I get to live here. What! I still don’t know how I got myself into this kinda crazy and mostly nonsensical dream of uprooting my life and moving across the country to rainy, serene Seattle. Believe me, I didn’t see this coming a few years ago. But it happened, and I can’t shake this desire to go on a weird and wonderful adventure. I think it all began back in 2017 when my pal of an old man came to me and said he wanted to go on a trip, just me & him. I love my family deeply, to the point where I’d rather keep the peace and let them decide on plans than have an opinion, because in all honesty, I’m usually pretty happy no matter what we’re doing as long as we’re together. But this was one of the first trips in my life where I got to make the decisions. Dad wanted me to plan this one out all on my own, and just come along for the ride. So we ventured out to Utah on a national park tour, and it opened up a whole new world to me.
I’ve always loved being outside, but I didn’t understand how big this part of my heart was until I was out there, feet on the dirt, climbing mountains, eating jerky for every meal, and feeling smallness at every turn. It suddenly became crucial for me to develop this new found passion and figure out how to make it take up more space in my life, specifically my business. So I began searching for educational opportunities, and heard about a workshop called Alpine Northwest from a photographer friend. I already was following some of the staff, was intrigued by the content and quickly said, I’m in!
The workshop was held in Olympic National Park, Washington, a place I’d never explored. My flight was delayed 3 hrs, causing me to miss a carpool with other girls attending and instead get a rental car. Although annoyed at the time, this turned out to be one of those transformative moments. I love driving. There’s something about being on an open back road, sappy tunes on repeat, that gives my heart rest. I had no idea what I was driving into, but it really did change everything. The cars became fewer and the forest of evergreens became taller & more vast. This place was unreal, and I hadn’t felt a connection to a specific landscape yet in this way. As the workshop unfolded and took us to new places amidst the park, my wonder only grew, and I started to ask myself if it was possible for a place to love you back. I spent a day after the workshop walking around Seattle and felt completely at home in a place I’d never been. I felt like I was tapping into new parts of myself. It was this feeling, this feeling that I was understanding myself more fully, that has continued to draw me back to this state, time and time again.
It’s been over 2 years. I’ve sat in this dream for a long time, fighting battle after battle with only myself. I love my life in Richmond. I love my people, my family, here. This community has shaped me over 7 years in ways I didn’t know possible. I honestly didn’t think I could love people this much. And it hurts to remove myself from something so good, even if it may be just for a time. I have a business that is established and growing here. Am I really capable of moving it across the country and following an only slightly formed vision? I’ve felt shifty, restless and insecure processing through these thoughts, making me all sorts of guarded. But recently things have changed. I’m still sad. I’m still wrestling with fear. I still love these people, but instead of feeling overwhelmed by detaching my identity from them, I feel drawn by grace to have confidence in this thing that I feel led to do. And I am so dang excited. Excited to figure out who I am outside of this place I know. Excited to go on an adventure. Excited to come back and visit. Excited to watch old friendships evolve and new ones form. Excited to be brave and push myself in unfamiliar ways.
These new friends below have been quick to welcome me into their life, to support me in this freaking weird place I’m in emotionally, and help make these dreams happen. Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park has been a spot on my list for a while. Lena & Josh spontaneously, last minute agreed to spend a day venturing to its blue waters on a recent extended trip I made to Seattle. You know when you meet new people and you keep thinking, “oh these people could actually be my friends.” That’s Lena & Josh. We clicked instantly and this memory was a big one. It was a day full of laughs, humbling views, good music, and real conversations.
I’m doing this thing. I don’t know what it’s going to look like. I don’t really know what I’m doing. But I have decided to not be scared by the unknown anymore and truly live in the freedom to make mistakes. To be a little messy. And to honor myself by believing in what I love.