What the Woods Have Given Me

"Doing nothing out here is better than doing anything in the city."

I can't believe I was the person to say that. While the city has always pulled me, with its seemingly endless opportunities, a constant exposure to newness, and the buzz of fellow humans living their lives, the quietness of the woods has stolen my heart. Even up to the day we left for a weekend in the Obed with friends visiting from St Pete, I was reluctant to enjoy myself out in nature, climbing and hiking. Danger, uncertainty, weather, gear, accessibility, so many thoughts were trying to keep me from enjoying the pure beauty of this planet. I am not nearly as strong as nature; she knocked me down and set me straight. 

Walking quietly through the woods, either laden with gear or only cradling a cup of tea, the truth inside gets loud enough to become un-ignorable. How I'm feeling about my work, my body, my relationship, my resources, my friends, my projects; it gets drowned out by the coffee grinders and traffic and Spotify in my headphones. 

What has become present in those quiet times is that, while I may operate as though I am a beacon of confidence and self-assuredness, that is simply a mask for my resignation. I have become resigned that what I'm doing will be what I always do, and that it will only be "fine". 


The woods have given me space.

And now, I will give myself the same courtesy. In a welcomed change of mindset, I am prepared to pursue a small dream I've had in my heart for years. It started at a little place, now renamed, on Beach Drive in St Pete called Hooker Tea. I became infinitely passionate about beverages, their craft, their healing properties, and best of all: the communities they fuel. Then, it was Craft Kafe, Black Crow, Intermezzo, and nationwide pursuit of coffee, tea, and cafes. 

I'm endeavoring to become a barista. 

I don't know how that lands for you - maybe it's a dud, or a flat note, or a single popper because you know it would make me happy. The point is, I want space for my creativity and business to thrive, and constantly relying on it for income to support myself, my family, and my goals is suffocating it. 

But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.
— Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

What this means for all the things I'm constantly worrying about

It means I can finally


Am I giving up calendars? Project plans? Goals?


  • Time management
  • Project management
  • Time blocking
  • Incessant progress
  • Progress tracking
  • Goals
  • Wealth-building
  • Being seen as successful

Instead, I'm no longer holding my creativity accountable for all of those things.  I'm reclaiming my creativity as a source of self-expression; instead, earning my income and building my schedule around the incredible opportunity to serve others, create within the confines of an established artistic realm, and be constantly challenged in a social atmosphere. 

I'm excited to take the time to photograph, design, and strategize for me, my own enjoyment, and causes I care about. 

And of course, to spend copious amounts of time amongst the trees, the rocks, the creeks, and the animals. 

In my next post, I'm sharing how my Ink + Volt planner didn't make sense to me until I read this post and gave up hourly time blocking as an experiment.