Feb 282022
 

The saying goes: “The two most important days of a man’s life are the day on which you were born and the day on which you find out why.” ~Anonymous (often attributed incorrectly to Mark Twain)

I was born almost 47 years ago in April; I found out why—and decided to do something about it—on February 28, 2007. Fifteen years ago today, I walked out of my safe, secure job as a project manager at Intel Corporation and into the uncertain world of outdoor photography. I’ve considered February 28 my personal Independence Day, a day I celebrate like my birthday, ever since.

As I spend the day reflecting, know that I am filled with so much gratitude for you. Without you and your support, I would not be able to live the remarkably wild, fulfilling, and delicious life that I do. Thank you over and over again for this gift.

Thank you for following my work.

Thank you for attending my workshops and for all the laughs and memories we share.

Thank you for joining my webinars and loving learning.

Thank you for inviting me to speak at your clubs and organizations.

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletters.

Thank you for buying my books and eBooks.

Thank you for being Patreons and donating funds to Dear Bubbles.

Thank you for asking questions for Dear Bubbles and helping us all grow.

Thank you for seeking my advice in starting your own new adventures.

Thank you for reading my stories on my blog.

Thank you for inspiring me and letting me learn from you.

Thank you for sending me encouragement and wisdom.

Thank you for making my world better and brighter just by being you.

Thank you for your friendship and love.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support.

I can’t wait to see where the next 15 years takes us. It’s sure to be one hell of a ride! Cheers to you! Let there be pie and bubbles and hugs and dancing all around today!

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!