It’s been a little over six months since I hit the road in my Subaru, Blue Moon, and headed West.
I thought I would make more time for posts here on the journal, have a proper road log if you will, but clearly the last post having a time stamp of ‘March’ proves otherwise. I’m even silent on Instagram most days.
While I do make time to write at least a little almost every day, I am too engaged with the real world it seems to enter into the virtual one to share with you all as much as I would like.
The validation of life lived outside of screens and not shared with others, aside from whoever you’re presently with, is a thing I admit I wrestle with on occasion. Especially in my profession as a photographer. For what are images to be made for if not to share and tell stories with?
I have a pretty solid line when it comes to my personal life in this way, but I am finding the line moving closer and closer the longer I choose to travel and live in the way that I do. Whether that’s a specific feeling that comes with age or with a learned focus in the value of intimacy— I am still in the process of understanding. Perhaps it is a little of both.
It’s been a very busy year though, and I have been working on a myriad of projects that I hope to share more about soon. Most of what I’ve been working on is still in the process and creation and becoming stages, which is a space I’m not sure I’ve ever spent quite this much time in before.
My turnaround time for projects and ideas is usually a bit quicker, or there’s at least some measure of sharing about the journey of it all along the way, but I am finding that the richer and more rewarding projects deserve more space and time to become what they deserve to be. I am learning to sit with things longer than I am used to being comfortable with and not rushing creation for the sake of producing and proving productivity.
A hard thing for a person whose days often orient around measuring productivity levels and finding contentment most often in checking things off of lists…
All of that being said, living on the road has not looked at all like I imagined. In some ways it’s far better, and others it’s a little more real and raw then my dreamer’s heart initially pictured. But one thing is absolutely certain, which is that it has proved to be one of the greatest and most rewarding seasons of my life thus far and I would not trade it for anything. Even amidst some hardships and working through some situations I never imagined I’d have to work through. It is primarily good and beautiful and full.
My make-up is one that is oriented around searching much of the time.
My insatiable curiosity has given me license and drive to paths I never would have found otherwise. To learn and attempt to understand that which is foreign to me and to find things that fuel the fire for living a different and outside-of-the-box kind of life. That mindset has of course led me to states of motion when I should in fact be inhabiting stillness, and vice versa. But striking that balance is what life is made up of. You swing too far one way only to need to readjust based on what you learned over there and swing back.
My biggest challenge oftentimes is finding contentment in the familiar and being satisfied with where (and I would venture to also say who) I presently am. Finding enough in the now is a constant push for my dream and goal oriented brain. But when I think about it, I wouldn’t want to be wired any other way. Because it is that very searching and seeking that has led me to live the fulfilling life I’ve led thus far. It’s incredibly hard much of the time. Incredibly hard.
In fact I remember one conversation with my Father a number of years ago during a season of feeling stuck and unsure of which direction to go in and frustration at things being as hard as they were. We were standing in my parents driveway and it was nighttime. I was about to drive back to my apartment downtown and return to a way of living I wasn’t satisfied with. I had just spent the better part of an hour voicing my dissatisfaction and my Father looked at me and said “Well babe, you chose to live a different life. The path isn’t going to be easy.”
I found solace in that. Because he was right. I had chosen this. I am fortunate and blessed to have had a choice when I know so many do not.
It is that privilege that I try not to take for granted.
Especially when things are hard. Because for every bad day I have on the road, there are many more incredible ones, and more often still: perfectly-great ones.
And it is within the perfefctly-great that I am learning most of life happens. Not in the extremes. But in the every day. And contentment truly has little to do with outside circumstances and physical place.
It is in fact a thing that’s anchored within.