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Let the Outsider In - How running around outside is changing how I live.

Outsider header

The radio crackled to life when the ignition turned and I caught the presenter halfway through her thought (a perfect recipe for misconstrued information). It went something like this: "...I know we’re all trying to stay sun safe and not spend too much time outside…” I listened on, intrigued at this rare subsect of society that is spending too much time outdoors. Is it farmers? Roofers? Lifeguards? Professional dog walkers? Turned out she was seeking recommendations for summer holiday activities for families living in the city.

It’s become a real problem with the young ones these days - spending too much time outdoors instead of sitting themselves down like proper children in front of a myriad of screens in an air-conditioned room (to be fair to the woman, she seemed open to other indoor suggestions such as reading and museums).


Red River Gum Outsider icon

Let’s be real though, I don’t know any families with school-aged children whose main concern is that their kids spend too much time outdoors. Like no one. I know very few people at all, ten or otherwise, whose most pressing concern is that their calendar is overflowing with an onslaught of fresh-air commitments. I’d love to catch up, but I’m absolutely snowed under all this hiking and paddling and general sky-watching to do and couldn’t possibly fit another thing into my schedule.


You’re catching me off the back of two and a half months of living outside. Just us and our fold-out camper trailer under the sun, rain, moon, and stars of a little south-eastern chunk of the country. It was one of those things that changes you, somehow alters your molecular structure even though, and perhaps precisely because, you weren’t expecting it to. Being face to face with the ordinary discomforts of being nomadic; having limited water, no running hot water, being on constant supervision, fending off thieving animals, perpetually dirty children, occasional laundry, and always knowing exactly what the weather is doing because you’re standing in it - was deeply, surprisingly good for us.


A camping setup in outback Australia

It helped to fortify something I’ve been working through for a while now through the shambolic process of making a book - figuring out how to do hard things, not just enduring them, but embracing them, choosing them, accepting them - is the secret to, well… life.


What is Outsider?

So consider this your formal invitation to the project where I'll be writing about how I am learning to be an adult in the 21st century. More specifically, how I am learning to live a meaningful life as an adult which is basically and bluntly, about learning to get cozy with doing hard things.


The project is called 'Outsider' because I find that it's outside where I learn to do this stuff: outside in nature, outside my perceptions, outside my expectations, outside my comfort zones, outside my preconceived notions of success, achievement, value and wealth. I've started prioritising it a lot more. It changes me. I've started running and my ideas have become increasingly associated with trail running as a metaphor life and doing it well. There will be personal anecdotes, research and scientific studies, book and podcast reviews, and brutally honest self-reflection. It’ll be hopeful, dark, and funny.


It's a blog/newsletter. It's written and sometimes recorded, in something that's now considered "long form", but really it's just more thoughtful and involved than something that can be said in 10 seconds. I often paint and make drawings to go with the words. I have been working to publish weekly. Sometimes I do. Sometimes life and other deadlines interrupt even the most urgent personal projects.


Why another newsletter?

You might not. But if you subscribe (put down your email address), then I'll send the posts to you as an email when they come out and you don't have to come looking for them.

Is it free?

I want this stuff to be available to as many people as possible because I believe in it. At the same time, I also put a lot of effort into creating quality content for those who trust me enough with their attention to turn it this way. This is my job. There are TWO ways that you can support the project: 1) There is a paid subscription option or a one-off donation option. Paid subscribers will have access to additional content, reviews, links, videos - as they say in the industry - perks.

2) Subscribe (for free), and Share this blog, posts or articles that you find meaningful or worthwhile. It is incredibly helpful on my end. Thank you!


Well, that’s it for now if you made it this far.

May all the beautiful things come your way. Actually, may you exercise the ability to bear witness to all the beauty that is already everywhere even when, or perhaps especially when, things are a bit shit.


Put your runners on.


With love;

K.B.

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