We’re all imperfect, a little rough around the edges, searching, constantly evolving. Adapting to the world around us the best way we know how. It’s all part of the human experience, a key step along the journey to accepting our lows as much as our highs. Nobody understands this better than Mike Lynch, founder of Imperfects, a San Diego-based surf, skate, art, and lifestyle creative house. 

Imperfects makes some of the coolest, most utilitarian clothing available, pieces that blend simplicity with considered features, offered in a tight selection of tasteful colors and fabrics. The clothes are equally at home in the shaping bay and in the air, on the back of a horse or pulling an all-nighter in the dark room. We visited the Imperfects headquarters in San Diego for a better look at the team behind the brand and the effortlessly cool space they’ve curated in Liberty Station.

I'm finally growing up. After a decade on the road, I'm closer to understanding the meaning of home, and the role of place in my career and creative pursuits. On New Year's Eve, a husky ran up to me at a gas station in New Mexico, and now I've got a dog, the first time I've had another living being relying on me since I left home and never looked back.

Last year, I visited my childhood home one last time. It had been unoccupied for years, growth and change only marked by the flourishing plants pushing in like a jungle. Since my mother moved out, the house has become a time capsule, and I walked through the hallways as if on the other side of some impenetrable glass, looking for my own ghost in the photos on the walls.

Before leaving, I had one more stop to make. I walked down to the field where I buried my dog, finding the spot where I laid down my first best friend. I knelt on the soft earth, digging my fingers into the dusty ground, feeling my roots as the wind rustled my hair and I flashed back through 17 years of growth and learning and development in this little town, the valley of the sun. I watched myself from far, seeing the ghosts of the boy I was going through the motions of becoming a man. I felt my wrist break again as I fell from the olive tree, smelled the skunk that sprayed my dogs one hot summer night, threw up coconut rum in the bathroom again when I was 16 and my parents were out of town. First love, heartbreaks, lightning storms over the hot desert horizon, morning frost on the grass, brushes with death and a few times I felt truly alive - I lived all of these moments in an instant, felt the current running up through my fingers from the ground that raised me. Feeling peace with my past and the twists and turns that found me here today. Saying goodbye.

When I'm not writing or creating, I'm outside. Usually in the mountains, mostly on foot, and sometimes on 2 wheels. Increasingly, the context (running, climbing, cycling, skiing) is less important than the intent; after I finished climbing all 58 Colorado 14ers, I realized the truth behind "the journey is more important than the destination." In fact, I don't think there is a destination in any real sense of the word, so now I focus on the journey. Athletic performance is a byproduct of the search for meaning outdoors.

“Pare down to the essence, but don't remove the poetry.” - Leonard Koren

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