FTX Echo Park, December 1st 2007

august 8th, 2010


in late 2007 i hesitated.


i was ready to celebrate FTX Echo in Echo Park, California and was just about to send out my email invite and flyer.


but i stood frozen, my finger hovering over the send button, as i wavered unsure of whether to add one more name to the list.


Brandy Nightingale.


it was the first and only time this had ever happened to me and i didn’t know what to do.




i’m not sure how many truths there are in the world but i do know that in my time i’ve learned at least two.

and by learned i mean a belief that goes well beyond intellectual understanding.


a belief that becomes faith.




in 2002 my great friend Sean transformed. for the first time in his life he listened to and followed the stirrings of his quiet heart.


and his heart soared!!!!


in 2001 he went to the Burning Man festival for the first time and was so taken aback by the art there that he came home and began to create his own.


an assistant by day but at night over the course of months he created three giant magnificent illuminated seahorse sculptures.

they were made of hand shaped steel and christmas lights and vibrant fabrics of purple and blue and yellow.

and with the help of his friends, he attached them to the front of an old van to drive in the Black Rock desert at the next years Burning Man.


and boy did they glow and shine!!! night after night i watched people bathed in the lights of his creation. all were smiling, some were crying, at the sheer beauty of it. “Love & Seahorses”, as it was named, was more than the sum of its parts. it was as naked and raw and fragile as holding someone’s heart for the first time.


and it was then, on one of those dusty nights, that i learned a truth.

that, without a doubt, any of us can do anything we want to with our lives. anything. as long as we are willing to take a leap of heart.


i will never forget this lesson, not just because he did something special, but because i SAW it happen.


that was 2002. the year that many of the fuses of my lifetime dormant dreams were lit to explode.


and in 2003 they did!!


it was the year i bought my first car, one i had wanted since i was born – a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle built by my friend Gabriel.

her name is Grace.


it was the year FTX officially started, at where else but Burning Man, where with the help of my friends we fed over 500 people with 1,000 pieces of french toast over the course of a week.


and most importantly, the biggest and scariest leap of my life, for the first time ever i asked a girl to be my girlfriend.


and she said yes.




but in 2005 our relationship ended. and i didn’t understand or know what to do with all the tumble of emotions inside me that felt like broken glass spinning inside a dryer.


it took me two and a half long years.


it was November 2007 and i was in Boston walking alone on a cold sidewalk when i was stopped in my tracks by a second truth.

we all deserve love. and i did too.


it may seem obvious or simple but i didn’t know it until that moment. instantly it became faith to me and transformed me forever.


one week before that moment though i was in Los Angeles, finger hovering over the send button, not realizing that i was in my final week of grief, regret and loss. that the decision to either keep or remove Brandy’s name from the FTX Echo invite would change my life forever.


Brandy, who i met at the same time as my past girlfriend in 2003, reminded me of that painful past and the things that would never be. and that was why i hesitated.


i was timid. i was afraid. i had been full of pain and fear for two and a half years.


and then without hesitation, without thought almost, i let it all go.


i added her name back in and hit send.


she IMMEDIATELY replied, excited to come to her first FTX and to see me again after so many years.


i returned from Boston with now two truths hugging my insides. on December 1st, 2007 the gang celebrated a uniquely small FTX with old, new and renewed friends and in one weeks time after that i asked Brandy to be my girlfriend.


my heart soared!!


our hearts soared!!!!


and in time, i, FTX 1 invited her to become FTX 110 in our gang family, and we travelled the world together, sharing and growing, laughing and crying.


today is August 8th. my birthday. a day of gifts. and today i listened to the stirrings of my quiet heart and took a leap.


i asked for the most special gift i could.


i asked Brandy to marry me.


and she said yes.



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