“Slow down, you’re doing fine. You can’t be everything you want to be before your time.”

Photo by Matt Antonioli on Unsplash

The first time I was ever inside of a church was on the day of my 21st birthday. Most people celebrate this milestone at a bar with their friends, drinking until they puke. I spent it burying my best friend. Killed in a car accident, he died on impact when a drunk driver struck his vehicle head-on.

The drunk driver survived and Ben’s wife and four young children carried on without a husband and father.


A Medium story about Medium

2015 medium.com logo

Remember when Medium was a social media blogging platform? This logo represents when I started a Medium account. Old school techniques to build a following where word of mouth, clicking on tags and submitting your work to publications. If you enjoyed reading a piece, you’d tap the little green heart just once. It didn’t require repetitious clicking like “clapping” does.

When you left a comment, the writer actually responded! Back then, it was a platform for sharing experiences, a place to build upon inspired ideas, and foster civil discourse.

I miss that Medium.

“In the last few months, we’ve shifted…


Society

Most of us just want to get through each day

Photo by Luke Jernejcic on Unsplash

I have a nightlight that projects the Milky Way on my ceiling. Last night, instead of sleeping, I laid in bed captivated by the glow of planet Earth. I wondered…


Politics

Using the same type of evaluation when assessing an immediate threat to a community, I’ve compiled a list

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

If you haven’t heard, the Iowa GOP wants you to believe that illegal immigrants are crossing the border with backpacks full of drugs and unloading them in Iowa. This misinformation has spread like the plague.

I do not know why someone would risk their life to get to the border and cross it illegally, only to travel an additional 1,600 miles to sell drugs in a state that’s 78% rural with houses spaced miles apart.

Not to mention, they’d have to pass through at least eight different large metropolitan areas while crossing the United States to get here. …


Politics

And how long are we going to sit around and wait for problems to resolve themselves?

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

I’m a member of a local activism organization. The other members think I’m “extreme.” I live in rural Iowa. There’s roughly two dozen of us in a group made up of mostly farmers, senior citizens and less than a handful of younger folks.

After our state senator dodged us, I informed her clerk that I’ll be camping out on the road in front of the senator’s house until she can find the time to speak with me. She called me 20 minutes later. What the group referred to as extreme, I consider an action forcing a reaction.

When I found…


If a year of the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we can’t trust Americans

Screenshot from a video I recorded while covering the 2020 Presidential Election. Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, addresses residents in Iowa County, Iowa. Jan. 27, 2020. Credited to author

When Democrats announced former Vice President Joe Biden as the party presidential nominee in August 2020, I thought, ‘I have 90 days to convince myself why I like Biden.’

I didn’t neccessarily dislike him but he wasn’t my first choice.

A historic 28 Democratic candidates tossed their name into the hat. 11 withdrew before making it to the primary ballot, seven withdrew before the Iowa Caucus but remained on the primary ballot and 10 withdrew during the primaries.

To form my own unbiased and educated opinion, I turned off the news and researched, sending myself spiraling down the rabbit hole…


Iowa’s schools have remained open throughout the pandemic, and I’ve been reporting on the devastation ever since

A Williamsburg Raiders’ homecoming tradition, the W burns at Bob Murphy Field on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Photo credited to the author

During the Red State Trailblazer Town Hall, moderated by Laura Ingraham on Fox News on April 29, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) announced that she returned $95 million dollars in federal funds allocated to reopen schools safely.

The audience cheered when she stated that we’ve had our schools open all year, and that Biden must think “the COVID just started.”

“They sent additional funds to get our students black in classrooms,” she continued on.

That’s not a typo. She absolutely said that.

Reynolds presented having “our kids in school” as a success story. She failed to mention that she ordered…


Trauma will always come back to haunt us

Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

The morning of my birthday in 2014, a pickup warrant dragged me across an abandoned dirt lot by my ankles. My subordinate was gaining on us. I starred her down until our eyes met. I nodded for her to let it go.

I felt scared, but not panicked. My adrenaline induced reaction was to escape, but I didn’t try. As long as both of his hands were on me; he wasn’t able to pull the trigger of his pistol. The goal was to protect the community, not myself.

Ground zero was on the other side of a 14-foot tall cinderblock…


As we continue to perpetuate a lethally polarized virus, when will enough be enough?

Dreamstime.com stock photo

On Friday morning, April 23rd, I woke to the inevitable. After months of positive case counts mounting in Iowa’s school system, children are dying. Based on projection models, it’s only the beginning.

To be sure I wasn’t misinterpreting the data or suffering the delusional effects of a conspiracy theory, I reached out to Sara Anne Willette with the Iowa COVID-19 Tracker project who confirmed my worst nightmare.

On August 4, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) ordered the state’s 327 school districts to open for a minimum of 50% in person classroom instruction. …


Photo by Rosan Harmens on Unsplash

Chances are, only seven people will read this, but that’s okay because I’ll never reach my goal without executing actionable steps. My goal is to write, even if it’s not what people want to read.

I compromised. I included a flashy headline and image because it’s an expectation. If you feel mislead, I totally get it.

I’m not a fan of flashy headlines or imagines either, but what’s a girl to do? It’s the standard norm for internet publishing.

Ahh…

You probably clicked on the headline because…

Erika Anne

I blog to stay sane.

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