31 Laps Around the Sun

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

2020's first post, on my 31st Birthday.

As much as I love when people call me passionate or fearless, or someone that will use their voice - Letting you in on a secret, I actually haven't felt like any of those this year. It's been harder to find my voice in this new season of life. For me, my voice usually comes out in writing. Writing has always been my art, because God knows I am not an artist in the sense of drawing, music, crafting, etc. It's just been recently where I've put thoughts to ink and paper again. And writing my first post on my birthday, I wanted to share my love for this lap around the sun.

This year, like every year, I really owned more of my own narrative (Because do we ever really own all of it?). For its painful parts and the parts that make me happy to be me.

I adore that I grew up in a 174 person town in rural South Dakota on a family farm. I love that my work ethic stems from my family and home state - We finish what we start, and our hard work is our resume. This really set up the rest of my narrative to be strong and gutsy. I wasn't raised by weak people...and in many ways, it's what caused the careers, friends, love, and God that I pursue.

In this lap around the sun, just like most laps, I've embraced the label of breaking stereotypes. I enjoy when people tell me, "I am full of surprises", or that "They never would have guessed I did pageants or know how to shoot a gun or that I like fishing".

I consider it a compliment, when someone can't figure me out. People can't put me in a box, and I live for it. Because I hope people realize pre-labeling people doesn't leave room for humanity or for connection.

I love that I've picked up and moved several times. People wonder why I have 12 bridesmaids and no maid of honor, but it's the price you pay for living in so many places and creating a life with people in those places. If I call you my friend or my home team, it's because I consider you chosen family. I just can't rank my friends because who I am and who I was with certain people at certain times isn't more or less important than the other.

I have learned to enjoy that I do not follow the norm just because someone told me it was normal. Last week, I fixed a couch for a resident, I recruited judges for a pageant company on my lunch break while editing a resume for a graduate student, and then I was working on contingency planning for COVID19 for my department, while also planning a Wedding in another country, coordinating our USA ceremony, and in this week I also was going to Rite of Election as I become Catholic, and when I got home talked to a client in my side hustle about their athletic scholarship and their injury. Nothing about my life has ever been normal. And I love that. I am really happy that I am me.

I am still learning how much power comes from owning your own story...And not living for the expectations of others - Because it's really, really difficult to not do the second, like I said, I am still learning.

Recently, I've had to put up strict boundaries with people. It's my least favorite thing to do. I'm either great or awful at it, and I think a boundary that naturally most people create is one with your parents.

I did the typical 20's thing. My parents considered it my rebellion. But now, my parents are my best advice givers and listeners, and still give me tough love....Because Midwest parents are going to let you know when you are being a fool.

Each birthday, I look forward to the birthday card they send me. Each one makes me cry and laugh because they pick out the perfect card that has half sarcasm and half heart felt. But this year's card was just heart felt and came at the right time.

Both of my parents have always encouraged me to choose my life - Even if they don't agree with all of my decisions (Because believe me, they don't, ask my Momma!). But they also know I will not be happy choosing the life they have in their heads for me. I remember my Mom told me a few years ago when I was living on my own in Monterey Bay, CA and she said, "I just accepted that you may never move back home...that where you go is just where you want to be". And she didn't say it in sadness, but more of an acceptance of who I am is who she is proud to have raised.

I love that the card they sent was a reminder of their unconditional love for me. Because in a year, where I feel like there are 100000 million opinions about my new life chapter, it was a nice reminder that I am not doing too bad in life. She reminded me that it's okay to be me. To be on my path...and wherever I land, they'll love me.

My 31 laps around the sun has made me even more grateful for the narrative that I've gotten to own more of, and grateful for the 2 people who helped create it...I love you Mom & Dad.









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