On May 13th, 2003 in Hudson Wisconsin, I was born to my parents Kym and Ryan Larson. I was given the name Haidyn Ema Larson—and for a specific reason. My mom wanted a name that emitted strength for either a boy or a girl, but my dad made the suggestion because he wanted to reference the town Haddonfield, Illinois from the slasher film Halloween (1978). My parents are some of the most strong and wise people I know, and there's not a day that goes by where I'm not learning something from them. My father gave me the love of music and stressed the importance of family, and my mother taught me to be independent and persisting through tough times. I wouldn't be who I am today without them.
Growing up as a toddler, I loved to run around in my overalls picking flowers and watching worms and stick bugs crawl in the dirt. On rainy days, I talked with Buddy, the toad that lived under our porch. When the sun finally set on a bright day, catching fireflies on warm nights in northwest Wisconsin became my favorite pastime. Many summers like these were spent outdoors being a curious child, and soon I'd have company other than the critters in the grass.
When I was three, I was introduced to my baby sister on the day she was born. She cried a lot, and I was struggling to learn how to be a big sister—but not for long. She would become my best friend (and sometimes my worst enemy) as we grew up and moved between Minnesota and Wisconsin many times throughout our early years. Eventually, our roots would plant themselves in a little town that resides in a lush valley called St. Croix Falls. For eight years I have been living with my mom and sister in our cozy apartment by the river. As I'm experiencing the last days of my childhood in St. Croix, I've made a very tight-knit friend group that I couldn't live without, and finally got my dream job of working in a flower shop on mainstreet.
In elementary school, I was an active child who loved nothing more than to chase friends at recess and play for the soccer team. Nowadays, I prefer to live life like a grandma. I'm happiest wearing big sweaters, drinking tea and indulging in creative hobbies. On my days off I'll most likely be sketching or painting, but when I want to get my feet moving I'll throw a dance party for one in my kitchen. My love for the outdoors has followed me since I was very young and certainly hasn't left. I’ve made a hobby out of photographing and drawing the scenes in nature that catch my eye, and I find great joy in making interesting little artworks from the things I collect. There's nothing more fun to me than painting found bones or preserving mushrooms and flowers, no matter how gross my mom may think it is.
Now that I am approaching the age of adulthood, I'm scared. The question of what I want to do with my life has been a daunting one, and I'll admit that I'm still not sure of the answer. Though, as frightening as stepping into the complete dark on my own may be, I know my family and friends won't be far behind me. I've come to learn that it is okay to exist in this world without definite plans or absolute certainty in the days that lie ahead of me. I hope to one day own a conservatory to share with the people I hold closest to me, and although I'm not sure how I'll get there, I know I'll find a way by pushing on through. I want to take my first steps into the second part of my life knowing I'll end up feeling like I made the people in my life—as well as myself—proud, and that's all I will ever need.