Taryn was here: Missoula MT

*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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Travel advice from a handsome stranger

So, while my Airbnb hosts had recommended Missoula to me weeks prior, it wasn’t until a Brad Pitt-beach vibes lookalike- barista had suggested that I go there that I was sold on the idea. I get it; I may have a tinge of shallowness to me, sue me. So, in mid-December, I scouted another Airbnb listing, and Abbey and I were on our way. We could only spend a handful of days there as we needed to make two more trips before I was due in Vegas for Christmas.

The trouble with goodbye

I am slow to warm up to change, so it was time to leave by the time I got used to Seattle. I was so bummed because it was a great month, and I could’ve easily stayed longer. The last day was bittersweet; I cleaned up the apartment, packed Abbey in the car, and said farewell to my hosts. We made a final trip to Woodland Park. One, I didn’t want Abbey to have to be couped up in a car for hours on end without exercise. Two, I wanted to get one last forest adventure under my belt. Shortly after, we began our pilgrimage to Missoula. I should also mention that it was clearly wintertime, and I literally thank God to this day that my 2003 Honda Accord made it through the snow without any problems.

Somewhere between Washington and Montana

A fun nature-based adventure

I totally forgot to disclose that due to my laptop being stolen (this happens during my Charlotte, NC leg of the trip), I am missing a ton of photography, which sucks, but it is what it is. Now back to the regularly scheduled program. My time in Missoula was short but sweet. Abbey and I walked around time and bought yarn at the local yarn store. Of course, I had to buy a Montana Starbucks mug. I actually did blog during my time there, so some productivity did happen, ha! The snow was a welcomed change of scenery, and fortunately, I had the good sense to buy a winter jacket in Seattle. The Airbnb that I stayed in had chic, barn-inspired decor and laundry, which is something I love! It’s a shame that I don’t have photos to share, it was a great experience.

A deer in the headlights

Funnily enough, the last night I was in Missoula, as I was driving back to the Airbnb property, I saw a deer hanging out in the middle of a street. The streets were incredibly dark and when he finally saw me, he jumped in surprise (which is weird because I was there for about 30 seconds trying to get a shot, and darted off in a flash. I laughed because I could relate. The next morning I went to the downtown drag, had some coffee, and eavesdropped on some collegiates talking about their idealistic viewpoints and whatnot. I smiled remembering what it was like (though for me, it wasn’t too long ago) to be on the cusp of adulthood outside of college. Life after college for me was a bit similar to the deer getting freaked out by the headlights. Now into my 30s, I can happily say that the feeling does pass in time.

Missoula in the rearview, Idaho Falls in the front

One of these days, I do have a plan (or a hope at the point) to get back to Missoula, perhaps in the summer. Next week, we’re in Idaho Falls, ID. I even manage to hop to Jackson, WY for a split second. I’m on the fence about breaking that up in its own story. I have a week to decide. Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this week’s travel adventures. I’ll see you in Idaho!

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 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 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 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!

 

 

Taryn is Go

Right now, I’m currently in a Starbucks in Eugene OR  feeling excited, terrified, and cautiously optimistic. Today marks THE first day of a three-month hiatus from “everything but Taryn”. I will be solely focusing on my creative endeavors, growing as a human, and just enjoying some time doing new stuff with my crazy mutt, Abbey.

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Must Create!

I’ll admit, I am terrified because I am literally without excuse in terms of producing and being consistent. Accountability and I have been in a complicated relationship for some time now. I suppose I need to rekindle it. That and the idea of not pitching/working is horrifying too. As a self-employed person, I’m never not working, pitching, prospecting, etc. It’s a constant hustle. I’m grateful that I can afford to take this sabbatical, but my “hustle or die” radar is out of control.

 

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Bottom line, I know this fear/hesitancy is exactly why I must do this. At the end of the day, I can always find work. I can always re-enter the rat race. So I will calm my nerves (by drinking a triple shot espresso, counterproductive, I know) and will enter my hyperbolic time chamber to hone my artistic endeavors. Hopefully, I’ll come back out in Vegeta form.

 

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Shout out to all of the Dragon Ball Z fans that read my blog

I will be finally writing about the places I’ve visited in the last three months. Also, my first podcast is slated to air this coming Monday! I’ll be sure to leave a link here. If I can leave a piece of advice to my fellow creatives out there, lean into your fears. It’s by far the best thing I’ve done for myself. Happy Thursday!

Taryn sees red

I always try to have a positive/funny vibe when I write, but today I’m going to keep it real and try a little rage/humor.

 

 

Royally Pissed

 

 

Guys, I’m a rage monster today. 

I’m a cranky, annoyed, frustrated, grumpy Taryn right now. I’m seeing red and wanting to do something about it. I’m kick-a-bunny angry.  Trip-a-kid angry. Punch-an-old-person angry. Yeah, I’m a hot mess. The funny part? On the outside, I look like:

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But on the inside, I’m like this:

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WARNING: Actual sighting of Taryn. Beware

 

Here’s a quick rundown for my anger (in no particular order):

  • Bank of America and their shady savings account fees
  • Clients that aren’t on the same page internally and are giving contradictory feedback, wasting my time
  • Having to walk on eggshells because a person whom I’m stuck spending the next few days with changes her mood every nanosecond (technically this is my fault. I booked a hotel and then canceled. Idiot)
  • Las Vegas drivers
  • Feeling creatively stagnant (not for long!!!)

 

The Upside to Anger

There is a beauty to my rage-ness. Anger tells me that I’m feeling! As someone who typically struggles with identifying how I feel, this is a positive. I’m also able to identify why I’m angry. Anger also confirms why I left Vegas in the first place and why I have to keep going, in spite of being uncomfortable with entering unchartered territory. Anyway, I’m less angry now. I’d say I’m more in the range of ambivalent/annoyed with a side of hopeful. Who knew that writing was more beneficial than alcohol?!

 

Well, hopefully, you enjoyed my little rant. I will be posting about my travels in the next few days. In the last 3 months, Abbey and I have been to 9 states! It’s been a blast, but I will be taking a quick break in Oregon for a few months. Traveling is a blast, but honestly, I need a quick chill pill to keep on keeping on with my journey. Until next time!

 

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Taryn is not a good blogger

It should go without saying that I am TERRIBLE at keeping up with blogging on a consistent basis. To be completely honest it has everything to do with my work. I’ll explain…

Creative Constipation

As a freelancer, I spend my time using my creativity to bring my clients’ marketing dreams to reality. It’s an awesome gig, I can’t complain. While my creative ‘genius’ knows no bounds, I only have a finite amount of energy/stamina to harness it all. I have all the time in the world to create, but mentally I’m spent after expelling that creative energy on my work. It’s an annoying conundrum. To be honest, I used to be so hard on myself about this, but then I learned to put it in perspective. Art is not for the faint of heart. You are literally turning a blank page into something amazing. Art is probably the closest form of magic that we have.

 

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Flip It and Reverse It

So in light of my desperation to be creative and express myself, I am taking the first 3 months of the new year to solely work on my own creative pursuits– one of which will be a podcast. I really want to dive into that medium because honestly, I think telling stories in an audible format would be WAY easier/interesting than blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to blog, but I want to diversify. Plus I want to work on my manuscripts, so I really want to compartmentalize how/when I’m writing. I promise I will finally update this thing on my recent travels. So far I’ve spent time in Oregon, Seattle, Montana, and I’m off to Idaho tomorrow! Stay tuned for more updates! In the meantime, here’s a picture of Abbey in Missoula MT. watching some dude kayak.

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Taryn got her groove back

Hello!

 

It’s been over 4 weeks since my last entry. A lot has happened… like me witnessing an old lady taking a sh*t in the forest.

 

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I’m not kidding!! I saw EVERYTHING!!! EVERYTHING!!!!!! I am now in desperate need of therapy or that Men in Black tool that makes you forget, lol.

 

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I fulfilled my final bridesmaid obligation at my friend’s wedding! AND, it didn’t end up with me blackout drunk accosting a groomsman… (one day I will find the words to tell that story… one day)

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I finished up my time in Big Bear. Made my way to Glen Ellen (near Napa), and now am chilling in a hipster coffee shop in Eugene.

 

Sunset in Big Bear

Glen Ellen A.K.A wine country

The Wandering Goat in Eugene Oregon

 

 

Ready to set the world on fire

 

Somewhere in between watching an old lady poop in public and when a police officer illegally towed my car and stole my legally purchased car tags (more on that later…), a lot of my old characteristics began to resurface, with memories and ideas I had long ago.

 

Long story short, it’s been nice to resurrect parts of me. I suppose I spent so much time in survival mode, I shut down to just get through it. Now that I’m out of crisis mode, I’m back in full effect! That and I realized that my vacation from my appearance needs to DIE. I’ve been putting the HOME in homely for some time now. I’m 29, not 92, though you wouldn’t know it based on my oversized knit sweaters and old lady garb.

I’ll be perusing Eugene today and a little bit tomorrow, then it’s on to Seattle for a month! I’ll be updating photos and all that jazz regularly, promise! Anywho, here are some farewell photos of Big Bear Lake. On to the next adventure!