WDS 2013: Letting Go

July 16, 2013
Champagne Toast WDS 2013

(c) Armosa Studios

Earlier this month, I watched Tess Vigeland get up on stage and say that she left her dream job at NPR because she had “too much self respect to stay.” And I choked up, because I understood. I saw Chase Jarvis expound on the importance of creativity, of artistry, and how there is a lack of it in our culture. And my heart ached, because I know that school system too well. I watch Steve Schalchlin played the piano, singing songs he wrote after almost dying of AIDS. And I cried. Because life is about living every moment to the fullest.

Last year, WDS made me realize that I wanted to be a photographer. Full time. Not as a hobby. And I knew I wanted to do it in Spokane. So, here I was a year later, working at a photographer and moving to Spokane. Check and check. And I watched Tess say that she quit her job. That people asked her “what’s next?” and she didn’t know. Because when you’ve accomplished those goals, what’s left? And I felt her words echo in my heart. Saying things I couldn’t have verbalized.

Last year, WDS sparked something in me. And I took that something and ran with it, straight into my business. This year, I was expecting the same, but it never came. I thought, what if I have no other business goals? I do, and I know that I do. Because I want to do more with my business. And I know that. But those are little goals. What is my next big goal?  What if I don’t have any more goals? Obviously, the lack of sleep was turning me into a drama queen. So I asked myself, what did I learn this year?

Moments matter.

When I think back on WDS 2013, the difference is that it’s more about the people, and less about the message. Last year, I met so many wonderful people, but didn’t really keep in touch. And even though those people sparked so much change in my life, I didn’t feel like was holding myself to those goals because no one in my everyday life knew about them. This year, my goal is to keep in touch. To create and grow those relationships. To be fully present in my life, living every moment. Not holding back.

As I danced Bollywood with 3,000 people and sang along to Journey with 1,000 others, I realized that my life is beautiful and wonderful. It is remarkable. And I can’t keep wishing for something else, I need to live the life I have. Don’t wish for a different life, find a way to make your own life amazing.

PS – You can read the transcript of Tess Vigeland’s talk here.

photo of the author, she has dark wavy hair, brown glasses, and red lipstick on. She is wearing a grey shirt.


Servus! I’m Emily and you’ve found my little corner of the internet, where I write about travel, intentionally living with less stuff, and living as a German-American family in Munich, Germany.  Want to know more?