19 years in one article

In a perfect world, this would’ve been my first article. Have my readers understand who I am and where I come from, first. But in the actual world, it’s not my first article. So here it is: a tribute to my 19 years and 45 days.

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Robbie brushing his hair with a shovel and Alex holding me.

My mom popped me out on May 4th, 1999. I always hear the story of how my dad questioned why I was blue and the nurse got mad. Or how my mom wanted to name me Liesel and my dad said, “No. Liesel the diesel”. Makes no sense, we know. 3 years before me was my brother Robbie and 3 years before him was Alex. How perfect? Two older brothers to protect the little girl. Wrong! I get picked on like no other. Resulting in my confident and bold attitude that I proudly wear to this day.

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on the left, my dad is fashionably standing with his hands on his hips. on the right, I am the smiley child with glasses and middle-parted short hair.

We lived in St. Paul, MN until I was 7. I started third grade at Kaposia Education Center in South St. Paul (SSP). Quickly made friends, wrote in the newspaper, and had numerous ‘boyfriends’.  Can’t forget to mention, I met my best friend in 3rd grade. Hey, Meggy. Love you. I was taking gymnastics lessons at Rising Stars in Oakdale, quit after a couple years, and picked it back up in 7th grade. Moved to the high school in SSP where I did dance team for one year, volleyball for all six years, gymnastics for five years, and track during sophomore year. Took PSEO classes at Inver Hills Community College during junior and senior year and racked up 16 credits. Met three of my best friends in gymnastics (Sarah, Kelsey, and Emma) and they met Megan in tennis. Things worked out perfectly and we became besties right from the get-go. Our squad expanded by one (with Cassie) in 9th grade and it’s been the 6 of us to this day. Aside from the girls, I had a boyfriend for almost six months during sophomore year and another one for almost one month (lol) during junior year.

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During high school I coached recreational gymnastics, worked as a paraprofessional during the summers, worked at the Mall of America in Francesca’s, and worked at a country club. Not that anyone will even remember that, but they’re semi-relevant.  I loved to stay busy, still do. During my junior year, my mom moved out and my parents got a divorce. Things were weird, tears were shed, and I’m still working on forgiveness. I don’t have a temper and I can’t hold grudges, but I still have my defenses up around her. Because I would be moving out for college in a year or two, I didn’t move half of my stuff to my mom’s place. In fact, I rarely visited her. Maybe once a week, usually for tea or dinner. Senior year was when I got rowdy. A.k.a horny and bored. I wanted to get drunk every weekend and make out with boys. Typical high school girl, right? Something about it never sat well with me, but it took a few months to make a final decision about myself. I then fully committed myself to God, after a touchy session with a guy at college, and left my worldly desires behind.

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Dani, Natalie, me, and Janae right after we all got baptized!

I publicly declared my faith when I got water baptized at The Edge (a church/student center near campus) during second semester. Getting water baptized was my way of telling the world I am leaving my past behind and I will not turn back. As I came up from that water, I became a new person. A person who now sees who I am in Christ and puts my value in who God says I am. I no longer sin against my own body in such reckless ways (but that doesn’t mean I don’t get tempted). I can truly say how fulfilled I am with life now. I don’t have to pretend anymore to find my worth in guys who are here for my private goodies (lol).

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the famous Sugar Loaf.

Upon graduation, the six of us went to separate colleges. There were so many feelings on move-in day, but by the night I ached for something familiar. I longed for their presence to make things less regrettable. Check out my article here about how to cope with these feelings! My roommate (Amanda) and I were pretty similar and got along. She sticked close to the three or four friends that also came to Winona State. I branched out and went to floor events to make friends and I signed up for countless clubs during Welcome Week. I eventually became the Events Planner in Her Campus and joined a small group in Chi Alpha during first semester. I then added on P.E Club and H.O.P.E (don’t even know what that stands for but something about health and PE) Club. I also changed my major from Elementary and Special Education to Health and Physical Education with a DAPE (Developmental Adaptive PE) minor after first semester. Another change in between semesters was Amanda moving out. Her friend needed a roommate. I loved living alone. I didn’t have to worry about being too loud or having the lights on when waking up at 6:30 every morning.

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While at Winona State, I met my long-lost soulmate, Dani. She turned around in the caf line and said hello to me, we ate lunch together and exchanged Snapchats. The memory so strongly engraved in my memory that I could cry about how grateful I am for such a miraculous yet minuscule moment. We went to Chi Alpha together and I sobbed my eyes out for the first few weeks. Chi Alpha is a campus ministry, bringing powerful messages to a lost freshy like me. Chi Alpha’s service is identical to my home church, River Valley. My first year was great. I got close with girls in my small group and started to get close to the guys that lived a floor below me. I call them The Boys of Second, because they lived on 2nd Richards. Saying goodbye to my freshman year was a lot harder than I expected. I only cried twice!

Hope you got this far! From almost biting my tongue off when I was 7 to losing the GoPro while illegally cliff jumping to making the Dean’s List every semester of college. Life definitely has it’s twists and turns, and you never believe someone when they say time flies when it for-sure does. I wouldn’t trade these past 19 years for anything. Why? Because everything happens for a reason.

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