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  • Hannah Giffen

All The Updates...

Hey there lovely!

It has been way too long since I have written a post. I will be the first to say it, this blog just hasn't been a priority. However, it is now and I am so excited to bring you some new excitement. But first, wanna know what I have been up to?!

When I was in high school, I played soccer at an Oregon Ducks soccer came in Eugene Oregon. I was mesmerized. Not by the school, even though it is amazing, but by Oregon. I don't know what it was, but I was hooked and I knew I would live in Oregon one day. Financially, college just was not going to happen in Oregon, but I was okay with that. Looking back now I realize how different my life would be if I would've gone to college in Oregon, and I am really happy I didn't.

Fast forward to May 2018. That whole year was weird but that was when I discovered Bend, Oregon. I literally just googled "best places to live in Oregon" and Bend was like #23 or something. I went down the list, looking at pictures, city websites, and so on. When I hit Bend I knew that was it. I romanced Bend for several years. I moved to NM with an ex(biggest learning experience of my life) and then I ended up back in Texas a few months later. I did not want to be in Texas again, but I didn't have any other option. I was broke, fresh out of college, completely lost, and family was in Texas. So that's where I went. Bend was always in my mind though.

Fast forward to August 2019, I made the move to Denver with the intent to move to Bend within 5 years. I found this awesome non-profit to work for(safe house for survivors of sex trafficking) and I was pumped. I was born in Colorado and it felt good to be mom was there too which was dope. After about 8 months, I was sat down by my boss and told the safe house was getting shut down but don't worry "you still have a job". While I was excited to still have a job, it wasn't what I saw for myself. I quickly realized I was in a sinking ship and I was about to start treading water. So in May of 2021, I took a vacation to Bend.

As I was driving up into Bend, I cried. The view was amazing and I was so happy to be there. Finally. My airbnb wasn't quite ready, so I took my dog Luna to a dog park. I was so happy and free and all my worries and concerns about my job back home were nonexistent. While I had planned to do this trip solo, it just happened to work out that my dad...who lives in China....was coming into town and made a pit stop in Bend. I was excited to see him obviously but I was a little worried. He is pretty real, and sometimes can really shoot your hopes down. What happened though was quite the opposite.

We went on hikes, walked around downtown, ate some good food and had a great time catching up. He told me he could see me here and he really like the town. The whole time I was in Bend, I felt like I was home. I moved around a lot as a kid and never had that feeling. I never had that childhood home, or even that location that I can be like "yeah that's home. That place raised me". But I felt that here.

Fast forward to July 2021, I was moving to Bend. I found another great non-profit that had been established for 50+ years. Do my thing and working with homeless kiddos coming from corrections. My mom was a champ and helped me with this move. We did it from Denver to Bend straight through LOL. The housing market is wild everywhere, but really wild here. The only place I could find was a 250 sqft studio in a town close to Bend. I have since been able to move into a 1 bedroom that is so much better lol. But I made it work. It honestly didn't even matter though. My dog is chill, we go for an adventure every weekend, and my job is pretty great. I could not be happier.

The thing I have left out though is this. In April 2019, I started selling shampoo that I had been using for a couple years at that point. I did a live on my IG about my "why" for the business. In that video I said, "this business is giving me things I didn't realize I needed. It's opening my eyes to possibilities I didn't believe I could have. & I promise I'll get that tiny home in Bend Oregon." Before this business, I didn't consider myself a dreamer or goal getter. That life was scary for me. This business pushed me into that uncomfortable place and here I am. It wasn't a legit tiny home, but it was a small living space. While I love my 9-5, it is really hard. Money is not in social work. Your mental health is constantly being tested. Vacation time is basically unheard of. I love what I do. It is rooted deep within my heart now and I will always be involved in it. But I see my involvement a little differently now than I did even a year ago.

I want to be able to financially help whenever there is a need. I want to volunteer instead of get paid. I want to start my own non-profit and fill the gaps that I have noticed in the last few years in the juvenile system. I want options and the freedom to go to a cabin in the middle of nowhere if my mental health is needing that. I don't want to feel guilty for being emotional tired at work. I am finally home and my potential is infinite and cannot be stopped.

So there's that! That is where I am at and what's been happening. It is a lot obviously, so if you made it this far, you are a rockstar and I love ya. Check back later for a few mindset blogs!

I'll leave ya with this;

"you are one decision away from a completely different life." -Mel Robbins

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