Walla Walla for the Soul

I am in Walla Walla, Washington.

Where have I been the last 4 months?

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After New Orleans, Brian and I moved in together. Life has been moving fast for me the last two years and this is yet another example.

We are living in Seattle, in a spacious, rent-subsidized basement suite. The house is an old Craftsman that his parents own and I help manage the upstairs vacation rentals. It’s a good deal and I am grateful for it. The major con: far too little natural light and like a plant, I often feel I am withering.

Sometime soon I will take nice pictures of my present living quarters. I have worked on furnishing it, giving it my personal touch, but time and motivation have slipped through my fingers every time I think I have some.

Aoife and I have developed new walking routes in our new neighborhood and we are conveniently located next to a park, a “real” one that features nature at its wildest (at least as wild as it can be in the middle of Seattle). We go there often for fresh air, sunlight, and to be surrounded by green.

It has been difficult for me to learn how to be in a serious relationship and simultaneously live in the same house. The first month or two was totally fine, but lately it has felt like my independence was being challenged and my true self was not being allowed to speak or act. Everything frustrates me and exhausts me. I have not been able to figure out why. No one is holding me back, no one is restricting me, other than myself.

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I enrolled in a Reiki class and experienced a very intense emotional healing a few weeks ago. Short-sighted me was thrilled afterwards, believing I had completely and totally let go of the event and emotions unearthed and now I’d be as pure and light as the core of life that animates me. Everything would go back to “normal” – meaning how it was this time last year, when I was at the height of my spiritual awakening, overflowing with positive vibes, immovably happy and open to the world.

It was like that for a few days. And then again I dropped into a mind-controlled state oscillating between anxiety and listlessness. “WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO ME?” I couldn’t, and still don’t, understand.

But I have some theories and I am going to test them.

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One historically-proven theory is that every time I move, I abandon a huge chunk of who I am. This is a trauma I have been reenacting since age 13. I define for myself a totally new identity – which is great! For a while. But then I start feeling lost and my answer is “It’s my environment, it’s my house, it’s this city – I have to move.” And then it starts again.

Right now I am in Walla Walla – why? Because while bored at work I found a very adorable sub-$100k house in a small town in Eastern Oregon. I decided it was perfect, that my life would be perfect if only I moved there, that these were the house keys to my happiness and reconnection with Spirit.

I left work early on Friday and headed east. Three hours into my drive I got a phone call from the listing agent – the house had gone pending and “you’d just be heartbroken if you saw it and knew you couldn’t buy it!” She was right, so I changed my plans and decided to have a weekend by and for myself.

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The universe is so good at providing exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. The lessons I am learning move me to tears and I am so grateful. Let go and let God.

Aoife and I have been walking quiet streets lined with old brick buildings, one of our favorite things to do. I’ve been photographing scenic landscapes as she sniffs and rolls in all of nature’s good smells, another one of our favorite things to do. And we’ve been driving dusty backroads with “Positive Life” radio on in the background, a newfound favorite thing to do.

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I now have a boyfriend, a new living arrangement, and a dog who seems to be prematurely aging at a startling pace. But I am still Taylor, she is still Aoife, and I love us both more than anything.

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Location Scouting in Astoria, Oregon : Day 2

On Day 2, I awake and am further impressed by the universe, the sun, the little corner of the Earth I call home, the Pacific Northwest, the town of Astoria, and this hotel/hostel. The rooms have such an amazing natural light that keeps me slow and sleepy and a lazy morning finally leads Brian and I to breakfast at the Columbian Cafe. Continue reading “Location Scouting in Astoria, Oregon : Day 2”

Location Scouting in Astoria, Oregon : Day 1

A few weeks ago we were making dinner at my house and Gabrielle mentioned that her boyfriend, Ben, was coming to visit. We decided to do something special, get out of Seattle, and take a weekend road trip.

We considered a few destinations, but finally settled on Astoria, Oregon. Continue reading “Location Scouting in Astoria, Oregon : Day 1”

A Short Hike to Cedar Butte

We had a special visitor from Montreal – Gabrielle’s boyfriend, Ben – so we decided to take a scenic tour around Seattle. We wanted to go on a hike and experience some nature but it was a sunny Sunday after weeks of rain and I knew the regular go-to hikes would be packed. I found Cedar Butte trail, conveniently right near Rattlesnake Ledge, and we headed out. It was short, but sweet, and we had lunch on the shores of Rattlesnake Lake (no pictures – one of those moments too perfect to disrupt with a camera).

Continue reading “A Short Hike to Cedar Butte”

A Visit to Golden Gardens

In the late afternoon of a crisp fall day, Aoife and I headed out to Golden Gardens park to enjoy the view. We were dismayed to find signage warning us that dogs were not allowed on Seattle beaches as I was primarily going to collect beach glass and shells. Nevertheless, we enjoyed a quick walk, took some photos, and made a stop at the dog park that’s just up the hill.

Continue reading “A Visit to Golden Gardens”