Austin Adventures, Part 5: The Journey & Returning Home

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing.”


On my final morning in Austin, Texas, I took the rental car, drove down near the entrance to Lady Bird Lake, and started walking around 7AM on a path, to create photographs during sunrise. The air was crisp, as I started to jog on the dirt path I noticed frost and could see my breath. I loved that while I knew I was in Texas, it reminded me of fall in Pennsylvania. The week had gone so quickly, and I wasn’t looking forward to leaving this town that I felt I’d connected to this past week.

This is part 5 of my journal about my trip to Austin, TX. Please check out previous posts, click here for part 4. 

lady bird lake reflections

I looked at the reflections in the water, as I walked by, and stopped to frame up my camera to create a photograph. I felt so sad that I was leaving, just when I felt like I’d gotten to know how to get around. I could imagine myself living here, riding a bike to a job, or creating photographs and writing about the music industry. I imagined meeting inspiring artists and swooning around musicians late into the night. Each day I woke up excited to be in this place, and thankful for the moments of peace, relaxation, and connection with myself, and others.

I realized that I am still in a place of patience with my life, working through my journey of wellness, struggling to find my place in the world as a creator, and trying to discover my path as a business owner. I’m so thankful and proud of how much my mind had opened, and I’ve progressed with moving forward towards a life of intention and simplicity. I love that I’ve been able to meet amazing people this year and connect with myself on a deep and personal level that I didn’t fully understand until now. What’s even better, is that I know I’ll be starting the new year from this point. I’ve done the work to live intentionally and simply and will continue to grow and learn to discover what my ultimate path in life is, realizing that journey will change, and weave around, it’s not going to be a line from A to B.

I always thought life was linear. If I went to college, I’d get a job in my chosen profession, one that paid enough to make a living. But when I was done with college and had student loans to pay back, I struggled to figure out how to do what I wanted to do. I struggled with who I was, and I ultimately struggled with being myself. It isn’t until the past year that I realized that I went to school for journalism but really wanted to be a feature writer, not a hard news reporter and writer. While I strived to do my best at the positions I held at newspapers, they didn’t end up working out because my heart wasn’t in it, I want to share stories that make people smile and help them, not ones about crime, fires, or shootings. I want to create bright and energy filled images that encourage and inspire, not ones that highlight darkness.

As a kid, I was always a natural leader. I was putting on plays in my basement for my neighbors and telling my sister, as well as the kids who were in the play that I directed, what to do. I always wanted to do stories with a happy ending, like all the Disney movies I’d watched growing up. Maybe that’s because I knew it wasn’t real, that life isn’t always happy or perfect. But it wasn’t until recently that I really understood that the dark times are so valuable. The challenge is what leads us to the light, to discover our best self.

under the bridge in austin tx

After being a features writer, cops reporter, and now doing some travel writing, I am so thankful for the experiences I’ve had telling stories in the written word. If I hadn’t gone to college, and pushed myself a few years later to get a full-time job as a reporter, I wouldn’t have had the experiences that pushed me to engage with people the way I do now, the skills I learned as a journalist helped me in getting the sales job that I have now, which help me to pay off these student loans, as well as allowed me the money and time to travel this past year.

As I returned home, I realize that the journey I’m on isn’t a straight line, and it shouldn’t be, because I’m creating my own path, one designed just for me, and no one else knows the way. I am learning to trust myself and be thankful for the experiences that led me to Austin and returned me back to my home, where I’ve continued to explore.

Books I’m reading

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself – I’m listening to this for a second time on Audible.

The 4-Hour Body – As part of my goals for 2019, I’m getting into shape, and getting my diet in check with some help from this book.


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