Finding the voice of self

An Ordinary Disaster is one man's proof that despite what can often seem like our inability to hear it—and all of our attempts to avoid it—we can all learn to listen to and act upon the inner voice of self, wherein lies both our sanity and our soul.

What’s in here?

  1. Chapters from my memoir that I have serialized here as a work in progress. I’m now in the process of editing and seeking publication, so you won’t see new memoir material as much at the moment, but it’s still a great read! Start at the beginning, or jump in anywhere.

    Read the memoir

  2. In-depth pieces focusing on topics such as alcohol, addiction and depressionadventure, sports, and natureidentity, masculinity, fatherhood / being child-free, and genderintuition, archetypes, consciousness, symbols, and youthSan Francisco, California, writing tools, and travellove, relationships and sex.

  3. Methods and other tools — maxims, meditations, axioms, and handbooks

  4. A series of more than twenty five interviews, including fellow Substack writers such as Michael Mohr, Lyle McKeany, Sam Kahn, and Sex at Dawn author Chris Ryan as well as master coaches like Michael Lipson and Robert Ellis, ultra-ultra-runner Charlie Engle and legendary sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson.

Why Subscribe?

If you are a man—or any person—struggling with identity, a lack of clarity, certainty, or purpose, a feeling of not knowing, addiction, depression, anxiety—or interested in freedom, adventure, outdoor sports, intuition, and modern, positive masculinity, subscribe to

  • Receive new writing that shares my own experience exploring and solving some of these troubling and exciting personal psychological challenges.

  • Learn how to connect more often and more deeply to the voice of self.

  • Become part of a community.

  • Show your support as a reader.

I haven’t placed a huge priority on squirreling away a big part of my ‘stack for subscribers only—at some point I’ll have the courage to do more of that, but currently, almost everything remains free, although a small number of longer articles are available in full only to paying supporters.

Of course, artists and writers deserve to be paid for their work—if you like it, if it means something to you, if you find it useful, important, and interesting. I’m very happy to be able to publish here on a platform designed around a direct relationship between you and I, and leave it to you to decide whether you wish to become a paying supporter.

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About Bowen

I’m a former paperboy, D&D player, skateboarder, geographer, programmer, and a small-business entrepreneur who started a little conference at the age of thirty that turned into a long-running series that I was eventually able to sell. I’ve been a lifelong outdoor athlete passionate about backpacking, trekking, trail running, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, wing-foiling, paragliding, among other sports as well as a multi-lingual world traveler and adventure guide.

Over the same stretch of years, I was also a teenage boozehound until just before I turned forty-eight, unhealthy, addicted and depressed, anxious, unsettled, lonely, dissatisfied and disconnected from a sense of identity, self, and direction. I was often plagued by a feeling that I didn’t know what to do, didn’t want to do “it” alone, and I couldn’t imagine escaping the increasingly dark state of mind that I found myself in far too often.

My story is one of an “ordinary disaster”—one that involves no massive, dramatic catastrophe, but instead was a gradual, and fairly common descent through my teens, twenties, thirties and a contemporaneous recovery—or perhaps just development—that began with something I had a intuitive feeling about when I was just fifteen, and then began to resurface in my forties. Now in my fifties, I’m happier and healthier than I ever was—and I still struggle, as most of us do, with these same challenges, although their reverberations are weaker, and more like echoes behind what is now in the forefront of my consciousness most often: life.

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I write because I love language and ideas and feeling—and most of all—expression. I believe that stories are how we tell ourselves into being, both as individuals and as a culture, and I want to be part of that telling. It’s also about connection, something that I felt to suffer from a terrible lack of for many many years, and which I now value so very highly. Writing brings me into connection with myself, with others and with the world in a way that, for me, nothing else does. It’s helped me to be more me, and I think what we’re all here to do is to to be our unique selves as much as possible, and to bring ourselves into deeper connection with everyone and everything else as much as possible, because as much as we are our unique individual selves, we are also all connected.

Thanks again for joining me on this journey. I’d love to hear from you directly, especially if anything I’ve written really rings a bell for you, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment on a post here or reach out at Finally, please do share anything that you’ve enjoyed reading with someone you love!

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Writing from experience on men, money, love, and addiction from a former teenage boozehound, entrepreneur, and adventure guide. I'm here to tell the truth.


I'm a San Francisco native, former boozehound, entrepreneur, and adventurer writing about love, men, money, and addiction. I'm here to tell the truth.