When life throws you a bone, get digging

November 21, 2022

“Dear resident of unit 3 B,

We regret to inform you that we are starting plumbing renovations in your building on the twenty fifth of September. We ask you to clear out your apartment by the twentieth and move out until December thirty-first or terminate your rental agreement.


Your landlord.”


I loved my crib by the sea, my girlfriend had just recently moved in, and after a tumultuous three years my life was finally settling down.

First, I was angry. Then I was depressed. How will I ever get a new apartment? I’m almost out of money, I have no job and my entrepreneurial ventures are drying up my bank account. 

At face value, bad luck is not exactly a good thing. But since it’s already pummeled you down to the ground, you might as well use that new perspective to look for things you couldn’t see from above.

So I started digging.

My goal was to list fifty things why this unfortunate turn of events was a good thing.

The first ten were relatively easy. 

But when I got toward line fifty on my list, things got interesting.

What if since we have to move out anyways, what if we moved somewhere warmer for a while? Winter is coming and I really miss surfing in California.

Maybe we could move to Portugal for the winter.

With a bit of research, we realized Portugal was miserable during winter. 

Cold, damp and gloomy. 

No Bueno.

But heck if we’re planning to fly out of Finland it wouldn’t really matter if the flight took three hours or thirty-three hours.

The sparks flew.

“Let’s go to the southern hemisphere! It’s summer there when it’s winter here.”

A few rounds of jiujitsu with Google gave us the price we were looking for. Free one-year visas to New Zealand.

A couple of weeks later, with plane tickets in hand, and our life boxed up in storage we sat on the jet flying 17,000 kilometers to escape the plumbing renovation.

A perfectly obvious solution to a common problem.

We spent the next 6 months traveling around the north island and dodging Kiwis, volcanoes, and ferns. I found some new coaching clients and Johanna was enjoying her studies.

But soon the holes in our ship were too many. We needed cash to pluck the cracks.

It was time to face my fears and get the first job I’d ever had at the ripe age of 34 (I had escaped a real job being a pro athlete, freelance designer, and now an entrepreneur).

Then we heard Scarlett Johansson was in town filming a new movie.

I immediately wrangled Google into a headlock and found a local news article telling the tale of Ghost in the Shell, a live-action remake directed by Rupert Sanders and starring who else but Ms. Johansson.

At the end of the article, there was a casting call for background actors for the movie. I signed up in a flash and through a handful of very lucky events, I ended up working in the movie for three months alongside Scarlett and Pilou Asbaek.

Misfortunes can present opportunities you’d normally never be able to see. 

But they require rigor and luck.

If you are willing to and can find the strength to dig through the negative bullshit your brain is throwing at you, you can find some precious gems in the dirt.

Start digging amigo, start digging.

A black and white photo of the author Jussi's smiling face with shortcut hair and a short beardJussi Tarvainen

Former pro snowboarder. Author at night. Multi(failed)-entrepreneur. And mostly an awesome designer (said, my five-year-old son).

plenty more loot in the vault

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