So Long 2014 – Embracing the Adventure

Cross posted from my professional blog.

A funny thing happened the other day. I went back and read everything I wrote at the beginning of 2014. It made me laugh, because it was all about how the previous year had been dominated by big events, taking on a big new challenge at work, and spending 10 days on a European vacation, but 2014 would be more about the small day to day opportunities for learning and improvement.

Instead, I finished up 2014 starting a completely new job and living in Oregon. Ha!

That’s why the phrase to describe 2014 for me, and the thing I’m taking with me into 2015 and beyond is to “embrace the adventure.”

Obviously, the new job, and new location, are both situations where we decided to take on new challenges. We’re here because of a professional opportunity for my wife, and I’m at a new company for my own professional opportunity, but it’s not just about work. There’s a lot to embrace about living in a different part of the country, and some of the places I’ll get to travel to for my new job. A lot of it is new, unfamiliar, and maybe a bit scary, but that’s how we grow as individuals, by pushing the limits of our comfort.

We also grow by being open to new opportunities. It would have been easy to say that we didn’t want to move this far away, or to say that I wasn’t really looking for a new job when someone approached me about it. There wouldn’t have been anything wrong with either of those responses, by the way. But instead, here we are, and we are committed to making the most of it. Who knows how long we’ll be here, or where the next opportunity will come from? Obviously, being open to possibilities sometimes means saying yes to something that wasn’t exactly the plan you’ve drawn out for yourself. It’s a chance. Maybe it won’t work out all that well, maybe it will. Either way, I plan on embracing the adventure in 2015, and taking advantage of what is currently available to me.

Besides, doing more interesting things give me more to blog about, right? ;-)

I hope you can find your own adventure, and take full advantage of what life has to offer, this year. Who knows how many more we have?

If you’re looking for the annual photo round up of 2014, that is over on the photo blog!

Off to the Coast

Morning Fog at Seal Rocks
The wife and I are spending a couple of days celebrating Thanksgiving at the Oregon Coast. It’s been a bit crazy here since we made the move and with her working on this coming Saturday thanks to the Oregon-Oregon State football game, (aka the Civil War Rivalry), I’m thinking a couple of quiet days are just what we need right now.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to spend this time together. I’m also reminded that as crazy as it’s been, I’m thankful for the adventure. Life can change around you pretty quick when you let it, and it can be pretty exhausting at times. But it’s also pretty interesting too. I can honestly say that before this year, the idea of living in Oregon had never really occurred to me. But now we’re here, and while being all the way across the country from our families and friends is difficult, we’re also very thankful for the modern technology that makes it so easy to keep in touch with the people we love, even when we can’t be with them physically.

Of course, as I’ve said many times, that same technology not only has allowed me to keep in touch, it’s also allowed me to “meet” so many people through my websites, social networks, and other groups. I hope, especially with this site, that coming across the stuff I share from my adventures, has helped you in some way. If it has, then I’m truly thankful for that, even if I don’t know about it. What the point in sharing if not to educate, comfort and inspire others when we can?

Whatever you are doing this holiday weekend, at least for those of us in the US, spending it with family, spending it avoiding a dysfunctional family, working, resting, traveling, etc.  I hope that you can find some time for yourself, to recharge and enjoy the scenery along the way!


What’s the End Result?

Tomorrow I get to do something that, according to statistics, is one of the things adult survivors of sexual abuse dread the most. I have to have some dental work done.

I was terrified going to the initial appointment for an exam, I’m terrified of going back to have this work done, and I’m terrified of the number of appointments I will have to have to fully complete the work. Luckily, we found a dentist here in Corvallis who specializes in sedation dentistry, so I will actually be sedated long before I step foot in the office tomorrow, but even with that added bonus, just the thought of being in a dentist chair makes me feel queasy.

The only thing that is getting me through this, and the thing I’m counting on to get me through this whole process is the knowledge that the end result will be worth it. I’m looking forward to getting these things fixed and moving forward.

I think healing from abuse is a similar reality. Some of the steps toward healing can be scary, and many of them won’t be all that pleasant. Facing what happened, and facing the self-destructive behaviors we’ve developed over the years to help deal with it can be pretty terrifying. Healing isn’t always pretty. Sometimes, it can be a lot like taking a drill in the mouth, but we do it because the end result is worth it.

A life beyond “surviving” is out there, and it’s possible, but you have to show up to each appointment to get there. Keep your eyes on the end goal and keep moving forward!

Coming at You From The Other Coast

Oregon! Still hundreds of miles from home but in the right state!

A photo posted by Mike McBride (@mikemac29) on


So yes, I did make it to our new home in Oregon last week. I am still catching up on the photos I took during the drive over on my photo blog, but I realized today that I’ve neglected to post any updates over here!

I’m still getting used to being on a three hour time difference and living in a new place, but it’s coming along. I keep reminding myself that the frustrations I’m feeling are actually normal for anyone moving to a new place; finding things, not really feeling comfortable and let’s face it, after that drive, just feeling a bit run down! Those are not signs of “survivor issues”, they’re normal. Isn’t it weird that any struggle we have has to first go through that lens of figuring out if this is a survivor struggle, or a plain old regular struggle, as if survivor struggles are somehow different? They’re all struggles and obstacles to overcome, that can be overcome! Eventually, I’ll figure out how to get around Corvallis, what places I like, which I don’t, how to get an Oregon driver’s license, and so on. People move to new states, I did it myself just three years ago. It’s not without stress, but it’s hardly impossible.

I will say this though, even though I know I’ve said it before many times. Going through the trip here and all of these changes is only possible because I have spent the last few years embracing small, and large, changes and seeking out new adventures, building the confidence to deal with change. Driving across the US is not without it’s perils. I worried every day about the car breaking down, for example, but I also knew that if it did, I could figure out how to deal with it and get to where I needed to be. Luckily, no such thing happened, the trip went off pretty well and I was able to have a new adventure and see some new things.

I look forward to not only settling in and getting comfortable in our new surroundings, but to new adventures in Oregon as well. From what I’ve seen so far, I do believe there is plenty to explore here, and I know that I can explore it without fear!