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Life Happens: Citizen Soccer Journey

The last eight years:

• Ended a serious and long term relationship.
• Struggled through my last two years of university, but managed to graduate from UCLA with honors.
• Almost continued with my Masters degree right away, but was dissuaded by a professor telling me at age 30 that I was too old to pursue a PhD. (really upset I listened to this crock of shit advice)
• Moved to China to teach English 3 weeks after graduation in a hopeful search to work in nonprofit (my degree).
• Taught English for 9 months and finally landed an internship working at a nonprofit.
• 3 days interning and was offered the Senior Director position of said nonprofit. I had zero professional experience to do so, but took the job and did my best for a year.
• Felt the Founder of the nonprofit was stealing money after a year, so I left the job and returned to the United States in search of work in nonprofit in DC.
• Found a temporary gig and moved in with my Couchsurfing host, still a great friend of mine to this day. (Congratulations on your new baby, Meredith)
• Temporary gig led to a 2 year contract in education management.
• Made LOTS of amazing friends in DC, discovered SOCCER and DC United
• Got into a short, but toxic relationship.
• Moved to India post-relationship.
• Work was scarce and I was too scared to stay there after a physical assault from a bar owner.
• Moved to South Carolina to be close to family…hated it there.
• Moved back to DC, lived on a single air mattress in the foyer of my friend’s studio apartment for 3 months till finding full-time work.
• Took a job as General Manager of a VERY popular neighborhood bar in which I used to be a customer.
• Job was fun, but the hours were atrocious…especially as a morning person
• Expanded my awesome friend network and my soccer social circle.
• Soccer became life.
• My desire to be in the world and to take pictures, write stories and see more soccer pulled me back into the nomadic lifestyle. I left DC with a backpack and some dreams.
• Hit up 4 continents in 7 months. AMAZING travels, don’t regret it for a second.
• However, ran out of money and needed to find work asap
• Took a job teaching ESL in Cali, Colombia
• Met Danny Ruben Neiva Moncaleano, fellow teacher and dreamer.
• We talked a lot about dreams that we both had. Dreams of travel, dreams of art and creativity, dreams of having our own space that makes money so we that we can travel, watch more soccer, see some of this beautiful world together.
• We talked about what we both have and what we are both missing.
• We decided we were/are a good team. He proposed.

This has been a crazy journey for me. I want to see the world, but life happens. I came to Colombia with the intention of staying only one year, making money and getting back on the road. I found love and here it is. Love changes everything. If I were to remain single, I would stay right where I am or take another teaching job somewhere else in Latin America to explore more next year. However, as luck has it, I found Danny. A person to share my life with and so once again my life will take form elsewhere next year, but back on American soil to save some more money and come back out into the world on more Citizen Soccer Journeys with Danny by my side. I like this curveball though…

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