I don’t care how busy we might get during the holiday madness, I strongly believe in remembering what truly matters. It’s not only about being thankful once a year, but taking this time to be thankful with the rest of the country, to spread humble gratitude via our collective conscious. If we put power in this, we can truly change the world around us.
We should also be thankful all year round, as it’s healthy and teaches us to appreciate the life we are gifted with. To better see the good, even in the bad. And to put value on what’s important in our lives, so we can see what isn’t important and not divert our energy to those things. It is important in more ways than one to start appreciating the people and things around you. Where you are now versus were you once were. What you’ve learned and gained, and even what you’ve lost.
I think loss is important in our lives. We may look at these things as misfortunes, but I’m learning to detach my emotional feelings from the happenings in my life, and look at them objectively as the twists and turns of my life’s timeline.
Part of my story, a part that most don’t know, is how I got started on this path of blogging and traveling. It was equally due to our hard work and determination, as it was misfortune and things not working out. Loss. Mistakes. Lessons being learned. Things that I thought were the end of my world at the time, but looking back, I’m truly grateful for.
What first was a loss that cut deeply into our finances, led us to move out of our apartment and into an artist loft space that my dad owned. It was an old scary building that needed lots of TLC, but that didn’t stop us. It turned into an incredible opportunity to create a space that encouraged creativity. It was where new projects were born, and I learned how to turn nothing into something. We were able to take this time to save money and plan for future goals, which became the concept of the blog as our full time job, and traveling the country in an Airstream. We met up with a brand who was to sponsor our entire endeavor, but we learned quickly that we if we wanted to chase our dreams, and only ours, we’d have to depend on no-one but ourselves. So we turned down the opportunity to be sponsored, and started saving our every penny. When we finally purchased the airstream, it felt like a huge step was made. I couldn’t believe it was happening. To think back to that time, I couldn’t be more thankful for that difficult step we took towards ensuring our freedom.
But winter came and we couldn’t stay in the art loft- a big old building that was impossible to heat. So we were forced to move into our airstream before it was renovated, to have a place that was possible to heat. Winter was extremely rough, it was like living in an igloo on the east coast. We decided to invest in our blogging venture, and took off for Florida. The Airstream was literally frozen in and surrounded by ice, and so we had nothing but our jeep to call home for some weeks of bumming on the beach and working. It was tough, but it was then I realized I didn’t need anything but the freedom to see the world, experience new places, and do what I love. We shot every day on the beaches, from morning till night. We were practically living the Blue Lagoon lifestyle, with no amenities and only some hundred dollars in our pocket for the trip. But I remember it as one of the happiest times of my life so far. And I couldn’t be more thankful for that experience, learning what we really need to be happy. Which is practically nothing.
After that trip, which produced a lot of our blog’s first content, we were discovered by a brand and sponsored to go to Coachella. That would be our second road trip across the country to California, and this time we were better photographers and bloggers. We drove from Florida, back to Cleveland, then left in 2 weeks for California, living out the same gypsy lifestyle again. I couldn’t have been more in love with the experience of the music festival. The friends and connections we made from these trips were what planted the seeds for our new lifestyle, and I’ve learned to never take a single person you meet for granted. For each person is like a doorway, that can take you to new places you never thought you could reach, experiences you’ll never forget, and friends you’ll share memories with forever. When it’s so easy to be anti-social in this day and age, and look at our phones rather than make eye contact or conversation, I’ve grown to be thankful for the opportunities I get to form relationships with people. And one of those rad people I’m thankful to have met this year, was the enigmatic Sonya Esman. To road trip with her out into the desert, and shoot some magical photos and video, gave me the chance to get to know someone I admired for their voice and passion.
Though my job presents me with many opportunities to meet interesting people, I truly believe that most of it comes from asserting yourself, and putting it out into the universe. I’m mostly anti-social (for real!), but sometimes I get this feeling that something is supposed to happen. I know it can happen. I decide that I believe it will happen. I meet the people who inspire me, I experience the things I crave, I learn what I need to and move forward step by step, with determination.
Each step leads me further along the timeline, and it’s important to realize that we are all making progress. You may think you’re stuck, and that the world is against you, and you haven’t gotten to where you wanted to be yet. But you have to turn around and look, sometimes. To see just how far you’ve come, and be thankful for where you stand now. You have to. Because if you don’t, then you truly are going nowhere, because you’re going through life with your eyes shut.
I hope you find thankfulness and inspiration this holiday, and in your every day! Don’t forget, just because the holiday fades away. Look for reasons to be thankful, everyday.
Jewelry: Wilde Stone
Top: Shop 12th Tribe | Realisation | Cotton Candy LA
Boots: Public Desire
Purse: Steve Madden
Pants: Free People