|The Spaces Between|
Summer has been busy in many ways this year and I am happy to say I celebrated my second Oregonniversary in late June. I like to commemorate the anniversary of the day of my arrival in Oregon each year and the joy living in this magnificent state brings me. Mostly because I love Oregon and the Pacific Northwest but I also like to recognize the accomplishment of moving here. I tend to underplay the work it took to get here. The courage it took to leave everyone I loved behind in pursuit of the unknown. To explore the possibilities of a life that could be lived here. A life that I had faith would be more rewarding than one lived anywhere else. A move that I felt was a step in the right direction to finding lasting happiness. A step that, at times, has been lonelier than I could have ever imagined possible.
The second year of calling the Pacific Northwest home was filled with many adventures: road trips, hiking, camping, dating, school, work and more. I experienced great highs and a few dramatic lows and then of course everything in between. I explored new-to-me areas of Oregon, Washington and California. I kayaked for the very first time. I photographed new subjects, fell deeply in love with black and white photography and even explored portrait work. I dabbled in film and graphic design thanks to my schooling at PCC and began the long process of branding myself as a photographer with the generous help of a coworker. I sold two pieces of art at auction to support a friends non-profit organization. I received formal recognition in photography competitions.
I had my heart broken but kept my head high as I moved on. I found solitude on the roads in Eastern Oregon as Cole and I explored the desert and mountain landscape. I was pleasantly surprised with the connection I found while photographing strangers as they participated in a charity bike ride. I saw the stark reality of poverty in one Indian tribe on the coast. I had a close call on the treacherous side roads of Mt. Hood that easily could have been the end for my car and my dog, Cole, but I also saw the magnificent beauty of a fresh snowfall in the Coastal mountains on Christmas day and celebrated my 36th birthday at my favorite place on earth: the Oregon coast.
My second year has been full of adventure, rich in experiences and full of growth. It has been a year that has sparked great ideas, challenged me to grow both personally and professionally in ways that weren’t always easy, that forced me to look inward. As I begin my third year as an Oregonian, I look forward to what this next year will bring. The people I will meet. The places I will go. Something tells me that it will be a year filled with change and growth and I cannot wait to see where life will take me. Thank you for following my journey along this far or, if you are new to my journey, I hope you’ll stick around awhile and see what this incredible place has in store for me and Cole.
I'm so glad you're here, Kristin.
I'm so glad you're here, Kristin.
Thanks, Sue. Your story, told through your book, Shoes Full of Sand, along with your blog were hugely influential both while I dreamed of moving here through when I finally pulled the trigger and made it happen. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me to follow my dreams!!