31 days/ 31 ways


Here’s the gist: I’ll be surfing everyday in October and will try out a different wave-riding device each day. It’s an adventure in my hometown with some of my favorite friends, sources of inspiration, and perhaps a few strangers, doing what we love. We’ll document our experiences through video, photos, and words. Each day will be about sharing the wondrous experience of riding waves, the beauty of being in the ocean, and the importance of doing what you love.

the back story: I’ve never been more stoked on surfing and maybe the desperate political climate, lousy job market, and economic meltdowns are partially to thank for it. When I graduated from college over a year ago with a dual bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Social Science, I wasn’t so worried about finding a job immediately. After four years of pretty rigid structure and routine, I knew that I wanted to experience something different, but wasn’t quite sure what. I casually applied to a ton of jobs that I didn’t really care much about, because we’re supposed to easily get good jobs after college right? Wrong. I started out applying to jobs locally and then, with the lack of any progress, began branching out. To work for the kind of organizations that I thought I was interested in, I figured that I’d have to move to a big city and do that whole professional, work all the time as an entry-level employee thing. I’m a pretty tough gal, so I figured that I could handle living in D.C. for a year or so, to get experience in marine policy or with an NGO of some sort. I’d surf on the weekends and put some time in doing meaningful environmental activism. I got a few interviews, didn’t get a bunch more interviews, and was starting to feel pretty rejected. No job offers. Not one. When nothing much transpired on the job front, I took it as an opportunity to get back to the ocean in a consistent and sustained way that school and work just don’t afford. And now I’m so thankful that things unfolded as they have. I gained a bit of experience working some vacuous jobs to have an income. I tried out being a deck hand, tutor, property manager, website designer, waitress etc. I worked 4 or 5 jobs at a time to live and pay off the $10,000 or so that I had in student loans. With that accomplished, I decided to trim back the number of jobs and really focus on what I wanted to be doing with my life as a free woman. No debt, no obligations. All inquisitive, all inspired. And what I really wanted to do was go surfing. Tory Strange, who gave me my first job at The Girl Next Door Surf Shop when I was 15, was kind enough to take me in again and let me work on some creative projects for the shop. With my job being quite flexible and my boss very understanding of my surfing needs, I had the time to surf everyday. So I started branching out
from just riding longboards, as I’ve done for the majority of the last decade, to riding all sorts of other wave riding devices. And I’ve found myself having the most fun that I’ve had in my whole life…just sharing boards, waves, laughs and lots of time in the ocean. Simple, free fun. And the most incredible opportunities have emerged from being true to my values and passions.

I’m so happy to be where I am, geographically and otherwise, that I thought it might be fun to share my stoke and the stoke of some of the amazing people that I know. As I’ve tested myself with new ways to ride waves the depth of wave knowledge to be discovered by riding different boards surprised me. I wanted to share that, too.

And so 31 days/31 ways was conceived. You’re welcome to check in each day and follow or join in the journey.

In Joy, Lauren

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8 Comments

  1. i am thrilled to be a part of this endeavor…nothing makes me happier then sharing the ocean and boards with the beautiful miss hill 🙂 what an exciting month it will be!

  2. lauren,following your blog just made my list of things to do. great work girl. a mix of erudition and whimsy rare in the blogging world. your joy brings me joy! thanks for sharing.love,jessie

  3. Old Zen proverb:"before enlightenment – chopping wood, gathering sticks.after enlightenment – chopping wood, gathering sticks"Enjoy the journey no matter where the path(s) take you.Happy sliding, carving, bottom turning, trimming and reo-ing'cheersNeil

  4. new ways of communicating, blog comments!this is so amazing lauren, story and project. (and you). so glad to know you're my friend. i can't wait to hear, see more.love,kimmie

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