Aruba to Colombia — July 2018

The memories drift in on their own. Staring out the plane window reminds of me of traveling as a child. I would look out the window, listen to music and leave the madness. It was an oasis. It was safe.

I land in Bogota from Aruba, hungover from my best friend’s wedding. After obsessing about this trip for nearly a decade-a multiyear round-the-world backpacking trip-I am reminded that I didn’t bother to learn any other languages.

At the Bogota airport, two mothers help me order empanadas. They live in Minnesota now, but are back in Colombia to visit their families…

Photo by Jack Finnigan on Unsplash
Photo by Jack Finnigan on Unsplash

George Floyd’s death pulls back the curtain on deep pain in our nation. The complete disregard for human life by someone in a position of power at a time when so much meaningful work is being done to stop just that. Seems to be the theme of our time.

Police officers were my superheroes. They were a force for good during violence in my childhood home. The trauma my sister and I experienced in white suburbia happened behind close doors in secret. The police always showed up and made us safe. My sister is now one of those superheroes. Someone…

Hudson River Valley by Steve Sangapore

Becoming better isn’t always what we’re trying to do

I push myself into discomfort. Doing so creates growth. Many do this to become who they want to be, I do it to escape who I am.

Growing up, math was my strength. I had one of the highest standardized math test scores in my state. Reading and writing, on the other hand, were my weaknesses. They haunted me.

I played clever games in school to obscure my weaknesses. I cheated, recycled the same summer book report year-after-year for a book I never read, and played clever social games to avoid ever reading in front of the class. …

Brandon Wood

combining thought & action: writer & founder at ig & twitter: @jbrandonwood

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