Every Minute, Every Hour, Every Day

Hi everyone!

Last time I posted, I talked about what I had been through since mid November of last year. Things were extremely difficult and I went to a very dark place for a while. Thankfully, with the love and support of my friends and family, I was able once again to return to the light.

I began thinking about my life. Literally from day one. If I wanted I could chronicle it, I have every diary I’ve ever kept since I was 8. What would I call it? I don’t have an answer for that yet, but I do have a revelation.

No one wants pain. No one wants to have to go through emotional, physical, or legal battles. However, every choice we make in this life is part of something bigger. You can call it God’s plan, you can call it fate or destiny. I like to think of it as a fortress of sorts, every stone placed by a Great Architect.

Ever since I was little I dreamed of a sort of pioneer life. Nothing too rustic, I will never give up running water, but I always saw myself in the country. A garden, since I’ve always had a garden, chickens, maybe even some goats. Working land has just always been in my mind. As I grew older the desire grew with me, but the reality of actually attaining it grew dim. These things cost money and in this day and age, even just a livable income can be difficult to come by.Growing older meant prioritizing. I never forgot my dream but more important things had to come first.The other night I was sitting on the couch and I realized…I’m here. I have it.

I actually have everything I dreamed of.

I live in a little brick house in the country on a half acre. I live with a man I love deeply that I met in high school. I have a garden started, and we have plans to fence in the yard and put in a chicken coop.

We have land to work.

When I look back on everything, there is so much pain and darkness. But every single choice I’ve made, every single one since day one, has put me where I’m at right in this moment. Nothing in life will ever be perfect, and I know in the future there will be ups and downs, arguments and make ups, and I can tell you with confidence that I genuinely look forward to that future.

Why? Because all that pain I went through helped me achieve my dream.

Remember to take pain in stride. It exists to help you grow, and in truth we never stop growing. I don’t want to give the impression that I will never go through pain again. The point I want to make is that there comes a point where the pain makes sense. We stop asking why and instead begin to see why.

Be well my friends. And rest assured, as this little homestead grows, there will be many photos ❤

Stephanie

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A Thousand Steps Back

Have you ever felt like you’ve gone so far, and then had to take thousands of steps backward?

It can be puzzling and sad at first. You dwell on it, wondering what you did/are doing wrong. You overthink and overanalyze everything that took you right up to this moment, wracking your brain to figure out why. Why did this have to happen?

Sometimes there is no clear answer. Sometimes you are simply forced to start over.

In my case, I fortunately was able to figure out what brought me a thousand steps back. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I started it when I moved to Wilmington, NC. You’ll know that I went through some difficult situations. I had a breakup after a long term relationship, started over all by myself, and then experienced being fired from a long term career. All of this led me back to Charlotte, NC, a city I swore I would never set foot back into. Now I find myself working as a part time barista, renting a room in my best friends house.

Now, I know, none of this sounds terrible. And it’s not. I am extremely lucky to have the support system I have. But for someone like me, an independent lone wolf type, it’s easy to focus on the negative and ignore the positive. Yes, I lost everything I worked for. Yes, I had to leave the city I felt I belonged in. Yes, I had to put my whole life in reverse and start over.

But let’s focus on that: Starting over. What I failed to realize was that I wasn’t truly happy. I wasn’t passionate about my career or my degree. I have the chance now to actually, truly start over. Ignoring everything else, I can make that career change that I wanted to make.

My point is, even when things look like they’re falling apart beyond repair, keep going. Keep moving forward, because the changes you need to make to be happy are yet to come.

I’m Going Through Changes Now

Hello everyone!

Well, as the title and video would suggest, I am still going through a series of changes. First, obviously, I finally changed the blog header!

I’m about to leave Wilmington. My best friend and I discussed it a while ago, and I decided the best thing for me is to move back to Charlotte. She is literally saving my life by letting me rent a room in her beautiful house for next to nothing, in a city where I can grow professionally and personally.

I’m scared, but excited, and also sad. It’s been kind of a crazy ride these past few years…a lot has happened. Most of it is recorded here on this blog, so thank you for sticking with me! I may go dormant for a bit but I’ll try to update as much as possible, and once I get to Charlotte, I have so many plans and I’ll actually have the ability and means to carry them out, so stay tuned my friends!

xoxo,

Stephanie

Doors and Such

Hi everyone!

Gosh, I have just been so busy. I thought being unemployed would mean some time to relax, and I have had time, but damn have I also ben running around making plans and taking odd jobs and whatnot.

So after I got over the initial anger and depression that comes with being let go from a career, salary, benefits, and whatnot, I began truly thinking and realized that yes, while the career and security were great, the world was my oyster. I could do anything I wanted. I got my degree in graphic design and I am very happy to have that degree. I will never regret the work I put into it, and I will never forget the joy of walking across that stage in my cap and gown. But, I was never passionate about graphic design. I took a hobby and turned it into a career, something I’ve heard you should never do. The one thing I have always been passionate about is writing. I have been writing since I learned the alphabet and could hold a pencil. From poetry to novels, I have written it all.

So I started looking at writing jobs. I knew it would be difficult, but graphic design does technically fall under communications, so I also knew I had a chance.

I replied to a part time job on Craigslist. I heard back from them within a few hours and, after a video interview and some writing tests, I would like to unofficially announce that I was offered the job!

Doors close, and they open. Tragedy can blossom into opportunity.

The other door that is closing is one I am a little bit sad about…at the end of May, I am going to move back to Charlotte. Even though I did get the job, it’s part time and I cannot continue to afford living here. My best friend will be renting me a room in her beautiful new house for a much more affordable price.

I’m excited, and scared, but mostly excited. I cannot wait to see what this new journey holds for me. I’m going to miss the beach and the friends I made here, but my gut is telling me to move on. Move forward. This is not the place where I am meant to grow.

So, I will be writing, and hopefully blogging more! I have some ideas for Unless, and I can’t wait to get started on this new life!

Be well, my friends ❤

Life

Life has been handing me some lemons lately, and it has been very tiring trying to deal with them. This is one of the reasons I’ve been quiet.

This is normal for people my age. I realize that. At midnight on my birthday last month I began having a mid life crisis that I didn’t have much time to truly think about until recently.

When I was 20, living in my very first apartment, I discovered minimalism and began my first ever blog. While that blog is now long lost in the blogosphere, I’ve never really stopped trying to declutter my life. If you knew me personally and have been inside my current apartment, you would not guess that about me. I am very cluttered and I have a lot of sentimental things. But, it has come to my attention that I truly do need to minimize and begin a journey of mindfulness.

So the slow process begins…I want to downsize and rid myself of excessive things that I do not need. I plan on minimizing how much plastic I use, and be better about recycling. I also have begun independent study into medicinal herbalism, and will be trying my hand and creating my own salves and balms!

That’s it for now. I just wanted to make a quick update in between my busy work day hours. We’re nearing the end of our busy season, so soon I’ll have more time to blog and create!

Have a wonderful day!

Stephanie

 

Changes

 

So it’s August now, but I hope everyone had a GREAT Fourth of July holiday last month! I know I did. I went home to my parents’ house, and had two straight days of amazing food, drink, gun and bow shooting, swimming, and overall relaxing. I love going home, and now that I live further away it makes it all the more special. I cannot stress how important family is to me; they come first and foremost, and the love in my true home is unsurpassable.

This year has presented itself with a lot of changes so far. From becoming single to moving to a new apartment, it feels like every day has been a new adventure. About a month ago, I was enjoying a glass of wine on my porch one balmy Friday night and I was thinking about the past 26 years of my life.

I am generally a very happy, optimistic person. I was not always this way: toward the end of high school and the first two years of college, there was definitely a series of unfortunate events that kept me in a dark place for a very long time. There were a couple things that kept me going, but the one that stood out to me the other night was this: I was vegan.

It was an ethical choice, and I got lucky to have a very supportive family who helped me out. I kept learning all about food and new vegetables and how to cook them, and I have to say my cooking skills definitely improved. Once I was out on my own, I made the choice to eat eggs, dairy and meat again because it was easier on my minimum wage wallet. Recently, especially after having moved into my own place, I realized that I’ve been basically eating vegan this whole time. Then I made a new friend at open mic night, and he is vegan, which I took as a sign. I stopped flirting with it. I am now officially vegan.

I’m not going to preach my opinions or throw slaughterhouse videos in your face. I’m just giving y’all a heads up that my recipes are about to change! I’m pretty excited about going back, it was something that helped me when I was in the dark place, something dear to my heart, and something that makes me feel mentally and physically well.

Have a great weekend!

 

‘Tis in Season Challenge

To help me aid in my weight loss, I downloaded an app called Lose It!. It’s your usual food and exercise log and also taps into the “Health” app included on iOS where it records your daily steps. This app also features Challenges.

Today I joined a challenge called “‘Tis in Season”. The person who logs the most vegetables before the end of June wins. Yes, I did join late, but I feel like that will only help me get further ahead!

Because of this, I went to the store today and bought tons of veggies. I’m so excited to snack on carrots and peppers and celery and much more. I’ve already taken simple carbohydrates out of my diet and have eliminated most “unnatural” ingredients. Whatever I put in my body, 95% of the time I know exactly what is in it.

So for dinner tonight, I made salmon and mashed cauliflower. Unfortunately, I devoured it before I took a photo. Still, I’d love to share the recipe!

For the salmon, I keep it pretty simple:

Preheat ove to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Season salmon with Himalayan pink salt, cayenne pepper, dill, and lemon. I use lemon slices but lemon juice will work too.

Bake salmon for 20-25 minutes.

Mashed Cauliflower:

Cut 1 head of cauliflower into small florets. Chop as much garlic as you want, I love garlic so I used 4-5 cloves.

Boil water or stock and add florets, garlic, and rosemary. Boil until florets are fork tender.

Drain the cauliflower, return to the pan or place in a blender. Add your choice of cheese and about a tablespoon of butter. Blend, or use a hand mixer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Such a super simple, delicious, and healthy dinner! I highly recommend you try it out. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Love and peace,

Stephanie