After ordering a green tea frappucino, we settled in at the Starbucks near Northwest Plaza. Erin is from Des Moines, Iowa and went to college in Northern Missouri where she met her current boyfriend. She finished school recently and moved to St. Louis after getting an internship at a marketing agency here (the day after we met she had a meeting to find out if she was going to be hired on full-time).
Once her boyfriend finishes his degree in zoology, he and Erin plan to open a non-profit animal sanctuary on his family’s 180 acre farm just outside of St. Louis. They will take animals that are neglected, need somewhere to go or were a bad pet (like a bear). She will handle the marketing and he’ll scoop the poop! Originally the dream was his, but, “It’s kind of morphed into my dream, too.”
I asked Erin what she had experienced in St. Louis so far, but because she’s naturally pretty bad at directions, she hasn’t seen as much as she’d like. She has been to the Arch and was lucky enough to meet Maddie the Coonhound. If you don’t know about Maddie, yet, it’s time you learn.
I was so incredibly honored to hear the next thing Erin told me. “I started to volunteer a lot because your blog inspired me to start meeting people and I want to work at a non-profit. I just love your idea and your blog, so I was like, I gotta get involved in some way!” And boy is she getting involved! She just became certified to be a hospice volunteer where she’ll be matched up with a patient. Each week she and her dog will pay a friendly visit to this individual. Erin also volunteered at the Clayton Art Fair and she applied to be a foster mom for Stray Rescue of St. Louis. That’s not even all. Erin volunteered at St. Louis Design Week and she helped at a St. Louis Public Library event where they auctioned off book cover art.
At this point in our conversation, I was very rude. I heard the song Nature Boy performed by Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass and had to stop to Shazaam and download it. I can’t say I regret it, it’s a great song (and Erin was very understanding)!
Pocahontas (the animated one), Lady Gaga and Jackie Onassis, these are Erin’s role models. Pocahontas because Erin is fascinated by Native American culture, she loves Disney, and she sees her as a symbol of strength. Jokingly she says she was probably Native American in another life. Lady Gaga is another role model because she is so “weird and crazy”. Finally, Jackie O., who Erin calls the Queen of America because there’s never been anyone quite like her. When large round sunglasses were popular, Erin’s dad started calling her Jackie O. After researching more about her, Erin began carrying around a photograph to remind her of Jackie’s strength.
It makes sense that another of Erin’s interests is history. “I like to learn about what happened when I wasn’t here. I always ask people which war they think was the most interesting. People think I’m crazy, but it tells a lot about a person.”
As we were leaving I asked what she liked the most about St. Louis so far. “The opportunities it’s given me. It’s big, it’s unexplored and I have lots of opportunities and I’m getting lots of opportunities. THIS is an opportunity (meaning our meeting). And volunteering all the different places I’m going to is an opportunity and I’m excited for the future!”
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