the mountains are calling and I must go

The mountains are calling and I must go. Sharing some personal news on the blog today... head to jojotastic.com to read all about it

(Confession: I’ve always wanted to use that as an Instagram caption.)

I’m gonna get real in this post, guys. Get ready. Basically, I am leaving tomorrow for a 2 week long solo road trip. While the blog has continued to run and look like everything is peachy keen, the fact is that things have not been great for me lately. The past few months have been incredibly hard and not for any one particular reason, but for a multitude of reasons all piling up and feeling overwhelmingly crushing. I started to list them as I write this post and when it’s all spelled out, it seems so trivial — work has been slow… I’m not able to rock climb because of an injury… I’m constantly exhausted and struggling to maintain focus. The list goes on and on, but at the root of it is that I struggle with depression. I have for years and I’ve touched on it here, but never in a big way. Currently, the deep dark abyss is looming and I know it. But here’s the thing, I’ve been there before and I am not going back. I refuse. So it’s time to do something about it.

It all comes down to the fact that I have not taken time for myself in so so SO long. When was the last time I did something that I wanted simply because I wanted to do it? I truly cannot remember. When was the last time I did something on my own without checking in or telling someone or even posting an Instagram? Nope, I don’t even know. Somewhere along the way, I’ve lost my independence and free spirit and I am utterly depleted. I’ve become wrapped up in caring for others when I so badly need to take care of myself. The fact is that I’ve become toxic to most of my relationships because I haven’t taken care of myself and am instead beginning to suck those relationships dry. I’m needy, I’m pushing away, I’m crying (constantly), I sleep or I don’t sleep. I am entirely depleted. It feels like I need to hit the reset button in a big way.

That’s why I started daydreaming about taking a road trip through Washington to Idaho to Montana to Wyoming and back again. A solo trip feels so hugely urgent to me right now… in fact, it feels like it’s the only way for me to move forward in my life instead of staying totally mired in this depression. Mountains and fresh air are practically band aids for my soul and I’m hoping that a 2 week dose of them and sleeping in my beloved truck with my dog will help me get back on my feet.

I have this fear that I’m simply running away from my problems and not addressing them. But instead, my fervent hope is that this road trip will give me the space to get away from my day-to-day distractions and find some clarity about how to move forward. I’m hoping to clear the noise and focus only on what’s in front of me, something I haven’t been able to do in so long.

I’m not really sure what my plan is for staying in touch while I’m road tripping. I’ll probably post the odd Instagram or two, but I really just want to take the time for myself away from the voices (real and digital) of others. I’ve got some really great posts scheduled to keep you guys stoked while I’m away and, I promise, I will be back — hopefully just a happier, more grounded person.

Thanks for your continued support as I sort things out.

xo – Joanna

Photography by Danfredo Photo + Films.

  • Brittany S

    I’ve had this post bookmarked and I finally took the time to read it. Thank you for sharing. I can totally relate, and just might have to escape to the mountains as well sometime soon. I hope you find what you’re looking for, or just find enough space away from all the noise. Nature heals; I hope you come back with a new outlook. Brighter days are ahead.

    • I’m so glad you read it and were able to chime in. It always helps to know that you guys can relate. I hope you’re able to escape to the mountains soon, too — it was so helpful and peaceful!

  • Lisa

    Good for you for taking care of yourself. Running from problems isn’t the same as giving yourself space, and it sounds like you are doing the latter. I hope it’s restorative and just what you need. xo

    • Hi Lisa! I just got back and couldn’t be more grateful for your encouraging words. It was totally restorative <3

  • Courtney Ruscin

    Thank you for sharing this Joanna, I think so many of us struggle with the same exact things and feelings you do and it helps to know we are not alone. I hope your trip is everything you need and more, enjoy every minute and look forward to your return!

    • Thank you so much for the reminder that I’m not alone in this – sometimes it can feel like I am, but to know you guys ‘get it’ is so helpful as I navigate through this crazy life!

    • Thank you so much for the reminder that I’m not alone in this – sometimes it can feel like I am, but to know you guys ‘get it’ is so helpful as I navigate through this crazy life!

  • It sounds like you aren’t running away, but running toward what fuels you. Having struggled with the same for many years I hope you find the healing you are needing away from the noise! Wishing you health and safety on your journey!

    • thanks so much, Tammy. I just got back and feel so much more at peace.

  • sara g

    Another favorite John Muir quote: “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

    Nature never fails in this regard. I’ve also struggled with depression for years and being outside will always make me feel at least a tiny bit better. Enjoy that trip!

    • I actually have a t shirt with the first half of that quote on it! It’s one of my favorites. Thank you so much for sharing and I totally agree that nature is the absolute best remedy.

  • I hope that this getting away does so much good for you. I don’t look at it as running away… I think you’re so brave and wise and wonderful for being able to say “this is what I need.” I admire that so much. I totally feel what you mean when you said you’d become toxic to relationships because you hadn’t taken time for yourself. I feel that SO MUCH.

    Have fun, and take good care of yourself. I’m glad Nood is going with you!

    • thanks so much for commenting, lady! It really means a lot to me.

  • I wish you all the happiness in the world Joanna! I seen you talking about this on Snapchat. Not to make it a “me too” situation but I just wanted to let you know I can relate.

    The best thing I did was talked to someone (ok, it was a therapist). But everyone is different and if nature fuels your soul then go for it girl! We will be here, waiting happily for your return.

    Much love and many blessings!
    xx

    • Thanks so much for your kind words! It helps to know you can relate :)

  • This post resonates with me a lot, Joanna. I’ve struggled with depression on and off for years as well. It’s frightening to stand at the edge of the abyss. It takes a lot of hard earned life experience to know how to turn and walk away from it. Wishing you everything you need for this trip. Be safe and be well, friend.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Britt. Hugs!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Britt. Hugs!

  • This post resonates with me a lot, Joanna. I’ve struggled with depression on and off for years as well. It’s frightening to stand at the edge of the abyss. It takes a lot of hard earned life experience to know how to turn and walk away from it. Wishing you everything you need for this trip. Be safe and be well, friend.

  • Get out there and go rock that solo trip. We’ll be here! Hope your injury isn’t too bad and you can climb soon!

    • Thanks lady! My injury is getting way better, I’m already in PT. Hoping to get back to climbing in August.

    • Thanks lady! My injury is getting way better, I’m already in PT. Hoping to get back to climbing in August.