The Abridged Version
I’m Kelly M. Rivard. I’m a country-raised 20-something living the urban life in downtown Kansas City. I’m a digital communicator, 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. 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 also have a boyfriend and he’s kind of a big deal. We are slowly building a menagerie together because animals are the best.
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). I spent many, many hours throughout high school and college pitching in on his family’s grain farm. (Occasionally, I took on odd jobs at other farms, too!)
When I was 15, I joined 4-H. My senior year of high school, I accidentally (long story) became the president of my school’s FFA chapter in its foundation year. My high school years helped cement the love of the rural life I learned from my father.
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. 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 when 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 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 an awesome job lined up in Kansas City. 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 come to find I can thrive both in the country and in the city. 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.
Not long after I moved to Kansas City, I met a nice man from the area on Match.com and decided I’d keep him. I almost didn’t date him, because he wasn’t “my type.” But my friend Jodi set me straight on that account. Now we’re “going steady” as my mom would say. On this blog, I used to refer to him as Nightwolf — now, however, he’s just known as Josh. We go on a lot of adventures together, and our dogs are now best friends. He’s even taught me not to be afraid of birds, and I’ve convinced him to eat vegetables.
So, here I am, a digital communicator that’s passionate about the rural/urban crossover, 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!