Thoughts on life and love from a twenty-something.

Without getting too personal, I’ve had some thoughts lately that I need to write out. Tis the season for me to get all introspective and stuff.

Love comes in many forms. Love can be a noun, adjective and a verb. Love of something or another is what makes the world go round. Money, power, things, a person, a hobby or profession.. Every person runs into it in some form.
Love, at it’s best and at it’s worst, requires a healthy balance of almost every other emotion. When that balance is disturbed, love is usually what carries us through. It becomes the undertone behind what we do for both ourselves and for others, even if the decisions we make don’t bring clarity at first. In love lies the power to drive people crazy, but at the same time it provides us, if we look hard enough, with a mirror in which we face ourselves in a way we never saw before.
Every love is different, and every love has it’s own path.
Whether we fight it or let it encompass our being- this emotion will take us through highs and lows, sometimes being the cause and sometimes being the saving grace. When it comes to this between two people, it requires unending compromise and compassion. Romance and love are often two different things, and a relationship cannot survive on the expectation of another fulfilling ideals. Sometimes just because you love someone for all that they are: good, bad, and ugly, it also means understanding that they might not be ready to do the same. This fulfils loves requirement of patience and acceptance for others, but also yourself. There isn’t a perfect love, relationship, or person. Each time around there will be flaws, compromises, and straight up hard work.
Leo Tolstoy once said, “what counts in making a happy relationship is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility..”.
I have never been a believer in the kind of fairy tale love we grow up watching on screens and reading about in stories. The notion of love at first sight wasn’t even a sensible notion to me, until I had my own experience of a instant connection that luckily got the chance to develop into something more. While I’ve loved and love many things, I’m young when it comes to the all devouring love for another person. When I say this year has been an education in adult life, that is no understatement. As a 20-something I’m surrounded by relationships ending, soaring, and friends beginning the next stages of their life as either newly engaged, married, expecting, graduating, travelling, or starting their careers. Having merged from the single indefinitely-career focused young person end of the spectrum to now somewhere in the middle, I’ve grown a new understanding for where I see my life in the next few years. I’ve grown as a person in love, and because of that I’ve gained insight into many new things.
When I was 20ish, I read Meg Jay’s “The Defining Decade”. It’s focused around experiences and clients she has had who find themselves in their late 20s or early 30s dissatisfied with what they did with the first decade of their adult life. I remember reading the book and thinking I didn’t want to waste my time here. This is sometimes a hard philosophy to follow when most of society tells me “you’re only have time to think about all that stuff when you’re older”. This may be why most people assume I’m years older then I am, I’m choosing to figure out a lot of things now instead of letting time go by. I re-read parts of this book and always find new advice from it’s pages. I may only be 22, but I’m learning to find a balance between accomplishing everything I want to and having fun and learning along the way.

Driving in White Out Conditions

The usual driving condition for those of us living on the cold, wide-open, wind blown prairies during the winter months.. could it be a metaphor for life?


In the last few weeks I’ve found myself feeling emotions I don’t know if I have felt much before, going through a few personal stressors that both surprised me but then didn’t. I’ve found myself at the funeral of a long time mentor and former coach, dealing with a new up cropping of feelings and re-instillation of the fear I thought I was making progress on with riding, and finding myself lost within a myriad of personal relationship stress. This lead to a week or so of not eating properly, and the gains I’d made on rehabbing my ever persistent leg and nerve injuries back slide as I wasn’t about to slip down the overtraining slope on zero nutrition (plus side.. lost some weight?). Most recently having finally thought I was getting myself picked up and well on my way to being done this semester (only two exams and one paper to go) to have my car hit what may be it’s final bump, and finding myself driving through white-out conditions in a car that’s not mine (dad if you’re reading this from your warm location.. I’m borrowing your car) pondering what the last few weeks have dragged me through and wondering what could possibly come next.

While over the last few weeks my go-to answer to the question “how’s it going” has been a very simple “oh.. it’s going”. Somedays profs would find me sitting in my office literally banging my head against my desk.. and unfortunately for them dare to ask how I was. His only response to the half hour long rant he got was “how are you not an insane person by now? You always seem so calm and collected.” Thankfully, my profs and mentors are all unbelievably compassionate and understanding human beings.. and every day I’m grateful for what they’ve done, said, and taught me over the last few years.. especially this year. There’s been a lot of rough days in the last few months for me.. hence the “it’s going” response.. but, the more I go through, the easier it is for me to just adapt and move on from all those little personal stressors. Time rolls on.

I’ve always liked driving through winter storms. Maybe it’s because I was raised doing it, but if we get a little more deep- maybe it’s the feeling of not being able to see where you’re headed.. but having to trust you’re on the right path anyway.

When I began this semester, just shy of turning twenty-two, I foresaw what was likely going to be the most challenging academic year yet. What I didn’t see was non-stop challenges from  every other aspect of my life in between the demanding school life.

I feel like I’m coming out of this semester with more then just 4yrs of education in kinesiology. I’m coming out of it with a better understanding of who I am, and who I want to be.

While at the funeral last week, I expected to feel sad.. and finally snap out of the shock I’d been feeling at her death the week leading up to the funeral. Instead, I found myself, once again, feeling inspired by the life she had lead. From having a successful career in more then one area, chasing her dreams relentlessly and achieving whatever she set out to achieve, having a loving marriage and family, and travelling to her heart’s content. She lead the life I see and dream of for myself. She wasn’t slowed down, or if she was not for long, by all the bumps and bruises life can bring.. and she was always smiling. You could tell by her passion and enthusiasm that she was fulfilled in every way, and had passion for everything that she did (and she did pretty much everything). I grew up with women and men like her in my life. People who have gone through hardships, but have chased their chosen paths without being held back. I left the funeral both still in shock, but mostly grateful to have known her- and to be blessed with her inspiration even now that she isn’t humanly here. I was also overwhelmed with the people I have surrounding me now. All filled with their own passions, stuck with their own challenges, and moving down their own paths. While we all have different reasons for doing what we do on this earth- we all face many of the same challenges, fears, and “white out conditions” if you will.

Things are not always going to go smoothly. Actually, I’ve come to learn that if they seem to be going smoothly.. you must be doing something wrong. Life is full of challenges, big and small, and different for each person. Growing up and figuring those things out and learning how you react to stress is sometimes the hardest part. But being able to follow that path even when it’s completely blown over and visability is crap.. that’s sometimes where you just gotta trust in your belief, your support systems, and keep your head up.

As weird as it is, the last two months started out as having an effect on my marks. Big time. But even though exam season came with a whole new wave of the Universe laughing at me… I was able to just throw myself into full AT mode as it has been the one constant for me this year. Studying, writing, working with clients (exciting research has happened here.. I’ll really write a post on this like I’ve been promising soon!!!), even doing practical exams.. it’s become my happy place. That and spending time with my spectacular friends and family. Yes I rant a lot.. but it’s times like these when having dreams that are becoming a reality keeps you going. Everything falls into place.. just not always at the same time.

The same prof that found me banging my head against the desk a few days ago just walked by as I was finishing this post and tentatively asked how I was doing.. and when I told him “I’m doing okay, you know, I’ve decided that I’m letting all the stress go and just gonna roll with whatever happens next”. He kind of chuckled and said, you know.. we should have you teaching classes at that skill- you are unbelievably good at it!

So as I finish my final week of my last full-on semester.. I find myself blasting Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” (don’t judge me) and realizing that being stressed is overrated when you have been doing it for months.. all I can do is control the controllables, and mainly.. my reaction to what I cannot control.