The Origin Story

In one year I went from thinking I should be making documentaries to crowdfunding my way on board a train across the country to create a series of them.

April 2014. Chicago. The Purple Pig.

The Purple Pig is one of those places that doesn’t post its menu prices on its website. It’s not a place where you find yourself at 2 p.m. on a weekday with a journalist’s salary unless you were me, someone who was in a quarter-life crisis and didn’t know it.

I was meeting with a former professor of mine, someone who has come to be a mentor to me. I had meant for the conversation to be a chance to catch up. But as are most meetings with your mentors, it turned out to be about life instead.

“Purpose” was our topic of conversation, in particular, what mine would be. This was not a new subject for us, as she had helped me figure out my senior year of college whether I would move with my friends to NYC to pursue acting, or continue down the path of journalism. Ultimately, I picked the latter, and was working as a Capitol Hill reporter in Washington, D.C.

“Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?”

I thought about it for a moment. “Eventually I’d like to move into documentary work. I want to be telling stories that inspire people to act.”

She looked at me. “Why can’t you do that now?” Continue reading “The Origin Story”


I think the only reason adults get tired of spending time with their family is because they realize that they can’t control them, and they get frustrated. Siblings hold each other accountable for the dreadful boy band the other was into in high school. Parents reveal quirks about their grown children, or tell stories about the time their children did something stupid. Not being able to stop your family from embarrassing you is frustrating. Any effort is impossible and it’s a worthless preoccupation to try.

When I went to Wisconsin to visit my dad’s side of the family, I didn’t really have that experience. I was on full vacation mode. Nothing was going to get in my way of relaxing and reconnecting with myself and what matters to me. And I’m really glad I did. Check out my Instagram to see how I documented some of the memorable moments of the trip. Including this photo, which captured the moment I was trying to get my dad to take the perfect picture of me at my happiest, eating ice cream from the Windmill. Somehow at every turn there was my sister, determined to mess it up.

Windmill ice cream