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The story behind the story

Welcome to my new little nook! Chances are if you found my new safe haven you have some knowledge about who the heck I am but if not here's a little bit about me.

My name is Camryn Tastad. I am 20 years old living my life currently in the small beach town of Encinitas, CA. I attend the University of San Diego where I am a psychology major and compete on the volleyball team. My passions include chasing sunsets (the chase is half the fun), finding the best place to get a cold brew coffee on the 101 (Philz new iced coffee is bomb btw), playing volleyball, attending every concert my wallet can afford, and creating memories with my family and friends.

So you might be asking yourself okay so why are you creating this website/blog anyways?and that my dear is a very good question, so let me answer it for ya :). I have always had a gift of being able to connect with other human beings regardless of their age, gender, race, or socioeconomic standing. I consider this my biggest strength and one of the major things that has impacted my life. I have a passion for using my journey to impact or help others in anyway that I can and my website is created just for that. I aim to tell my story and provide insight and clarity by encouraging readers to see the world through my lens. Hopefully after reading you may find some help or guidance or maybe even another outlook on this crazy life that we live.

So why more than... you may ask? "More than..." comes from a story about a 19 year old girl that was struggling to find meaning in herself when life was changing way too fast. That 19 year old girl was me, and with that, here is my first story.

Growing up it seemed like I was always the one to have my life together. I could pass my classes, make reliable friends, and perform on the playing court/field, you name it and I could probably figure out how to do it sufficiently. I was always just that kid. By my sophomore year in high school (age 16) I had committed to my dream PAC-12 University to compete in volleyball at one of the highest levels possible. The path for my future was paved earlier then most due to my dreams of playing collegiately and I had peace of mind knowing that I had my future secured. Two years went by and it was time for me to embark on my newest adventure and enter college. As usual, I started earlier than most (seems like a trend) and headed up 2 weeks after high school graduation. I moved into my house, said goodbye to my parents and started summer school and workouts. That summer flew by and was filled with new friendships, more freedom and many dutch bros runs. Before I knew it my team and I were competing against some of the best teams in the country and I was getting to contribute in every match. Throughout my first fall season something just felt off and I just couldn't seem to put my finger on it. I loved my school and my teammates yet I was still unhappy. Wanting to make the best decision for myself, I decided to transfer. I came home in December after an Elite 8 run and the whole recruiting process started again. Schools were reaching out and coaches were interested, yet I was so hesitant to commit. I didn't want to throw myself back into the deep end without resetting and getting myself back to neutral. With this in mind, I decided to enroll in a Junior College to keep my credits up to date and put recruiting on the back burner. With that decision I lost some schools interest but I knew that when I was ready I would find my true home.

So this is where the story about that "19 year old girl" truly comes in. This time was the first that I was ever without the sport in my life. No big name college attached to my name. No previous All-American titles or awards remembered when I was mentioned. For the first time in my life I was just Camryn. Not Camryn the volleyball player. Not Camryn the All-American. Just simply Camryn. With this new and simple found identity came disappointment. When I returned home I lost fans and followers, but most importantly, I lost friendships. People became less interested in me and I was confused and angry. How could something like a sport make me so much more appealing to others? Did people not love me for me? For who I am and what I stand for? I was shook. One day I got really angry. I was frustrated with the idea that I was worthless to some without my sport. With tears streaming down my face I gazed into the mirror, looked deep into my eyes and simple said "You are more than this". In a moment of what seemed to be filled with negativity, a positive idea was born. Little did I know then that those words would be the mantra I would repeat to myself every morning right when I wake up. I realized that in our ever changing world people are so labeled. Whether its your job title, your age, your position, your race, your gender, or your socioeconomic standing. Today, I am here to remind you that you are more than what you are labeled and what you can do for other people. I promise you. You are more than...

With all that being said, welcome to the authentic safe haven. I am so happy you are here.

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