I’ve noticed a pattern with my blogging. When I’m deep in the throes of school, I’m mostly MIA on this space. My brain becomes so convoluted with information I don’t ever plan to use that any and all creative juices are sucked up through a straw with a hole the size of Alaska. That makes for quick loss of creative juice.
The good news is, I am down to my last class. Like…the last one…ever. I really never wanted to go to college, and to be honest with you I don’t know if I’ll ever want a job that requires a college degree, but I finally settled on a BS in human communication. We all have to communicate, regardless of what we do for work.
Plus, Starbucks is footing the bill and I couldn’t really turn down a free bachelors degree. If you have an end goal I think college is great, but if you don’t, I think it can be a death trap for years of financial burden.
I’m a big believer that college isn’t for everyone, but I’m glad it’s finally almost over. I’ll never have that “I wonder if” problem about finishing, but the only reason I started was because I felt like my parents wanted me to. I have to admit this was the worst possible time for me to finish college and the amount of stress I felt from my classes as well as from managing my health literally had me on the floor in a ball more times than not.
Thankfully I’m a stubborn individual, and I refuse to take “this is your life now” for an answer. This is mostly the case for my autoimmune issues, which I don’t talk about much on the blog, but the thoughts of my body take up a large majority of my brain space. The sad reality is that most people think once they’re labeled as having an autoimmune disease, or any disease for that matter, they assume that’s it.
They assume this is life now, bring on the cocktail of drugs to manage this new life.
I don’t believe that, not for one second, no matter how many doctors seem to believe this. I believe autoimmune diseases are caused by excess inflammation in the body, for such extended periods of time that the immune system can no longer keep up in trying to put out the inflammatory flames. The goal is to find the source of this inflammation, whether it’s food, stress, toxins, parasites, or a combination of multiple things, and remove the triggers.
I’m thankful for my stubborn mind because it will allow me to gain my health back in full one day, of this I’m certain. It’s not an easy road, but it’s a road that will be worth the effort (just like these snowy hike photos from my birthday last month.) I used to be notorious for quitting when things got hard, which is why it’s taken me 11 years since I graduated high school to finally graduate college, but this time I didn’t quit. I wanted to quit many times, because I don’t handle my stress well. I switched my major four times, and regret nothing.
I’m certain stress was one of my main triggers for pushing my body over the edge, but patience is my best friend in calming the inflammatory fires.
I refuse to quit the path of naturally healing my body through lifestyle changes, and it’s powerful knowing I have control over my outcome. I can taste the freedom that accompanies no longer having to read another textbook on a topic I have no interest in. I have a good sense of when to quit something because it’s no longer serving me, and when to quit something because I’m letting stress take over. It’s important for me to know the difference.
I can also taste the freedom that comes from no longer handcrafting espresso beverages at Starbucks. I have two months left with Starbucks before I move onto my next adventure, and it’s a bittersweet goodbye. Five years ago I started slaving for the siren with no goal other than to busy my days and busy my mind after a painfully ugly breakup. Starbucks quite literally saved me when I needed saving, and because of that I will always have a soft spot for this chapter in my life.
Plus, the solid 401K and free bachelors degree they’ve given me aren’t so bad either.
From retail, to corporate, and back to retail I can confidently say my time with Starbucks has come to an end. I’ve become both comfortable and stagnant with where I’m at in life which means it’s time for a change. The stress that accompanies a job like mine is stress I can no longer afford to tax my body with. Although I’m sad to say goodbye I’m also ready to spread my wings and fly.
One of the few classes I enjoyed taking during my time with ASU was an elective class (aren’t those the only ones most of us enjoy?) called Wilderness and Parks in America. I learned a great deal about the history of our national parks, and developed a desire to see as many as possible, including the first ever national park – Yellowstone.
SO, I snagged a summer job at Yellowstone this May-October.
I’ve never been to Yellowstone, nor any of the states that Yellowstone resides in (the majority of the part resides in Wyoming, but 3% of the park is in Montana and 1% is in Idaho.) After my recent trip to Alaska I fell in love with the idea of seasonal work in locations that allowed me to live a lifestyle I enjoy, and to be outdoors exploring as often as possible.
I’m both excited and apprehensive about this adventure. My safety zone (my kitchen) will not be available to me, and I will have to learn how to navigate eating foods outside of my small circle of what is and is not helpful to my body. I’m confident that being in a new environment with new friends, and new hiking trails will continue to project me forward.
I’m already daydreaming about all the people I will meet, both coworkers and visitors of the park.
It’s no secret I’m a bit of a nomad, being in one place makes me feel stuck and weighed down, so this concept of seasonal work is something I’m chasing after right now. I don’t know what’s next after Yellowstone, and yet ironically this upcoming adventure has brought me more peace than I ever felt working a steady job the last five years.
Not everyone is made for the 9-5 lifestyle and that’s OK. What’s not OK is waking up each morning and dreading the day ahead of you. This life is a gift and we only get one, so we might as well live it doing things we enjoy. Thankfully I’m a simple girl, with a simple lifestyle, and I can afford to run off to different states living the life I manifest for myself.
Our bodies talk to us in many ways, and mine has been telling me it’s time for a change for a while now. The next two months I will continue to seek out my triggers for inflammation, continue to work through my stress, and finish college strong. Two weeks after I graduate I head to Yellowstone, and one week after Yellowstone I head to Scotland.
Only we can create a life worth living for ourselves. It’s going to be a good year. Onward.
Q: Tell me about your educational path, and what you do for work.
62 thoughts on “Onward”
Maybe next year I’ll see you at Bryce Canyon or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, that’s where I work now. If you do, come see me before I start in on HazCom, BBP, and safety training 🙂
Omgggg I’ll have to come to you to see if there are any open positions. HA! I have no idea what those things are that you’ve listed, but I’ll definitely find you. 😝
Megan and Lillian
Brittttt. I love this post. And I love how truly honest you are with yourself and finding peace with your lifestyle, health, and overall mentality towards things. College and the 9-5 and life with the picket fence is NOT for everyone, that is for sure. How boring would that be? I still question sometimes the way my life is now and wonder if I need a jolt of change. ANYWAYS – I”m uber excited for your Yellowstone gig and WANT TO VISIT. So I can come to the park and hike and then like, raido you for help when a grizzly bear stalks me. Or when I lose my shoelace or something. And then we can munch on pb and heads of lettuce. Do you know what part you will be in? I Didn’t realize it was so big and went across state lines. Crazy.
ALSO YOU ARE HELLA SMART for finishing your degree on Starbucks tab. Coming out of school with a degree and no massive debt is putting you ahead of the curve and saving you from a lot of stress. Kudos to you for sticking it out and taking advantage of the opportunity. xoxo Love you lots. -L
You are MORE THAN WELCOME to visit me. I’m serious, once I get settled in let’s chat (they are providing housing, but I can have a guest for up to two days I think.) I’ll be in in Wyoming portion. We can chat details if you really wanna visit!!
Megan and Lillian
Other half of Megan and Lil here. I am SO EXCITED for you. I am with Lily in that I have the 9-5 (well 7-4 haha) but sometimes I wonder if that is what I was meant for. It is so fun to be passionate about different things (for me health and fitness) but I just can’t think of a career that would enable me to pay our mortgage in that realm.
SO EXCITED that you are almost done!!! I have so many semesters left in this silly master degree. My graduate certificate is done this semester and I have half a mind to just stop with that and not continue with the rest of the masters classes. Work is paying for it though so I feel like I should but UGH I really don’t love school.
I hope you have the most amazing time in Yellowstone. I would also LOVE to visit but summertime is when I am traveling for work and I am ALL over the place this summer. My trips include Kansas City, St.Louis, San Diego, Minneapolis, and NYC. Some get me kind close to you but not really. Too bad there isn’t a bank out there for me to visit!!!
Love you and can’t WAIT to hear about your grand adventure. I figure between you and a few other of my nomad besties my wanderlust can be kind of fulfilled : )
I admire you for your continued dedication to school, and I totally get the “work is paying for it” thing. Makes it hard to pass up. I see nothing wrong with working to support a mortgage when that’s a priority, for me it just never has been. I daydream of living in a fancy van just so I can travel more. HA. But that’s what makes us all uniquely different. I miss you oodles though. ❤️ I’d love to have a three way reunion with all of us, this time without weddings so we can 100% spend time together!
Yellowstone is bizarre. You’ll love it in all its majestic weirdness.
I did my undergrad in 4 years but burned out at 3 1/2. I slogged thru the last semester. Went to grad school and burnt out again. Knowing what I know now I would have done things differently. Good on you for finishing the degree.
Enjoy the elk and bison and waterfalls and thermal stuff this summer.
Haha thanks! I’m jazzed for a change of scenery for a little bit! I burned out on college years ago, alas I am so close.
I’m sad that you won’t be in Seattle for my bike tour. (Having already seen Yellowstone I wasn’t planning on going back,)
Ahhhh! Bummer! You’ll just have to come back. 😝 have you been to Seattle before?
No. Never been to PNW
I think it’s one you’ll want to visit again!
One of these days our paths will cross. Just you wait and see.
I have no doubts!
I admire your determination, and agree about school. I never went to college, never had any desire for more schooling. HS was tough enough! Great photos! 😎
Thank you! These days there are so many opportunities without a college degree, I just don’t think it’s necessary if you’ve got a strong personality and drive for live. 🤷🏻♀️
Gah. I have so much to reply, but I should be working 😉
First of all, you rock. You have a great attitude and I like your plan for the next two months.
I also really love those photos.
Finally, College was perfect for me, and I don’t ever want to leave…hence a PhD process and a goal to teach at the Uni level (no nine to five for me! It actually ends up being more like 10 to 8, but whateves). But seeing my brother struggle through his BA, and now really happy with his work, it’s def. worth it, even if you hate it.
Thank you friend! I’m sure I’ll be happy I have it when it’s all said and done.
Best of luck on your new adventures.
WOW – I CANT WAIT to see the pics from Yellowstone – that is on my MUST SEE list – I want to go ASAP! 🙂 Enjoy your time there! Congrats on your last class – and your new adventures! 🙂
Thank you! I’m so excited to explore all the land!
Congrats on the job! What a catch! I’m excited for you and to hear all about it. 🙂
Thank you friend!
The season work at Yellowstone sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you. Run, jump and chase after that dream my friend. You’re an inspiration.
Thank you my love. I always appreciate your support. Like a nice bra.
I’m so excited for you for your upcoming time in Yellowstone. I worked there for a summer after I graduated college too (back in the stone ages of 1995 though, lol). I loved it, I have such fond memories of the people I met and adventures I went on. What type of work will you be doing and in which area? I worked in the Canyon area as an activities sales agent (selling bus tours, horseback riding, etc). You will love it there and I’m sure you’ll have a variety of food options that will work for you.
How fun! I’ll be working in one of the restaurants. I’m most excited for the exploration adventures on my days off.
YAY!!!! THE BIG YELLOWSTONE NEWS!!!! 🙌🏻 I’m so, SO proud of you for following your heart! That’s not something that’s easy to do, especially in our generation where we’re still kind of expected to go to college, get a 9-to-5 job, and work work work work work until it’s time to retire… And then enjoy life. No thanks! 😜 But I’m still proud of you for finishing college too! I changed my major three times, and even though I’m not directly in the organic chemistry / pharmaceutical world anymore… I still use a lot of the habits and knowledge that I picked up in my current job. 😉 Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you at Yellowstone and Europe!! ❤️
Thank you for your encouragement my friend. I adore you. I love that you still use chemistry in your baking, it IS a science after all!! You just understand it much more than the average Jane!
Ive followed your blog for years, and I’m glad to see you in such a good place. I’m proud of you and happy for you. I’ve always thought you were wise beyond your years. Your statement “What’s not OK is waking up each morning and dreading the day ahead of you. This life is a gift and we only get one, so we might as well live it doing things we enjoy” is so true and resonates with me deeply right now. I am extremely unhappy with my job and know I have to make a change soon. I hope you don’t have any regrets about it taking you a while to get your degree, at least you didn’t pick a major that you don’t really want. I think you are very brave and I wish you the best of luck!!
Erin, thank you for this kind comment. I don’t at all regret taking my time with college, I know my path was my own. I didn’t want any debt and I didn’t want to take random useless classes, so it took me a while. I hope you find peace with your work situation, I know what it’s like to be extremely unhappy with your job. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith, but you have to trust! Praying for you. 🙏🏻
I got my bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2013 and worked at two TV stations between 2014 and this January. I always thought I knew what I wanted to do, and felt like I was ahead of the curve in college when everyone else changed majors multiple times. Then I started working, got burnt out on the crazy hours (definitely not 9-5…more like working overnights or working from 2-10 pm) and realized I wasn’t passionate about my job. So I left, moved in with my fam and I’ve been looking for my next opportunity ever since. I don’t regret going to college but I wish I had done more with my time there so I could use that experience now to get a new job I’ll love more. Working in the National Parks is one of my #goals so I’m excited to follow along on your adventures in Yellowstone!
Your path sounds completely normal, and the beauty of our generations mindset is that it’s OK to change along the way! No one says we have to do the same job for our entire lives, that sounds horrifically boring! Keep following your heart, it usually knows the way! ❤️
Brittany I too think the excitement of Amberock sounds amazing. it took me much longer than my peers to finish skooling and I should have spent a few summers doing what u have planned in near future. U rok girl! 3k+ followers? Wowza!
We are in the boat together for taking longer than our peers, however there is no one size fits all timeline! 😄
You are going to LOVE Yellowstone! I have been the last two summers (9 days total) and there is still more to see and do! My aunt and uncle are going to be working there too – it is their 2nd year there.
In my real life, I’m an HR Director, in a highly stressful environment. It pays very well, but I have been wondering lately if the toll is worth it. As I figure that out, the very good pay is funding the vacations that keep me (somewhat) sane.
You won’t regret having the degree. Even if you never feel like you are using it, just having it still gives you a competitive edge in the job market. School does teach us how to think, how to analyze problems, how to get along with people and how to persevere in adversity. Congrats on finishing.
You make excellent points. Be good to yourself, stress kills. ❤️
Good on you for chasing what you want! Seasonal work sounds like such a wonderful life and I hope it works for you. I only finished studying about 18 months ago and have enjoyed working but am planning to uproot and move to London (from Australia) at the end of this year. Chase those dreams!
I LOVE this plan for you! I daydream of moving to Ireland…maybe I’ll make that happen even if only short term.
You betcha beets!
LOVE YOU! ❤️
Megan and Lillian
One more thing, your photography skills are mad good.
wow how exciting!!!! This seems like an awesome fit for you! I have a degree in hotel and restaurant managment and it took me until I turned 30 to find my true love in vacation planning. I havent made it my full time job yet but I hope to by the end of this year! Its scary to start a new unknown adventure but when your heart is in it, your passion will find a way to sustain you! Good luck, I spent a little time in Montana/yellowstone and loved every second of it!
I agree with you 100%! Sometimes you just have to leap, trust God, and trust your heart knows the way! Sending good vibes your way for a year of change and growth!
Bon Voyage! Your positivity, tenacity and energy is sure to take you many fine places!
I’m kind-of on the other side of the education & employment mountain, and a friend recently (wryly) commented “So, you’re retired. Just admit it.”
“No, I’m on hiatus & waiting for the next big thing. In the meantime, I’m enjoying doing the things I didn’t have time to do while raising kids, avoiding the cranky demands of a litigious ex-husband, and building up the freedom that comes of pension and retirement safety nets.”
Thank you Liz! I like your perspective on retirement, are we ever really done working in life? I think not, even if the work is on something else like working on ourselves!
Congrats Britt! I stopped with college after 3 years. It’s just not important to me 🙂 I work at a few jobs that I enjoy, yet allow me to pursue other passions. That’s enough for now.
That’s all that matters! It wasn’t important to me either and if I could go back and do it all again, I probably wouldn’t. That’s not to say someday in the future I may have changed my mind, but in that moment then it would be important! Alas I invested too much time to quit again, so I sucked it up and finished. 😝
Quitting your job? Graduating from college?? Working at Yellowstone ??? (you will love it btw – best park in the NPS in my opinion) Vacation in Scotland???? You have great things ahead girlie!! -Kat
Thanks Kat! I’m ready for the changes to come. 🤗❤️
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
How cool that you’re going to work at Yellowstone! Hopefully it’ll be a great adventure. And congrats on almost being at the finish line with your degree! While school can be a pain in the ass, I honestly have always loved school & learning. It can open your mind so much, and I always enjoyed my sociology/psychology elective classes a lot. My husband is about to finish his MBA, and I feel like I’m at the finish line with him. It’s been a crazy few years of him working & studying longggg hours!
I only enjoy learning the things I have interest in, and I have no interest in statistics or research communication. HA! That’s ok, such is life! YAY for your husband almost being done, such an accomplishment!
Last class ever?! YAAAAY! Also, yay for Sbux footing the bill. They rock. Also, congrats on the job at Yellowstone. That is HUGE! Seriously, it sounds perfect for you. I cannot wait to hear all about it and see your beautiful photography ❤
As for education… I didn't looooove college. I'm glad I graduated, though 🙂
GiGi Eats Celebrities
I NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHEN TO COME VISIT WY this SUMMER and then kidnap you from your job and take you back to Jackkksonnnnn!!!
Hey, if I hate the job/it’s too stressful we can just go live in Jackson for a little bit! 🤷🏻♀️
kathy @ more coffee less talky
that’s so awesome! i’ve always wanted to visit yellowstone.
as for stress being a huge factor in messing up your body – 100000% agree. it’s so important to figure out what’s causing all that stress and try to get rid of it or at the very least, significantly reduce it.
COME VISIT ME. You can sleep in my tiny room with me and my roommate. Someone I’ve never met yet. HAHAA.
Congrats on the Yellowstone job! It definitely sounds like something you’d enjoy and have fun learning from the experience! And then Scotland…hmm, any job plans there 🙂 ?
I would loveee to stumble onto a job in Scotland. 😉
Pingback: The Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award | Naturally Dreamy