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)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gxdydx-1.gif

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 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 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

Image result for head in the sand gif

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.

Image result for taking responsibility

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.

Image result for killing ego

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.

Image result for freedom gif

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!

Image result for evil genius gif

What Makes Me Tick?

Being someone who has been in a perpetual state of standstill, I envy/am in awe of those around me who have purpose. To be specific, the friends who have goals/dreams or things they have the conviction of carrying out. I’m on day #2 of being a bum and it honestly feels like I’ve awakened and have been thrust back in the this world called “life” and I’m years behind because I was off elsewhere. For the better part of 2 years I’ve been doing what I “thought I was supposed to do” rather than finding out what makes me fulfilled. It’s weird to say that I’m not quite sure what it is that I’m passionate about per se. I’m pretty good at a lot of things and have a decent knowledge of a broad amount of topics. It’s like that saying “jack of all trades, master of none”. I’m excited to start my journey of self discovery and see where it takes me. Granted I’m not going to go to the desert and smoke peyote or something, but hey who knows? 😉

Image