30 facts about my life, mistakes, and triumphs

Kissing a Camel in Jordan

Fact 31…I couldn’t quite bring myself to kiss a camel.

Warning: This is a personal post, if you’re not into that kind of stuff, pick one of my adventure inspired posts to read instead, I won’t be offended.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ― E.E. Cummings

It strikes me as odd that anyone would want to interview me. Yet, I’ve given two this month. My focus on this blog, and in life, is to inspire. Authentic sharing is the only way I know how to do that.

I cut myself little slack when it comes to living with personal accountability. The buck stops in the mirror. That said, I could do a better job of sharing my imperfections and victories with you. In what feels like a totally narcissistic move, I’m going to reveal 30 facts you may not know about me. Some of them border on silly, while others are quite personal and unflattering. I really don’t like to talk about myself. This is me being brave.

*Takes nervous deep breath*

Here we go:

  1. Two kitties call me mom. Okay that was a warm up…
  2. I turned 45 this year and feel stronger than ever. I wouldn’t want to be 20 again unless I could pack this mind and body, so what’s the point? More time I suppose.
  3. Writing will likely be my last career; I’m passionate about it. I’m also a commercial pilot, flight instructor, EMT, and former special ops firefighter. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m current in all but the firefighting. That’s a lot of CEUs by the way.
  4. I’m a rescue technician in high angle (my specialty), HAZMAT, structural collapse, and more.
  5. I’m scared of heights and scorpions. Yes, heights, but I manage it well.
  6. Skiing is my favorite sport followed by hiking, climbing, and caving.
  7. I was in a movie this year but have been too shy to talk about it much. YouTube Preview Image
  8. Yes, I’m quiet and shy by nature.
  9. I struggle with perfectionism and overworking.
  10. Burning Man changed how I see the world. )’( Lamplighters at Burning Man 2014
  11. My diet is clean and plant based about 85% of the time. The other 15% I choose artfully crafted food that explores good ingredients and local flavor. If I’m going to splurge, it better be good.
  12. I like really good coffee. But if that’s not an option I’ll drink what I can find. An IV drip would be a time saver.
  13. My guilty weaknesses are Red Vines, Dulce de Leche, and caramel anything.
  14. I haven’t eaten a steak in roughly two years. Perhaps it’s time.
  15. I do a CrossFit workout 4-5 days a week.
  16. I pack a stuffed animal when I travel. His name is Wolfie.
  17. I primarily watch documentaries and occasionally cat videos.
  18. Memoirs are my favorite genre of book.
  19. I shoot with a Nikon D7000 DSLR and N1 AW1 (a waterproof, shockproof, and interchangeable lens camera)
  20. My undergraduate degree is in Aeronautical Science from ERAU.
  21. I’m currently enrolled at the University of Utah studying positive psychology.
  22. I lived on a boat in the South Pacific and the Caribbean for most of my childhood.
  23. Yes, I was homeschooled…until I dropped out.
  24. Exercise Induced Asthma. I’m telling it to kiss my butt.
  25. Some of my life wasn’t “charming,” but I wouldn’t change a thing.
  26. I entered adulthood not having a sense of stability or an understanding of healthy relationships. I married and divorced three times before realizing I had to work on myself. Five years ago, looking in the mirror, I didn’t know the person staring back.
  27. This prompted a year and a half of contemplation and learning to love a solo life. I had a lot to figure out and hard work to do. Learning to love myself was the beginning. Then setting boundaries, followed by maintaining balance…the list is long.
  28. I had to regain control of my body. I was overweight and unfit.

    Before and After

    Before and After: June 2009 vs. May 2013

  29. Oh and change careers. I’d wanted to write since I was a teen, but hadn’t given myself permission (that perfectionism thing I mentioned). A lot of people thought I was nuts to pull back from my profitable business.
  30. Writing full-time meant a massive financial change plus working two jobs until I could support myself. I reached the point of selling stuff to get by.

Five years later, my life is peaceful. I’m happy, fit, financially stable, and in a beautiful relationship. I still face a few fears and have many aspirations.

By reading between silly facts you can see that I’m far from perfect. I’ve made big mistakes and even bigger detours on the way to where I am today. All made me stronger and wiser and I appreciate my life more because of its challenges.

Life is a journey, although not always an easy one. To read more on my thoughts about finding life happiness, read my post “Tough facts about the journey to find happiness”

The purpose of this post is to share that normal people can face tough circumstances, make mistakes, learn, change, and recover. ~ Erika

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Comments

  1. says

    I need to do the same with my weight. Ever since running the Chicago Marathon I have been eating a lot of pizza, and I have gained over 20 pounds. Cross-country skiing should help.

  2. Ron Henderson says

    There is a certain intimacy that is shared when reading articles such as those you write. Most of us cannot relate to much of what you have experienced and a few of us can relate to a few of the experiences. Literary talent and photography is a window to your world!
    However, we all have made many mistakes, accepted the consequences of the mistakes but failed to “grab the rivets of our Levi’s”, “bite the bullet” and move on! You have!

    • says

      Thank you Ron. Of course you were closer than anyone when I realized I needed to look at my life. I’m thankful that we hold onto our friendship and partnership in spite of taking new paths.

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