Saturday, December 17, 2011

choices and decisions.

People have a lot of choices in life. You can choose what you wear to your party and what you wear when you sleep. You can choose where you want to move, when you want to move, or if you want to even move at all. You can choose to get out of bed in the morning or not get out until noon. And that’s what makes life good, right? You get to choose your happiness. When those decisions of happiness add up, they tend to equal good things.
So I’ve been noticing lately that people feel like they can only choose one thing. Maybe there are so many choices in the world, that it is exhausting to be choosing all the time, and so just picking one is easier than picking two or three or four. But I’ve seen this pattern frequently:
You either have to dress nicely all the time or you aren’t put together.
You can’t be athletic and feminine at the same time; those biceps are just a little too much.
You can’t have a career and a marriage, because both take up too much time, so you need to decide on one.
You can’t be adventurous and still have a relationship; one of them will have to go, because there isn’t room for both.
The truth is, really, that you can have both. This last phrase has been a constant theme in my life. I have seen friends, family, colleagues go through this all the time. I am surrounded by people who are making great strides in their careers and adventures and happiness and successes, but a lot of these friends and family members think that it needs to be one or the other.
Adventure vs. Family
Career vs. Relationship
Mountains vs. Stability
Life on the road vs. Home in one spot
And this isn’t talked about enough. That you can be crazy about someone and still be with them, and still go on adventures and be in the mountains and high places and travel, and still be attached to that person. I will say it again; it’s not talked about enough because it hits a spot in most people that is a little too sensitive, because sometimes maybe someone chose a mountain over you. Or maybe someone chose medical school and decided that you didn’t fit into the pursuing of their career. You might be on the other side of this, too. I know I have been on both ends. I’ve chosen to be single instead of in a relationship because it seemed easier, despite the happiness that was brought in. And I’ve also been a second choice to an adventure, because, well, they didn’t believe it was worth the sacrifice. In life people make choices, and it’s not always going to be you. It’s sad. And it’s real.
Choosing both doesn’t mean it will be life without sacrifices. And it doesn’t mean that it will be easier. And sometimes, honestly, in unique situations, you won’t be able to have both.

But listen to this: giving some things up leaves room for other things.
So really, the only decision you need to make is that you can be both.
You can have both.
You can embody more than one thing.
And no one will make that choice, but you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Big news! National Geographic asked to put my bio and photo up as an Explorer on their website. I'm so honored to be a part of this grant process that they give opportunity for. Please view my interview here:

I've been walking with a heavy heart these past days. I also woke up to Heidi crying. Four of our six chickens were killed by either a fox or a dog.

I felt so heavy and disoriented, saying goodbye to all these things that were making me so happy. Both Heidi and I agreed we still wanted to go on our planned trip to South Dakota. We were feeling an immense amount of loss and grief and wanted to run away.

So we took our chickens, dogs and our heavy hearts miles and miles up the roads to go visit our soul sister, Jade, in Spearfish. We navigated through the canyons, and watched a bald eagle fly through the pines. The sun set and we watched the lines from the aspen tree shadows stretch out on the snow. We had a late dinner in Spearfish, and waiters kept checking on us because we cried our way through the meal. We loved those chickens. 

Our days spent with Jade were important and bold. We were able to sneak a photo with the chickens in front of Mount Rushmore. We pointed out their faces and told them the history. We loved the two chickens with all our might, and they laid us blue eggs the entire way. We caught my pup sneaking off in Rapid City for a little jaunt through some parking lots and woods. We wandered around abandoned things and drank hot chocolate. We spent about 9 hours at the animal shelter. Because, really, what I will miss most of all is being able to pour love into someone and something. I have a pup for that, but the emptiness still feels like it will swallow me whole if I stand too close. So we poured all of the love we could muster up into animals who were looking for a home.

The five days we spent there were good and wholesome. I'm headed home to spend time with my family and best friend who just returned from Africa. Surround yourself with love, and it will surround you.