the search for home

Jon's patch notes v11

See the original version here.

In this release:


It’s been a while since my last post and longer still since my last patch notes. It’s been a fascinating few weeks but full of time for writing it was not.

I drove to Austin, TX #

1,800 miles in 27 hours over 2 days with 0 speeding tickets: a wonderful ratio.

I love driving - not commuting and being stuck in traffic but long, scenic road trips. They feel like guided meditation by removing almost every other possible distraction: meetings and schedules, physical discomfort (relative to standing or moving), phone calls, texts, and basically anyone beyond a small group of people and actual emergencies.

Eventually neither audiobooks nor podcasts nor music keep me occupied: all that’s left is to gaze out at the surroundings passing me by and become at peace with whatever it is I’m worried about - since I can’t really do anything about it anyway.

It’s deeply introspective, especially after eight plus hours in the consistent environment of a car. I get an interesting glimpse at how my body’s energy levels, thought patterns, and the environment all interact with one another. Energy highs and lows become more prominent and easier to recognize.

It’s also an interesting chance to play with friction, aerodynamics, and momentum on a playground I don’t usually get to enjoy. After driving a Ford Fiesta around for three months this car was pure joy - every time I hit the accelerator I couldn’t help but smile.

But most of all I love them because are an adventure: the car becomes my spaceship and we are on a journey together. It was an amazing road trip and I absolutely cannot wait for my next one, wherever it may lead.

Where is home? #

A year ago this question had a simpler answer: home was my apartment with three best friends in NYC. Until two of them moved away, then I moved away and then our apartment lease ended. Someone else now lives in the space I used to call home.

Summer was spent in my childhood home after three years away. I love my family and will always be welcomed and loved, but I am not the same person that left even if my bed and computers and books remain. Was I home?

In Austin I am with the friends who moved away. We met as coworkers, became roommates, and now I drove halfway across the continent to celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m sleeping on their couch yet am many times happier than I ever would be at Four Seasons. Am I home?

Next week I’ll be in NYC near people I met in the most formative and challenging and exhilarating years of my life. We’ll walk up East River and get lost in those familiar views like so many evenings ago. Will I be home?

I can’t point to home on a map. It can be deep in Texas or at a cabin in upstate New York - the coordinates are of much less importance than the emotional space we hold for and with one another. Home is where I feel understood, loved, and cared for.

It’s also where I can return love in the form most natural to me; regardless of what society defines as love and not-love. I hope to create a space others can call home but until then I’m deeply grateful for so many wonderful people around me who let me feel a little less lost.

three habits for happiness #

Every day, I try to:

  • go outside for at least a walk, better a run, or ideally a sunset. Time away from digital devices, people, notifications. Sometimes with music, others in silence. A time to admire trees and flowers and think about whatever I want to think about.

    • When tempted to skip it I imagine it a gift to future Jon.

  • meditate for at least five minutes. My approach is based on mindfulness - maintaining focus on my breath. When my attention wanders (oh it loves to), I acknowledge the thought, forgive myself and gently guide it back. I leave sessions with a slightly less frantic mind, one less eager to make associations at any cost.

  • journal - even if just a few sentences on my phone. A nice starting template: “What happened today? What am I looking forward to? What am I grateful for?” It’s not as critical to do daily, but going 3+ days without journal feels like a buffer in my brain starts to overflow and flushing it lets me think clearly.

Bonus habits include writing for fun, working out, cooking food, quality time with friends, long runs, time in nature, and drawing (doodling in my case). They are complementary and can be done at any combination of sobriety and energy.

  • Best of all, there is no harsh penalty for missing a few days - these activities have been around for a long time and are here to stay.

The combination of meditation, journaling, and daily sunlight played a significant role in helping me climb out of depression in 2019. Though I cannot say for certain they are enough on their own, I would have had no hope without them. They acted (and still act) as grounding cycles, offering me:

  • a space to process and reflect regularly

  • a gentle reminder of the bigger picture

Without them I tend to get lost in the daily noise of worrying about money, relationships, my health, the state of society - or everything at once.

The world is a complex place but the mind is no less intricate: small worries can become bigger and darker until they drown out everything else. These habits are not to prevent worrying thoughts but to put them in context next to ones that matter.

Interhackt is wrapping up #

interhackt.space was a wonderful success. We’re in the voting phase right now. I’ll be writing more about it soon but in general, it was an amazing experience and I’m really glad I got to help hosting it.

jborichevskiy.com is now jon.bo #

I saw it, I couldn’t resist, I bought it. Spelling out my last name over terrible phone connections is the bane of my existence. At least I won’t have this problem with my domain. It also just looks awesome and makes me excited about what I can do with this site.

In fitting with the theme of this post, my new internet home address is jon.bo.