2017: New Year, New beginnings

img_7856Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t written since summer of 2016. I’m hoping to turn that around and I hope that you will tune in from time to time. I am most thankful for the followers I’ve had in the past. It’s encouraging when I hear how I’ve impacted someone, even if it was 7 years ago.

I used to use a website to photo blog but the site (webshots) went down and their (Smile) site just wasn’t good enough to replicate the experience. I lost all of my posts since year 2000 with my stories embedded in the pics. I can’t recreate that experience either so it’s all missing.

I tried to use Flickr but it’s not as smooth and it’s cumbersome so I stopped. Then there is Instagram and Facebook, where it’s great if you can pick one photo and tell your story in 1 paragraph. It has albums but it’s not a fit for what I want to do. WordPress is challenging because their default storage allotted to content like photos is small. Too small to sustain over 10 years’ worth of images and stories from trips to Edgypt, Argentina, Montreal, London, Sweden, and more.

I prefer to tell my stories through photos but sometimes there’s more I need to say or express and lately, my photos simply aren’t substantive enough to warrant a post around it but I will try.

Right now, it seems that I have a lot to say and not enough images to portray. For this reason, I’ll be very grateful to those who hang in till the end without the imagery to keep them engaged.

For starters, hello 2017. What happened with 2016?

I’ve had an introspective year last year. It was good to have time for myself and to slow life down a bit to process where I am and where I am heading next. It’s not been something I’ve had the luxury to do in the past. When my college mentors/influencers would say how great it will be the day I stop having to survive, I didn’t understand what they were talking about. I didn’t see myself as surviving. Now, I understand. And today, I am thankful that I find myself in a place of living my life. It’s been a difficult journey with many challenges that I can only appreciate retrospectively. And, for that insight, I am also thankful.

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A rare moment when I find time to do nothing, so I choose to read.

I’m usually a busy body, not because I need to be distracted but because I genuinely believe there is so much to do, so much to experience that how can anyone waste any time getting to it! I try to make my time matter but as I’ve gotten older, it’s taking me longer to achieve some of the things I could easily have done in the past. It’s true, age does catch up to you. But I am not yet too old to still take on big challenges (watch for my next blog post!). I simply have to be smarter about how I go about things, plan for more time to achieve them and enlist support when I can so I don’t have to take on the burden myself. These are all new areas I’m exploring. I’ve had so much energy in the past that I was impatient to wait on people to catch up. Those who knew me then, probably see me as functioning more like a normal person these days, even though personally, I feel held back. 🙂

With all of this change, I still don’t have my entire life figured out. 🙂 For instance, I thought I would be married with the traditional husband and kids, but the husband thing has never panned out and lucky or unlucky I’ve never had to worry about kids. The first fiance had a girlfriend on the side, which probably turned out for the better for me since I was still in college and had a lot of growing up to do even after that. The second fiance got cold feet; buying a house, a car, moving countries, new job, new friends, I don’t know. So instead of 3 strikes and you are out, I decided not to worry about that part anymore and find someone to enjoy being with. 7 years of that and it still didn’t work out. I’ve even met my soulmate, this rare person who just gets you and melds with you for some unknown reason without a lot of conversation or drama. He was special, but life would have it short  lived. I still hold the hope of attracting the combination of what I loved about each of these men and one day getting married, but with my lifestyle, I’m thinking the odds are very low.

Since the traditional life has not been for me,  I’ve decided to focus on what I love and what I do well: climbing, serving my community, and tech. I’ve created a flexible lifestyle that allows me to be free enough to climb and still nurture my brain and earn some money to pay for this lifestyle so I don’t regress into survival mode. In other words, I don’t strive to be a dirt bag, that is not what I have worked so hard to build for myself. But, this lifestyle has a huge cost for me.

For instance, I move around  a lot and I have the added problem that I live the lifestyle of someone that is in their early 30’s and it doesn’t help that I can pass for that age simply by my looks. Good genes, not so good for finding people near my age bracket who are active, psyched on climbing, good looking, has a real job or knows what a real job is, and is in athletic shape (and omg, not the type of “athletic” the average person thinks of). 🙂 The instability I create from being on the move creates its own set of stresses, not least simply not being surrounded by your own things. Feeling like you live out of a hotel or something does not feel like home, which means you never really feel like you can let your hair down and relax. On the upside, I have this unique ability to transform a space, even for a weekend into something that feels like mine and a lot less like temporary living. 🙂

I’m not done traveling or aspiring to climb certain things, but I want the home base, which I’m currently working to sort out–climbing proximity is a must, even a 2nd home could manage that. I simply want to be home most of the time with spurts of travel, not out all of the time. Living out of backpacks gets old fast. I have lived out of boxes, backpacks and storage for way too many years. It’s time for me to establish some roots for some sanity and stability in my life. But, I don’t want to give up my lifestyle entirely, taper it, perhaps, but not abandon it.

I remember when I moved to Washington State. Everyone I met, hiked, climbed, biked, skied, etc. That’s not me. I used to run track and cross country, played some tennis, but the instant I tried rock climbing, I was hooked. That’s all I did. And, while I have picked up various hobbies living in such a recreational State, climbing is still the majority of what I do. So I guess I have that part of my life figured out: while the climbing psyche and ability will ebb and flow; overall, climbing will remain a part of my life.

And while I’m still able to do it and be strong in it, I’ve got climbing goals in mind. I’m finally injury free (from major injuries, you know the normal tweaks and things simply persist, but at least I can climb!). And I want to share those goals with you, the reader, who has graciously consumed these words and dares glimpse into this ordinary life as I try to find the extraordinary within it.

This is a huge thing I am doing for me…to be vulnerable and transparent on a regular basis. I think I will learn a few things from this and I hope if you follow me, you might learn a thing or two, too. Look for more entries, more often, with the next blog capturing my first big climbing challenge.

Welcome to Audrey’s 2017, new beginnings…

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About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete, climbing coach, computer software/technology enthusiast and occasional enjoys baking, cooking and fine wine.
This entry was posted in Climbing, Musings, Writings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 2017: New Year, New beginnings

  1. Great post! I’m looking forward to the next one.

  2. Tamara says:

    Thank you, thank you for your vulnerability and transparency – recognize so much myself here and share a similar struggle. ‘Since the traditional life has not been for me, I’ve decided to focus on what I love and what I do well.’ Yeesss! Still a challenge some days when I get caught up looking in the rearview mirror. Here’s to letting go, embracing the life in front of us and finding the extraordinary!

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