work with me working etc etc doubt doubt. In the end I realized it’s a dog, and you feed her, walk her, and give her tons of love. It’s not that crazy.
Thus it was decided.
Well, I still needed confirmation. I called my mom and asked her opinion, she gave me her vote of confidence, and that’s all I needed. 🙂
Then came time to give this beautiful creature a name!
The same buddy that brought her here said, “Cadena!?”
For context, in the world of climbing or highlining, if you can cross a route without falling, it’s called a “Cadena”, in Portuguese. In English it would translate to send, or literally a chain.
At this moment there were around 4 of my friends in my living room. When he said “Cadena” everyone erupted. It was chosen. Cadena would be her name.
Over time though, I simply call her “boo” or “boo boo”, I have a lot of friends who call her this as well.
Now, here’s some prime Cadena Boo Boo Erstling footage….
July 2021 – I met the love of my life❤️
I am happy to say that for the first time in my life, I can honestly and full say that I am in love with an incredible woman, Maria Antonia❤️
We met last year through a mutual friend, but then after that matched through Tinder.
Our first date happened in January and there was instant chemistry. Connection and chemistry was there from the get-go. We drank some white wine lit one up and got into a conversation around the book Sapiens and societal narratives and all that type of stuff I love. And let’s just say the physical connection was delicious 😛
Throughout the year I went out on dates and met other women, but each time that I did I would think to myself, “nope, not better than Maria!”
I found myself thinking about her more. Creating and prioritizing more time with her. Becoming less interested in going out on a date with a random girl I met on Tinder or elsewhere, and more interested in going deeper with her.
So naturally throughout the year we slowly saw each other more frequently, then by around July it was clear to me I wanted to put more of an official stamp on this. So we did🙂
Here’s some prime footage of the two of us.
We overlap in a lot of great areas. Slacklines, nature, bossa nova and jazz, the brain and body and science, food. Then in other areas there’s less overlap. We have an age difference of 12 years. She’s never traveled and doesn’t speak any English.
Prior to a relationship like this I would always think about the things we have in common or what we can do together. What we talk about and the nature of the conversations. I would try to rationalize love.
Now as I’ve been in this relationship some time though, or even before then, I realized that it’s more of how she makes me feel. I feel calm and peaceful around her. Heard. Felt and seen. She’s caring. Nurturing. Loving. I feel loved.
It’s less about the “activities” we do together, and it’s more about the common shared space together. I genuinely just enjoy her company, I enjoy being around her, talking to her, or sitting in silence.
It’s like the logical part of my mind want’s to come up with “reasons”of why I love her and why we’re a great fit, but in the end love is a feeling, an internal sense of knowing.
As I write this I think about all of the friends I have in my life, or just people that I have met throughout the years. Especially as children though, there are no logical “reasons” why we like people and develop the relationships we do, we just like them. We like being around them. We have fun together.
Prior to this relationship I was never really “in love” with someone, ever, in my entire life. This is the first time I have that feeling. It’s funny because it’s so hard to write about because it’s so intangible. There aren’t reasons and things I can list out about what an incredible person she is (and I can!), it’s just a warm fuzzy feeling.
Probably makes no sense, but hey that’s love! I’m just grateful to have someone like her who I connect with and makes me feel the way I do🙂
I’ll bore you in details with my newfound thoughts on the philosophy of love another time, but for now I’ll just leave it that love is a flavor of happiness and peace I had not previously experienced, and it’s delicious to now say I taste it daily.😛
Then the last major piece that fell into place over the last year is –
Walking on Highlines
I put together this quick little video to give you an idea of what my life looked like over the last year…in highlines 😉
This was a year of tremendous evolution for me on the highline. Coming into this year, while I was now consistently taking steps and having some longer walks, I was still yet to really walk. Like calmly walk. Long steady focused ones. It was still a lot of stand up > Fall > climb back up >repeat. This was the year where I really began to walk.
Now, I still fall, a lot. I still have problems with my posture. I still always fall to the right.
But it’s improved leaps and bounds. I’m definitely walking more and falling less, which is the direction I like to be going in.
The big major accomplishment is that prior to this year I had never crossed a line of over 100 meters. The main parallel lines we always walk on at Gravata beach are around 130m each. I had yet to cross either of those.
In around March of 2021 I had my first crossing on the beach (!!!)
Now? I routinely cross there and back. I’d say my average is to now cross there and back with around 10 falls along the day. 6-7 on the way there. 3-4 on the way back.
I’ve now sent a handful of lines as well, runs of around 35, 44, 65. Cadenando 😉
Overall really starting to relax and improve. Excited to keep training and see where I am this time next year 😉
Thoughts and conclusions –
This really felt like a year of simplicity. Choosing less and putting more focus and attention into the things that matter more.
I feel like I’m a much more relaxed and calm person. A much more peaceful person. I’m not as agitated as I used to be, always needing to do something and stay occupied.
I feel like I have a lot of love in my life. Love for myself. Love for what I do and who I have become. Love for the woman of my dreams, and the love she gives back to me. Love for and from my dog as well.
All that love, all that peace, has made me a calmer, simpler person. I’m really happy about that 🙂
On a more philosophical tangent, now that I’ve largely brought to fruition the vision I had for myself, I feel that I have transitioned into a “sustain”mode, or better yet, a “nurture and grow mode.”
It’s like first you want to find the right soil to place your seeds in. Then when you find the right environment with good soil, weather, conditions, etc., you plant them. Then after planting, you nurture the growth of the plant through constant care.
I look at myself as a nomadic farmer of sorts. A man who wandered the world looking for where to plant his seeds, and now that I finally found the soil and terrain with ripe conditions to nurture my happiness and fulfillment, I’m going to plant my seeds here, nurture them, and watch them grow to outrageous heights!
It’s time to give the seeds I’ve planted the water and care that they need. This is the phase I’m at right now in life.
Last year was a lot of this evolution. Planting seeds and nurturing much of what I have already built. And as a result of that, a year where some key pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
And that my friends, is the majority of what I feel I wanted to express when I look back on the last year 🙂 There’s more, there’s other pieces, but for now these are the ones I felt were most meaningful to share at this moment in time.
Looking into 2022?
I’ll just say stay tuned. No big news or updates…just yet. 😉
I will say though that I did write a handful of articles last year that I never released. I plan on editing them and getting those out to the world soon.
I’m also planning on – time pending – transforming all of my written content here into video/audio and will release via youtube and podcast. This is a fun project I’ve wanted to do for some time now. Not sure if I will release this year, but definitely will be getting the ball rolling on it all.
I also have some online courses I will be launching as well. Distilling everything I’ve learned over the last X years into actionable transformations you can make in your life.
Some of those thoughts and ideas?
- Design My Day! (Organization, Clarity, Prioritization – AKA SAVE TIME/GET TIME BACK!)
- Design My Life! (Longer term passion/purpose/fulfillment, choosing a new career)
- Double Your Output (Get 2x the work done in half the time)
- Keys to Consistency
- Harness ADHD as a superpower (personal favorite 🙂 )
- The One Day Retreat
- Love Yourself
- Authentic Self Expression
Curious to be a beta tester/guinea pig for some of these initial courses? Shoot me an email or reply here on this article!
I hope you enjoyed reading my yearly update, and I hope you’re here next year as well to follow the journey with me!
Have a beautiful fulfilling flowy year ahead!