In the past year in New Mexico, I’ve gone through three jobs and many little hussles, and settled down in one tiny casita. I’ve been to abandoned power plants, abandoned elementary schools, and abandoned towns. I’ve seen a movie ranch, Ghost Ranch, and a few horse ranches. I’ve been to an animal sanctuary and animal shelter. I’ve eaten pie in Pie Town, gotten stuck in Truth or Consequences, walked on a lava falls, slept on the White Sands, and experienced Roswell. I’ve been to old churches and graveyards and pueblos. I’ve photographed Spaceport America and stumbled upon the Very Large Array. I’ve been to three very strange man-made lakes and many unearthly rock formations. I’ve found an expanse that could rival the Dakota’s, walked my way through a maze of aspen trees, and stared at a valley from atop a mesa.

I’ve fallen in love and kicked myself out of love. I’ve made some of the best photos and friends of my life. I’ve managed to kill every plant I get, but I also managed to adopt a dog who’s alive and happy. I’ve made the best chicken pot pie from scratch and the worst pad thai. I’ve cried myself to sleep more than once, but I’ve also laid awake giddy and smiling.

This has been one of the most intense and trying places I’ve lived, but damn it’s been a ride. I once said I’d rather feel intense anything than nothing at all. And I certainly have felt and seen here in New Mexico. Don’t ever let me forget that.