The future of love is not fragile

To Luke, with all my love.  Happy Birthday, sweetheart. 

I am so glad my daughter, Clarabella,  will be growing up in this era.  I am aware that is not something you hear too often these days.  I know the world is a god-awful mess and that there are more than enough things that need fixing.  And I know the planet is literally on fire.  But despite all that, I am so hopeful for her future.

There are a number of reasons for this, but today’s reason is “Frozen 2.” Specifically, Kristoff. I saw this movie weeks ago, and while I loved the songs, what has stayed with me is a single short line by Kristoff. He swoops in to help Anna when she is in trouble, but rather than focusing on rescuing her, all he says is “I’m here. What do you need?”

Can you imagine anything more right or perfect?  “I’m here, what do you need?”  I think my jaw dropped at that line and I haven’t managed to pick it up since.  Additionally, Kristoff’s entire role in the film is centered on his love for Anna, which he talks (and sings) about openly and honestly.  What an incredible example for kids to see today.  I’m so grateful to Disney for that.

The fact that this example exists in a film that my daughter will watch (probably so much that I will get sick of it) makes me so happy.  There are glimpses of this sort of moment in other films, like “Wonder Woman” and…ok I can’t think of any other popular films at the moment that have this kind of supportive male role.  So thank God for Kristoff.  And for my husband Luke, Clarabella’s dad.

If Kristoff is a good example in a film, Luke is an example she will get to see every day.  Luke, to me, exemplifies what it is possible for a man to be.  He is unfailingly supportive, joyful, and unabashedly loving.  He is also deeply kind.  The traditional wisdom is that men are supposed to be strong and unemotional, but I can’t think of anything that portrays strength better than supporting another person.  Patience and kindness are an enduring kind of strength.  Frozen 2 gets this right too.  At the end of the film, Kristoff reminds Anna that his “love isn’t fragile.”  Love isn’t fragile. It is a strong and powerful force that can be relied on.  The love of another person should be something to lean on.  Luke’s love is like that.  I have been blessed by it time and again over the last decade, and it has been a constant in Clarabella’s life since the day she was born.

Growing up, I was very interested in love and boys and relationships.  It was pretty much my favorite topic.  I loved the idea of being in love, of falling in love.  I wish I could go back and explain to my younger self was real love looks like, or that I could ensure that Clarabella will know as she grows up.  But I know that my teenage self wouldn’t get it.  My parents set a wonderful example of a loving relationship and partnership, but only so much will get through a 14 year old’s hazy ideas of romance.  What it has taken me a decade of marriage to learn and what I hope Clarabella will understand is that “falling in love” misses the mark.  Love is something to lean on, to be buoyed by, not something to fall into.  Love is not fragile. And a true partner will express the strength that comes from love. 

I am glad examples of this are beginning to exist in films.  I am even more grateful, though, for the daily example of partnership and love that is set by my husband.  Clarabella, I hope that you find someone as kind and loving as your dad.  Even more, I hope you grow up to be just like him.  I hope you are that partner to another someday.  I am truly hopeful.

Oh honey…

I recently had my first experience in having my own intern, which was educational for (I hope) both of us.  This was a young woman who had been interested in volunteering with my organization, but since she was in school, we agreed to call it an internship.  I was thrilled to have help!  Running all marketing and communications for an organization on your own can be a lot some days.  Most days.  So I was excited.

My intern was very quiet but enthusiastic.  As she was planning to be around for a while, I created a curriculum and outcomes that we would be working toward, which would encompass a wide range of communications skills and duties.

About a month into the internship, I asked her to help me with making follow-up calls to businesses and community partners from whom we were seeking donations.  This did not turn out to be her strong suit.  The day after her first attempt (during which I was on hand to help,) I received an email from her stating that making phone calls was not the kind of experience she was looking for. She continued by saying that she plans to go into event/advertising and felt that doing the social media posts was a better use of her time.  We weren’t paying her or anything, so that was fine.  I was happy to let her work on what she wanted.

I had also asked her to outline some of her career goals so that I could make sure the experience she was receiving lined up.  She plans to become a business owner, doing events and advertising for herself and her business.

Another month or two into the internship she decided she didn’t have enough time and resigned.

So that was that saga.  The point of this post however, is this: Oh honey.  It’s cute you think your life is going to go as planned.


My senior year of high school, I knew I was going to be a French teacher.  I went to college for Political Science.  I knew was going to be a lobbyist and live in DC.

Baker 3
Yeah, didn’t use that degree either.

I graduated and went to grad school for Religious Studies.  I knew I was going to be a professor.  So I went and got a Master’s with the intention to get a PhD.  Due to academic burnout and a lack of funding, that didn’t happen either.  Then I got an MBA in Human Resources and knew that was going to be my career.  It’s been three years now and I have zero intention of going into Human Resources.  This may sound a bit haphazard, but it really came down to taking the opportunities that presented themselves.  I love where I ended up, but I didn’t specifically plan or prepare for it.

Dressing up as Professor Trelawney does not help you predict the future

I was able to take the opportunities that came along because I said yes to a variety of experiences and opportunities before that.  My haphazard education allowed me to develop an ease in writing and an ability to speak competently and confidently to a wide variety of people.  My varied job experiences (camp counselor, ice cream scooper, dance teacher, preschool teacher, child care worker, hotel front desk worker, volunteer coordinator, cafeteria worker, bank teller, admin assistant) each taught me something different, and I’m grateful for all of it. Even working as a bank teller for Wells Fargo, which wasn’t stellar, taught me that I truly hate sales.  But it also taught me how to be salesperson, a skill that has come in handy in other (more ethical) ways.

So, dear intern, I would encourage you to reconsider next time you turn down the opportunity for experience, even (especially) one that takes you out of your comfort zone.  Do you imagine you will never need to call a stranger and ask them for something?  I can tell you right now that running events and advertising involve a lot of cold contacts.  Experience is experience.  You never know when you will need it. You’d be surprised what kinds of skills might come in handy.   Life will most likely not go according to your plan, not exactly.  I hope that life goes so much better than you could have ever planned for, and that you have been open to all the things that will prepare you for it, despite never knowing  precisely where you’re heading.