I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.
- John Steinbeck.
We met an incredible number of fascinating people on our #IM48 road trip. But I have to say that few are quite as unique and memorable as my friend Carl Blake - the pig farmer who's place we stayed at for the better part of a week. He recently was featured on Andrew Zimmern's bizarre foods and now the New York Times wrote a fascinating profile on him.
Go Carl. I am really proud of you.
These last few weeks have been pretty reflective for me. As part of that, I went and watched three different movies in theatres - Lincoln, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook. They were all excellent. Go see them while they're still in theatre.
Actually, I highly recommend you go see lots of movies in theatre - period. Not on a date, but by yourself.
There is a certain magic to watching a good film in theatre. A good film oftentimes tells a story about a very specific yet interesting part of our lives or history. Beautiful and important stories are everywhere, not just in the movies but in real life.
I find that watching a good film in theatre reminds to pay attention to those stories.
Ever since his last vet visit, Otto has been asked to consume a pill or two every day.
The medicine actually seems to be working. Feeding him the medicine, not so much.
Hence, I was pretty excited when I heard about so called pill pockets. You put the medicine into the pill pocket, close it, present it to your cat and boom - he/she will think it's a treat.
Here is how that worked for Otto.
I present Otto with three treats, one of which is a magic pill pocket.
Otto devours two of the three treats. Of course, he identifies and ignores the one treat I actually needed him to eat.
Needless to be said, he is not amused and questions whether he'll be ever able to trust me again.
How do you feed medicine to your pets?
This is news. Probably surprising news in many ways. It surprised me.
Here it is.
I am moving back to Montana next year.
So is IdeaMensch.
And so is Otto.
It's not quite decided yet in what function, but one thing that is for certain is that I'll be teaching at the University. There are other opportunities that will uncover themselves in the coming months. And of course, we will continue to grow IdeaMensch out of our Missoula headquarters.
Here is the backstory.
I came to America as a sixteen year old kid. I thought I'd be surfing on a beach, yet instead I ended up moving pipes on a ranch. In a small town. In Montana.
And I fell in love with the state. Its mountains, its rivers but mostly its people. I've never met more friendly, more down-to-earth people than Montanans. They made me feel so welcomed, I decided to extend what was supposed to be one year of high school exchange and try to stay in America for good - much to the unliking of my mother.
I went to college in Missoula, which only confirmed my sentiments about the place.
Unfortunately upon graduation there weren't too many opportunities for me to continue growing. So I left.
Seattle, LA, Portland, LA, Europe and LA again were my stops. I did a lot of wandering. I spent ten amazing years in Advertising. With the exception of my time in Portland, I always sort of felt out of place. In my mind it was a sacrifice I needed to make in order to grow professionally. To this day I believe that to be true.
My time at WONGDOODY and R2C Group helped me develop an actual skill set other than my broken accent and ridiculously good looks. I couldn't be more grateful for Ben, Pat, Tim and Michelle for believing in me and for giving me the opportunities I had.
It was an amazing ride, yet I was never quite satisfied with the impact I was making. Nor did I ever grow accustomed to LA. Which is what led me to IdeaMensch and which is what led me to this crazy road trip.
This spring, I stopped being successful and started making a real impact.
It has been the most rewarding journey of my life.
Now I am at the tail end of a 48-state road trip. At the end of this sucker, I will have been to every state with the exception of Alaska.
I have a pretty good idea of what's out there now.
After having seen all that, I happen to believe there to be two places that are made for me.
Montana and Oregon.
And if you had asked me three months ago, I would have told you that I'd probably be moving to Portland next year, especially since I already have a condo there, great friends and my red scooter (which I promise to pick up on the way Ryan). I love Portland, always will and probably will come back at some point.
But Montana called me.
There are various reasons.
Various situations where I can make a real impact on a place that I love - surrounding both the University and the local startup scene.
It just feels right.
So I am going to do it. What the heck.
There are many things to do before I leave.
I need to find someone to rent my room in Santa Monica.
I need to talk Otto into separating from Spencer.
I need to find someone who will help Gregory.
I will have to say goodbye (which by the way is always just temporary) to the many amazing friends I made in LA.
But I am going back to the place I fell in love with when I first came to America.
Back to Montana.
Get your waders on.