The Ottumwa Courier

Columns

August 20, 2013

Jumping off a mountain

It's hard to believe tomorrow is my last day in Ottumwa.

As some know or have heard through the grapevine, I've accepted a position as a reporter for The World, a newspaper in Coos Bay, Ore.

Friday morning, my mom and I begin the 2,000-mile, 31-hour drive west in my little car. This is a big move and it's scary, but it's the right move.

I've watched everyone's eyes widen with shock when I tell them I'm moving so far away.

"Why?" they ask.

Why not? The best moments in life are when you jump into the unknown and challenge yourself to bust out of your comfort zone. Every time I've been scared to do something, doing it has made me a better person.

I jumped off a mountain during a study abroad trip to France, paragliding against a jagged mountain range and floating above pristine lakes outside my little town of Chambery. My fear of heights made me panic on the take-off and hit a tree, but it was worth it, even though my guide cussed me out in French the whole way down.

I spent a week with the U.S. Marine Corps last year in San Diego, learning the ins and outs of boot camp and gaining a new-found respect for our armed forces, especially after a drill instructor screamed at me: once for not positioning my feet correctly on the Yellow Footprints, the second time for my thighs not pressing right up against the stalls in the Contraband Room. Nothing gets your adrenaline pumping like a drill instructor coming out of nowhere, his frog voice bellowing in your ear.

Now, I'm off to Oregon, a place I've never been and where I know no one. I've lived in Iowa my entire life, and except for a couple trips to Europe and an internship in Kansas City, I've never left. But this is the time in my life (no significant other and no kids) when I can uproot everything. My mom did the same thing when she was my age — leaving Iowa for Arizona — and gained a wealth of life experience that has made her into the strong woman she is today.

Text Only
Columns
  • Bullying IS personal

    October 25, 2013

  • 0928 OTT gourds color -T What about fall? Is it just me, or is Christmas coming earlier every year? I feel like I find myself asking this question annually. Now, I love the holiday season, putting up the tree, hanging stockings, shopping for and wrapping presents, Christmas carols and all th

    September 27, 2013 3 Photos

  • Big votes coming up Ottumwans planning to vote in the upcoming city primary and general elections have a couple times left to watch or attend a City Council session. You should, especially if you haven't been keeping up with city issues. Prior to the next council meetin

    September 17, 2013

  • Don't forget the band The other night as the Ottumwa Bulldogs prepared to open their season, I could hear the sounds of another group preparing for their first night of the season. It was the Ottumwa marching band. As I watched them warm up for the game, I thought about w

    September 6, 2013

  • It's time to get smart Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their community. Have I written this before? Perhaps. But it needs stating again and again and again. Ottumwa voters have two important elections approaching: Ottumwa school board seats

    August 30, 2013

  • From Disney to debauchery

    August 30, 2013

  • Saturday Night Live Saturday night liveliness is more like it. Little Max entertained his grandmas in fine fashion during a weekend supper planned by his parents. "We let him sleep so he'd be ready to party," Scott laughed as little Max laughed with his dad. Katy held h

    August 23, 2013

  • 0821 OTT chelsea mug -T Jumping off a mountain It's hard to believe tomorrow is my last day in Ottumwa. As some know or have heard through the grapevine, I've accepted a position as a reporter for The World, a newspaper in Coos Bay, Ore. Friday morning, my mom and I begin the 2,000-mile, 31-hour

    August 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • A relaxing summer movie

    August 15, 2013

  • Late-night TV blues & reviews

    July 29, 2013

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National