Life Update - 10/24/22
Hi friends! It's been a while...
I hope you've all been well and that you're out there thriving. Fall is always a fun time of year for me where I feel like everything is starting fresh and changing. This is a big time of reflection for me as the summer winds down and things start to slow.
This fall I'm in a brand new location so things feel extra special and new. If you're following my journey on Youtube or Instagram, you may have seen that I moved to Los Angeles at the end of this summer. I had been wanting to leave Seattle for many years and always had an inkling that LA might be my new home, but am still quite surprised that it ended up working out that way. I spent my first 28 years in the beautiful PNW, so it's been quite a shock landing in SoCal for the next chapter -- but it's been more wonderful that I could have imagined.
LA is bustling with a unique energy. Everyone here is a character, so friendly and warm, and unabashedly themselves. This is the city to come to if you want to do some soul-searching. It's impossible not to want to spread your wings and let your freak flag fly. And everything here does fly! No one tries to fit in. Everyone has a point to prove and wants to stand out. I'd rather live in this colorful and sunny world where everyone is different and proud of it.
The LA vibes, fresh location, and impeccable weather have given me a new spark. I finally have the motivation again to create... and create and create. There's the need to create a new life and identity, to find new hobbies, make new friends, and reimagine my own soul.
Then there's the need to create something tangible. Something I can print out and frame. Something to throw in the oven, then savor on the tongue. Something to share with the masses in the hopes that the spark remains alight long after I am gone. I guess that's what all of us are after in the end anyway.
The biggest creative push I have felt recently is toward the written word. I have a constant inner monologue (slowly being quieted by mindfulness meditation) that almost feels like a waste to have remain in my brain only to disappear like so much smoke in my skull. Not that I think I have the most impressive or useful thoughts, but every idea is worth at least as much as a snapshot into someone's mind at that moment. And why not capture those snapshots like we furiously snap photos on our phones. Maybe they'll come in handy one day or bring up wells of emotion and reminiscences years down the road... I'm a hoarder of thoughts and ideas. Thank god they carry no weight to bring with me.
This fall's transformations are hitting hard and swift. I've uprooted myself and found a new plot of soil in which to grow. Several roots and branches were broken and lost along the way. Ties were severed. Perhaps they'll remain tenuous, able to be regrown if the conditions allow. I've moved away from family; the distance merely a symbol of the internal trek I've long been taking. I ended my relationship; our final planned trip taken instead with my best friend of 19 years.
I'm allowing myself to get swept up. I'm saying "yes" to people, places, activities, opportunities. I want to be scared. The only way to be courageous is to do something while afraid. Comfort is meant to be balanced; it's a place or person to come back to and recover before setting off into fear and growth once more. This time of my life is exciting and lovely, a whirlwind of new, new, new.
As I get older, the more I am comfortable with imperfection. Creating and doing means accepting the mistakes and letting them go. This comfort means pushing even further to breach the walls of discomfort, making more mistakes, looking even sillier, feeling my cheeks flush as I screw up yet again in the pursuit of leaving my mark.
I'm learning to live with an open heart. I'm remembering again and again that pain doesn't last forever. It's better to do and love and create, knowing that your heart will be broken and it's okay. There's no success without risk and risk by definition means you can fail. The higher the risk, the better you should feel about losing -- it was risky! Good for you for trying!
I don't know yet what I'm looking to get out of so many things I'm doing. Sometimes the effort seems like a waste and I worry about the time lost in the journey. Life is short, but it's also so goddamn long. The longest thing we'll ever do and boy does it drag on sometimes.
Here's what I do know:
I'd rather live a life out loud. The people that I bother will learn to ignore me or try to ruffle my feathers, but neither of those have anything to do with me.
I want to make the world a better place -- not because I want my name on something great, but because the world is awesome and it should stay that way, so I'll do what I can to make that happen.
I have the means to make an impact, especially having won the birthplace lottery of having popped into existence in the United States. In an amazing and affluent city. At the dawn of the internet. During a time when nature is still somewhat intact and there's the chance to save what's left.
I can help empower people to have their own experiences with nature by teaching them the skills to get outside and inspiring them to find adventure.
I can connect with the people that have the least opportunity to make it outdoors: women and minorities. Women in particular are the caretakers of our species. Maybe we'll have a nature revolution lead by the badass wxmen of our time.
The more people have their own journeys and experiences in nature, the more they will care about it and want to protect it. The abstract doesn't lead to cherishing. Intimacy and familiarity are the only ways toward environmental progress.
I hope my journey stirs something in you. I hope you feel the pull to write, draw, read, cook, create, and get outdoors to find your connection with nature. I hope you sit quietly and think. I hope you move your body and try new things. I hope you do things that scare you and feel the exhilaration of success after taking a risk, whether or not it ended the way you had wanted.
I hope you stay well and most of all, I hope you Stay Adventurous.