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.

Screenshot_2017-06-01-15-11-22-1

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.

received_1782947851720508

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.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

May 11, 2017. Mount Vernon, WA

Journey To Poet’s Table. (Black Hills, SD

March 11, 2016- Spring was just around the corner, and here in the Black Hills we were experiencing a very nice break from the cold, and snow. Everything was turning green again, and the sun light felt warm on our skin. My dear friend, Kylie, and I were in the mood for adventure.

screenshot_2017-02-05-13-59-09-1

She arrived at my house as I was filling my old backpack full of snacks, and water. We went to pick up the boyfriend, Ethan, after that, and then met up with an old friend, Spencer, downtown. Spencer took the wheel in Kylie’s car, and we headed out of town, deeper into the Black Hills.

Just before arriving in Keystone (a small town at the foot of Mount Rushmore), Spencer pulled off to the side of the road. He wanted to show us something. We got out of the car, and he led us up the hill. We were walking on what used to be a road, but could no longer be used as one… it would be a very bumpy ride anyways. We walked quite a ways before turning, and heading away from the road. Eventually, we came across an old weathered building, we were exploring an old mine.

Ingersoll Mine was an amazing place to explore. We wandered inside, and sat in the shade to relax for a moment, before continuing to venture out the back door. We followed a trail up another hill to an opening of one of the actual mines. It was pitch black inside, but I was curious to follow Spencer into the cave, and see what was there.

We illuminated the tunnel with our phones. The tunnel took a 90 degree turn half way though, and we found light at the end. As we got closer to the light, the cave opened up in front of us. It was a huge stone room with a hole in the ceiling, letting the light in. The boys went to check out the other dark tunnels connected to the room, while Kylie and I felt more content just enjoying the big, well lit cave.

We came out of the mine to a beautiful view, and before heading back down to the car, we sat with a lady and her son, on the side of the hill, picking through the rocks and minerals, and chatting.

Back in the car, we headed through Keystone, and up towards Sylvan Lake. We parked at the Harney Peak Tail Head, and began walking the trail. We were looking for Poet’s Table, a Black Hills gem. We had only seen photos from people who had found it, and I wanted so badly to experience it in person. (It was actually one of my bucket list places.) If you live near the Black Hills, or if you have ever heard of Poet’s, then you know that there is no clear directions to get there, and no clear landmarks to find it. Basically, your best bet is to have someone who has been there already take you, or cross your fingers and hope you get lucky.

The only things we were told to look for were a birch tree, and a stump with a rock on it, and that would tell you were to turn off of the Harney Peak Trail. Well, there is birch trees everywhere in this area, so that wasn’t helpful, at all. We did happen upon a stump with a rock on it though and we made a decision to turn off the trail there and head left, up the hill because it was clear in the photos that poet’s was up high.

We walked for a long time trying to decide what to do next. We looked all over for something that matched anything in the photos, but we found nothing. We were all ready to give up, and head back to the car when Spencer spotted a doe up the hill, and started yelling at it. At first, we all just laughed it off, and let him yell. Then someone started yelling back, and it was coming from above us.

We followed their voices, and started climbing up the rocks until we got to the top of one, and sat down to take a brake. Spencer and Ethan where standing in front of Kylie and I, they started grinning, and pointed behind us. There it was, on a small ledge on the side of a rock. The green table and chairs surrounded by small treasures brought from others who came here before us. It was occupied by another group at the time, who were reading endless entries from the thousands of notebooks that filled the green cabinet next to the table, and writing their own entries to add to the collection. We waited until they left, and then we took over the spot.

It was amazing.

Where is your favorite place to adventure to? Or a Bucket List Location you want to see? Feel free to drop it in the comments!

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

screenshot_2017-02-05-13-58-42-1

 

What is “Home”.

A roman philosopher by the name of Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder, first said “home is where the heart is” almost two thousand years ago. I’m sure he didn’t realize just how vastly this phrase could be taken, but in any case, it’s my personal opinion that he nailed it.

When I was a child I used to think that home had to be a place. This only confused me, because since the day of my third halloween I have had two homes. Two bedrooms. Two daycares. Two groups of friends. Two addresses, in two very different states.

Some of you may be thinking, “LUCKY!!! You get double everything!”. Well, yes, I do concider myself lucky. I love my life, both homes, and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. BUT, it’s not all just a can of peaches. There are a lot of things that come with having your heart streached between 18 hours of travel time.

So, I have made a list (because I love lists) of quite a few pros and cons that should be understood of people who grew up with two homes. If you are about to be put in this situation, if you know someone in this situation, if you’re going through it and feel alone, or if your just curious- this is for you.

Let’s start with the cons, since taking bad news first is always best.

1. Usually, this happened because the parents are divorced. In my case, yes, which is on paper, very sad. My parents where younger than I am right now when they were married, brought together by a series of “fate” filled events. I have been told that it wasn’t the greatest at first (after the divorce), but they never let me see that part of it. In this con, I am truely lucky, because my parents have proven that even if a relationship doesn’t work out, that doesn’t mean a friendship won’t.

2. Feeling more connected to one place over the other. This sucks. Especially for the parent living in the other place. You get so caught up in how much you LOVE the one home, that you unintentionally make the other less than, and make a parent feel unloved by their own child. Heartbreaking. I talk a lot about one home, and not much about the other, but I feel it should be noted for family that may be reading this– I LOVE BOTH of my homes equally. One is not greater than the other, they are perfect in their own unique ways.

3. Your friends change and move on without you. Before you leave to go to your other home, you may have a great thing going with an amazing group of friends. People change. They get into arguements. They make other friends. Before you know it you’re coming back expecting to start where you left off, surrounded by friends, and things are not at all the same. And you missed it, so have fun playing catch up!

4. You want serious, long relationship? We shall see about that. Haha. I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying it’s really hard. I had a lot of great relationships throughout highschool, but none of them even made it halfway through the length of time I was gone. Just saying.

5. Get ready to miss A LOT of the important stuff. Graduations. Engagements. Weddings. Final goodbyes. Funerals… Bonding with a new pet- (they will think that your bed is theirs, and then be pissed at you when you steal it for a while). TIP: ask someone to take lots of pictures, and send them to you, that is the only way you will experience these things. Also, facebook is your best friend.

6. The pain of goodbyes is very familiar. You will have to tell everyone you love “Goodbye”, at least once a year. There will be tears, and hugs, and it will hurt. A LOT. Have you ever had open heart surgery? My guess is that it feels something like that. Either way, it’s not fun. I hate it. And, when you get older, and decide to roadtrip between homes (Because it’s the best), I recommend having a friend with you that can at least drive out of town for you. I say that from experience, because once you see that “Welcome to..” sign in your rearview, you are going to fight the urge to turn the car around.

Alrighty then, how about some pros? Those are way more fun.

blog-post2

1. Travel experience out the butt!!! Woohoo! You, my friend, are going to have all the rules for airport security down before you can even solve a long division problem. IN FACT, you might end up being better at getting to your gate then someone who works at the airport. (Side note: When your under a certian age, and flying alone, they have someone watch you on your layover. This lady put me in my seat on the wrong plane, and I am the one who caught it. I was nine.) Also, your going to be so good at holding it when you have to go to the bathroom, that for the rest of your life you arn’t even going to know that you have to go, until you HAVE TO GO NOW! And not to brag, but I’m like my own compass. YAY for traveling, and pretty places!

2. You have some of the best stories! In your teenage years, most of your friends have never been to this mystical place that you disappear to all the time, so you look pretty awesome when you start telling them all about the places you go and the things that you do. Especially when your two homes are in South Dakota, and in Washington. Washington kids can not comprehend plains, and little trees. South Dakota kids think that the black hills are mountians, and that all ocean beaches are sandy and warm like Hawaii. So you have seen some things. Annd, you are a really good driver in “bad” weather. (You know, because one of your homes doesn’t have as extreme weather conditions as the other, so they’re not used to it like you are.)

3. If you need an escape, you’ve got one coming! I had a little dramatic issue when I was probably 14 years old, between my ex and my best friend (that’s real stuff in highschool ok!) Anyways, I was SO glad that a couple weeks later I was leaving. I didn’t have to think about it, just got excited about seeing my other friends, and for new adventures.

4. Two fully furniched, comfy, FREE room when traveling. Because if your traveling through the area, you know the parentals are gonna want to see you. Hug you. Feed you. Sit in bed and watch TV while eating loads of salad with you. Also, it’s a comfortable place that you already know, and your own bed.

5. All the peoplesss. Do I even need to get into it? You’re gonna have a lot of people. Plain and simple. You got a decent amount of friends in both places. You got family in both places. You have your parent’s friends, who are like family, in both places. It’s a lot… but they are soo worth it!

6. Also, congradulations, you better get a big christmas tree.

So there you have it. A basic list of pros and cons for growing up in two different places. As you can see, it’s equally as tough on a kid as it is exciting, and adventurous. It definetly makes you stronger emotionally. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I certianly blame my restless wanderlust on how I grew up.. and I love it.

From the rolling plains of South Dakota to the evergreen Puget Sound area of Washington, and everywhere in between, my heart longs for the constant travels, and rejoices in all the memories. Home is not a place, it’s a feeling of happiness and content. The heart is an organ of firey passion; it will let you know when you are home.

What are your thoughts about “home”? About growing up in two places? Is there anything you would add to my list? Drop it in the comments!!!

Live Bravely!

Always,

Danielle B.

 

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

img_20161114_134931

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.

img_20161224_225432

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.

img_20161217_165047