Taryn was here: Seattle, WA

*Note from the writer:

Toward the end of 2018, after a much-needed nervous breakdown, I decided to embark on a nationwide trek across the country. This series will serve as a recollection of the shenanigans I experienced throughout my travels. These are my stories (dun dun *Law & Order chime)

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Dreams of the cliche

I will fully admit that my urge to ‘see the world’ was conceived on a cliche desire to live life. I wanted to fully marinate in my ‘freelance life, nomad fever dream’ idealism come what may. In retrospect, it’s amazing what a shattered sense of self will trick your mind into believing. Also, social media and the perceived ideals of success (Instagram and Pinterest, anyone?) don’t help, but I fully own my hilarious misadventures.

A full three years later, I can say with love and humility, that I was dealing with a great sense of loss and ran away from life in search of something better. The most ironic part? I never found (what I publicly said I wasn’t) that something better. Years later, I found the truth, but I digress. You came here for my adventures in Seattle and I shall not further delay. Anyway, packing up Abbey and myself, we put Eugene, OR. in the rearview mirror and chartered toward Seattle. We made a fun pitstop in Portland, OR for lunch and a walk. There was this fun shop that had a patio for dogs. Abbey and I dined, fueled up, and carried on in our journey.

A month in the Emerald City

We arrived at the Airbnb in the evening. For this leg of the trip, I booked a month-long stay at a garden apartment. It was a really cool spot. The owners, a chill young couple with a sweet kiddo were from Maryland, and the space had some nice Maryland touches. I had arrived in mid-November and they graciously invited me to their Friendsgiving. Since I had no plans, I uncharacteristically accepted the invitation. It was a fun event, which was reinforced by the liquid courage I partook prior to joining the festivities. I don’t have photos of the event (or many meaningful photos of Seattle in general). This trip is definitely a coffee trip of sorts.

Aesthetic of the superficial kind

The place was situated between the Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods. This meant that there was a coffee shop (rather dozens) within a mile radius of any direction. I’m fairly certain that I tried all of them. I was hellbent on living the freelancer life, whatever that meant. To me at the time, it was brooding in coffee shops, carefully creating prose for my clients. I had some fat contracts at the time (hence spending a month in Seattle, it wasn’t cheap!), so your girl was balling. In hindsight, not financially smart, but hey, life was lived. As I write now, looking over the pictures I did take, they are so lame! I’m cringing about sharing these, but hey, I’m committed to being honest. I say that in the kindest regard. The pictures (shown below) chronicle a surface-level experience. However, I did have meaningful interactions a few weeks in.

Making friends and digging nature

After my first 2 weeks, I did end up investing more time in the community. I found a cool Seattle-based freelancer meetup. I met two ladies who I managed to dispense some solid business advice too. It also made me realize for maybe the first time that I actually knew what I was doing. When you’re working alone, it can be hard to gauge your own progress, so it was reassuring to find out that I was doing quite well! I had also met up with another lady who I had met at the Friendsgiving. We went out for Ethiopian food and exchanged pleasant a conversation. Nothing became of those interactions, but at the time, they were much-needed. I even ventured to a local yarn shop and purchased some skeins. Til this day I have not finished a project, but I’m working on that. On the nature front, Woodland Park was literally 1.5 miles away. Abbey and I made a daily habit of going. The first time I went, my first thought was ‘this would be good for hiding bodies’. So naturally, the writer in me decided to make a novel about this (it’s in the works, but boy did my travels help color the characters).

Embracing the spontaneous

My time in Seattle was fun, reflective, and spontaneous of sorts. In fact, several people– including one ridiculously attractive barista– suggested that I head to Missoula MT next. To keep up with the randomness of my travels, I did just that! To wrap this up, as an older, self-professed wiser person, I can look back on my time in Seattle with a smile on my face. Life and travels will never go as planned, but there is beauty in the random adventure. It doesn’t look as folksy and hipster when you’re going through it, but the sands of time eventually dull the sharp corners, allowing you to enjoy the journey. Funnily enough at the time, I swore that I’d end up in Seattle (or Eugene for that matter) permanently. I’m happy to report that this doesn’t end up happening. For one, I desperately need the sun. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my Seattle adventures. If it’s not evident yet, these travel adventures wind up being more about me than the cities/towns I visited. However, I promise, if you stick with me, I do end up having some interesting adventures that will surely make you chuckle. Next week, we’re in Missoula, until then, I hope you indulge in some shenanigans too!

Taryn does the work

It’s amazing what you can do when you commit to doing it. That pertains to life, work, relationship, and everything in between. As I continue to work on myself, how I understand the world and people around me, I am pleased to find that progress is possible!

The illusion of control

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life, it’s that control is a futile pursuit. It’s just not possible, and that’s ok. Looking back, I can see how I’ve tried to control my environment, the people around me, my work, etc., etc., etc. In fact, I banked my well-being on my ability to control the external things around me. Guess what? That makes for a miserable and erratic life. Now, rather than trying to control the things that I cannot, I focus on managing my resources more effectively.

Being responsible for me

These days, I’m focused on taking care of myself, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and so on. This also means being kinder to myself. If you’ve spent time with God, you know that He loves you no matter what state you’re in. I’ve worked on (and am continuing to work on) loving myself in that same regard. Conversely, I find that the more grace that I extend myself, I’m able to extend it to others as well.

Enjoying the process

In life, there is no destination, just continued progress. So instead of obsessing over getting to the ‘finish line’, I’m learning to enjoy the process. As I continue my progression, staying present in each moment, I see the beauty that life has to offer. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get frustrated or see the errors and flaws of the world. No, it just means that I appreciate the positive aspects more than I disdain the negative ones.

Reflection in a photograph

A fun aside, I printed and framed my travels all over the walls of my apartment in Las Vegas. In the mornings, I’d sit on my couch with my coffee, and Abbey laying at my feet looking at all of the places we had gone. Like a time machine, each photograph brought me back to the very moment. Remembering those moments and the colorful array of emotional experiences intertwined within them taught me that there is hope even in the darkest times and that God was with me (and still is) especially in the confusing moments that I could not yet process.

The next destination

If you tuned in last week, I finally started sharing my travels that first began in late 2018. Last week was Eugene, OR. This week is Seattle, WA. So be on the lookout tomorrow, as I share my experience in the land of the coffee bean. I spent a month there, soaking up various experiences and people. As I relive these experiences by sharing them with you all, I am filled with gratitude that I was able to embark on these adventures. With that said, I hope you have a wonderful week!

Taryn bets on herself

I am a very particular person who likes the freedom to come and go as she pleases. As such, that doesn’t bode well for the traditional American life. It’s not a preference; it’s the way I’m hardwired. I don’t see the point in many mainstay behaviors that our collective society deems to be valuable or necessary. And trust me, I’ve tried to fall in line– much to my own detriment. So what am I blathering on about? Relax, this isn’t a manifesto of extremist views; I just am not cut out for the 9-5. And, if I’m getting off of my pretentious high horse, I know a lot of people aren’t either. Just so we’re clear, I’m not proclaiming to be some amazing unicorn that is ‘not like everyone else’. 😉

Road less traveled

When I started this blog, I was a 23-year-old snot-nosed kid who fundamentally understood that things in my life needed to change. It took some trial and error and perhaps, the wisdom of experience, but I am doing what I had set out to do. Funnily enough, though, some part of me had wondered if maybe there was some magical workplace where I could fit in. The truth is, even when I played the game according to the house’s rules, I still lost. So I’ve folded and returned to my own game. After a year and a half of teamwork, I’m running back to the hills of autonomy. But, this time, I appreciate it far more than I did previously.

Thanks for no thanks

I’m a workhorse, through and through. My ability to get stuff done is quite uncanny. Working for ‘the man’ penalizes that in so many ways. Let’s not even get started with the politics of workplaces and the incompetence of leadership, this would turn into a novel rather than a blog post. Running your own business seems like a risky decision, however, when you look at the untapped earning potential and autonomy, one can quickly see it’s actually not as risky if you’re willing to put in some elbow grease. More importantly, I don’t want to work on someone else’s thing. I want to work on mine.

Investing in me

I will 1000% admit that taking my last two contracts was smart for many reasons. That said, it did reaffirm my need to get the lead out and create. Life is short, and I don’t want to waste it on things I have no interest in. So, I’m betting on myself. That means I’m investing in my health, investing in my future– I’m investing in me. There was a time when I couldn’t see the value in that. My thought process was if it wasn’t making an immediate return on investment, it wasn’t worth it. But the long game looks very different than the short game.

Discipline over everything

As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen the value of disciplined behavior. Not obnoxiously overspending, writing everyday, working out regularly. Discipline is what garners success. While I have an arsenal of skills, my lack of discipline through the years is readily apparent to me. So with that being said, I’m pulling out the dreaded S-word (schedule), and I’m setting myself up to win. I’m doubling down on Taryn and doing the work to ensure the odds are in my favor. To my fellow dreamers and schemers, may the odds be in your favor as well!

Taryn was here: Eugene, OR

*Note from the writer:

Toward the end of 2018, after a much-needed nervous breakdown, I decided to embark on a nationwide trek across the country. This series will serve as a recollection of the shenanigans I experienced throughout my travels. These are my stories (dun dun *Law & Order chime)

By Chance

After the world’s worst wedding duties (I was a slave of honor and bridesmaid within a month of each other), I was ripe for change. Spending two months in Big Bear– where I met a literal bear and enjoyed the mind-scarring visuals of an old lady pooping on a trail— I knew adventure was right around the corner. Doubling-down on my cliched writer’s journey, I set my sights on Seattle, WA. But, in order to get there, I had to make a few stops along the way and Eugene, OR was one of them.

A Brief Encounter

Originally, I had only planned to spend 2-ish days in Eugene back in early November of 2018. But upon arriving, I knew I would have to come back (There will be a part 2 to this story.). At the time, I felt a kindred spirit in the weird town of Eugene, and my Airbnb was a few steps from the Willamette River.

Traipsing around town

Maybe it was because I was so desperately looking for belonging and nursing a massively bruised ego, or maybe it was the quirkiness of the city that I related to, the 2 days I spent in Eugene were fun and restorative in nature. Abbey and I walked about town, enjoying the gorgeous and moody scenery. I even ventured into the local bar in Whitaker to what the Portland/Lakers game.

The Airbnb that I stayed at was this really cool tiny house behind this neat property in the Whiteaker neighborhood. I would eventually come to be friends with the owner and spend an extra 4 months in Eugene in early 2019, but more on that later.

Fun in the impromptu

I was really grateful for my knee-jerk decision to go to Seattle. By proxy I found Eugene, which later plays a major part in my travels. If you’re wondering why there wasn’t a profound aha or learning moment in this story, it was because there was none. In hindsight, I was very wounded (and reopening the wound) at the time looking for solid ground. Now, I’ve come to appreciate those moments of healing. They taught me the importance of slowing down and taking care of yourself. In order to conquer new territory, rest is needed, and I was able to start that process in Eugene. There is more to the Eugene saga, but for the sake of continuity, I will share my travel stories in the order that they incurred. Up next is Seattle. I’ll see you there!

Taryn gains perspective

It’s amazing what time and reflection can do to the senses. As I continue to remove the cobwebs of this blog (there are a ton, ha!), it serves as a time machine of sorts, jettisoning me back to 2018, when I first began my travels. Boy, was that girl in a state! I can say that now, with a high degree of empathy and understanding. It was a hard year, which incurred a ton of loss. However, now that I have the gift of time and perspective, I completely understand why I needed that growing phase and how it’s changed me for the better.

Life requires growth

Being the incredibly sensitive person that I am, change of any kind is particularly jarring. When things got hard, I was hard-pressed to combat the enemy (change) with a huge dose of comfort. This usually came in the form of my surroundings (people, places, and things). But, what happens when the change you so desperately need is counterintuitive to your comfort zones? It blows up. And blow up it did. Ironically of the things I lost, the growth it inspired within me gave me so much more.

Growth is in the eye of the beholder

Granted, when I was going through it, I thought I was being punished or penalized in some sort of way. But now, I realize that God was shaking me loose of the things that were stagnating me. I couldn’t rely on my patterns of thinking or behavior to get me out of the situation. I had to develop new tools and systems to pass my tests. These days, when I’m working through discomfort, I try and find the lesson to be learned instead of reacting like my world is ending. Shaking the victim mentality was tough but incredibly necessary and oh so worth it.

Perspective is everything

With this new perspective, I’ve gained a lot more empathy for my fellow man. Everyone is going through something, and life is incredibly messy. I am grateful to be tethered to the One who created me as that relationship gives me perspective in ways I could never have understood. There is a lot of brokenness in this messy world, and people are going through varying means to find comfort. I say all of this to say, that it gives me the grace and space to give to give others as they work it out. If I could offer advice to anyone, it would be that reflection is so necessary for growth. Take stock of who you’ve been, who you are, and who you’re trying to be. Be kind to yourself in that journey and give people the space to reflect for themselves.

On a lighter note

This was a lot more introspective than I had intended, but hey, I’m going where my hands on this keyboard are taking me. I’m currently digging up the photos and stories of my traveling days (I got to every state except 7, and I made it to Canada!) to share with you. I plan on sharing one each week, sharing the fun and sometimes absurd shenanigans I found myself in. On that note, happy Sunday!

Taryn resurrects the blog

I cannot believe it’s been over 2 years since I’ve written on this thing. Excuse me while I blow the dust and cobwebs off of this blog. So much life has been lived within those 2 years. Some really great stuff, some not so great stuff, but ultimately, I thank God for the growth, the lessons, and the simple fact that I’m alive to tell the tale!

Age is fun!

I just celebrated my 32nd birthday last Sunday and I have to admit, I love getting older! I find that as each day passes, my comfort level in my own skin increases. Honestly, my 20s can suck it!

I moved to Texas!

It’s a long story, but the short version is that I moved to Texas after spending the last 2 years in Las Vegas. It’s certainly a culture shock, but one that I welcome with open arms. A major plus is that my parents and I finally live in the same town. This is something I’m incredibly grateful for.

I’m writing my novels and stories!

I finally unclogged my emotional bowels to write. One of the things I’m trying to do is create short stories to help keep the creative juices flowing. Now that sitting in coffee shops has become possible (something I did not realize I took for granted pre-pandemic), I’m constantly inspired by the folks living life around me.

Jesus is awesome!

Not to get all preachy, I am so grateful for God and how He’s kept me sane. It’s been an intensely personal and daily relationship, and it sustains me in so many ways. As I continue to learn and grow in Him, He’s given me peace, healing, and restoration in ways that I never knew that I needed.

An outsider’s life for me!

In the last 18 months, I’ve work more closely with companies as a contractor. While the money was great, it did solidify that I am indeed an oddball not meant for the traditional, team work environment. I used to think of that as a bad thing, but truthfully, it just is. I love who I am, quirks and all. I suppose it’s the age (and the gray hair that comes along with it) that brings self-acceptance.

Tune in for what’s next!

I will be writing more frequently, telling the stories that I had promised about my travels almost 3 years ago! I’ll also update on the current happenings of my adventures, so buckle up, grab some coffee, there will be laughs. Cheers!

Taryn Gets Robbed

I wish I were joking, but it’s true. Some lovely person broke my driver’s side window and stole my laptop bag, wallet, and guitar. The laptop was on its way out, so I’m not totally broken up about it. Plus I have an iPad, so I’m still able to get my work done, thank God!! I am bummed about my bag, however. My mom got it for me in Turkey and had my initials put on it. It was such a cute leather bag, everywhere I went I received compliments on it.

Wait, I’m on the East Coast?

I should mention that I’m in North Carolina. Charlotte to be exact. I had every intention on sharing how I went from being in Arizona 2 weeks ago to ending up in NC, but this robbery happened, and I figure I’d talk about that first. I will, guarantee that I will go more into detail about my recent travels. I’ve been to Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. This week, I PROMISE, I’ll share photos and my shenanigans. Anyway, I should explain how I got robbed.

On a Hike

As I’m nearing 1 week of being in NC (I leave tomorrow), I’ve been indulging in the beautiful trails that are all around Charlotte. Honestly, I’ve had such a wonderful time here. Anyway, this morning, I decided to go to a new trail instead of the 4 mile trail that I’ve grown to love. I decided to take my laptop as I was going to sit in a coffee shop after my hike to do some writing. I get to the destination, and on a stupid whim, I decided to leave my wallet in the car, because I didn’t want to carry it*

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* Friends, never leave your ID, cash, valuables in a car.

I know, it was dumb. So anyway, I spent about 2 hours on the trail, enjoying the beauty all around me. I decided to leave my camera at the house I’m staying in (thank God). As I was walking back, feeling super refreshed and in good spirits after the hike, I was greeted by a park ranger who asked if the vehicle she was standing next to was mine. I was about 50 feet away, so I could barely see her, and the car was out of my line of sight. At first, I thought I was parked in an unauthorized spot, but as I got closer, she explained that someone busted the window and opened the trunk.

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Enjoying Life’s Curveballs

To be honest, after the year I’ve had, having my car broken into didn’t even phase me. After taking the information in, I sighed, called the cops, and inspected the vehicle. The thief even stole my earbuds case, which is also its charger. What’s stupid is that I had the earbuds with me, so all they got was a case, and now I have no charger.

To add to the mania, the park ranger legit hit on me. She low key dropped the “did your boyfriend buy you that jacket” qualifying question, to see where my orientation leaned. I laughed, because who in their right mind thinks it’s wise to hit on someone who’s just gone through a burglary? I sidestepped the question and told her I prefer to be alone and that my dog was all the company I needed. After 20 minutes or so, she left, and I waited for the cops on my own. I didn’t mind, though. After dealing with the officer (I swear, both the ranger and officer were as cliche as can be), I removed the glass and drove back to the house I was staying at.

 

This may sound weird, but I’m incredibly thankful for all of the ridiculous things that have happened as of late. It’s really made me grow closer to God and to keep things in perspective. I’m safe, Abbey wasn’t there so nothing happened to her. The window  isn’t going to cost a lot to replace and will be fixed tomorrow. Aside from losing some cash, my ID, and some gadgets, it’s all well and good. I am annoyed that I will be having to go to the DMV AGAIN as I just got my license replaced in May. Also, I had just purchased some amazing InkJoy gel pens and a really adorable pen case which was in my bag. If only you knew how much I LOVE my pens. Oh, and my journals and manuscript notes were all in there. There were years of ideas and notes about my books. So, that’s a tough loss. Oh well, such is life. I’m thankful that I have parents that were kind and helpful through this ordeal. I’m grateful that everything taken is replaceable.

Motivated to Make it Happen

If you’re of the Christian faith, you know that opposition and setbacks occur as a way to discourage you from growing closer to God. I find that when you’re cultivating that relationship, expect some weird stuff to happen. So, rather than discourage me, it’s making me double down in my faith, and be who He’s called me to be. These crappy moments just make me want to sing His praises even louder. So with that being said, I’m going to finish packing and getting ready for my next destination. That and I’m going to write more and with an increased gusto as I will not be deterred in being who I am. On that note, happy Monday and I hope it’s a good one!

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Taryn Gains Reentry

Hello and long time no see!

I’m Back!

Pardon my abrupt 4-ish month hiatus. Turns out, I needed a leave of absence to get my bearings. Admittedly, as I was beginning my 3-month “vacation” it was clear that I had some internal work to do. Thankfully after a few (tons) conversations with God, I made peace with a lot of things, learned to rely on His wisdom and not my own, which set me free in so many aspects of my life. It’s been a pruning period, to say the least. I will say that I am much better for it and am thankful for all of the experiences that have led me to this point thus far. So here are a few things that I’ve been up to in my absence.

Taking Responsibility

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In January, I was mentally/emotionally in a chaotic state, not dealing with my “things” very well. Fortunately, I could tell something was amiss, and though I was committed to doing the “work”, I needed some help. Faith really played a part in my healing process. I began to ask the questions, “how did I get here?” and “in what ways did I contribute to this mess?”. Funny thing is, if you do ask God these questions, you’ll get an answer, though it may not be what you want to hear. In short, in asking the tough questions, I realized that I needed to take responsibility for the relationships I engaged in and how I spent my time. The truth is, I had a habit of hanging out with insanely damaged people. When I realized that the baggage I was carrying was 98% not my own, it radically changed my view and perception about myself and the world I created.

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Killing My Ego

As much as I hate to admit it, I have a Texas-sized ego. I’m smart and not only do I know it, I have no problem demonstrating it. It’s an issue I’m constantly managing, ha! I LOVE problem-solving. My spatial reasoning skills are quite amazing. There’s nothing wrong with having a healthy ego, but when you begin to believe that you are indeed Superman, therein lies the issue. Maybe I hung out with the wrong people because I believed I could fix them. Maybe I hung out with broken folks because it made me feel superior in some messed up way (also I hate admitting that, but it’s true). The problem is, birds of a feather flock together, so I would either change the people I was with or eventually become just like them.

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Obviously, the latter happened. Of course, if you keep mentally trying to divide by zero, your brain will begin to shut down or explode. On a subconscious level, I knew something was awry, but I suppose at the time, it was easier to numb myself than to make changes. One of the worst things that I had to own was that I easily accepted the nonsense and beliefs of others without questioning or checking in with my own perspective. Friends, that is such a vile way to live! If there is one thing I hope that people could embrace, it’s to not allow other people’s perceptions of you rule your worldview. Once I began to question what people were saying and look at what they were actually doing, I began to realize the truth: a lot of people are hypocrites and blindly live according to societal standards or damaged value systems. Upon realizing this, it freed me to pursue the life that I want for myself, devoid of acknowledging the opinions of others.

Freedom in Being Yourself

After getting off of the “people-pleasing” rat race, the fundamental elements of Taryn came back, which I’m so thankful for! I now understand what I think, how I view myself, and what works for me to sustain a happy and meaningful life. Currently, I’m in Brian Head, UT with Abbey, enjoying the peaceful solitude of mountain life. There’s like 5 people up here, which is awesome! I do, on occasion, venture into the nearby town of Cedar City to people watch and do grocery shopping. To be honest, I can only last down there for about 3-4 hours before I become increasingly annoyed with the townsfolk.

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I don’t know what it is, but one thing I’ve observed in my newfound “awareness” is that a lot of people are asleep at the wheel, merely going through the motions, and not fully aware of what it is that they’re doing. Seriously, I’ll have conversations with people and I will gently posit questions and 100% of the time, there’s a lightbulb going off in their minds. I don’t say this to come off as superior or judgmental. And maybe I’m able to see it because I too was once in this state. This observation honestly makes me want to go out and hug people, and tell them that it’s going to be OK. To me, seeing folks in this light signifies that there is something profoundly wrong with society.

Back to Creating

Anyway, this post wasn’t meant to be so existential, but then again, this is literally how my brain works. So, I will own it. I do want to share that I did end up making the podcast! The first episode airs in like 15 minutes, which you can find here! Is it perfect? No! But, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished, even though my audio-engineering skills leave a lot to be desired. Feel free to take a listen and share your thoughts! The whole podcast is meant to be humorous and I do not take myself seriously, so I hope you can get a laugh or two at the mis/adventures I will share on it. With that, I’m going to go outside and watch Abbey play in the snow. Until next time!

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Taryn digs deep

*WARNING: It’s about to get all Dr. Phil up in here.

I’ll be blunt, working through your feelings is annoying, tedious, frustrating, necessary, healing, and all of that stupid stuff. I get that it’s crucial because it helps you grow and mature as a person. But dangit, it’s hard.

Admittedly, I love/d being numb. It allows me to float through life and not feel. Avoiding things/feelings means that I don’t have to try or put any emotional “skin” in the game. To that end, my subconscious has been dealing with me in that even when I try to “go numb” it has this precarious way of forcing me to confront with what’s going on with me.

I’ll give you an example. My dad puts out daily devotionals of which I edit. I also help edit and format them into books. I don’t mind doing it, especially since what he has to offer is quite beneficial for readers. Today, as I was going through his latest manuscript, I couldn’t help but notice how he phrased the dedication section. Normally he lists my siblings and me chronologically. This time, he grouped it by kid and spouse. While this seems innocuous on its own, the salt in the wound stems from my Dad’s bias towards marriage and family.

I just finished a stint in Vegas visiting my family. It was a great time as I love seeing my family. My brother recently got re-married to a wonderful woman whom I also share a birthday with. I could not be happier for him, especially since she is a great person and her family is pretty awesome too. This new edition to my family has gotten my father to reignite his “marriage and family line” diatribe.

I will wholeheartedly vouch that in terms of parents, I hit the jackpot. I couldn’t ask for more supportive and loving parents. That said, my dad loves his family. So much so that every conversation usually has some lowkey marriage, partnership, and children slant. Seriously, the man does not shut up about the sanctity of marriage and child-rearing. Now, I don’t have a problem with either of the two. But, as of right now, I don’t want either. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know if I will ever want them.

So back to the dedication and my reaction to it. Thanks to my recent sobriety stint and leveling up in self-awareness, I realized why it bothered me. While my dad has always told me he loves me and he’s proud of my accomplishments, it’s no secret as to what he values the most– marriage and grandchildren. I’m 0 for 2 with no signs of changing the score anytime soon.

Even though I’m happy with my choices and am stoked about where I am headed, the Ego in me feels incredibly inadequate and pissed. So much so that I’ve been unconsciously avoiding my dad’s calls.

I mean, I’m kicking butt and taking names. I’m in a position where I can focus on my art, my craft. I have my autonomy and I know how to use it. Why isn’t that enough? Why does it feel like the only goals worth bragging about are getting married and popping out children? It wasn’t until I saw the dedication page that I figured out this was bugging me.

This isn’t my dad’s fault, it’s mine for internalizing this feedback. Admittedly I am quite guilty of putting people’s opinions above my own. I can’t change people’s perspectives or views. I can, however, change how I react to them. I’m learning how to accept my choices and be proud of them. I can’t live my life for others. While part of me wants to go back to living with my head in the sand, I can’t help but admit that I feel better chipping away stuff in my head.

So, that’s it for this post. It’s weird being this transparent, especially to myself, but I suppose I won’t get to where I need to go if I don’t dig deep. On a side note, I will be posting my first podcast episode this week. I didn’t realize how much time I’d need to learn GarageBand. That and I’m being a “precious perfectionist” about the quality. Anyway, stay tuned for an announcement this week!

Taryn unpacks her bags

Metaphorically speaking. My actual bags are still a beleaguered work in progress.

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I swear this post isn’t the pilot to my new “Taryn’s Anatomy” series, I’ve just had a lot of time to focus on me– for better and for worse.

A major part of why I decided to abandon ship from the real world was because I have the propensity of focusing on the lives of others rather than my own. Fortunately for me, I enjoyed a few tragically hilarious situations (which I will be sharing in my upcoming podcast!!) that forced me to change course. The beauty of traveling on my own is that I get to focus entirely on myself. The curse of traveling alone is that I get to focus entirely on myself. It’s certainly a red pill/blue pill situation.

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Silence is LOUD

Traveling alone is awesome, especially if you don’t have to worry about your basic needs. It’s just me, my dog, my adventures, and my thoughts. Thoughts can be exceptionally loud when you’re unable to hide from them.

 

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Starting out, it was rough. There were no external situations or people that I could blend into. There were a lot of painful moments/feelings that I wanted to drown out with alcohol. Eventually, I got tired of the morning after, trying to piece together the night before, and dreading to find out if I had sent embarrassing messages to people. That and I got tired of digestive tragedies that occurred after (alcohol sh*ts are a real thing, yo).   So I’ve ditched the booze, for good and got comfortable with the uncomfortable.

 

Enjoy the Silence

Contrary to my early diagnosis, silence can be a beautiful thing. During these reflective moments, I’ve discovered some false truths and beliefs that I had to let go. I also learned that no choice is still a choice and being intentional is important. Most importantly, I learned that you don’t have to accept the status quo or the way of the world. Beating to your own drum is best.

It’s easy to hold on to your worst moments, your shame, your guilt, and build a construct around them. But, if you’re willing to let those things go, there is freedom and possibility on the other side. I’m not saying I’m the poster child for emotional wellness (that would be scary for the world, ha). I am, however, learning to appreciate the good while chucking the bad. Slowly but surely, I am lightening the load, leaving the unnecessary luggage behind. So on that note, I’m going to go walk Abbey. But I will leave you with this lovely little number. Cheers!