The Abridged Version
I’m Kelly M. Rivard. I’m a country-raise 20-something living the urban life in downtown Kansas City. I’m a digital communicator in agriculture, an advocate for conversations about food and farming, a bleeding heart who volunteers way too much, and a bipolar bulimic working hard to try to lead the most stable and fulfilling life I can. I’m a devoted owner/mother to my longhaired Dachshund Rory Rue and my ginger cat, Ferocious Fred. Thanks to a strong faith community here in Kansas City, I have been able to “rediscover” and renew my relationship with God. My faith is important to me. I try to approach my big unknowns in life as a blank canvas, a blessing, and an opportunity, rather than something to fear.
The Longer-But-Not-Exactly-Complete-Because-It-Would-Take-Too-Long-To-Tell Version
I grew up surrounded by agriculture. My father came from “farming stock” but a series of unfortunate events spanning several decades meant that my family did not farm full-time. My dad did farm parttime alongside my uncle, and we also had small agricultural projects cropping up here and there throughout my childhood. Daddy fostered in all four of his children a love for rural America, the agricultural lifestyle, and an incredibly strong work ethic. My father passed very unexpectedly when I was 12, of a massive heart attack. That ended a lot of my exposure to most things agriculture.
In high school, I rediscovered my love of agriculture, though a socially-awkward, borderline uptight yet still charming young man named Tim (who has often been referred to as Farmboy). We started dating my freshman year, and through his family I discovered a new perspective of midwestern agriculture. I spent many, many hours throughout high school and college pitching in on his family’s grain farm. I joined 4-H, and accidentally (long story) became the president of my school’s FFA chapter in its foundation year. In high school, I really found my love of agriculture.
I began college in 2008 with a focus in graphic design. I moved to Naperville, IL, an upperclass suburban utopia just beyond Chicago’s western edge. Throughout undergrad, I balanced a wide array of extracurricular activities, internships, jobs, a heavy course load, and a very active social life. My freshman year, I discovered Twitter, and also discovered that farmers were using it. For the first time, my interest in communications was intersecting with agriculture, the industry that I thought I had no chance of a career in. Through my agriculture relationships on Twitter, I got the first of many agricultural communications internships.
Here, I would include a picture of me and some pivotal person I’ve met via online networking.
The issue with that is the fact that I know too many amazing people because of the Internet.
Late freshman year was also around the time I found out I was bipolar. Shortly after that, my stress eating turned into binging, which led to purging, which quickly spiraled out of control into full-blown bulimia. While I was certain I was holding myself together fairly well outwardly, my life became a struggle for a while. Sophomore year, I almost dropped out of college. I got addicted to one of my medications for anxiety, and even failed a class that I should have at least gotten a C in. Early in my junior year, Tim, who I was so sure I was going to spend forever with, decided he couldn’t do it anymore. He ended our six-year relationship, not only to save his own sanity but also to encourage me to find mine.
Here, I would include an image relating to the previous paragraph,
but that paragraph is depressing. And there’s no way to display
how much wine I drank post-breakup in one single photo.
I continued to struggle, but managed to have life-changing internships in Wisconsin and California. I conquered a lot of fears and faced a lot of demons. I graduated on-time with a 3.45 GPA and my dream job lined up in Kansas City. Three weeks after graduation, I was living in a new state, starting a new chapter of my life. Since arriving in Kansas City in July of 2012, I feel I’ve blossomed. While every day is not good, there is good in every day. I’ve found so much of myself through my work, my new lifestyles, and my new experiences. My bulimia and bipolar disorder, while never completely gone, have taken on new form, a form which most days I am content with. My career is fulfilling. I’ve developed a relationship with God that I am proud of and find comfort in. I really feel like I’ve found who I want to be, and most importantly I’ve found that I really can like myself.
So, here I am, a digital communicator that’s passionate about agriculture, addicted to volunteering, constantly on-the-go while facing some pretty daunting challenges. But hey, that’s life. You take the bad with the good, you roll up your sleeves, you do what you must, and you find a reason to smile…no matter what.
I’m very open to answering questions and very willing to engage in dialogue. Feel free to comment or contact me through other means. You can get ahold of me pretty quickly through any of the following means:
- Facebook – Kelly M. Rivard
- Twitter – @KMRivard
- Pinterest – KMRivard
- Google+ – Kelly Rivard
- Email: kelly.m.rivard (at) gmail.com
Thanks for reading!