I am a Mainer. A Mainah, if you say it with a true DownEast Maine accent. A Maniac, if you want my favorite and definitely most technical term. Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by nature. We would camp, bike, hike, boat, and beach it up at every possible chance.
Maine did not, however, teach me how to love the cold. Therefore, hating the fact that winter lasted practically half the year, I only applied to schools in the South. I received my degree at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. Oh, Rome, a small town that probably none of you have heard of. A Yankee born in Maine growing to be a Peach living in Georgia.
After graduating, I worked as a Ropes Course Facilitator focused on team building and leadership development for a year or so. During this time, I would go on solo adventures that always ended in some beautiful place where I would merely sit and think and give thanks and simply BE. I had always been artistic growing up, but it was after some of these solo adventures that I began sketching and painting consistently again.
Then, about 7 months ago, I moved to Atlanta and have been serving at an incredible restaurant called The General Muir while I figure out the next steps in life. I am not a city girl by any means, but flexible work hours allow me to invest more time in the things that really make me Howl.
What are those things, you ask? Well, I believe that life is for Truth, adventure, and simplicity. So anything that falls under those three categories is likely to make me Howl.
TRUTH, capital “T.” I came to Christ in college and have a passion for investing in others. I love growing closer to Jesus as I aim to be a light to those around me and work to grow His kingdom. Helping others grow gives me an immense joy that is difficult to describe. Understanding the Lord more fully has helped me to better face very difficult and heartbreaking realities in my own life.
Specifically, my mom is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Lyme Disease, both of which are often misdiagnosed, so we didn’t even know what was wrong for several years. Mamma is one of the strongest women I know, fighting these debilitating illnesses daily both with fervor and joy. The pain, memory problems, fear, and exhaustion are combatted with antibiotics, heating pads, ice, rest, doctor visits, and HOPE. Many others would have given up and given in to full days in bed and movement only by wheelchair, but this lady is a fighter. It destroys me daily to think about my mom being sick, so I have to constantly call upon my inner wild woman for faith in His plan and peace in times of trouble.
(Check out http://lymediseasechallenge.org/join-lyme-disease-challenge/ to see how you can learn more and help fight lyme disease!)
ADVENTURE. Backpacking and hiking are definitely at the top of the list when it comes to my favorite things to do. These things are best enjoyed when experienced with the man who has captured my heart and the friends who keep me young. Honestly, anything outdoors brings me grand amounts of freedom and exhilaration. My favorite place that I have explored so far is Zion National Park in Utah. If you ever have the chance to visit, don’t hesitate. I have been there three times now, and it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever laid my eyes on.
I also enjoy photography, reading (especially Harry Potter, I’m a huge HP nerd and unashamed), cooking, running, and, most importantly, ultimate frisbee. In fact, a large reason behind my move to Atlanta in the first place was to be closer to the mixed ultimate frisbee team that I started playing for last May. We are the Jared Lorenzen Project. JLP: just a bunch of hefty lefties and pillsbury throwboys.
SIMPLICITY. Antoine de Saint-Exupery claims,
And I love this quote. In today’s culture, we think that the constant addition to things like money, success, a promotion, or a fairytale romance will bring us happiness, fulfillment, or whatever it is that we may be striving after. I disagree. Therefore, I strive to live a simple life. This plays out in my love for conservation, my support of environmental-friendly companies like Patagonia, and the things that I invest my time into.
Ultimately, these three things - Truth, adventure, and simplicity - are the contributing factors behind my art piece that was miraculously chosen to inspire others. *Quick shoutout of extreme thanks for being chosen as a featured artist!* I painted this piece in August on my first solo adventure since moving to Atlanta. I was at Sweetwater Creek, and it was the first time that I had actually brought my paints with me on a hike. The piece is called “Trinity of Nature” because it ties together three of my favorite things in the wild: the trees, the sea, and the mountains. Furthermore, I specifically used “Trinity” to allude to the Holy Trinity and how I feel the presence of Jesus in all of His beauty the most when I am immersed in His beautiful creation. It’s simple, really. I Howl the loudest when I am adventuring and appreciating the Creator’s wild creations.
And maybe it isn’t Jesus for you, like it is for me. Maybe its free flowing energy or good vibes or the universe just being awesome. But we all have something that makes us Howl. So find that something and get Howling!