I grew up in a small town in Southwest Missouri where I focused most of my time to being outside, playing sports, and going to church. Even though I grew up on a farm and I’m from a small town, that was neither my parents nor my own mindset. I was fortunate enough to travel a lot while I was growing up. I developed a love of history and different cultures, but nothing excited me more than nature. I carried that love with me into college when I decided to major in animal biology.
I majored in animal biology for two years before I realized I needed to be doing something more creative. I decided to switch my major to public relations and I found my niche. I entered a highly creative and versatile field, which allowed me to foster my innate creativity in new and exciting ways.
However, the changes only began there. Last summer I had the incredible opportunity to spend two months in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on a summer mission with a campus organization known as Cru. It was in Gatlinburg my love for nature was revitalized, a direct result of Gatlinburg’s location at the entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Any free time I had was spent in the mountains—taking in the beautiful scenery, exploring the trails, and engaging with the wildlife.
It was hard for me to come back to Missouri after that. I learned that staying in one place was not for me, but I still had two years left of college, so the wanderlust biting at my heels would have to be subdued for the moment. Since I was still playing football then, I focused my attention on it.
For several reasons, I made the decision to quit once the season finished. Quitting football caused me to realize how strongly my identity was rooted in being an athlete. I had played one or multiple sports at a time since I was six years old. Now I had no sport, a crippled desire to travel, and time—too much time. I fell into a pit of isolation and, in turn, lost all motivation.
To turn my emotions into something worthwhile, I began writing poetry. I created a blog and started posting the poems I was writing. I titled the blog “Know It’s Me”, a simple statement I used to summarize the authentic and very real nature of the poems I was writing. Poetry served as an outlet for me in a time when I desperately needed it.
I am happy to say I am in a much better place in my life now. My strategy has been two words—constant improvement. I am constantly becoming a better version of myself, conquering the mountains and valleys of my life one step at a time. Thus, I’ve become more passion-driven and I’ve gained an entirely new perspective towards life, a perspective riddled with wanderlust, whimsy, and wonder. I still write poems, but for the most part, they are much more positive. I still desire to travel, a thirst not likely to ever be quenched, but I have found a way to be content with where I am now. I’ve discovered my purpose resides in my location, and until my purpose evolves, my location will remain the same.
Taylor Loyd is the co-founder of Austin Crossfit Gym Iron Greenhouse with a super inspiring story of perseverance and self will to overcome drugs, abuse and a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles
On the Bus Podcast (Brandon + Daniel) is converting a bus into a mobile studio to travel South America to interview and engage with guests along the way
Alex Lewis started Car Window Poetry with the goal of spreading inspiration through encouraging notes on car windows. He’s been featured on ABC Nightly News and his movement is slowly spreading across the country.
My story comes with a lot of twists and turns. Ones that were extremely dark in the midst of unfolding. Fast forward a few months and I wouldn’t change those twists for anything. Why? Because they’ve made my story so much more meaningful and a hell of a lot more fruitful. Why keep your story to yourself?
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