I’m an aspiring writer, lifelong learner, and shameless dreamer.
I was born, raised, and still live in rural Saskatchewan.
I had a fairly typical farm-kid childhood and upbringing. But after high school, I had no idea what direction to go. As a kid, I had dreamed of becoming a writer and/or a dolphin researcher, neither of which seemed like sensible life paths. So instead, I became a hairdresser. I opened my own salon, which I ran for 5 years. I absolutely loved certain parts of the job, but it never felt like it was what I was meant to do forever. As my lease came due and I was faced with the options of either renewing it or closing up shop, I decided to step away from the business and go about changing the course of my life.
I spent the following summer backpacking through Europe and reassessing what it was I really wanted. I realized that even though I was in my mid-twenties, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. All I knew was that if I had the chance to align my work and lifestyle with things that really mattered to me, I’d better take it. Upon returning home, I returned to hairdressing part time, invested in a small Haskap berry operation with my parents, and applied to the International Studies program at the University of Saskatchewan.
Exploring Europe and contemplating life, 2010
Nearly seven years later, I’ve now completed my degree and, once again, I feel like I’m at a crossroads. Undertaking university coursework reignited my love of writing and positive feedback from professors has me cautiously optimistic that maybe it can be a potential career path. Either way, I decided that writing is an important outlet for me and something I need to dedicate time to on a regular basis.
I currently live in a small town with my partner, Mark and our Great Dane, Juno. When I’m not working, I spend my days reading, writing, dreaming up new adventures, and learning the ins and outs of running this here blog. I spend a lot of time at my parents’ farm, where Juno can run free, and we enjoy getting up to our cabin in northern Manitoba as much as possible.
To help you get to know me better, here’s a list of a few things that I love:
The World – okay, I know this one’s a bit broad but it’s true. There’s a reason I majored in international studies. I’ve always been fascinated by images and stories about all things that make up the world we live in today. Plants, animals, people, landscapes, cultures, food, politics – it’s all just so damn interesting, isn’t it?
Nature – outside is where I’m happy (at least, when it’s not -40) and I try to get outdoors every single day, even if only for a short walk. I love mountains, and oceans, and the wide-open skies of the Canadian prairies. I’m (sometimes literally) a treehugger and most of our trips center on some sort of outdoor adventure.
An old, blurry photo of me hugging a tree, circa 2005
Travel – speaking of trips, I’ve made travel a priority in my life and have been extremely fortunate to have had some amazing experiences. In addition to my summer in Europe, Mark and I have surfed in Costa Rica, learned to dive in Honduras, explored caves in Belize, hiked in Alaska, and road-tripped across Western Canada. I’m constantly dreaming up the next trip and Mark is almost always happy to tag along.
My People – I have some of the most supportive and inspiring friends and family in my life. And, yes, Juno is included in this list since as far as she’s concerned, she’s a “people” too.
Two of my favourites, Mark and Juno
So what’s An Ordinary Existence all about?
This blog is both an online journal and a celebration of mediocrity.
Although I have had some great adventures, I have never once in my life felt like I was anything exceptional. I’ve never been the best, the fastest, or the most-accomplished in anything I’ve done. I’m not the most athletic, the most well-read, or the most well-traveled. I’ve never thought I was anything special.
This might sound a little depressing, but, really, it isn’t.
As a recovering perfectionist, there is something incredibly freeing about accepting the fact that you may not be the best at something and then doing it anyway. When you strip away the pressure of coming in first, it frees up the space to fail which, in turn, frees up the space to try.
Unfortunately, mediocrity isn’t often celebrated in our society. Rather it’s the people who excel who gain recognition, as they should. The stories of those who win Olympic medals, or conquer the most extreme feats, or are at the top of their profession are surely worth telling. But this tendency to focus on the best can create a narrative that you are worthy of attention only if you are better than everyone else. Or, worse yet, that you should only try if you are fearless, invincible, and naturally talented.
My experience is the opposite. When I undertake something new I feel vulnerable, fearful, anxious, and inadequate. And I’m never a natural at it. I think that’s the case for most people and I think this holds people back. This idea that you have no business doing something unless you are the best at it.
Well, f*** that.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but have put it off because you think you won’t be good at it, go do it. I’m not going to tell you that you’ll be awesome. Because most likely, you’ll suck. But that’s okay. And then once you’ve done it, tell people about it. Share your failures and your shortcomings, your fears and your anxieties. Because even ordinary people, living ordinary lives have stories to tell. Stories that can be just as engaging, and funny, and interesting as anyone else’s. And you might just inspire someone else to try something new too.
Scaredy cats can be courageous.
Plain Janes can have amazing experiences.
And an ordinary existence can be worth talking about.