Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dan Moller and Dreams Coming True

All my dreams are coming true. It helps that they aren't complicated dreams. Walking out to the Mendenhall Glacier on the frozen lake, snowshoeing in the Juneau woods, glimpsing the sparkling Christmas lights on Franklin Street and sitting at Heritage Coffee on a cold winter night sipping coffee, which I am currently doing. It's invigorating, liberating. To make long ago dreams come true. To have the power to make choices. To have the ability.

I've felt so empowered recently. I don't know if it's because my frontal lobe has fully developed, because I have had conversations I have been putting on the back burner, or because I have been trying new and somewhat scary things. I am more content than ever before. I have no more direction than before, no more stability, no more assuredness in the things I hope to believe in. But I am beginning to recognize the power of choice. That things can be obtained by just trying. And that things can be just as easily let go of if they become unhealthy and toxic. Life is full of possibilities and all we have to do is choose our paths- love or hate, adventure or repetition, flavor or bland. I choose the edge. I choose freedom. I choose love.

Snowshoeing today on Dan Moller trail was like magic. The snow was soft and clean. The trees had dressed themselves in delicate layers for our visit. The mountains slowly unveiled themselves behind curtains of fog and the clean air pierced our lungs and captured our noises. Feet stomping. Voices carrying intimate conversation between friends, family.

We left our prints. We explored our home. We made plans for ten years from now. Why not? Dreams are all we have. And we are the only ones who can make them come true.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I Am My Grandpa's Granddaughter

I've been thinking a lot about my grandpa Clarence. He died 6 years ago and I never really knew him well. But I always felt we had a secret. He was a wild adventurer. I wish he could have lived to know he passed that on to me.

Tall, lanky, solid. He was a firm man who smelled like a mix of coffee, cigarettes, and the faint open road. A truck driving man, the road was his home, my inheritance. And when you have that in your blood it becomes your responsibility.

As I drive the wild roads to the Grand Canyon, to the corner of the world he called home, I realize the last time I drove here was just after his death. I was taking my Grandma back home to pack their things and move to a new corner of the world, a world of her own. I find myself wishing I had more time with him. I wish I could have sipped a whiskey with him, drank stale coffee, or sat on the porch inhaling his second hand smoke as we shared our stories of the road.

His life must have been rich in his own kind of way, a solace kind of way, and I yearn for it, even if only second hand. But I still feel him with me just like I did then. And I realize it's been 6 years this very day since his death but I've always known he was still around somewhere. I've found him, here, in my cup of black coffee on the open road.

Written 11-11-2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The sun warmed our faces, but it was love that warmed everything else. Sitting in Joshua Tree, watching two dear friends pledge to be together and we, all family, pledged to be alongside them. As it was we each made this pledge with the time we took off work and miles we traveled in order to sit on those wooden chairs as observers. And it isn't for nothing. The love they give us, the culture they have helped create to keep us all together, it has repaid us ten fold and ten fold again.
And so it was that after the aisle was walked and the promises made, the tears flowed. We made our toasts, we drank our drink, and our feet tap tap tapped, legs jump jump jumped, and bodies swayed side to side. Because they have love. Because we have love. And because we have all opened ourselves to that gift of love from each other.

A toast to you my loved friends. May your life be one sweet dance.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Life's Constant Motion

Life doesn't necessarily happen to you. It happens, but that's not the same thing as it happening to you. "To you" suggests purpose, preconceived notions, a plan. As though you are important enough for life to make a special plan for you if you just follow the pre-paved path. As though you are some actor in a play you've never read, and you're supposed to say lines you've never heard. It's impossible. Life does happen though, constantly. It doesn't stop or slow or sleep. It is a collection of ideas, actions and non actions. If you sit around and wait for it, it will pass you by. It is motion. If you act on life, if you happen upon it and choose to happen to it, then you just might be able to hop on it and be swept away.

Friday, September 13, 2013

On Turning 25

I like having mile stones. It's nice to have a reason to stop and reflect. A reason to slow down and look around at where you are at, think about where you have been, and dream about where you are going.

I remember in middle school when one of my mentors turned 25 and I couldn't believe how old that was. He was married, had two kids, a real job, and lots of respect while somehow managing to still be a total goofball. I imagined at 25 my life would look a little something like that.

But here I am and my life is something totally different, and I am so thankful that it is. My life is my own and I have taken care to ensure it stays that way. There were things that I dreamt about for my future and I have challengws myself to looked them in the eye and to do them. I have been to many more places than I could have dreamed and seen so much more than I could have imagined. I have lived out my fairytale and it has changed me.

I have been blessed by the opportunities that have been laid down in front of me and I have been blessed by the people I have met along the way, people who have become family. People who have taught me invaluable lessons about loving and accepting love, about fearlessness and caution, about accepting myself and giving space for my feelings, about beauty, grace, forgiveness, slowing down, taking care of yourself so you can take care of others and allowing others to take care of you, about reciprocity and listening to all the sounds of all creation that are daily singing songs of these things.

In this birthday month I have had the chance to be surrounded by so many of these people, these family members. I feel full. Being 25 is something I have reached, but I have not reached it on my own. And however many years I have left, whatever big and little things life throws at me, I am lucky enough to know I won't be alone. I have so much love. This is the greatest gift.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Tree On A Hill

She returns to a tree she sat under a year before and was shocked that it had returned to its previous state. All the leaves that once fell have regrown, changed colors, and are beginning to detach themselves from their constant life support. In a body that is constantly changing and moving forward, she was humbled by this trees turning of season. It's long shadow grazes the same grounds it had the year before and its leaves will soon cover them as well. Her aging eyes look over this old hill, the same hill this tree has watched over many years. She finds it a humble blessing to know a growing object can stay in one place, roots grown deep, and go through the same motions year after year. She finds it a humble blessing that all the while in its steady repetition, this wise aging tree has continued to provide space for a young girl learning to become a woman.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Things I've Learned From Project 365 Thus Far

Things I've learned from project 365 this far:
To look for beautiful things every day and to take photos of them, obviously. But what about the days I don't leave home, is there something beautiful to capture there? And what of the days I don't have access to my phone, can I find something in the last 5 minutes of the day that will subsist. And what of the days I am busy and don't have time to take a photo. Do I count it as loss and leave the day blank and start a trail for many other blank days that end up the same? Or is it ok to bend my own rules, substitution. And what of the days too beautiful to photograph? What of the people too beautiful to capture. What of my heart when its so full and what of my heart when it's been drained and left empty? And what if I save the best for myself and do not to share it, because beauty is often too delicate for scrutiny of many eyes. And anyway I'm not making art, I'm capturing things that are beautiful to me.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Time: Our Melodious Curse

Aging has haunted my thoughts. Not my aging in particular, but all aging. The longer you live, the more there is love. Love is something worked for, labored over, sought after, and carefully protected. And just when love is at its height (which really is every new moment), the loved are snatched.
But love doesn't stop. Curse it for it follows wherever we go for however long we are there. Once tasted, it cannot be denied, no matter how hard we try. So we, the lovers, are left with displaced emotions. The universe sings songs and our senses, which were born to sing along, cannot help but harmonize. Waves crashing, sizzling, foaming at our feet, banana bread pudding between our teeth, fresh air in our lungs, sweet melodies in our ears, and aging lovers on a beach, with time between them. Time, their testament, their banner, their trophy, their curse.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beauty Of A Day

The things that make the day beautiful:
Waking to a gentle breeze I a house I love to the sounds of a neighborhood alive and busy.
A part of something.
Breakfast alone at a tasty place, sitting at the bar, chatty tender, paid for a stranger.
Part of something.
Walk to the park, views of a working city, sounds of the trains, the cars, the river, the chatter of passerby's. Part of something.
Trips to the water, reunions with friends, snuggles with pups, messages on machines, a shared bowl of fruit.
A Part of so many many something's.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Haiku

Summer sun. I'm not

a summer girl. Born of rain

I evaporate.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Eye View

I used to sit in the last seat of our dodge plymouth voyager and lean backwards over it. In this matter the sky, which took up my whole vision, looked as though it were beneath me, I felt like I was constantly falling into it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Mornings

I've never know more peace than sitting on the porch of a friend in a town full of people I love. The world stops for a moment and becomes so still and tangible you can see each dust particle on the hot desert wind. It's when you feel so lucky and each moment so perfect, it doesn't matter that they won't always last, because you have them now, and that's most important. It's when your hair is rustled by the wind and it feels more like a gentle kiss than an annoyance. It's when you smile to yourself and give a simple sigh that carries the last weight off your chest and you are free. It's when love manifests itself in good people and you feel lucky enough to be caught in the middle of it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Inching Closer Home

Every day she settles more into her new life. "New year new career" had been her motto. New year new goals. Read books. Write words. Make music. Take walks. Explore. And she has. She lives in a tiny home with four others and every chance they get they add a touch of spice here and re-arrange for a bit more space there. Each week it inches closer to feeling like home. She feels settled. Content in a way she may never have felt before. More sure of herself yet more open to change. More time alone yet daily more happy. More settled in life yet more ready for the future. And that's just it, all she has left is whatever lies ahead.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Faultless Homecoming

It had been nearly two years, but when I stepped off the plane it felt like no time had passed. Instantly I felt like that girl again; the one who believes anything is possible and who can’t ever sleep at night because the stars are out and she knows if she keeps trying she just might catch one. And Juneau was the same in that way where even the few changes that have been made were instantly noticed like a new scar on the back of my hand. This place is as close to me as skin. I immediately stowed my bags at my hotel and took to the hills answering, after all this time, their constant if now faint, call. Only this time the snow fell and my feet made tracks that will eventually disappear. The bright white served not to cover but to highlight the details my mind has been so careful to calculate and preserve. Jagged corners of steep mountains and deep crevasses of avalanche chutes. The feel of rocks in my hand and soft purple hues of mountain air. I sensed the chill of the winds from the ice field and gazed with wonder at the Eagles who embraced it with their wings outstretched, soaring on what they too have learned to trust. I ran with my arms outstretched and lungs full of the sweetest air remembered. The fog of my breath went out before me and welcomed me home.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My One Crazy Life

People often tell me they are jealous of my adventurous life. I appreciate their sentiments. It used to frustrate me to hear them say how they wished they could go on a long cross country road trip and then back pack in Europe for a couple weeks. “you can do it too” I would think. You see there is nothing about me that makes me especially more “adventurous” or “lucky” than anyone else. I have just made different choices. What is it that holds you back from taking that wild step? What ever is holding you back is probably something I have chosen to give up in order to live my life. Orderliness and stability have long been gone from my vocabulary but often found on my wish list. A loving spouse and domestic partner, children, a home community, all things that I have yet to throw myself into, such pursuits have only proven to hold me back from my goals. And what exactly are my goals? Why is it worth it for me to give up such goals? These are the questions I am faced at the turn of every new season, every new venture, and every new move. In the years I have spent asking and answering these questions I have learned a great deal about myself and found a possible general answer that does in fact differentiate me from the average jealous city dweller and career chaser. And just as the questions are many and complex so was and is the path to the answers. You see there came a point in my life, long ago, when I vowed not to settle for ordinary. I would never do something just because it was “the way things are done”. I vowed to choose. I have taken this vow very seriously and it has led me through years of joy laced with turmoil and above all personal growth. I allow myself to ask the big questions and seek out honest and true answers that I can confidently believe. Honesty with myself is the most important. I have made some beautiful discoveries and allowed myself the joy of simple pleasures. In it all I have struggled with becoming the person I would be if I believed in myself and to run from the person I would be if I fit the mold set out for me. This journey has led me to college in Oklahoma, work in Alaska, trips across the country and to Europe. I have had the chance to take photographs, write prose, read books, paint memories, brush elbows with strangers, cry with friends, laugh alone, run half marathons, drive buses, hike mountains, swim in the ocean, kiss on a dare, dare to dream, and turn dreams into reality. I have uncovered pieces of myself in over 15 countries and 30 states. I have friends scattered all over the world. It is only now that clinging to my family and allowing things to tie me down have begun to look less scary. It is only now that I have begun to see that love and connections and others in general can never actually “tie me down”. It is only now I have begun to feel that I have uncovered my greatest accomplishment. It is only now that I feel like I have found the greatest missing piece of myself. It is only now I have begun to feel that I am unleashing my inner voice of authority. It is only now that I have begun to feel as though I have claimed my life as my own to live and so have been able to really give my life to others in the true sense of relationship, in the sole definition of love, and in a beauty that lasts every day. It is only now that I have begun to feel the complete freedom to choose to be me.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jet Setter

3 days, 3 cities, 3 days "off". Most days it takes a full minute after waking to realize my current identity. Where am I? What role am I playing today? Friend? Sister? Flight attendant? Polite stranger? Exhausted ghost? Teacher? It has been a month since I have slept in the same bed twice in a row. Last time I was "home" I repacked and got right into bed where I slept for 4 1/2 hours before getting up, showering and heading to work. This morning I flew in, showered, changed, brushed my teeth, and headed down town to get brunch with my two year old boyfriend and his family. This moment, in which I am sitting at a coffee shop, drinking a soy latte for here and attempting to read, is the first moment I have had to myself with nothing and no one pressing for my time and my attention in about a month. No wonder I napped all weekend. My identity changes every day as my role changes. Today I choose to be adventurous ghost, tonight I will be roommate, and tomorrow I will be responsible flight attendant getting ready for work. I have seen friends recently I haven't seen in 3 plus years, quite a few identity shifts ago. Instead of feeling completely nomadic and homeless, I feel like I have multiple homes in various locations. The sky is my home and so is every where it takes me. And I am the same every where I go, but that doesn't mean my identity there is unchanged. With so many homes I feel the roots of my identity getting shallower as they are each pulled by one another. I belong everywhere and so I don't solely belong anywhere. I am my own identity. And I am thankful for so many couches all around the world! Written 3/19/13

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Return

The soft glow of the city reaches me on the 9th floor of my hotel room. Even the twinkly lights seem to be shining brighter in this moment as I realize another dream has come true. Alaska in the winter and Alaska unexplored. Oh Alaska, my first real love and my first real break up. It was this time a year ago I was reeling from the realization that I would no longer be returning there to live as I had been, but needed to move on to other ventures. Honest and true heart break. And here I am, in Anchorage, in winter, wandering, for I am a wanderer. The lights shine brighter and my heart glows stronger. In this moment I feel alive as though I am really living and in this moment I love my dear family and friends deeply as though I am truly loving them and I am missing them strongly as though I am truly separated from them. Truth is I also feel connected with them as though they were inside my soul living my life with me, sitting in this hotel with me, listening to Ben Howard with me, and grinning like a school girl with me as we gaze in awe and excitement at the slowly fading outlines of majestic mountains, dreaming of what other adventures they hold for us. written 2/24/13

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The deed has been done, the move has been made. I am a Seattleite. Well not quite, my stuff is still in storage and I am living out of a hotel until I can sign my apartment lease next month, but I have moved out of my portland home and received my deposit back. I had a 3 hour drive alone in a uhaul to come to terms with the move. It was the first few moments of alone time I have had in what feels like months. My brain felt numb and I just kept thinking about how bad I had to pee, how hard it is to keep up to steady traffic flow in a uhaul and how I wish it wasn't raining. But I also thought that if I can't live in portland at least I get to live in the northwest, and what a lucky girl (woman) I am to get to live in the perfect place with the perfect job. After dropping my stuff in a friends garage and delivering a mattress to a second location I completed my final drop off over in west Seattle surrounded by new friends. Finished for the night, tired and wearing heavy boots I climbed up into my trusty old uhaul and turned out onto Alki Ave to head to my temporary home. I followed the road along the beach and around the bend when suddenly before my eyes appeare the entire Seattle skyline blanketed in a soft glow from its night lights. I swear time stood still for just a moment, but maybe my foot on the brake had a little influence. I thought to myself, "Sure Seattle, you can propose to me here. I'm not really looking for a long term commitment without a chance to get to know you better, but you can ask me just the same. And anyway, a girl sure can dream."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shark Week

We are nearing the end and have entered was is called "shark week." Apparently this is the toughest week of the course AND we get to jump in the pool tomorrow in our clothes. I still need to figure out what I am going to wear! In other words, the end is in sight, though barely. One week from tomorrow I will be winged and I won't have to sit in that classroom anymore because I will be able to fly. Literally. But seriously. I have reached the point of deliriousness. I know it's shocking that I made it this long. As we enter our fourth straight week of lectures I can no longer keep back all of the off hand comments that come flying into my head any time a simple sentence is uttered for anything. I have a comeback for everything. Try me. The best part is our in flight boss is in this class with us and he sat by me today and threw quite a few of his own into the mix. It's like opening a soda bottle that has been shaken up and releasing some of the pressure. Since I have found an outlet for my stir crazy mind while in class I finally feel like I am in no danger of popping. Now bring on the pool.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just a Quick Second of Space?

It's one of those days when you get home, put Father John Misty on real loud, and cook yourself an "elaborate" meal (comprised mostly of frozen things from Trador Joes, you work with what you can). It's not that things are bad or hard, it's just that things are every single day and sometimes you need a break. I had a fast sip of really good coffee with my sweet friend Becca yesterday morning in downtown Seattle and it felt like I came home. Just a little reminder that there is a world outside the four walls of our classroom (which happen to be void of any windows)that I am still connected to. And of course today it just makes me miss all my sweet friends in Portland, my lovely babies and of course my roommates! I am extremely glad to be here, mind you. I feel complete contentment in my life and in the choice to start this career. On Saturday as I flew home from Anchorage I caught a quick glance out the window and saw the bright big dipper imprinted in the sky directly above the wing (aircraft left, for those of you who know), and I felt euphoric! This is my life and I love it. But it doesn't mean that I don't miss all those people I am currently separated from and it doesn't mean that sometimes I don't just sometimes need a break. Because honey, when you sit on your butt for 9 hours a day and have to go outside and run stairs on your ten minute breaks in order to stay sane, you need a break.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I think I'm Gonna Like It Here

We had our first exam today, and not to brag or anything but I got 100%. It's supposed to be the easiest one. After we all debriefed in the hall and went back into the classroom we continued to be lectured at for another 8 hours while we, who were hired to move around and chat and entertain, sit on our butts for far too long. But today we got to talk about customers with disabilities and handling conflict. We got to watch all these old VHS tapes that had terrible color, cheesy acting, and actually pretty quality messages. After my new friend told me about the time he almost got into a fight with his boyfriends deaf ex-boy-friend at a bar and we couldn't stop laughing about it, I almost cried while watching all the sweet videos of paraplegics and the fact that our company wants us to be so sensitive with our passengers that they take the time to show us these videos and make us do activities while being limited in some way. (longest sentence ever.) Every day I learn more about Alaska Airlines and the procedures they take for dealing with customers and the steps used to take care of their employees, the more excited I am that I am entering this field with this specific airline! The care, compassion, and concern that management puts into meeting needs of customers and employees alike is humbling. It's exciting knowing that I am employed by a company I can be proud of and that I believe in. And also that pays me to stay in fancy hotels in Hawaii, Cabo, and Alaska!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I have recently been focusing on the fact that I am a woman. I mean, obviously I am and have been for quite some time, but I don't always feel like it. I like to be free-spirited and childish and young, it's just who I am and that's fine. Truthfully however, I am also a woman and really honestly have been for quite some time. The words we use to describe ourselves can too often end up dictating our identity instead of simply stating it, and I have been referring to myself as a only girl for far too long and ignored my womanly characteristics, denied that I have been growing up. I am now 24 years-old and embarking on this fancy pants new job. I began flight attendant training on Wednesday and feel like I have been training for a year already. Every day I am required to wake up, put on make-up, and dress myself in business attire. I look like a whole new person, but I'm not. As I walked down the hall of my hotel today after my first observation flight (where I got to flash my new ID and cut lines and everyone looked at me knowingly) I looked down at my feet covered by tights and nestled into high heels (with bows on them, of course) and it hit me, I am a grown up with a career. I am woman. Now I still have to officially finish training and pass all my tests and get my new uniform altered to fit my short stature, but I am here. And I love it. Hear me roar.