vagabond voyager of the soul.

Whew!  Remember when I mentioned quitting that job and seeking something new—something more fulfilling and meaningful (to me)?  Well, the last few months have been enlightening and…quite nice.

This new job has been nothing short of amazing.  It was a godsend, really.  I feel absolutely liberated to no longer be working in a hospital setting.  Now, listen…  I am NOT minimizing the work or research that is done within hospitals.  This is just my personal experience.  Of course, I got exactly what I wanted when I passed the exams for that hospital job: I learned a ton during my time there.  However, I found that even though I was learning a great deal, I felt no fulfillment within my heart.  Honestly, it didn’t feel right and it rocked my soul for a short period.

I didn’t like my job, so I quit.   I have enough insight to realize that life is too short to be wasting time doing something you don’t enjoy.

I applied for a few jobs, but from previous experiences, I didn’t think I’d hear from anyone soon. That’s when faith kicks in and you just have to allow the Divine to take care of things.

I had no plan, except that I was going to California.  2 lovebirds purchased a plane ticket for me to fly out for their wedding.  (Their wedding can be seen here. Beautiful couple, eh?)  It was a saving grace.  It truly was…

Right before I left for California, I was fortunate enough to receive a job offer from a small, grass-roots organization whose primary focus is the patient and their family members.  I feel so honored to be a part of this team, let alone receive a job offer in this economy.  The vision of this organization is so strong and, even though it isn’t an easy job and there are disagreements here/there, the people are unified in their purpose to serve others–it doesn’t matter if the person is undocumented and living in the United States, lives underneath a bridge or lives in their home with a ton of furry friends.  If they need help, we do our best to serve them.  I’m so glad God made a place for me here.

Anyways, during my little trip to California, my cousin and I made a little desert trek to Salvation Mountain.  It’s absolutely funky and the story behind it is full of love and passion.  Some may think it’s nuts, BUT this gentleman followed his heart—his dream and vision—and completed something that was seemingly impossible: he moved to the middle of the desert and built a very large mountain out of hay and mud!  Then, he painted it.  He lived there for quite awhile and, throughout the years, people would bring him paint for the mountain.  His motive: he loves God and he loves people.  He lived in nature, made art and embraced loving people.  A very fine existence, if you ask me, and great purpose for this immense piece of art.

Being surrounded by all those bright colors felt utterly whimsical.

(Johnny is my cousin and suffered through the lens of my camera! Ha.  He took that photo of me, 8th one down.  Thank you, Johnny.)

soCAL

hiatus, followed by a desert expedition.

I haven’t posted anything for awhile.  I’ve been so unsettled.

I’ve had quite the introspective ordeal during the last 2 months:  the urge to follow my heart and stay true to myself, or to keep doing what I was doing for the sake of “security” and the approval of others. It may not seem like a big deal, but I was feeling overwhelmingly stuck and the best way for me to get “unstuck,” was to do what seemed impossible and incredibly crazy.  This involved leaving a nice job in a great hospital and taking a leap of faith.

I’ve never been a good liar, so I chose to stay true to myself….  Despite what the critics had to say (or may say).  As the Middle Finger Project says, it’s okay to be “unapologetically” different and to trust yourself.

There is great adventure brewing inside of me and this is my moment to answer its call–not tomorrow, not next year.

I’ve packed a bag and I’m headed to California to spend some camera-time with 2 lovebirds, then off to the desert, I go!

That’s right…  National Geographic better look out!  Julie is going to the desert.  I figured this would be a rare instance in my life and I’d better seize the opportunity–NOW.   Fortunately, I have a supportive significant other, who believes in my potential to create meaningful things and to simply do good in this world.  His love (along with that of God and my sisters…and many others) gives me courage.

Here are some things I’ve been dabbling with during the last couple months–engagements and senior proms.  I love the enthusiasm of youth!  I thank everyone for giving me their time and allowing me to document their smiles, friendships, love and amazing beauty (inside and out).  I have loved every ounce of it.  I can’t thank you enough…

kyle and jodi 3

Sterling High School Prom 2013

GW {BEFORE} Prom 2013

oh, babe. we’re alright.

Don’t worry sweet baby!

Don’t you ever worry bout a thing

Put your worries on the shelf

learn to love yourself, don’t be your own worst enemy.

-Alabama Shakes

i’m digging this change of scenery!

we moved from the foothills to the city.

the diversity has been a breath of fresh air to my soul.

(although, I do miss the open areas and small-town-feel along the foothills.)

i like wandering into “the unknown” with justin.

it’s fun.

i’ve been doing some soul-searching regarding my career and life’s direction, lately.

i quietly celebrate my small successes, then constantly wonder (and/or have nightmares) about things that can be improved upon… then, try to be better and either end up feeling like an idiot or a champ.

ah! the human psyche.  it’s humorous.

the other day, i picked up my camera and trotted around the neighborhood with justin.

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home by the sea.

“Travel often.  Getting lost will help you find yourself.” -Holstee Manifesto.

There is something so sublime about standing by the sea.  Maybe it’s the fresh air, the sound of the waves or just knowing there is a faraway land across the vast expanse…

Whatever it is, I love it.

Here are some images from my trip to see my cousin, Johnny boy, in Californ-I-A.


californication

californication 2

black cat, you’re beautiful.

Every afternoon, Justin takes Frieda to play fetch in a little grassy field.  Our fine black cat, Clyde, likes to tag along.  Frieda enjoys an audience when she plays fetch.  Sometimes, Clyde will race Frieda to her purple ball and other times, he will climb trees or simply bask in the sunlight.  Then, he will follow Justin and Frieda back home—he gives literal meaning to the words, “cool cat.”

frieda and clyde

frieda and clyde 1

the cool kids on the block.

My sisters have some of the coolest kids.

We spent Saturday morning together, traipsing through dirt, grass and hibernating trees.

Aaron climbed the trees, while Austin shared his funny contemplations about everything in sight, and Sabrina…  Well, she laughed and smiled… A LOT.

I love them.

 bloggy blog