|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.