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Breaking Up With Yellowstone

Double rainbow on Mt. Washburn

Hello, Beautiful.  I didn’t know how else to bring this up, so I’m writing a letter.  I know, it would be more courageous for me to say this face to face, but at least I’m not doing it via text.

I think we should see other people.

Haven’t you had the feeling that this full time, long term commitment thing isn’t really meant to be?  Take my last visit. I was in the car on another one of those peaceful autumn mornings, just driving along and nothing was really happening.  You didn’t offer up anything interesting or exciting (and let’s face it, neither did I).  It was one of those times when we hung out together and didn’t really do anything… just a lot of aimless wandering.

That’s been happening a lot this year.  In the past, we’ve shared some exciting times.  Too many to count, which always made things feel fresh and exciting.  Remember the double rainbow over Mt. Washburn back in ’06?  Or the flying badger in ’09?  What about the lightning storm in the Lamar in 2012?  Yeah, we definitely felt a spark, didn’t we? 😉

Nowadays, it’s a struggle to really care about creating new lasting memories from our time together.  And when I was driving around a couple weeks back, I finally came to the realization that I’m okay with that.

Remember how, when we first got together, I would insist on making the most of our shared time?  It was so limited.  I had to take advantage of the scant days, or the week or two we had together.  If I ended a week without some amazing experience to bring home, I felt bummed out… like I had missed a rare opportunity to capture something special.  But as time went by, we spent more and more time together.  I got to know you better and that familiarity bred… comfort?  I started to understand that the quiet times between us weren’t a waste, and that eventually you’d come up with something cool and amazing once again.

And then I moved in next door.  This was great, since it allowed us to see each other even more throughout the year.  Jenn didn’t mind (yeah, she knows about you and me), but she isn’t a fan of your politics, which is why she doesn’t come over as often as she used to.  Still, the move changed things between us, didn’t it?  When you and I first started, we had a solid professional relationship, which thankfully has lasted to this day.  But now, having a home so close to you, my visits have become more personal.  My trips transformed into something beyond work and spending time with you.  Having a place out there means I have to devote time to home and family too.

So I haven’t been able to spend as much time with you as I used to… but it’s been like this for a while now, hasn’t it?  I can remember visits five or six years ago that were cut short because I had to get home.  And I know I missed out on some exciting moments as a result.  But this year has proven, more than any other, that I need to find a proper balance.  How many late starts did I have this spring?  How many days were shortened due to family commitments?  We never got a lot of time together, just you and me, and my work suffered a bit.

Sure, it would be nice to recapture the intense spark and inspiration we shared in those long, limited days many years ago.  But try telling an eight-month-old you have to be gone from dawn to dusk.  Or the generous, devoted mother looking after him.  It’s just not going to happen.  And honestly, I’m quite happy with this arrangement.  Work isn’t that important.  I’ve simply got different priorities now, compared to when we first met.

See?  It’s not you.  It’s me.

Look, this is not the end.  I still relish the time we share, and I know there are some great memories we can make together down the road.  I’m also looking forward to introducing more people to you.  My clients will love you, I just know it.  But I’m comfortable moving forward knowing that a bit more time apart, or a few more low-key visits won’t break our bond.  We know each other too well by now for that to happen.

So at this point in our relationship, I really do think we can be open about seeing other people.  In your case, all four million of them!  In my case, my family… and maybe a few others.  Have you ever met Great Bear?  What about Costa Rica or Africa?  They’re a lot of fun.  I should introduce you some day.

Anyway, I hope you’ll understand.  Can we still be friends?



  1. Reny October 17, 2017 Reply

    ” Work isn’t that important. I’ve simply got different priorities now ”

    Love this sentence!!


  2. Erik October 17, 2017 Reply

    Nicely written Max, letting her down easy 🙂
    I think Taz and Jenn will be pleased.

  3. Nina October 17, 2017 Reply

    Hope Yellowstone takes it well. If not, it might erupt!

  4. Kathy November 1, 2017 Reply

    The allure of Yellowstone will linger in you through the years. Once Taz and your future children are grown, her magnetism will bring a semi-retired you back to her quiet and spectacular beauty.

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