The Good Die Young

My friend Levi Felix passed away last night, from a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. He was one of the most creative and passionate and amazing people I’ve ever had the fortune to cross paths with.

I met Levi as Fidget Wigglesworth, at an adult summer camp called Camp Grounded. I’d decided on a whim to go to camp grounded, advertised as a weekend away in the woods where you turn in your cell phone to “disconnect to reconnect”. It’s a sort of build your own adventure camp, staying up late playing pranks, eating popcorn, and building some of the greatest friendships I have and some of the greatest friendships for a weekend.

I think I showed up to the first year with the largest group of friends because I was afraid of being out of my comfort zone at his hippie summer camp in the forest. Meeting new people is hard, and meeting hundreds of new people is much harder. I can be wound a little tight. My camp nickname (you aren’t allowed to use real names) was “Curious”, because I asked too many questions and couldn’t just go with the flow. It took time.

Levi was just immediately so warm and kind and made it impossible to feel anxious about meeting new people. He made it feel safe to retreat and have alone time, to dance and sing and shoot arrows. At camp I had the opportunity to feel the camp experience I never had and more importantly, the inner child I felt I never had.

That first year of camp introduced me to people that I love and spend the majority of my time with. People all over the world who I have this one crazy and weird thing in common with. People I’ll be holding a little bit closer after last nights news.

Levi was generous and built something real. He taught me that “camp” was a feeling you could have every day, you just needed to push yourself outside of your boundaries. Look at the people around you, and think “how can I help you, how can we have fun” first.

I’m so grateful that I took that car ride to Mendocino for that silly camp in the woods and that Levi shared that world with me.