Where the mead flows thigh-deep, and the bards sing stories of the old country (updated weekly-ish)

The author on a motorcycle trip in Vietnam

Hello traveller! Come on in, have a seat! I can nourish you before you continue on your journey. Here are my favorite stories I’ve written, laid out in a coursed meal with mead on the side. Eat, eat, you have gotten too thin in your wanderings!

The Cheeseboard

  1. The Only Philosophy That Changed My Life
  2. Embrace Childishness To Create Better Content
  3. The Life-Changing Power of “Deeper Magic”
  4. Three Life Lessons From a Dying Man
  5. How The Right Volunteering Experience Can Change Your Life

Yes, they are delicious, aren’t they! They explode in the mouth! I made them myself.

Now you’ve got something…


Future Presidential Slogan: Seriously, America? You’ve Done Worse.

The author during a caffeine-fueled 5:30 AM writing blitz.

Like what you’ve read? Join The Well-Lived Life to never miss a story, and get the Friday Fun Flier! https://aaronjnichols.substack.com/

My journey as a writer begins with magic. I was taught how to write by a witch. That is not exaggeration, hyperbole, or a whimsical metaphor.

I grew up in an Evangelical Christian household, and one of our neighbors was a practicing Wiccan. We weren’t allowed to shovel snow on her driveway after storms or mow her lawn for extra cash. The entire time we lived in that neighborhood, we avoided The Witch’s House on the corner.

Eleven years later…


The bigger, badder sequel… With THREE TIMES the explosions!

Author image made with Canva

My Grandpa once told me “Aaron, only date for looks until you’re at least 25.”

He’s hilarious, but is not, by most definitions, a wise man. While my siblings and I were growing up, he tried to pass on what he’d learned about the world by showing us old movies. He’d escaped into movies In his own troubled childhood in 1940s Chicago, to get away from his broken home and cruel mother.

By the time I came along, he’d learn to relate to the world through the silver-screen lens of Hollywood. He loved westerns, and from watching them on his…


To help you navigate the places where people asked me to say words

The author posing, coffee in hand, at his quarantine hotel in March 2020

Since I’ve started writing on Medium, a few people have reached out to ask me to explain my ideas in greater depth on podcasts/youtube channels. I’ve had a tremendously fun time doing each one, and they’re starting to pile up, so I thought I’d organize them into one place!

These are wildly different, often hilarious romps through the world of ideas. I promise that they’re worth your time, especially the first two on this list.

Zulie Rane and I talk about how to succeed as a Medium beginner

This was great fun. It’s not just earnings and writing tips that we cover! We also chat about life lessons, ideas, and what’s next…


Lessons in joy from a recovering atheist

Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash

“You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live.”
-Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

I grew up in the shadowy world of turn-of-the-century evangelical Christianity. From the time I was a small child, I was told that Jesus was the only way to heaven, that my responsibility was to teach as many people about him and his love as possible, and that all other religious traditions were nonsense.

When I was a pre-teen, I started doing some very simple math and realized that this didn’t make any sense. A burning question formed in my head:

When does the…


A story of lying, betrayal, and redemption through friendship

The three musketeers relaxing together mid bus construction The.bam.bus Instagram

I got so excited about this story when I heard about it on Instagram that I had to dig deeper. This one made me laugh, then made me want to know more. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did researching and writing it.

It’s a delightful tale, involving three hoodwinked women, one unfaithful man, and an epic road trip in a converted school bus. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s a day in the life of Abi Roberts, Bekah King, and Morgan Tabor.

Last holiday season, all three girls had just started…


Or, how I learned to let go of ‘why’ and fall in love with ‘what’

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Back in 2011, A co-worker I’d known for 2 weeks called me, asked me to say goodbye to his family, and stepped in front of a semi on the interstate without so much as a “thank you” or a “goodbye.”

five months ago, I wrote about this trauma in detail, and it dredged up some undealt-with feelings. I started asking myself: would there be a way to insulate myself against this ever happening again? Of course, not completely. The people in our lives are often unpredictable. …


There’s an important distinction

Photo by Clique Images on Unsplash

“When you let go of control and commit yourself to happiness, it is so easy to offer compassion and forgiveness. This propels you from the past, into the present. People that are negative, spend so much time trying to control situations and blame others for their problems. Committing yourself to staying positive is a daily mantra that states, “I have control over how I plan to react, feel, think, and believe in the present.”

- Shannon L. Alder.

I have a friend who is outwardly the best person I know. He volunteers in his free time…


It’s my 100th Medium post, ladies and gentlemen!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Everywhere you look in our culture, you see extravagant displays of wealth, piped into your face to remind you that you lack what successful people have. All the while, the successful people showing us these displays have their egos out in full force, telling us that they got this wealth through the power of pure hard work and that you can, too! Strap on them boots, partner!

This platform is lousy with it. People show us their earnings, telling us how many posts they wrote for how long, what kind of schedule they kept, always dancing around that dirty little…


The foundation of my path towards a well-lived life.

Photo by Fran on Unsplash

I don’t use the phrase “changed my life” lightly. Each one of these books, in some way, made me choose a different path than the one I was on. I owe each of these authors a debt of gratitude.

Thou Art That by Joseph Campbell

Aaron Nichols

Former teacher exploring the world of unfamiliar movement. If you like what you’ve read, join here: https://thewelllivedlife.substack.com/ Open to gigs.

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