It’s been an unintentional minute. A lot of growth, a lot of loss, a lot of learning, and a lot of thinking have transpired. In the last 4 months, I’ve grown 30 years at least. This is neither good nor bad. It just is. But with all of this growth has come a hurricane of fatigue. Your girl was emotionally exhausted! While this may be true, writing has been the one thing I’ve missed the most, and I realized it was high time to get back into it.
I will be getting back to my “Taryn Was Here” series and a ton of other ideas I’d like to share. I’m grateful to have taken some time to breathe. In that hiatus, I realized that writing is essential to my world. It allows me to carve out the musings in my head, projecting forward in this crazy world where we do life. So, stick around; I promise I’ll make it entertaining 😉
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)
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!
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!
Metaphorically speaking. My actual bags are still a beleaguered work in progress.
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.
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.
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!
I’m currently on my fauxcation* and I must say it’s been lovely with some strings attached. I bet you can’t guess where I am. Ok, I’ll tell you, Starbucks! (by the beach!) Not a shocker but I just about nearly beat an old man because he had his paws on my drink (Homie don’t play that). I’m going to try and really squeeze out some quality me time for the next couple of days so I can go back to the ol’ ball and chain with my head on straight. With that being said, I’ve had some time to do some introspection and have begrudgingly admitted to myself that most things in life that I’ve attempted have been nothing short of half-assed. In light of this slightly depressing realization, I plan on starting a project. I’ve decided it’s going to be my labor of love and something I’m going to pour my blood, sweat and tears into. I rarely go balls to the walls, but when I do I find myself to be impressed with my madness. So when this said project is finished, I plan on sharing it with the world for all to love, hate, or criticize. One thing I’ve learned in life, is that it is indeed too short not to have some thing that makes you wake up and smile. With that being said Happy New Year! And maybe, just maybe, I’ll write something that makes you chuckle. Who knows, maybe it’ll be sometime this week 🙂 Also, if I hear “New Year, New Me” one more time, I may have to choke someone…
* Stands for fake vacation because no one at my job seems to respect the fact that I’m on vacation so they insist on being in constant contact with me despite my being several hundred miles away from Satan’s Buttcrack**