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Muir Woods National Park

About six months ago, I quit my day job to work as a freelance designer and photographer. There are many things I've learned, which I'll dive into next time, but one prevailing takeaway is that life truly becomes life. Instead of being able to parse out your life into three main categories (work life versus home life versus social life), all of them start to meld together into...just...your life. I can't say that blending these things together is either good or bad. There are positives and negatives depending on your personality.

Mental health plays a huge role in my life and to downplay that would be doing myself a disservice. When your routine changes after five years of monotony, it really throws you for a loop. At first, it sounds like freedom – setting your own schedule, being able to move your office to a coffee shop at a moments notice, pull out your laptop to send a quick update, go to a gallery event in the middle of the day, and other things people wish they were able to do sometimes. But with no schedule given to you, no clear goals unless you set them, no direction until you find a direction, and a tendency to keep to yourself – it makes for an anxiety-rich time in life.

While I understood that all of these things were coming and had been planning for some time, nothing could really prepare me for it. You just have to dive in hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. So, in perfect timing, my husband and I happened to go on a short trip to California, which landed us in the Muir Woods just north of San Francisco with a couple friends.

Nature can bring me back to center so quickly. Then again, with the Redwoods towering over you, there's really no choice but to be humbled by feeling small. Something about the ancient nature of this place held me in awe – cradling my soul. After taking in all of these views and the feelings they brought up, we decided to try and catch the sunset on the beach near the Golden Gate Bridge. Sadly, we missed it due to traffic, but the feeling of freedom and revival of my soul was seeping out of me regardless. I was grounded enough to return to my daily life understanding that I'm allowed to choose; knowing that my life is mine.

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