Working from home as it relates to Bachelor in Paradise.

Being self-employed, working from home, whatever you want to call it, that’s what I’ve been doing since being laid off about 2 Bachelor in Paradise seasons ago. And speaking of reality, if you would have told me 2 years ago how my life would look now, I would not’ve believed you, although I would’ve definitely hoped you were right. The idea of foregoing a desk job to explore other ways of making an income was attractive to me because I seemed to be fitting less and less in a style of work that included cubicles, time sheets, and weekly meetings.
michael scott
Plus, in our economy, now more than ever, alternative forms of income are very possible and I’m proof. I’ve also got friends that are proof. In fact, one new friend started her own business as a massage therapist less than a year ago and it’s been so inspiring to hear about. She’s really smart, went about it the right way, and I think it’s pretty awesome to hear stories like that.

I wake up each day excited about what the day holds but I’ll be totally honest, it’s not always fun or easy or safe. That’s where faith in a higher power comes in. I believe God wants to take care of each and every person on this planet. Don’t ask me how He’s able to do that because I have no idea, I’ll leave all the logistics up to Him. Some things we just weren’t meant to know, else our brains would…
Maybe it’s a desk job. Maybe it’s professional sports. Maybe it’s working in a hospital, or inventing the next iPhone, or bagging groceries at Publix. We all can fit in somewhere.

Geez, I’m way off track.

I didn’t mean to go all Tony Robins on you.

I guess the moral of this post is that sometimes what might look like a devastating blow is actually the best thing that could ever happen. Take Bachelor in Paradise, for example.
The rose ceremony happens and you don’t get a rose. But instead of crying and your makeup smearing all over your cheeks, you skip out with a big smile on your face and hope in your heart that paradise is actually not televised.

The adventure might only be beginning! Here’s to your adventure, my adventure, and enjoying the journey…

-Out of the Wilderness

I’m engaged!

Those words mean so much, don’t they? Another couple has decided, for whatever reason, to go through life together. It’s pretty awesome, especially when it’s a perfect match.


“guy balances sun on knee, girl high fives herself”

OK, OK, I need to ask for your hand in marriage forgiveness because the title of this post is completely misleading. I, Ben, the writer, am not engaged.

*collective sigh*

*frown* (my parents)

*howl* (my dogs, knowing they still have my full attention)

I do hope to be engaged and married at some point in my future. In my past, though, you can count on one hand the relationships I’ve had that were even a possibility. Of those relationships, I wonder about one particular girl, and how she’s doing. We ended badly and I’ve had to sort through my own stuff because of that but we’ve both moved on and are hopefully better for it. But I know one day I’ll get the news she’s engaged.

“Hey, Ben. Did you hear about ***? She’s engaged!”

“May blessings rain down on her and her lovely finance,” I’d say.

I wasn’t always as wise, mature, enlightened, and kind as I am now *sarcasm* but there was a time hearing about her engagement would have probably devastated me.

I would’ve thought, “She won.”

But now, no. It’s not a competition. We weren’t, and aren’t, literally racing to the alter. Although the competitive side of me now wants to race someone. Hmmm. Before I get totally sidetracked, I’ll wrap this up.

I hope she finds the guy that’s a perfect fit for her. I hope she gets engaged. I hope she gets married. When I hear the news, I’m envisioning that my heart will be happy for her. That’s what I pray for anyway. That God has so changed my own heart that where I once was bitter and competitive, I’m now at peace.

One day a guy will balance the sun on his knee, and she’ll give herself a high five, and I’ll think, “Crap! She DID win!” “That’s pretty awesome.”


-Out of the Wilderness

LG360 camera reviewed by a normal guy

I recently picked up the LG360 camera for a few reasons, which I’ll share with you now.

    1. It’s one of a handful that are currently available. I’d also like to try out the Bublcam and the Giroptic 360cam degree cameras but both those brands are currently on “pre-order.” I’ve heard the Bublcam won’t ship till December 2016.
    2. The low price point! It’s only $199 and while that’s not pocket change, it’s still quite a bit less than pretty much any other piece of technology, am I right??
    3. The video quality is better (allegedly, based on my research) than the Ricoh Theta S. Both good cameras, but at the end of the day, I want picture quality to be as close to the 21st Century as possible, and again from my research, the Theta S looked blurry and not HD. Here’s a video I shot yesterday on the LG360.
    4. Convenience. This tags along with availability… I was able to drive to a nearby Verizon store and pick one up. Perfect as I’m planning to use it next week during a family reunion. I got the camera yesterday and I’ve already posted 4 videos on YouTube.
    5. It works with YouTube and Facebook… and the process to make that happen scared me based on user reviews. But it was a sinch. I haven’t imported footage into an editor program yet, but I plan to this week.

I highly recommend this camera, even for the simple idea of practicing with it until higher quality cameras become available. But even if you end up sticking with this one, you could do a lot worse! Also, shameless self-promotion: use the link below to take advantage of Prime Day (Tues 7/12), buy this camera, and I’ll get pennies just from you using the link. Thanks and I hope you enjoy the camera as much as I have so far!

-Out of the Wilderness

A man walks into a bank…

He shut the door of his car and walked toward the bank. There were a handful of people inside who had no idea what was about to happen. The mysterious man walked through the first set of double doors, then the second. He was a man on a mission, and nothing would get in his way. It was about 930am and the reason I know that is because I had an appointment scheduled at that very bank at that very time.

The man was subtle about his mission. He walked inside, looked around, then did what he came there to do. Before you go calling the cops or Googling bank robberies in Nashville, I’ll confess the man in this story was me. And I was there to talk to an investment banker about my money’s future. Nothing mysterious about that at all! In fact, it’s downright #adultlife. But there’s another gentleman that works for the bank who was there also. I met him last fall and afterwards, left feeling so encouraged. Back then, we chatted about a lot of things including our faith in God.

So when I saw him this time I asked if he had any wisdom he could pass along and he shared this with me, “Trust God, even when you can’t trace Him.” Again, I left very encouraged. The Christian life can sometimes get complicated (or seem complicated) but it’s so important to remember that it’s really not that complicated at all.

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. That’s it. Do this, and everything else will take care of itself. He’s got a plan, and we can trust Him with our lives.

Hope you’re having a great June out there!

-Out of the Wilderness

Who’s the fun uncle? Me, of course.

Home is where the heart is.

That famous phrase rang true last week as I was able to spend time with my family in Florida over the Memorial Day weekend. To tell you the truth, my heart is divided. Half in Nashville, and half wherever my family is. IMG_20160526_084948

Another popular phrase that applies?

I need a vacation from my vacation.

IMG_20160530_133848008_HDRIMG_20160530_133858052IMG_2756Usually when I return to Nashville after these vacations I’m exhausted, sleepy, hungry, and in need of some good ol’ R&R. It’s ironic that the reason I left Nashville was for some good ol’ R&R! But when you’re the self-proclaimed favorite fun uncle, there’s not much time for rest. I have 7 nieces and a nephew and was so blessed to see all of them in Florida this particular trip. The activities revolved around beach-y, ocean-y things, which we all enjoy for the most part. Except when you get hurled off a tube traveling at 57 mph. How do I know the tube was traveling that fast? My smart brother-in-law (he’s an engineer, as you’d guess after I say the next part of this sentence) figured out the speed using formulas and graphs and trajectories and diagrams. He tried ambitiously to explain it to my sister and I but he lost us at “So this graph here…” If there were three things I wasn’t really ever good at, it was math.IMG_3012

These trips always seem to end way too soon. But there were long days under a warm sun, beautiful starry nights, lots of laughing, and good naps.IMG_20160528_173422581_HDRAnd yes, I have pink toe nails. Price I gotta pay to keep on bein’ the fun uncle!

-Out of the Wilderness

12 signs you’re ready for a beach vacation


Nicole Kidman

You’re so pale. How pale? Even Nicole Kidman said you need some color.

That guy in your office is looking more and more like a coconut every day.

You sprinkle salt in your Speedo to remind yourself what chafing feels like.

Hit the beach before Trump puts a wall around it to keep you out!

Hit the beach before Bernie Sanders gives it away to people who are less beachy.

Hit the beach before Hillary says “beach rights are human rights!” and kicks you off for walking all over it.

At the beach, you might, you might, be able to have a few minutes without hearing something about the 2016 election.


Your name is not Chuck Noland. Or Wilson.


Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland in Cast Away. Wilson the volleyball is there, too.

You’re eagerly anticipating the premiere of The Bachelorette just to see which tropical beaches they make-out on.

Your tan clearly ends just above your elbow, or just above your knee.

You’ve been taping Kroger’s entirely-too-long receipts together to make a beach towel.

Check out more signs here!

-Out of the Wilderness




20 reasons I was single in my 20s, plus a few more

During my senior year of high school, I started compiling a list of things I’d love to have in a mate. The list started with broad characteristics that were must-haves. Things like Christian, patient, good listener, thoughtful. Had the list stopped there, that would’ve been great. It’s smart to have some sort of criteria when seeking a friend for the end of the world. More specifically, a best friend to spend the rest of my life with. But the list didn’t end there. It went on. And on. And on. A total of 45 things I wrote down that defined who it was I was looking for. No prob. No prob? Yeah right… no wonder I’ve been single for so long!

I don’t think there’s ever been a woman on earth that could measure up to that list.

I might as well have created her from a computer, like these guys did. But Kelly LeBrock aside, this “perfect girl” isn’t out there. A girl I was dating years ago surmised that (and this is as we were breaking up) I’m looking for someone just like me. Mostly because of how and when it was presented, I became defensive. But she was right. Now comparing her comments to the list from high school, I’m about to blow your mind, so make sure you’re sitting down for this.

The list isn’t who I was looking for, the list is who I wanted to be.

Booya. Mic drop. You’ve been served. Insert any other overused phrase here. Even as I sit here typing I’m looking at this decades-old list and it’s blowing my mind. All these things I wrote down are either characteristics I already have, or ones I’m striving towards. If there were a girl out there that had all these qualities, I don’t think I’d fall in love with her. I think I’d be super jealous of her!

Then it makes sense that what I’m looking for in a mate now, now that I’m in my 30s and so much wiser and so much more mature, are much less specific. Less specific and not about me!

I look forward to finding this person. That is, if God’s ideas for me include a woman that can put up with a guy who made a list in high school of 45 things about her that’s really about him but at least he didn’t try to make her on a computer but maybe that was only because he didn’t know how because he was more into playing sports than computer programming.

-Out of the Wilderness