Widening the Margins

Thursday, September 26, 2019

My last season of life, I was choosing margin. 

Choosing to have few connections, few responsibilities, so that my heart could feel at peace. So I wasn't over working. Or over performing. Or over doing everything. I wrote about it HERE in February.

But after every quiet season - usually comes the season of what you've been preparing for.

And I have felt that in every minute of the day. It's the season I am in now. AND IT IS SO FULL I MISS HAVING A BORING LIFE. It’s a cycle, inhale and exhale years…and I swear they alternate every other year.

This Summer meant widening the margins back in my life. Opening the curtain, getting back to reality from my soul/mind/heart vacation. 

And LOL…Actually nervous laughing…

It's been an adjustment, and that adjustment came into full effect this Summer. Starting off with officiating a friend's wedding who I met at Church Camp from 2000, getting to room with my other friend from camp who I also met 19 years ago, and then getting to meet Aaron's sweet relatives in Southern California on this same trip.



I finally got to go to a new city – Toronto, for a conference and it was one of the most diverse cities I’ve ever visited. My heart felt so full there, and maybe my stomach too ;)

Because this year has been so different for me, not familiar, completely new territory, that I am glad I got to keep some sacred traditions like going back to South Dakota for the 4th of July. There is nothing like the 4th in small town South Dakota. Rodeo, fireworks, bar life, carnival, four wheeling, gravel roads, starry skies...it’s everything a Summer has always been to me. Aaron got to meet my parents, my family, and friends I’ve had since grade school.

We were also lucky this year to have my niece come back and live with us for a month! Living away from my family, the worst part is being a long distance Aunt. So, having her come with us for an entire month made me so happy, and we finished Summer with my brother, his wife, and kids visiting…the first time in 12 years that my brother came to visit me where I lived – Ike, I know you love me :D


Then, came August…Notoriously known in higher ed / Housing that I don’t exist until SEPT. DigiPen has been such a blessing in multiple ways, but I appreciate working there because of the students and people. I also feel heard and advocated for. Enough so that I was promoted.

I feel like I am typing a Holiday Card recapping my year, but I am just reiterating that if life seems slow, quiet, and forcing you to calm down…Maybe you should listen to it. Normally, I’d ignore it. I’d busy my life up so much to the point I’d be exhausted before I got started.

Now? I am so happy I listened to my gut for the first time, and took the calm season to actually relax. It helped regulate my pace for this season of busy and full. I arrived in WA last year, unsure if I made the right move, sad from a break up, never thought I’d be a Mom or a Wife because I was so over relationships and people, didn’t want to take any risks, or talk ever again to anyone….and a year later….this is where I am.

Planning a wedding in Mexico, learning Spanish to speak with my Significant Other’s family, converting to Catholicism, making new connections, and y’all…even keeping some plants alive!


Even though I’ve widened the margins, and allowed life to surprise me - I couldn’t widen the margins without choosing margin first. I am content that I took my unsure season as a time to train, rest, and believe whatever I’m training for, was to widen the margins of life – to gain what I’d been praying and throwing out to the universe. I hope if you are in that season, you do too. It’s not easy living in a culture where we are told to do MORE, be MORE, learn MORE, MORE MORE MORE. And just step back and say no, this is what I need and this is what I don’t need. To prepare intentionally, to break unproductive habits, and bad cycles.


Thoughts on being engaged

Sunday, May 5, 2019


Thoughts on being engaged...
I knew for me, committing to someone long term meant giving up some of my free time. To be able to make decisions for myself. To move, go, and be free without having to consider another person. Not that my roaming days are over, I just have more to consider.

So being engaged has caused several thoughts and feelings I wish I heard more about. Other than, "We are so excited!" "Can't wait to marry my best friend!"...I agree whole heartedly with all of these phrases, but I also wanted to post what's been in my journal for other people who maybe took a similar life journey to me - that it may also be normal to be having these thoughts and feelings.

So here it goes...

There is so much out there that tells us we aren't "complete" without a love interest. Which I find to be 100% NOT true, even with someone who I hope to love forever. At this point in my life journey, I know I'd be fine being single and I'd be fine with someone. I love A, he is my person, I don't want to do life without him, but I know I could. Because when your life is whole without someone, you know you actually want to be with them, because you don't necessarily "need" them. That if you build your life - socially, financially, professionally, personally...you have more to give to your life partner. I know that is a privileged statement, not every person has the opportunity to do so...but I am extremely grateful for my family and mentors who have sacrificed and contributed to my development in understanding the difference.

Other perks of focusing on your own life before someone enters it, is that outside opinions matter less, and these days, it seems like weddings are for everyone else except the people getting married. Having time to focus on myself first, also allowed me to experience many life milestones without someone in a positive way, but I'd say being engaged, this is the area that has affected me the most - the change of my identity. Thankfully in Mexican culture & as a bride, I actually keep my last name. So, I was really excited that I didn't even have to have that conversation with A, he already expected that my last name would stay the same.

And I didn't / don't have doubts about my fiance, but I had sadness of the thought of re shaping an identity that I have held so closely for so many years. Most of my home team would describe me as goal oriented, will do anything for my home team, and someone who pursues what I want. Not that I can't and will stop doing any of those, but bringing another person into my life re shapes how I connect to these parts of my identity. Yes, it is growth. Yes, your partner can be supportive and help you achieve and be all of these things, but it's still major change, and a change that you're doing WITH someone.

AND...what I am about to say next made me feel a little heartless, even though I am so overwhelmed with love and appreciation for my fiance. As a society, I think we over celebrate engagements / weddings....honestly...going through some life milestones solo, you know what else has been very fulfilling and life changing? Graduating, investing my time, money, and talent into people & projects, starting a business, getting out of a toxic relationship, my first job, making new friends in a city I just moved to, learning a new hobby or skill, making it through counseling....and MANY other things. So just because I am engaged and it is a major milestone, I also think we could clap a little louder for other life moments that get overlooked.

I wrote this choppily from my journal. Because unlike my fiance who is spontaneous, goes off the cuff, flows with what's next, I have a hard time not being calculated. Like let's eat at 5:35pm, laugh at 6pm, blink at 6:05pm, and let's make sure to dot all the i's, like every single one of them, like they better not look like L's. So, I wanted to take a page from my fiance's book, and be real from day 1 about this whole process.

I love A, he is one of the best thing's that's ever happened to my existence, but I also wanted to put out there that there is something worth celebrating at every mile stone...and there is also more to congratulate at every milestone.
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