There is something to be said for appreciating where you land. My life appears to be one continuous series of mishaps, blessings, surprises and adventures.
My friend Chelsie (her blog is wonderful... click here) recapped her travels over the past year, and inspired me to do the same.
In the past year:
I visited Italy on a whirlwind tour to assist with the arrival of our study abroad students from TCU and managed to tour Florence and drink my beloved Limoncello in Rome.
I traveled to Islamorada in the Keys for a vacation with my wonderful man, and even got to see a friend from Ghana that I had not seen since 2009.
I moved to Jacksonville, Florida with my aforementioned wonderful man and beloved child, Bella (the pitbull above) and started a job as an International Student recruiter...
I planned and implemented my first international recruiting trip for the University of North Florida in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. I managed to get mugged, get in a taxi accident and take a cab ride with a prostitute during that trip. Impressive. I know.
I saw Savannah, GA for the first time, and simultaneously discovered the incredible accomodations available on airbnb.com.
I was a bridesmaid again, for another one of my dearest friends from Texas, in Texas!
I celebrated Christmas in Illinois, and got to see every one of my siblings, both of my parents and even my grandparents.
And the coming adventures include Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa in Canada as well as a trip to China and Taiwan. The itineray for April is yet to be determined, but Turkey is likely to be my destination in May.
Here's looking at an exciting 2012 and the promise of a great 2013.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I saw on facebook today that folks are committing themselves to resolutions for the new year on GoodReads.
I use GoodReads to try and remember books I want to read, and to keep track of what I have read. With my current reading-hiatus, I thought I should revisit my profile.
It was on the website that I found the "Groups" tab... so in an attempt to inspire myself and maybe even others, I made a group.
It's called Trusted readers. There is a button to the right, click and join!
They made me pick a topic so I chose "Friends and Common Interests", then I had to pick a subtopic, so I picked "Wine". Because all Trusted Friends should have wine when discussing literature.
Feel free to join the group and inspire me, or even seek inspiration. I am working to fight my own brain death, join me in my quest.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Two of the biggest highlights of the last week have been the absurd weather (in a fabulous way) and the arrival of my new cds.
My Dad was sweet enough to get me a big ol' gift card to Barnes and Noble for Christmas. So, I decided to use my Barnes-bucks to buy some cds that I knew would make great car-jams. I much prefer cds for the car. Yes, I am technologically advanced and have an aux port and aux cord in the car, but that means I have to dig out my phone and allow interruptions when phone calls come in.
I don't find this to be conducive to my need to jam-out-like-wow.
I was skyping my sister last night when the cds arrived, and she told me "I'm old school" because I still like cds.What if I liked tape decks? Those were the jam of choice when I was a kid. The Tracy Chapman and Savage Garden tapes were the soundtrack to my 97.
The reason I am celebrating the arrival of new tunes this week, is the perfect cruising weather. It's been around 80 degrees and sunshine here in Jax. In January.
I open up that moon roof and drive. If I'm in a good mood, full of rage or just angsty in general, a good cd and beautiful weather is the best cure I've found. Besides chocolate. And pizza. Actually... eating a pizza and drinking a chocolate milk shake while driving to a good cd... that may be the golden ticket.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Just when I think that maybe I need to reevaluate various components of my life, things fall into place. It's no secret that when you relinquish control, whether to a greater power or to the universe, things tend to go more smoothly.
It seems to be human nature to attempt to control both the large and the small aspects of your life. I am very guilty of an "I can do this on my own, now leave me alone" attitude. I have been lucky enough to experience a life that allowed for this idealism. I believed that with the right recipe of positivity, hard work, and self-confidence, all my goals and aspirations were possible. I believed I could live the exact life I imagine for myself.
This is not to say that those traits are to be abandoned, but what I do need to say, to myself and to you I suppose, is that no amount of self-perfecting, healthy living or positive thinking can replace the freedom that comes from admitting and reveling in the fact that we are not in control. At the end of the day - the world spins on without our help and certainly without our plans.
I'll continue to do my part, but I will also be mindful of my own limitations.
I find prayer and meditation helpful. I don't sit cross-legged and contemplate the universe, but I run, I try yoga, I bike, I nap, I walk my dog on the beach and I take a bath. That's how I commune with myself and the great big universe.
This year - I encourage you to let go. Even just a little. Lift it up to whatever your "bigger" being or thing is. Try letting go.
Monday, January 7, 2013
For me it's a big hard cover Kingsolver novel, a small book of wisdom from a Buddhist monk, and a twisting-turning Kindle novel by Zadie Smith.
I feel this sense of guilt whenever I go to grab something to read on the nightstand. The guilt does not pressure me into attempts at bettering my mind with the written word, but instead encourages me to accelerate my brain death with instagram stalking on my iphone.
What is a 25 year old with a slowly dissolving mind to do?
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Today, I look back on the past year and find myself repeating the same thing to myself again and again -
"You made it. You made it through 2012."
2012 was comprised of a variety of good, wonderful, ugly, painful and monumental changes. Change is rarely easy and almost always difficult.
Moving away from a place that felt more like home than home does.
Beginning a life with someone else and learning to share.
Redefining my family and navigating those choppy waters.
Stumbling into a brand new work environment and accepting that things weren't seamless with rainbows and sunshine.
Making new friends and visiting old ones.
2013 is nothing but possibility on this foggy-brained Tuesday morning back at work. There is no telling what the new year will bring but I have resolved to welcome it. I am committing myself to making ugly days beautiful to the best of my ability and finding peace in uncertainty.
Wish me luck.