Just east of green River, Utah, on interstate 70, ns looked over from the passenger chair to view the car’s gas gauge hovering approximately a quarter full. I mentally catalogued the street and variety of gas stations in between us and The warm Tomato in Fruita, Colorado, and also could just remember one in those 90 miles.

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“Maybe we have to stop and get part gas,” I claimed to my friend Forest.

“I think we’re good, don’t you?” forest replied.

Forest is a photographer, and also we’ve recognized each other for almost six years. We’ve spent dozens of work together, collaborating top top outdoor newspaper articles, adventure films, and also now a publication project—and we method things from almost complete opposite ideologies. You could say ns a bit an ext of a planner, and also he paris by the seat of his pants. I choose to say the the people takes care of Forest, however I don’t to trust the civilization to take care of me. I eliminate as many variables as feasible prior to doing something—he much more or less lets the variables autumn where lock may.

And there we were critical Thursday, in eastern Utah, both looking in ~ the gas gauge but seeing fully different things. We discussed the gas tank volume of my car (16.9 gallons), the typical miles every gallon the car got top top the highway (up come 27 miles every gallon), and how much we had actually to walk to the next recognized gas terminal (about 80 miles). Mathematically, we were appropriate on the line between We’ll it is in Fine versus We’re walk To operation Out of Gas. I m sorry is a standard “There room two types of world in this world” debate. Ns asked Forest,

“Have you ever before run out of gas?”

He laughed. “Several times.”

“I never ever have,” i said.

“One of those times i ran out of gas,” woodland said, “I got out that the car and also there was a gas have the right to sitting off to the next of the road, and also I had pulled over just down the hill indigenous a gas station. Therefore I ordered the gas can, jogged up to the gas station, filled that up, and also the whole thing only cost me around 15 minutes.”

“That is the most woodland Woodward story of every time,” ns said.

“I was on my way to the airport, too.” Of course he was.

We started talking around the distinction in the method we watch the world. I publication flights weeks in advance. Forest publications flights a couple days in advance. I have 11 unread emails in my inbox ideal now, and he has much more than 2,500 unread emails in his inbox. I can go year without losing a water party or take trip mug, and, well, forest can go weeks, or days. Two days prior to our drive through Utah, we had actually run 37 miles across Zion national Park, and also Forest had actually worn trail running shoes with virtually no tread top top them, with three-inch rips in every instep, and with laces proper hanging onto sufficient of the shoe to remain on his feet. And also his water bottles were leaking.


Despite, or maybe due to the fact that of, this distinction in thinking, this enormous chasm between our principles of exactly how To do Things, we reap each other’s company and (in my opinion) work-related well with each other on an imaginative projects. Ten years ago, also being in close proximity to his laissez-faire to plan would have driven me nuts, but nowadays I shot to watch him, repeat myself come relax, and not shot to regulate everything. Because it always seems to work-related out because that Forest. That course, he note an asterisk to that statement, that even though it constantly works out, it can sometimes be expensive, and also he has certainly missed a couple of emails that can have meant selling a photograph or two.

But, it constantly works out for me, too, no matter how much I try to regulate things, or simply let them go—even if the means it functions out isn’t how I imagined it. Flights gain delayed, that rains once I don’t desire it to, bikes get flat tires, avalanche problems are destructive sometimes, packages obtain lost in shipping, and in the end, our story no something any type of of us space in manage of, whether we think we space or not. The one thing Forest and I agree top top is that whether you arrangement or don’t plan, friend can’t acquire angry and try to place blame on someone else as soon as things don’t occupational out. Because whether you think you can manage things or don’t concern at all about trying to regulate things, shit happens. And when that does, nobody desires to be the jerk v a vein popping the end of their forehead together they scream at an airline employee about how necessary they are.

Last year, I check out an essay title “Do You want to Be recognized For your Writing, or For her Swift email Responses?” and also realized, shit, ns actually would love to emphasis on my an innovative work more than I emphasis on answering email promptly. I’m trying, but it’s a battle to even pretend to overlook my inbox. Or gas gauge.

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We pulled off at leave 15 for Loma, Colorado, and both sighed, Forest an ext than me, as I announced that us still had 1.3 miles, mostly downhill, come the Conoco terminal north that I-70. We made it, filled the car up through gas, and also were no late because that the film festival us were driving to that evening. It functioned out. The civilization continues come take care of Forest, I proceed to not totally trust the people to take treatment of me, but when we’re in the same car with a quarter-tank that gas, together a friend as soon as told me, “One method or another, it’ll occupational itself out.”


More stories choose this in my brand-new book, Bears don’t Care around Your Problems, out now.