I’ve been thinking the same thing for two weeks now.

I can’t believe I get paid to do what I do.

I mean—I make a living doing something I truly love.  Every day for the last two weeks, I get my day started with a little coffee and head out to rural Iowa to meet people and do my job.  I get to drive a car furnished by my employer (who I’ll be deliberately vague about since they’re a rather *known* company) and while most people wouldn’t be too thrilled driving around a billboard, I’m not one of them.  I couldn’t be happier driving it around, letting everyone know who I represent.  I hold doors at gas stations, I smile at strangers, I shake hands, I make small talk, I set my cruise-control and I rock out to my Windshield Time playlist on Spotify.

Iowa never fails to be a magical place for me and I’m really lucky to get to explore as an added bonus to my job.  For example, the last two weeks, I’ve gone down at least one dirt road to get to someone’s house.  I’ve visited two legit farms.  I’ve seen countless windmills and I’m becoming very familiar with the route from Des Moines to Omaha.

Today… and I’m going to do this an injustice—I was driving down a county road where I saw no one for 15 miles.  It was corn as far as the eye could see.  And beyond that, everything was painted white with snow: the trees were skeletons covered in white, the power lines were all coated white, the corn fields were white rolling hills.  The world felt quiet and beautiful and I was lucky enough to be a part of that.

The point of all this, guys?  I’m insanely lucky.  Blessed, even.  It’s been a long road getting here and it’s not lost on me that I’ve been well taken care of along the way.  Every day, I’m thankful.  Every day, I know I’m doing the right thing.  I’m not planning my next move, I’m enjoying exactly where I am in this moment.

Greetings, from corn country!

Hi there, friends!  Yay me; I made the move from Blogger to WordPress and things are feeling pretty fresh over here.

Heads up that I’ll be learning how to use WordPress as we go, so these first few posts will be missing things (like photos) that I normally like to cram in my posts.

Let me start by explaining my chosen title: a girl called ryan.  For those of you I’m meeting for the first time, my name is Ryan.  And I’m a girl.  I like to say that my mom was a pioneer to name me something like “Ryan” in the 80’s when it was still cool for girls to have girl names.  It’s one of the most unique things about me and it’s something that I get commentary on alllllllll the time (“Oh!  I expected you to be a boy!”).

I’ve recently become a resident of Des Moines which is where most of my stories will come from.  A fun fact about Iowa that I find completely fascinating is their dedication to corn.  (You should probably know at this point that I have desperate aspirations to be an urban farmer.)  For example, on Saturday I took a different way to work.  I wanted to get a sandwich and a coffee from Panera and there’s only one “on my way” to work and it’s a town and a half away, in Johnston.  I ended up going the long way around by the DuPont/Pioneer buildings.  Pioneer is the super seed company here and the long way around took me right by their corn test fields.  People, it’s serious business.  I wanted to pull over and check out the buildings where they were, presumably, growing corn in the winter.

In addition to WordPress, we’ll be learning about Des Moines together.  I like to talk about food, so you’ll probably hear about that a lot.  I’m constantly trying to be a runner (we’re going on 11 years now on and off), so you’ll hear about that too.  I have big plans for us, friends.  Oh – and I’m sorry in advance for talking too much about my cat, Remy, but she is pretty much the coolest cat (okay, she’s totally not).

I’m already coming up with some new posts, so you’ll be hearing from me soon.