How to Make the Right Decision: Flip a Coin

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I am a photographer passionate about the outdoors, meaningful travel, creativity and intention in all things. 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 world and all the magic within it.

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Last April, I was on a beach in Thailand lost in my mind, thinking about my choices and reflecting on the end of my two-year relationship.

Just a few days before, I was on a plane from Christchurch to Bangkok, unable to sleep, saturated with a despair I didn’t know I could come out of. I landed in Bangkok exhausted, confused and truly by myself for the first time in years. But I didn’t feel lonely. And that was weird.

My thoughts were different. I felt like myself, and that made me wonder if I hadn’t been myself throughout my relationship. I realized I didn’t have to censor myself anymore. And even with those thoughts, I wondered if I should try to salvage my relationship.

Fast forward through a day of dusty tuk tuk rides, a sleepless night train and a ferry at dawn, and there I am on that beach, speaking my mind in broken Spanish to a woman I just met. I said I was lost, I was indecisive, I was floating.

She said:

“You have a coin. One side means staying in your relationship. The other side means leaving it. When it is in the air, which side do you hope it will land on?”

Her words made me want to put my feet firmly on the ground. I knew instantly. I wanted to be myself—really re-defined and deliberate, and I wanted to love that person. I hadn’t really loved who I was over those two years, and it wasn’t going to happen if I ran back into the comforts of the relationship I knew so well.

My body seemed to know what the next step was for me, and I chose the side of the coin that felt right. I trusted myself.

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Nine months later I am happy. I am proud of who I am and the company I keep. There’s a sense of true clarity that wasn’t there before; a new self-awareness, bravery and confidence.

This isn’t at all about bashing my relationship. My relationship was great. I learned so much from it. He’s an amazing person. But he’s not the person for me.

This is about making yourself the most important person in your life, maximizing the amount you can learn about that person, and then treating that person really ridiculously freaking well.

Do you have a tough decision to make in life or love? When the coin is in the air, which side do you hope for?

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  1. Atreyu says:

    It’s refreshing to know you have a voice in your writing just as good as your photos. I resignated with this so much. In one way it boils down to this …
    A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

    So ride the trade wins.. Ya never know what’s coming. The unknown can be as inspiring as it comes.

  2. melanie says:

    Hi Erin,
    I bumped into your IG and then it lead me to your website. you are a great inspiration and love reading your blogs. I am very similar to you and reading this flip a coin has opened my eyes and mind. (in a relationship which i feel is going no where) Please keep it up and keep inspiring. Hope to meet you one day!

    • Erin says:

      Melanie!! SO happy to hear this resonated with you! Trusting yourself is such an important thing and one of the best things we can learn. 🙂

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If you’re interested in travel, the outdoors, artistic expression, or want to learn more about photography, you’re in the right place. I’m an adventure trip leader turned photographer, passionate about learning & sharing the real stories from the places I visit (real or imagined).



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