It's embarrassing to admit out loud, but several months ago, I was obsessed with the idea of building a "newsletter empire" here. I checked my subscriber stats way too often. Each time I peeked, my skin itched for the next round number like a comfortable jacket that would keep me warm. When I woke up to unexpected good news—(more subscribers, 😌!), I'd savor that sweet dollop of dopamine.
Hey Substack friends:
Who are you?
- I’m C.A. Green, an Orthodox Jew steeped in movie references and previous LSD trips. It’s been 8 years, 1 marriage, and 3 kids since I last took acid and I’m still reeling from finding G-d and integrating Him in my life. I’m a ball of uncertainty and trust, more questions than answers, and a dreamer with roots in responsibility.
What season are you in your life?
- It feels like fall. Everything is kind of dying but not in a depressing way. It’s more like it’s dropping leaves of my past and shedding colors from days bygone. Winter is coming but I’m hoping that the steely white and gray will come across distinguished and not death like.
What popular food do you despise?
- Corn. This is one of the craziest things that I hate, but I can’t stand the color, smell, taste, and the fact that it comes out whole. You know what I mean.
Where is home for you?
- Home is where my family is. It’s a feeling, a fleeting feeling of being comfortable enough to take off my socks and put my feet up, regardless of if I’ve trimmed my nails or not. We live in NJ but we’ve lived in 4 different places in the last 5 years so where’s home? Wherever we hang up our mezuzahs.
Is there a place you’ve never been to but feel like you belong?
- This is more of an ethereal place. I don’t think there’s a physical place that I can relate to with this but I’m still looking for my ‘place’ in the world. I want to fit in with my whole self but that could be under a rock, in an alcove, or somewhere in the stars. Location TBD.
What brought you here?
- I want to continue to express my creativity through writing, through work, through conversation, and through exploration. I want to be connected to like minded individuals who want to grow into better people, better writers, better artists, and better overall.
What are you currently procrastinating on?
- Writing everyday. I’m looking for work to support my family and have benefits but I also want to write everyday to get better at what I’m doing here, on Substack. I want to have my writing pay the bills but I’m secretly lazy (self talk needs improvement too) and I have to push myself to get my thoughts into formulated sentences that convince you to pay me.
Hiii Tobi. Funny, I'm also a Tobi - Oluwatobi. Although nobody calls me that, it's sitting pretty on my birth certificate.
I'm Jesugbemi Adedeji, a psychology student and a writer. Substack is my baby, I hope to make explore ideas and make friends with it. Usually, I'm interested in many things at a time but right now, I want to delve into screenwriting, comic script writing and data visualisation.
This season of my life I'm trying to do whatever I can do because apparently I'm still young and I maybe won't have the time and energy to do so down the line. I'm trying out quite a number of things and I hope something sticks.
I'm not much of a food person but I think Jollof Rice is... overhyped. Not overhyped per se, but many people make Jollof Rice the sole 'food personality' of Nigerians.
Home is Ibadan, Nigeria because I have lived there all my life. It is usually associated with brown roofs - which points to how ancient the city is...
I think I belong somewhere random in Europe...
There's this thing I do where after I complete a movie, I scroll through the credits looking for a Nigerian name. When I do find a name, the excitement I feel is unmatched. That's how I found you... well not quite. One of my Substack friends plugged in your article published on Every, and I was "Ouu, Nigerian name! I must read and stalk this interesting fellow!" I desire to travel and experience somewhere other than my home and just seeing someone who bears my name do it sparks hope in me.
I'm procrastinating on finishing a SEO course, and writing a short story.
I'm the only Lyle McKeany in the world (I think): https://www.lyle.blog/p/some-thoughts-about-lyle-mckeany
I often feel like my season in life matches the actual season I'm in right now. It's fall here and I'm feeling like my proverbial leaves are changing (hopefully for the better).
Not sure if this counts, but coffee. It's dirt water, plain and simple.
Sonoma, California. It used to be a small town I passed through to get somewhere else, but I'm happy to be settled here and plan to be here for a long, long time.
I've been to a lot of far-flung places in my life, but I've always felt like a Cali guy visiting somewhere else. I feel incredibly lucky to have grown up here. It's home and I can't imagine living anywhere else for an extended period of time.
What brought you here?
We're Foster friends!
At this very moment, I'm procrastinating putting a second coat of paint on a cabinet in my daughter's room. I was really hoping one would do it. Otherwise, I've been procrastinating on writing a book for roughly three years now.
Such a cool idea Tobi! I’m keeping this in my inbox to periodically check back on comments. My real persona is Katie and I write/draw with a pen name because I’m in a Season of Hiding, afraid to put my work in the world because I’ve failed before (if I fail this time, it’s E.L. who sucked!) Underneath that though, I’ve fallen in love with creating my Bonesick Tarot comic/novel thing 💀. It’s different this time. I live in Milwaukee WI but I’m trying to move to Albuquerque NM. I’ve never felt at home where I live. I’m hoping I’ll find home in the umber, ochre, amber, and azure of the southwest. Also I hate lasagna 😳
Who are you?
I'm Matt Yao. Everything beyond that is what I'm still trying to figure out. I like to ski, surf, cook, backpack, and do yoga. I'm 10 months into my sabbatical after working as PM in a past life. Currently I:
- write a personal blog: https://gameofone.substack.com/
- write a climate tech newsletter: https://buildinclimate.substack.com/
- run a subletting service: https://subletter.substack.com/
- occasionally podcast: https://ontherisepod.com/
- also started coaching some friends of mine who are founders
What season are you in your life?
I'm in the season of simplification, intention, and focus. Trying to do more with less. Have been living off savings for the past 10 months and don't plan on returning to traditional employment. So I gotta figure things out. I only recently started to feel like things are starting to "work" so now I just gotta do what I know I gotta do.
What popular food do you despise?
Not a huge fan of any plain flavored foods unless with seasoning or sauce: rice, classic Lays, croissants, bread, etc. It's gotta have flavor for me!
Where is home for you?
Originally northern VA, now it's been a combination of the Bay Area, NYC, Tahoe, and Honolulu. Haven't had a lease in 4 years and don't plan on signing one anytime soon.
Is there a place you’ve never been to but feel like you belong?
I haven't spent much time in San Diego or Seattle but feel like I could fit in there pretty well.
What brought you here? What are you currently procrastinating on?
Tobi and I met in person in Bangkok earlier this year and shared some lamb spine together. I gotta write my next blog which is about luck that will come out on Tuesday. This was a good procrastination tho ✌️
For an overthinker like me you sure asked the hardest question first, who am I? A question that has spurred tomes.
Answering that has to be a life-long endeavour so let's start with something easier.
My name is Adekunle Gbadebo, a 39 year old resident of Lagos. An avid reader which has fuelled my unending curiosity to plow through many seasons of creating: Web Design(Wordpress), Video Editing, Writing(non-published), built a Niche Website(which made me learn SEO), Graphic Design(Canva), was a Discord Server Moderator for a bit.
Now I am in my coding season(Just finished a Course on Building AI Chatbots with Dan Shipper)
I am very sure my curiousity brought me here and your writing has made me stay, and since you asked, I still don't know why I don't like Pizza, in conclusion, I must have lived beside the blue waters of the Bahamas in a former life because I long for them too much.
Hi everyone!!! I am Riley Reign, author of the Good Light journal — https://rileyreign.substack.com/
This current season of my life is one of deep focus & preparation, I’m honing my craft (especially here) and planting many seeds for the future to be a paid writer & community builder, which I’ve been craving to create for a very long time.
I can’t think of a popular food that I despise right now, honestly.
As a (currently) full-time nomad, everywhere is home to me.
Something has been calling me to Portugal, lately. Every time I see clips of it online, something in my body is like, “yep. that’s where I need to be.”
What brought me to substack was me finally deciding to get out of my own damn way, and for the love of all things good & beautiful I am SO HAPPY that I am in that process now.
Currently procrastinating on…. Nothing right now? Like I said, I’m committed to deep focus right now.
I’m loving reading through everyone’s introductions here & am really eager to connect with more of you beautiful creatives & uplift your work. Thanks for the invitation for us all to connect, Tobi!
Who are you? Michelle “Varghoose”
What season are you in your life? Building and very excited about it! Also happy to have writer friends like you to encourage me on this journey.
What popular food do you despise? *whispers* Italian (I don’t despise it but I think a lot of it - likely the Americanized version - is overrated)
Where is home for you? My heart always feels Michigan is home but I haven’t lived there in a decade.
Is there a place you’ve never been to but feel like you belong? So many places. What a great question. Portugal seems cool. Tokyo. Boulder. I think I could enjoy living in so many places.
What brought you here? Tobi and I met via Substack actually. We were both writing about sabbaticals and escaping the golden tech age.
What are you currently procrastinating on? Responding to my own comment section. My next essay. Lots of texts and DMs haha.
Loved this exercise and per usual, enjoyed your essay!
Hello Tobi. Thanks for tagging me. This is such a brilliant idea. I also have a visitors book which has been a real success in brining subscribers together.
I’m currently at home in Rickmansworth which is a commuter town just outside London. I’m currently working on a project to bring the various parts of the UK railway back together. It’s a real challenge but the benefits will be massive for passengers if we can do it.
My background is in commercial strategy and building teams in that space. It’s this experience that I share in my newsletter along with whatever I’m learning in life at the time.
Got to run now as I need to cook a roast chicken for the family. Roast potatoes and my signature gravy. 🍗
Speak soon all!
Nice to meet you, Saalik! Permaculture can do a lot in a beautiful time frame for you, the birds, bees, herb gardens even when they are in pots (to add nutrition and holistic healing globally), and it creates resilient landscapes that are exponentially beneficial for all. Thank you for considering learning more about it ~ I'm always learning from its wisdom, and I'm inspired like a kid about it all. Great to share and meet you. I have some haikus with photos on the Medium link under PeacefulTurtle's bio, and I will try to post a couple here as well when I can. Have a great week ahead. You are a kind soul.
As I was perusing your newsletter and came across the part where you began listing names, and I spotted mine, my reaction was, "Oh, you didn't!" 😅😆. For someone like me, who thrives on staying in the shadows, dreads being singled out, but somehow still gets called out, I probably should have seen it coming.
I'm Itunu, pronounced as E-too-nu, although my friends affectionately call me Itunes, a fitting nickname given my deep love for music spanning all genres. I find immense fascination in score composers and many other beautiful aspects of life, including the wonders of nature. I hold a special place in my heart for friendships that develop organically, and I believe everyone should experience "The Sound of Music" at least once in their lifetime. I must admit, I struggle with writing bios, but I hope this suffices?
What season am I currently experiencing in my life?
I'd describe it as a season of unlearning and relearning many things. I'm learning to relish my own company and shed any guilt associated with my quirky interests. I'm also in the process of letting go of unhealthy and toxic friendships that I clung to out of fear, choosing what is genuinely healthy for me. Ultimately, I'm on a journey to find validation in God.
Is there a popular food I can't stand? Fufu. Ugh, the smell alone. I still don't even get what the hype is and isn't it heavy in calories?
Where do I call home? The concept of home remains elusive for me, especially with dual nationality. I believe home isn't tethered to a place but to people. Even in the most picturesque of countries, it wouldn't feel complete without those who matter most.
Is there a place I've never been to but feel a strong connection to? Tokyo is one such place for me, likely influenced by my deep affection for anime. The second place that beckons is England, which happens to be home to many of my literary favourites, including Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien. London eerily feels like home, almost as if my memories of my Master's program in England still haunt me, calling out to me to explore the bustling city and the diversity once again. I would absolutely love to visit again.
What led me here?
Your name and your desire to explore the world. It's something I've always yearned to do, so witnessing someone else embark on that journey piqued my curiosity.
For Substack, my desire to create more intimate moments with my readers and my exhaustion with chasing social media algorithms led me here.
What am I currently procrastinating on? The completion of my Young Adult trilogy and all the other book ideas swirling around in my head.
Thanks for the mention, and thanks for always looking for ways to connect with others. May you never lose your wonder!
Hi Tobi ~ Beautiful Thread. I have to mix it up ~ like others, "Who are you?" is daunting unless I am listening to The Who, which was my first concert along with the Clash.
Oddly, I see myself at the moment as 'An Observer,' but Lurker is an interesting frame that might be true for me at the moment. Even though I have been writing for many years as a journo and poet, and did a bit as a teacher of literature and creative writing, I am learning so much from other writers on Substack that it's been oddly satisfying to know this community of like minded souls, exists. It often makes me happy to read your work and the creative flows of others ~ in words that are hard to describe, but are Elemental to my disposition.
Currently, I live up in the mountains in the Hudson Valley with a name that is Native American, and I believe that those spiritual vibes still exist here, in many forms. I am very passionate about Permaculture, which is a fancy term for aligning with nature and communicating with it one yard, one farm, and one community at a time ~ without chemicals, working with the leaves and the wildlife and reducing electronic pollution ~to weave a web that welcomes all of positive life in a holographic and harmonious tone for now and beyond. Please forgive this esoteric meandering...
One thing I am procrastinating on is consulting with people who want to learn more about aligning with nature for inner and outer harmony and well being. My creative projects have at times caused some momentum beyond myself, and so I've basically been "A Mute Witness" for quite a few years, yet ambivalence is a default that I am working to heal. It's not always helpful, but sometimes, it is.
Honestly, although I eat mostly organic food, there isn't really a popular food I don't love except I don't really like pickles that much, unless they are very fresh and without too much vinegar. I do love Snickers and even Strawberry Shortcake ice cream, not for its health benefits, but just because it's fun to eat once in awhile. I also love fried Chicken made with wholesome ingredients (don't dis me I'm a Vata!). I love Indian food and Mexican food and Italian food and American food.
I love the ocean and wish I could afford to live there again.
A place I felt at home was in Oakland, California and oddly, Rome. And I feel at home here at times, too, which I value a great deal. I also like cloudy rainy days, like Seattle weather, and that's a bit different, I guess.
Everyone on Medium was talking about Substack, and that's what brought me 'here,' and frankly, it is a highlight of my reading life and internal existence. The idea of feeling the pressure of subscribers waiting for me to 'say something profound' has kept me as more of a reader at this point here, which I am okay with, for now. These days, I like to spend time with family, friends, solo and I also enjoy taking micro-photography photos of nature's expressions.
Thank you all for this amazing community and for the opportunity to learn more about others and myself, and you, Tobi, thank you. I love your writing, and your beautiful spirit, but no pressure. Nice to meet you all. (Erica)
“[Subscriber numbers are] a bad proxy for what I really care about.”
I’m with you, Tobi! I value the connection my newsletter creates with people over the number of people reading.
Love the prompt to get to know people. Here are my responses to your questions:
Who am I: Alexandra (my friends call me Ali), and I write about professional development, online teaching, and well-being at alexandraallen.substack.com.
(If you want the full rundown on my career, feel free to creep my LinkedIn profile: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-allen-b5075355)
What season of life I’m in: Embarking on my latest adventure. After 2 years and 2 months of solopreneur-ing, I’m excited to be joining a new company as a full-time employee on Nov 20th.
What popular food do you despise: Shrimp (or prawns) because I’m deathly allergic. I used to love them and then randomly developed an allergy at 13.
Where home is for me: Mainly Montreal. But I’ve also lived in London, Sydney, and Paris and consider them my second homes.
A place I’ve never been to but feel like I belong: Lately, I’ve been intrigued by Buenos Aires — the “Paris of South America” sounds like my vibe.
What brought me to Substack: I love writing and I’ve been enjoying sharing my journey, and the lessons I’ve been learning along it, with other people.
What I’m currently procrastinating on: Going for a walk which is a rarity but the temperature dropped significantly overnight and I’m dreading the cold. 🥶
SUPER Late to this but better than never!!
Hellooo, my name is Caryn, a multi-hyphenate trying to not spend my life consolidating the chaos that is my interests across painting, drawing, longboarding, bodywork, movement, writing, somatics and deepening my spiritual and non-dual journey of letting things unfold and not having expectations.
I fluctuate between hypomanic states and lows where I question the purpose of anything, I am getting better at putting in routines, self-care and love to be in the middle. I think this is the biggest seasons of my life as they affect me so much.
I am hoping my seasons shift into season that follows the weather - time spent outside, time spent wintering and time spent celebrating!
Hmm, I am not a fan of alcohol!!
I am Malaysian-born Chinese and grew up in Australia but I think I feel most at home in London. More specifically, I feel at home in spiritual communities where people are conscious in their actions and ways of being, fun and light but real and deep also.
Burning Man for sure!!!
I always wanted to write as a reader, and in 2021 I found Foster.co, I started writing with them then at the beginning of this year after our second season of writing, I committed to sharing my writing twice a month so I am still here doing just that :)
my taxes haha! and doing my Saturn's Return while on a sabbatical, so I think I am quasi procrastinating on growing up and getting a job lol
Great post Tobi, I might have to borrow this idea from you! 😉
I was born in Budapest, Hungary but moved to the US at a young age and spent most of my formative years in Florida. In 2015, I graduated with a Masters in Engineering, I already had a job lined up and was set to go into the cooperate world. Before starting that job I did a 2 month backpacking trip across Europe. My first stop was Barcelona and within a few hours I knew that this was the place I wanted to call home for the rest of my life.
I worked that cooperate job for 3 years until 2018. In that time I saved up enough money to be able to move to Barcelona without a plan and survive for at least a year. I figured I would give it a shot.
Worst case scenario: I end up learning Spanish and then moving back to the US.
Best case scenario: I figure out how to make money online and stay for the long haul.
I’m happy to say that the latter happened, this Sunday will be my 5 year anniversary of living here and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Now that winter is around the corner, I'm in a season of building/creating. I'm one of those people that tends to say yes to everything but I'm slowly learning the art of saying "no".
I launched my Substack this year and I'm completely hooked, all I want to do is write: https://brianwiesner.substack.com/
Seafood. I can't even take the smell of it. (Unless it's fried or drenched in sauces, then it's okay 😂)
Barcelona is home base but I still frequently visit Budapest and Florida to see friends/family.
Rio de Janeiro or Tel Aviv (One of the reasons I chose Barcelona as home is because it's a major metropolitan city with beach directly in the city center - To my knowledge, Rio and Tel Aviv are the only other major cities that also have this quality, if you know of any others please do share!)
Tobi & I met inside of Paul Millerd's Pathless Path Community. I identify with many of the topics he writes about and I love meeting others who are on a journey of self exploration.
I've been procrastinating forever on starting a YT channel. The reason I started writing is because I thought it would be a good way to start testing ideas and seeing what resonates. Now that I have a backlog of articles I really want to start turning those pieces into video content.
This is so cool. Thank you for creating this wonderful corner of the web, Tobi! Hello, Substack friends! 👋
I'm Saalik, a wanderer, software builder, writer, and human being who wants to learn stuff and make friends.
I'm in a season of exploration and discovery. I just started a sabbatical abroad in Asia (we've been here for a couple weeks). It's exciting, mundane, and scary. I'm encountering myself in vivid dimensions.
This is so hard to answer... I love all food! Maybe oysters?
This is a question I'm actively seeking an answer for. Hence, my verbosity:
In my being, home is where the people I love are, and where I can feel my breath.
In the world, home could be many places. I grew up north of Boston, Massachusetts. I'm American, but ethnically I'm Indian and I connect to the subcontinent culturally. I spent two years in Pakistan during middle school. For the past two years I've lived in Austin, TX, which definitely felt like home when I was there. Now I'm on sabbatical and completely untethered from a single location. I'm rediscovering the meaning of home.
This is kind of how Malaysia felt to me before I got here (I've been here a couple weeks now, so I can't say I haven't been here). I've felt a pull eastward, having lived most of my life in US. And that pull feels validated now that I'm here. Southeast Asia speaks to me in so many ways -- culturally, spiritually, and culinary-ly 😋
Internet friendship! I jumped on a call with Tobi a couple months ago, and it's an honor to get to know him.
I'm in a rare moment where I don't think I'm procrastinating on anything?! I've often felt deep guilt for not doing enough, fast enough. Some of that mindset is beginning to unwind with the open space I've found myself in...