A Little More About Me...
Because my first journal entry was more of a descriptive narrative, I'd like to use this second entry to divulge a little more about me. This is for you to get to know me, as my posts will undoubtedly be personal and related to my history.
I was raised on a small, family farm in California. Our family has been on the property since 1905, and the neighboring farm was the original homestead of my German-immigrant great, great grandpa and his three brothers in 1865. Needless to say, I have deep roots into the soil I grew up tilling, planting, hoeing, weeding, and, of course, making into mud-pies.
I left my small town after high school and headed to Chicago to become an actress. I studied at a Theater Conservatory, and for the first time in my life was incredibly unhappy. I had left behind the life I thought was too small for my big head, and in doing so had lost everything I ever knew and loved. It was a powerful time, and incredibly valuable - I failed at something. I quit college and came home. My first "failure." (Before anyone starts comforting me that it wasn't a failure, please read on).
I came home to the farm and spent a year facing myself on the farm and trying to figure out what to do next. I eventually applied for a college that I had previously rejected on the basis that everyone in my family had gone there. The University of California, Davis became my home the following year, and though I started out studying English with hopes of being a writer, I found myself infatuated with a General Education course I took entitled "Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology." Before I knew it I was spending more time wading through creeks catching frogs and learning to identify birds than I was in front of a book, and I couldn't have been more happy about it.
Throughout my life I have had dueling personalities. There is one side of me that loves art, culture, fancy meals and drinks, and sitting in coffee shops thinking, writing, or reading. There is another side that loves nature, backpacking, farming, simplicity, and mountain lakes. I love hiking boots and high heels equally.
And so it was that when it came time to study abroad in college, I felt equally drawn to Sicily as I was to Senegal. I couldn't decide what I should do, and so...I picked out of a hat. I put my 20 top choices on slips of paper into a hat, and carefully drew one out. And that is how I ended up in Kenya, on what is to date, the best adventure of my life.
Being in Kenya changed my perspective - both the one looking in and the one looking out. I learned to understand the world and people so much better, but even more than that I learned to understand myself - the power I had within me to make impossible things happen. Flipping through National Geographic pages from a teeny farm as a child, I never imagined I would go to Africa. When I pulled Kenya out of the hat, I shattered the part of me that believed I had limitations. Suddenly I could be anyone, anything, and anywhere.
Since then I have done many things and failed at a lot of them. I have hiked through mountains, faced lions on two different continents, swum with sharks, summited a mountain higher than my body wanted to take me, lived on an Island off the coast of a war ravaged country, walked away from a village of people who were counting on me, and had misadventures nearly every day. And I have never felt so strong as I do when I fail at something. To me, failing at something I set out to do is the ultimate rebellion. I am shaking off everything society and my inner perfectionist has told me my whole life and I am screaming that I set unreachable goals. Like a teenager driving a car too fast I get a sort of high off of the power of failing. I look the people in my life straight in the eyes and dare them to be disappointed in me. When I embrace my failures, I find a deeper confidence than I knew before and I know that as long as I keep trying, and keep confronting myself and my world, and most importantly, as long as I keep failing, I will be happy.
Through my future posts you will gain a deeper insight into many of the experiences I have touched on or hinted at here. This is just the beginning of me. Stay tuned - there is much more to come.
Ah ha! I just realized I haven't addressed my connection to women, worldpulse, or my intentions/inspiration in this community yet. Well, once again, I'll ask you to stay tuned.
The World is our Playground
Finding Women through a Man
Missteps on Mount Kenya
Six Women with Backpacks