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I am a photographer and writer passionate about the outdoors, meaningful travel, and living deliberately. I hope to use my platform online to show the beauty and complexity of the world we live in, and to encourage genuine connection to the outdoors, culture, people and wildlife.

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I don’t naturally exist in a state of forgiveness. I am hard and harsh on myself and I have to work at it.

My default mode is judgment and cynicism. I catch myself putting pressure on myself– to have things figured out, to be “successful” (what does that even mean?), to be the best. Some amount of accountability is good– we need to hold ourselves accountable for our dreams. Dreams often do not have timelines, so it’s necessary to check in. But will we ever really have it figured out?

Absolutely fucking not.

There will come a time when you fail hard. You might be dealing with it as you’re reading this. You have a few options.

OPTION 1: Give up.

OPTION 2: Figure it out for today. Just today.

Why do we think we need to know how the story ends? The story is in a constant state of being written.

Failures are necessary in the big picture. They help us learn and grow and change. Not everything goes the way we think it will, not everything fits into the “plan” the way we pictured it would.

But take away the pressure that you have to know how the story will end. You have the option to just figure it out for today.

Heartbreak, disappointment, struggle, failure, mistakes, debt. Anything can stop you in your tracks.

But what do the next five minutes look like?

Life is a series of figuring out the next five minutes. It never has to be perfect, it just has to be something. There are times when we don’t excel– we just get by. Sometimes, that is enough.

Some days I wake up and I just don’t want to play. I want to opt out. I want to take a break, I wish it would all just slow down. But that’s not how it works. We get to experience this beautiful mess of our lives and that is a true privilege even when it doesn’t feel like it at all. Even when it is hard, even when it hurts.

This thing, it’s a puzzle– the pieces are moving, and a lot of the time we feel like we are trying to put it all together drunk and blindfolded.

When things are blurry, when they feel broken, when everything seems overwhelming, just figure it out for today. You don’t need to know how the story ends. You are writing it.

 


 

Feature photo by Garrett King.

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  1. Lauren Hurst says:

    Completely agree with all of this. Along with the series of five minutes thing, I think there is some truth to the advice: “fake it til you make it” as well. Of course, as I think you’ve mentioned it before, we need to be honest with ourselves and others through that journey, but it also helps you keep going!

  2. Andrew Lasser says:

    fuckin’ bingo. So my take on this topic is that everyone should be setting goals for themselves. Very short term and long term. Not everything needs to be planned out no. Nor should it be for that matter. I do believe though in order to keep heading in a direction that is satisfying; That you’ll need to set goals for yourself. Without short-term goals to keep you on track; Long term goals will seem unattainable and out of reach. Somethings need to be planned out, but no one should ever stop being spontaneous. Mix all that shit up! BOOM

    You are an absolutely beautiful person Erin. I love reading your no bullshit posts =] I seem to always have the ability to relate to your shenanigans.

    -Andrew

  3. Lynn says:

    So true. It’s important to be able to take a hard look at yourself, see where you can improve, and what you can do better. But that doesn’t mean EVERYTHING IS AWFUL OMG DOOOOM. That’s like throwing out an entire pie just because the crust is a bit burned.

  4. Christina says:

    Probably going to re-read this multiple times today because it’s EXACTLY what I needed! Thank you for writing/posting and making my days a bit brighter!

  5. Jessica says:

    This post is on FLEEK!!!

    Seriously though, this post actually hit home pretty hard. It’s so inspiring and motivating to know that there are others, probably a lot more than we think (like, most likely everyone) that’s having these feelings and struggles or has had them at some point in their life.

    It reminded me to bring it back to the present. We can’t change the past. We can’t predict the future. But right now we can make choices that can shape our lives, and can maybe change them from mediocre to everything we’ve ever dreamed of.

    Thanks for writing a wicked blog and being such an inspiration!

  6. Taylor says:

    This was exactly what I needed today! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  7. […] As you may know,* a little over a year ago I got fired, went on a big solo road trip, came back to Colorado and figured my shit out. Not nearly all of it, just enough. […]

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