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.

 

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

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. 

2016: Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

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As 2016 tranformes from present to history, I find myself getting more and more excited for the new year. I have found myself looking back on this year, and not feeling satisfied. That along with the very bad ending 2016 is giving me, has me seriously looking forward to the clock striking midnight. I guess I can’t say it was that bad, there were some things that I wouldn’t give up for anything.

I have looked my fear of driving in the snow in the eye, and traveled long distances through it. I have gone to new places, and gone from sleeping on a toddlers bunk bed to unexpectedly getting a really fancy hotel in the middle of a big city. I have found the hidden gem of the Black Hills, and laid in the back of a vheicle to watch a drive-in movie. I have hiked more, explored more, and photographed more. I bought myself my camera. I got tattooed. I’ve added to my book collection. I started an etsy shop, and then failed to keep up with it. I’ve walked in the ocean, and wandered the dense woods of the northern Cascades. I have ridden on the back of a motorcycle around the San Juan islands of Washington. I’ve escaped town to a different state for a random day getaway. I’ve driven through the night, and gotten lost in a big city. I learned that there is such a thing as too many weddings in one season. I’ve lost people, and left people, and i’ve also embraced some new and some old friends. I learned that if you drink to much at a company christmas party, you will hear jokes about it for the next seven months. I opened my heart to a company, and in return gained a whole new family. I’ve learned that I love writing, and it’s a great way for me to process things. I started a completely new job, and left my job of three and a half years, my comfort zone. I experienced my first big panic attack, and it scared the mother-lovin crap out of me.

Best of all, I’ve learned a lot of new things about myself, or at least accepted things that I didn’t want to before. I know what I need to work at, and where I need to begin, and now that I have some new answers, I don’t feel lost anymore. I am not in limbo. I know what I want, I know where it is, and I have a plan to get it. No more free falling. 2017 will kickoff the life that I have always dreamt of, but never had the courage to drop everything and go after. I am excited to start. I am excited to experience everything. I am excited to feel like everything is coming together. 2017, I think we are going to be good friends.

Some Resolutions:

  • Be there for myself.
  • Go after what I want.
  • No holding everything in.
  • No procrastinating.
  • Stop playing hard to get with my ideas.
  • Travel more (South & East).
  • Make this year better.

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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Fear Only Asks Questions

I don’t know why we put things off. Why we wait till the last minute. Why we are always waiting for the “right time”. Waiting, that’s the problem here. That’s the part of this that sneaks up on up when you’re not looking.img_20160917_083221

Never leave that till tomorrow, which you can do today. -Benjamin Franklin

My theory is that procrastination is born from fear. Fear of failure, of rejection, of pain. Fear of making a decision, big or small, and the results of your choices- What if its the wrong choice?

Yes, there are other forms of procrastinating. Running errands, buying new tires, doing homework- we put those things off too. We tell ourselves “I’ll do it later”, or “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Those things are small, at least at first. They don’t come with the threat of flipping you’re familiar, cozy life upside-down. The consequences are not unknown, you can prepare yourself for what you are getting yourself into. The results still suck, and I definitely don’t recommend doing this to yourself, but you know you’ll be alright.img_20160801_083045

It’s the big ones. The life changing decisions. Those are the ones that will get you. That will have you crawling under your blankets screaming, “Can’t I just think about this later??!!”. Well, let me be the bad guy… No. Don’t do that to yourself. Waiting will get you nowhere, and “the right time”, yeah, that doesn’t exist.

I know it’s scary. Trust me. I’m probably going to be reading this post to myself, for the rest of forever. The unknown is absolutely terrifying. What if I don’t like the career I’ve chosen? What if I can’t live with the person I’ve chosen to love? What if I’m wrong about where I truly believe I’m meant to be? What if I move only to find out I should have stayed? Seriously, I know the feeling. But that’s the fear talking, and fear cannot tell you what’s going to happen, it only asks questions.

“The early bird catches the worm.”img_20160812_194518

“He who hesitates is lost.”

Let’s make a deal, you and I. Let’s stop putting things off. Let’s stop waiting, because if we never go after what we want, we will never get it. We have to fight for it. We have to make our own mistakes, and learn our own lessons. We can’t pretend we haven’t been told at least once in our lives to “Seize The Day”. Waiting will never tell you what the future holds.

Are you wondering yet what these photos have to do with this post? I’ll tell you. I was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, and was moved to South Dakota at the age of three. Every summer until I turned eighteen I lived in Washington, and every time I leave it breaks my heart. I love it out there. I feel completely myself out there. I truly believe that Washington is where I belong. For my entire life I have wanted to move back, but there was always something that made me stay in South Dakota. Little excuses I tell myself to ease the homesickness. And of course, my favorite saying (I rolled my eyes as I typed that by the way) “One day, eventually, I will be home for good.”.

So you see, I’m not just making this all up. I’m serious. I’m twenty-two years old. I’m done waiting. Procrastinating is at the top of my “Quits list”, because knowing is better than wondering, and waking is better than sleeping. Even the biggest failure beats the hell out of never trying.

Live Bravely.

Always,

Danielle B.

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Over looking Skagit County, WA from Little Mountain in Mount Vernon. Taken by Danielle Boer. July 2016