The narrative now: Searching for a purpose out West

Photos contributed by Ciara Horner Ciara Horner quit her job, packed two suitcases and booked a one-way ticket to travel out West to Utah, Nevada and California during the pandemic.

Ciara Horner

This past year has been one of the most trying of my 25 years on this earth. I can remember being so anxious and nervous worrying what would happen next when it all unfolded.

During this pandemic, I felt very lost without a purpose. The gym I was going to five days a week closed, and I felt as if things were spiraling out of my control.

In April, I took it upon myself to quit my job, focus on the present, and just roll with the punches. I took this crazy year for what it was and decided to focus on learning more about myself.

I packed two suitcases and booked a one-way flight out to Arizona to stay with family and explore out West for the first time. I was very blessed with the opportunity to hike and travel in Utah, Nevada,

and California. Every experience was focused on nature and exploring the world around me.

I traveled for two months. While I was gone, I took time to focus on my future. Upon my return, I decided to get back in school to become an early childhood education major.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to grow as a person and focus on what truly makes me happy. This pandemic has shown me just how important relationships and interactions are to humans.

My lifesaver during this would have to be the sweet, chocolate lab puppy my family decided to get. We named her Marley. She helped me to have something to focus on and care for when I did not have control over anything else.