Hi! My name is Charlotte! Many of you know me as the blogger behind, It's me, Charlotte...
Years ago, in 2010, I started a blog called It's me, Charlotte. I began the blog as a way to share my journey of living a healthy, vibrant and inspired life. I shared healthy recipes, lifestyle inspiration and musings on life. In May of 2014, one month before graduating from college, I was diagnosed with the debilitating autoimmune disorder Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
For me, Hashimoto's manifested as extreme fatigue, weight gain, depression, anxiety, severe skin reactions and absolutely debilitating pain in my back and neck. I found myself nearly bed ridden for the year following for these reasons. During this time, I began to share my healing journey on my blog about my efforts to reclaim my health through the Autoimmune Protocol diet, a therapeutic diet, and the suggested lifestyle practices that accompany it. I lived in Portland, Oregon during this time with my long-time love partner of five plus years.
In the Spring of 2015, he moved back to Europe after losing his America visa. Two months later, to my dismay, we broke up. This of course ended up being a blessing in disguise, but at the time, it sent me into an even deeper depression. I felt lonely, abandoned and very sick. I spent most of 2015 even sicker than I had been the previous year. I was still living in Portland at this time and was incredibly unhappy.
After spending the Spring/Summer heartbroken, I decided that I would take a soul trip to Copenhagen, Denmark—a place that inspired me visually, was incredibly safe for female solo travelers and had a very gluten-free friendly (and progressive) food scene. In August of 2015, I packed a backpack and carry-on, rented an amazing apartment in Copenhagen and was on my way. I stayed for one month and ended up having the BEST time. I spent my time taking photos, biking all around the city, having picnics by the water and even had a short lived romance that taught me I would be able to love again. This trip changed my life and I can't recommend solo travel more. For the first time in over a year, I felt happy. I felt inspired. My soul trip changed my life. I went from a place of deep depression and not knowing how I'd continue on in life to a quick turn around where I felt inspired to create a life I wanted to live. My trip planted a spark of joy that, at that time, was quite unfamiliar. I was devastated to have to return to Portland. As the extremist that I am, I decided I absolutely had to move to Copenhagen. I couldn't not be there.
During the Fall of 2015, before moving to Copenhagen, my amazing friend/mentor and all around Boss Lady, Mickey Trescott—a prominent figure in the Autoimmune community and founder of the incredible resource Autoimmune Wellness—got an incredible book deal with a large publishing house in New York. Mickey and her business partner Angie hired me to shoot their cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, which is a holistic guide to healing from autoimmune disease. I spent the fall in Portland/Santa Barbara photographing their book. It was amazing. If you're interested in the book, you can purchase it here. It's an incredible resource and a project that I am still so grateful to have been part of.
After finishing up the cookbook, I sold all my things, left my sweet little SE Portland house and was on my way to Copenhagen with not much more than a carry-on and my camera (November '15.) My Hashimoto's was still very present and alive when I moved to Copenhagen but that spark of joy remained.
Whilst I thought my life would greatly improve in Denmark, which it did in ways, what I really did during my year in Denmark, was grieve. Copenhagen gave me space and inspiration to turn inward and do some very deep soul healing. I was going through the deeply painful work of putting my heart back together. I had no idea how much a broken heart would shake me up, break me open and rebirth me. I continued to blog during this time but began to feel that I no longer wanted to share my story. It started feeling really personal. I had gained a large readership and a great Instagram following but I just couldn't share anymore. I shut my blog down...like, literally took it off the internet with no explanation and turned inwards.
I began to realize that my breakup was a catalyst for immense change. My break-up cracked my heart open all the way to its core, and what was coming out, was not only grieving the loss of my relationship with my now ex-partner, but it allowed me to finally grieve the death of my beautiful mother who passed away from cancer when I was eleven years old. I went through some of the deepest + darkest moments of my life during this healing process in Copenhagen. I thank my old love for being a catalyst for my rebirth and ability to completely reclaim my health. The two darkest years of my life lead to a new bright and airy self. Completely refreshed. I began to notice that my autoimmune symptoms were more closely connected to unresolved grief than anything else. I spent a lot of my time in Copenhagen working through this grief. I met so many amazing people during my time in that magical country who welcomed me into their communities and loved me in my darkest moments.
In August 2016, after receiving some closure I needed in Denmark, I returned to Bend, Oregon to photograph a cookbook with Rainshadow Organics. I had the best time photographing the cookbook. My family has been connected to Central Oregon since the early 90s so it is a place that I am deeply connected to. While I had lived in Bend, Oregon before, this time around, I fell in love with the community, mountains and energy of this little mountain town. Literally EVERYTHING fell into place when I returned to Bend. I decided to settle in. I moved into the most perfect house in a near-impossible rental market (come stay in my airbnb!); I manifested my dream car in less than 24 hours (a 1988 two-tone blue Toyota land cruiser); and met a beautiful soul partner whom I completely adore and has been such a light of expansion in my life. I have integrated myself into a dynamic community of artists and entrepreneurs. My photography business in Bend, Oregon has exploded and I've gotten to work with nearly all of the brands I have manifested such as Mint Jewelry, Jem Organics, Bontá Gelato and the artist Katie Daisy along with photographing numerous weddings, engagements and portraits (see here!)
After a few painful years of navigating sickness, grief and heartbreak, things have turned around and I'm living the inspired life that I always dreamed about but didn't know was possible. I've been through a lot at this point. I've hit rock bottom. In my darkest moments, I didn't know how I would or could continue on. And now I'm here. Living the most inspired life I could imagine. I've completely reclaimed my health and no longer have autoimmune symptoms. And I'm ready to share my story of healing and rebirth. I know what it's like to be sick and have no hope. I promise you, beauty lies in the darkness. My experience has given me the perspective and experience to live the rest of my life as my own expression of vibrance and inspiration.
I'm so excited to start blogging again. I've seriously missed you all. I don't know what this space will look like other than sharing the inspirations in my life as it progresses.
I promise to never shut my blog down unannounced again.
To my old readers, thank you for reading my journey and being such an integral part of it. I hope to share some of the insights I have gleaned from hard times. And for those of you who are new, welcome! To anyone who is going through a hard time, please don't hesitate to reach out. Please know that the majority of my time is dedicated to my full-time photography business but I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
Love to you all,