Let’s talk about love

Coffee shops are funny places. I’ve spent a lot of time in them writing, dreaming, scheming, and of course drinking far too much coffee. It’s not even the atmosphere that brings me in though, it’s the people.

Just last week I overheard 2 nurses on lunch complaining about pastors who cheat on their wives. My favorite quote from that day? “Well, Daddy didn’t just fall out of bed onto another woman… he planned it!” It took every ounce of strength within me not to laugh out loud. (more…)

5 Things I Learned While Looking for a Job.

When I was 16 I was hired for any job I applied for. It was beautiful. After working for 2 banks, a few restaurants, the Star Tribune, and various other companies I graduated college with a job in hand in the career field I studied so hard to be a part of. Yes, I am aware of how lucky I was. But I didn’t realize I was living in a bubble. After quitting my radio job, moving home and starting a passionate job hunt I was humbled beyond words by my lack of being hired. It was absolutely heart-wrenching, degrading, and destructive. Confession: I cried a lot… and ate a lot of cookies. But now that I’ve found some light at the end of the tunnel (hallelujah) I’m going to share the 5 most important lessons I learned. (more…)

How do you say Goodbye?

I’m not sure how to say good-bye. I mean, I know how to audibly say it, but to actually mean it baffles me. To actually end something, cut someone out of my life, change a bad habit, and walk away from something knowing when you say those words that it is over. I am terrible at good-bye. (more…)

Dear Andy,

A few weeks ago a friend of mine e-mailed me asking “how is your story compared to last year?” I wrote him this charming letter full of random thoughts and lists. I think it sums my last 365 days up pretty well.


(Oh, btw… check out Andy’s blog. He’s swell.)

My story. Honestly? It’s pretty dang good. I’ve been writing a lot, not publishing any of it because some things just don’t need to be known by the general reading public, but I’ve been writing.

I think the best way to summarize my then and now will be bullet points.

Last year

  • Just quit job, moved all crap to storage unit, cried my eyes out until it hurt, and did youthworks.
  • Painfully afraid that I wouldn’t find a job after youthworks
  •  Ready to go on an adventure knowing that I had a great family to catch me at the end of it
  • Feeling very poor in spirit and in finances
  • Having no idea what was going to happen after August
  • Ready to stop feeling sorry for myself, serve others, laugh hard, and learn who Laura was again.
  • (I don’t know if you know a lot of this but I was in a long relationship, and really kinda lost myself in the process, became really un-fun, super serious, really depressed, and kinda hated me, but decided to do YW to find me (and I did!) woot. Ok, end of side story you may have already known)

This year

  • Just got a job. It’s been a whole year of not making enough money to fuel my car, and pay my bills but God has been good, proving His faithfulness even when I am so far away.
  • I’ve spent the last year having my heart-broken over and over. Once by a fellow (which… yeh, he was an jerk, but he gave me an iPhone… so win-win?) and over 20 times by jobs.
  •  I was pushed to my limit several times by people I thought were on my team, and forced to stand up for myself, my values, and tell people to stop walking on me. (that wasn’t easy) I’ve been forced to find my big-girl pants and stand up for myself, call people out on things and be affirmed in what I know about my skill set, talents, and giftedness.
  • I’ve had to walk away from a church I loved dearly because one person in power decided that I wasn’t good enough. I’ve had to learn to not believe the lies. (I wasn’t any good at this before this last year)
  •  I’ve been stuck a few times. I’ve written a couple crappy lines of story, and decided to wallow in self-pity, but then again, even some of our most cherished heroes lose their way.
  • At the end of the day, I know who I am, things I’m good at, gifts I’ve been given and people who are on my team.
  • Oh, and the biggest thing I’ve learned this last year is that I love to write, and that I’m not bad at it. That was a shocker. Honestly. Had you told me last year that I would be a paid writer, going to grad school for writing… I would have laughed.

To use your crazy West Coast language of “stoked”… Yes, I am stoked. Do I like living my story most days? No, because the more I try to write it, the more I realize that I’m not the only author. If I had it my way, I would have found some hunky piece of man, found a sweet place to live and worked a job that paid me $20 an hour to make pretty pictures, but I don’t get it my way. I love what I’m doing, where I’m going, and who I am becoming, but most days I still feel like a stubborn child stomping their feet in the toy aisle of Target.

Would I change any of it? Nope. Not a single piece. There has been good, there has been bad, there have been mistakes, and triumphs… but most of all there has been adventure of every kind, and that’s what I did all this for… to write a story worth writing this kind of note about, to get off my bum and do something. I did this because it has allowed me to be me, love others, laugh hard, and build relationships with those around me. I am happy.

All-in-all I’d say that this last chapter of my story hasn’t been so bad.

<3 Laura

A Good Story Includes Blind Adventure…

(Note: I’m not 100% sure this makes sense or is actually a whole thought, but I’m trying something new where I don’t overthink things. Any questions, comments or suggestions are always welcome as I’m trying to get better at this.)

Blind adventure… what in the world is that? Let me explain.

I have a good friend named Craig. We’ve known each other for over 12 years. I remember the first day I met him in 7th grade. I’m not sure why I remember it or even what I remember, other than the fact that he was wearing khakis and had the darkest hair I had ever seen. According to the 7th grade girl gossip ring, he was the dreamy new student that every girl wanted to date. Please note: I was NOT one of those girls. I had recently started day school again after being homeschooled for a few years. Boys weren’t really on my “liking” radar yet.

Had I known that Craig and I would be friends 12 years after we first met I probably would have been nicer or better behaved or cooler… yeh, I would have tried to be cooler.

We’ve had a few trends in our friendship but the one that sticks out the most to me is that I have done most of the huge life things first. Craig was older, but kind of a slow bloomer. Although he had a steady dating relationship first, I got my driver’s license first, broke up with someone first, went to college first, graduated college first, made a lot of poor choices first and so on. One thing he did beat me to though, was finding the love of his life.

It was about 11:30pm when my phone rang under my pillow while sleeping in a hotel room in Boston.  He was calling to tell me about this amazing girl he just went on a date with. I sat in the hallway for about an hour hearing how amazing and beautiful and funny and caring and wonderful she was. It actually brought tears to my eyes to hear a sound in his voice I had never heard before. He had met THE ONE.

Now, I could break into a diatribe about how I’m sure there is more than 1 “The One” in this world for each of us, but I don’t have the brain power or time to explain so I will continue with this charming fairytale of love.

It wasn’t long before Craig decided to propose, and I decided to be insanely jealous of all of my friends who were madly in love. (This was a dark time in my life, I’ll discuss it later, I promise) Fast forward 5 months and I am boarding a plane at 5am to fly to Denver, Colorado to see my oldest friend get married in the mountains in the middle of winter. Deciding to attend Craig’s wedding was a difficult one financially, time wise and honestly… emotionally. Life was about to change drastically and for the first time, Craig was changing it before me.

The wedding was beautiful. Craig married the girl of his dreams. People were happy. It all went off WITH a hitch… get it? They got hitched! (Remember how I wished I was cooler?) The whole thing really got me thinking about my story and how this piece of my story was ending. Life was changing… And that’s ok.

Have you ever driven up or down a mountain? There are these things called switch backs, which essentially means that you are going to drive back and forth on the side of a mountain and go around some INSANE dark corners hoping there isn’t a dinosaur standing in the road. (Yes, I said dinosaur… remember? Not cool)

Living a good story is kind of like driving on a mountain. There are a lot of dark corners to go around while having no idea what is around them. I said that living a better story includes blind adventure and this is where it came from. As I was driving around corner after corner I realized that I have no idea what is around my next corner. In fact, I never have. Yes, there are those absolutes such as, I will die someday, just like how I knew that I would eventually hit the bottom of the mountain. These are truths I just know. But I have no idea what is next in my life.  I could look at this fact with fear, but I’ve decided to look at it as an adventure. I believe it was Disney’s Pocahontas that said, “I look once more, just around the river bend…” with expectation and excitement of what was yet to come. As I try to live a better story, I want to be filled with the same emotions. I want to look at the dark bend in the road and be excited that I could meet a new dinosaur friend or find a career I love, or meet my Captain John Smith, or even find my passion in life.

As I drove around my last dark corner of the mountain and was headed on a straight road back to Denver, it all hit me. I had the privilege of journeying with an amazing friend through life’s incredible joys and destructive lows. We were able to laugh, cry, and laugh more. We were fortunate to live several chapters of our stories together. When I look back at Volume I of my life, the pages are filled with moments with him. I was blessed to be a part of his first chapters, and to watch him begin to write a beautiful new story as mine with him closed.

This whole life is a journey. It’s not always certain or defined, but if we look at each blind unknown as a new adventure being born, maybe we’ll have a shot of making it a story worth telling.