My work as a writer and creative person has taken me to some fascinating places. I’ve learned much about life, the world and humanity — and have had some strange but beautiful experiences along the way.
Some assignments have been just plain fun. I drove a giant tractor on an open field in rural Minnesota. I flew from an aerial yoga swing. I watched a cream corn wrestling match. I modeled for a gossip column in a small town. I also wrote about glittery ice cream and multi-million-dollar homes for sale. I’ve gotten to travel, as well; from NYC to San Francisco to Las Vegas, I am lucky to have gotten a chance to explore the United States.
Some assignments have required grit. I’ve written about murders, criminal trials, sexual assault cases, fraudulent business owners, school leaders who lie to the public, politicians who fail their constituents, and economic struggles affecting individuals and businesses alike.
I’ve landed in some prestigious places, too. I met with the president of the University of Minnesota in his office every month while I was Editor in Chief of The Minnesota Daily. I’ve met famous musicians, politicians and business leaders. I sat in the VIP row at a fashion show put on by one of America’s most influential nonprofits. I flew to Columbia University on a New York Times foundation fellowship. So far, I’ve accepted more than a dozen awards and honors in my career, which never would have happened without the guidance of my Pulitzer-winning mentors.
Some assignments, however, have been heartbreaking. I sat alongside two families whose house burned down as I interviewed them. I interviewed a woman whose husband and daughters crashed with her in a massive bridge collapse — and survived to tell their stories. I also met a family whose daughter was murdered and listened to their reflections about how they have carried on with their lives despite the tragedy.
No matter how hard the world can be to live in, I’ve also met countless dreamers who inspire people to live better lives. From entrepreneurs to artists to psychics and priests, certain people are wired to change the world.
I am so grateful for all of these experiences, and the lessons they have offered. I can’t wait to see where my life as a creative person takes me next.