Where are you from and can you tell us one beautiful memory from your childhood?
I was born in the flat heat of the Nevada desert. My parents uprooted to the north east Georgia mountains when I was six, where I experienced the interconnected harmonic clockwork of the cosmos during my first southern rainstorm. I was sent to a boarding school even deeper in the mountains when I was thirteen, a place to which I owe the most gratitude for carefully molding the discontent and anger of a lonely, willful child into the ambitious spirit and grace of a young woman.
I know you’re an Ithaca College student, tell us what you love about Ithaca and makes you an Ithacan.
My father passed away when I was sixteen after a hard fight against pancreatic cancer. The relief that came with his passing drifted me from grief to repose, and I never became fully settled with anything I felt. After two years of this limbo, I found the courage to seize life again. The chaplain from my high school had gone to Ithaca College, and he once showed me a picture of Lake Cayuga, sprinkled with sail boats. I spontaneously packed up my duffle, took all of the necessary loans, and made my way north. I have found an indescribable peace while studying and living in Ithaca.
Tell us a little bit about what keeps you busy?
I like to wake up early each morning and make breakfast for my housemates, then go for a run through six mile creek. When I am not studying, I am usually doing something active, working on my garden, or trying to find some kind of outlet for all of my energy. I play piano, ride any horse that is offered, and volunteer through an organization called Project Generations, which seeks to make a difference in the community by volunteering our time with elders who wish to age in solidarity and peace. I recognize myself fully as a student—the world fascinates me.
What attracted you to the Beautiful Ithaca project?
I am interested in making my life a work of art, and am always looking for other people who wish to do the same. I fell in love with that natural beauty of Ithaca, from the awe of the century old gorges to the compassion and humanity of the people who live here. I was looking for something that would allow me to show my gratitude for the place that realized so much so much peace in my life. I stumbled across the Beautiful Ithaca project while searching for a job on craigslist. I am so excited to see what kind of attention we can bring to the reservation of this beautiful place.
What message do you hope to convey in your month?
I hope to be able to show the joy that having the opportunity to live in such a gem of a place can bring, as well as the need to recognize that with great privilege comes great responsibility. There is beauty in community; happiness in extending love to those who are feeling lost. All work is noble work, and nothing, nothing is more important than attitude when trying to achieve an end. To all the other young women out there searching for direction, I say find someone who has a life that you want, and figure out how they got it. Read books, pick your role models wisely, find out what they did, and then do it. Go to school, play music, love everyone… and to the haters, make no comment.