Written by Spring 2019 intern, Nik

By the age of 21, I was living in New York City among 8 million others. I had an apartment, two roommates, and an entire career
ahead of me. No less than one month of receiving my BFA in theatrical lighting design and technology had passed before I moved to a
bustling new city. I was perusing what I had imagined I’d be doing ever since high school. The life of a freelancer was a romantic
one. I had the luxury of choosing my projects, collaborating with individuals I liked, and was in charge of my own success. It was
common that shows would consume as much as a month’s time or even a single day’s labor. I hardly ever left the city as work was
plentiful and I couldn’t fathom lacking anything that wasn’t solved by a 30 minute subway ride.

The holidays were always a time I could rely on to return to the San Francisco bay area for 2-3 weeks to see family and friends. I
refreshed memories of local favorite cuisines (home cooking especially), and caught my family up on all the exciting productions I
had taken part of. This was my vacation and a moment to reflect on what goals I wanted to achieve to advance my standing in the
theatrical community. I was confident time was the only thing standing between me and my name proudly labeled on Broadway’s most
prestigious playbills.

A week of camping in the desert was an unexpected invitation from my father. Little did I know, he had attempted to secure tickets to
Burning Man 2015 for the both of us. Growing up in the Bay Area, I was familiar with the event but I had never considered myself a
potential attendee. Burning Man was a haven for musicians and sculptors, right? I was neither of those but I wasn’t going to shun the
idea of trying something new.

I won’t go into details as the experience is among my most cherished and sacred moments spent living on this planet. It was,
however, the first time I can recall spending more than a week’s time outside of my usual escapades in New York or California. My
mind was free to look objectively at the patterns of life I had created. Memories and emotions stirred around in my mind for weeks
like silt particles suspended in a jar of water. Over time, I knew that things had not settled where I thought they might. No self-
help books were read, no gurus were consulted, no psychedelic trips were had either, but here I was, granted with the gift of
witnessing limitlessness potential, creativity, and love. It was a different reality from what I was setting myself up for…

Fast forward to present day, as I write this surrounded by equally remarkable rock formations and 15 former strangers who share a
similar passion for sustainability in our living spaces. I am here embracing the unfamiliar and inviting the uneasiness of not
knowing. Inspired by the opportunity I had four and a half years ago, I’m allowing this experience to invite the seeds of change and
am following my gut on where to focus my energy next. Moab has many lessons in store for me and I look forward to exploring their
significance into my ever-changing life. Whether these lessons manifest themselves cooking for a large group, hiking through stone arches, or unintentionally bathing myself in dust and mud from the worksite, I’m here and ready to listen and learn.

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