Aaron’s Life Has Been No Simple Road

Episode 67 features Aaron of one of the fellow Osiris Media network podcasts: No Simple Road. I’m so incredibly proud and honored and humbled to be a part of the Osiris Podcast family. I really am. I’ve met some great people through our other podcasts and I’ve had some great guests on from the podcasts, as well. Aaron is another in that continually growing list.

Yes. I admit that the title of this episode is sort of hokey. Because, yeah… his podcast is called No Simple Road and all. But, come on. It just works so well. And, you’ll hear in this episode, his life really hasn’t been a simple road. And that doesn’t mean it all hasn’t been worth it. Or that where he is now isn’t fantastic. But, he has lived a life (and then some). So, the path to where he is in his life now just was not a simple, smooth ride. And that’s okay!

Our conversation started with Aaron talking about the origin story of No Simple Road. Since I first started listening to No Simple Road, I’ve always loved the purity of their conversations and the very homogenous feeling it always provides. We talked about the journey that we have both taken from Day 1 of our own podcasts. Aaron, like me, is very grateful for the experiences his podcast has provided for him.

The No Simple Road podcast is recorded on the porch of their home in Oregon. The "hosts" or maybe stars of the podcast are the communal residents of the home: Aaron, his 16-year-old son, his wife Mel, his nephew and his best friend of over 30 years.

Aaron goes back into the history of his life and describes it as: "… if I step outside of myself and I take an honest look at where I came from and the people that I was around and what I did as a kid and my adolescence, nothing about my upbringing was normal." Having a Mom who was a trapeze artist and a Dad who was in "the biz" in Hollywood definitely helps you understand what he means by that.

The first bucket of freezing cold ice water thrown in my face (figuratively, of course) type realization of how similar Aaron and I are was when he told me that he was out of his home at age 17 and living with his friend (Apple, who is a part of the No Simple Road podcast and a resident of the Oregon home). I didn’t interrupt his story to tell him, but I moved out of my house at the same age and lived with a High School friend of mine and his family for some time.

Aaron describes himself as a youth as "I was hell to deal with", but praises his Dad for always having his back and being extremely supportive. He talked about some of the great mix he acquired from his Mom and his Dad. From Mom: the belief that you can do anything you put your mind to. From Dad: he gave him his hustle.

Aaron eventually migrated from being a punk rock-scene kid in Las Vegas to become a total Deadhead after he was introduced to the Grateful Dead at a young age. Aaron spoke with extreme honesty about what the drug culture of Las Vegas became for him as an individual. Some of the stories are just remarkable. He said: "If ‘Now Me’ went back and saw a kid that was like me then, I would’ve said that kid’s gonna be dead by 25." Craziness.

When Aaron says he was literally ‘on the way out’ when his wife Mel saved his life in Vegas, he means it. You can hear it in his voice if the words he uses aren’t strong enough to get it across. The story he tells about their "chance meeting" when he was walking the street, feeling like he was standing with his toes off of life’s edge, it is a breathtaking story.

Eventually, Mel and Aaron took their friendship to a much deeper level and got married some 21 years ago. Yet, Aaron wasn’t just instantly healed from his addictions and the things that kept him broken just by marrying Mel. He talks about how the birth of their son was the key to finally unshackling himself from some of the chains that were holding him down for so long; the realization that a new life was coming that would need him to be Dad.

We talked for a while about the riches of money and possessions on earth vs. the wealth of love and family and true happiness and contentment. We discussed the proverbial hole that some people can go their entire lives trying to fill. This ended up, by coincidence, leading into us talking a little more about Aaron’s Dad. "…I’ve seen him with millions of dollars in the bank and driving a Rolls Royce in Beverly Hills and I’ve seen him at the complete other end of that spectrum… several times in my life…", Aaron said before going on to add: "I would rather be with the people that love me and pay attention to them… because everything else is really transient."

We continued to talk a lot about parenting, Aaron’s kids and family and how we both try to use our life experiences. We agreed that we may not have had the easiest lives previous to this, and about the different ways we put forth the effort to use that for good in the lives of others.

I can’t say enough how great this conversation was and how closely knit I felt to Aaron while we were having it. We both said some things that we felt were kind of cheesy, but they were completely from our hearts. The conversation ended up uncovering shows that the two of us (unknowingly) were at "together" — dating all the way back to seeing the Grateful Dead in ’90. I got goosebumps more than once during this time with Aaron. I think some of you may get a little of that, too.

Make sure you check out the entire No Simple Road crew, their experience and their podcast. You can find them in all of these places:
Reddit community at: https://www.reddit.com/r/NoSimpleRoad/
Website: https://www.nosimpleroad.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nosimpleroad/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nosimpleroad/

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Intro and Outro music proudly provided with a partnership by Umphrey’s McGee.

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