Searching and Finding– 2017

I haven’t sat down and written in awhile, too long really. Most of my writing has been in the form of lab reports or essays, and there hasn’t been nearly enough writing from my heart.

A lot has happened since my last blog post– I finished my first semester of college, survived finals, and made the Dean’s List. Wave had her first trial, learned contacts, and came very close to a Q. My last post was all about finding, or making a home wherever you are. Finding your people, trees, and training where you are, even if it is hours away from what you consider home.


2017 caused me to confront a lot of things about myself. Being denied from colleges, graduating high school, moving to another state and starting a new chapter in my life will force you to do that. 2017 was a year of growth– it had to be. The same kid who applied to colleges almost a year ago to the day, couldn’t move 8 hours away and be independent. I had to realize what I wanted from the four years of my life, and beyond. I had to leave my comfort zone, and push to be better. That came in the form of attending tryouts, and being successful there, to traveling to another coast, to entering Wave’s first trial.

Along those same lines of growth and confrontation of self, comes the idea of making changes when they are necessary. This means realizing that maybe the school I chose in April really wasn’t the best choice for me. And that is okay, it is okay to say that something isn’t working out, and look to make changes. I love my school for the academics, I love the class sizes and the opportunities, but I am not happy with the location. I didn’t realize that I wanted a school with more things around, more to do. Figuring that out was important, I know what I want in a college, and can now make a better descion now if I decide to transfer. Last Spring I thought I knew exactly what I wanted in a college, and on paper Bucknell checked all of those boxes. The campus was beautiful, the classes were small, and I could bring Wave. But being surrounded by farm land, with no so much as a mall within a 100 mile radius isn’t something I like. The social scene at school is good, but there are only so many frat parties someone like me can go to without loosing my mind. And so, I am trusting my gut when it says that I can be happier somewhere else, that I could enjoy my college time more than I think. And so that means diving back into the process that I disliked so much– college applications. And so the spring will be stressful, and filled with a lot of the same anxiety that I felt this time last year, but now I know. I know what I want and don’t want in a school, and I really believe that I can make a decision that will ultimately make me happier.


Going to school meant training without my people, those who saw me through my worst, and my best, and supported me through all of it. I was, and still am to an extent, ¬†unconfident in my training skills. I don’t always believe that is where my talent lies within this sport. I get caught up in the theory of training, and mentally making plans, and often don’t find myself doing the physical training enough. Some of that stems from being a perfectionist, which I’ve written about before, and some of it stems simply from a lack of confidence and trust in myself. And so going to Pennsylvania terrified me. It’s no secret that Wave is not an easy dog when it comes to agility. She is amazingly talented, but she is not an easy dog to train. There have been months when it feels like no matter how hard we train, no progress is being made. But we continued to plug away, and since leaving for school she has blossomed into an agility dog. Her contacts, something I put off for so long, are fantastic. And my favorite part of those contacts are that I trained them on my own. It was my training that made those contacts so strong, fast, and confident. And for that I am incredibly proud of both myself and my dog. It was not easy to go away with a dog, a goal, and not much of a plan to college, but in the four months we were out there, we have begun to become a team.


2017 was a year of finding myself, trusting myself, and following that. I am still trying to figure out who I am, and who I want to be. I am trusting myself on this process, whether it be in training contacts, or knowing that I can be happier in a different place, I am trusting. And so I am going into 2018 ready.

Enjoy this video of my crazy year.