Three months ago on March 24, 2021 I made the courageous choice to leave everything and everyone I loved behind in San Jose and just GO. I left my lease and my roommate in our apartment we shared. I left my relationship. I left my stable job at the hospital. I left friends. I left family. I left my dog. I left a severe drug addiction. I left the chaos. Bismarck, ND was my first travel assignment.
Author: Katie Williams
Rapid City, SD: Rushmore & More
If there is one thing I love, it is a good road trip. Despite the fact that I drove 1500+ miles from California to North Dakota and I will be driving about the same to Philadelphia in just a couple of weeks, I absolutely love the journey (just as much as the destination). During my first month here in Bismarck I was still getting to know people and trying to find a tribe who I could get together with on weekends. SO. On a random Saturday in April I woke up and randomly decided to take a road trip to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore!
29 Things I’ve Learned in My Twenties
Tomorrow is the first day of my last year of my twenties. It is fascinating to me how much everyone seems to fear turning 30. If I am being totally honest I cannot wait. My twenties have been filled with so much... joy, pain, healing, love, learning, mistakes, loss, friendship, heartache, recovery and everything in between. I would not trade any of it for the world. It has taken a long time and a lot of healing for me to even say that. All of that to say, there are many lessons I have learned along the way. Here are the 29 things I would tell my 20-year-old self if I could go back and give her advice.
Minneapolis, MN: Girl’s weekend
Minneapolis is such a beautiful city. I am glad I was able to explore it with new friends. There is so much diversity, love for justice, great food, great things to see, and lots of gorgeous sights (such as parks). It reminded me of Sacramento in many ways. I am grateful for the taste of home, even if I am thousands of miles away.
Minneapolis, MN: Be a Beginner
I don't know about you, but I have struggled with beginnings about as much as I struggle with endings (which is A LOT by the way). It is hard to admit when I am a beginner at something. I know a huge part of that is my own privilege as a white, educated, middle-class woman. Book education is important, but not as important as real-life education. I have never had the real-life experience of being a black woman or black man. I have only ever known a life of privilege. I can read what that means in a book, but it does not mean I truly know what it means. At first I struggled with it too. I had thoughts in my head about how I have my degree in Social work and that it means I recognize my privilege. Again though, it is one thing to know it - it is another to feel the repercussions of someone else's privilege affecting my own life.
To Love and Let Go
Today I read "which choice is more loving?" -- And I know which one it is. It is the road of letting go. Even though I have made so much progress, I am still not healed from the pain I put myself and others through. I have still not forgiven myself. There is still so much I am working through. The memories, the history will always be with him too. It is not lost just because we are no longer part of each other's lives. He definitely shaped mine. Nothing can change that either. Maybe one day I will come to a similar crossroad. Maybe I will be in a completely different place in a completely different time. Maybe. Until then though, I am choosing to make the choice that is more loving. Sometimes it hurts more to hold on than it does to let go. So, I am letting go.
Making Peace with Peace
My diary was somewhat of a safe haven for me. I did a lot of writing throughout elementary, middle, and high school all the way up until now. There is one thing I do remember as a common theme that weaved in and out of the pages of every diary I ever kept though, regardless of age. I want to be happy. Yet for a girl with the whole word at her feet, I could not for the life of me figure out how to achieve it.
Meaning in the Mundane
If you know me, you know how much I love excitement. If I could be with my favorite people at all waking times, I would accept at least 95% of it. The other 5% would be reserved for recharging. I have never been able to just sit still. Any time I am not doing something or doing something WITH someone else is a moment wasted. That is how I always saw it at least until I got to North Dakota.
Time to Go
I can't point my finger to the exact moment I knew I had to go but that is because there was not just one moment. It was a collection of moments, years of moments really that sent me kicking and screaming to the wrong places before I finally knew... it's time to go.
Philly, Here I come!
Earlier in the week I felt a stirring in my soul and the quiet but peaceful voice of God telling me keep going. It was very clearly saying that I should not stay in North Dakota for my next assignment. As much as I do like adventure, I also really like comfort. When I meet people, friends, coworkers, and find places I love... I have an incredibly hard time letting go.