Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021

1 Second Everyday for 2020! This was a horrific, sad, and uncertain year for mankind collectively, but a not-terrible year for me personally. I ran over 100 miles, swam with manatees, saw over a dozen waterfalls, got more tan and freckled than I have in years, almost drowned, sold the house, bought a new car, overcame gut issues, bought a new face and body, went caving in Kentucky, watched a lot of Charles Bronson movies, baked over 20 galettes. All of this (plus the stability of an apartment and full-time work) kept me from spiraling into my own negative thoughts. ALSO my housemates adopted two puppies who bring me immense joy. I’m so thankful for all my wonderful supportive friends and my cats in this time. I’m not upset that I’d planned on doing a lot of things last year that I couldn’t get to. Phew. Happy New Year!

It feels a little pointless to set resolutions for 2021, or plan for the future, or focus on selfish pursuits in the face of a raging pandemic and gross injustice. I’m awkwardly trying to find balance here. Setting goals has always been motivational to me, so I wrote down a bunch this year but I’m not pretending they are solid plans. Who knows?! I do not believe in manifesting money or love or career success, but I do believe there is value in finding things to look forward to. I hope everyone is able to find peace and worthwhile endeavors in this crazy year ahead of us!

The Bamboo Forest

What makes the Bamboo Forest so special to me is that it feels like a hidden gem within Atlanta. I hiked the East Palisades Trail by myself a couple times after my pre-op appointments and it is truly one of the better nature preserves in the area. There are some steep portions of the hike, but it’s only a couple miles to the forest and there are wonderful views of the Chattahoochee River throughout. Merry Christmas!


November was a tough month, but I took time to work on myself and I’m grateful for a lot of things. I spent a long weekend cuddling animals, eating THREE Thanksgiving dinners and too much dessert (I am most thankful for good friends dropping off food to me!). This was also my first year picking and shelling pecans. They are everywhere in Athens! I made candy turtles which are so easy to make and addictive to snack on.

Central State Hospital in Milledgeville

September 2017

The hospital was founded in 1842 as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum. But, like Satan, it went by several names during its long history. The facility had grown into the largest mental hospital in the world by the 1960s and quality declined as patient numbers swelled. Rumors spread of mistreatment and the hospital slowly closed through the 1970s through 2010. Today, the campus includes many abandoned buildings, a prison, and 2,000 markers in the nearby Cedar Lane Cemetery to memorialize roughly 25,000 unknown dead. I’m lucky to have walked around the grounds a couple times, first with Dean when we moved to Athens, then again with Erin on a trip down to Dublin.

Watson Mill Bridge

This is a mash-up of two visits to Georgia’s longest and (maybe?) most picturesque covered bridge. Like Cloudland, this is a spot I repeatedly end up in times of major self-doubt, confusion, loss, or heartbreak. Most recently, I made it out there in time to see a gloomy sunset and let my brain empty out by the river shoals. This park is a true gem.

Georgia Guidestones

2020, 2018, 2016

A striking granite monument on a lonely hill in Elberton. I like to think of the Guidestones as my state’s own Doomsday Stonehenge, and it felt like a fine time to revisit them. I drove out into a clear, black-skied pre-dawn to catch the sunrise. As the light started to creep in, there were miles of starling murmations overhead. The swarms started to leave just as the sun finished rising- an eerie and magical morning.

This was my third time visiting the Guidestones, I didn’t plan it but I guess I go every two years. Today was my first time going alone without Erin. Here we are in 2018 and 2016 (plus Dean!):

The stones went up in 1980, they remain enigmatic in origin and meaning. The guidelines are written in eight different languages (English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian). They advise:
• Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
• Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
• Unite humanity with a living new language.
• Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
• Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
• Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
• Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
• Balance personal rights with social duties.
• Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
• Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

Every day at noon, the sun shines thru a hole in the granite and illuminates the day’s date on an engraving.

Paper Girls

November 2017

Was cleaning off my phone and there are so many fun memories with Erin before she moved to Prague. Here we are in newspaper dresses for Flagpole Magazine’s 30th Birthday Variety Show. I think our styles sum us up well. Erin is carefree and confident; she always finishes what she starts. I get caught up in details and spend too long on one thing; I ran out of time to craft a top! I did make all the hats tho, at least four- I wish I had photos of the other ones!

Shaking Rock Park

September 2020

This 27-ton boulder was once able to move if someone pressed it, but it no longer shakes. There’s a trail through the park and what appears to be an active bouldering group, but I think you mostly go to see these granite outcroppings.