I grew up on 100 acres of farmland in Moore county. I spent my entire life learning how to care for animals and how to garden. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve wandering through the woods, getting lost on purpose, and finding new ways to sink into nature. In high school my favorite class was horticulture because of the days we spent in the greenhouse planting seeds or walking along outdoor trails to learn about our environment. I have always found a special connection to nature and the calming sensation it gives me.
In 2017, my small-town life on the family farm crumbled in around me at the age of 25. In February, my grandfather that had raised me as my father and taught me everything I knew, passed away unexpectedly. I was unable to spend an appropriate amount of time in my grief because at the end of June, my best friend passed away right in front of my eyes, the very same day my husband left for a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan. I was drowning in grief and unexpectedly found out three weeks into the deployment that I was pregnant. I told my husband over Facetime and a week later on August 2, 2017, he was killed by a suicide bomber. I became a Gold Star Wife and there is no guide for that moment.
All the grief and pain I was trying so hard to control erupted at once and left me spiraling. I had never been so alone. I had never felt that depth of pain. I went to counseling and attempted to put the pieces of my life back together. For a short time that worked for me, but something was missing from my life. Amongst the baby planning, managing new responsibilities, and create a new normal, I started to spiral again. It was clear to me that something was missing in my recovery. I needed to find the innocence and calmness that I had in my childhood. I made the decision to go back to yoga, something I enjoyed in my early college years, to find an alternative method of healing.
I immersed myself into yoga and opened my mind, body, and soul fully to the concepts of both physical and spiritual transformation. My practice then led to outdoor sessions soaking in the sun and listening to the sounds of nature wrapping around me. I witnessed my own personal revival into a healthier mindset, healthier lifestyle, and into a more resilient person. There is no denying that being outside is therapeutic. It is something I fully believe in as part of a recovery process. Each time I garden I sink my hands deeper and deeper into the ground to truly feel the world around me. I believe in nature-based therapy completely and look forward to helping Camp Resilient. I will be the first to sign up for forest bathing, yoga, and plan to volunteer with all horticulture and animal related therapies.
At Camp Resilient, I want to show my daughter the joys of childhood that I had on my family farm. I hope that others will benefit from this support and find a transformation of their own that comes from the outdoors.