Hello, and welcome to my new website. For those of you that know me well, you know that this isn't my first blog, but it's perhaps the first with intention. In the past I kept a blog while I traveled called head back & laughing and since then I started a portfolio for my photography but never updated it. So this website is going to be a little different, this will be a portal not only for Keeping Up With The Holly, but for me to navigate as I become a Yoga teacher in the crazy city that is LA.
So allow me to give you a bit of an update. Last year I got married not just once, but twice. To the same guy. We had a wedding stateside and decided it wasn't enough so we threw another party in New Zealand over their summer. Both were amazing and totally different and you can read about them here. But how did I end up here anyway? It was only three years ago that I stopped writing head back & laughing but somehow my life has changed insurmountably.
When I finished traveling through South America, I made my way to San Francisco to do I-wasn't-quite-sure-what and it was an eventful four months but in the end I decided to go home early. I was meant to only go back to NZ for two weeks but ended up staying four months and falling into a it of a dark space before deciding to move back to the States to try it all again.
This time though, I moved to Orange County to work for a magazine that a friend of mine worked at. Before I made the move, he put me in touch with a friend of his who would show me around. For a month before I was scheduled to move, we ended up talking on the phone everyday. By the time I moved to the OC, it was a bit of a sure thing and fast-forward two years we were married. That's glossing over the finer details of course, like all relationships it's had it's challenges.
So, the magazine was a true adventure. I learned a lot about running a business, about marketing, about surfing and, mostly, about myself. When I lost the job I fell into a pretty bad depression, the first time I'd ever used that word to describe myself, and wasn't quite sure what to do about it. I was crying everyday and feeling really vulnerable. Dillon and I had already decided to get married by that point but the Green Card was going to take months and given that my Visa had been tied to my job, I was truly stuck and unable to work.
Eventually I got myself to a therapist which I had tried once or twice after my brother died but it never really stuck. This time was different. I came across an incredible woman who works with her patients as a talk therapist, but also using a technique called EMDR. She helps you to work through and process old wounds and to learn how to feel rather than think. I'm often stuck in my head and have an easy time making sense of things, but feeling my way through a situation is totally different. I also signed up to a group therapy workshop she was hosting for 12 weeks, it was all women and we worked thorough a workbook that she had used in the past.
I ended up finding some side-work to focus on so that I wasn't sitting at home all day. But on a whim I decided to sign up to the YogaWorks 200 hour teacher training course. I had no idea who the teacher was but they offered to give me a discounted rate because I used to work at the Huntington Beach studio when I first moved to Orange County. I'd always fancied doing the program but never really thought I was good enough (that's when I thought Yoga was about being good) but I knew something needed to change and I needed a direction to grow in while I was feeling stuck.
So for three months, while my Green Card progressed (which couldn't have been more stressful or riddled with road-bumps,) I went to therapy twice a week and to my training every Saturday and Sunday. And that's when I started to notice a shift. I still wasn't in the most stable place but I now know that's because the ground underneath me was shifting. I've since learned through my mentor, Mia Togo (who turned out to be the perfect mentor for me and a complete blessing,) that when we feel completely unsteady and blinded by the future it's not necessarily a bad thing, we are just navigating uncharted waters.
The 200 hour course was filled with up's and down's, it pushed me to my limit and tested all of my buttons, but in the end it gave me community and new goals which are so important when you're in a dark place. My life started to form a shape and I'm still unsure what that shape is but it has texture and depth and meaning now and it's become really exciting to navigate.
Since then we had the two weddings and I passed my 200 hour exam. The group therapy stopped but the individual therapy continues (with a small hiatus that I now realize did not benefit me) and probably always will. And I have enrolled in the 300 hour program which is more of a mentorship that helps you to find your voice as a teacher.
So that's me. I'm still on this journey and a complete work in progress but I'm slowly learning to feel more than I think. I'm excited about my future and have discovered a real love for teaching. I live in Malibu with my husband Dillon who is off every other week on a surf trip, and I'm trying to take each day as it comes. There's so much beauty out there if we let ourselves receive it.