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.









Open Floor Plan

Thursday, December 27, 2018

San Francisco - Spring 2018

This morning, I looked at my half full closet and 80% occupied dresser...with much space for more stuff...but also feeling like I don't even need all the space I have. A sweet reminder of how much space I've created for the unexpected and how stuff really doesn't make me any happier.

2018 has been more than enough for me, and this is how it has shown up...

I am thriving in my own skin. I listen to my body, and I am learning to rest.

I am loving God and faith without constraints of what it should look like.

Writing. I've had so much time to write and blog, and co-blog with beloveds.

Continuing sacred's and rituals - cousin facetimes, bestie birthdays, 3rd of July reunions, pageants over Thanksgiving, 4th annual Giants game, and a yearly hello email to all my former student leaders and teams.

Co working dates, daily starbucks runs, and new happy hour spots.

Got to officiate my besties' wedding; Saw Drake in concert; Traveled to Mexico City.

Hosted 26 visitors between San Francisco and WA.

Walked through the streets of San Francisco after a rowdy rooftop bar night.

Went go carting on the gravel roads passing through my family's acres on a warm July evening.

Felt the worn out moving boxes holding my belongings that are mostly gifts and the art I feel connected to.

And with who I've become and what I've done, this is where it has left me into 2019;

I miss driving on the Bay bridge into San Francisco at night. The lights were bright enough to reflect off the water and warm enough to make me feel at home.

But the green and precipitation of the Seattle sound is enough to nourish my soul, and I know I'm blooming in a season of what feels like starting over, but really it's just a continuation.

Love really does exist.

I also learned what it meant to let go of someone you have love for because that's what that person really needs...and also hoping the absolute best for them.

I like my grey hairs and wrinkles around my eyes, and the stretch marks on my thighs. It shows a well lived body participating in the life in front of me.

My smile feels so real; My heart is a direct line to my smile.

Getting to see the fridge with my loved ones holiday cards on it - each one of them drenched in memories.

I like moons, flowers, reading books that I bought so long ago, but never had the capacity to indulge in. I love celebrating. I like cheering people on. I love all the things that make others feel good about themselves.

I'm operating this next chapter of life like an open floor plan.

My family is healthy, strong, and very happy. That's probably the highlight of this all.

Experiences over things.
Presence over presents.
Humanity over perfection.

& Turning 30 this year, and I feel like life is just getting started!

South Dakota - Summer 2018
Seattle - Winter 2018

Home is ...

Monday, July 11, 2016

One of the first questions I get when people find out I am not from California is that they ask if I'll ever move back to South Dakota? Or if I'll ever move back to Southern California? Or this or that.

I'm not sure where I'll end up in a year or 10 years. Because everywhere I have ever lived, left, and stayed has felt like home.

I loved running through the endless corn fields, gazing under the starry skies, and smelling the sweet clover roaming the prairie of my childhood home.


Just as much as I loved living in the Center of the Nation as a teenager, where farming, miles of gravel road, the 4th of July, and unsweetened iced tea is a way of life. Yes, South Dakota is home.


And I felt at home in all the towns in between from the Pacific Northwest, to my quaint college town, to traveling and staying on the East Coast and the South for Summers. To the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the flatirons of Boulder. These Summers were home to me and all its beauty and incredible friendships formed.


And to the city of angels. How my eyes lit up driving from Malibu to Santa Monica seeing the sprinkles of palm trees and breathing in the salt water on yet, another sunny day.

I learned I could live anywhere and find joy....rural, city, suburbia, and everything in between. LA is home.



Or winding up the coast to Monterey Bay. There is no comparable feeling to hugging the coastline in Big Sur or crashing into the waves at Carmel beach or sharing this part of the earth with one of the largest marine sanctuaries in the world. Monterey is home.


and then, there is San Francisco. New-ish and my stomach still erupts with butterflies driving in the morning and seeing the tall buildings sit comfortably next to the ocean or driving out and watching the city lights sparkle in my rear view mirror. Street festivals, the mix of city and nature, and all the eccentric people, San Francisco, you are home.


There are too many places, people, and things in all the places I have ever been to call 1 place home. I am home wherever I am and have been.


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