On Round Trips to Nowhere and Dusted Evergreens.

We were ready. Car packed, sweaters pulled tight, a cooler tucked in the back seat. Prime viewing windows claimed, playlists curated, sleepy eyes adjusting to the lack of morning light. We planned to chase the fog a thousand kilometers from West to East, from the Pacific to the Kootenays and arrive by early evening to a cabin in the mountains filled with family and old memories.

Sixteen hours and eleven hundred kilometers later, we returned home, defeated.

Up until the early afternoon, we were making good time. We stopped only for gas and drove through rain and snow, through mountains and valleys. The weather was rough at times, leading to squeezed hands and tight breaths as we drove on highways with no visibility and passed cars stranded in ditches but we carried on, anxious and excited to arrive. I was nodding off to Johnny Cash, head leaned up against the window, when I heard my dad and sister comment on how it had been several minutes since they had seen any Westbound traffic.

Minutes later, we ground to a halt. We kept the car running, my dad’s foot on the brake, but soon put her in park after five minutes had passed and cars began to queue behind us. Soon it became apparent that there must be an accident, and a quick twitter search revealed that the only highway in our area of BC had been closed - a terrible accident had occurred. No further updates would be posted for another ninety minutes, so we had no choice but to sit tight just three hours from our family.

Big Christmas snowflakes were falling all around, covering the evergreens with a thick blanket. With nothing else to do but make the most of the moment, my sisters, my love and I got out of the car and walked down the middle of the Trans Canada Highway. We were in a pretty remote area, about thirty minutes away on either side from even a gas station, so everything was untouched. However, the increasing number of sirens and the number of minutes passing began to cast a somber shadow across the whole experience.

Finally we received an update. The highway would not reopen for at least another nine hours. We had no choice but to turn around and start thinking about whether we would stay overnight and finish the drive the next day (which would leave us with only a day and a half to spend with family) or turn around completely. After driving Westward for forty-five minutes and realizing that all the hotels were completely booked with other stranded travelers, we realized that our only real option was to head back the way we came for another eight hours and sleep in the same beds we made that morning while our family reunited without us.

We were crushed. Phone calls were made and plans were debated, but there really was no other option. We would be traveling for 16 hours only to end up back where we started.

We spend the first hour in silence and passed another two semi-trucks in ditches while on the road. Blinding winds and snow and fog caused us to hold our breath again, even more so as details of the accident were released. A semi truck collided with a passenger vehicle and two people lost their lives.

We didn’t make it to our family, but at least we left knowing we could try again next year. Two people didn’t make it home, and never will.

If only, we kept saying. If only my sister didn’t delay us by looking for that book. If only dad didn’t set off the alarm. If only we left ten minutes earlier. At first our if onlys were said with the intention that we would have skipped the delay, but soon after realizing that the crash occurred just ten minutes before we got near the site of the crash we realized perhaps it was the little annoyances that saved our lives.

2014 was a year where I constantly thought “if only.” If only I joined that club. If only I took that class. If only I didn’t choose not to job search right away. If only I didn’t take that risk. If only I said goodbye.

some photos by the lovely juniperanne

Usually my “if onlys” were negative, causing me to think of the good things that didn’t happen. However, maybe I’ve been looking at it the wrong way. Maybe things are happening the way they should, and I just can’t see that yet. Maybe things aren’t happening according to plan because the plans I’ve made for myself ultimately wouldn’t’ve satisfied me anyways.

I’ll never know how things may have been different in 2014, just as I’ll never know if we could have been taken that day had we not been delayed. But perhaps it’s the approach and attitude that matters, not the potential results. Perhaps it’s how we see how we could be benefitted when things go wrong rather than how we dwell on the things we may or may not have lost.

May 2015 be a year of new opportunities, joy among hardship, and peace that surpasses understanding for you all.


For You - November Desktop Calendars

November is a funny month. The most stubborn of leaves hang on to their tree while the looming clouds threaten snow. Temperatures start dipping in to the negatives, but the cold doesn't lock into your bones like it will in January. Christmas is around the corner, but festive songs still sound out of place.

To help you stay on track during this disorienting month, I threw together a couple of desktop calendars for you to use. Both are photos I took while driving through the Kootenays and the Rockies. I hope you like them - if you end up using one, let me know!


on autumn fog & a lullaby of rain

Today was a day of fog & rain, of nature's beautiful decay, of dampness that chills your core and awakens something primal deep within. Today was the first day I've worn a touque since April, the first day since the Spring that my fingers had to dig for warmth in my pockets. I left for my walk to work an hour early and took the extra 45 minutes to capture a moment in an ever changing world.

There's something about the rain and fog that makes me feel more alive. I think it must be the native Pacific NorthWest part of me for while I find energy in this moody tranquility everyone else complains of it's settlement into our little farm town. All I can do is hope it stays so that I can keep falling asleep to the sound of raindrops pounding on the window, the familiar lullaby carrying me away.


Lessons I've Learned the Hard Way on the Road to 22

A few days ago I turned 22, and today I look back on the long road that's lead me here. It doesn't involve Taylor Swift, the mourning of carefree days or the hardships of being a twenty-something, for somewhere along the way I fell into a few dark holes that gave me perspectives and experiences I never thought I'd need to learn for myself. Here's what a redemptive departure from self-destruction has taught me over the years.

Alcohol will not disinfect your internal wounds, no matter how much it stings on the way down.

You cannot save someone who is lost in themselves, no matter how hard you try. Likewise, you are the only one who can save yourself.

Some people believe in a God, or many Gods, and some do not. This has no effect whatsoever on how good of a person they are, on if their marriage will work, or on how they may try to right any wrongs they have committed. Get to know people for who they are, not what they believe.

Driving 120 kilometers an hour down a rural highway with Johnny Cash riding shotgun will not make things better but it will ease the pain more than another day spent alone in the dark.

Don’t cut into your arms thinking you will sow pure relief after planting the blade. Relief may come, yes, but it will be poisoned with the pollen of everything you were trying to drown out, causing your pain to grow fresh once again.

Do not keep reading articles on why you MUST travel RIGHT NOW or you're MISSING OUT FOREVER if you are currently unable to or are not interested. You know why you are not traveling now; you know the circumstances that are disallowing you to to take to the wind like the sparrow you watch out your front window every day. Your reality is different than theirs no matter how many times they write that there is no excuse for you not to be in India right now.

Always keep extra granola bars in your backpack for when you go into the city. You may not have the money or desire to give to everyone you see, but the man with the sign around his neck telling you he’s hungry needs that $.25 bar much more than you do.

Sometimes you mother will cry and you will need to hold her as she has held you so many times. Rock her gently and rub her back as she did to you; repeat the same little rhymes she told you when you’re little world felt like it was falling apart. remember that even super glue gives way sometimes and that it needs a bit of warmth and time to hold everything together again.

A horse will never judge you for anchoring yourself to her when you feel life is about to wash you away. Throw your arms around her neck and know that if you cry she will only pull you in closer to her with her soft, strong head.

People will say more with their eyes than with their words. Some of the strongest pain I’ve seen was accompanied by “I'm fine”'s, despite scarred eyes whispering that they no longer have desire to go on. Some of the most meaningful “I love you’s” have come from silent mouths despite eyes that scream it loud and clear through the storm. Some of the sweetest words come from wide grins whose message is made obsolete by cold eyes. Don’t believe someone if their eyes don’t match what they’re saying.

Everyone has problems and struggles and there is no scale of less or greater than when it comes to life experiences. Do not scoff at people who have problems that seem simple to you; do not tell others that you wish you had their problems instead of your own. You condescension will do nothing to ease their pain but it will make you seem like a pretentious asshole.

Stillness, like silence, is as necessary as business, but it is often abandoned and replaced with devices. Spend a day on an old, secluded trail with a bagged lunch and a notebook and notice how sometimes the sound of your own breathing and the scatter of leaves is the only soundtrack you need.

You do not need to love or be with someone simply because they love you. Sometimes love is not enough, no matter how much of a good person they are. Kiss their forehead one last time and walk away before you find yourself too attached to let go.

You are not a static character in a pre-determined setting. It is okay to go from being a leather jacket clad teenager finding solace in the streets of the city to a young woman with mud on her boots who is most at home tending to horses in a rural province 5,000 kilometers from home. Neither identity cancels out the other - change does not mean that the previous season was a false identity.

Your sisters are the only ones who will understand what it was like to grow up on unstable ground where earthquakes happened constantly without warning. Hold them close, physically when they are near and in spirit when they are far. When the earthquakes give way to a permanent chasm, they will be the only ones to ensure you're don't fall through the cracks as you aim to stand with a foot on each side.

You are made of stardust - do not let anyone extinguish your light.

You will make it. There may be nights where you cry yourself to sleep and where things don’t seem better in the morning and there may be weeks where you just don’t feel like staying around any longer. But you can, and will, make it.

Everyone has walked a different path; everyone knows different things to be true. Regardless of where you are in life, what has life been teaching you lately?


The Walking In Between

Life is not the mountain tops, it's the walking in between
I like you walking next to me.


showers in niagra & wine on the lake

My love and I have been having a whirlwind of an August. The first weekend in August we went to a 4 day country music festival and camped with friends that we met at the same festival last year. Four days ago we flew from Ontario to Vancouver and then drove 10 hours to the Rockies for my cousin's wedding and in a few days we will take our time driving back to Vancouver to enjoy my hometown together in summer's twilight. It has been an incredible month and I'm feeling ever so grateful for the opportunities I've been given and that people that I've been surrounded with.

Last weekend, however, was spent in Niagra. The trip came as a total surprise courtesy of Tyler - I didn't know where we were going until the day of! Our weekend passed by far too quickly and seemed to bring new light to my soul. My love manages a private vineyard so we enjoyed seeing, touring and tasting the vineyards from the famed region and dreaming of our future.

Tyler also got us so close to the falls I could taste them on two seperate occasions - once on foot through tunnels behind and beside the falls and second on a boat that had us shower in Niagra's mist as it traveled from America to Canada.

As much as I loved the tunnels, the boat tour made my day. I grew up next to the Pacific and many of my fondest memories are on boats. Being able to glide along the aqua water right into the falls was something I'll never forget. The spray started slowly, and before I knew it I was completely drenched from the mist. I laughed like a child at the ponchos blowing into everyone's mouth; I whooped and hollered at the feeling of being truly alive and a part of the natural world. I need to let my heartbeat sync up with the earth's pulse more often. 


odds & ends {liebster edition}

About a week ago, my dear soul sister Ashley at Ashley McElyea passed on the liebster blog award to this little corner of the online world. For those who've never heard of it, it is a virtual award passed from blogger to blogger (with under 200 followers) where the recipient tags the one that bestowed it, lists 11 facts about themselves, answers 11 questions, and nominates 11 more people to answer 11 new questions. While I don't usually do this kind of thing, Ashley asked some great questions and I figured it would be a nice change from the long stories I usually post. Don't forget to check out Ashley's writings & the blogs of those I pass this along to! Also, I'd love you to leave a comment listing a few facts about you so I can get to know you better.

11 facts about me:
  • I got my first (and only) tattoo shortly after turning 16. No, my parents had no idea and no, I do not regret it. It's the eagle emblem from the Ramones logo and I love having the reminder of who I was when I got it vs. who I am now.
  • I've lived in 3 provinces & 1 state and I've gone to 6 high schools and 2 universities. All my possessions are stored between the 3 provinces so it makes looking for a book rather difficult.
  • When I was 12 my family and I went to a big cat sanctuary in Spokane and I hand fed a tiger. He took the meat so gently that I was convinced he must live in constant gratitude to those who saved him from the drug lord's house.
  • A few years ago I was pretty into zines and had two on the go; one was my personal writing under a pen name, and the other a feminist compilation zine. Two copies of each were purchased by Columbia University for their library and I think it may have been the first and only time I was proud of myself.
  • Hockey makes me more emotional than almost anything else. When I go to a Canucks home game I get tears in my eyes and a flutter through my stomach. Partially because I played as a kid and it gave me my first sense of identity and partially because the Stanley Cup run in 2011 was one of the best times of my life.
  • If I could live in flannel shirts, white tank tops and baseball caps everyday I would be a happy woman. 
  • I love horses more than almost anything. I've recently found a horse to spend time with and ride in the area without charge and already I feel as though my soul is more rested. Horses can speak to me like no human can.
  • My hair has been dark blonde, bleach blonde, regular blonde (natural color), black and bleach dual toned, little mermaid red, bright pink, light pink, dark orange and orange with yellow highlights and the streaks I've had while blonde include purple, pink, red and a red feather. I haven't used any dye at all for 2.5 years and while it's nice it feels strange not doing something new every few months.
  • The most consistent job I've had involves books. I worked at Chapters for 1.5 years as my first job and loved it; I've also spent the past two summers as a keyholder for the indie bookstore in town.
  • My partner manages a private vineyard, and a few times a week I'll go to work with him. I love working with the plants and the dirt, it does the soul good as well as the body.
  • I really don't like my big toenail.

My answers to Ashley's questions:

What is your ideal Sunday?

Waking up next to my love and staying in bed huddled close while the sun streams in. Slowly making my way to the kitchen to make a coffee in the perkulator. Cooking a breakfast skillet in my cast iron pan while Johnny Cash plays and my love steals kisses. Going for a late morning walk through the trees and mountains hand in hand before parting ways so that I can nestle myself into a corner of a coffee shop to write. Reuniting in the evening along with friends at our place for beer, barbecue, bonfire and music.

If you could pick any decade to live in, what would it be and why?
When I was a teenager I always wished that I was a teenager in either the 70's in New York City so that I could have been there during the Bowery punk scene or in the 90's in Olympia so that I could have been at all the riot grrrl shows and movements.

Pick up the book you are currently reading. The author is your lunch date. What do you talk about?
I'm just finishing Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, my favourite author. He's Ojibway and has lead a fascinating life – I would talk to him about spirit, the earth, Native ceremonies and the sacredness that surrounds us.

What are your must-haves in your travel bag?
Headphones, laptop, a sweater or stuffed Simba to use as a pillow, mints, a journal, and 3 different books – a work of heavy fiction, light fiction and non fiction so I can read something that suits whatever mood I'm in.

If you could manipulate one element which one would it be and why?
I would definitely want to manipulate water. I would manipulate all water to be drinkable so that people would stop dying of water borne illnesses, and I would run across oceans. Also, I really like tubing and wakeboarding so I definitely would not mind getting to do that at any time.

Pick up your book again. Flip through it without looking and write the first sentence you land on.
We were a league of nomads, mad for the game, mad for the road, mad for ice and snow, an Arctic wind on our faces and a frozen puck on the blade of our sticks." - Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse

What is your favorite home cooked meal?
I have so many that I cannot name just one, but last night my boyfriend's mom made a type of chowder/stew called beans & peas & new potatoes. It's a Canadian Maritime meal, and back there it's considered a horror if you make it when the produce isn't in season and if the vegetables don't come from your own garden or farm. She told us stories of eating it on the rural farm she grew up on and I just loved how the dinner she prepared us had such a history for her. 

If you could ask pick one person to travel with the for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
My love and partner Tyler. I can't imagine living life without him and I love watching his face light up at the dawn of a new adventure; I love hearing the passion and excitement in his voice when we're going somewhere new. I would also love to travel with my little sister as she is the best sister one could ask for and I'd love to share new experiences with her.

Pick up the object next to you. What is it and what are you using it for?
The cinnamon candle pumpkin in my hand is warming the room with its fiery light; it's calming me with its gentle aroma.

What is your favorite season and why?
I love blackberry season – the last two weeks of August and the first two weeks of September. The days are still warm but the evenings are crisp; the atmosphere is filled with the anticipation of new beginnings and honest conversation.

If you could have a conversation with your 16 year old self, what advice would you give her?
At sixteen I was in a very dark spot and I was getting advice (both good and bad) from an overwhelming amount of people left right and centre. If I could be in the same room of my sixteen year old self I wouldn't converse – I would simply hold her close, tuck the hair that she hides behind out of her face, and rock her gently, telling her that there will come a time when she will look forward to waking up in the morning.

Nominated Blogs:

Due to the fact that a lot of the blogs I follow have large followings, I am unable to pass this on to 11 blogs (feel free to comment with your blog URL so I can check it out!) but I highly recommend you check out these lovely beings.

Juniper Anne: This lovely blog is run by my youngest sister Jennifer - she's the veteran blogger of the two of us and her photography is amazing! She often posts her daily fashions, and I am forever jealous of the way she can put an outfit together. 

Life, In Creation: Amy writes about her life in Alaska, her favourite Etsy shops and her life as a small business owner. I love the flow in her writing and her photos are beautiful!

Morrowmoon: Chelsea's blog is quite new but I guarantee you will be blown away by her breathtaking photos. Her images and words have a depth that I only wish I could emulate.

My questions for the bloggers (and anyone else who would like to answer): 
  1. What book has had the biggest impact on your life and why?
  2. If you could only listen to 3 music artists for the rest of your life, who would they be?
  3. What was your favourite playground equipment as a kid?
  4. East Coast or West Coast?
  5. What is your "spirit animal," and why?
  6. What is your biggest wish for the next year?
  7. Can you play any instruments?
  8. What was your favourite junk food as a kid & now?
  9. What is your go to routine after a bad day?
  10. What are your top 3 favourite quotes/song lyrics?
  11. Do you wish on shooting stars?
If you're reading this and want to answer these questions, consider yourself nominated - I would love to read more about your lives. Take care loves!

PS: I've recently become addicted to Instagram - come find me @northernrustication so I can creep admire your photos!


on moose & freedom

Sometimes life has a way of showing us that we’re being looked out for, that our needs are being met. Sometimes this comes in the form of a much needed work bonus, a freelance opportunity, or a connection with a mentor. For me, it took the form of a moose.

A few months ago, at the beginning of May, I was savoring my last few months as a student and resident of New Brunswick. I spent many weeks living on my partner’s family farm and our evenings consisted of walks through the nearly untouched hills and watching herds of deer that called the old corn fields home bound away from us with every step. I knew that it was time to move onwards to a new chapter in life and although I did not want to leave, I was content with how my three years had transpired. However, there was one part of me that remained unsettled, a near vision and deep yearning that haunted those last few weeks - I had yet to see a moose.

Before moving 5000 kilometers from my hometown and family three years prior, I decided that the only thing I wanted out of my experience was to see a moose. I talked to friends about my moose non stop; in fact, one of the first conversations that my partner Tyler and I had was how I was going to hire him to hijack a bus and drive me around until we saw the incredible creature. But almost three years in New Brunswick had passed, and still, no moose.

By this point, finding the moose was about more than just finding an animal. My time in New Brunswick, although life changing and incredible, was not as I thought it would be. All the other plans and expectations that I had for my university life shattered and crumbled somewhere along the path. Seeing a moose was the one goal that I was able to hold onto throughout the years, the one possibility that remained. However, time was drawing to an end. My apartment was vacant and I only had 6 days left before I packed up for good - yet still the creature remained elusive.

She found me when I finally stopped looking.

The sun was streaming through my car windows as I drove alongside the Saint John River with my love in the front seat and my father (who had flown cross country for my graduation) in behind. The river had recently flooded and its force created marshland from what was previously rich farmland and provincial park. My dad was reading quietly and I was lost in my thoughts as my love tapped patterns on my thigh that matched the rhythm of the country radio station. I was taking everything in, creating mental photographs so that I would not forget the sights of my beloved province. 

 Suddenly, I heard both Tyler and my father cry out in jumbled words. When I realized that they were excitedly trying to communicate to me that we had just passed a moose, I stopped breathing for a moment. I turned my car around as fast as I could and slowly went back the way I came. Time stood still as I saw her - my moose, lying down at the side of the road.

She rose slowly when she saw us, and I turned off the ignition not daring to make a sound. She was a young moose, not quite a calf but not yet a full grown cow either. As she flexed her muscles and stood fully erect at about four feet, I feared she would run away but instead she just turned towards me. Despite her size, she was anything but intimidating - her ears twitched towards me as her eyes met mine as if she was expecting me. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.

Our silence was interrupted by my father throwing an apple that he found rolling on the car floor towards my moose. At first I was terrified she’d bolt at the sudden movement, but when the fruit rolled to the edge of the road just out of reach of her comfort zone, I decided I needed to meet my moose face to face.

Slowly I got out of the car, whispering to my companions to signal if they saw momma or daddy moose heading my way. With my head lowered and hands exposed, I started walking towards her. With every step I took I feared she would bolt but she calmly stood her ground. As I lowered myself to the ground our eyes met once again. I tossed the apple towards her but she showed little interest in anything but holding my gaze. There was no fear between the two of us, nor was there any pride. Neither of us was hunting nor being hunted, as is so often the case between man and moose, and so we simply communicated through spirit - just as man and creature have been doing for thousands of years. After what seemed like forever, we both turned our backs simultaneously and went our separate ways.

My eyes filled with tears as I got back in the car, and my heart finally felt at peace. I no longer felt hesitant about moving on to the next chapter, but instead felt free to move forward. The moose had settled the storm rooted in me, for I no longer felt as though I was leaving incomplete. Without saying a word, she reminded me that the wind will change directions and I will lose my footing now and again but that sometimes its the simplest desires are the ones that mean the most.


heavy and light.

It seems that change is the only thing I've been able to depend on lately. I'm in a (somewhat) new town again; last year I spent my four months of summer here before going back to school. Now that I've graduated I don't know when I'll leave this town and that brings both a sense of security and a sense of anxiousness. Don't get me wrong, I love this little farm town of 1,000 but I have no friends here, no one to talk to when my boyfriend goes to hang out with the boys he grew up with. I love his sister to death and she's one of my favourite people, but sometimes I wish I had a group of friends to grab drinks or coffee with. I'm going to try and expand a bit but as a shy person meeting new people scares the heck out of me. I long for community. Right now I'm in a nearby town's coffee shop and it's the most at home I've felt in a while; coffee shops are always the same, regardless of province. They're familiar and comforting.

The past months have been chaotic, but not necessarily in a bad way. I finished school two months ago and my dad visited New Brunswick for a week, staying at the farm with my love Tyler, and I while we toured around the province. My mom and sister then came for two whirlwind days and finally it was my graduation from university. There was no real fanfare or deep emotion, as all my closest friends from university had transferred or dropped out a year or two prior, but it was a good way to get closure for a strange chapter in life. To be honest, the thing I'll miss most about living in Sackville will be the horses I grew to love as my own. They have my heart, and their owner is the most precious woman. Being away from New Brunswick is strange.. soon I'll have to change my phone number. College wasn't like anything I would have expected and I still haven't figured out if that is good or bad.

Tyler and I then drove 1700 kilometers in two days from New Brunswick to Ontario and we've been here about 5 weeks now. I'm keeping busy РI work as a keyholder at an independent bookstore, I help my love with the labor work on the private vineyard he manages (I get tractor driving lessons this week!), I've been selling prints online, house and pet sitting for some of the people in town and I've been working really hard at the vegetable garden in the backyard while occasionally selling the extra at the farmers market. Tyler's family is absolutely lovely and I'm so blessed to be living with them for now. Living with parents may be considered lame and clich̩ for graduates, but both of us are pretty broke and neither of us know where the hell we want to live or what we want to do with our lives so we're taking the summer to try and figure things out.

I'm at a time of transition and confusion. I don't know where I want to live or what I want to do and because I've been so mobile in my life I don't feel like I really have a home base. Aside from family, even my hometown holds nothing but people I used to know and places I used to frequent. It's odd feeling like such a drifter. Sometimes I feel light and filled with inspiration; other times I'm so overwhelmed with doubt and confusion that all I can do is breathe in and remember to stay in the moment. Tonight I made the house a dinner of lettuce wraps, watermelon salad and chips served with strawberry salsa & guacamole; feeling as though I had a purpose filled me up more than the food itself. Things will turn out alright; I just need to remember that more. I plan on trying to make myself write more as, although I've wanted to, it feels like every time I put pen to paper my thoughts run dry. I hope to solve that. I hope to grow. I hope to plant roots somewhere, to find a place that allows me to attach myself and bring forth nourishment and life.

“Our hearts are heavy and light. We laugh and scream and sing. Our hearts are heavy and light.” - Jamie Tworkowski


New Beginnings & Old Dreams

Somehow, it seems the older you get the faster the days fly by. Tomorrow is the last class of my undergraduate degree, and in one month I'll be walking across the stage to get my diploma. The past few months have been filled with long winters and record snowfalls, joyous family reunions and sorrowful last minute flights to a beloved family member's funeral, the stress of a senior year workload and the joyful fear that comes from thinking of life beyond school. My apartment lease expires in 20 days, and then I will no longer be living in this little maritime town, a place that has cradled me through some of the most difficult yet most triumphant years of my life.

Sometimes I feel like I'm always leaving, and this particular move comes with mixed feelings. New Brunswick was a great escape to me, and although I hope to be back, if there's one thing I've learned these past few years it's that nothing is for certain. I've spent the last few days looking back on things I wish I did and things I regret, but mostly, reminding myself that I beat the odds and that I'm on my way to a new adventure. I'll find my way, regardless of the town. They say your heart will lead you home, and while I'm not sure where it's pointing just yet I trust I'll find out eventually. I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that it's okay not to know all the answers.

Last night my love and I went for a walk through town together, reminiscing on the past few years and reliving memories. These photos were taken only a 5 minute walk from campus - going to university in a rural area provides a very different experience than the traditional big city campus. The divide between wealthy students and lower income townspeople is very apparent, and it provides for some really interesting interactions between people as well as architecture. The lighting in the night seemed to fit the mood perfect - the light pushed through the clouds, just as it always does, and as the snow melted into the street I took a deep breath and reminded myself that everything would work out to be alright.

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