A Life Journey
 

 
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My name is Andy.

I'm an Ohio-born-and-raised woman who at this very moment, currently lives in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. I have a young dog whom I've reared and spoiled since puphood, and a passion for creating and exploring.

I work night-shift in industrial manufacturing. I've been in the industry since moving back to Ohio in 2013, and have exercised my various trades while gaining my degree. From working maintenance and grounds in a rubber and flooring factory, to working my way into engineering and managerial roles within a Fortune 500 company, I can say my experiences in the last five years have been both focused and very diverse. 

So, why the blog? Well, let me tell you a little story...one that will hopefully be the first of many.

2017, in short, was an interesting year. To kick it all off, I had my first real run in with how corporate dictatorships work, and as a result I lost a good portion of any passion I carried for both the company and profession I was in. Call me naive, but my whole bubble of how an honest team works exploded in a mushroom cloud, and left me drained of all internal motivation to "Make It Better".

Fast forward six months, and one day while sitting in the break room with a full roasting pan of fresh cut fruit in front of me, one of my co-workers walks by, shakes his head, and remarks "You know, you're going to turn into a strawberry if you keep eating like that." For the rest of summer, my alternate name was Strawberry. 

While the name didn't bother me any, this whole exchange left a mark on me. As a fairly resilient person, I was coping with my situation the best ways I knew how; vigorously incorporating outdoor physical activity, and gaining a closer connection to Earth by cleaning up my diet and eating straight from the fields. By trying to ground myself through other aspects of my life, I was trying to balance out the unhappiness I was experiencing in the cloud that made up my professional life.

It failed.

I've always felt more centered--more at peace, when I'm on the trail. Running, hiking, and backcountry camping have always been something I've made an effort to integrate daily, and it keeps me in a solid mental place. As time passed and as the demands of the workplace increased, I continued to lose touch with what makes up the basics, for me. As the year carried on, I evolved into a nasty manifestation of anger, pessimism, spite, and frustration. 

Life has a curious way of working, though. I can say I'm steadily on my way up from the hole I had sunk in. I've come through many experiences I never imagined would be something to cross my plate, but overall it's given me greater perspective on not just who I am as a person, but what I now know I want, or don't want, out of life. I'm not totally out of the woods, yet, and while I'll save the intimate details for another time, I've decided to dedicate my life to turning strawberry--to pursuing what means the most to me, and to live the happiest, most fulfilling life possible.