This prairie branded me. I used to be just a girl trying to find myself. This prairie gave me a purpose. It wasnâ€™t a planned purpose. I never aspired to be â€śThe Blonde on the Prairie.â€ť In fact â€“if you would have told me Iâ€™d be called that I may have just walked away talking under my breath. Some guy named â€śBruceâ€ť gave me the name after he printed the first or second column I ever wrote. I only met him once yet the impact he has had on my life is epic. Something like nine years have passed since he first printed that name. Since then Iâ€™ve done a syndicated radio segment, written a book, MCâ€™d events, and been the speaker at corporate gatherings. Iâ€™ve fundraised and flourished. Thatâ€™s not me bragging. Thatâ€™s me teaching you what the she I used to be learned. As frail as you may feel today is not the future that is planned for you.
Iâ€™ve lived here on this prairie that gave me my name the length of my marriage. Without exaggeration Iâ€™ve learned something every single day. Iâ€™ve written and blogged about most of those lessons over time. I didnâ€™t learn them because I read about things in a book. I didnâ€™t learn them from someone telling me. I learned them because I became the name â€śThe Blonde on the Prairieâ€ť from the inside out. I am her and she is me and quite frankly I am thankful. I would have never become her if I were not here, in this place and at this time. What if, despite life being uncomfortable today, youâ€™re exactly where youâ€™re supposed to be to win in the end?
The she I am now is not the she I used to be. Youth awards us time to fear and worry. I feared and worried myself into frenzy a time or two and then I did it again. The she I used to be had a tummy full of fear. She didnâ€™t know back then that fear would be a great motivator. She didnâ€™t know that despite being of little to no means didnâ€™t mean she had not a thing to offer. Nobody told her that every trial, peril, chaotic event, trauma, drama, death and disease would armor her up for living today. She didnâ€™t realize it was happening. It took â€śThe Blonde on the Prairieâ€ť to personally tutor her.
Every one of us has a memory bank of the worst times of our lives. I can think about one snapshot of time where it all went wrong. If this Bruce were still around he would have called me â€śThe Gypsy Blondeâ€ť at the time because I was quite frankly a nomad. I had no particular place to go and it seemed that everywhere I went there was trauma and drama. I outwardly hated being alive but the gnash of my teeth mixed with the faithful words of my friend, â€śViâ€ť kept me going. She reminded me that there were plans for my future that I could not see yet. Vi is no longer on this earth but she wrote the words in a card that I keep in my drawer. Whenever I am in doubt I just take the card out and re-read her written words. Each pen stroke she wrote was dipped in an ink of love that was unconditional. I wish Vi was here right now. The world needs more of the unconditional kind of love reminded to them. I am no longer â€śThe Gypsy Blonde.â€ť I am, simply, â€śThe Blonde on the Prairieâ€ť and thatâ€™s who I always want to be. Things happened just how they were meant to and all that gunk turned in to a place where love found me in the form of that husband of mine. Love didnâ€™t stop there on this prairie. It healed me. I wasnâ€™t expecting for all of the years she suffered as the â€śsheâ€ť she used to be to do anything be bored out here. Imagine, a city girl with totes of high heeled shoes being told sheâ€™d be living on prairie with the fella of her dreams and liking it.
I took off those shoes and began walking. Iâ€™ve clocked many hours of faith finding time walking. While grasping my walking stick Iâ€™d tiptoe through the tree claims not wanting to disturb anything but just to watch and listen. Iâ€™ve hiked the hills and picked berries. Iâ€™ve planted over fifty trees and spent time talking to cows. Iâ€™ve slept tight lullabied by coyote howls and awoken to birdsongs. Iâ€™ve chased dragonflies while butterflies fluttered by at the same time. Baby birds were born to see me as their first human. A baby fawn once appeared in my path, in the grass, and another lesson was learned. The weakness she used to be turned in to a public speaker who dares to share in front of large groups and not just by hiding behind a telephone. I live a raw truth that has allowed so much fear to disappear. There were people who I used to fear and they liked it like that. People with letters behind their name and money they coveted to play the game. The game is life. I am living my life as, â€śThe Blonde on the Prairie.â€ť The weakness the world wanted me to cower to has been made strong here. I am now a warrior. Thatâ€™s not a narcissistic statement. It is a revelation that I pass on to you. Life may seem heavy as 2013 begins. You may be reading this feeling like the she I used to be. You may feel nearly defeated. Someone may have said some words that you allowed to define you. Ignore them and replace your title to â€śWarrior!â€ť I leave you with a quote I hope you read as a new truth in you. You are worthy of the plans the future has in store for you. When you begin believing that worthiness-the coward behind those you perceive to have power will falter and fail. Happy New Year Warriors!
There are lots of things a warrior can do at a certain time which he couldnâ€™t do years before. Those things themselves did not change; what changed was his idea of himself.
~ Carlos Castaneda Quotes from Tales of Power
Ingstad lives on the prairie near Valley City and writes this column for the Times-Record.