(10) The end of The beginning

The last couple years of my schooling I worked for a design company. Started as an internship and got hired on part time. I attended the local design communities functions, as well as national functions, whenever I could go to them. I started finding my own clients here and there. Unfortunately, towards the end of school I got so busy that I had to leave the design company I was working for. I didn't want to mess up all my hard work at the end of my schooling. Over the years at school, I became really close to some of the teachers I had. They truly believed in me as a designer, artist, and friend. They have been a great inspiration to me and are a constant reminder to never give up. The beginning of a career is always the hardest part. The next couple years after graduation will be the hardest.

I continued to teach snowboarding and even started training the new hire snowboard instructors. I had a few set backs with injuries on my way to becoming the best snowboarder I could be but I've healed a lot and hope to change that over the years to come. I picked up long boarding along the way to help cope with off season blues. I started planning more of what I wanted to do with my own company. I wanted to use my talents to make great products for skiers and snowboarders. I wanted to create hats, hoodies, bandannas, shirts, outwear, and equipment. I had attended a camp for snowboarding the summer between my sophomore year and junior year of college in Whistler and wanted to created a smaller more affordable camp through my company. My ideas about my company expanded and grew. I was determined to get there someday. Even if it was down the road a ways. All that mattered is that I eventually got there.

I fell more and more in love with Tommy as the months passed and we became the best of friends. I know that we will grow old together and be there for each other for the rest of our lives. We have much a head of us to experience and go through. A journey in itself. He is the best friends I have ever had. He knows me better than anyone else.

Its just the end of the beginning in this journey of life.

(9) February 24th, 2008

With the joys of passing my Level 2 Certification still in the air, snowboarding was absolutely perfect. I had great students and great co workers. People who were supportive and happy for me to achieve this goal. I honestly did not think life could get any better for me. I was a designer, a snowboarder, instructor, and a unbelievably happy person. Surprisingly, that was just the beginning of happiness. A product of my hard work, dedication, and talent.

Shortly after passing my certification, I started talking to a guy that had been around for the last few years. A couple of his friends were instructors with me and whenever they came up to snowboard we'd talk and hang out a little bit. He had always been around and I had always felt attracted to him but I had never really gotten to know him on a deep scale. Finally, I decided to start talking to him more and find out if he was interested in me too. We started hanging out at Snow Trails more, went on a couple dates, and talked all the time. I had no doubt in my mind from day one that I wanted to be with him forever. He understood me and loved the same things I did in life. He supported my dreams and ambitions. He accepted my faults and my mistakes as well as my strengths and perfections. We were in love and the world was our playground.

I had become exactly who I wanted to be. A designer, a snowboarder, a teacher, and a future wife to an amazing guy. I had become dependable, dedicated, hard working, and passionate. I decided nothing was impossible if you just tried hard enough. I knew that the road ahead of me would have its challenges and rough times but I knew I could get through them. After everything I had been through already I knew that not much could stand in my way.

(8) The Beginning of a New Me

The more I got into the Design program the more I fell in love with it. I decided I wanted to gear my art and design towards snowboarding. I had found the way I could make snowboarding a part of my everyday life. I became even more dedicated to school and snowboarding than I ever was before.

I became active in the Design community. I challenged myself on every project. I never took an easy solution or slacked on a idea. I dedicated whatever time needed to create the best possible project and solution. I absolutely loved every thing about it. Design became a huge part of my life and I still have that passion fueling me.

The more I dedicated myself to design the more I dedicated myself to snowboarding. I pushed myself and challenged myself to become the best snowboarder and Instructor I could be. I had always pushed myself to achieve the most I could and work hard at everything I did but I pushed myself even father and even harder than I ever had.

Being a junior in college, I had finally figured out who I was and where I wanted to go in life. Even though my parents had divorced and I myself had found no luck with any boyfriends I stayed positive. I knew what I wanted in life and I was determined to get there. I dealt with the things life threw at me in positive ways. I started to become closer to my family and spend less time around parties. And most of all I found my Faith again. That winter season, I worked full time at Snow Trails while going to school full time. I decided to go for my Level 2 National Certification for Instructing and passed. All the hard work I was doing was paying off. I loved my life and everyone in it.

(7) Soha.

In Art History, I had a habit of drawing random things in my notebook while listening and taking notes. At first, I had sat at the front of the class but was confronted by the teacher to move to the back because my drawing distracted her. She was not offended by my drawing but enjoyed watching me draw so much that she would forget what she was talking about. So the next class I decided to take a seat in the back. I had arrived early and sat down next to the only person that was also early.

Soha and I became great friends that quarter of school. One night she confronted me about what I was doing with my life. She wanted to know why I was doing nursing if my heart wasn't in it. She could tell I loved art and thought I had talent that could be used. She talked to me about Visual Communications and I quickly fell in love with the idea. I decided to change my major.

When I started taking art classes, I spent hours upon hours in the art building. I found myself on Friday and Saturday nights working on projects. Sometimes just because I had gotten a great idea and wanted to carry it out. It was not uncommon to see lots of other art students there too working away on projects at late hours. I always had friends around. There were many nights I would take a break and visit Soha in the painting studio or computer lab. She was one of my best friends. She always told me exactly what she thought. Whether she agreed with me or not. And always thought I was crazy for loving snowboarding so much. She inspired me to be the best I could be. Challenged me to be successful and never give up. She knew my faults and accepted me regardless.

I was changing and for the better. After many conversations with Soha about life I no longer felt as guilty as I did about my mistakes. I had somewhat of a direction in life, a positive outlook, and was not even close to feeling alone anymore. Soha brought out the best in me.

(6) Guilt.

When you almost die, your perspective on life changes.

The few months following my indecent were unimaginably hard to get through. I felt so guilty for letting down my family. I was overwhelmed with regret and embarrassment. I felt more alone and lost than before. My boyfriend at the time had told me he would be there through it with me. But only a couple days after the whole thing took place he left me and told me to never talk to him again. I had no idea how to deal with what I was going through. So I went back to my ways of partying. I threw myself into snowboarding and pretended like nothing was even remotely wrong with me. During that winter, my world was snowboarding. I had gotten my Level 1 National Certification for Snowboard Instructing the season before and was considering on going for my Level 2 the next season. I had a blast that winter with my family of friends. I was happy, being successful, and living life.

When the season ended, I was harshly brought back to my reality. I could no longer hide from the mistakes I had made. I had to do something to change the way I was living, to make up for what I had done, and if for no one else but myself do something productive with my life. So I kicked my butt into gear.

At the time I was a nursing major and was accepted into the nursing program at my school. I was a good people person, could get through the subject matter fine, and I would make a decent amount of money. But I still wanted to focus more on snowboarding. One evening in my Art History class, an elective I had decided to take to fill some space, I met Soha. And she changed my life.

(5) Hitting the Bottom.

My sophomore year in college I struggled even more than before with where I should go with my life and who I was. I knew what I wanted in my life and what part of me I needed to have. But I was struggling with what my parents wanted me to do and what was seen as acceptable to other people. I loved snowboarding. I loved the people I knew because of snowboarding. I was ready to give up everything to have that be my daily life but I couldn't do that. That was not an acceptable thing for me to do. I had to finish school and get a degree. That responsibility was more than I felt capable of handling.

There was a point when I made some major mistakes on the road to self discovery. Some wrong choices I made to handle the pressures of life and forget what I needed to figure out. I'm sure almost every person makes some kind of mistake when they are trying to figure out who they are and what they want in life. There is always some kind of pressure from someone or society in general. I dealt with it all by partying. My grades never slipped, I made friends, and I didn't have to think about things I didn't want to. I was in a never ending bubble world and time passed quickly. One evening I got myself into a situation that changed my life. I made a mistake that a lot of college students make and drank too much. My body couldn't tolerate the amount I had. Ambulances were called and I was taken to the hospital. I had many witness to this mistake. A lot I had to face in the coming days.  Things certainly got worse before they got better and I still regret the people I hurt by my decisions and my mistakes.