Into the Woods

My whole being said yes to you instantly. I looked into your eyes and said yes! I knew I had found everything that my hopes and desires had literally made into a person. She was staring right back at me like she had finally found me too. I knew she would have the answers I still sought. How could this be? I’m 34 and she’s 26. I don’t have to know. I just trust how she makes me feel, that my life is improving...

That’s what I’ve relied on.  How does she make me feel…how does she make me want to feel? Every choice we arrive at together has brought opportunity, happiness, and growth for us both. I continue to trust myself more when I’m with her. She has been helping me become the man that I may have never become otherwise. Was I just ready to listen to woman’s intuition? My intuition clear as day told me she was the one that would make me complete… the one that would re-teach me how to learn. It hasn’t always been sappy love story fairytales, but at some times it has!

Jessica’s perspective is helping me find balance in some very important areas in my life. Nutrition has been a huge factor in balancing my mood, having clarity of mind, and having the energy to continue pursuing my best self. A passion for cooking and making our own food is something we both share. However, Jessica has challenged me to see food as more than just a savory sauce or a tasty cut of rump roast, but rather for the nutritional content. I’ve learned to consider what that food will end up doing for me long term. Knowing what we’re putting into our bodies has become paramount. It has been a long transition for me but I slowly go the way of the plant over the animal. Or rather, I keep going toward what is making me healthier and happier.

Along with eating better, getting out and staying outdoors has become a necessity. I don't think we really even knew how necessary it was becoming until we were fully addicted and wondering which hike or adventure was in store for next weekend. It was such great timing because we just moved to a new place for both of us. Kind of. I was born and raised five hours south of here (Seattle) in Oregon. I was given a very woodsy upbringing and had acquired a healthy obsession with the outdoors. Jessica and myself are seeing all these amazing locations for the first time together. It has been one beautiful location after another. We instantly fell madly in love with Mount Rainier. It is no exaggeration to say we are quite literally drawn to that location. Alpine meadows like we had never seen before… bushes with bright red berries…decorative leaves with the colors of sunset and fuzzy marmots! Marmots are like meeting a little Disney character that would sign an autograph if you just had a pen. I loved that they weren't shy! Such noble little creatures grubbing and sun bathing while we took our pictures and watched in amazement. Being in a national park had become better than any theme park I could imagine. There is something about getting out that awakens your senses.

A big part of knowing the next step to take has been trusting myself again. I had gotten out of the habit of trusting myself. Second guessing myself and setting up failure contingencies (your 2nd best option) had become a way of thinking. With a renewed passion for the outdoors and feeling better than ever, we just kept planning different hikes and places to see until snow shoeing happened. It’s something I had always wanted to try and loved every second of it!

Getting outdoors renewed my love for photography and it has been so fun teaching Jessica and watching her become such a great photographer herself. Photography was my first passion back when dreams were reality. I quickly found myself discouraged with its competitive nature and the idea that I might not always be creating the art that I want on my terms. My younger self thought events like weddings would be too stressful to enjoy shooting. I see now that in the past it was made stressful because I’m fairly hard on myself and a bit of a perfectionist. Boring story short I allowed fear to rob me of my true path. Fortunately for me I have found it again very recently. Creating these images from nature’s beauty with the purpose of inspiring others to get out has been a powerful motivator that I see no end to. Right now, creating on the weekends and editing and sharing content during my work week inspires and motivates me. I’m not sure exactly what our future holds, but I know we’ll have cameras in hand and packs on our backs.