come alive


In 2015, it is my mission to pursue what makes me come alive. It's mind blowing to think of how different the world be if everyone did exactly what they loved. For me, this is writing and traveling. Not just writing and traveling as two separate entities, but writing about my travels. To me, they are two halves of a whole. I can't think of a time when I was more inspired to write and share my thoughts, feelings and experiences with the world than when I spent a semester abroad in Europe. I was just as excited to write about my travels as I was to physically participate them. I think it's the excitement of trying something for the first time or the unique experiences that inevitably come along with traveling that I'm drawn to. Ask me to speak in front of a group? I'm breaking out in hives, stuttering and popping a double dose of my anxiety meds. Ask me to write something? I'll write you a freaking novel. #nerdalert

What does this look like for me, exactly? Starting with baby steps, the first one being exactly this: putting what I want out into the universe. Check.

Next? Writing more. Over the last few months I've been really good at making excuses about why I'm not writing, including: "I'm too busy," "I'm too tired," and "I don't have anything interesting to write about." Wrong, all wrong. After an inspirational conversation with one of the coolest humans I've ever met, I was reminded that I should be writing every day. Writing is like a muscle; if you don't use it, you lose it. It's something that I am committing to every single day from here on out, whether it's a paragraph or a page. Don't worry, I won't be using this as my public, online diary. I'll spare you all the behind-the-scenes writing and save the good stuff (or at least what I think is the good stuff) for the blog. Promise.

Having things to write about is also a slightly important piece of this puzzle. This means breaking out of my dailey routine (ha, see what I did there? Bad joke...) and constantly putting myself in a position where I'm vulnerable and open to new experiences each and every day, not just when I have big plans. I tend to find a routine that works for me--no matter how boring and mundane it may be--and sticking to it. I find myself playing it safe and thinking twice, more often three or four times, about straying from what I'm used to. Well, that's all about to change. Bring on the spontaneity and open-mindedness. I'm ready for ya.

What comes after steps one, two and three? I have lots of ideas, but there's nothing set in stone. I have a gut feeling that I'll know exactly when I'm supposed to. I say that not because I'm lazy and expect amazing things to just fall into my lap, but because I believe in timing. I believe that everything happens for a reason, that opportunities aren't presented to you before you're ready (whether you believe you are or not) and that the dots always connect down the road.

Cheers to doing what makes us come alive. Let's see where this takes me.


Namaste, bitches.

week 1

I did it, guys! This past Monday marks a full week of living in Aspen without training wheels (AKA my mom.)

We'll start with my living situation. First of all, in case you weren't already aware, rent is STUPIDLY expensive here in Aspen. I live a couple blocks down from a luxury mobile home community--trailer park just doesn't seem to do it justice. Wait, isn't that kind of an oxymoron, you ask? No. Not in Aspen. These places go for over twice as much as my real house back in MN. Nuts. Anyhoo, the universe was willing it because I managed to find an awesome roommate with an awesome condo after about three days of being in town. I'd like to think of her decoration style as 'rustic chic'--the place is seriously fabulous, you'll just have to come see for yourself. The best part so far? My bed came today so I can kiss the air mattress goodbye. Booya.

I've spent my time thus far working, getting my asanas on at yoga, exploring Aspen and meeting some super rad people along the way. Also, I've been binge-watching Game of Thrones--finally. And drinking a lot (but not too much, of course) of wine. Rough life, right?

My backyard is essentially Smuggler Mountain, which is a great spot for hiking and catching a great view of the city. My first solo attempt at hiking Smuggler was, to say the least, not pretty. It's a solid 1.4 mile hike to the viewpoint--which is well worth the trek--but if you're not acclimated, it's like 25 times harder, I swear. I was getting lapped left and right by all of these middle-aged people and senior citizens (no offense ya'll.) I quickly realized I'm the least in-shape person in Aspen. By a lot. (And probably poorest, which is neither here nor there, but it's true.) Also, my heart skipped about a million beats when I swear I saw a scorpion run across the path up ahead of me--it turned out to be a chipmunk. Fear quickly turned into adoration when I realized it was just a furry friend.

Anyhoo, I'll be honest--there are times when I'm having so much fun I don't even think about home, and then there are the times that I get so caught up in my insecurities and vulnerability I think it's game over for sure. Sometimes I feel like I could actually hop on a flight back to Minnesota--like when I pay eight dollars for ONE shot of Jose Cuervo at the bar (kidding but not...) or when I'm laying in bed at night without little Chuckie to cuddle with--but then I remember that change takes time. Don't get me wrong, I love everything about this place already from the people, to the scenery and to the small town vibe, but adjusting to a new place after having lived somewhere else for your entire life isn't easy. It's actually really, really hard--especially when you started off not knowing a soul. I'm scared to be here in a new place with new people and new experiences, but I'm even more scared to go back home, because I know if I do, I'll probably never get out on my own and do all of the cool sh*t I've always dreamed about. The easy thing to do would be to head back home where I'm more than comfortable, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. I can't resist a challenge--I love a good one--and I know once I've gotten over all of the speed bumps (or humps, as the signs in CO say) I'll never want to leave. So stay I shall.

After all... if not now, when?

c u l8r

I blinked and just like that, summer has come and gone. Wtf? (Why That Face? according to my totally hip mom.) Time has a funny way of disappearing when you're loving, laughing and enjoying the heck out of life. Crazy, huh?

Oh, and one minor detail...I'm moving to Aspen tomorrow. Yeah. The day has FINALLY come, and I couldn't be more excited, but I would be flat out lying if I told you I'm not scared as hell at the same time.

Since I've returned from WE Fest (yes, that happened...) about three weeks ago, I've been so busy with work that I've barely had to time to pack and get ready, let alone process the change that is about to go down. Full disclosure here, peeps. There have been several moments (OK, a lot of moments) where I've spontaneously burst into tears in the last several days as things have finally started to sink in. (And typically the only thing that can bring me to tears are those sappy Sarah McLachlan commercials about abused animals.)

There's something both wildly exhilarating yet heart-wrenchingly bittersweet about buying a one-way ticket. The thought of not knowing when I'll get to sit down with my family for dinner, spend a night on the town with my friends or cuddle up with Charlie on the couch next is terrifying. Oy, cue the tears.

At the same time, the fact that I'm shakin' in my boots is a sign that I'm doing something right. I've come to the realization that change is scary--it just is--and if I weren't having second thoughts and worrying about what's to come next, well, that wouldn't be normal and that means I'm not getting far enough outside of my comfort zone. Also, I've realized that it's OK to second guess yourself when it comes to taking big leaps and chasing down dreams. What really matters is how you embrace the change and make it work for your life.

How am I going to do that, you ask? Good question...I suppose only time will tell. One thing I do know, though, is that I'm going into this with a completely open mind--bring on the new experiences, new people and obviously, new food, Aspen. I'm ready for ya.

Welp, people. Next time you'll be reading a post from me I'll be inhabiting the mountains in Colorado. Again, crazy. I'll obviously be home to visit whenever I can sneak away, but no promises on ever coming back to the homeland for good. I'm already madly in love with the mountains and I don't think that moving to Aspen is going to somehow reverse that. Sorry.

Stay tuned to hear about my adventures in Aspen. Teaser: I may be biking to work for awhile. (For those of you who don't know me, I. loathe. biking. It's been 10+ years since I've had an interaction with a two-wheeler and I'm less than thrilled. Why would anyone subject their crotch to the discomfort of a bike seat of their own free will? Thanks but no thanks.) Hashtag diva much?

This is far from a goodbye, btw. You're not getting rid of me that easily, my MN friends. You're going to have to put up with me for many, many more years to come whether you like it or not :)

Last thing, I swear. I don't care how long I live in Colorado, I will never ever be an Avalanche fan. Wild fan for life. Just sayin'.



Damn, it feels good to be a goal crusher.

Start saving up and requesting time off work, you guys. If you haven't already heard through the grapevine...this chick is moving to Aspen!

This is a dream come true in the most literal sense possible. Since I fell in love with the mountains during my trip to Switzerland, I have legitimately had dreams about frolicking through the mountains. (I know, it's weird to picture me frolicking.)

I've had goals to move to either New Zealand or Colorado (or really any where with a nice set of mountains) and become a Key Leader at lululemon athletica for several months now, and I was offered the job today after my second interview. MEEP. So surreal. I'm still not sure if I'll wake up in the morning and this will all have been a pigment of my imagination. Only time will tell ;)

No details have been decided upon yet, but you KNOW that I'll keep you guys updated. Obviously. You'll be hearing A LOT about Aspen in the next several weeks and months, people. Prepare yourselves.

take a f*cking chance

For the entirety of my life I've played it (pretty) safe. I opted out of trying out for the U19 World Junior Ultimate Championships for no good reason at all. I chose not to apply for several "dream" schools for practical reasons. I chose to go to school close to home at the University of Minnesota--my last choice out of eight schools--for again, practical reasons. Even my dreams have been on the safe side until recently. B-o-r-i-n-g.

Now that I've graduated and spent some time at home in my mom's basement, I've come to the realization: I need to start dreaming BIG. Why not? Everyone's always telling me to dream big--and I'm like yeah, well duh, why wouldn't I?--but I haven't actually been putting it into practice. I always say I'll do things but let's be honest, that means nothing if I'm not DOING them. This is changing. Now.

The first step: Writing down my goals. Check. You're seriously going to hate me for saying this, but I have to. It's so true. A goal is a dream with a deadline. There, I said it. (Sorry I'm not really sorry.) My goals are essentially a check list that keeps me hungry, ambitious and hold me accountable. They're the metaphorical ladder that leads to my (hopefully) not-so-metaphorical dream life. (Again, super cheesy. This time I really am sorry.)

The second step: Putting what I want out into the world. Check. I'm not usually one to talk for hours on end about myself--I'd rather hear what others have to say--but when you say what you want out loud and to others, things start to fall into place. It's seriously almost magical. It's ok to talk about and ask for what you want. Really. (This is a new concept for me.)

This is where my dream starts to grow it's roots. Long story short, I did exactly that. I shared my vision and goals with people and BOOM, things started to move forward slowly but surely. The next thing I know, I'm talking with the Store Managers of lululemon athletica Vail and Aspen. Nothing super serious or indicative yet, but still super awesome. (I've had goals to relocate to Colorado for quite some time now.)

Now, here comes the tie-in to my original point: Taking chances.

An opportunity at work opened up for a Key Lead position at my store (the position I have my eyes on in Colorado) and, after talking with some fellow lemons (I work at lululemon in case you weren't already aware) I decided I would push back my goals and apply for the position here at home.

My mind was set, or at least I thought it was. After talking with my mom and really letting the idea of staying in Minnesota sink in, I came to another realization: I was never going to get anywhere if I didn't start taking risks. I had been creating so many reasons in my head of why I shouldn't that I forgot to focus on all the reasons that I should. So, I decided to take a leap of faith and say no to a job that I had been wanting for months to pursue a dream. Eek.

A week later, I had a fantastic conversation with one of the store managers over the phone and will be having a follow-up interview in the next several days. This doesn't sound like much, but I have a feeling it's huge. I just know it. It's a step in the right direction and that's more than enough for me.

What I'm trying to say is this: Don't limit yourself by the walls you create for yourself. Dream big, take chances and go with your gut. Always go with your gut. Live in possibility because when nothing is certain, everything is possible. I took a chance and everything has started to fall into place, and if in the end it doesn't, I know that it wasn't meant to be. (Yes, I am one of those crazy people who believe that everything is connected and nothing is happenstance.) The worst thing that could happen is that you have to start over and take a different path. Big deal. Put what you want most out into the world and you will be pleasantly surprised. I swear it.

The universe has great things in store for us, we just have to have the balls to take risks and work hard to create the lives we have always imagined.