Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tonight, as I was hurriedly walking through the library so I can keep working on our first Sumatra presentation for tomorrow, out of the corner of my eye I saw a man in the corner on a mat, faced East, and praying.

It was a small reminder of Indonesia, and in a different sort of way, it felt close to home. I remember watching everyone go to prayer at 7 every night and falling asleep to the Qur'an playing over the loud speakers in each village.

As I found in my Sumatra journal today:

"I'm exhausted. I'm so worn out, stressed out and burnt out on eating the exact same thing every day. But this; these exact things I'm feeling and experiencing are everything and nothing like I have ever dreamed."

I'm starting to feel the slowness of fall time. The golden light in the morning, the thick smell of the coffee in the grinder, the days that I have to put on a sweater, tie my hair up and put on work boots to go out and feed the chickens. It's a slow moving routine, and it's allowed me to spend more time planning out what I'd like to do that day.

Everything feels very honest as of lately, and my bones are starting to crave some place different; maps feel more like home than other places, and vastness seems more reasonable than anything else.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some days, I wish everyone else would remember that I'm only 21 years old.
Honestly, I'm thrilled about where my life is going.
But sometimes...just sometimes, I want to remind people that I'm still young.
I don't want a career yet.
I don't want to be tied down.

This is the best field that I've ever been to. It was good to run free for awhile.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

some recent snapshots.

recent snapshots of my life.
i'm in the process of a lot of really, really good things. I'm putting together a portfolio for some companies in January for the Outdoor Retailer Show in SLC which means lots of photo shooting, practice and videoing. I was just notified that some of the photos I shot for the University while I was in Jackson are now being turned into a 6 ft banner for the Environment and Natural Resources program.
I came home last night to a surprise party put on by my roommates. It was mustache themed, and it was so nice to be surrounded by the people who really mean the world to me. We laughed, drank cold beers, and wore our mustaches proudly. This morning, waking up, I realized how many mustaches are in our house now, including, but not limited to: all the mirrors in my room, the toilet, the maple syrup, peanut butter and salt shaker, and the windows.

I am so grateful to be living this life of mine.
Jade and Duck, the chicken.
family photo, 15 animals. (with guest housemates Jade&Dillon)
Heidi cliff jumping (Cheyne Lempe photo)
3 of my best friends at my surprise birthday mustache party.
morning mustache sightings.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shooting with Annie Williams

Annie Williams and her husband Ben, two lovely friends from Nashville, TN were in town recently. I've always loved Annie's music and when I found out she was around, we agreed to do a photo shoot.

We ended up in an abandoned tavern, some miles from town. The building was uncomfortable to say the least. Both of us were super jumpy, and found a lot of old children's books, toys, clothes, paint cans, and various other random items that creeped us out. We also ran in to the realtor of the house, who we introduced ourselves to, and she told us that the tavern had been in a huge fire years ago and was now for sale.

Thanks, Annie, for putting up with my requests for you to sit on faulty and broken chairs, lead based paint shelves and standing on top of fridges that had who-knows-what inside. You're a good sport.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I turned 21 years old today!

I'm feeling extremely grateful for everything that I have experienced in my life. The people I've come across, the places I have traveled, the fears that I have faced head-on. I have learned a lot in the past year, maybe I've learned more this year than any other year of my life, because I feel like I'm starting to learn how to live life in full.

Something that has been drifting across my mind recently, is happiness. I'm being conscious in the times where I feel the overflowing happiness, spilling out of my mind and soul and holding on to that. In those moments of pure joy, no one can steal that feeling from you. No matter what happens in the future, or in the moments previous, those times of deeply rooted contentedness cannot be changed. I'm looking back at those times in my life with graciousness and appreciation that they made such a big impact on my soul. Knowing that forever they will be perfect moments. Like, when I first got out of the car in Yosemite, years after the place had been a fear for me and these words from Dante rang in my ears:

This mountain of release is such that the
ascent's most painful at the start, below;
the more you rise, the milder it will be.
And when the slope feels gentle to the point that
climbing up sheer rock is effortless
as though you were gliding downstream in a boat,
then you will have arrived where this path ends.

Like, when I watched fog settle over the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon, and watched triangle shaped boats sail in silhouettes underneath.
Like when you witness something so pure and whole that it feeds your soul and encourages you to continue.
Like today when I finally got to talk to my soul sister, Ella, who is in South Africa.
Or when I sat in a rice paddy in Sumatra and thought to myself, I can do anything now.
Moments of complete happiness that no one can take from me. Moments that are so clear and perfect they will always be the ones that I will turn to when I feel sadness coming.

Today I have been able to spend the day exactly how I wanted. I went out in to the wild with my puppy. I explored, took photographs, and I sat down and wrote down everything that I was feeling on this exact day. I saw a fox (which is good luck) and sat all dreamy eyed under a navy blue sky as a couple pronghorns ran across the horizon. Finally, I dragged my favorite books out with me in the middle of the field, and copied all of my favorite life quotations onto some blank pages.
Tonight, camping, whiskey, campfire.

I'm feeling exactly happy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sometimes, I wish I could pinpoint and capture moments of happiness.
I would put it in a mason jar on my windowsill to save it for the days that I feel it's missing.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Coming home.

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to write this specific blog post.

I've deleted and re-written, let the subject simmer for days on end, but still, the words aren't coming out of my fingertips the way that I have wanted them to. And I guess that's okay for me right now, I'm finally having some peace about not being able to write these words. Because, how really, can you describe the feeling of freedom? I miss it.

It's not that I feel stuck, although the feeling does creep up on me at times and swallows me whole. But it's missing the feeling of having a whole new place in front of you; a big plate of options and locations, and no one way is the correct one to take. It was the feeling I got when I first stepped off the plane in Asia, all wires of my brain directed to the mission of surviving, enjoying, exploring, experiencing. This feeling of freedom is unlike any experience than I can specifically name, or anything tangible that I can show you.

This idea of "going" has been spinning in my head for a long while. I'm not sure at what point in my life that I decided that traveling was the easiest way for me to feel alive. The thought of being un-caged and belonging to no one but the wind, drifting to everywhere and anywhere I'd like, and the encompassing feelings of having to adapt; all of that is so deeply appealing to me.

Sometimes I wonder why I want to go so much. Maybe it's because perpetually moving forward means never settling down. Maybe it stems deeply from the fact that the first months of my life, my hips were dislocated and the feeling of being unable to go has ingrained it in my memory that I need to move as much as I can. Maybe it's because the thought of the unknown is simultaneously paralyzing and thrilling. And maybe, it's just the sole fact that going is exciting.

I'm not ready to go again, or at least not right this minute. My desire to be a vagabond is being settled by the peace of watching coffee being poured into deep cup, the patience of cooking my own food, and the slow onset of fall and winter, changing the hue of the light pouring into our rooms to a light blue.

I was told awhile ago by a wise person, that sometimes you need to leave somewhere, just so you can come back. Maybe I don't need to go again just yet, despite missing the freedom of going. Maybe being in one spot will yield the same amount of happiness.