You are because you say you are.

I recently wrote about a dream coming true. Traveling to Alaska (bucket list destination) courtesy of Princess Cruises (hello, press credentials) writing and photographing (numero uno dream job of all time) for The Avid Cruiser (a respected mentor and friend). It doesn't get more exciting than this. I've been blogging and traveling and writing and wanderlusting and photographing and dreaming for years. At times I wanted all of that energy to lead to something and at other times I just kept going because it makes me happy. At times I pursued the goal with specific intentions and at other times I ignored it entirely, going about my normal life. This ebb and flow, this evolving dance with what I really want out of my life, has been going on for what feels like forever. Now here I am. Even though it could seem simple, this one assignment, I still believe it's an absolute manifestation. It feels surreal. That's actually what I want to talk about, the surreal nature of it all. This thought has been stewing for a while now: You are because you say you are. Jen Sincero, Wayne Dyer, and I have something to say about the power of owning it.

Owning it. No apologies. No excuses. Taking a proactive role in defining the life you want to live. 

Ralph Grizzle (a.k.a. The Avid Cruiser) recently posted about the three journeys covered on the Live Voyage Report site in May. When I read his words, I couldn't take them in. It felt like an out of body experience. Who is this woman he's talking about, anyway? 

A chance meeting a couple of years ago resulted in our welcoming aboard Gail Jessen. Gail is a Salt Lake City based writer who will be reporting for us from Star Princess as she and the ship make their way from San Francisco to Skagway — and back. Gail wrote an engaging piece that will tell you who she is and how she became a travel writer. You will find her post here. For inspiration alone, it is recommended reading.

A Salt Lake City based writer? How she...became a travel writer? Inspiring? I stared at the screen. Agape. Holy shit, you guys. I'm a writer based in Salt Lake City. That's me he's talking about. I'm a writer. I write. I'm writing. I'm in Salt Lake City and I write, like writers do. I'm a travel writer. I write about travel. Out in the world, while traveling, I write. I'm a writer of travel stories based in Salt Lake City. My reaction was a bit like...Bob's.

I'd say printing a box of oh-so-official business cards - to hand out on the ship and to family/friends - is owning it.

One particular point from Sincero's book, You Are a Badass, comes to mind a lot lately. I'm paraphrasing, but she basically says: You want to be a photographer...but you don't take pictures. What sense does that make? Conversely, you take a lot of photos and it's a significant passion for you, but you say you're not a photographer? Why the hell not? What's a photographer then? Someone who takes pictures. So go do that. Say you're a photographer. Aren't you? Then go do it some more. You are whatever you say you are simply because you said it...then did something about it. She writes:

Set your intention, work steadily in the direction you want to go, do all that you know how to do, believe it’s here and available to you, be diligent about how you speak, think and behave, have faith in yourself and The Universe, and then...drum roll please, this is the super important part...breathe, let it go, fuggetaboutit, give it some damn room to come in. 

While I read Sincero over a year ago, I've recently been making my way through Wayne Dyer's newest book, I Can See Clearly Now. I tackle bits and pieces here and there, mostly letting the new paradigms settle in between readings. It's the kind of a book you take your time with and he's that kind of author. What's percolating to the top is his discussion of "I AM..." The phrase "I am" is one of the most profound, transformative phrases we can possibly utter. We literally create our reality with that phrase. Think about it. It's so simple, but it's such a game changer. We can unfairly turn "I'm having a rough day and lost my temper for a moment" into "I am an angry person." We can also then take a proactive role in defining the life we want to live by turning "I like to write and maintain a blog" into "I am a travel writer."

I AM. Sit with it for a minute. Think of all the ways you're currently shaping your reality with I AM statements (conscious or out loud or not). Think of all the ways you could shift your future reality by intentionally focusing on the power of "I AM."

I'll kick it off: I am a travel writer based in Salt Lake City.


This post is dedicated to Jo and Elizabeth, two amazing women who inspire me...and who I've never actually met. Through the magic that is Instagram and, coincidentally, an online photography course, we found each other. Without saying much - a double-tap photo like here, a Facebook comment there - we've connected and we just get it. This is for them. 

Cruising Alaska, Day One: Pre-cruise Adventures in San Francisco

5 months on the road: A photographic recap