Taking the Leap of Faith (Surviving and Thriving!)

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Pelicans soar over the San Francisco Bay at sunset. Credit: Miranda Leitsinger

My New Year’s resolution (well one of them) is to venture out on at least one hike a week. It’s part of my R&R from the work week and a commitment to myself to get out and enjoy the great outdoors as well as to get some pretty awesome exercise.

I have already been doing this since I moved home in February 2015 to the Bay Area – after 20 years away – to get reconnected with the mountains, trails and creeks, and the Pacific Ocean that I grew up with and I love so much (I would dream about those mountains, the ones that line Skyline Boulevard, bridging two worlds: the mysterious, often fog-enshrouded Half Moon Bay Coast of my childhood and the more sunny, suburban Peninsula of my teen years).

Coming home was a monumental change for me. I’d decided to leave New York and my job at NBCNews.com, where I had a great position reporting breaking news from the field and investigative stories (a plum job!) because of chronic, serious illness among immediate family members. It wasn’t an easy decision or one I took lightly. I thought about it for nearly a year, considering options like temporary family leave. Ultimately, I knew my family needed me to be around permanently. So I made a plan, set the date, packed up my entire life in New York – including my two cats, Sami & Conchita, and made a leap of faith.

I landed at my best friend’s house in the East Bay, living with her and her spunky two daughters, and with a job in content marketing, using my journalism skills (seasoned after 15 years reporting in the field) to help companies tell their own stories for their digital channels.

It has all been a lot of change from being a globetrotting reporter (I previously lived in Hong Kong, Cambodia, Puerto Rico, Britain, France, Miami, Chicago, Iowa and New York), but it has been a welcome one as I contemplate my next life chapter (and it has given me the precious family time that was needed).

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Me at sunset at Sculptured Beach in Point Reyes, Ca.

Trekking the trails has been a big part of my time back home, paralleling my return journey and offering me many vistas and perspectives (the “ups and downs”). Along the way, I’ve learned about the nature around us – from the plucky, heart-shaped redwood sorrel to the plodding California newt, to the migrating whale ‘highway’ off the coast to the comeback kid, tule elk (a baby tule popped out of a bush right in front of me on a trail in Point Reyes). I’ve also fallen in love, shed a few pounds and truly begun to know myself better. It’s helped to build my confidence, too, physically (I tackled a 17.5-mile hike on my own!), emotionally and spiritually.

It’s all to say that I did it, I’ve done it and I’m doing it: surviving and thriving from taking a leap of faith. I want to share what I’ve learned and what I’m learning with you here. My blog will offer sections like “A Little Walk in the Woods” (hiking and all that entails!), “Voices” (interviews), “Migrations” (thoughts on the life journey), and “Musings” (ideas; perhaps a more ‘random assortment’ space like you’d get in a bag of Ghirardelli Chocolate). We’ll also have some great videos on YouTube!

For all of my years of writing, reporting, editing and being plain curious about the world around me, this is my first time blogging, so please be kind. But also, engage with me, correct me and share your love for the great outdoors here. I’d love to hear from you!

— Miranda

If you’re living and breathing, then you’ve still got a chance. If you’ve got a chance, you’ve got to back yourself. – Mick Fanning

 

 

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