It’s a twofer — and •
This picture was taken in 2008, on one of the first mountains I climbed when I worked in Yellowstone for a summer. At the time, I was studying urban development in Boston and led a completely different lifestyle than I do today. Designer clothes. Bleach blonde hair. The whole shebang. Not like there’s anything wrong with that at all, but it wasn’t working for me. I was miserable out East — slowly wasting away in the stress-filled world of go-go-go, win-win-win, hustle-hustle-hustle. I didn’t know I was miserable, of course. I thought that living in a constant state of anxiety and sadness while never feeling good enough was acceptable and expected. What a way to live!
Coming to Yellowstone for the summer changed my life. Being outside every day and having the wildness of Yellowstone as my backyard gave me confidence. It altered my perception of myself, my body, and my abilities. And it changed the way I saw the world and my place in it. And it was probably the most fun I have ever had all scrunched into a single summer.
I am so grateful every day for that summer. I cannot imagine where I’d be if I didn’t accept that job on a whim. I certainly wouldn’t be living the dream here in Montana, working with my hands, running my own business, growing my own food, and spending my days amongst the mountains and woods that fill my heart.
It’s amazing how one single decision can change everything. Thank you, Yellowstone.