On Finding Healing In Santa Fe


Two years ago in February, my job sent me to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a photography workshop.

I work in PR at a university in California and had started taking more photographs for our campus events. I hadn’t had much training in that area, as I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in journalism.

I’d never traveled alone before and honestly, I was afraid.

It was the first time I flew on an airplane by myself, stayed in a hotel alone, rented a car and navigated my way through a new city.

More than that, I knew that when I came back, I would be entering the next phase of my career. That scared me.

Was I going to be good enough? Was I going to remember everything I’d learned? How would I be able to apply it to my job?

I had a lot of fears and thoughts that I carried with me on the plane ride over.

I met a lady from Nashville in my class the first day and we became instant friends.

Throughout the week, we ventured to new spots in Santa Fe, taking photos. We had to get bold and stop people on the street to talk to them and see if we could take their photo. We admired the sunsets, we took drives through town. We ate a lot of New Mexican food.

Every evening, my new friend and I would have dinner and recap our lessons from the day. We’d vent about our frustrations with learning all of the gadgets on the camera and how we were going to apply it when we returned to our normal lives.

Yes, I went there for the photography workshop.

Yes, work sent me there.

There’s something about the food, the atmosphere and the people that is so unique and unlike anywhere I’d ever been. It has a small town feel

But, God did something much deeper, more personal in me. That healed me.

On our last night in Santa Fe, I told my new friend more about where I was at in my life – I had just turned 25 at the time. It was time to stop waiting, to take chances and to travel.

She took the bracelet off of her wrist which said, “follow your bliss.” She told me to follow my bliss. To find what I’m passionate about and to really experience life.

Santa Fe was a place of healing for me.

It brought me back to the core of my identity. God used it as a defining moment to remind me of who I am. It was never about the photography workshop, not really. Yes, I learned a lot and stepped into the new season with my job.

But, I guess it’s true what they say… It’s about the journey, not the destination. [tc-mar]