An Unfinished Story


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Cane Creek Falls - Summer Waterfall Hike in Tennessee

I recovered this note that never got published, and it was just one of three things that crossed my screen over the last few days that gave me pause. Have you ever noticed that – that messages often come in threes? I always take that as a sign that I should stop and pay attention.

“An Unfinished Story” is the perfect title for this piece. The original title is below. But yes, it was never finished. And also… my story continued. Obviously I got back to fun hiking adventures and found my JOY again. Life went on. Life goes on. It has a way of doing that.

This moment in time stuck with me though, and came up again recently in conversation with a friend, so it was uncanny timing for it to resurface and cross my screen while doing some technical updates on my blog.

Anyway, stay tuned – I’ll share the other two things with you in my next note: a photo I couldn’t stop staring at, and a video that totally sucked me in. Both hit me pretty deep. But I wanted to share this with you first, for context…

~ How very strange it feels to revisit myself, and these thoughts, 6 years later, from this place in my life now where I’ve been navigating a life-altering chronic illness for more than two years… yet, I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Or more content maybe, more aware and more grateful definitely, yet with so much less…

I do miss the woman I used to be. But I really love the woman I’m becoming.

* written in November 2017

Losing Your Way. (Losing Your WHY…)

This started out as a story about why I stopped hiking, but then… I never really did (stop hiking). I just stopped enjoying it.

I’ve shared my hiking adventures here with you as my story unfolded, as I worked through all the struggles with my weight loss journey along the way – deep in the woods. And not just my weight loss, but my LIFE STORY: my mission and journey to become the happiest healthiest version of myself.

That story got put on hold. I never stopped eating low carb, but I did stop exercising – and stopped feeling excited about life. I lost my zest. I lost sight of my goals.

Mostly, I lost my story. It’s like putting a book down and picking it back up months later, and forgetting where you were.

THIS is where & when it happened.

Denny Falls, July 7th 2017.

This is the moment when everything changed:

LowCarbTraveler at Denny Cove Falls

On a big flat cool rock, watching the water roll over Denny Falls, sitting by a curiously small tree that grew out of that rock, I let the deafening noise of the waterfall wash over me like the water over the rocks.

This was the saddest moment of my year.

I felt confused, discouraged, conflicted, angry, sad – so many things at once I couldn’t even make sense of them all. So I just sat there and let the thoughts swirl.

It was a moment of “letting go,” a turning point where I knew everything would change. There was no going back from this point. Only figuring out how to move forward, and what that would mean – or even look like.

I was in no shape to do that right then, not in that state, not yet. I couldn’t think past how I felt, so I just felt – focusing on the cool rock beneath me, the warm sun on me, the cool spray of the falls and the breeze, to keep myself grounded.

I didn’t realize then though, just how deeply that day would end up affecting me.

Normally things roll right off my back and I just power through. Not this – for some reason it stuck with me, hard.

To be fair though, it all started on the hike a month before (on June 7th). I blew that off and let it go. Not this time though. This time it sunk in – deep.

Turning Points Can Be Brutal – But Also Beautiful

I already know I will look back on that moment as the turning point that changed my life for the better. That became clear to me recently. As painful as it was then, and in the months that followed, it also presented a new fork in the road. One I couldn’t see then of course, but that finally became clear – and got me excited about life again.

Change is hard. Letting go of something you wanted, or loved, or had – is hard. Self reflection can be tough and disappointments suck.

Certain life events or major changes can make you second guess yourself, or make you want to crawl back in your hole – your safety zone.

It can feel like life STOPS, or at least gets put on PAUSE.

And that’s okay, to take that pause. It’s a time to reflect, and to feel, a time to realize what really matters to you, a time to decide what to change and how to change it, and to let those thoughts take root… into actions.

Even if it’s just little things, with not much to root them in – yet.

An Unfinished Story

But what happened exactly??

That’s what I’m trying to sort out, recover from, move past, let go of, learn some big life lesson from – and what I’m trying to share with you.

That’s why I’m struggling to share it. Because while I understand what happened that day, I haven’t quite figured out why it hit me so hard, or why I allowed it to affect me this deeply – or for this long.

I walked into those woods feeling confident, happy and excited about my hike. This hike especially! One I’d been looking forward to for months.

I walked out of those woods feeling totally defeated, in every possible way.

Everything that defines my life right now, in my mind, goes back to that one moment in front of Denny Falls. I want so badly to UNassociate it. I’d give anything to UNdo it. But what’s done is done. We have to accept that and move on. “Now what?” – that’s always the best thing to ask yourself, and exactly what I’ve been asking MYself… ever since. I guess that’s where I got STUCK.

Part of the reason I’m struggling to tell you this story is because what happened that day is personal. It wasn’t anything horrible, I just had my pride dented and my feelings hurt. I had everything I am and everything that makes me HAPPY called into question. And it caused ME to start questioning myself… too. 🙁

The whirlwind of emotions that ensued took me from feeling beautiful and happy and confident and adventurous… to afraid, sad and unpretty.

You’ve probably discovered by now that your feelings and thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies, and invite or attract things to you. They’re like magnets: positive invites more positive (smiles make people smile back, confidence breeds more confidence, action brings results) and negatives attract more negative – or affect your actions, in turn affecting your results.

I ended up shutting down, shelving things, putting everything on hold, biting my tongue. I started questioning everything.

This was a HUGE REWIND in my journey.

You’ve watched me face fears, gain both inner strength and physical strength, and go from overweight and unsure… to the leanest, strongest, happiest, healthiest version of myself I’d ever been.

I miss that feeling.

Just recently I’ve started to shake it off and get a handle on my goals again, a handle on myself even, and started moving forward – in a BIG way.

That was 134 days ago. What took me so damn long?!

I dunno lol, call me slow. I spent the rest of July in a mental fog, just going through the motions. Then every time I got my head back on straight, something else would knock me off my feet again. 🙄

Ironically on July 3rd, just four days prior to that Denny Falls Hike, I was writing you a piece titled “Facing Your Fears & Building Inner Strength.”

Then four days later… well, I suppose Life decided to make me learn a little more about that before I went writing about it. 😛

We’ll call it a lesson in strength building. I like that. Looking at it as a life lesson from The Universe that will make me stronger and forced change in my life that will ultimately make all my dreams come true – yes, that’s easier to swallow. 🙂



Sewanee Natural Bridge

Hiking Adventures, Sewanee TN


You have two options when it comes to the world around you:

You can blaze a path and take control.

People tend to move the heck out of your way when you do that (lol).

Or you can be afraid and live cautiously – and every possible thing to be afraid of… can sniff out your vulnerability a mile away.

How are things going with you?

Leave a comment & let’s chat.;)

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

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