It’s been a long time since my last blog entry. Chiefly among the reasons why, is that I’ve not known what to write about. You see, there’s an evolving concept known as climate grief or climate anxiety, and historically I’ve felt immune to it. I’ve been hopeful and positive that humanity can see ourselves out of the crisis that is climate change. But with the many environmental regulation rollbacks the Trump Administration has unfurled, I’ve struggled to maintain that hopefulness. And with that, the answers and solutions to climate change have felt vast and unattainable. That’s not what you want to read about! So over the past few months, I’ve resolved to find new ways to be in this fight and I’m finally prepared to share those with you now…
For the past six years, I was living and working in Washington DC for international environmental nonprofits. The work as a communications manager was fulfilling, but I grew restless. I knew the day I moved to DC that I didn’t want to live there forever – I’ve long dreamed of owning a home amidst a backdrop of bucolic countryside. Where exactly that dream would be rooted came to light last June.
I was visiting Maine, a place I’ve visited for many summers since childhood. Now as an adult, I am a summer camp instructor at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Bremen. It was this very same camp that really fueled and inspired my love of the environment over fifteen years ago. Now every time I visit, the camp, the community and friends there have felt more like home. In June, a friend of mine said that he would need a new tenant to his rental unit in October, which happened to be when my own lease in DC would end! So I began planning my relocation and in October, I uprooted my entire life and moved north.
With the relocation, I had to leave my job in Washington, and now I find myself freelancing for communications and PR work while I seek a new fulltime opportunity that will feel fulfilling. There are articles I want to write and documentaries I want to make about climate change, human behavior, and the connections in between. So while I freelance and job search, I’m also looking for grants that might support this endeavor. In my free time, I’m working on a book of poetry and a children’s book. It’s been overwhelming to say the least, especially as unforeseen emergency health expenses (for both me and my dog) have wiped out the savings I’d accumulated as a safety net during this transition. But despite all this, I feel more hopeful than I did a year ago, even six months ago.
My best friend reminded me the other day that I’m being intentional with this time – I could probably find any ol’ job quickly, but I know what excites me and what I’m passionate about, so I’m being selective on the opportunities I apply to and seek out. I feel most fulfilled when my work is combatting climate change; that might mean communicating to lay audiences about what it means, how they can play a role in the global solution. It might mean working on local policy or supporting organizations as a consultant to develop messaging of their own on the topic. Right now, it might also mean writing those articles, pitching them to newspapers and applying to grants to complete my documentary. There’s certainly more to come, and if you’re reading this, thanks for staying tuned. Here’s to the next chapter.