Hello! It has been a hot minute since our last blog post. Abby and I have been quite busy working on our own separate projects from a product photoshoot, Abby is working on illustrations on another book, and I just got CMV (commercial motorized vehicle) training the trainer trained. Not only can I now drive a step van, I can train people to drive them as well. It was mandatory for my job, but hey, I'll take all the resume padding I can get! Elysian Photography was kind enough to do our photoshoot and the pictures came out spectacular! Lilah was very warm and helped us get comfortable with being models. Her ideas for how to shoot our book, "1000 Miles", were truly inspired. I'd never be able to think of how to go about some of those shots! Abby is a co-owner, so it's really cool knowing that I'm supporting a small, local business that is women owned and continuing to help Abby in following her passions. It feels incredible to be able to support other women who are doing what they love, especially when they are exceedingly talented!
While I have been quite busy with everything going on at work, including the CMV training (I aced it, now knowing more about vehicles than ever before), I have been working on my new book. It remains untitled for now, but it is a mix of poetry and traditional storytelling. Some poems stand alone, others will be accompanied with art, while pivotal points on in the book will have more in-depth details about what was going on and what inspired the poem. It's very different from my previous book, but is still aimed at those who are going on a healing journey to recover from trauma. It will also relate to those who have been in or know someone who has been in an abusive relationship, and what that can look like. It's been difficult for me to write out parts of my 2020 PCT hike, reliving some of the scariest moments I've lived through so far, but I'm treating it more therapeutically, as a way to process everything, exposure therapy style.
While I go through the process of editing and writing more details, I make sure to do a lot of selfcare along the way. Washing my face every night, not shaming myself for eating whatever I want when I'm stressed out, and making sure that I know that I am no longer there, in those memories, but that I am in the present and I am safe. 2021 was a rough transitional year for me, from going through a divorce and moving back home to getting a new job in a warehouse. Though, I couldn't appreciate my freedom more than I do now. I wouldn't give that up for anything.
Getting out of an abusive relationship is an incredibly difficult process. I can't speak for everyone, but in my experience, not having the rollercoaster of soaring highs and dramatic lows felt wrong. I was so used to the cycle of verbal and emotional abuse that when I had weeks where things were going well, I was actively looking for the other shoe to drop. When was the fighting going to happen? Why am I not being verbally assaulted for being anything other than happy? Who can I actually trust? Thanks to having my incredibly supportive friends, both old and new, I found myself a new normal. Being on my own was a needed experience for me to remember who I am, outside of my partners. It wasn't until a year later that I felt comfortable going through my 2020 poetry with the idea of writing another book. At first, I wasn't sure about wanting to write, but after reading part of "Alone in Wonderland" by Christine Reed (a must read by the way), I got a lot more comfortable with the idea of writing more than just poetry for this next book.
I am a firm believer that talking about abusive behavior can help people recognize an unhealthy relationship, in their own life and in the lives of their loved ones. In the thick of my bad relationship, I was constantly talking myself out of the idea that this was indeed abuse. I didn't want to think about, yet again, I found myself in a situation like what 2020 was. My goal is to help everyone recognize when they see abuse happening around them, and what everyday people can do when they see abuse occurring. It's really important for us to do what we can for those who are in abusive relationships, they might feel trapped into staying with their abuser. It is my hope to help educate more people in recognizing these situations and how to help. Christine and I are actually planning on doing some book related events, so start looking forward to our updates on what our summer plans are!
P.S. I get to go camping this weekend and I am beyond pumped!! Unfortunately, after I sprained my knee really bad last year, I haven't had the chance to go camping at all, only a few day hikes here and there. Haven't done any backpacking, but am still hopeful I might be able to do some before the summer is gone!