I’ve never been more excited to be a part anything than I am to be part of 11315 Miles. You too will find yourself inspired by the story of Laurel’s life and her desires to bring joy and positivity to others.
My relationship with Laurel actually started about 4 years ago prior to my brothers second deployment to Afghanistan. She likely doesn’t remember this call, but she made such an impression on me that I remember it like it was yesterday. I had found out that my brothers employer would be throwing a little pre-deployment celebration for him at a local German restaurant. So I quickly called the organizer to “sign up”. The voice I heard on the other line was so kind and happy that I thought to myself, I have to meet this person. I literally wanted to climb through the phone line and shake hands with her. She had such a beautiful way about her; making me, a total stranger, feel comfortable, relaxed, and invited. Fast forward about a week and I had the privledge to finally put a face with the name. Although it was somewhat awkward (imagine a total stranger walking into your company party) and very quick, due to the nature of the time constraints I was under to get back to the grindstone, I realized there was something about her that would connect us for a lifetime. At that point, I didn’t know what; but if nothing else, her name and voice stuck with me. Two years later, when I began working for the same organization, I figured out why.
Laurel is a free spirit, she loves without boundaries, she lives outside of her comfort zone, and she radiates possibility and positivity. She may not agree with these statements but, the truth is, most people don’t see who they truely are. Don’t get me wrong I never think you should define yourself by someone else, but do me a favor and ask 10 people these 2 questions (and I must thank my life coach Lynn for teaching me this):
1. What shows up when I do?
2. What characteristics do I bring to the room?
You’ll be amazed at the answers.
For Laurel I would answer these questions by saying:
You literally light up when you smile to the point where a great calming flows over me by just being in your presence. You are genuine, real, and raw with your feelings. You are open and honest. You are slow to anger and fierce in your connection with those you love. You hold tightly to your faith and you march to the beat of your own drum. You are sure and steady, and you are careful yet unpredictable. You are sunshine even in times of despair and you are my friend for a lifetime.
To the room you bring love, life, realism, irrationality and rationality, a smile, skepticism and hope, strength, courage, and a sense of belonging.
This blog was built on Laurel’s inspiration and what will come of it will be a collection of our ideals, our inspirations, and our hopes for the future
I’ve been delighted to listen to many of Laurel’s life stories and I assure you all are amazing. Once you get to know Laurel, even if you never get to meet face to face you will feel a calm wash over you and you will hang on every word her message has to give.
Keep reading, keep writing, keep running, keep struggling, and keep thinking deeply with your mind, body, and spirit.