Image above by Brad Starkey via Unsplash
Sometimes everything changes suddenly, relationships take unexpected turns and breaks, and everything you had planned on goes straight out the window and it's definitely not what you expected to have happened!
I previously shared about moving across the country but some things have happened that made me realize I can't make this move at this time with who I had planned on going with. Although ultimately it was my decision, it's still sad and disappointing--this was something I really wanted to experience and was willing to try. But I also know what I deserve, where my boundaries are, and I really believe this is what's best for everyone.
But that also left me with a big question: what do I do next?
After having a moment of freaking out, feeling sorry for myself, and wondering why this was happening, I thought about what my plans would look like now and what I could/should do next. I was really surprised by how easily and clearly that answer came to me--there was no hesitation or doubts, no questioning it.
So instead of moving to the Midwest, Valentine and I will be making our way though the Pacific Northwest! We'll be stopping at Carmel-by-the-Sea, visiting an artist and wonderful friend up North, then spending 10 days in Bend, Oregon before we head over to the Seattle area in Washington where we'll stay through the end of November. I haven't decided exactly what to do after that, but am thinking about driving down to NM & AZ where the winters aren't as wintry as in WA lol (if you have any thoughts or advice about this, please let me know!). That puts us close to CA so we can circle back at the 5 month mark so Val can visit her vet and make sure all is good before we head to our next destination.
Speaking of destination, I have no final place in mind or a home base--which is new and kinda scary! But I'm excited to see how a more nomadic life is like and if we find a place that feels like home or decide to keep wandering.
It's been about 4 weeks since all these changes have come up and it is really feeling like this is what I was meant to do all along. Minimalizing and traveling is something I've been wanting to do and I've always admired solo women of color travelers! And I am so happy to have the best travel companion in Valentine and show her more of the world and spend quality time with her in her golden years.
If not now then when?
I also recently realized, this was on my vision board I made in January! Originally I thought it represented the road trip we took to Ohio earlier in the year but it feels like there's a little but more to it than that--I'm starting to believe in the magic of vision boards…
For the past few years I've also been wanting to let go of physical products which has been very hard to do, especially things that seem to consistently sell. This is really forcing me to pare down and see what I truly want to move forward with. Right now business is going on as usual and will continue to from the road, OR, & WA! If there are any changes I will keep you posted!
I wanted to share all of this with you, not just because it impacts my art and small business, but because maybe this makes you feel a little less alone in going through the changes you're finding your way though. Although they might be totally different, I know I'm not the only one experiencing changes and whether you were expecting them or not, it takes time to process and can be a lot.
I also wanted to share 3 reminders with you for times of shifting and adjusting (and even if things are steady, I think these are still some good ideas to keep in mind!):
We are strong and we are resilient. It's not always easy--sometimes it's so hard--but we can and do adapt, transition, and change. We'll come out on the other side. And when you're going through it, take it easy on yourself, let loved ones help and support you, and do what is best for yourself.
Changes sometimes force us to let go of the familiar--maybe because we are ready to outgrow those things. Lennnie the blob has some wise and encouraging words about this. Somehow, this little blob always knows exactly what I need to hear!
- An excerpt from Mary Walker's poem, “The Match”, sent in her A Beautiful Beginning weekly email:
"…what lights easily for you?
Where do you find warmth?
When the task ahead is leaden
or not ready to be met
remember, the spark inside.
And look, the sky is lightening
all around you."
After the poem, Mary writes: “To consider: …allow yourself some respite and rest. Then, look again.”
We're less than a few weeks away from embarking on our new adventure! The days feel like they are going by sooo fast but in the midst of purging and packing I'm trying to spend quality time with my favorite people here and my parents--who have been visiting from Taiwan and leaving tomorrow. There are so many emotions and so much left to do but I also feel ready for this next chapter.
PS: If you have any suggestions for Bend or Washington, I'd love to hear! And if you live in those places, especially Washington since I'll be there for a month and a half, I'd love to meet up!
PPS: A few snaps from some last (for now!) get togethers:
Getting to see this amazing group of humans and their families! Our love of animals brought us together--each person here has helped me navigate the beautiful, painful, and joyful journey of being a pet parent. It was wonderful getting to spend an afternoon with them! This moment Cole had with Valentine melts my heart!
Our local creatives meet up. I loved the energy everyone brought and all the different connections in and out of art that we discovered--we ended up staying 2 hours later than we originally planned! Thank you to those who came, you made it special! I look forward to doing another one next time I'm back in CA!
And we recently saw our lovely friend Diane and her pack, our love for animals also brought us together! Here's Valentine with her kitty Jill! Jill is so sweet and friendly, I have never seen Valentine so relaxed and chill around a cat before!! I was kind of amazed lol And thank you Diane for the recommendation--excited to listen to The Covenant of Water during our drive!
PPPS: I fit all my clothes I'm taking into this duffel bag! It folds up into itself when not in use which I love--here's Val for scale lol.