She chooses to be here.

It's midnight and am sitting on an air mattress with my new pup, Dewey, asleep by my side. After six months of driving, analyzing, planning, reanalyzing, and Craigslist-ing.. I'm finally sliding under a big down comforter in a house with a deep sigh of relief. You can stop running. You can rest.

This didn't happen effortlessly, although it could have (more on that another time). And even now I still have hesitations.

Does staying in one place make me less interesting? Will I lose all the inspiration I found on the road? What if I go stir crazy after a week?


These are some questions I've had for the #atwildwoman over the past month. Here are her answers.

This is not something you can control, and you know it doesn't matter what people think of you. Trust your intuition to show what you really need.

Of course, we are humans — beautifully flawed beings — and sometimes we fear not being liked, or loved, or seen. But your intuition will never lead you astray. And your joy is worth so much more than any success or likability or pseudo Internet fame.

Pay attention. Answer the call. This is your life. Your decisions. Your happiness. And as far as business goes, your real people will stick around.

Everything is a miracle. You don't need to travel across the world to stand in awe. It's often the little things — tiny moments — that can spark big ideas.

There is a season for everything. A season to go, a season to stay. A season to burn it all down, a season to root and rise from the ashes. By following the flow and answering YES to your gut hunches, you cannot turn up empty handed, ever.

You know where you've been. Often when you choose a new direction and step into the darkness, you will come up to the light holding more treasures than you even knew existed.

You are not a rock. You are alive. You have talents. You have a mind. You have options. There is a way through everything. Believe it's all possible. You CAN live in a way that encompasses all of your passions and interests and joys. It will take creativity, patience, and resiliency, but you can and will find a way.

Hopes, dreams, and fear.

I have so many hopes for the next six months in Denver.

Buying giant canvases and filling them with paint and drawings. Falling even more in love with my pup and hearing his precious breathing every night. Adorning my room with plants and lights and maybe even a fake fireplace (this is happening). Hitting the mountains as much as I can, feeling my legs get strong and mind empty. Cozying up in bed to drink coffee on Sunday mornings and read the news.

It might be totally romantic. An idyllic dream. But I choose this. I want to have high hopes. I want to get excited about the future. I want to have a vision that draws me forward.

I shared with you a few weeks ago that I've been dealing with depression. I started seeing a therapist, and the other day she asked me... Do you think you're afraid to stay in Denver because it might not be everything you're expecting?

I thought, well yeah, duh. But then I realized it could be everything I'm hoping. I don't want to live in the reality of life being hard, of constant compromise and let-down dreams.

So I am signing off from vanlife for now (although I do have a late-fall Yellowstone idea in the works) and I may be returning to the same down comforter every night, but I will never stop exploring.

The #atwildwoman isn't necessarily a globe-trotter with no strings attached. She is rooted, at ease, in peace, and sometimes chooses not to go even though she could.

She could be anywhere, but for now, she chooses to be here.

Amanda Sandlin8 Comments