West, East, and a Little In Between

Dear Old Friend,

Yes, it has been a while since I’ve last written! So many adventures have been keeping me away from my keyboard. Since my class ended in June I actually haven’t been on the computer other than to quickly pay bills. I’ve been trying to focus my time on friends and family this summer while enjoying the mountain air. We’ve traveled almost every weekend in June and July and I’m finally at a resting point. It was my brother’s birthday, then my other brother’s then it was my boyfriend’s and his brothers’. After the birthdays, my younger brother and I ventured East to Norfolk to my first Anime convention (his second) where I learned all about the creation of powerful female figures in Anime. There is actually a really cool history about this particular character in Japanese culture and I thoroughly enjoyed the hour lecture I sat through on it.

Then it was to the West to see my boyfriend’s family. It was the first time his mother wasn’t home when we visited and we really didn’t know what to do without her telling us or giving suggestions. We had a good time, though, and helped his younger brother purchase his first computer. Our first computers were gateways to learning about life, the universe, and everything and we both remembered how glorious it was. Next, I traveled solo to California where I met up with my favorite girlfriends to do it “tourist” style around San Francisco. We met many Californians who all used the word “Ridiculous” a ridiculous amount of times. California seems so peaceful and wonderful when you grow up on the East Coast of the U.S., but in reality, every time I visit I am so thankful that I don’t actually live there.

While it is beautiful, I get sunburned 3x as fast.

While it does produce more produce than most of the East Coast does, the prices are outrageous. ($10/dozen for eggs!)

While they say the public transportation is amazing, the tolls are expensive and the wait for buses at rush hour is horrendous. Although, I do recommend Big Bus Tours. It was safe, easy to navigate (they have an app) and the employees are funny and friendly. We all had a surprisingly fun time learning from the natives and riding around on the tour bus.

While they say the homeless people are not a problem, people warn you not to leave your car in the city too long and to watch where you step because it’s not dog poop that you’re avoiding.

While they say anything is possible, you can’t have bonfires in your backyard, you must be careful with water usage, and the rent prices sends people on two hour road trips just to get to work.

The girls and I did have fun, though. Each day we woke early and stayed up late learning all about the Vegan side of life thanks to one of my friends who is Vegan. We also met many people along the way who were so kind and helpful letting us get an extra glass of wine, free herbs, and tastes of fresh yogurt.

And when we drove up the Highway One, we peaked in on Bonny Dune. She was right where I left her when my boyfriend and I traveled there, and it is still the most beautiful beach I’ve seen on any coast in the U.S. The beach is so peaceful and magical. The cliffs remind us the power of water and how lucky we are to exist on this gorgeous planet in our vast universe.

The best part about my trip West was that I finally felt so at peace with where I am in life. I feel so lucky to have these girl friends who care so much about what is going on and who I also care so much about. I’m happy to still have my parents and to see them begin to live out their dreams. I am also happy to get to return to a partner who picks me up from the airport even if it would make him late for his class. There was no moment more sweet as when he saw me lost and confused in the terminal. His eyes lit up and he rushed to hug me, took my hand and held it tight while we waited for my bag patiently. He looked up and said “Okay, no more running away like that. I missed you too much!” He was joking, but it was the cutest thing I think he’s ever said.

The next few weeks I’ll be resting and planning the future. My goal is to take two classes each semester to finish up grad school early and maybe even pay off my car next year. I need capital in order to start all of my business ideas and to do that I need to close some payment streams elsewhere.

The Subaru is still worth every payment though, she takes me high and low, near and far, and doesn’t bat an eye when there’s fowl weather. Until the next update…

Your favorite, unlicensed, World Traveler

Snowed In

Dear Old Friend,

Being snowed in on the first day of Spring really gets the brain juices flowing if you knw what I mean. You’re all hyped up for Spring and all that energy is just stuck in your body because, well, the snow prevents you from going much of anywhere. So, you just sit around and think.

Recently, I’ve been asking myself just what it is I am doing? Why did I choose the job that I did? Do I even like it? Did I like my job before? What could I be doing that I would actually love? Becoming an adult and working full time is difficult. It’s not just about getting into the routine. It is also accepting the fact that this is your life now. Both of the large companies I’ve worked at make me wonder why many of the employees have worked there for their entire life as an adult. Many of these people have remained working day in and day out at one company for ten to twenty years. Thinking about that blows my mind.

I attribute it mostly to that these people have families and once you have a family you just accept a job for what it is and work there to provide for the family. That makes sense, but doesn’t the daily events at this job affect you? I feel like the politics of my previous company and the pressure of my current company literally suck the soul out of me the more time I spend there. I feel this way even if I am doing really well. Then I think about well, what about all those people on TV or in articles that say they love their job? Or that saying of, oh how does it go? Find something you love, make it your job, and you’ll never work a day in your life. Well what about that job? What is that job for me? I know I’m still really young as far as things are considered, but I have done so well up to now. I have felt confident in everything that I striven for until now.

Just what am I doing? I guess, for now, it’s mostly to just pay the bills; but why do I have to wait until I’m older to find a job that I love where I don’t have to “work a day my life”?

All I can say is, the journey continues…

Xoxo,

Your young career builder

Hope

Dear Old Friend,

Well, this year has not been one of my easiest in a long time. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe I really haven’t been challenged in a long time and life is trying to keep it interesting. I don’t know if I am cut out for Supply Chain, but I am trying my very best. This is a difficult field to jump into, especially in places where the products are so unique and complex.

I’m also unsure of the direction I am heading with this Master’s degree. It seems like the field and the ideologies are what I am meant to immerse myself in, but even in that I am unsure. I guess that is part of being young – being unsure. But, I am proud of myself for being brave each and every day and tackling the day’s challenges head on.

Each day I find myself reflecting more and more of what it means to be present. I try to devote all my energy to the task at hand until I am satisfied with the quality of my execution. The discovery of the magic of chia seeds (via Mom of course) has really helped me with my energy. I have also tried to eat more protein and less sugar and make more meals at home. Reflecting on my health both physical and mental has been another pinpoint of this year.

Being unsure about my career and trying to be effervescent in my lifestyle is certainly not new to me, but this year seems as if I need to be more focused on these two tasks than ever.

The hope I found recently came with the completion of a crocheted blanket my mother started long ago. It took me over six hours to finish the blanket, but it made me feel like all of the hard work I had put in to learn different methods of crocheting had paid off. I also took the time to hem the fabric I purchased for my new table cloths – something I had been meaning to do for a long time. While my lines weren’t entirely straight, I was proud of myself for pushing through the usual frustration I get when interacting with the sewing machine and finishing the job. This made me hopeful again that I can learn anything at any age.

I still don’t know what I am going to do with my career, or where my decisions will take me, but I am certain that if I can continue to try new things and fail gracefully or succeed humbly that I can figure it out one day.

Until next time,

Your perpetually-confused adventurer

Mirror, Mirror

Dear Old Friend,

I’m writing to you from the Middle of Nowhere in the Mid-West of the good ol U.S.A. Well, It’s been awhile since my last letter and for good reason. I have been focusing on myself and trying to be conscious in all of my decisions.

With the first of the year behind us, the excitement over new goals has slowly ebbed away and just like me, I’m sure many of my fellow travelers are feeling the winter blues. I lost fifteen pounds the year I went to Spain (2017) which was amazing! However, I gained five back and haven’t really made much progress otherwise. As I looked into the “Glass Mirror” in a breathtaking cave in the middle of Missouri, I reflected on what I needed to make happen to reach my goals. Cheesy as that may be, these physical representations of our emotions seem to pop up every now and then. Some people call them signs or omens and I felt like this certainly was one. What a beautiful reflection of the stalactite it was. These reflection pools are often referred to as fairy land-type places because the glassy water seems to create a whole new cave beneath the one the explorer stands in, but the funny thing about mirrors is, they’re very blunt things. They show exactly what is, and if they are of high quality- they don’t exaggerate in the least.

Well, old friend, it’s time we figure this fitness thing out – I need to find something that works for me so I can keep up with it. Life was easier on the farm when I was moving constantly each day and hauling heavy objects back and forth all the time. Exercise was simple for me there, but my time in suburbia is making me work much harder. One thing I have resolved myself to do is eat “cleaner” as all the top-notch fitness blogs say. This means less Cinnamon Toast Crunch and more fruit and veggies. The tricky thing about that for me is, I’m allergic to ALL fruits and veggies unless heat or acid is applied! Looks like I’ll be that weird girl buying hoards of canned fruit and frozen vegetables at Gucci Kroger. My sensitive skin always keeps my life interesting!

Until next time, I wish you were here.

xoxo,

Your favorite cave-dwelling adventurer

Musical Apartments

Dear Old Friend,

Well, per my last post card, I decided to take the reins of the new adventure that was presented before me. I quit my job in Raleigh and packed everything that could possibly squeeze into my Subaru and I moved home to Virginia. I chose a different career, a different industry, and a different lifestyle so I could feel less like a secretary and more inspired by my work.

The first month I lived with my boyfriend and his two roommates. The roommates were delightful little chickens (this is my chosen term of endearment) who gasped at the magic that is homemade cornbread and relished in the free cooking lessons I was giving them each night for community dinner. While I was feeling very much at home when at home, I was feeling very lost at work. They wouldn’t let me do my job, or tell me what I would actually be doing for that matter and my only friend is still the janitor. Yesterday he came up to me and asked if I had, had my “kiss” for the day, to which he promptly pulled out a cherry Hershey’s kiss out of his shirt pocket. His name is Roger. I eagerly await lunch time each day to speak to him. Everyone else is nice, but they are either making babies, having babies, or talking about their grand babies. It’s kind of annoying and sometimes I’m afraid to drink the water! But I’m happy to be in a place that is more like a family than my previous job.

Now, I live in a cute duplex with a pasture of cows as my backyard (hopefully one day I’ll get to meet the farmer) and the highway to the front. The familair sounds of the highway cars rushing by reminds me of my Princess Tower in Raleigh. At least I’m already used to it! The kitten sure loves all the room for her to run around and play in, but even my fierce hunter is afraid to go outside by herself just yet. Once it warms up I’d like to figure out a way to install a cat door for her, but my options are looking a little slim. We’ll see how it goes.

With that update, this adventurer is going to have a much needed weekend of rest.

Wish you were here!

xoxo

Your favorite neighborhood adventurer

Decisions, Wardrobes, and Luck

Dear Old Friend,

My life is rarely full of anything dull or painful so I am what many would call, lucky. I do feel lucky, each and every day. Maybe that’s my problem. I may be one of the few people my age who recognizes that life is so very short and we must be careful to spend each moment wisely. Lately, though, I have felt so very uninspired. In fact, I had arrived at a point where I had to step out of my day to hold my hands upon the earth as if it would make everything stop spinning. I was not only uninspired, but I was breaking. This is certainly not normal for a person who’s regular nickname for twenty-plus years is: Sunshine.

The reason for my meltdown will seem silly to many people, but maybe you feel the same, too. I had achieved every single goal I had set out for myself and I mean that– every, single one. Sure, I filled my time with many a hobby, but I was struggling with the pain of finding my Ultimate Goal, as I like to call it. Then, opportunity presented to me a wardrobe to what could possibly be Narnia. Or, it would be the Hell I perceive as Wonderland. I still don’t know why people like that story. Poor Alice.

In my Narnia, all of my favorite things dot the landscape: beautiful mountains, lower bills and taxes, more interesting work, and a handsome prince. The only thing I would be leaving behind would be a potential sum of money, a great group of friends, and a possible opportunity to really shine.

But, money doesn’t matter to me. I am already way ahead of most of my peers and I had the $20 Shopping training via Dad.

The friends I made are incredible, but most of their wardrobes are appearing, too. We may be all in distant galaxies soon.

And as for shining, well that was already happening, but this comet wasn’t making it through the asteroid belt no matter how hard I tried.

Now, on the eve that is my impending doom or glory I feel as of I am Captain Sparrow walking the plank. Do I have enough wit and candor to survive the island ahead of me with the only tools they have allowed me? Or do I have enough strength to turn around and take the helm of a new adventure? All I could think about was, if I was an actual pirate I would make sure to be wearing a fabulous pair of boots — with a sensible heel of course.

See you soon,

Your favorite opportunistic adventurer,20171009_082412.jpg

The Importance of Stories

Dear Old Friend,

I have had the great honor of knowing quite a few incredible people in my life. Some of them are incredible in the ways that they fall, yet summon the strength again to rise; some will mystify you with their beauty or wisdom; some will beat you to the finish every single time; and some will be incredible in the way that they have an obscure knack for torturing every fiber of your being. However, some of them are incredible purely in the way that they are so very different than absolutely anyone else.

There was a time in my life that I was known as the quiet one. I was not outgoing and I could not speak eloquently about anything. During this time, I resented most of the people I met because they were so very predictable – yet, so was I. It did not occur to me then that I resented the quality in them which I resented most in myself.

My life was perfectly splendid in all of the ways that it could have possibly been (thank you to my most amazing parents). There was always warm, delicious gifts gracing our dinner table that my mother so thoughtfully hid vegetables in for my brothers who were the very definition of picky and there was always a glorious amount of conversation at our dinner table. The oak anchor that kept us together as a family still stands strong, held together with all of our stories. If I could be a bright, appreciative creature full of wonder and crazy ideas at the helm of this table, why couldn’t I be the same out in the vast ocean that is the world outside my parents house?

Soon, I would forget to care what people thought about me and find my thirst for learning about people and how they, themselves learn. I discovered my talent for organization after living many years in the suit of a slob (ask Mother); and when I bit the bullets that were other people’s disapproval and went to college, I encountered the person who would encourage my love for adventure.

I have always been a very happy soul. I love mornings and the quietness of them, but it was in college that I learned to love the night. A boy who would later become my boyfriend took me on many adventures trudging through the muddy mountains and provided a place for conversations and stories that was as close as I could get to the oak table. Those long jeep rides up the mountain led to a fire at the base of a river, where we invented all the things people need to make their life easier and examined the causes of the predictability that has become so prevalent in our fellow students. When you find a friend who makes you stop and think, wow, what an incredible way to think of that – don’t let your pride get in the way of a good conversation.

When I graduated college and began my own adventure as a single lady kicking butt and taking names as they say, I found myself realizing that I had achieved my goal of being less predictable. However, I did find myself lost yet again wondering why I was feeling less bright. Again, my life was quite splendid. I achieved my goals of acquiring a job where I was paid enough to choose to buy the chocolate cake whenever I so desired and I heaved my urban body across the country side of Spain. I had earned the wisdom of how to change my oil and the sensibility to pay off my debts each month, but I realized I was being put back into that box of predictability once again. It was an evening in October that I determined that I could do anything. I felt that without a doubt, where ever I go or whatever I choose to do in the future, I could handle it. The one thing I could not do, though, was live without the stories. Telling stories kept me creative, solved my problems, and helped me connect with others. The stories that I had begun writing to share with the world had faded onto the bottom of my To Do list, but this evening I realized that these stories that helped me, could help break the chain of predictability in other people’s lives. It is my sincerest hope that at least one person could find their creativity, sense of adventure, or degree of sensibility from these impending books. Time to get writing!

xoxo,

Your favorite story-telling adventurer

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