The Way Through It

Therapy Through Writing. Together, let's find a way through it.

Climbing to the Top


They say that silence is golden. Perhaps it is when all you want to say is how miserable you feel. I realize I’ve been silent for a long time, and it’s not that I don’t have anything to say, I just didn’t know how to say it. The purpose for this blog is to share life experiences and lessons so that humans can relate to each other and find a way through it together. It’s easy to get stuck in trying to wrap the moral up into a perfect bow and until you know the answers, sharing pain feels shameful and difficult. At any rate, winter is leaving and spring has sprung and today is my birthday! I think it’s time to get writing again…

It’s been over a year since I moved here to the Sierra foothills. I still don’t know if I like it here. Of course it’s beautiful, but it’s taken me longer to connect to this place than I had expected. In my 20’s I spent a semester in Humboldt County. My love of forests greatly expanded at the site of old growth redwoods. I didn’t know nature could make you feel like that. While there, I spent most of my time hiking than in class, but it was an education that continues to fuel and inform my soul. From there on, when I dreamed of “living in the woods” – I dreamt of coastal redwoods.

Now that I’ve been able to settle a little bit in my new wooded home, I would say this year has been a little less than euphoric. It’s actually been pretty brutal. Both the beauty and curse of living in nature, is that she is a beast and will always win. The remoteness and isolation of my location has taught me a lot about myself. The weather and mother nature’s wrath have certainly taught me to dig deep and find my true grit for survival. Life’s chores living out here are certainly more intense, and one is forced to learn how to find ongoing motivation without any accountability or encouragement from a partner or community.

Sure, it’s not always rainbows in paradise, but I exalt how fortunate I’ve been to be able to do this journey, and experience something most people cannot do until retirement. It is certainly harder than what I expected, as I was not counting on not being able to find a community here. I knew the people would be different, and that I would have to be open-minded, but the logistics of living in a retirement/vacationer community and being a younger full time working gal don’t really jive.

So, I watch a lot of Netflix and make a lot of sweaters and try to hike on weekends near Yosemite (the best part of living here!). Along my streaming journey I stumbled on a documentary about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite. The guys (and a few gals) who conquer their fears and contort their bodies into the tiniest of cracks and crimps to achieve a relentless goal for no real apparent reason except it feels good, has blown my mind. There is something about people who really push themselves (see: Free Solo) to be elite athletes in obscure sports that I find so inspiring. At a time when I feel achingly lonely and depressed sometimes, learning about what’s possible just down the road from me has offered the spark I needed to snap out of it.

I don’t know if I can actually do rock climbing, but at the very least it has inspired me to remember why I’m here. I came to conquer my fears, and to invest in my dreams of living in the woods in a sustainable house in a place that I love and feel hugged by nature every day. Going after your dreams is never easy, or everyone would do it. So I persist.

What breaks my long suffering silence now, on my 40th birthday, is that I realize that I cannot do it alone. My writing has always been a source of healing for me, so in the absence of an immediate community, I must write to share the good with the bad and to seek out help when it’s needed. Perhaps there is a little shame that goes along with making this big move and not wanting to fail and come home with my tail between my legs. However, I am reinvigorated by watching the climbers which reminds and inspires me to keep fighting for my end goals. I am a fighter, and I have always landed on my feet, even if my head is in the canopy of redwoods.

I have had some amazing support from friends and family alike, and regular visitors who keep me grounded and motivated. I feel I have made it through a tough winter with the lessons of strength and perseverance at my side. I’m here to tell you that if you go for it, the tools you need will come. It won’t be easy, but don’t give up. You’re bound to learn valuable things about yourself and your place in this world. At the very least, you will learn what it is you truly want out of life, and what you don’t.

I’ll see you in the woods!

Carlon Falls, Yosemite Wilderness

Chicken and the Egg


Do you ever jolt out of self-flagellation, and suddenly realize you’re being horribly mean to yourself? It happens to me often. Although sometimes it takes months for me to wake up and realize I’m in an abusive relationship with myself. These past months (since the Spring) I’ve felt incapable of getting off the couch. Of course, living in the wilds and with wonderful weather upon us, I usually wish I was outside, or at least willing to be.

Anxiety, depression, loneliness and insomnia currently rule the day (and night as it seems). All of this becomes a horribly paralyzing vicious cycle. I don’t feel like moving; so I beat myself up for being lazy; then I am depressed from the negative self-talk (unconsciously); so I no longer feel like moving; and then more negative lady bashing… and on it goes. Until I step out of the circle, I don’t realize it’s happening. I just feel bad, can’t really figure out why, so I eat and I don’t sleep.

The Solution

Something tells me I’m not the only person out there who experiences this from time to time. Usually, the way I dig myself out is to embark on a self-help journey. There are usually a lot of books, podcasts and YouTube videos involved. Somehow having an answer to my never ending quest to feel “better” ends up being a quest to be better. There is no right answer or a magic step that will fix me. The only fixing I need is to figure out how to be nicer to myself and perhaps slow down my mind and breathe.

Usually the answer is literally, just breathe.

I share this inner turmoil for one sole purpose: to help you, the reader feel less alone in whatever your struggles are too. This blog is an effort to create a circle of healing: I find healing through writing, perhaps you find healing in relating, and perhaps we can all share our stories together down in the comments. I’d love to build a community around writing, and sharing really. It’s all there is to it sometimes to find…a way through it.

The Plan

In the coming months I vow to post monthly at minimum. I’ve been blogging for over a decade and writing since I was a child. This is my new and improved site that I hope reaches folks who need to read something like this. Because I live in a remote area now, I find that social media platforms have been my saving grace in times of need. Let’s spread the love if you find this kind of thing moving and I promise to keep writing! Deal? Deal.

As I was writing this, I found myself jolted awake. I didn’t really have a topic in mind so sometimes I just start writing and see what happens. Suddenly I saw what’s been going on these past months. Boom. That is the power of writing for me. Getting my thoughts out of my head is often a great way to change my thought process. Someone once told me, if you’re going through a rough patch; find a way to change your head space. Usually, exercise is the easiest move as it actually changes your brain chemicals and releases serotonin, endorphins, and all those delightful free drugs our bodies make.

Cardio only makes me want to commit murder so writing for me is the ticket. Being out in nature helps a lot too. I enjoy hiking, swimming in lakes and generally being outdoors helps every day (I live in the woods). There can be a numbing effect though to surroundings alone. I am in a terribly beautiful place and yet still vehemently determined to start hundreds of crochet projects I’ll never finish. It’s just my way of trying to escape my current destructive thought cycle. As I’ve discovered a lot since moving here; the only way out, is in.

I’d love to hear your thoughts below! How do you get out of a negative head space?



Easter has never really been a particularly important holiday to me. The oppressive religious upbringing I had soured the enjoyment of waxy chocolate bunnies. The horrible tights, obnoxious hats and uncomfortable patent shoes I was forced to wear ruined my love of ham. So when friends were shocked I had not made any Easter plans this year, it dawned on me that I didn’t really care. However, it has occurred to me that Spring and Easter are a time of renewal. Growth. Shedding and cleaning out the closets and cobwebs to allow for new development.

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Winter Storms, Spring Blossoms


On December 1st I left my rent-controlled apartment of 12 years. I moved from Oakland to a backwoods geodesic dome home in the Sierra Foothills; Gold Country. The place where men picked up and left their dusty fields for in the 1850’s. It was a time of exploration, westward movement (from all over the world) and of picking up your fortune right out of the ground. The history of this place still lingers, but it’s unclear how it stands for my future.

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