Onward and Upward

 “This is your renewal, this is your regrowth. You may come into this softly or bristling with thorns, beneath the light of the sun or the moon and the stars, so long as you always remember it is never too late to return to the root of your heart and begin again” (Beau Taplin). 

Five months. It has been five months since I closed the slim volume of what was to be my great African adventure on this blog. I think I have run from “West of Moon” mostly out of fear that I had nothing more to say. I neglected this space out of shame, that my days substitute teaching, freelance writing, and spending quiet Monday evenings at the barn were too simple for my readers and could do nothing to entice their imaginations or kindle their own dreams of travel and adventure. In fact, I  have written almost nothing at all.

Yet the past five months have been a tremendous period of self-growth. While my heart has been roiling with storms of doubt, frustration, and fear, I made the conscious choice to raise my sail and face the tempest, rather than let it drown me. I am learning what it means to be present in life, even the delicate moments that may seem insignificant, for those are often the most powerful reminders that we have been granted this tremendous gift called living.

I am also striving to live with intention. For me, living intentionally looks like making a list of small goals I can achieve throughout my day to demonstrate that I am capable. It looks like vocalizing my appreciation for my parents, my boyfriend, and my closest friends for the love and support they continue to wash over me despite my shortcomings. It looks like actions instead of words, like teaching myself to sketch, practicing yoga, and forming a habit of meditation rather than simply saying I will one day. It looks like facing my fears and writing every dream-laden, raw, and honest thought that inhabits my soul to truly be the writer I claim I am, for how can a writer call herself thus if she is too afraid of writing?

These bits and bobs of my journey in this life, from every moment of effervescent joy to the ones that are bruised and battered, are worthy of exploring. To those who have grown accustomed to my indulgent descriptions of all the wild and wonderful landscapes I have roamed, the changes that are coming to “West of Moon” will surely disappoint. To those whose hearts have been broken, who seek a reassuring voice on their own journey of self-love and acceptance, to those that open their heart to the world as often as they breathe, and those who are merely looking for a lovely story on the simple pleasures of a young life being lived, please read on.

This blog will become more of a digital journal than ever before. I have faced incredible instances of clarity paired hand in hand with intense moments of personal doubt or heartbreak. Yet through it all, I am learning to pay attention to the lessons present in all the moments of living. I am also doing so with a generous and loving support system that I am wholeheartedly thankful for. I believe that love, above all else, is worth sharing, from a love of a soulmate to the love of a parent, to the purest kind of love of all: a true and deep love of oneself. I will begin sharing all of these introspections and scenes of both sorrow and joy here on “West of Moon,” so if this kind of authentic exploration of life intrigues you, I welcome you with all my heart.

At the root of my heart, I am a storyteller, and I will begin again.

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