WHY WE STARTED WAYFINDERS NOW
Back around 2014, Michael and I had experienced a time of profound stress and upheaval involving work-related stress, illness, and family emergencies of various kinds. We noticed that many of our friends, too, were experiencing difficult things—financial troubles, the stress of finding sustainable work, student loan debt, toxic workplaces, infertility, and serious illness.
That said, our friends were—are—handling their daily lives with such dignity and vulnerability. We took solace and inspiration from their examples. Eventually, we began to notice the unexpected gifts—and even humor—within our respective journeys too, whether it meant reconnecting with estranged loved ones, continuing to have meaningful moments, or managing to laugh at the end of the day and experience wonder about the world.
Michael (a New York-bred photographer and brilliant pun maker with the sharpest wit) and I (writer who tends to make accidental puns) love to collaborate and we hope WayfindersNow will bring you some overdue laughter about difficult things, as well as inspiration about unbusying ourselves, and making more space for joy and abundance in various forms.
Over the years, both of us have worked a slew of jobs to support our artistic lives and, in spite of reaching certain traditional benchmarks of “success,” we definitely understand what it’s like to feel stressed about the daily grind, struggling to cover your bills, and feeling like you’re “living to work.”
As of about three years ago, we began to actively seek an alternative approach to the survival mode, instead desiring a way of living and working that aligned more with our values and offered more creative and financial flexibility.
We didn’t know what that would look like, necessarily. But there are certainly folks we admire who have inspired us along the way. For our own particular mode of living, however, we still had to shape it ourselves—and we still are actively creating our own desire path, adapting it as we go.
Since then, we’ve shifted careers, sold our home, majorly downsized our belongings, and moved onto a 35′ sailboat, significantly reducing our living expenses and paying off significant school loan debt.
Our experience is imperfect and sometimes messy, but it’s ours and we’d love to share with you about the joys and benefits of living small and what we’re learning along the way.
- Cocktail waitress at a tiki-themed bar
- Video game writer
- Framing gallery stooge
- Art camp instructor
- Backup singer
- Hostess at an all-you-can-eat buffet (1st job at 15 yrs old) 😅
- Airport food kiosk employee
- Film office hotline rep
I’m a published writer, UX/UI designer, and former assistant professor in creative writing with over 20 years of experience in education. I’ve worked for respected companies in tech, such as Basecamp—most notably known for their remote work culture—and recently contributed towards curriculum design and content creation for Designlab, rated as the #1 design intensive, where career changers find meaningful work they love.
- Bartender at an Irish bar
- Delivery truck driver
- Bakery manager
- Snowboard maker
- Guitar builder
- Professional painting crew
- Concert stagehand
- Plant nursery employee
- Hot dog stand cook and dishwasher
I’m a photographer and software engineer with over 20 years of experience in the arts, including co-founding a printmaking collective. Right now, I’m creating ziatypes on the boat and my last few artistic projects have involved tin types, bromoils, and 4 x 5″ photographs.