It's been about a month back in the Midwest with 1 recent surprise visit back to the west coast. So many emotions have flown through me, but the most consistent one has been happiness!! I have moved every single year (sometimes 2) since I was a freshman in college... That's 11 years! Talk about living minimally, out of a suitcase and never really having that 'home feeling'. Talk about a life full of adventure, but no security, or stability. I now...have it all: adventure and a home (not just a house).
Being honest, I probably wouldn't be back living in my hometown, Kaukauna, if it wasn't for the amazing human that stole my heart. He has supplied me with more love than I never knew existed in this world. I don’t even care where we live as long as I'm with him. (and there is a lumber yard and beach court nearby)
I was drilled with a few questions while I was making the decision to move:
1. But you just had your best season and now you want to leave California?
Exactly I have more freedom now! This is the first season where I've finally figured out how to balance my life out. Volleyball is fun for me. It's not my job. It's not the only thing I'm good at. Volleyball is my #1 passion and what I love to do most, but I now have the ability to make that happened anywhere. Living in Hermosa Beach, the Mecca of volleyball, you're surrounded by it, the sun, great weather, and attractive, healthy people! You grow to take advantage if it. Back in the Midwest, that doesn't happen all year round.
There are great sources everywhere you go, you just have to search.
2. You want to leave this AMAZING weather?
The sun shines in the state of Wisconsin too. Weather doesn't determine your happiness. It gives you a tan and makes you feel warm but there are other sources of warmth and light. I don’t miss the smog and traffic.
3. What’s your biggest advice for people that want to move to California and chase their dream?
It doesn’t matter where you move. You can accomplish your volleyball goals anywhere. Beach volleyball is growing rapidly. California is a great place to begin. Make connections, learn new things, explore resources, but keep your life balanced. Be patient with your journey.
4. What are you most proud of during your time in California?
Making the move to the west coast, and figuring out life my own. Finding ME! Getting a 5th in Austin. Going through the qualifier and winning those first 2 games the next day, beating top seeded opponents while battling through that heat.
5. What are you going to miss most about California?
The healthy lifestyle, and adventurous mindset of everyone. But Mainly my friends
6. What was your biggest struggle?
Settling in to a new environment and finding 'my framily' (friends that become family).
Not comparing the roller coaster ride of my volleyball journey to that of my competitors.
7. Now that you've spent time on the west coast, do you suggest young athletes to move to California?
100% yes. If you have nothing holding you back where you are now, why not? It's the best way to make connections and to gain recognition from other players and coaches. But if you do need to stay where you are, you can still make it work.
I am so happy I made the move to California to see what all the fuss was about. The last 3 years have been a wild ride. The people I've met, the loneliness, multiple adventures, non-stop travels, disappointing finishes and personal bests... I wouldn't change a thing!!
In 2019, I'll be starting a beach program that will be run from my backyard; The Sandbox. Competing on the AVP tour, working on getting my workbook published along with helping Greg build cool things.
I am so happy that I made my move back to Wisconsin. So many awesome things happening next year! I'm ready for the next chapter in my life. I'm excited for change, and so many things to keep me occupied. I'm pumped about growing the beach game back in my hometown and I want to show kids that you can make any dream a reality no matter where you live.