27 Things to do before Turning 28 *revisited*

1: Go orange picking

Didn’t know Orange season in Florida is in the fall, which means by the time I got around to planning a day to do it, it was spring. Waaaay past when we could go. So this November we will be picking oranges and making marmalade for sure.

2: See a manatee 

We made two conservative attempts to see a manatee, even going as far as purchasing a guided snorkel tour… to no avail! We ended up going to Ocala’s Zoo which had two in captivity that were rescued due to illness and were being nursed back to health. So there is that right?


3: Go camping on the beach (Something I have always wanted to do) 

We love going up to Talbot Island they have cute little campgrounds that back up to the water with easy access to the beach and hiking trails. While this isn’t directly on the beach itself it is as close as it gets.



4: Purchase a travel french press and mugs for said camping 

Purchased a stainless steel french press and two travel mugs with locking lids for our hiking/camping needs. Because no matter how much I love nature I love my coffee just as much! My love thinks its ridiculous that I pack my own brewing method when I travel, until he wants coffee on a sleepy morning and then I whip own my magic french press. 

5: Visit an orchid farm

Nathaniel took me all the way to a HUGE Orchid greenhouse which we proceeded to purchase this orchid from. I have an obsession with them, if I could I would have hundreds of them.

6: Explore Florida Keys, take my love scuba diving

 No Keys

7: Go flea marketing/antiquing for art supplies

 I came… I saw.. but I did not conquer. Apparently Jacksonville doesn’t have the greatest of antique stores. Didn’t find a thing for art.

8: Buy a good piece of handmade pottery

I was lucky enough to have a beautiful hand thrown mug made for me by a dear friend as well as purchased a mug on our recent travels to Arizona. Im in love with them!

9: Get a tattoo

Finally joined the club! Thank you Maya Angelou for your poems that have metaphorically and literally marked me. “Still I Rise” is my anthem for overcoming depression. These words/poem have time and time again kept me going. *Thanks to @thedeadart at Florida Velvet Tattoo for tattooing on the fly and making this piece a reality. *Thanks to @penabranca for designing the gorgeous geometric art that I immediately fell in love!

 

10: Photograph epic mountains

Do you think The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley or Zion National Park count? Ha! Ya, I thought so. I would consider this quadruple checked!

11: Photograph elk, bison or ram (Not picky)

Asheville surprising has a tiny elk population that I was lucky enough to sneak away and photograph in January. (The two end photos.) Then as we were driving into the Grand Canyon National Park my jaw dropped when I saw four beautiful elk nestled in the shade of tree’s. I had never seen elk before this year but I have fallen in love with them.


 

12: Curate & photograph a bohemian picnic

My cousin is this incredible boss lady with incredible friends and last summer when I was staying with her we curated this beautiful picnic for them. Mostly I was in it for the photographs. ;)

13: Scan all India collages, begin compiling book

I spent a lot of last year creating content for this book and gosh darn it I have to get my S*** together and create it. The “I need it to be perfect to finish it” anthem is strong in this one. I have never prolonged a project as much as this one. Either because I have actually finished it or decided I just wasn’t into it anymore. This project is different I still want to finish the book, it just scares the S*** out of me! You feel me? Have you ever had a project like that? Here are four pages out of the book:

14: Get a puppy

We went above and beyond on this one. Why get one puppy when you can get two? The adventures of Samsara and Ronin have begun!

***Seriously the hardest part of this post was choosing which puppy photos to use. TOO.. MANY… CHOICES!

15: Road trip the good old fashion way

Can we say UTAAAAHHHH to AAARIZONAAA. Damn if this wasn’t just a trip to die for. Hard as it was physically man was it easy on the eyes. 

16: Hold a fox (Seriously can someone help me out with this lifelong dream? Pleeeeease!)

I have to plan a trip to Japan so I can finally make this dream come true.

17: Take an art workshop or go to a retreat

Had to cancel going to an art retreat this year because I had recently gotten a new job. You know life…

18: Become a brand affiliate for someone

Nope

19: Visit Utah… Hike, camp, photograph.

See 15, because I absolutely combined these two! Man I am so glad we did. A road trip through Utah and Arizona was just what we needed after a looooong year of changes and many months apart.

20: Write blog posts about being self employed in the art world

Did a few tiny ones and also a few more that were never published. But the whole not being self employed in the art world anymore… kinda side tracked me.

Here…  Here… and Here…

21: Hire a photographer for my own brand portraits

 opps!

22: Learn how to photograph the stars

I read some articles. Where we live in Florida there are not to many stars to be had. While in Arizona I tried my hand at photographing the moon but had forgotten the lens needed for it. Also it is just waaaaaay harder to do than I thought. So mad respect for those perfect starlit mountain photos I see on Instagram. Because WOW it’s hard!

23: Learn more about my genealogy

Loved learning about my family and seeing all the gorgeous photographs.

24: Take my love to the local farmers market

We have this incredible farmers market in Jacksonville that has been here for years. I love going and getting a coconut to sip out of while we shop for produce.

25: Go horseback riding with my love

Nathaniel took me on a stormy beach adventure VIA horse for our anniversary and fella’s take note because it was magical.

26: Attend a stargazing party

Could not find one in Jax to save my life.

27: Read 12 books

1: The name of the wind by: Patrick Rothfuss

2: The wise man’s fear by: Patrick Rothfuss

3: Love Warrior by: Glennon Doyle Melton

4: Harry Potter and the cursed child by: J.K. Rowling

5: The Graveyard Book by: Neil Gaiman

6: Podcast S*** Town

7: Podcast Serial Season 1&2

8: Salt & Honey by: Isabel Abbott

9: Letter to My Daughter by: Maya Angelou

10:

11:

12:

***Bonus adventures included sky diving, eating Chick-fila chicken between Krispy Kreme donuts, shooting a shot gun, sleeping in a converted gas station.***

 

Creating Constellations (Possibility Driven Series)

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Dream making can be overwhelming. There are many things you can do.
Many things you are told to do. Told not to do. Don’t know how to do.
The list continues to immobilizing you.
(This is actually currently what I am going through.)
Your once burning dream quickly get extinguished under the weight of doubt and fear.
Leaving you in the dark.

But there is another way.
You can create your own constellation.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something- your gut, destiny, life, god, karma, whatever.
Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart,
even when it leads you off the well worn path.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
-Steve Jobs

This approach takes time and above all else takes a lot of trusting. I mean a LOT!
Like lost sailor’s trusting in the stars to navigate their way forward.

When your in the business of pursuing your dreams, your in the business of creating constellations.
Knowingly or unknowingly.

One connection at a time, trusting that this very connection will lead you somewhere.
Its a dance between Doing and Trusting.
Doing the next best thing you can do for your dreams and trusting where this doing will lead you. Don’t worry too much about ALL the things you could do.
Just do one thing today. Take that step.
Make that connection. Follow it wherever it leads.
Then repeat. Make a connection and follow where that leads.

I have never know a single soul that came up with an idea/dream
and accomplished it simultaneously; without any fear, doubt, hard work or time spent.
I can trick myself into thinking I’m the only one who gets overwhelmed. Gets afraid.
Spends long hours creating when no one sees. But it’s simply not true.

Each connection is a star in my dreamscape.
Chances are you wont notice each connection as it happens.
You certainly won’t know where these connections may take you.
You will over time begin to identify how one connection led to the other.

Keep connecting thoughts, events, people, opportunities,
eventually you will see the constellation of your dreams lighting up your reality.
You will be able to move forward with more ease because you trust this process.

(This is what I am choosing to believe. I am no where near there… Its just something I believe in my gut to be true. My constellation feels tiny barely bright enough to see my own hand in front of my face. But it is there and I believe it will get bigger.)


One Year of Florida Dreaming

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Florida has slowly but surely grown on me. Shit, I never thought I would say that.
It’s been a running joke in my family that I disliked the hot muggy tourist filled state. “I will neeeeeevvver live there.”
As life usually has its way, Florida was given to my love for our first duty station.
Obviously that would happen a few weeks before we were to move to California. (My dream state to live in.)
We choose to make the best of it anyway.
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We arrived with emotions clashing. Excitement at a new world opening and pangs of anxiety at a pending deployment.
This made everything raw at its edges as we explored fast and furiously.
Beaches strewn with sea shells and downed trees.
Natural springs refreshing to our sun warmed skin.
Asian street food in the hipster part of town.
Exploring all the coffee shops.
The neighborhood dog parks.
Riding horses on the beach, manatee searching, sky diving.
Some of these places/things are now our stomping grounds.
Places that once felt  foreign are now creeping into the category of Home.

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Over this last year I have to say, I was wrong about Florida.
(Well partially wrong… it is a humid + tourist filled state.)
I was wrong that I would never enjoy living here.
This last year we have come so far together.
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I was asked the other day by two Navy wives over pretzels: “Would you guys want to stay here when he goes up for orders?”
“Nope, not a chance,” I said. Not because I have a lingering dislike for Florida. Not in the slightest.
It’s more like I want to leave Florida on a high note. Like leaving a lover before it’s all dashed to bits, you know?
Let’s leave a bit of wanderlust and mystery between us… Id like to remember you fondly.
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It’s an exciting life being a military couple, much of your life is lived in between…
Which is to say not everything is familiar and yet you start thinking of wherever you are as home.
You get this sweet mixture of roots and rootlessness. I am kinda in love with it.
 
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So Cheers To Our One Year Anniversary In Florida!
To all the adventures we have had and to all the adventures still to come in this state and the next.
xoxo

 

 

Talbot Island Camping

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Got my photos from our time camping in Talbot Island at the beginning of September.

By far the best part of Jacksonville is this slice of heaven.

Still I Rise “Possibility Driven”

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Im discouraged, I feel like I am destined for shitty jobs… Why didn’t my parents force me to go to collage to be a nurse? Why didn’t they force me to work as a secretary as young as possible, so that by now id have tons of experience in the corporate world?

Funny how my (our) first response when something isn’t going the way we want, the way we thought we find someone to blame.  They didn’t force me because they always gave me freedom. Freedom to make my own path. Freedom to follow what I thought I wanted or thought was right. They never told me I couldn’t pursue my dreams.

The only person who did was ME.

I feel like I am on the edge of “The Giving Up Abyss.”

You know that hole?

Getting a job in a field I don’t want and being under paid for working loads of hours feels like a death sentence on my dreams.  It feels like I am saying ok… I am throwing my hands up… Im done… You beat me…

Desperately I cling to the how’s? How do I keep going? How do I make money with my passions? My talents? How do I get from here to there? How do I get more clients? How do they do it? How do I do it? How can I make good money AND be happy? Why does it seem you can have one but not both?

So that hole… that hole is looming and it is getting bigger. Day by day growing. Making it harder to tip toe around without falling. Falling far… far down the dark hole of dead dreams. Everyday my resolve weakens. Is it resilience and Courage? or just plain naivety and stupidity to keep going? To get up again and again and try over and over? I do keep going though. Because I have too. That is my only reason.

When I even think about giving up; I feel in my stomach this sort of dying I can’t explain. When I look at the hole thinking about raising my hands in defeat, I feel a catch in my throat. Meaning this would be the ultimate silencing. That I would cease to be ME.

I don’t want to cease to be ME. So…. Still I’ll Rise.

“Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.”

-Maya Angelou

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