It is our 1 year anniversary living in Maine’s Northwoods! Wow, that went by super fast. It has been a year of ups and downs and I don’t think either of us would change a thing! We are so happy and the best thing is, I finally feel at home. It feels so good to say that and mean it.
The past year has had its fair share of challenges, like every year does, right? We had to “adult” pretty hardcore, I shed many tears and I greatly struggled with finding a community here while finding a balance with my besties back home. Somedays I was an insane hermit, not answering any requests from the real world, while other times I was running back home at the next possible moment. Now, I feel like I have thankfully struck a balance.
Wondering what brought me here? I have been too and I think I figured it out! Here are some of the things that have helped me find home in Maine:
- Wednesday’s at 2PM: The hardest part about moving to Maine was that I JUST got back from years of traveling and my girlfriends and I were just starting to hang out regularly. I spent 2 years in Minnesota, 6 months in South Africa, another 6 in Washington, D.C and before that we were all attending different colleges. It has been very hard for me to stay in touch with my friends, because I have a very untraditional schedule now. (Not that that is an excuse at all, its not. I have been a lousy friend this year… my sincerest apologies to all my loves). I often forget or think to call or text at an awful time. Yet one of my besties came to the rescue! My grade school bestie, Jess said to me last time I was home, “sometimes i just wonder what is Samm doing right now, like on a Wednesday at 2?” That got my brain turning. Well, why not?? I set an alarm on my FitBit to go off exactly at 2PM every Wednesday and started telling Jess what I was doing. Not only does this get me talking to her at least once a week, it often reminds me to reach out to my other lady loves. Sometimes its a SnapChat and sometimes its just a picture in a text. Either way, its helping me stay in touch with my beloved friends. (P.S. My main babes, I know I am still distant and I am working on that, I promise!! It will get better and better!! It is a personal goal) Here are some of my favorite Wednesday at 2 moments thus far!
- Be the Mover: I have met some OUTSTANDING women up here on the lake. However, it takes me 30+ minutes to get to them and we all have very different schedules. In the beginning, I was slow to plan things and just hung out with them each occasionally. Well recently I have said, “screw that”!! I am making things happen!!! I hosted a Memorial Day cookout with 4 amazing ladies and their families and it was awesome! Now we are planning ladies nights out to Open Mic Night, and maybe even poker night. We are hiking mountains, running 5ks and just catching up over coffee. It is amazing and I am so grateful for my #northwoodsbabes.
- Savor my Surroundings: I live in one of the most amazing places in New England. I am blessed with tall pine trees, a plethora of amazing animals and mountains in every direction. Why was I not getting out there and savoring it?? I pulled the kayak into the lake a few times last summer and strapped on the snowshoes once over the winter BUT there are 365 days in a year, why wasn’t I savoring my surroundings everyday?? Now I am making a huge effort to hike a new mountain every 2 weeks, find the hidden gems all around Moosehead Lake and take the kayak, canoe and boat out A LOT MORE. Our new pup is helping me, by forcing me to take her on several walks a day and I am so much happier already.
- I’ll ALWAYS have the City: As much as I love the wilderness and having a 4 mile long dirt road driveway, I have always been a city girl. Just ask my mom. She told me she always saw me landing in a big city. Well, sorry for the surprise mom!! But, mom was right in a way. Unlike my husband, I NEED the culture of a city in my life on a regular basis and I have learned this year that city life will always be a part of who I am and that is totally ok! I will continue to strategically plan get-a-ways to Boston, NYC, even Portland to get my city in. Who’s coming?
So yea! I did not start out a rural girl, but quite the opposite. I am learning how to slow down and savor moments. My stress level is minimal and my relationship with my husband gets stronger everyday!! I am happy and I am loving this adventure! Cheers to 1 year down and many more to come!