Sure there are moments that you hope to forget, but in the moments you hope to never forget time stands still. You stand still. Nothing in that moment tames your breathing, uncenters your soul or makes your heart slow down. These are the moments to live for. The older I get the more moments like these exist. I stopped counting the times the world stopped within my mind but started to live, to search, and truly center myself on living.
Twenty three days into 2019 and I have already done things I have never done before, I have been places I have never been before, I have eaten things I have never eaten before. Hell, I even put my body in the largest body of water on earth. So far 2019 has taken me to a mindset of going, doing and by God willing I am laughing and I am happy. January 2018 when I took my self portraits they were about forgetting the pain of loosing my grandmother, about shunning myself into a life I didn't want to change but drastically did. I spent the year depressed, wanting to be alone and worrying about things I couldn't control. My heart grew in this time since I spent very little time using it to what I needed to be using it for. So after a long hard year for me internally I still grew, I changed.
Just a few weeks ago I was asked to go on a trip with my friend to California...... Sure that sounds like fun but I cannot just up and go, Well that is what I wanted to say. I wanted to say how I couldn't afford it, fathom leaving for that long without my family. But my husband stood beside me as this question of travel was presented, without batting an eye he answered for me YES SHE WANTS TO GO. In that moment my very first plane ticket was bought and I was sent packing, literally. I looked at him with a little fear of what our finances would look like of me just up and going somewhere with 3 weeks to plan and save. To him it never matters. I always looked and searched for a part of me that could feel that way. I often sit, plan, write and worry about things over and over until I either talk myself out of it or change my mind on what I wanted to do completely in fear of my failure. NO, not this man I married. He is a doer, money doesn't matter. What matters is your opportunity, your life, your legacy you hold. GO AND DO. I had no chance to back out of this trip and I am glad. Sure I spent part of my trip sick and unable to photograph some lovely ladies while I was over there but God has his plans and maybe that day I was meant to miss home, miss the man who helped me leave and go in the first place. The next day, oh I wasn't held back as soon as I was able to move around and feel better I explored.
,I watched children play on the beach, I watched them buy balloons at the mall and ride the carousel. In these moments I felt so guilty for leaving, for not bringing my own two littles with me. I stopped myself in those moments and said no, I am not going to feel guilty but explore these parts before them and bring them back and show them all I have found. I am proud to have walked these places and have a full mindset to bring them to experience the same things at Newport beach, to go to the South Coast plaza and visit the Disney store. The most amazing thing is the sunset, the west coast sunset.
Now onto the next day and final day left to explore I finally got to have time with my friend, whom I traveled with. She spent most of her time in California at a conference, learning, growing and creating friendships of a lifetime but the last exploring day she spent time with me. We had our day, our day as old long term friends looking to conquer the world, and believe me some day she might .
We both took the opportunity of this warmer place to let the sun warm our souls. We spent the brisk morning heading out 10 miles deep into the ocean searching for life of all kinds, whales were top on the list yet they eluded us and that is okay because we will go and explore looking for them again. Truthfully if it wasn't so cold I probably would have became a mermaid out in that beautiful water. We did get to see a ton of white sided dolphins and some very cute sea lions. I have seen dolphins swim in the ocean before, no not this ocean but I was more interested in the houses in the hills. The literal THOUSANDS of houses we passed. I was curious of the lives these people lived. I wondered if they weren't born here what made them come, what made them stay. Though I love my home in Kentucky I never stop wondering about the lives of others, how they got to be the people they are.
As our day went on and we headed back inland the sea lions living their best life really made our water exploration a more fun experience. They were so lazy and spunky at the same time. I would almost say they are my spirit animal but I couldn't be this cute.
Brittney and I went on to take in iconic California wines, we know nothing absolutely nothing about wines really. We just consume on a good day, a rough day and any day that ends with day. No just kidding... maybe. But we found a place called Orange coast winery, We walked in through the back which means it is a very swanky establishment in Cali. We have no idea what to order we just want to taste these wines. You can't go home without indulging in "Napa Valley' type rituals. There we met a gentleman named Ken, he told us some of his life stories and background. He treated us with a never ending glass and sparked our conversations of entrepreneurship. He spoke of Kentucky highly as if we didn't know what we have. I may never see Ken again but he was a California face that helped spark inspiration of new things to come. I think Brittney and I felt the same, we thought the same in these couple hours. We did come home with bigger ideas and goals to finish.
With insight and pockets of hope for who we could go on to be we packed up and was about to head home. These few days made me appreciate all the things I can accomplish with a team of people who there to help, my team who are there to encourage me to do what I want to do no matter how crazy or big. I am so glad that I have certain people in my life that has never gave up on me and who is ready to help me go and do, those who never think it is out of reach but who are ready to help. All in all two girls with big hearts and determined minds traveled 2000 miles away from home, learned some new things to carry forever and found the explorer inside that is ready to climb.
Here is to nanner pudding ( only Brittney knows) and dreams beyond that front porch life. Never stop.