My experiences growing up biracial, being a rodeo girlfriend, playing college soccer. It's all here!
I’m anticipating that as time goes on I’ll be getting pretty deep in my blogs! So I want to set the foundation so that whoever reads them, has a better idea of where I’m coming from.
My background is rather unique, and my journey has came with a lot of twists and turns.
It’s important for my readers to understand it before moving forward. I think that my perspective is pretty irregular. I will say that it was hard for me to make sense of everything and find identity, until I was baptized. That being said, Christianity will be organically ingrained in my posts. Anyways, I will try to keep this one short and concise, so we can get to the good stuff later on!
A lot of people ask my how I got here. So I will start now, and work my way backwards!
So right now, I live in what I call my #tinycamper, and I do freelance work (videography, websites, etc.) as I’m working towards seasoning my barrel horse, and filling my Women’s Professional Rodeo Association permit. I also have a hobby that I do to help inclusion in rodeo and western called Meg. Studios. I am a part of a group that meets with the Stephenville Police Department regularly to discuss inclusion in our community. I am a "Big" for Big Brothers Big Sisters Texas, I play soccer for The Stephenville Sevens on Sundays, I keep my skateboard in my truck, and I attend yoga regularly!
(My bodyguards, Coyote & Indi)
My Barrel Horse
Before purchasing my horse “Genesis”
(Rainy Special Day - by Eyesa Special, o/o
a daughter of Sixes Pick) as a 4 year old
last August, I had a 17 year old gelding on the market for several months. He made a 1D run at Destry’s Free For All in 2019, and I sold him two
days later for TWICE what I had been asking for him. About 3 weeks prior, I got a call from a stunt coordinator to come stunt double in a large film directed and written by Taylor Sheridan. So with the money from both of those incredible and unexpected experiences, I was able to buy my mare, Genesis!
("Joey" at Destry's Free 4 All)
(Rainy Special Day's first time being entered. She bucked the whole way to first!)
I’ve lived in “The Cowboy Capital of the World”, Stephenville, Texas (pop. 21,164) since August 2014. I moved here from Miami, Oklahoma (pop. 13,132) to finish my education. I graduated from Tarleton State University in 2017 with a degree in Animal Science.
(Graduation Day! My step dad and I on the left, & me and my sister's dad on the right)
"I got a letter from the school saying I couldn’t return because of a balance I had overdue."
(At the Cody Stampede and St. Paul)
Before my Spring 2015 semester, I got a letter from the school saying I couldn’t return because of a balance I had overdue. So I spent all of 2015 traveling with my then boyfriend, who was a professional bull rider. This was the year that I started designing graphic tees, fabric, and clothing for my business The Velvet Steer Co. and later, Witness Rodeo Co. I was also interning for RIDE TV Network and Cowboy Lifestyle Network. I have a ton of stories from that year, but that’s an entire blog post within itself.
(Me in The Velvet Steer Co. outfit, Cowboy Lifestyle Network crew @ The RFD-TV American, & Elaina Kay in Witness Rodeo Co.)
Prior to moving to Texas, I lived in Oklahoma for school, where I played college soccer. I started out getting a scholarship to play at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO). in Miami, OK. There, I was active in several Native American groups on campus, and got to take a course in Native American studies. I graduated from NEO with my AAS in Agriculture/Pre Vet studies.
"I had a lot of anxiety about it, self doubt/low self-esteem, and some Imposter Syndrome."
After leaving NEO, I received a scholarship to play for Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, OK (pop. 5,024). I chickened out and changed my mind (I had a lot of anxiety about it, self doubt/low self-esteem, and some Imposter Syndrome). But the coach convinced me to keep my scholarship and stay as a manager, and put me on the roster anyways, so that if I changed my mind, I could still play. I still carry some resentment about my choice not to, but I let that push me to do better and take more risks in the present. It’s motivated me to work harder now, go after what I want in life, and to be who I want to be. During this time in Alva, I also bought my first “barrel horse”.
So I spent a semester in Alva, and then I actually went back to my comfort zone at NEO for the spring 2014 semester. Alva was rough! The girls were better athletes, more responsible, and I guess I just hadn’t matured enough to move on. I was eligible to play during this spring season, and also college rodeo some. I actually ended up tearing my ACL and meniscus one day at practice, but my doctor allowed me to rodeo that spring and summer, and get my surgery in the fall. I went to three college rodeos and a few URA rodeos that year with the horse I had bought in Alva. We were a good 2 seconds off, but I was just happy to be able to have a horse and go. Even with a knee brace and my limp, college rodeo was a blast!
"I had my surgery that August, and rolled into Stephenville for the first time - on crutches, and with my pink 1970’s two horse trailer 11 days later."
Taking it WAY Back
I was born in Olathe, KS, and raised in Ottawa, KS (pop. 12,267). My dad grew up in Ottawa, and my mom in Pomona, KS (pop. 821). I was raised mostly by my mom’s side of the family. Although I’m a lot closer to them now, I only have a few memories of
my dad’s side when I was little. My maternal grandma is an Irish woman from the Ozarks in Missouri (yes, the same as the Ozarks on Netflix!), and my Papa is from Lawrence, KS (#LFK). I have a lot of memories spending time riding on the back of Papa’s Gator, jumping hay bales, fishing, watching WWE, and drinking sun tea in the kitchen while my Grandma Brown and Aunt Laura smoked. (#RuthLangmore from The Ozarks)
(Grandma & Papa, and my Aunt Laura and Mom (they have 4 other siblings))
As far as our home, I was raised across the street from the grain silos at the Coop, in income based housing, with my mom and older sister, Tanesha. I always wanted to be a cowgirl and fully embrace the country lifestyle that I was born into, but I never saw anyone like myself represented. As a very visual learner, and a child, never seeing anyone look like me represented, made me think that girls like me weren’t supposed to be cowgirls. Also, we didn’t have money or room for a horse.
(Baby me; Me & Dad, Dad & My favorite cousin Jeremy; My sister, Tanesha & I; Selfie game; Me & Tanesha)
Honestly, there is SO much in between as far as my experiences growing up, but this is put in the simplest form. I’m sure that the other pieces will come out in future blogs. My mom got re-married in 2008 to my step dad, and we moved to his home in the country. A couple of years later is when I got my first horse.
(My first horse, "Deacon")
Of course, all of these factors play a huge role in how I view the world today, and why I use my resources to be active about inequality. I realize that I am blessed in many ways and have had opportunities that not everyone has had, so I am passionate about creating change and making opportunities for EVERYONE. If it weren’t for my experiences growing up high risk, Black/biracial with my white family in a small Midwestern town, working in the western industry, being a Christian, making mistakes, traveling with a black bull rider to his pro rodeos, and living in Stephenville- I probably wouldn’t feel as strongly about changing the system.
I am so excited to share these stories and experiences with you all. My hopes are that this blog will be fresh, educational, and valuable. I will also be touching on a number of things including mental illness, drug addiction in the family, camper life- and so much more!
Please be sure to subscribe to my email list so that you don’t miss my future posts!
Catch yall later,