Things Can Change

It’s been one heck of a crazy year. So many things have changed for me. Fortunately, most of those changes are for the good. As twentysomethings we’re at that time in our life where big decisions are made, change is commonplace and we’re all navigating vastly different courses.

Around this time last year I was terrified. Not only was I changing jobs less than one year after accepting the first position of my career, but one of the factors in play for this decision was my boyfriend. Now, please don’t miss understand me, I was smart with this decision. I made sure to find a job in my field, that I wanted and where I got a raise.  However, Mike’s location did play a factor and it was scary to include that in my decision making process.

The first two months were a HUGE transition period. First, adjusting to living under someone else’s roof which Mike’s parents generously offered me while I was apartment hunting and then setting up the new place while acclimating to a new type of position and worrying that I had made a mistake and I would find myself alone and heartbroken in my boyfriend’s hometown.

Fortunately, here I am a year later and my heart and my life are still in tact. There have been a few bumps and curves along the way, but that is to be expected. Despite the frozen tundra that enveloped the apartment when the heat went out and the ant invasion of 2017, I am moving soon to a pet friendly house where I can finally own my first puppy.

Over the last year I ran my first half marathon, bought my first set of brand new tires, attended a Packer playoff game and became a derby girl. I built my first 3D puzzle, published another poem and stayed in my first all-inclusive resort. I even cleaned out my closet.

Looking back over the last 365 days, it feels more like a lifetime. I am proud of all that I have accomplished and to have learned from the mistakes I made. The move was scary, but ultimately the right decision for me. Thank god! Things can change and that’s okay. Embrace the changes, attack the challenges and live life to the fullest.

To everyone that has Feels Good at First stuck in their head, here you go:

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Microadventures and Me

Wisconsin. Lakes are always just a quick drive away. Hiking, biking, cross country skiing, fishing and canoeing- you name it, we’ve got it.  Plus we have the Packers, good food, great beer and even better people. You can tell I’m a Wisconsinite through and through. I’ve been exploring and “Travel[ing] Wisconsin,” as our state tourism slogan boasts, for all of my 23 years.

I grew up camping with my family who decided a cabin was never quite the right fit because that would be too much commitment to one place.  There are too many lakes to swim, rivers to fish, and trees to climb. Our cabin was a mobile rig that included a boat, a few tents and some air mattresses in the back of a truck. Sometimes we would get a little luxurious and take bikes and a kayak with too.  This idea has fundamentally shaped how I view the world- so many places, so little time. We’ve made our way around exploring not only Wisconsin but national parks and outdoor havens across the U.S. and Canada.

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Me –  majestically looking off into the distance at sunset. Peyto Lake, Banff National Park. Photo cred: my mom.

I studied abroad in college, taking trips every weekend and exploring as much as I could of Liverpool and the surrounding countryside. Once I hopped back across the pond, life seemed a little less exciting. Transitioning from having everything be new and exciting to returning back to the same college town was a little rough. I felt like a piece of me was missing. I wanted the excitement of discovering the best hot chocolate in town or hiking a hill to find an expansive view of a lake far below while the rolling Welsh hills surrounded me. (Pictured above- Connwy, Wales)

In order to fulfill this missing piece, I intentionally started taking microadventures. Microadventures are short adventures that are cheap and close to home yet still fun. I strive to check out new places often. Whether a it’s new restaurant that I’ve lived around the corner from for a solid six months, a new trail during one of my frequent visits to Lapham Peak State Forest, or an adventure across the country, I make an effort to keep exploring and pushing myself to never be comfortable. Some people strive for comfort, I strive for change.

So that’s what I’ve decided to write about in this blog. I will catalogue my microadventures and tell you all about the best beer I’ve had in Milwaukee or an adventure that happened while I backpacked in Ecuador. Or it might be a simple change of perspective on a normal day. I hope to inspire you to take a quick microadventure.  Microadventures are not just for weekends and days off, but it’s about taking on a perspective that allows you to be constantly surprised and never complacent. You may never know what adventure is waiting.