For the last 8 years (starting in 2010) I've been balancing work, travel, and a longing desire to be outdoors, traveling more, and experiencing life, not just wasting it away in a cubical. Four years ago (2014), my eyes were opened to the value of time. I was in a career I felt trapped in, in a town that was smothering, and overwhelmed with what if emotions. I constantly asked myself, "Why am I working so hard to please those around me? Why do I work a job that will always be just a job, not a career? and What does settled look like?" These thoughts brewed & brewed, before I finally fell "on the path". It was then that I decided to pursue a career in the outdoor industry full time. I called it my "going for broke dream". I planned, saved, and planned some more. And finally in the spring of 2016 I left corporate America full time and have been pursuing this crazy dream ever since.
Now, it wouldn’t be right If I didn’t give you some back story to how my “going for broke dream” came about, so grab a blanket, curl up, and get ready for one crazy story!
I am not sure about your family, but in my family, it was expected that hobbies stayed hobbies and careers were to be established. End of story. Well that answer just didn't work for me. My senior year of college, I began to plant seeds for change. During the fall of 2011, I was placed into senior research. Oddly enough, my project was on a diet analysis of Brook Trout in the Susquehanna River. I spent my senior year of college studying trout, learning entomology & having a blast doing it.
After college, I traveled quite a bit recreationally, but placed my main focus into my career. Fast forward a year, I was miserable, I was not traveling, not hiking, not fishing, and down right unhappy. That’s when this idea of “going for broke” came forth. In the fall of 2015 something re-sparked my love for the outdoors, ok well not something, a few failed attempts at online dating are more like it. I went on date, after date with men who told me I would never be able to hunt, or fly fish, or better yet, that I enjoyed doing more “manly” things than they did. Now I am not the type of person to ever back down from a challenge so, I found myself wanting to know more about everything; fly fishing, hunting, hiking, you name it, I wanted to do it and do it better than the men who told me I couldn’t.
Now, not having any outdoor role models to look up to, I did the only thing I could think of. I walked into my local outfitters (French Creek Outfitters) and started taking archery lessons. Well, two lessons later I placed an order for my first Hoyt hunting bow. While waiting for my bow to be tuned one evening, I wandered over to the fly fishing department, not sure if it was the allure of the colorfully painted reels or the ornate flies, I felt like a kid in a candy store! I just couldn’t keep my hands off anything.
I went home that night, dug out all my dusty outdoor gear, renewed my fishing license, and within a week was back on the water! It has been the most exciting journey re-discovering this lost love of everything outdoors. Looking back, I couldn’t picture doing anything else with my life. Being outdoors is my passion and it is what feeds my soul. And I guess I owe a thank you to all the people (men) who said I couldn’t do this. Thank you, watch & see. This is me & this lifestyle is here to stay!
These posts, these confessions, and this journey is mine, they are authentic, they are genuine, and full of my raw emotions. I've realized this path that I am on, is not about the large picture, but rather the day-to-day strides and small moments that will shape the, settled.