From the Ashes … how I came to be drifting my way solo through Outback Australia

Writing my first Steemit post on the road

Writing my first Steemit Post on the banks of Pamamaroo Lake

With enough lived years most of us come to an event that flips our trajectory at least 180 degrees, often providing a few 360 degree loops in between, before setting us toward an entirely alternate universe. The moment that marks the precise pivot point between Before and After. My hope is that for you this was a joyful event such as the birth of a child as it is so often the tragedies that produce our most radical shifts.

My name is Kylie and my Before ended on February 6th, 2016, with the sudden collapse of my sister at her kitchen sink. My After was delayed by seven days of Purgatory filled with complex medical jargon that turned to mush in a mind running low on sleep and high on heartache and shock. To absorb concepts that the best heart surgeons in the country found complex was an impossibility so instead I walked the halls in a daze. My most vivid memory is the machines that held my sister's fragile life in their circuits, I watched their rolling waves and flattening lines obsessively for signs of a life beyond them as I silently begged her to fight and made deals -- with God, with the devil, with whoever was listening. This desolate white halled landscape was filled with false hope and sudden crashing despair.

Life contains thankfully few JFK moments, those instances when you can recall exactly what you were doing, wearing, the scents in the air and the sudden stopping of time. My After began on February 13th, 2016. It is a moment I recall with a level of clarity that I would prefer was diluting with the passing of time when my brother-in-law, Rob, phoned to tell me that the little hope remaining had run its minuscule course. The machines, so robust, were insufficient to sustain what was left of my sister, they would be turned off. It is one of those conversations you remember distinctly yet the details blur in to an incomprehensible funnel as you stand on the edge of Before looking in to the looming precipice of After.

This marked the beginning of what I refer to as The Great Landslide of 2016 during which a force moved through my life and dismantled all I had defined myself to be. Caught in its chaotic tornadoes I watched on, helplessly unable to change the course of this storm as each loss compounded this first. By the end of 2016 all that remained of me was an abyss of grief. The void almost consuming me, I was saved only by the love of those who remained. Friends who literally and figuratively lifted me when I could go on no more and carried me back home to myself. They kept vigil, the held me until I was standing on ground that did not move. They rushed in when I began to sway in a slight breeze and righted me until it stilled.

This recovery from the bottom of the barrel of despair has finally reached a place from which I can begin to imagine what it might look like to go on. Radical life evens invite radical life change and this is how I came to be on the road to Uluru, travelling solo through Outback Australia. Free camping my way to the red heart of this country that I have always so longed to see. Contained in my converted Honda Jazz camper, Thelma-Louise (more on her in my next post). It is how I discovered that photography healed me, or at least gave moments of pause from the onslaughts of a heart tearing itself to pieces. The search for solid ground is how I discovered that nature was a balm for my battered soul and that my feet in the dirt stopped thoughts barrelling relentlessly through my unstable mind. And it is how I came, tentatively, to share my writing with a world outside my journals.

View from the boot on the road to Gunderbooka

View from Thelma-Louise on the road to Gundabooka National Park

My sister was the adventurous one, the brave child. She scorned me not to be sacred, urged me to step forward when I wanted to shrink back. I hear her voice at lonely remote campsites when I am too frightened in the dark to get out of my car. I hear her in the stillness of these desert nights saying what she always said when I was scared - it will be fine.

This Steemit account is my story of just how fine it will be. This is no longer a story of heartache and pain. I choose now to make it one of adventure and beauty, lightness and humour. I invite you to keep me company on my solo journey through the Outback and beyond as I float my way to Uluru in trusty old Thelma-Louise.

Some other places I put pictures and words ...

Instagram

Fancy pictures and different kinds of words

Facebook

Where I gather all my bits and some behind the scenes images, followed passionately by my parents

Blog

A much neglected but soon to be reignited place that will be about places to take nice photos in Australia

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Hello and welcome to steemit.

tip! post

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Thanks so much. I'm brand spanking new so trying to wrap my head around it. I love the concept

Welcome to Steem Community @onethousandwords! As a gentle reminder, please keep your master password safe. The best practise is to use your private posting key to login to Steemit when posting; and the private active key for wallet related transactions.

In the New Steemians project, we help new members of steem by education and resteeeming their articles. Get your articles resteemed too for maximum exposure. You can learn more about it here: https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@gaman/new-steemians-project-launch

Hi Kylie... Nice to meet you... Welcome to Steemit.... This is a nice intro post... I hope you will do great over here as a steemian... Follow Me @onority

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Thanks for the welcome. I'll check out your account when I get to some wifi

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You are most welcome.... I will wait for the time you check my account... :)

Before and After...interesting writing! Welcome! I want to share some beginning info with new accounts that show promise, and the info may help you too.

There are a ton of other webpages to help you with Steemit. Here are some of the best for beginners:
(special thanks to @finnian for this post!)
https://steemd.com/ (This site is used to keep track of your voting power and other stats. You do not want to run out of voting power, and you only get so much per day. I keep my voting power around 80% for example.)

https://steem.makerwannabe.com/ (This site will tell you who follows you, who unfollows you, and who mutes you. It is great for meeting new people too. I regularly check it to see who has followed me to see if I should follow them back.)

https://steemit.chat/ (This site is the official chat webpage for Steemit. There are Discord channels too, but I usually stick to the official site. Come in to network and meet new friends. You can directly message people there too, so it makes it easier to communicate with your closest friends.)

Oh yeah, there are a lot of bots on here. If you see a cookie cutter reply, especially to your intro post, it is almost certainly a bot. Check the account's reputation. If it is low, I would recommend just ignoring them. Everything is public on Steemit, so you can go look at an account's comments and replies. Are they all the same? It's a bot.

Adding photos to your account as a new Steemian may be confusing at first too. The easiest way it to click to "Submit a Story." Once in there, use the built in Steemit tool to upload an image from your computer. Below the posting window, you will see "Insert images by dragging & dropping, pasting from the clipboard, or by selecting them." Click on the blue text. Once the image is uploaded, you can copy and paste the link into your account settings.

Verifying your identity is very important because it will get you more support and people will trust you more. The best way to verify is to link back to your Steemit account by using another public social media account. For example, I posted my Steemit articles from here through my Twitter account. Another person posted their Steemit information on their Facebook account. Some people will even post a video of themselves writing out their account information since that cannot be Photoshopped. The more famous a person is or the more valuable their content is, the more important it is that they verify. If a new account falls within those two categories and fails to verify, it may get blacklisted.

Again, welcome, and I've followed you! You can use SteemFollower to keep up with your follows and follow people back if you like their content. If you have any questions about getting started, look me up on the chat site or at http://juststeemit.com

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Thanks so much for all the info. I really appreciate it. It will take a bit if time to get a handle on things. I'll be sure to check your links out once I get to some wifi

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How are you? @Onethousandwords, Let me welcome you to Steemit. Hope you gonna have fun with our community. Feel free to follow me @rightuppercorner Have a great time @rightuppercorner

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Beautiful words. Im glad you are slowly regaining some equilibrium in life. Your sister was unique and I miss her terribly but nothing compared to you. Looking forward to following your adventures.

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❤ I am humbled

Welcome @onethousandwords! Very interesting intro post.

Hey we have a pretty strong Team Australia community going here on steemit to support each other. If you'd like to be part of it, then please check out this link for the instructions on how to join https://steemit.com/teamaustralia/@choogirl/team-australia-new-recruits-update-06-10-17-and-steemit-goes-down

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Hey thanks for the welcome. That sounds good. When I get to Coober Pedy I should have some time and some wifi to take a look. Really appreciate the invite.

This post received a 10% vote by @mrsquiggle courtesy of @choogirl from the Minnow Support Project ( @minnowsupport ). Join us in Discord.

Upvoting this comment will help support @minnowsupport.

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Admire and respect your openness and courage - you are doing the right thing!