I’m so inspired by this young woman’s journey of FIRSTS in South Dakota that I asked her to share hoping she’ll inspire you too. Kandi Van Iperan created her own “I Dare Me” group this summer and her life took off on an amazing adventure. Here’s her story in her own words.
I would like to be cliché and say that Lu Ann and her book changed my life, but I don’t necessarily believe that is the case. I would say that it was a catalyst for me to make the choices that lead to one of the most whirlwind summers I’ve ever had.
Earlier this year I made the realization that I was overly content with my life; bored, uninterested, disengaged, stuck. I told a friend and colleague of mine that I needed a change in my life but wasn’t sure what that meant. She recommended that I read “I Dare Me”. While reading the book, I was amazed at all these adventures someone could have while still having a regular life.
Why couldn’t that be me?
A few weeks later, that same friend, along with others, came together for a vision board party. While creating our own vision boards, professional and personal, and talking about all these dreams we had and things we wanted to do and the adventures still to be checked off of our bucket lists, we thought – why aren’t we doing these things?!
Let me tell you the answer to that– there is no reason! The only person in your way is you!
So we started a group: 100 Days of Dares. With this movement, we would get as many people inspired as possible to dare themselves to do more, try more, and live more! We started with a small group of 20 or so work friends and grew from there! People did anything and everything they wanted and each person had their own unique experience with it. We saw arts, crafts, tattoos, piercings, new hair, fake hair, new makeup, no makeup, new foods and food fights, big jumps and long drives, acts of kindness and bravery madness!
For me, the summer held much more than I ever anticipated.
In a community where everyone our age is starting families and occupied with those obligations (as they should be), my husband and I are living the DINK (dual income, no kids) lifestyle and had a certain void.
As a woman, I probably felt this more than my husband since I was constantly in conversations about pregnancy and everything that involved the raising of tiny humans. Our lives were now drastically different than our friends’ and we needed something to hold our attention while everyone else was changing diapers and planning birthday parties.
We started four months ago with the idea of maybe going to a few new places and trying some new foods. I never thought it would lead me to be the happier, more aware, and more willing person that I am today. The summer of dares was definitely challenging at times but in the most positive of ways. Daring myself to try new foods, drive to new parts of the country, be a monkey in a parade, and get a part time job has opened the door to so many more opportunities and ideas.
I started the summer with a new position for the same company I had worked at for 9 years, had a few different side jobs and am now transitioning to a health benefits career after being in the foodservice industry for 12 years!
I am ecstatic about the possibilities ahead and every day I still try to do something I want to do instead of constantly focusing on the things I have to do.
The question is no longer why, but rather why not?!?
Do you want to try the new Indian restaurant? “Yea, sure!”
Want to hold a 6-foot long snake? “Absolutely”
Do you want to drive to Canada this weekend? “You betcha!”
Whether it’s as simple walking through a new park or as risky as skydiving, my recommendation to you is to start. Start being the better version of you and experience all the world has to offer! Dare more, try more, do more, live more!
Would you like to start your own I Dare Me group? Do you already have a group ready to share an ongoing I Dare Me adventure? I’d like to hear from you.
May the FIRSTS be with you,