Grown up

Written By: Alexandera Houchin

December 1, 2016

My eyelashes are hard to separate this morning. It takes me several attempts at blinking to finally draw my eyelids open. This cot isn’t as comfortable as it was before. It’s better than sleeping on the floor though. Those days of sleeping on my bedroom floor are behind me, and it seems I have already forgotten the joy I felt when my uncle surprised me with a cot for my 27th birthday. You see, I found myself in Tucson, Arizona last summer anticipating my bike tour from Mexico to Alberta, Canada. I departed for my trip north not knowing what to expect. In the months to follow, I found myself focused on changing lives in the world that surrounded me. I dug deep, daring dreams to develop without bound.

I found my way back to the desert, with only a car full of belongings and a college acceptance letter. I came here to answer the call within my soul to give back to the Native American community. While I was traveling, I met a young man whom had been recently accepted to Dental School. I spent the next two months riding side by side with him through the Continental Divide. We laughed, cried and struggled through the elements that summer. The idea of obtaining a professional degree had seemed virtually impossible for a half-blooded Native American girl that grew up in a trailer park. Peering out my bedroom window, I could see that grey General Motors Factory dull the sky. I had spent the majority of my early life as an obese child. I would read books and dream of becoming someone great. Upon graduation from high school, I moved out of my small hometown. I found a reset button and started life over. I lost over 100 pounds, got a bicycle and enrolled in classes at the local community college. I took many different types of classes chasing my passions. Meeting that young man reminded me that, if he can do it, I can. I can do anything I dream up. I found my calling in the miles between towns that trying summer; I am going to become a Native American Dentist serving my fellow natives across the country.

I spent several summers cycling around the country searching my soul for the answer to the question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”. I found myself standing atop many a mountain with either a palpable pride from conquering that climb or anxious apprehension wondering if I would make it back to the trailhead with my bike and body intact. Who am I?

Who is Alexandera Houchin?

Sometimes I feel like I know who I am, other times I feel like a kid again, like the future is so far away. I am chasing my bliss. I am truly happy. And that’s all I really want to be when I grow up. After all, everything I do is what I am.