The Choice.

Flashback to 6 months ago….

It’s around 4:30pm. I was working for a home health care company, and had just gotten home from cleaning a clients house for two hours, while silently crying to myself.

Why was I crying? A week earlier I was given the companies first pediatric client, diagnosed with autism, along with a few other things. I had had no training, no experience, and less than 24 hours to prepare myself before my first visit. I stayed up all night researching everything I could about autism, not knowing that there is really nothing you can find that will describe caring for every person with autism- everyone is different. It was like nothing I had expected, it shook me, and I was terrified. Caring for people is no joke.

I had been crying because after a week of working with this client, and being so scared because I didn’t know what I was doing, I was overwhelmed and my brain was fried. I had been given the night off. And I was so relieved. And then last minute I was told I had to go to the clients house anyway, because I was the only employee that knew how things worked there. So I had gotten my hopes up, on top of being overwhelmed and anxious to have to go over there again.

By the time I arrived home, I was starting to panic. I could not stop crying to save my life.  I forced myself to eat something while trying to hold back tears. Halfway through my meal my hands and feet started to tingle and then go numb, and I began to hyperventilate. It was about 45 minutes before I needed to be on my way to the clients house when I found myself on the floor. Laying on my stomach, on top of my hands, listening to the ringing coming from my phone. I had managed to dial my bosses number (Who also happened to be a friend of mine from high school.), and hit the speaker button before I could no longer open my hands. I explained what was happening between gasps, and begged for him to find someone else, I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t think. I was done.

He talked me down for a half an hour, until my breathing regulated, and I was able to stand up again. There was nothing he could do, I had to be at the clients house in 15 minutes. I pulled my scrubs back on, and cleaned up my face. Light-headed and still scared, I headed to the clients house. I had a job to do.

New Years 2017…

I had been unhappy for a while, but the anxiety attack was the last straw- it was finally so bad that it was effecting my health. I missed Washington, and the people here. I wanted to do something with my life. I wanted to do something I, and family could be proud of. I wanted to keep growing, and moving forward. I didn’t feel like I could do that in South Dakota, I didn’t feel like I could go anywhere. It was like I was trapped in a never ending loop, lost in limbo forever.

We were sitting at a nice little bar in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. One by one groups of people left their tables to walk to the Alex Johnson Hotel, where the towns version of the time square ball dropped. My boyfriend at the time, one of our good friends, and I sat at a table next to the bar watching as the room cleared out, until it was just us, a couple old men, and the bartender. Ethan and Harry were immersed in their own conversation. I sat quietly, and listened to the crowd, just a few blocks down the street, start the countdown. Sipping at my cider, I watched the ball drop in Time Square, from the large flat screen above the bar, and made the same promise to myself that I always did: “This year will be different. This year I will not dream about things, I will have them. This year I will do things for me. This year things will change, and it will be great.” —BUT, this year I mean it, no excuses, no matter what nothing will stop me. Do, or die trying.

Today, June 28, 2017…..

Today I am making a new home, and a new life for myself 1,216 miles away from where I made those promises. It wasn’t easy getting here, there was a lot of tears, uncertainty, fear along the way. So many times, I wanted to scream out “I’M JUST KIDDING!”, take it all back, and crawl back into my same little loop. I couldn’t though, because I knew that if I didn’t just go for what I wanted, I would never get it. Dreams don’t chase you. You have to chase you’re dreams.

It’s not all perfect. I still have a lot of growing to do out here, it’s a work in progress, but it feels better. I feel closer to the life I want, even though I’m not sure what that life looks like. But that’s the best part- I HAVE NO IDEA what will happen. All I know is that I am exactly where I want to be right now, no longer stuck in my loop, and I can finally breath again!

How have you grown in the last 6 months?

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

 

The Road To Now

A year ago I would have never guessed that I would be where I am today. I’ve always wanted to be here, it was always my goal (obviously), but part of me always felt to afraid to go for it, and I didn’t see that changing anytime soon.

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At the end on July 2016, I made my yearly visit home to see my dad, grandma (Bami), friends, and family. I was in Mount Vernon, WA for only one week, and I hated how short my visit had to be. I always did, even when the visits were all summer. I spent the week as I always did, running around like crazy. Bami always said “The grass doesn’t grow under you’re feet!”, but I only had so long to see everyone here, and enjoy all the beautiful places. I was selfish with my time too, spending most of it up in Bellingham with my best and longest friend, Trung, my favorite person. It only made it harder to leave. The last few years I had planed it so that someone else was with me. I made sure that they drove out of town, and over the mountain pass instead of me. I didn’t believe that I would make it that far without turning around. Every time I left, I left another piece of my heart here. I cried, because it hurt.

By November my longing for the Northwest had not subsided, which was odd because usually by then it would have been tolerable. I missed the ocean, and the mountains. The lakes, and forests. Mostly, I missed my friends and family that I rarely got to see. I had the feeling that I was missing out on everything here.

On New years I made a promise to myself. Not a resolution, but a promise. I am done waiting. Done making excuses. Done thinking about everyone else before myself. When you sit around daydreaming about the same thing, and it is an attainable dream, then what the hell are you doing? So, I worked my ass off. Seven days a week, all hours of the day and night. I saved my money, and fixed up my car.

Last month was my first month as an official Washington resident in about 19 and a half years. I’ve been busy. I think I’m still in the mind set that at the end of the summer I will have to pack up my things, and go back to South Dakota. It feels good to have more time here. To be able to enjoy everything, without the fact that I have to leave soon looming over my every move.

I’ve been spending most of my time up in Bellingham again, with Trung. He’s taken me to so many new and beautiful places, along with the familiar places we have always gone to. I’m enjoying all the green. And the ocean air. And the island beaches. And motorcycle rides through the mountains. And the farmers markets. And all the food. And all the people. I’ve been feeling less anxious, and bored. In return I already feel more open to things, and more creative.

I do miss South Dakota very much, and I can’t wait to go back and visit for a week in October. I catch myself saying things like, “well, in South Dakota it worked this way.” and, “That’s nothing to me, I grew up in South Dakota”. It’s pretty ridiculous, really. I don’t so much miss the place, as I miss the people, and how I know where everything is. The day I had to take my South Dakota drivers license out of my wallet, and put it away in a drawer was the definition of bittersweet.

BUT, in the end I am happy to be where I am, and I am proud of myself for staying true to what I want, and not letting anything stop me. I think I’ll make that a new habit of mine.

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Thanks, May! For being so good to me. 2017 is definitely my favorite!

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

No One Said It Was Going To Be Easy

This is the part where I pull a wrinkled news paper out from between the cushion of an old leather chair, and straighten it out in front of me. The date: May 3rd, 2017. The headline reads:

“Twenty-Something Year Old Makes Quick Decision To Quit Job, Empty Bank Account, Say Goodbye To Friends & Family, Pack Car Full Of Belongings, And Move Half-Way Across The Country To Start Life Anew.”

And here we are!

It’s been one week since I pulled into the driveway of my Dad’s house here in Skagit Valley, car packed, exhausted, and teary eyed. The journey was long, my emotions where out of control, but in the end I am happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest and I know that it will be worth it.

I was joined by my best friend on the drive to my new home, which was comforting, and made the transformation a little easier. She followed in her car, with her little one, and at least once an hour we were talking about the drive via phone. We shared a motel room in Bozeman, MT to rest after a long day of packing, working, and driving, and then headed out in the morning towards my home in Mount Vernon, WA. Along the way I would catch her laughing at me, and my jam sessions, through the rear view mirror, and we would call each other to laugh about it.

I’m not going to lie, it was hard to leave the comfort of South Dakota behind me. I cried, a lot, but you know what? I am going to come back. I will visit. It was not a final goodbye. Leaving the place you grew up in, and know by heart sucks, but it will always be there. Right where you left it. I also cried when I reached the Cascades. (It was a very emotional trip.) At the first sight of the Washington I know so well, and have loved my entire life.. I totally lost it.

Every dream, and every goal just seemed so close. Or maybe I’m just overly dramatic. Either way, I made it here, FINALLY!

The last week has been great! Busy, for sure, but great. So far I have:

  • Unpacked everything! (WOOHOOOOO!)
  • Shown the best friend and her Littles the ocean.
  • Been to the islands.
  • Opened a bank account.
  • Gotten a new Drivers License.
  • Sent out resume and applications. (Unemployment is freaking me out.)
  • Spent time with the family. (Biological & not.)
  • Went to Seattle (China town!!)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2, double feature, in I-MAX 3D (Because I’m slightly nerdy.)
  • And spent A LOT of time with my friends up in Bellingham, having fun and finding my way around. (The plan is to live there.)

It’s helpful to have people already here. Friends that I’ve known for years, that I trust. I got lucky that way. One of my favorite people is here, and thank God for him because he’s made everything so much better. 10 years of sticking by my side, no matter what, back and forth between being here and being 18 hours away, I know I will never be alone here. I already feel at home.

I guess my point is to not be afraid to go after the things you have always dreamt about, but to be aware that making the big changes WILL be scary, and might suck at first, you just have to power through it. You have to take time to adjust. You will miss that little town you always wanted to leave, but everything will be ok.

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

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May 11, 2017. Mount Vernon, WA

Update on April 2017 – Moving West

Holy cow guys, it’s almost May! Literally four days left. It’s been a crazy month, I can hardly keep my thoughts straight. I’ve been meaning to write so many times, but focus is definitely out the window… I have a few posts that I plan on publishing in the next few days, but before I get to all that jazz, I just wanted to give everyone an update on what has happened since I last wrote on here. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

FINAL DECISION – I am officially packing up my car, and moving closer to my dreams! The move to Washington goes down May 1st!

The hardest part of the whole big move… Telling everyone. (i.e. Parental units, family members, friends, loved ones, clients, bosses..)

I’ve been running around like CRAZY! So much to do, so little time! (i.e. Working full-time, changing addresses, talking to banks, packing, organizing, spending time with family and friends.)

The Spring term of the BANGS Ambassador Program is at it’s end! ALREADY!? But the other Ambassador Mentors and I are super excited for what’s to come for the summer term!! Applications are open now – HERE!

I’ve got the beast (my vehicle) all fixed up and in driving condition (i.e. new tires, brakes, windshield wipers- cause you know I’ll need them, and my stereo put in!)

Do you have any idea how good it feels to pay off debt? I recommend it. This girl here, DEBT FREE!! Woohooooo!

I’ve been pouring myself into work, and volunteer help at the office. AND, saving $$$ like a mad woman.. like it’s going out of style.

This week I have begun the goodbyes to my wonderful, and amazing clients. I’M GOING TO MISS THEM! (There is definitely such a thing as a Nurses Mama Bear Instinct, you take care of these people, and you get attached) *NO TEARS, DANNI!*

My last day at work will be this Saturday April 29, 2017 and I will be headed west on Monday May 1st!

The best friend, Kylie, will head west for a few days to bring more of my things to me and see my new home May 3-5!

THE BASIC PLAN – Find a bank, then a job, then an apartment, and then I will finally go to school!!! (Pharmacy Tech, for those of you who are curious)

So that’s it folks, that’s what my little piece of the world looks like. I’m so excited for all the future adventures, and I cant wait to share all the new content I have been dreaming up for you! Stay tuned, this should definitely be fun!

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

 

And So, It’s Time…

It’s time that I started sharing my plans with you. You may, or may not, have seen on my social media sites that I am getting restless, and extremely excited for something that happens to have something to do with the month of May. I have refrained from sharing with just about everyone (until recently), what my mind has been circling since my last trip home to Washington, in July of 2016. It’s big, and there are moments when I feel a little scared, but as time creeps closer to my personal set deadline, I feel more and more confident and excited. I have a month and a half to go now, and the choice feels easier and easier the closer we get to May.

So here we go.. For the last seven and a half months I have been thinking about going home to Washington, and this time, staying. That’s right, I want to move. I want to pack up all my belongings  (what I decide to keep at least), load them into my car, and finally just go.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING BAD AGAINST SOUTH DAKOTA. Nor does it mean that I never plan on coming back to visit. (In fact, I already have a plan to come back in October, and I’m not even 100% sure I’ve made up my mind on going yet.) I grew up here, I love South Dakota, and that will never change. It’s just simply not the right place for me. I am a South Dakota girl, but I don’t have a South Dakota heart, if that makes sense. Plus, I would never survive without seeing my family and friends here.

SO MY REASONS ARE: 

1. It’s something that I have always wanted. I look at a lease to have my own place, and I can’t bring myself to sign it because of the commitment to the length of time I would have to stay here. I look at colleges and degrees that I would like to pursue, but I don’t because I don’t want to be here that long. There’s one common part here, I won’t feel comfortable moving forward with my life, until I make it to where I want to be. My dream of living in Washington has never disappeared, and I am tired of wondering what my life would look like if I were there. I want to know. I need to do something for me.

2. Room for growth. I just feel as though I have done everything I can here, and now I am stuck. I feel trapped, which in return has made me unhappy. But I have found excitement in all the possibilities I feel I could find in such a bigger, and more diverse place.

I just need to get out of here. I need something new, and all the little adventures just arn’t enough anymore. All my life I have known exactly where I wanted to be, but never gone after it for myself because I was too busy making excuses to stay where I am for others. I’m tired of making excuses. In July I will be 23 years old. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be settled down, married, and expecting a baby at 23. (Obviously I didn’t realize how young 23 still is.) I’m not even remotely interested in marriage, or any of that yet, but I would like to start making the steps to settling down, at least somewhat.

I feel I have already made up my mind that I am going. I’m just scared to admit that because it means that I’ll have to break a heart, and face an insane amount of change. The change scares me a little, but also excites me. In the end change is exactly what I’m looking for. 

LIVE BRAVELY!

Always,

Danielle B. 

The Badge of Busy.

I find myself constantly trying to juggle many things: Working (7 days a week, most of the time) as a Home Care Aide, being an Ambassador Mentor for BANGS Shoes & being in charge of a wonderful team of 12 Ambassadors, owning an Etsy shop- Wired Up Wraps (which I plan on updating soon, I promise!), Keeping up with my blog, carving out time with friends and family, and relieving my restless urge to wander & explore (for my sanity). Carving out any time for myself seems virtually impossible for the most part, but every now and then I am blessed with a short breather, and I am reminded that I do what I do simply because I love it. My brain feels that if I am not doing something productive, then I am wasting my presious time. So I suppose I like to be busy, maybe I just like to give off that I am an “active”, “driven”, and “motivated” person.

For a workaholic like myself, being so busy also has it’s perks. Yes, besides the money. I am constantly meeting new and amazing people, always inspired, coming up with really good ideas, developing new opinions, and to sum it all up, if my brain were a filing cabinet, it would have exploded five months ago. This is where I found comfort, and passion in writing, list making, and blogging. It’s a way to sort out all the chaos on my own (which is how I prefer to work anyways.)

Being so busy can also be mentally draining, sometimes revitalizing- but often times just down right exhausting. This past week was a huge challenge, and left me an emotional wreck multipule times. (which is very unusual, and kind of annoying me, haha) After six months of constant work mode, I feel I have burnt myself out. It sucks, I don’t like it one bit, but everyone has their limits. So I’ve started making the changes I need to, to bulid myself back up again, because there are moments in life where it is nessesary to stop what you are doing, and take care of yourself first. So I talked my boss into dropping me down to part-time, at least until May, so that I have time to regenerate my energy, and focus on more of the hobbies that excite, and inspire me. I like to think the my hypersensitivity to whatever is going on around me plays a big part in the emotional imbalance I’ve found myself in, but to me that’s just life- a series of roller-coaster rides that I know will end with some kind of “light” at the end of the tunnel.

I guess what I am saying is that everyone has thier limits, and even if you love what your doing, it’s ok to give yourself a break if you start feeling extreamly overwhelmed. If you can’t keep yourself healthy, and happy, you’ll just end up being miserable, and life is way to short for that nonsense. You don’t have to take on the whole world by yourself, and you are not a robot. Take it easy on youself, human!

Stay Happy,

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

 

Embrace Change

img_20161223_220912Change is all around us. The season. The holidays. Soon a new year, and for some of us even the weather is constantly changing.

People change. They develop new thoughts, new styles, new favorites, new attitudes. Some of the bravest even make the decision to stop putting up with people/ things that only ever end up letting them down, and in the end, leaving all that negativity behind leaves more room for happiness.

I’ve never really hated change, it’s definitely made me feel uneasy a time or two, but it’s exciting to me, so full of possibilities. I remember as a child watching my step-sister go into a full on panic when the time came to switch from elementary to middle school, and middle to high school. I didn’t understand, I was SOO EXCITED! All I wanted was to continue growing, and moving on to bigger and better things. That’s what change is in the big scheme of things, growing.

Over here in my neck of the woods, there is A LOT of changes going on. Friends have left. Loved ones have graduated college. I’ve gotten my foot in the door to the medical field. I left my comfort zone job of three and a half years. I transitioned from a Lead Ambassador to an Ambassador Mentor for BANGS. I have started saving money because I plan to be moved out of South Dakota by May 2017. Also, the typical things, like the new year that will be here next week (HOLY FAST!, right?), and i’m probably going to be dying my hair and cutting it soon. (I’m a girl, it’s how most of us celebrate change. #IAmNotWrong) 

img_20161224_205329 (Wow! So sorry about the quality of this image.^^ It was a quick snap, while I was at the stop sign getting ready to pull out of the parking lot, after my last day of work at Cabela’s.)

Leaving my comfort zone was actually one of the few experiences where I was terrified to embrace change. I first got my (current) job at W. R. Home Care back in mid September, and although I was extremely excited to have a job where I help people daily, my heart sank because I knew that I would have to leave everything that I knew, and was comfortable with, behind. For months I avoided even talking about putting my two weeks in at Cabela’s. I worked hard at both jobs, sacrificing any rest, days off, or free time, and inevitably exhausting any and all energy to do anything else. Two weeks ago today, after a whole lot of pacing and internally freaking out, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and dropped my resignation letter in our HR lady’s box. Yesterday, with lots of tears and hugs, I turned in my equipment, and left the place that has felt like home for so many years in my rear view mirror.

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Have no fear! Captain Daisy is here!

So change can be hard, and a little scary. I get that. Nothing is scarier than the unknown, it causes you to wait. (For more about that click HERE. ) I have a solution for you! When you are facing a change (by choice, or otherwise) that scares you, look for the silver lining, or as to say, think about what positive outcome(s) will result from it. Examples being: Learning a lesson, gaining experience, adapting, new friends, discovering what makes you happy, becoming stronger, maybe even just a really good story, ect.

No, that’s not all…

YOU have to make the choice to embrace change. Even if the change is not by your choice, it’s up to you on how you take it. Do you want to grow and adapt? Become a stronger person than even you think you are? Or, do you want to be miserable, and never give life a chance to show you beauty?

Look at the silver lining you found. Is it worth it? Can you struggle for it? Can you sweat for it? Can you be patient with it? Do you want that outcome? If yes, then embrace the change, and hold on to your own found piece of motivation like it’s the coat that’s keeping you from freezing to death.

Oh, and as always…

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

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