For me, location and storytelling have always gone hand-in-hand. I grew up moving and writing in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a kid, I noticed that while my friends were growing up they confronted life from the same place, the same house or the same town. But the life I led with my mother saw us moving somewhere new every time change, good and bad, came into our lives. I associated the bigger cities and smaller burbs where I had lived with specific life events. Geography fueled my storytelling as much as music, puberty, my parents’ divorce, and my first love. I noticed that when something happens to us, the place we inhabit remembers. It’s why we keep going back to some places and why we never return to others.
After working for a year at my first full-time, relatively well-paying job, I realized that I wanted more than a 9 to 5 work-routine, and a schedule that left me so exhausted that I almost never had the energy to do the things I really love. For me that was writing, playing music, and creating crochet designs. I felt spiritually numb and emotionally despondent. I knew that I had to make a significant change if I wanted to feel better about my life and the direction it was going. I wanted to live life intentionally instead of by default.
So in August of 2010, a little over a year after I started working, I quit my job, upset my family, and sold everything I owned to move to Maui. The more I share with others about my 18 month experience, which started in Maui and ended in Birmingham, Alabama, the more I hear about people making similar choices, and the more aware I become that the act of travel and the decision to keep doing so is as spiritual as it is physical.
While preparing for my relocation to South Korea last fall, my father passed away after a 10 year battle with cancer. I started this blog while preparing, if there is such a thing, for this loss, thinking it would be about travel and spiritual growth exclusively… And then, I couldn’t write. How could I write only about certain things when my perceptions, my soul, my mind, had been irreversibly altered by loss?
SheHaunts is built on exposing the self-inhibiting beliefs that prevented me from consciously deciding to move in the direction of my dreams: to write more and to worry less. I hope someday you will find writing here about grief, hair, food, quirky neuroses, alcohol, music, books, identity crises and love in different places and in no particular order. This space, like my life, is my pride and joy and also a significant work in progress.
I earned my BA in Creative Writing from the University of Puget Sound in 2009. In 2008 I won the Esther Wagner Prize in fiction and later that year was awarded an interdisciplinary grant to write a collection of short stories centered around the impact that my father figures had on my life. I’ve written play reviews for Seattle-based Drama in the Hood and contributed to the Seattle Star. I currently play in central South Korea teaching English to elementary schoolers.
Thanks for stopping by!
“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do”- Walter Bagehot