Feb 282021
 

Colorado and Paria rivers

Like many young kids, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought maybe a doctor or a lawyer. Whatever it was, I intended to pick one path and stay with it until I retired, make a lot of money, and then live happily ever after…

Out of college, I landed what many would call a dream job at a dream company. One year of long hours and stress became 2, 2 became 3, 3 became almost 10—and I couldn’t sit in a windowless, grey-walled cube anymore. On February 28, 2007, I walked out of Intel to become a freelance photographer. As I wrote in my goodbye-and-thank-you letter to my friends and colleagues, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” (a quote by John A. Shedd).

Today, I celebrate my 14th Independence Day, a day I celebrate like my birthday.

Never, in my wildest dreams, would I have believed that THIS is where I’d be. That I’d prefer sleeping in tents, under the stars, and in my camper to sleeping in my own bed. That I’d be teaching workshops, including all-women’s ones, across the U.S. That I’d be sharing the joy of photography with photographers across the country through webinars and conferences. That I’d be writing guidebooks about wildflowers and Acadia and an adventure travel memoir and running a publishing company. That I’d be writing an online column called Dear Bubbles. That I’d be serving as the Treasurer for a non-profit called the Outdoor Writers Association of America. That I’d be working with amazing partners to help progress photography and protect rivers. That I’d be prepping for a solo photography exhibit curated by a member of the Ansel Adams family. That I’d fall in love with rivers and coasts and stand-up paddleboarding and rain and ballet and BUBBLES! That the girl who grew up terrified of water when she couldn’t see her feet would be on the verge of becoming a river guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Someone pinch me!

In those 14 years, I am so fortunate that I have found what I’m built for…and I am grateful and thrilled that none of it went according to my original plan. I am also filled with immense gratitude for all of you and your support over these years, for it’s because of you that I am able to spend each of my days doing what I love and to live a meaningful life of adventure, wonder, and helping my community.

So ring the bell! Break out the bubbly and pie! Here’s to you and to freedom, sailing and paddling into the unknown, and going with the flow!

Reflections

 Posted by at 12:15 PM  Inspiration, Poetry
Dec 312018
 
Reflections of Dreams

“Reflections of Dreams” || Prints available–click on photo to order yours!

What I love most about the creative process is when you release control and let it flow, you never know what might materialize…I sat with my notebook this morning, intending to write out an inspirational New Years Eve message to share with my community. This free verse poem fell out onto the paper:

Reflections

Bend the heavy rug of your troubles back,
Hold the pieces of your struggles hiding there in your hand, one by one.
Will they serve you well in the journey ahead?
Are they holding you back?
Are they worth keeping?

Turn your face to the light of new opportunities,
Listen to the whispers of your deepest desires and dreams, one by one.
Will they serve you well in the journey ahead?
Are they holding you back?
Are they worth keeping?

Bask in the warmth of today’s fire,
Feeling each moment of peace and joy fill your soul, one by one.
Building your strength and courage for the journey ahead
Where nothing is holding you back,
And everything is worth keeping.

———————–
Happy New Year everyone! Make 2019 meaningful. Make every day count!

Thank you so much for your ongoing support and encouragement. I’m so fortunate to know you and have you all in this one beautiful life. I hope our paths cross “out there” in 2019.

Until then, be well, be wild!
~Colleen