Position: Outside | Hometown: Roberts Creek, British columbia | International Matches: 130 | Club: Team Canada
The warmest of welcomes, you beautiful soul.
As I sit here wondering what to put down on the first page of my blog, my fingers stop me from writing down what I normally would have in the past. I would have given you the run down on my volleyball career and where I am now, where I went to university and what I graduated in, a bit about my family and upbringing, and perhaps a blurb about Roberts Creek and the fact that I grew up with hippies running around beside me. All important things but I am going to go in a different direction this time. Let me tell you a little bit more about myself on a deeper level because well, that's what it's all about.
I am a lover of coffee shops. The ones that have huge family-style wooden farm tables, too many plants, some old books lying around, and extra large cappuccinos. It’s one of the first things I seek out when living in a new city. If they have a good cafe then I know I’m going to be alright.
Flowers are my love language.
I think I may have been a photographer in my past life. I absolutely adore catching moments. Making people feel beautiful. Attempting at forever holding on to that particular time and memory. When I am traveling I like to go off the beaten path and try to capture some normal, simple life shots of those that are living around me. Simple, day to day, ordinary things. I am only passing through for a short time but they are living out a majority (or the entirety) of their life in this specific area. That just seems so magical to me so you better believe that I look like a wild tourist wandering around the globe. Backpack + maps + cameras + a fanny pack. I find a lot of freedom and inspiration when I am looking through a lens. If anyone wants to shoot... the answer is yes - let's do it!
I am a new (-er) believer (relatively speaking). My story isn’t straight and narrow, like most, and it weaves through attending the Catholic Church growing up to getting baptized last fall in Athens, Greece. I think that God put me on a path that I was intended to first embark on alone which led me to some very interesting places and situations in my professional volleyball career. This is where I ultimately began my relationship with Him. And somewhere not long after that (when I was ready) he dropped a lovely Christian man into my world whom I have the extreme pleasure to now call my husband.
I wish I could say I was a hard-ass bad-ass chick where negative things effortlessly roll off of me. Truthfully I am an extremely large softy. I feel it all. I am truly invested in the outcome of others and being the sounding block of their problems. This has got me into trouble in the past but these days I am learning to accept that it’s just who I am. “It is a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply.”
Oversized sweaters and wool socks. Yes. Just yes.
I am constantly writing - even if I don’t have a pen and paper in hand. My phone notes? 378 and counting. My computer desktop? Too many unshared files of posts I’ve written but not sure if I ever intended to share. I am constantly writing blog posts and scripts and chapters in my brain whenever I have an idea or a bit of inspiration. Always, always writing.
I’m an overshare-r. And I hate small-talk banter. I ask a lot of questions because I want to know people on a deeper more meaningful level than what the world deems as comfortable and acceptable. I tell a lot of people about my struggles in person and via the various social media platforms that I have going in order to attempt to foster a safe community where we can come to the table in a loving and honest way. But believe me that was not always the case. In high school I kept all my cards close to my chest. I was the person that everyone came to tell their secrets to but I very rarely revealed mine. Then somewhere down the road between the major losses I have experienced, I realized that's no longer the way I wanted to live. I want to tell people how much I love them and appreciate their uniqueness. I want to press into people and truly show them pieces of myself that I wouldn't normally do. And maybe, just maybe, they'll reach out and do the same.
I feel like my soul is happiest and most at ease when I am at home in Roberts Creek. I don’t think it’s just because it’s “home” – the only home my family has ever had, or from the millions of memories I have from growing up in this small town and community. Maybe it is. Childhood memories street to street. Around the bend, corner to corner. But to whoever has visited: how can your soul not be at rest here? A ten minute drive from the beach to the mountains, with smaller towns in the in-between. Time seems to go slower. Life seems more simple. And the most important things in life float effortlessly to the surface for you to grasp.
I have had extremely amazing experiences during my life. From being very successful in sports at a young age, winning five national championship titles with UBC, accepting various league and tournament MVP awards, joining the Junior National team in my grade ten year and then two years later, being named to the Senior National team whom I have been competing with ever since. I currently have six professional seasons (seven different professional teams) under my belt. My family is close in proximity and relationship. I got married to the man of my dreams last August (I feel like everyone says this but holy is it ever true!) and included in that mix is the greatest in-law family I could have ever dreamt up. I was named captain of Team Canada earlier this summer. I travel all around the world. I have an extremely beautiful bunch of friends from all facets of my life. So one could say (and many do...) that my life seems perfect. But beneath the sparkly travel photos on instagram and seemingly perfect life, I have been really struggling – something that I have not yet shared with the world. One of my younger twin brothers passed away five years ago and my life forever changed. Pushing away the negative emotions, thoughts, and fears for so long has weighed me down. It was at the end of last summer when I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression (for the third time in the span of a couple months... but this is when I finally decided to listen). Life is beautiful. Living is a gift. I know that. But on the dark days when things are really, really rough, it sometimes takes a lot for me to remember that. I think that I am finally willing to speak up and hopefully through my own pain, struggles, insecurities, and shame, I can help others feel like they're not alone in this. Because we're not alone. The stigma is so real and so big for mental health and there adds an interesting twist when paired with the realm of professional sports. It's probably why this has taken me almost a year to publicly share but I hope through sharing I can find my voice. And if you're struggling through things too - that you can find yours as well. I'm supposed to have it "all together" but I don't. Does anybody, really?
I truly thank all of you for the support you have shown me over the years. Not just in my volleyball career but in those days and moments off the court as well. The connections and inspirations I receive from everyone and everything have been shaping me into the person I am today. I have a lot of passions and ideas up my sleeve. I did a little "re-brand", if you will, on this website in order to not just focus on volleyball but to touch up on the other things I take inspiration from. I am learning that life is a constant learning curve and uphill battle. A life where it is crucial to be present and intentional. A life where I need to be honest and I need to write. Even though I am satisfied with the path I am on, there is a lot of room for improvement and a heck of a lot of space for learning. As I slowly start to accept that, I think moving forward seems just a little bit less scary.
Drop me a line / text / dm / email / letter / smoke signal whenever you can and whenever you want.
I am always ready for a deep chat over a piping hot cup of coffee.
Love you all dearly,
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and
read by everyone.