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Oh, The Places You'll Go .

As I sit in a beautiful hotel room after spending a day exploring the most beautiful spots in Nevada, I can't help but write this blog post to express the rush of emotions I get during moments like these. When I am in certain moments in everyday life it hits me like a ton of bricks... I could not be here right now & I could not be experiencing this exact moment. My eyes typically well up with tears at these moments being the hormonal young woman that I am, and I whisper to myself "thank you God for this moment". To some people this may seem silly & dramatic, and trust me, I get it. But the amount of emotion that overcomes me is enough to stop me in my tracks in moments like these. Mainly because I know that had I not come as far as I have with my sobriety, I would not have my shit as together as I do now and I would not be here for any of this. I would have missed out on all of these moments.

Had I not gotten my shit together, I would not have started traveling alone. Traveling alone is something I can honestly say is life changing. It is uncomfortable at times, lonely as hell, and not always the most exciting time of your life. I'd be lying if I said there weren't times while traveling alone that I think how amazing it would be to have someone special here experiencing all of this with me. But at the same time it is empowering as hell to be going places, seeing amazing new places, & doing it all by my damn self!

In therapy I complained that I wanted to start traveling more but all my friends always had reasons they couldn't go or didn't have money. My therapist looked at me and said "so GO". I looked at her kind of confused, and she continued "Why do you need someone else to go with you?". She made the wheels in my head start turning and I immediately thought 'She's right... I'm gonna just go' (cue the playing of "independent women" by Destiny's Child in my head). I decided the next time I had a few days I could get away that I was going to go somewhere, and started looking places up online that same night. I have a secret love for the South (and a Southern country boy with a wicked accent... typical female), and had always wanted to check out Georgia. So I booked a trip to Savannah, Georgia for a few days... my first solo vacation. I was anxious and excited and wondered how the hell I was going to spend 3 days in a place I'd never been by myself. We had been discussing in therapy that drinking was connected to being social for me, so being alone was something I was adjusting to now that I wasn't out partying with friends every weekend. Being alone was a huge adjustment for me. Sometimes I even made plans when I had free time just to avoid sitting alone at home. So learning to be alone was a huge stepping stone for me in feeling good again in my sobriety.

So the trip came, and let me tell you... it was life changing. I was a little anxious about traveling alone, but during those 3 days I realized a LOT of things about myself. I COULD relax and watch a movie in bed by myself at night. I COULD drive to see amazing beaches off the coast of Georgia. I COULD sit with my toes in the sand and enjoy the waves crashing into my skin... and I could do it all on my own. I didn't need alcohol or a bunch of people around to enjoy these simple things in life. I discovered on this trip that I can't even express to you how happy it makes me to be in a rental car with the windows down and the music turned up, singing along to the radio. I can't describe how full my heart feels when I discover amazing, beautiful places that I have never seen before. Traveling has become something in my sobriety that makes me so happy. I look forward to planning my next trip and discovering new and amazing places every time.

If you follow me on any of my social media pages, you know that I run a small business called 24Luxe Hair & Makeup. We provide on location services for weddings and events, so we travel to wherever the work is needed. In my sobriety, I have been able to really get my shit together and expand my business to accommodating destination weddings...Which I am extremely excited about and grateful for! A year or so ago on a typical Sunday morning you could find me waking up at 7am (after passing out just a few hours prior) on a friend's couch, rushing to my car so I could get a McDonald's breakfast and pull it together before I went to work a wedding that day. Thank God my bridal clients never realized, probably since I was really good at not getting hangovers. Being sober I have been able to really focus more time on building and strengthening my business, and also branching out more onto social media (Youtube, Instagram, etc.). It's amazing how removing alcohol from my life has changed my career so much for the better, which I never really thought about being a possibility before. I am more focused, more driven, and hungry for success in a way I never was while drinking.

That is why today I am writing this post. I am in Las Vegas because I was hired to do makeup here for a destination wedding. Let that sink in for a second the way I had to... I was able to grow my business to the point that I am not only working regularly at home, but to the point where people are hiring me to travel to their weddings to do their makeup for them. I feel so lucky to be exactly where I am right now experiencing what I am experiencing. I was able to extend this trip and come a few days early to give myself a little "workcation" and do a little exploring and traveling on my own. Today I got in my rental car with my Starbucks bright and early, and set off with my GPS singing along to some country music. I hiked in Red Rocks Canyon, and got out of my car with other travelers to help a tarantula cross the road. I hiked and sat on a huge rock overlooking a canyon and let my feet dangle while I took a selfie to send back to my Mom at home. I explored Eldorado, an abandoned ghost town that used to be a coal mining city, and bought a handmade necklace made by a local in the area with a baby scorpion in a crystal. I accidentally stumbled on Mead Lake, an absolutely gorgeous body of water surrounded by mountains, and walked in the water barefoot. I saw the Hoover Dam for the first time. I did all of this alone, and with a heart so full of joy that it could burst open at any moment.

This is what I have been able to do with my sobriety, and I can see how far I have come in my journey. So today while standing in Lake Mead barefoot, gazing at the mountains surrounding me and taking in this incredible place I had accidentally stumbled on... I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel my eyes filling up with tears at that moment. And I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of those moments that I thank God for, because I have come so far to be where I am now. Because I have fought so hard to be where I am now. Because I am alive... and I am happy. xx .

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