I’ve gone through some significant changes in my life. Most label my experience as a transition, but throughout this process, I’ve come to see it much differently.
The last few years have been a realization.
A realization of who I am.
Of who I have always been.
Of the happiness and love that can come from being yourself.
Of the love and support from family and friends.
But also of hate and ignorance for those that are different.
A realization of my place and importance in the world.
Of how important the relationships in my life have been.
Of the strength I’ve drawn from those around me.
Of the importance of our wild areas and the restorative and healing powers they hold.
Over the last two years, I’ve been able to realize, accept and love the woman I am, the woman I’ve been and the woman I hope to be.
I’ve opened my eyes and realized that it’s time to stop hiding, and as Brené Brown says, “it’s time to show up and be seen.”
For more than a year and a half, my wife Cheri and I allowed the writer and filmmaker/photographer Julie Ellison full access into our lives. She followed us through very personal moments full of joy and pain, hurt and despair, confusion and clarity. We relived old and new trauma and celebrated happiness, confidence, and realization. Often these conflicting feelings and emotions were stacked on top of one another. Highs and lows bound together, inseparable from one another.
Julie’s profile is a window into our life, and a starting point for a conversation of change.
Read the full story on Outside Magazine.
Article by Nikki Smith, September 2019. Pictures by Cheri Smith, Jake Hirschi, Savannah Cummings.
Nikki Smith, 43 years old, photographer, writer, designer and climber.
Nikki has been with Grivel in the USA since 2010, and has been climbing since 1992. Nikki has opened more than 150 new climbing routes and has authored five climbing guidebooks.
Favorite Grivel products: G20+, North Machine, Stealth helmet, and the Sigma and Lambda Twin-Gate carabiners.