I’m on the pursuit of happiness

It’s funny to think that life events aren’t totally official until they’ve been mentioned online in some capacity. Although I’d argue I live a lot of legit, undocumented life offline, there’s something to be said about the things we want recorded as part of our Official Personal History.

I went back and forth on the need for a “public announcement” about this, namely because it feels a little silly and self-important. But here we are, May 1st, and I’m sitting here at 5 a.m. trying to figure out how to craft the proper public statement to commemorate this day that I have been waiting for for the past 18 months.

So here goes–making it official: I’m leaving today to go to Iceland to attend a creative residency program about an hour’s drive outside of the capital city. I’ll be there for a month.

The word “journey” has all but lost its meaning thanks to the digital age and its shitty inspirational memes, but I can’t think of any of way to explain what it’s been like to plan for this trip. This isn’t just about the end result of going to Iceland; it’s also the 2 years of growth and change and hell to get here–I cannot believe how much life has happened in that time, and how much has changed so drastically, and so quickly, even since I first got my acceptance letter last summer.

There were a lot of moments in that period of time when it was hard to push forward and stay focused on the next good thing, especially when I wasn’t totally sure such a thing existed. But with a lot of help and encouragement, and–pardon while I brush my own shoulders off–some major hustle on my part, here I am, up earlier than I care to be, wrapping up the last details of this carefully planned trip in the frantic throes of the 11th hour (because hey, I gotta stay true to who I am, right?)

I won’t specifically mention any one person for fear of leaving someone out, but it would be completely insane to think that any of this would have been possible just by the simple act of me trying to pull myself up from my proverbial bootstraps. As much as I’d like to believe this trek is about my own personal growth and independence, what’s really stood out to me the most is the tremendous amount of support and love I’ve gotten from my friends and family along the way.

From the people who got me to Iceland in the first place back in 2013 to the wonderful friend I was fated to meet at the record shop in Reykjavik who told me about this program, to the 3 employers I’ve had to pitch this trip to who, to all of their credit, were willing to hear me out.

Add to that list the many, many friends and family who’ve encouraged me and given me feedback on my projects (or inspired them altogether), and others who offered me support in whatever way they could, whether it be a place to crash while I was figuring out how to keep with my budget while switching jobs, a shoulder to cry on when I felt overwhelmed from the planing, a place to leave my car for 30 days while I’m out of the country, or the simple reassurance that it was OK to go and pursue this thing that I’ve been wanting for so long when it felt like maybe life was telling me otherwise.

I will forever be humbled and grateful for the kindness and compassion shown to me by so many others–especially when I know everyone else is struggling to make their own dreams happen. I can only hope that I can one day return the favors (and there are many, many favors I need to return).

So here we are, on to the journey. I have no idea what this next month has in store for me, but I’m excited to find out… and hopefully, I’ll find the time to blog enough to keep anyone who might interested looped in to the adventures. :-)