The End of My Slow-Down Summer (+ Photos from Bar Harbor)

When I first moved into the van back in April, I knew it was going to be an adjustment.

(Adjustment feels like an understatement.)

I knew that I was stepping into the unknown, choosing a way of life entirely different than anything I’d ever experienced. I knew that I would need space to process all the changes. To get that, I took a step back in my business. I chose to reduce my capacity, not actively pitch new clients, and sustain a part-time workload.

The reality has been widely different than what I imagined, and I have been so grateful to have space to work through it. I made the right choice, six months ago, but I didn’t think it would take so long to adjust.

I took last week off of everything entirely. No filming, editing, research, writing, and very little posting. Instead, I took the dog for walks and played hours of the Sims. I took dips in rivers and oceans, made dinner, and cleaned the van. I did very little from day to day and by the end of the week, I felt revitalized – towards the van, my work, everything I had been dreading the week before.

With that feeling of revitalization comes the need, and, secondarily, the desire to step back up in my business. It is a feeling and a necessity.

I worked hard for several years to shape my life into something that would make this achievable, working remotely for myself, living in a van (down by the river, at least for this week.) But what I didn’t count on was how challenging the lack of stability would be, or that getting what I wanted didn’t bring me any stability.

This is, by its nature, an unstable way to live. I knew that, but knowing and experiencing are different. It’s taken me six months to get my sea legs under me, or at least feel like I have. But in the process of getting here, my finances have taken hit after hit. And now, I need to, as much as want to, step back up into working more.

The weeks to come have work obligations, deadlines, and events. I am anxious about balance, but a deeper part of me is excited to take on new things. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it.

September 1 marks the official six-month mark. It also marks Labor Day weekend, a celebration I hadn’t realized was so close. This summer is drawing to a close and I have been in the van for half a year. Where did the time go?

I have been in Maine since July 3, and spent most of the longest days of the year exploring this far northern corner of the country. I came here with a purpose and found myself wandering the backroads of mid-state aimlessly. I have climbed mountains and laid on beaches, spent nights in parking lots and trailheads. I left the country and came back here.

It has been a summer of slowing down, of dealing with what rises as it does. Taking each day one at a time. A summer of adventure and challenges.

I will be out of Maine before Labor Day and for that I am excited. It is time to move on, to explore somewhere new. When I came here it was for the first time and I leave now as someone who has explored many corners of Maine. From Portland to Livermore Falls, Rangely, Bangor, and Bar Harbor. From the coast to the mountains, from New Hampshire to Canada. My Maine summer draws to a close.

Photos from Bar Harbor & Southwest Harbor

I took last week off from everything, including sharing photos, so this gallery is two weeks of Maine adventures, in Southwest Harbor visiting friends, and Bar Harbor for my birthday and anniversary (annabirthaversery, if you will.)

Published by Jessica Reilly, Writer

Writer, cannabis aficionado, and poetry lover

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