This past Thursday was my 31st Birthday. With my birthday being at the beginning of the year, I tend to do a bit more reflection at this time. My 30th year was by far the most challenging year of my adult life. I actually like to describe it as both my worst and best year. Now that I’ve turned the page to 31, I thought this would be a good opportunity to reflect on the people, places and experiences that have helped me get to where I am today.
This time last year, I was engaged and planning my early June wedding. Two weeks after my 30th birthday, that all came crashing down. From February to June the emotional turmoil continued as my ex and I tried to work through the pieces of our broken relationship. Finally in the middle of June we buried our efforts and went our separate ways.
As one would imagine, the dissolution of our seven year relationship took a toll on me. It was not right away that I felt the benefits of this new chapter. I had found myself at rock bottom. I had gained a significant amount of weight and I was emotionally, mentally and physically depleted. I let myself go through the mourning process but knew that I could not spend too much time grieving something that was not meant to be.
Even though the first half of my 30th year was traumatic it is not the focus of this blog. The important part came after. The “light at the end of the tunnel”, if you will. With the help of my family and friends, I picked myself up and started to put the pieces back together again. I began to get to know myself again and find out who Maxine was. As cliche as it might sound, I really lost myself and my identity over the past seven years. I identified too much of myself as one half of a relationship and not enough of who I was as an individual.
My first goal on my new journey was to make myself a priority and take care of myself. That started with a gym membership and some hard core motivation. Shortly after I got back into my Monday through Saturday workout schedule, my body and my mind began to remember how much I enjoyed to sweat! Though my weight is a work in progress, I am happy to report I am 56lbs smaller and 100% happier.
It was also time to add some adventure to my life. I use to be an observer and not a participator. I sat back and watched other people live their lives to the fullest, and often found myself saying, “one day that will be you, Maxine”. However, it never seemed like that day would come...until now! I started to let go of my fears and insecurities and amazing things happened! That’s where my partner in crime and co-author of this blog come in!
Stephanie may or may not know it, but her friendship and positive influence has given my life new meaning. She is by far one of the best souls I have ever had the pleasure to know. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend or a better co-pilot for our adventures.
I no longer live my life from the sidelines. In the past six months I have done and experienced more, than I have in the last eight years. I’ve always had this sense of adventure and exploring deep within, but now it has blossomed into my way of life.
During this time, I also decided that I wanted to document my life, not only through writing, but through photography as well. I never felt a need to take pictures before, in fact I would usually dodge the camera whenever possible. However, it is amazing how drastically that changes, when you are happy with your life. I want to document every amazing moment (and there are so many now) of my life, so that not only I can look back on those memories, but I can also share them with you here.
The birth of this blog has been another wonderful addition to my new adventures. I am inspired by so many and hope to inspire others as well. With sharing our adventures and life on this blog, I hope it in turn inspires your inner adventurer to explore more.
Life is an amazing journey and I’ve never been more excited to see where it will take me. With Steph by my side and camera in hand, I hope to bring you wonderful stories of adventure and photographs that take you along for the ride.
With love and great adventure,
“It’s time to say good-bye, but I think good-byes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to new adventure.”
The start of a new year can mean so many things. There is an obvious fresh start that a new year promises. However, we believe that the blank page of a new year is actually colored and collaged with the memories and adventures we've had in the past. A new year is a new opportunity to add to those adventures and not to replace.
Stephanie and I are not partial to new years resolutions. We believe that every year, every month, every day, and every minute should be lived to the fullest. We also believe that what once was, also follows us into the present. Even if people, places and things are no longer in our daily lives, they still deserve a place in our future - whether it be in the form of life lessons, memories or great adventure.
We are both grateful for the gifts and experiences 2016 has given to us. We've packed our hearts full of great memories and filled our cameras with even greater pictures. We now look forward to adding many more pages to our story in 2017. We hope that you enjoy the upcoming journies that we so very much look forward to sharing with you!
We wish you love and great adventure (not only in 2017 but every year to come),
Maxine & Stephanie