Being In It – (as opposed to “out of it”)

Thanks for joining me! My name is Oona, I am an artist and photographer living in the mountains of western North Carolina. I love to create in many ways, drawing, painting, graphic design, photography, etc, and I really enjoy spending lots of time outdoors, hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, kayaking and exploring. I have battled with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life and I’ve found that without a doubt, photography and hiking are two of my most effective day-to-day remedies.

Hence the name “Being In It.” Many days I feel so overwhelmed and confused that when asked how I feel, the only response I can muster is “I’m just feeling out of it.” Which feels true, even though it is just an abstract way of avoiding a more accurate description of my emotional state. But if “out if it” is truly how I feel, the way to change that is always to go be IN it.

So this will be a record of the places I go, the things I see, the photos I take and my personal experience living with mental illness. There may be the occasional sketch or painting, and regular features of my compassionate mountain man husband, Shawn, our brave, brilliant and adorable son Odin (now 2.5), and the big dumb dog, boxer/pit mix Duke. I will try to share a variety of hikes and locations, so that you can read first hand experience from someone who is out of shape, inexperienced and chock full of anxiety- but eager to gobble up the beauty of the world wherever it can be found. I hope you enjoy my stories and photos from around the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, I’m glad you’re here.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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