nature

The process is the purpose by Kendra Archer

Port Renfrew, BC

Port Renfrew, BC

It's been a slice, a while, an adventure, one hell of an autumn and quite the send off to my year as a 22 year old. As I try to keep the momentum up for this blog I'm paying closer attention to my thoughts throughout the day, noticing if a subject comes up worth writing about. I've put it out there to those close to me and asked for feedback and support, asking them to send a topic my way they'd like me to dissect. In doing that my cousin Tracy asked me to "reflect over blocks of time".

That's my JAM.

I've always had a very vivid timeline in my head of my own life, a very clear progression of my  years. Ages clumped together as relevant periods and chunks of time. Although we measure time in a certain way, looking back on my life some years are weightless in comparison to certain weeks. Looking back I have clusters of years bunched together that are in the same sort of stagnate fog where a single week from the more recent years of my life can be replayed with such clarity. It is not the amount of time that is relevant but the weight of the experiences. Years can go by lived in a funk, a useless state where you don't push yourself toward a light or bring awe inspiring experiences into your day. Then out of nowhere, a day, week or month holds so much intensity that affects your life. Positive or negative, those experiences will have more weight than certain years because you felt them. You didn't live through them on auto pilot but you actually absorbed what was in front of you, you participated.

 Vancouver, BC

 Vancouver, BC

Part of what sparked Tracy asking me to write on this subject was a favorite podcast (episode 32) of hers speaking on 9 year life cycles.  Most goals and dreams we want to accomplish follow the same cycle ultimately resulting in 9 year chunks of time we can look over. I also think most things follow this same process but as they may be smaller mountains to climb the process can be sped up. Essentially he speaks on 9 year life cycles working along these lines: discovering what you want, asking for it, focusing on it , the fruition of small steps, achieving it, clearing the clutter of what you don't need anymore, and setting a new goal for the following cycle. In thinking of major life changes and accomplishments in that way, it would put me a few years into my third cycle. I'm 22 now, and can feel a definite change and a sense of purpose since being 18. I think that's pretty fair, considering 1-9 and 9-18 are essentially write offs for such major shifts as it's the absolute beginning of your being a human and grasping life. 

Whistler, BC

Whistler, BC

I think in understanding this human process we have, the way we pull all things into our lives, it gives us such an advantage to work towards our dreams. We need to sit ourselves down and touch base on where we are in our "cycle" or "process" then regroup and refocus on getting ourselves where we want to go. One of the worst things we can do to ourselves is to allow ourselves to live in a constant state of monotony. Shit days and beautiful days will forever trump that deep feeling of indifference I've felt in my past. Feeling is always better than resisting.  Feeling and experiencing help you grow, resisting bogs you down. 

In light of the topic, the podcast, the blog and everything else happening in life right now I'm opening up more and more to the process being the purpose. Whatever you are doing in life, where ever you are finding yourself, THAT is your purpose. It will change, it will grow, but whatever it is today that's what matters. That's not always easy to digest and it's an especially tough one to swallow on bad days and in bad years.  It's equally as hard to identify it, even when it's staring you in the face. It's too easy to be distracted by "I should" or "I can't until" which hold you back from just owning your present and what you know you already want. 

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver, BC

For me, that's a daily struggle of acknowledging the bottom line of what I want and what I need to do to get there. I'm slowly realizing I do not need to do it all. I am, and will always be surrounded by a supportive group of people who will be by my side to help me reach my goals. That has been integral to my growth, and I believe to everyone's, find your people - they will help you find yourself. I don't need all the skills necessary for my dream business, or life, because none of that will be accomplished alone. It is up to me to refine my calling and my craft to serve myself and those around me, who in turn will fill my gaps in strength with their own. It takes a village, it always has. 

Whistler - sunshine, friends and cough drops by Kendra Archer

What are sleep, down time and good health? More importantly who needs any of them with a view like this? 

I've been fighting off a hectic schedule for months and a nasty virus for well over a week now and it looks like neither are willing to give...for now at least. With the opportunity to head up to Whistler for a day trip I jumped on board despite the ever present illness, staying warm and packing cough drops to call it a day. I'm notoriously bad at ignoring rest when I'm sick, and well, it looks like I'm a creature of habit. The chance to bring my camera gear up for even just a day was just too good. So, off I went.

In an awesome turn of a events mixed with some serendipity a group of about 14 of my friends ended up there for the day. While most of them were skiing and snowboarding, three of us just bummed around the village. Myself and my roommate Lauren took the gondola up and essentially spent the day trying to pull our jaws up from the ground. The sunshine was incredible and the views to match. I spent the whole day grinning widely as I snapped away at the landscapes. 

Time is creeping up very quickly and the 1st of December approaches, meaning another packing up of a household for a move followed by trans Atlantic flights in the new year. Off to Europe for five weeks of travel, a well deserved break for both Lauren and myself. Near the end of the day on top of the mountain I caught a lovely shot of a Whiskey Jack and the sun cresting over the peak as it set. Lauren caught the glint of a tear in my eye and we laughed about it for a while. It's hard not to be impacted by moments like that, and at this point in my life I don't care about holding back. There is an overwhelming energy and beauty nature gives  if you can open yourself up to it and receive it. When you do it becomes hard not to cry at the sight of it. 

Between the upcoming travel and finding myself on top of a mountain surrounded by people I adore I couldn't help but be hit by a ton of joy. It was a very happy tear that I dropped. Finding myself not only in this one moment, but more and more often in exactly the place I want to be sends an incredible amount of reassurance my way. Whatever "it" is, I seem to be doing it. Years ago I lived out east and dreamed of nothing more than packing my bags and leaving for Europe. I'd had it with Montreal and would spend my nights dreaming of sitting in coffee shops, writing and taking photos as I bummed around. Last week while I was in the kitchen it hit me like a ton of bricks that I'm doing exactly that. It took some time, but holy sh--, I've made it happen. 

So here's to more overwhelming moments of beauty shared with incredible people.

Lauren, the aforementioned roommate. Soon to be famous on this blog by being in all the travel photos.

Lauren, the aforementioned roommate. Soon to be famous on this blog by being in all the travel photos.

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