My Next Chapter | Personal

“If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction we lessen the importance of deprivation. We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world…we must admit there will be music despite everything.”
~ Jack Gilbert: A Brief for the Defense.

My sister showed me this poem a few weeks ago and it hit me really hard. If I am being completely honest with you all, my life has been a mess over the last few months. My world has definitely been shook up, and for a while I didn’t know what I was going to do. I made choices I shouldn’t have made, and I was lost. I’ve been lost for a while, but I am grateful for people and places in my life that have been able to bring me back.

Life is a fairytale. I stand by that. But even fairytales have parts that aren’t perfect, just like we all do. Struggles and challenges that have to be overcome. Times where we need support. It’s not always easy. It’s not always what we think it’s going to be. Sometimes, life can be just hard. But these are all just chapters, and what I have learned over the last little while is that we all have strength that we maybe didn’t even know is there. Happiness is a choice and we all get to choose. We write the script of our own lives. And even if nobody else understands, we must make the choices that we truly believe to be right and true for ourselves and those we care for most. We all deserve happily ever after, no matter what that looks like.

I’m writing to you all on the other-side of one of those incredibly difficult choices. The next chapter of my fairytale. Instead of letting my past define me I have decided to move forward in the most positive way I know how to, and despite it all, I am excited to see what the future has in store.

My parents have been bringing my sister and I to the beautiful island of Kauai for as long as I can remember, and I have dreamed of living here since I was 12 years old. My parents live here for 3 months every winter, and I can never seem to stay away. Last winter I ended up coming back a more than once just to “visit”… haha. So, a few weeks ago when I was trying to figure out my next move and the temperature gauge read -27 degrees, I grabbed my computer and my wallet and I booked a one-way ticket and decided to move to Kauai (don’t panic brides and potential brides, I am still taking weddings to photograph in Canada for spring/summer/fall 2015). 6 months with my own place 1 minute from the ocean and my new surfer-girl truck, I can’t wait to see what this place does for my heart. One of the mentors in my life told me a few months ago to “find happy” every single day. To keep smiling and to live life full like I was made to. To laugh and to be in the sun and to never stop growing and moving forward. Last month one of my best friends, Jackie Gannon, came out here with me and we did just that. We danced in the rain, we sang at the top of our lungs, we did sunset hikes and even booked a random trip to Paris that we leave for in 3 days. My sister has spent the last week here with me and we have had endless singing roadtrips, ahi-poke and beers for days, we’ve chased sunsets all around the island and imagined life in every direction. I’m grateful and hopeful for a fresh start and to start dreaming again. Life is filled with enchantment, and I am determined to keep finding it every single day.

“Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there’. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful”
~ John Green

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Stephanie Wise -

proud of your honesty and courage sister!

Mercedes Kathleen Takacs -

Very well done and I love your heart and your honesty. Your amazing and so many people including myself look up to!

Jennie Corbin -

I don’t know who said this but I really like it “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it”

Gretchen Lynn Robards -

Can I be your new roommate? (but seriously…) This is so encouraging as I am in a similar stage of life. I believe the same way about life- it is too short to be anything but in love with your life and be adventurous. Keep doing you girl!

Ryan Armstrong -

Hawaii is so good for the soul. I hope you find your silver lining in every day.

Karla Schunicht Thiessen -

My husband, Danny thiessen and your dad used to hang out a long time ago. You are truly an inspiration to many and “wise” beyond your years. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one. You and my daughter are so very similar, it’s spooky, except she’s a brunette. She dreams of moving to California or Hawaii. She’s a free spirit too. It’s funny your paths haven’t crossed yet. (;

Lindsay R Burchby -

Your path is so encouraging and inspiring!!

Michelle Proudfoot -

Every day find your happy … I like that

Mackenzie Nemeth-Suko -

….and I thought I couldn’t be any more jealous of you! Kauai is my slice of heaven!

Sarah Voykin -

Beautiful!! Keep slaying life! Im so happy I stopped and read this…and even more happy because Im going to Kauai in May! It looks rad!

Rachel Wilson -

I am at the stage where I want to get out there and really live life. I am 21 years old and single… I feel like this is the time I should be exploring and really finding myself! I guess fear has been holding me back from doing things that I really want to. I keep adding items to my Bucket List but never marking any off; that will change! Thank you for your honestly and for showing me that I’m not the only one who has gone through something like this!

B e c o m e   a   f a n !