Traveling to Terezin

My knowledge of history is lacking in big places. Facts and dates, names of places even, sift through my sieve brain. When it came to World War II and the holocaust – the “final solution” – I was notably deficient in perspective.

With a few days back in Prague, I signed up for a tour of Terezin. The Nazi “gift of a town” it was a neighborhood turned ghetto-concentration-camp-holding-pen of disease, death and misery… and art.

Lasting Testaments [Read more…]

New Year’s Hangover

I want to be that blogger who posts this amazing piece on the 1st. I want to ring in the new dawn with tidings of accomplishment and set intentions for the new year.

I want to be caught up on my APADing, tweeting, blog, book-facing and instagraming. I want to be the one with an amazing retro-montage of the last year of travels, experiences and accomplishments.

NYE1I want my ‘thank you’s to have been appreciatively written, and my friends and family fully checked in on and feeling the love that I have for them. I want my laundry to be clean and aired, cupboards physical and metaphorical clean. I want to be the girl with her house in order.

I am not that girl.

I am waking to a glorious day in Dublin in a mental and emotional hangover. [Read more…]

Life Doesn’t Play Out As Scripted

I walked resignedly down the hallway away from the closed door.

I stopped in my tracks.

The unresolved was with me, another presence hanging in the empty space.

I stood for a moment listening to my heart beat and my breath coming in and out. Most of all, I listened to my thoughts as they circled upon each other. It was a cycle I know all too well. Some inner voice finally whispered, “basta.” Enough.

Door Detail“Wouldn’t you rather know?”

Yes… but… I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the “what if”s. I’m afraid to be the one to put myself out there. I’m afraid it will end badly.

“Yes. Yes. But wouldn’t you rather know?!”

I sighed deeply.

I drew deep on my courage and turned on my heel. I walked up to the door with a hand poised to knock.

[Read more…]

Support Finds Us

Often we seek out support in various forms. If we are really self-aware and willing to be vulnerable we will even ask for the help we need.

We strive for connection, to be understood, to be told “no, you’re not crazy.”

Sometimes support and encouragement, validation and assistance, comes from the least expected corners.

Light over WaterIt is the long-lost buddy sending a simple hello.
It is the random FB acquaintance donating to a campaign.
It is the former coworker encouraging travel with her ideas and example.
It is the long conversation that reaches into realms of intimacy and self-discovery that had long been missing.
It is the smile and compliment of a stranger.
It is the accountability partner asking for advice and help.
It is the comment on the blog saying our words have resonance.
It is the impressed words of a coach and mentor.
It is that article from Twitter that seems to speak to our soul.
It is the deadline and expectations of someone we respect.
It is the friend saying “no” when I really want a bite of his gelato – his way of supporting my goals.

It is the reminders that there is more in life and it is not only ok, but absolutely right to reach for it.

It is even easy to get wrapped in the minutia of life and fixate on what we don’t have. It is even easier to let the perceived ignoring and judgement of others hold too much sway in our lives — preventing us from pursuing our dreams.

Tumblr Photo Posted November 03, 2012 at 10:16PM It can be lonely out there. Yet, if we allow ourselves to look for the good and tune into it, we can also see just-as-little signs that we are “daring greatly” and on the right path. These little glimmers of affirmation, of promise, of hope, can be the support we didn’t know we needed.

My friend Dani has shared wonderful prose recently about knowing yourself and chasing your desires. When we are daring and brave enough to start following those passions that feed us, working to create the life that we want for ourselves, we need all the help we can get.

We find for ourselves the inspiration and the information. These little-big moments of support we can choose to intentionally enjoy and can keep us going.

The important part is to take the small kudos and affirmations and not just rest upon them or fixate on getting more of them, but use them to spur us onward towards our true goals. The Universe, via the people around us, provides these successes not as stopping points, but breaths of renewed energy to fuel our progress.

Clasp tightly, be IN your journey and continue chasing down your dreams.

Sempre Avanti,

PS If my words today spoke to you would you do me a solid and buy me a virtual beer visa-vis my Pencils of Promise campaign? See, I needed to write this to myself as I am nearing the end of my Abs Challenge. I’ve often felt crazy for doing it and, while I am close to success on the abs front, the fundraising has fallen short of my expectations. I’m bucking myself up for a renewed push and a little show of support by helping some kids in need — would go a long way.

PPS Did you know I write other places? Check out my newest Versaletter, this one from Vienna, or my Hack Library School post on switching my degree program to a Masters of Information Technology.

Finding the Right Trip

Last year I quite unexpectedly won a biking trip across Thailand.

Red Bike LightIt pains me that I won’t be taking it.

I donated to Room to Read through Passports with Purpose. The 2012 effort is now underway. I would encourage all to support building wells in Haiti by bidding on one of the great prizes.

You might even win like I did. I was certainly shocked and excited about taking the trip.

Yet now there is something in my gut telling me it isn’t the right choice to make.

Power of Perception

[Read more…]