Kelli Linn was back in Forest City today. More significantly, back in the land of Waldorf College.
She's Kelli Linn-Bloomquist now, a married mother of three young children (the newest just 3 months old). Kelli works as the coordinator of the Homeland Security Training Center located on the campus of Iowa Central Community College. In her role, she is responsible for coordinating media training opportunities for those working in government security positions across the state of Iowa - soon across the United States.
Kelli has an extensive media background, having worked in multiple media roles, and I regret I didn't take the opportunity to learn more about those vast experiences in the short time we met for lunch at Scoopy Doos today. It was simply more fun to reminisce about her days at KZOW, connect on what it feels like to be a working mom, and compare our concerns and hopes for our individual futures.
She confessed to feeling nervous about coming back; I've heard that before. As other alumni have shared, coming back to Waldorf - a place that has played a significant role during formative moments - isn't always easy. The rush of emotions that floods in can threaten to overwhelm. I know that feeling myself. I've had trips back to my alma mater, Wartburg College, where I have entered the Waverly city limits busily wiping tears.
I hope Kelli felt like she came home today - and not the literal kind of coming home - the kind of coming home that finds you meeting yourself as you were once-upon-a-time. Those experiences are empowering. They give you the hope you need to carry who you are now into the future.
As Kelli herself in advises in the video, "The biggest thing in life is just to show up." Wonderful advice, Kelli. And I agree. If you don't start by showing up, nothing else can hope to happen.
Kelli, it was wonderful to have lunch with you. Thank you.
As always, I continue to look forward to what might come next.