July 3, 2020
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
– The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho –
When making big decisions in life, I follow my heart. Eventually, my mind follows with thoughtful evaluation, planning, and execution. Basically, lots of pros and cons lists on Excel (literally. I use this template to create a weighted pros/cons list lol). Yet, it’s not logic that solidifies when I’m ready to follow my heart. Usually, I follow the signs from God and the Universe to remind me that I am headed in the right direction. Little synchronicities begin to pop up and life seems to flow effortlessly in the direction of my heart’s desires.
EXACTLY four years ago, I stepped off an airplane in Sea-Tac airport with two suitcases in hand. I was ready to embark on my first travel Physical Therapy assignment in Olympia, Washington. I envisioned a nomadic lifestyle with plans to move every three months for different travel assignments.
What I found as I lived this reality was something profoundly beautiful. I saw possibilities unfolding right where I was. This led me to lengthen my first travel assignment, pursue a second one, and (finally) settle into a full-time job in the Evergreen State. I knew my heart needed to look no further for a home as I traded my idealized view of a nomadic life for stability.
With my heart planted in the Cascade mountains, I watered my wanderlust spirit with mountain adventures and connection. I have consistently stepped outside my comfort zone and into the unknown. Over the course of these four years, I experienced more beauty, loss, security, discomfort, connection, grief, and gratitude than ever before. Through the coexistence of pain and peace, I found my center and became grounded within myself. I relied on myself for love, compassion, and understanding. I sought the truth and meaning in challenging life experiences. I grew… and grew… and grew. Personally, professionally.
I grew in connection with myself and, thus, the world around me.
Now, exactly four years after I stepped off the plane, I am preparing for the greatest journey yet. In one week, I am packing my things (which don’t fit in two suitcases anymore, haha!) once more.
It’s time to bring my heart home.More
I lay in bed. Wide awake, yet numb and half asleep. My mind is in a trance. I feel waves of tears cascading over me, through me. I toss. I turn. Nothing feels comfortable. My bed offers no relief from the tension in my body, the tight grip on my mind.
I illuminate my wristwatch’s backlight. 3AM, really? How long have I been laying here? I grapple with my nightstand in the dark, searching for a vial of lavender oil.
Please, something, ease my mind. Let me rest.
I can’t stop thinking about it… him. Questions are never completed in my mind because they spiral into each other, weaving their way into a complex web of emotions. All of it leading to the big question: why?
Why him, why now, why?
My tears feel heavy. They bead in my vision, blurring the world. I feel the balls of emotion forming like a snowball in the corner of my eyes. They release, scratching my face, until they reach the cliff of my jawline. My tears slam into the ground like a wrecking ball, audible as they hit the floor. They continue to come, eyes opened or closed. No control over the river that flows from my heart.
Over time, I begin climb out of this tunnel. Slowly. At first, a smile comes. A laugh. I feel guilty at first. Then, I get friendly with this emotion. I welcome it. It begins to shimmer in the darkest moments. I remember something new. I see a glimmer of the positive memories. Sense him with me. See it’s going to be okay. It’s always going to be different, but there is a light and a blanket of comfort that is slowly embracing me.
I consume myself in a creative process of unpacking all we had. I toil at my computer like a scavenger hunting for memories in my hard drives, Facebook messages, emails, Instagram DM’s. Our connection was in the clouds. It was all over the web.
It is engrained in my heart.More
June 16, 2020
I’ve been wrong. Very wrong. I’ve made many mistakes in what I’ve said and haven’t said.
All the times I didn’t stop the racist jokes, but laughed uncomfortably to “fit in.”
All the times I saw “Black Lives Matter” and thought “But all lives matter! Unity for all!”
All the times I’ve been frustrated with a scholarship I wasn’t eligible apply for because I am not a minority.
All the times I have avoided tough conversations because it just “wasn’t worth the battle.”
All this has been for self-preservation, protection of my ego, and lack of understanding. All of this HAS to stop if I want to help the forward momentum towards social justice and equity.
Trust me, I know the world feels heavy and the Black Lives Matter movement may seem like “the straw that broke the camel’s back” in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. I know we are all itching for change. I can’t help but feel our time in isolation has given us the pause to increase awareness to our realities. It has given us time to get real on our values and propel us towards ACTION for lasting change.
Personally, I am committed to unpacking my personal experiences with racism and working towards being an anti-racist because I believe in social justice. This doesn’t mean that all the information out there isn’t overwhelming.
Yet, if you’re here, maybe you also want to understand. Let’s get to work together.Read more
May 26, 2020
I sit at my desk with all the time in the world. My cup of coffee is cold, but not yet bitter. I draw in a sip, taking a long drag of the sweet, cocoa, liquid smoke. My mind wanders, but I don’t hinder its needs.
The morning was slow, easy. I needed this. A chance to breathe after a week that seemed like a whirlwind. I write in my journal: “this week, I really felt ALL the emotions and that led me to feeling totally exhausted…” as I reflect on the complexity of the ebb and flow of emotions ‘these days.’ It feels heavy sometimes, yet the rain outside this morning begins to cleanse me.
I sit, allowing all the heaviness of the week and month wash over me. I lay it all down and, as I write, my words entangle with each other. I produce words of fear and pain, but also words of anticipation and gratitude. Almost perfectly, these words fill the last pages in my journal. I close the leather binding, strap it closed, and open a fresh journal. Crack the binding. Feel the smoothness of the pages.
On the fresh pages, I unfold deeper. I express my disappointment in all the things I’ve missed. I should be in South Carolina for my cousin’s wedding. I should be planning mountain adventures. I should be seeing my family.
I should, I should, I should.
Yet, I can’t. Somehow, in unpacking these feelings and words, I find acceptance in this reality. I find my ground again. I find my gratitude. I know what I need, I know what I deserve, and I know what I have: a support system, a loving heart, a creative mind, and a deep sense of appreciation for the little things in life.More