Increasingly More Connected, Increasingly More Lonely


Hi my friends! I want to write about something that’s been on my mind lately, a bit unconventional for my usual posting but it just keeps coming up in my thoughts and conversations, and I want to hear what you think!

When I was growing up social media didn’t exist. I remember dial up internet and chat rooms- that was my first experience with an online world (I also walked uphill both ways in the snow to get to school-haha!) Now, of course, most of us have social media accounts- many of us have multiple accounts, and it’s a part of our culture that isn’t going anywhere. For me, it’s a part of my business, so I think about it even more than most. And I have a love/hate relationship with it. I adore looking at pretty photos, I love following along with friend’s and acquaintance’s lives via photos and blurbs, I like sharing my own life in snippets and thinking that someone somewhere is happy to see it. BUT. BUT. BUT…… Sigh.

We’re unquestionably more connected to our friends and family (online) than any other generation.  We can maintain relationships that span continents and decades, easily.  But I worry that we’re actually less connected and becoming less social because of it, that we maintain online relationships that are less fulfilling, pick up the phone to check in with friends less often (via actual phone calls), that we make less effort for in-person interactions because we have a sense of connection via our online lives.  And in that false sense of connection, we’re missing out.  Companionship is such a critical element to leading a happy and healthy life, it’s a bit troublesome.  We need to be hugged and share laughs.  We need to be hugged and share tears.  No social media account will ever fulfill us in the ways that we truly NEED.

I sometimes feel lonely when looking through my Facebook feed, or scrolling through Instagram.  It’s as if seeing all of these people I love, but only on a tiny screen, reminds me that I’m not with them.  And, to be fair, we’re at the age where all of our friends are having babies and growing their careers- it’s a busy time!  There isn’t as much focus on social get togethers as I’d prefer, understandably, but I wonder if somehow we’re missing something?  Do you think about this too?

I’ve been feeling a strong need to get offline more, to get out in the world more.  Lou and I are bouncing around the idea of doing an extended RV trip and driving around the country to meet some of you (would you even want to meet us?!)  I love the idea of hosting little dinner parties for like minded folks who are looking to take this online world off, for a meal and a bottle of wine (or five).  What do you think?  Would you join us at a campground for a meal if I promised to make it delicious?  Would you want to meet me, Lou, Bean, Nugget and Pepito?  Do you think this is a crazy idea?  Please please, tell me what you think!!!!  xx- Sarah

Life Is Calling


I learned a lot about life this past year as first we sat beside Lou’s father as he moved on from his life and then as I spent the better part of the year fighting to get back to health.  I’m not sure why those things happened back to back, but they humbled me, taught me so many life lessons and pushed me to grow into a better person, to live a better life.  The RV and our travels are a direct reflection of that.  As I lay in bed this year wondering if I would ever regain my quality of life I realized there are so many things that I’d put off doing, that I might not have the chance to do.  With each day in bed I grew more and more committed to the idea that if I got better, I wouldn’t continue to choose work over play, to save for tomorrow all of the things that I want out of this life.  I realized, during that time, that I’d strayed away from myself somehow, that I’d become a version of myself that wasn’t fully alive.

Travel and adventure are so important to me, have always been so important to me.  To feel a deep sense of vitality I need to stretch my legs and see new sights, I need to feel uneasy about the unknown, I need to be awed by the magic of the world around us, I need to be outdoors.  I’ve made that a priority since I’ve gotten healthier, and it’s completely changed my life.  Each day I pinch myself when I wake up and look around at the landscape around me- I feel my spirit come alive as I run down the beach chasing a giant flock of seagulls, my heart feels like it may burst at the seams as I watch my husband and dogs explore this big beautiful world.  I feel like I’ve started walking the path back to my true self, if that makes sense.  It’s so easy to wander off the trail when life/society/expectations are pressing down.   So I ask you, are you on the path you most want to be on?

I write all of this for those of you who haven’t had the crisis experience that’s forced you to take a long hard look at your life, to ask yourself does it make your heart sing, what you’re spending your days doing?  Are you waiting for another day to live the life that you dream of?  Because, as we know but have become so skilled at tucking away in the backs of our minds, tomorrow isn’t a promise- it’s a hope. It won’t come for all of us, or it may come but not look anything like we dreamed it would.  So in that case, would you be doing anything differently today?  Do you know what your dreams are?  Are you living them?  If not, what are you waiting for?  This world is magical, this life is beautiful, it’s yours for the crafting.  Please, live it hard.  Live it with everything you’ve got.  Be grateful for each day, for each moment, for each experience.  Revisit the knowledge that tomorrow isn’t promised and let today be your greatest gift.  xx- Sarah



Have Fun!


Happy Tuesday everyone!  After I shared my most recent health update last week I read through all of the comments and emails- I was struck by how many of you are going through or have gone through something similar!  So today I want to share some of the ways that I’m coping.  I know that there are times where life can get very dark- loss, health struggles, the end of a friendship or relationship, work stress- really there are a million things that can weigh us down.  Which always brings me back to the idea that it’s not a matter of what adversity you face- we all face it- but how you get to the other side of it.  It’s been a struggle for me this go-round to find the light, to learn how to be gentle with myself, really- to figure out how to dust myself off and keep moving forward.  I’ve hit some all time lows with this one.  But I’m thankful for them because they’ve provided me the greatest possible opportunity to learn and grow, I know that at the other side of this I’m a better version of myself.  I’m stronger, I’m learning so much about life, myself, and how to love myself and be ok in the world even in the darkest moments.  More below… {image via}

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No, but seriously! I’m not sorry!


Hi my friends!  I’m sorry for my sporadic posting as of late!  Actually, I take that back, I’m not really sorry.  I recently read and watched this and….. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).  Yesterday I caught myself apologizing twice for what was essentially just being alive and out in the world.  One of those times a man was coming in a door that I was going out of- and the door was solid so neither one of us could see the other until we were practically bumping into eachother.  He said “Oh!  Excuse me!”  and I simultaneously said “OH!  I’m so sorry!!!”  WTF!  That auto-apology is no bueno, I’ve got to kick that habit to the curb!

So routing back- my posting has been sporadic, but there’s a reason for it.  That reason, as it is, has to do with my health.  I’ve been STRUGGLING this year.  At first I thought it was the stress of the move- and the six weeks living with friends, the buying and selling of our houses.  But then all of that was behind us.  Next I thought it was that being under that stress for so long triggered my body and that once life settled I would feel better.  A few other things popped up and life wasn’t settled.

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

After last week’s post, one my dear, sweet readers left this in the comment section: THANKS FOR SHARING.  I’M WHERE YOU WERE BACK THEN.  WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHANGE? WHAT WAS YOUR TURNING POINT?   

It struck a chord with me, it resonated deeply because I felt in those words such a strong yearning for something different. So my tender hearted and beautiful reader, here is my answer:

First and foremost, if you’re looking at the physical portion, which I suspect you may be- how did I go from looking like that to looking like this?  There’s no simple answer to that- it was years upon years of learning to value myself enough to eat foods that are healthy (and learning what that meant), it was my Crohn’s diagnosis, it was following my dreams (which, incidentally, involved packing up my car and moving 3,000 miles across the country to go to school to study photography).  It was having a college boyfriend break my heart over and over and over again, and not loving myself enough to put an end to it.  It was excessive amounts of drinking and drugs to try to escape.  There was no turning point, there was no diet- I tried a good many of them at one point or another in my desperate search.  {more after the jump}

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I think with yesterday being the last of my series with Tommy Bahama that today is the perfect time to share today’s post!  I’ve been wanting to write it for years but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I was too afraid, and too attached to the image I’ve cultivated of myself.

I’m assuming you know that when you see photos of me, and our home, that they’re the creme de la creme of the photos.  That I’ve styled, prepped, edited and tried hard to make everything (including myself) as pretty as possible.  I’ve done this because it’s nice to look at lovely photos, one only has to spend 3 minutes on Pinterest to understand that it’s a part of our current cultural language.  Also, as a photographer, it’s always felt like my job- to make things appear even better than life, if possible.  But it’s important to note that this site and the photos featured are very much an edited version of reality!!

I’m not saying these photos aren’t real, of course they are, but they’re a partial truth.  Here are some other truths: for the past four months the dogs have napped on a gigantic pile of papers in my office.  Our couch pillows are so very rarely perfectly fluffed, they’re more often haphazardly tossed in various spots on the couch.  There are piles of dog fur the size of small bunnies that blow like tumbleweeds through our hallway.  If I’m ambitious enough in a day to put on makeup I most often wear it to sleep and through the next day, if not two.  I have an amazing ability to reserve proper showering until my hair is nearly in dreadlocks.  I eat meals that are comprised of leftovers or what others might consider snacks, or sometimes I just eat spoonfuls of nut butter because I’m too lazy to cook.  I can be jealous, greedy, hot tempered, rude, sad, and an entirely other spectrum of humanity than what you see here.  It’s not all quinoa salads, skirts and crop tops at our house my friends, it’s just not.

But I don’t think that you’re necessarily here to look at piles of my paper on the floor, you didn’t wander over from Pinterest one time because you saw a photo of me wearing yoga pants and on the couch typing away on my laptop sitting in my own filth. (HA!)  So I’m here to remind you today, this site- and ALLLLL of the others like it, are partial truths. I’m sharing beautiful inspiration photos because it’s JUST that, inspiration.  It pains me to think that someone would aspire to anything visually featured here.

I’ve shared some of my real, less polished truths above, and here’s a bit more – circling back to the Tommy Bahama bikini photos.  I used to be 165 lbs and you can see the photos of me above.  I barely recognize myself.  I was a girl that scooped ice cream up with potato chips after coming home from high school.  I was depressed, I was unhealthy, I felt trapped.  I realize that in looking at these recent photos of me doing yoga poses on the beach you might never have thought that.  I’m also aware that I’ve never been brave enough, or ok enough with myself, to say YEP, THAT WAS ME.  That IS me.  That overweight girl has been like a cobweb: clingy, frightening and better avoided.

I had a complicated childhood, I’ve worked hard to become a stable and healthy person, but the truth is that I’m very much a work in progress.  What I’m learning these days, the most important lesson of my life so far- is that the greatest freedom, the greatest happiness lies in LETTING GO.  Right here, right now I’m letting go of my need for you to think that I’m anything but exactly who I am.  I’m not who you see in ANY of these photos- I’m the words that you’re reading here.  And with that, in case you hadn’t, you can also realize that you’re not the photos you’ve seen of yourself.  You are not the size of your jeans, the length and color of your hair, the style of your clothes.  You are not your body, as strange as I know that sounds.

If you’ve found that in reading the above you feel acceptance for me- that reading about my flaws softened you towards me somehow, please turn that right back around to yourself.  Soften to yourself, your own flaws, your own very human-ness.  If you reaction was negative, or judgemental, notice that too.  Turn that around in your head as well, examine what part of yourself you’re struggling with that may relate.  And try to soften to yourself.

I can only write that because I’m in the thick of softening to myself.  I’m changing that conversation from “Hey former overweight and unhappy girl, you’re a mess!” to “HEY FORMER OVERWEIGHT AND UNHAPPY GIRL!  YOU ARE AMAZING AND HUMAN AND BRILLIANTLY, PERFECTLY, WONDERFULLY IMPERFECT!  THE WORLD SHOULD SEE YOU!”  I’m facing fears.  I’m turning towards the cobwebs and walking towards them instead of running away.  Letting go.  Learning to love myself.

Thank you for reading.  Thank you for every bit of love you bring into the world.  We are all connected.  I feel it.  xx- Sarah