Where I am now:
In February 2018 I turn 40. The big four-oh boy.
At every milestone birthday, I always reflect on where my life is and where I've gone. And, sadly, past birthdays it's been more of where I'm NOT and what I HAVEN'T done. That's not the normal me, but for some reasons my brain goes a bit haywire. A few years ago, amidst a LOT of life changes, I decided that I had to think differently. I had to control what I could, change what I could, and let the rest roll off like water off a duck's back.
And I've been successful. Until birthdays come around.
It was close to my birthday in 2017 that I saw a post for this Colorado start-up looking for chapter leaders in Austin. Why not? I can organize, I like the outdoors, I need a push to discover how bold I can be. Thus I became a chapter leader for the badass ladies in the Austin area.
Being a chapter leader can be chaotic and scary a LOT of the time. I'm organizing events that I have NO CLUE what I'm doing, and sometimes not even sure where I'm going. I have ladies relying on me to get the details right so everyone can have a great time and focus on themselves. I love doing it, because it takes me out of my comfort zone and pushes me as well as them. I've met a group of amazing ladies, all from different walks of life and in different places.
Where I Want to Go:
One day, tucked in between e-mails for my latest Amazon Prime purchase, bills that are coming due and junk mail telling me how there are sexy singles looking in my area, was a note from Bold Betties. It was a presale opportunity for two trips - yoga in Costa Rica and Winter in Yellowstone.
The Yellowstone trip starts ON my 40th birthday. Seriously. Day 1: February 27th 2018 arrive and say howdy while you settle in. Ok, so that was me paraphrasing, but you get the idea. I'm not overly religious or spiritual necessarily, but when the universe pretty much gives you a sign that is the equivalent of a baseball bat to the head, you listen.
I paid my deposit, and then started looking at finances. I'm not going to lie - getting the trip paid for is going to be tough. Those thoughts brought me back to a conversation that a fellow Betty and I had recently, about how the outdoors should be accessible both physically, emotionally AND financially to women. Most of us already know that women typically have jobs that pay less than those that men have (more women are teachers than CEOs, for example), not to mention the major pay discrepancy between men and women doing the same job.
I heard about this opportunity that Bold Betties was putting together to try and make a difference one Betty at a time - coming together as a whole and making it even more accessible for women like me to get to those once-in-a-lifetime trips.
Helping me fund this trip isn't just about my birthday. Going to Yellowstone, in the winter no less, is a huge leap from my comfort zone. It isn't the cold and snow; I have been in Texas for 17 years and am going to freeze my everything off, but I was raised and went to school in worse weather my first 22 years. Purdue with lake effect winters at 70 below with wind chill.....yeaaaaaah not the best part of my college experience. I have icicles forming on my eyelashes right now just thinking about it.
This trip is WAY out of my normal. I'm a bit chubby and out of shape, so here's a trip that is going to be very active. I'm going to be travelling alone to a state I've never been to. Rooming with a lady that, although fabulous, I don't know. Meeting lots of new people in a new place.
Yellowstone adventuring in the winter with an unknown group doesn't have anything familiar in it for me to grab onto and find my safe happy place. It may sound miserable, but it isn't a bad thing for me. Getting shoved out of my all too comfy place helps me grow, and makes me a better chapter leader. I will have more stories about going for it, being bold, having an adventure.
How This Trip Will Change My Life:
I want to be an example to the women in my chapter that are still working on discovering their bold that you have the support in this group to do it. You're not alone. This trip will prove to myself that I CAN have all of those adventures that I think right now are SO FAR OUT of my league and not miss out on the amazing things life offers.
I have a cousin back in my hometown that is watching my activities closely. He has some major life challenges - learning disabilities, depression, and addiction issues that he is battling against. Seeing what he is trying to overcome makes me want to be bolder, overcome my issues. My story of what I do on this trip, what I experienced, is for him too. To show him that we all have difficulties, but also what good can come of it when you push yourself and have a goal.
My niece, who is a FABULOUS 19 and knows everything about everything (yes, the sarcasm runs deep with that statement) is also watching. She needs to see that being independent and having an amazing support group to lean on when needed are not mutually exclusive.
This endeavor of being the first person to take part in this new program with Bold Betties is very uncomfortable for me. I'm bad about asking for help when I need it. But, I need your help. Helping me go on this trip will help me stay on track - I won't back down, since doing so would disappoint more than just myself. Helping me go on this adventure also opens the way for other women, and starts the culture in our organization that money shouldn't and won't stop you from being bold and adventurous.
I like that. And I want to be a part of making that happen. That's why I'm here, and that's what gets me up in the "mornings" (I work nights, hence the quotation marks).
Please note: your contribution in the form of sponsorship is not tax deductible and is non-refundable.