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the adventure begins.

My adventure out west began months before I put my foot down on the gas two days ago. Since late last summer, I've been living with the knowledge that I'm ready to move into a new phase of my life. That knowledge has been exciting, painful, anxiety-inducing, hopeful, energizing, and to be honest, pretty all-consuming. The health challenges that arose for me post-undergrad and finally began to resolve a couple years ago had prevented me from being true to myself and what I wanted in life at that moment. That paradoxical reality I was living in was almost more painful than the physical pain.

But with the support and love of my family, friends, and sweet partner, Alex, I've been on a path to healing, self-exploration, and adventure. The culmination of that feeling is a sort of Pilgrimage to Portland, a city I've never visited and knew very little about but felt in my gut Something Or Other pulling me towards it.

So, two days ago, I packed my bags, Clown Car style, and headed down I-94W towards Chicago, my first stop, to visit and stay with my good friend Hayley and her partner Zach and their two Kit Kats, Bridget and Rigatoni. It was a sweet first stop, and I feel so grateful to them for putting me up for a night! Squimbly lil Rigatoni curled up behind my legs as I slept on their couch, having those sort of dreams you have when you wake up so much in the night that you start to confuse dreams and reality... you know the ones.

It's been such a lovely, social trip so far, as I've not only visited Hayley and co., but also my family in Waukesha (shout out to Papa for the houska and summer sausage care package and good hearty meatloaf lunch), and Aunt Connie and Uncle Mark just south of Minneapolis in Burnsville (shout out to Connie for a mean lentil stew).

Right now I'm staying in the city with my good pal Diarra, and I'm typing this up in her cozy living room with a cup of chamomile and mint tea (a new fave!) while she packs for our trip out to Denver tomorrow. It's been really lovely staying with her and her sweet pup Rhea, whom I also woke up to on my belly around 3am last night. The Furry Friends know I needs the loves!

Pictured above: wine tasting Friday eve with Diarra's pals, Liv & Sidney

Anyways, wish us safe travels as we embark on the next leg of the journey tomorrow! Loving and missing all the folks, both furry and skin-covered, back in Ann Arbor. I may be gone but my weirdness remains! Ta ta for now!

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