No expectations, no regrets, A life worth living

The best things in life are often the most unexpected.

I love moments of self-reflection. Looking back on life’s moments always offers me greater insight into what I am fully capable of accomplishing in life. Life always has a way of working out if we choose to let it work. For that I am eternally grateful. Moments of self-reflection help me to realize how far I have come in my own personal growth, and remind constantly that life is a journey. At times that journey is slow, at times it moves faster than I can ever imagine, but I am always evolving on this journey.

The exciting part; you never know where the journey will take you. The scary part; you never know where the journey will take you. But you feel the need to go. I like to go fast.  In February of 2009 I packed up everything I had, left everything I knew, left everyone I knew, and moved to an island in the middle of the pacific. Having no idea where I was going, and vague plans that I could only hope would work out I began a new journey.  I had no idea of what I would find, no idea who I would meet, and had no expectations. It felt right, so I ran with it. Scary? Well, yes maybe a little. Was it needed? Yes most definitely.

In September of 2013  it was time to close my Hawaiian chapter, a bitter-sweet ending to an unbelievable journey. I arrived on the island emotionally empty. To be honest, I had hit life’s emotional rock bottom. Nothing mattered. To be in a state of going through the motions just because you have to, felt like a state of not living. My life needed more, my challenge was to find it.

I spent the last 4 and a half years of my life on the island of Oahu.  Wow writing this from a Washington DC coffee shop, it’s still hard to believe that it was not all a dream. I arrived with nothing, I left with more than I could have ever imaged. I was happy.  How did that happen? My emotionally empty glass was suddenly full.   I gained a new family or Ohana as they say in Hawaiian. I never thought I would meet people who would overwhelm me with a sense of Aloha. I was embraced by an amazing level of kindness from day one.  Friendships were formed. People cared about me. Strangers grew to love me, and will always have a place in my heart for them. I always thought the only people who would ever care about me lived on the east coast. I was never alone on the island in the middle of the pacific. I had people who loved me. Why is that so hard for me to believe? Even as I sit here and write, it seems like a dream. A false reality that never existed. A made up adventure of my life. But it really happened. I lived it. A  time in my life when I was able to let go and live. To prove to myself that I could live. Living was OK, I gave myself permission to just live.

When I was packing up all my belongings to leave Hawaii, I wondered to myself how did I get here. Seriously, I felt like I was in a fog when I left New York on that cold February morning in 2009. I cried all the way to my first layover in LAX. It was a day I will never forget. That force of knowing that my life needed change, gave me the strength to leave. When I was packing up my apartment in Honolulu, many times I wanted to cry. I had that part of me that wanted to stay. I had built a new life. Fearful that I would have to start over again. Fearing what the east coast would now hold for me. I was leaving different. I wasn’t the same girl who arrived on the rock in 2009. In essence I had changed. That’s what life is about, changing. I could never have lasted as long so far away from familiarity if I had remained the same. Somewhere along the line I grew up. I found hobbies. I fell in love. I fell in love with the island, with adventure, with mountains, with the ocean, with the culture. In my mind, shoot I was local. Even though I could never master the art of speaking pigeon, and still would never attempt to pronounce many of the Hawaiian street names, I still felt a sense of local flavor.

I went with no expectations, and gained more than I could ever imagine. I made new friends. My newfound extended ohana took care of me.  Those friends  pulled me through the bad days, and made good days all the more exciting. It worked. Life worked the way it was supposed to. I learned lessons. Even though I wanted to figure out if I could really cut my own safety net of my family and friends in New York while managing alone, that was impossible. I learned that no matter where I am in the world life can never be done alone. Life is not meant to be lived in isolation. I found friends. Friends that helped me adapt. Friends that cared, friends that loved me, and made me feel at home. Friends that would miss me when I’m gone.

As each day passes here in the east, it all continues to feel like a dream. Was that time a brief intermission in life a time solely for me to recollect myself? Or maybe it serves a greater purpose that I am yet to find out. Not sure what is up next. All I know now is that as I begin to settle in again on the east coast, and embrace winter, God is always at work, and He always has a plan. I just can’t wait to see what happens next, but until then I will continue to live.

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Self torture continued, my road to running in a half marathon

inspration

I despise running so I signed up to run a half marathon. I know what your thinking, yes I am a walking oxymoron. Me and running have a hate-hate relationship. There is no room for love in that equation, and I seriously doubt that running has any love for me, so the mutual hate between myself and running is the perfect complement to this relationship.

So why run 13.1 miles for no good reason if you hate running so much?

Ahhh, good question. Why run 13.1 miles. To be honest some days 13. 1 miles seems like an incredibly far distance to drive, let alone run. Why run then? I wish I had one of those overly inspirational stories for you, like an example of how my life will forever be changed, or that I am running to raise money for a good cause, or I almost died and this is my chance to prove that I am alive and better than ever. Well, lucky for me I have not had a near death experience, my life will most likely be exactly the same the first minute after I reach the finish line, and I probably could be raising money for a really good cause, but I’m not. Maybe I should look into that one.

In reality, I am running just to say that I can complete a 13 mile run, and to win this competition that I am having solely with myself to prove that I can finish a half marathon in 2 hours or, at least 2 hours and 5 minutes.

I have never run 13 miles before. I don’t know if I will ever run it again. All I know is that in 25 days, I will be running. And I will finish. Whenever I run I constantly repeat to myself the saying: “finish stronger than you started”. I hope that kicks in around mile 11, because by that time I will just want to finish.

I have no intention of ever running a full marathon. 26.2 miles, now that is wayyyyy too many miles. For all who have completed one or multiple full marathons, much congrats! Today I drove 26 miles. I felt like that was too long. To run that distance, well not in my foreseeable future.

13.1. The magic number. I will take all wishes of luck starting now.

My life is full of surprises. Who knew that at 31 I would be running my first half marathon. At age 15, I hated to run 1 mile. At 15 if someone had told me that I would be running a half marathon in 16 years I would have laughed. At 15 I was the fat kid. I hated exercise because it hurt. I was 15 and nearly 200 pounds, wearing a size 16-18. Yeah I hated shopping, and health was at the bottom of my priority list.  At 15 I thought that I would never be attractive, I thought I would never have a boyfriend, and I had never imagined what life would be like at less than 200 pounds. Plus size was my life.

At age 31, well lets just say that I have lost about 40 pounds along the way, no more plus size clothing, and without running, or yoga, or crossfit,  my day feels incomplete.

Wait! I think I found it. The inspiration!

For that sad 15-year-old girl who is living inside of me, I am going to kick the ass of these 13.1 miles. To prove to her that she can do anything. To prove to her that she has always been pretty no matter what size she is, that she can have any life she so chooses, and  just because she can’t do something now, well it doesn’t mean she won’t be able to demolish it 16 years from now.

I hate running, but I love life’s accomplishments. My 13.1 is about so much more than running. That good cause that I was looking for earlier, well call me selfish but the cause is all about me. It’s about everything that defines living, and taking back my life. To prove that I can do what I thought was severely impossible just a few years ago is truly an accomplishment. Although I will probably never (actually maybe I shouldn’t  say never), but probably never run a 26.2, that 13.1 will still make all the difference. Life is worth living, live it!

Also, as I run, I will remember closely the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Those individuals who set out to accomplish a goal, and the family members who came out to watch. Sadly tragedy has overtaken their personal accomplishments. Lets always remember Boston, and spread a message of peace on a daily basis.

 

 

positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences. 

 

 

10 years ago I was 21

Hello April, wow I feel like I went to sleep and I woke up and it was April 1st. Ok maybe it just has been a really long time since I have written anything new. I blame…procrastination.

Well a little over two weeks ago I turned 31. Not as exciting as turning 30, but I come back to you a year older.

31 is somewhat of a weird age for me. I am not sure if I should start crying now, or if I should be excited that I am growing in wisdom. What happens at 31? In the last two weeks since my 31st birthday, well I can honestly say that I feel no different from when I was 29 or 30. I just know that on my 31st birthday my mother so nicely told me that I was falling behind and needed to get on the ball because when she was 31 she was already married with two kids. My brother was 6 and I was 3. Is that where my life should be at this point? Could I see myself married with two kids at this time in my life? Well a part of me wants to laugh loudly at that thought. I have a feeling that a husband and a set of kids would cramp my entire style of free spiritness.

Well that’s not totally true, there are those days when I do wish I had a husband to do everything for me (that is what husband’s do right?). I would like to have kids who bear my resemblance so I could look at how cute they are, and have them follow me around because I am so awesome. Ok, maybe it is not that simple, but a family sometimes is a nice thought, that will come with time.

It feels slightly strange at 31 to be 10 years removed from 21. When I was 21 I felt like time stood still, I never really thought of what life would be like at 31. At 21 I knew that age 31 was ancient, and it was a far off age that would not find a place in my reality.

Where was I at 21? Well I was a senior in college, I knew I would go to graduate school, so I guess I had envisioned a future    up to age 25. My birthday was during spring break, so I celebrated it as a college spring breaker in South Beach, Miami. Oh memories. The days of reckless behaviors and irresponsible drinking, oh wait I still do the irresponsible drinking at times, but I will admit that the frequency has significantly decreased.

At 21 I felt like a child. At 31 I am a full-fledged adult. I wish there was a manual on how to be an adult, because I frequently wonder if I am doing it right. I am human, I make mistakes, I wish there was a way to avoid those mistakes.

As an adult I have responsibilities. Responsibilities not only to myself, but to my employer, to my clients, and to my family. Sometimes I miss the days of being a care free college student, although some college students have responsibilities to others, I sure wasn’t one of them. At 21 I felt life was hard, it wasn’t. I thought I knew all the answers, well I didn’t. I thought I had a perfectly thought out plan of what my life would be like, it didn’t work out that way. Life happens, plans change, daily.

At 31 I am not the same person that I was when I was 21. I consider that a very good thing. I have grown, learned more about myself, and can’t wait to grow some more. However, some days at 31 I still feel uncertain about life. At times I am unsure about plans, I question myself more than ever, I am on overdrive most days, and I feel like my life map has been thrown out the window. Direction would be nice at 31. At 21 I hated direction, at 31 I am begging for a clear planned out map. I guess I will start working on that now.

Life moves fast at 31. At 21, years moved at a snail’s pace, and  time took forever to jump forward. At 31, well I blink my eyes and suddenly its April. Time moves fast, I need to make the most out of being 31 before it’s over, and suddenly I will be crying for real at 32.

My 2013 Theme: “Keeping It Simple” (KIS)

Happy New Year, Day 5

So let’s check in…How are those New Year Resolutions going? Do you still remember what your’s are? If you do, great, If not don’t feel so bad, everyone else will fall off soon.

I didn’t set a resolution for this year (only because I am still working on those from last year), but I have decided to have a theme for this year. My theme for 2013 is “Keep it Simple”(KIS).  I will remember the motto “Keep it Simple”, everything in life will be simple. Personally 2012 was a year full of complications. Pure complications. I take responsibility, I was doing too much. My relationships; extremely complicated. I was dating, then not dating, then dating again, then got tired of dating, then started semi dating but not really, and so on, and so on, until eventually I wanted to scream. I wanted to change my phone number because my life felt like one big complication. From phone calls to random texts, I was overly ready for the phone to just die.

In reality life works so much easier when it is simple. When I can say “no”, and mean it, when I don’t feel guilty for turning down dates, when I don’t feel in a rush to return a text, or when I don’t go out with guys just because I can’t come up with a good enough excuse as to why I don’t really want to go on that date. I found myself overworking my brain, and I was the only one overworking. I went away from me. I went away from what I loved. I stopped writing. I stopped sleeping. I just stopped. In a web a complication a lot was going on around me, along the way I lost control of where I wanted to be. I had a vision, a goal, I forgot what that was.

So in 2013 I need to, I choose to, and I have to, say goodbye to complication. I need simplicity in order to get back on track as to who I am, what I love, and what I am trying to do in life. I have a book to finish writing, I have a story to tell, I want to get a Ph.D. Where were those goals in 2012. I lost them and I didn’t even realize it.

In 2013 I will continue to go on dates, of course I will,But they will be simple. You may not find me at any more awkward match.com events, but I just may attend simple happy hours.  No more developing the quasi what may be one day relationship, I need a real this is what it is going to be relationship. No more will I sit around questioning myself, after countless dates, asking “what is this”? I need to know what exactly “This”is. If we are just dating, cool, lets keep it simple, if it is going to a more exclusive relationship then I need that to be said to. A state of confusion and complication is not a relationship. A state of a definitive knowing that is communicated appropriately is a relationship. I am divorcing complication. Actually I am just tired of complication. Sick and tired of complication. I am forming an eternal marriage with simplicity, a love for simplicity.

My love life, my work life, my personal life, let’s keep it simple. Areas of life become complicated when we start to do too much. I am no longer doing too much. I will still do, but not over do.

Things to remember:

  • I must stay in control, when I lose control in walks complication without me even knowing it.
  • I need to keep tasks to a minimum, that includes dating. Work tasks, just do a few instead of trying to do everything. Dating, well just date one person at a time instead of multiple people at the same time, love, I only want to fall in love once, and my friendships, well I need to stop feeling guilty when I need to say no.
  • Take time for myself. Self care is of the utmost importance. Sleep when needed and remember that there is nothing wrong with alone time.
  • When I feel overwhelmed…STOP! Take a moment to stop and think. Breathe  get it together! By recognizing the complications before they had a chance to enter in, I will be able to maintain an aura of simplicity.

Life is best worked under the mask of simplicity, hopefully I can keep it that way!

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Cadena De Amor , Coral vine, Mexican Creeper, ...
Cadena De Amor , Coral vine, Mexican Creeper, Antigonon leptopus…..Hoa Ti- gôn …#6 (Photo credit: Vietnam Plants & America plants)

Hello 2013! (even though I was not really ready for you yet)

Happy New Year!

Welcome in 2013! Ok I know I’m a day late with the Happy New Year, let’s just blame that on the hang over. I can’t believe its 2013 already, while I am sitting here still trying to figure out what I exactly did in 2012. At the start of every year there is always talk about resolutions, goals, starting over, doing something different, and whatever other changes that should be made. How many of them do we actually accomplish? As the end of the first week of the new year comes to a close, how many of those goals remain prioritized on our to do list? Maybe we should all set one goal for this year, one and only one, that way we can remember what it is and it can remain a priority. I for one know I still have a carry over of goals from last year, so I guess those will be my goals for 2013 as well. If 2013 is a good year, then hopefully I will have a new goal for 2014.

As we start a new year, there are always the same thoughts that come to my mind. Each year happens fast. I’m still sitting here wonder where did 2012 go, was I sleep because parts of the year almost seem apparently very dream like. I think I want time back, well kinda sorta. In the blink of an eye life happens. Life happens whether we are ready for it or not, there is no pause, there is no rewind, just play. Moments change, people come, people go, through it all life will continue to happen.

One question you may ask yourself is, “how can I make this year better than last year”? Well today why not start by asking yourself, “how can I make today a little bit better than yesterday”? We don’t always have to wait for the end of an old year, or the start of new year to decide that we want better, or want to do something different. Life always happen, so we always have the ability to change, the time to change0, and the moments to change.

As with every new year, I hope 2013 is great. How do I plan to make it great? Well I won’t dwell on my past mistakes, not look overwhelmingly too much into the future, take life’s moment’s for what they are, remember that everyday is a lesson learned, and remember that each day is my very own opportunity to do something different. I often say that I could make major accomplishments if I would just get out of my own way, I think today I mean it. A new day, A new hour, A new minute, A new second, A new moment, A moment to live.

Did you think of your one goal yet? Well I didn’t, give me some time and I will be sure to narrow it down.

Happy 2013! It’s a new year, a new day, a new time to be the best you. Don’t be afraid to start over daily, setbacks or part of life, the best part about set backs is that you can have an even greater comeback. Enjoy the day, and have a very Happy New Year!

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams

dramatic dream
dramatic dream (Photo credit: unNickrMe)

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams.

I never thought that anyone besides me would ever get what that means, but I recently told a friend that, and she understood it completely. Now I’m wondering to other people experience the same thing?

Again, I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams.

Honestly, I love sleep. I think sleep is a great thing, one of my favorite pastimes, however I’m not really good at it. I am not a good night-time sleeper. Now you would sleep would be something that is easy to do. You don’t have to learn how to do it. Babies are born with the innate ability to sleep. It is a natural body response. Sleep. You can’t go too long without sleeping, and if you try to stay awake past a certain amount of time, your eyes get heavy, you mind gets delusional, and your body begin to take your whole self into a forced shutdown.

So why is it so hard for me to sleep?

My dreams. My dreams make it difficult for my body to rest. At night my body and mind are ready to sleep. It wants to sleep, and my mind is begging for a shut down period after running in overdrive to an over extensive amount of time. However once 11:00 pm to midnight come along, my body starts to despise sleep. It fights with sleep, goes into panic mode. Not an anxiety driven panic mode, but an avoidance  panic mode, ready to do anything else besides sleep.

My dreams are intense, they trigger intense emotion that have caused me to wake up in the heart of the middle of the night crying, anxious, worried, scared, and angry. My body responds to the dreams. My heart starts beating fast, if I am having an argument with someone I wake up angry with the biggest migraine because I am upset. Even though the emotion comes from the dream world, in the real world the effects are very much real.

I have intrusive, somewhat annoying dreams about ex-boyfriends. I am working on keeping the past in the past, but when the past pops up as a reoccurring item in my dreams it sends my mental state into a zone of chaos and confusion. This then takes a number of waking hours to recover from. I feel like I went from past to present real quick.  I wake up with the thought of wanting to make a phone call or send a text, but I often find myself fighting to stay grounded, it is not a good idea. It was just a dream.

My dreams have caused to me worry about my family. The realness of when someone dies, or when someone gets hurt in the dream world makes it hard to separate that from reality. I wake up with real tears, with real shivers, with a real feeling of emptiness. I become afraid in real life.  Once I know that everyone is ok, then and only then can I return to a state of calmness.

Am I crazy?

Probably just a little bit. Every once in a while, I have a very dark and frightening dream about being involved in a shooting massacre.  I know this is going to sound very strange. But this dream is reoccurring, and I am not sure why. I am always at a public place, the place my be different each time. It may be a school, a mall, or just outdoors. There is a mass shooting, one shooter is involved, I watch other people get shot, then the gun is pointed towards me, I am afraid, I feel the fright through the dream. I never get shot. As many times as I have had this dream, the shooter never shoots me. My life is spared. Then I wake up. I wake up in shock. It feels so real but, I have never been in an experience like the dream, but the dram is vivid.  The tears and rapid heart beat return, I can feel that intensely. That is real. I am alive. That is real. The dream was just that, a dream.

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams. Does anyone else feel this way?

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences