On December 22nd, 2017, I was sitting in the Emergency Room at the Phoenix VA Hospital having yet another MRI for the sinus surgery in 2011 that almost killed me. I got poked in the brain, had a sinus leak, got meningitis, almost died, had to have brain surgery, and have had chronic migraines ever since. I have skied a total of 10 days plus or minus since. I sold my condo at Brian Head in 2013. Settled in to my post-ski life.
I had an epiphany sitting on that gurney wondering when the headaches will stop. What if they don’t? What am I going to do? Am I going to waste my 40’s living in the suburbs of Phoenix in a beautiful home in the desert or am I going to return to my roots, put on my boots and start taking turns again?
My wife said, When are you thinking? I said Tomorrow. She said, but it is three days before Christmas. I said, then we better hurry up. The next day, we started selling or giving away everything we owned.
I am now a resident of Big Sky, Montana. Wife, youngest two kids, and a flatlander old man who skipped lunch at work as a telecommuting Systems Engineer for a day in April to take turns for the first time in two years off the top of Ramcharger on a powder day with his 17 year old. Almost 6,000 acres just up the road. Gallatin River off my back porch.
It is time to make the next thing in my life happen.
I want to TRULY WRITE and I want to write about the ski industry, about my new home town as it transforms from sleepy ski town outside Bozeman into a playground for the rich, about the socioeconomic impact of this, about how the industry is creating a permanent underclass who can barely afford to exist on low wages, on the environmental impact of a thousand workers a day driving the canyon to get to work, on the need for quality transportation, on quality of life issues, on sustainability, and on how I am so totally not a smelly hippy about this but a business major who wants to make sure I am part of a town where families can afford to raise kids.
So I am going to be a citizen journalist AND A SKI BUM again… all while telecommuting making damned good money. I am even trying to get a teaching job doing a Computer Science class or two at MSU in Bozeman. Because Montana is home now. It is home AGAIN! First time since I left MEPS for the NAVY. Or maybe it has always been home, I just left home for a while and it has been waiting for me.
Welcome home to Big Sky. And I hope people still give a damn about blogs and I am not a completely worthless writer. I have to do some redesign work and expect some construction happening. Both on my site and in Big Sky. A lot in Big Sky.
And last thing I have to say is shout out to an ASU Journalism School student who was half talking shit about my cynicism of journalists, half having me rant and act crazy about how much I hated what the media has become and she basically asked me what I knew about the media. I called myself a “citizen journalist” and she scoffed. She is always polite and one of the most amazing people I have ever met who is going to do great things in life but it pissed me off. Because she is right. I am just some asshole on the Internet who hasn’t updated his blog in five years and drops comments and trolls.