The You are Awesome blog launched in 2016. At that time, I planned to share inspiring stories about interesting ideas and compelling, real people. In 2019 I noticed my interests had shifted. Instead of writing profiles of people, I was sharing stories about parenting, leadership, gratitude, and personal development. These essays told the tale of my continued quest to become a better human. In addition, I’d begun submitting essays and contributing regularly to several other publications.
I believe life is an act of co-creation with the world around us . We have a path, walk it, then notice when our feet have taken us to a whole different place. Often, we don’t know what or who we are until we observe ourselves from a distance–and the same is true of a blog.
It was time for a change.
A Little History
Initially, I launched the blog for two reasons. First, I wanted a reason (excuse) to write regularly. Second, the blog offered me the chance to connect with people and build relationships I might not otherwise have had.
In 2019 I realized these were all still true. These things make me happy. I like being happy. You could call me a happiness practitioner if you like, I don’t mind. But there’s a new dimension now. I’m writing because I’ve found that when I or others tell personal narratives and stories, inviting shared or vicarious experiences, two important things happen. One, we are encouraged to share our own, sometimes painful or exuberant, moments and lessons. And two, we’re able to find our own unique truths.
My words are not meant to give advice or provide a prescription for particular action. Instead, I share my truth, my struggle, my observations, not because I think I’m right, but because somewhere in my experience is a universal one. Whether we arrive at similar conclusions or walk convergent paths is entirely a matter of chance and coincidence. But what we gain by engaging with the world; investigating, then sharing our learning and our journey, is exponential. That–the exponential improvement of thoughtful awareness about our world–is what I’m after. It’s me (and you) trying to stay awake in a sleepy world.
At the University of California, San Diego I studied communications, writing, and scientific perspectives. I wrote for on-campus publications while in school. After graduation, I signed on to write and edit a start-up magazine published out of San Francisco. Some years later, I wrote an educational booklet on banking, distributed to 10,000 people.
Nowadays, though I’ve written a couple of novels, I focus on personal narrative and essay. I am a syndicated columnist at The Good Men Project, and a special guest columnist at Open Thought Vortex magazine. Additionally, you can find some of my more personal essays at Heart and Humanity. I also occasionally write for publications such as Splice Today.
I live in Minnesota with my second husband (Paul), elementary school-age child (Jackson), and our elderly golden retriever (Ace).
Awards and Recognition
In 2018, my essay, The Problem with Pretty Girls and Princesses, was selected by the editors at WordPress Discover as an “Editor’s Pick” and promoted to their readers. It made number 11 on their list of the top 15 most-read posts. This essay was the second of my posts picked by the WordPress Editors. The first was, Co-Parenting: Confessions of a Part-Time Mom.
In 2016, the You are Awesome blog tied for third place in the “Most Inspirational” category at the Annual Bloggers Bash. The blog was nominated again in 2017 for the same category. And in 2019, nominated for “Best Personal Development Blog.”
So, that’s me. Who’re you?