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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over ____--that our lives had become unmanageable.

I did my first step last October.

... Or so I had thought.

Lately the Universe/my HP has done an incredible job of slapping in my face just how much control I do not have over this world. I make a plan for something and it results in something else entirely. I don't mind that, of course, usually it is working out for the best. But honestly, I have been really struggling with the fact that I don't have all the answers.

I presume that I am typing this WEEKS before I will probably post it-because things in this blog will be news to some of you, and I don't want to make an announcement like that over a blog, I would rather tell you in a more personal way (like a Facebook status ;) ). But in all seriousness, I know that I have said some things that may make people disappointed while reading this blog, but this life is not about you. It's not really about me either... It is about living.

For 10 years... (that's a decade... 40% of my lifetime) I have been wanting nothing more than to return "home" to Colorado. I was arguably blind to all other options, throughout that time, because all I ever wanted was to return to the life I loved.

10 years ago I was 15 years old, my family had barely started to fall apart, my best friends were simply obvious to me (Kathy, Rachael, Jeanie, Kelly, Aimee, Whitney and Jenn) ... people I loved through and through and could NEVER imagine not being close to, Music was my LIFE and I was moving up in the choirs at school, I was in advanced level courses (in HS) and making decent grades at that, I was comfortable (at least partially) and happy (sometimes) and when I moved to Rapid city I thought my life was over.

The first moments I walked into RC Central HS I wanted to run back out kicking and screaming. I went from a happy and delightful high school to a place that felt more like a prison. My teachers doubted my limits and I certainly doubted theirs. My only escape was choir and, let's be honest, no one there really liked me either. It wasn't their fault, though, because I never really gave them a chance to. Every time I met someone I would say "Yeah I am only here until i graduate then I will go to school back in Colorado" It's a wonder they thought I felt like I was above them.

I skipped a grade because it was just TOO much for me to bear any longer. Hopped hard and fast into USD. This was only temporary, too, because as soon as I graduated I was packing my bags and getting back to CO. Every time I met someone I said "I went to HS in Rapid but I am FROM Colorado." I even remember meeting my to be best friend Tove and saying "Wow, I would never guess you are from SD, you are so kind and open minded!" I thought I was giving her a compliment-now I see that it was really more of an insult.

I hate to say it, but I have always looked down on South Dakota. I didn't like the reason I came here in the first place, but I came because it was what my mom wanted, and because I wanted to escape the feeling of losing my dad. I wanted so badly to change everything. I got "control" and met my now ex husband. Forced a marriage out of all of that and thank god that is over.

Made my way through college at Augie (my the skin of my teeth mostly) and finally graduated. I am certain my professor would be a millionaire if she had 100 bucks for each time I have said "Well, this is it, I am going back home to Colorado now." If she is reading this, she has got to be shaking her head and laughing... I never gave her a chance either. Sorry for that, you deserved a lot more from me.

No one really got the best of me because I have been reserving that for the better more deserving people in Colorado... what a jerk. This all, unfortunately, only came to me just recently. I got an amazing opportunity to stay here. Once again I had a BIG HUGE foot out the door ready to run to the mountains, and then... BAM the Universe said "Manda, seriously, we have to do this AGAIN!?"

Maybe, this town really isn't that bad. ;) Maybe, actually, this town is exactly what I need. The kind-hearted sweet and friendly people of Sioux falls. The ones who say hello, and goodbye, every time you go in any store. The people who wave to you on the side of the road. The people who's kids have never known a stranger because it takes a village to raise a child, and this village loves it's families and children. I have avoided calling Sioux Falls my home, even though I have lived here longer than I have lived in any town in my entire life. That's a BIG pill to swallow. And if I include Vermilion it has been almost 8 years... that's a really long time. Even without Vermtown it's been 6 years almost straight through.

The best part is, everyone has been so forgiving. Everyone in Sioux Falls who I have met and planted my "Colorado is better" seed on have just nodded and smiled like they knew the ultimate truth, that I would fall in love with this place, and the people, and I would stay. I would raise my family here because it is safe, and secure, and a great community. I will take my trips to Colorado, and Kentucky, and other great places to visit, but always return to the place that has always been the best home to me, Sioux Falls.

There was even a conversation with another educator/colleague of mine... she told me that she had a foot out the door until she met her husband... and the rest is history, she stayed here. I told her flat out "That won't happen to me. There is no man worth staying here for." ... I am not staying here FOR Ben, he will be here too though of course. I am staying here because Sioux Falls is home.

When I told my mom about the opportunity and that it would keep me from Colorado and I just can't figure out why this keeps happening every time I get a bit closer. Her response? "I know why." ... so I inquired as to why... "Colorado is not the place you left 10 years ago. You were younger, your friends were different people, your family was mostly all you knew of the world. The population was smaller, and since then there have been 10 years between where you have changed, they have changed, and the world around you has changed. When you go back to visit is the best of all worlds because people take time to see you, but you can never move back to the way things were, it is better to just accept life as it is and move forward Do what is best for you and your family, and be happy."

There are things I would change about Sioux Falls. But then again, there are things I would change about the world, and the country. But if I would change them, then why have I not made the effort to do so? because I am too afraid to get involved and then move. I have moved 24 times in my life. (this includes to and from college) I was a part of 6 different graduating classes, before I actually graduated from High School. I got scared to get close to anyone, for fear of losing them. I got scared to get involved in anything, for fear of having to cut my roots, again, and replant. I was afraid to be comfortable, because if I got comfortable something would surely come along and change it. I am the girl without a home-but this is by my own choice.

So to take this 1400 word blog and turn it all into a short story...

I am done.

I am done running. I am done planning (Shocking I know) I am done.

I waste too much energy in trying to have control of my life, and the outcomes--and I get so tired from it. I am tired of pushing for something that obviously is not supposed to happen.

"If you want something, it is your job to ask for it. The Universe will work out the HOW but any time you spend toward the HOW is time you will not have with the thing you asked for. It is not your job to figure out HOW to get what you want, it is your job to know what you want, and ask for it. Let the Universe do the rest." (the Daily Secret)

I am happy and grateful to have such a kind and wonderful and loving group of people who love me.
I am happy and grateful that I am coming to peace with who I am.
I am happy and grateful for my ever going recovery.
I am happy and grateful to have found a truly loving and compassionate partner to share my life with.
I am happy and grateful to have all I need and more, financially, and otherwise in my life.
I am happy and grateful that I have a place to call home.

Thank you Sioux falls for loving me even when I refused to love you back.

I give up. I surrender. I am all yours.

Now it is time to live. I want to help the interpreting community of Sioux Falls grow and flourish. I want to help SDIA become the best that it can be, and be a place for people to go when they truly need encouragement and growth in the industry.
I want to sing again damn it! I am joining a choir!
I want to be more active in the program at Augustana. To show my support to the future alumni of my Alma mater.
I want to take trips to all the places I want to visit in the world, but have a place to come home to.
I want to have kittens! :)

I promise to not put you down anymore Sioux Falls. I promise to love you as much as I have loved Colorado all of these years. I am cutting the chord. Colorado is officially the place I was raised, Sioux Falls is the place I call home.

To those of you who are hurt by this decision. I LOVE YOU ALL. I am so sorry that I got any one's hopes up through my ebbs and flows of what I am doing. I get excited about something and get very narrow minded and stubborn. I am hard headed when it comes to my plans, and very determined. Just know that my determination was just proof of how much I love you all. I promise I will visit as often as we can. We really are not that far away from each other, after all. I hope you come and visit me too, Sioux Falls is really quite a lovely place.

For the people of Sioux Falls who I may have avoided getting to know a little better. I promise to make a more concerted effort to spend time with you. I will attend your events with an open heart filled with love for you, without the resounding fear of loss.

Thanks for reading this incredibly long post.

Lastly I want to share with you the reason it is titled what it is.  Because I finally admitted "I am powerless, my life has become unmanageable"-at least by my standards. The only person who has any control over all of this is my HP and so I release my life to your loving hands. Please treat it with care, as I know you will, since you are LOVE and LOVE is you... and Love is the best thing we can possibly share.

Thanks for sharing the love.

Love always,


  1. <3. You are amazing. Some people never get here. HUGS!!!

    1. Thank you! There are goods and bads, and of the bads I am sorry what it means for not being closer to you and others I love. But it is what is right, at least for now. When the Universe decides it is time for something else-then I am willing to ride a long.

      <3 love you Mims