Straight from NY to Paradise Turns 5! -Happy Bloganniversary

Happy 5th Birthday! If my blog was a child I would be getting ready for it to start kindergarten. Awww blog you have grew up so fast (insert mommy tears).

Life happens quick, sometimes too quick for me. I constantly think about writing daily, however everyday I find an excuse not to write. Time goes by and life continues to happen, and still I feel like nothing gets done. I finally sat down and decided to write today, finally I am writing!

After months of procrastinating and sitting in that endless pile of overwhelm, I decided to turn to what I know and write. It comes with great irony that I picked this month to return to writing. Word Press has been so kind as to acknowledge that I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary! It is really hard to believe that it has been a whole 5 years since I have started blogging.

In the last 5 years my life has taken more twists and turns than I could ever imagine, emotionally I feel that I have been through it all. But yes you are correct Word Press, I have reached my 5 year blogging milestone. 5 years ago Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day was given life, and my own personal life was given a voice. I had a story to tell, I wanted to tell it. I wanted to inspire others not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of living, just live. Life happens and life changes so go with it.0171.jpg

I really want to laugh and cry as I write this. I think back on the girl I was 5 years ago, I was single and fierce! Fresh out of a roller coaster of a relationship, still in love with the man who was my past, but ready to start a new phase of life as a free spirit and face the future.  I was ready to take on the world, unstoppable in a sense, but I quickly learned that I could be stopped. The world does not exist for you to live in it alone, it is out there for you to share, to embrace with others, to help others, and sometimes even get help from others. In August of 2009 I had been living in Honolulu for 6 months. And to tell you the truth, I was very much alone. I was still confused about my impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world, and even though I had met a few people, I had a very real fear that if I died no one would notice. The feeling that I would go unnoticed was scary, adding that to a sense of uncertainty about my job, my life, and what to do next, I was really mess of emotions, with anxiety and self-doubt leading the pack.

Yes I was single and fierce, but really I was alone.  Lucky for me I quickly discovered that I was not the only mainland escapee that have flown themselves over to an island in the middle of the pacific to get away from….well everything. I found a love of activity and a love of new friendships. Over the last 5 years, my biggest accomplishment was basically proving to myself that I can live. No matter how depressed I am, how lonely I am, and how much I just want to disappear, I know that I can live, and life always gets better. I think I may have forgotten that lately with the chaos of everyday life back on the mainland. I experienced life in Hawaii for a reason. I experienced being completely on my own for a reason. My next lesson to myself is always to remember those reasons, life is meant to live on purpose, and everyday is a new opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

 

In 2009 I was 27, single, impulsive, and extremely naive. In 2014, I am 31, in a relationship (no not married, sorry), less impulsive, more aware, and slightly more responsible. At 27 I just wanted to run away. At 31, I’ll admit I still want to run sometimes, but I will try a bit harder to stay, to work through it, and always keep in mind that with each day life will keep getting better.

So 5 years later, what did I really learn? In Honolulu I found a love of nature. A hike, a run, or  the view of the mountains as the sun wakes you up is the epitome of everything calm, and the most powerful way to ensure that you will have a good day. I learned to love to push myself. No matter if it was at work, in the gym, or running a race, I knew I could always go harder, do better, and motivate myself to never give up. I learned to appreciate yoga, I really miss the easy access to the yoga studios that are located on every corner. I learned that I am a survivor, life is lived with challenges, now I know that I can overcome every one that comes my way. I learned that I hate dating. I would never want to date in Honolulu again! I learned that I really do miss people when they leave, goodbyes are hard, I hate them almost as much as dating.

Finally, I learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers. When I moved to Honolulu, I knew only myself, and had three suitcases. Strangers helped to me find a home, helped me to find food, and ensured that I was able to keep my job. Those strangers became my friends, who eventually became my family. Never take the kindness of others for granted, that lesson made the difference between me having a home in paradise and just being homeless in paradise.

5 years later, I am living in Virginia, working in D.C. and I am no longer a girl on a rock in the middle of the pacific. I am a 31 year old woman in the DMV!  I am surrounded by friends, family, and strangers. Life continues to be full of twists and turns, so keep reading to see where I end up over the the next 5 years. I can’t wait to see what happens, all I know is I just have to be ready for the changes.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

 

maui 2

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My Much Overdue Dating Fast

Quick life update:

For the first time in what seems like a very long time I am not actively dating anyone. Wow, feels weird. Well not really. I have achieved some mental clarity (took long enough). I had wanted to take a dating fast for some time now because I felt I was at a point where I was dating without purpose. What do I mean by that? Well I was just dating guys to just to go out fun. It was an activity that mainly filled up my nights and weekends. At first glance, I had a feeling that I wouldn’ t be completely interested in these men, because they did not measure up to someone who I would see myself with on a  long-term basis. At second glance,  they still did not seem that way either.

In came my dating fast. Why was it so difficult to take a dating fast? Well, because there are men everywhere. Chances are if you are single, then you will eventually come across a man to ask you out. When asked out  for dinner or a movie, I would say yes. That yes was on the hopes that I would get meaningful conversation, or a good laugh, but no it never turned out that way. Suddenly dating, just became a waste of precious time. The experience was more pain than pleasure.

Since my dating fast, my life is feeling more refreshed than ever. I feel surrounded by positive energy, and positive thoughts. I’m at a point of happy with purpose.

Accomplishment as a result of my dating fast:

  • I have lost 7-8 pounds. A quick decrease in movie popcorn, eating out at restaurants, and late night appetizers does wonders for your diet. I have also been able to stick to a regular workout routine, no interruptions, or over exhaustion.
  • I am all caught up on my work, most times I am even finished early. No minor distractions of text messages or phone calls to attend to
  • I no longer feel obligated to do things  like go out on dates, when I really don’t want to.
  • I have been able to spend more time with my friends, no thinking about ways to split hours in the day.
  • I am learning to incorporate a regular sleep pattern into my life. Who knew 8 hours of sleep could make a world of difference in the morning.
  • I have also been able to develop ideas that have been sitting in my head. I have time! This is great!
  • Finally, I have been able to think about and, admit to myself the qualities that I truly desire in a man. I have realized the type of man who I want in my life  and who I should share my time with. I no longer have to spend time, dating just to date. I can date just the men who truly have the potential to be more than just a first date.

 

 

Positive thoughts, Positive energy, Positive experiences

29 and counting…part 3 Getting over the defeat

5 months, 3 days away from turning 30

A few weeks ago I was feeling really defeated. I just wanted to quit. I wanted to quit everything. I was done. I felt tired of trying and not getting any results. What was I trying to do? Well now that I’m over my feeling of defeat, I am re-examining exactly what it is that I want to do. I start to ask myself, What am I really looking for?

At the end of my twenties, I feel like I followed the path of life that I supposed to go on. At least the plan that my parents may have had for me. I graduated from high school, went to college, graduated from college, even graduated from grad school at NYU! I started working for employers in my field, made a career for myself, moved to the other side of the world, survived in Hawaii, and now I wonder: What’s supposed to come next!

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

What is my next move, and how do I start to make it. I feel like the person in the Robert Frost poem, The Road not taken. I am at a crossroads of two diverging roads, so obviously I should take the road less traveled by. The problem is I don’t even have a sense of which road has been less traveled.

In actuality I always have taken the road less traveled. My life is a representation of taking that chance to make the difference. However, today as I move closer to 30 it appears that life has hit me with uncertainty. Uncertainty about if  that road that few go down is really the right road. I wonder about my career. I love my job, but do I want to do this forever. Should I get a Ph.D. to excel in my career, or do I just want a Ph. D. so people can call me Doctor. I can’t let my ego make life decisions for me, in the end I will just end up in a never-ending battle with my own self.  When I have accomplished everything that was on my “to do” list, what am I really supposed to do next.  Make a new list possibly? Okay, what do I put on it.  The plan that I had at 19 once seemed that it would last  for the rest of my life. At 29 I wonder how long my next plan will last. I really don’t want this feeling again at 39.

There are days when I want to hide, I want to disappear, so I don’t have to make decisions for my own life. I tell myself “WAKE UP!” this is adulthood, accept responsibility for your own life. I wonder if I should try a new career, but what would I do? Would I even like it? I guess I won’t know until I make an attempt. I wonder if I should move to a new city, but will I be happy there?  I need to stop wondering and just do something, anything.  So here it goes, I will set out again on that road less traveled by. I’m going to enter 30 with at new plan, a new outlook, complete bigger and better accomplishments. To fight the feeling of uncertainty I will remember: My best days are ahead of me, and I just have to live for today.

 Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

29 and counting….Part 1

I once heard someone say what is the point of being 29 if all you do is think about turning 30. I agree!

Presently I am 7 months and 10 days away from my 30th birthday. I have decided to document my journey through the dark cloud that encompasses the last days of my twenties. This is Part 1.

I am starting to think that being 29 is probably the worst age ever. I used to think being 15 was bad. At 15 all the talk was about turning 16. I had envisioned my life magically changing at 16. It didn’t. It was the same. Same school, same friends, same life, same me.

Now, I think being 29 is worse. I know better since I am older. I know my life will not magically change on my 30th birthday. It will be the same life. Of course, I will be the same person. Yet, why does it feel so scary when I think about turning 30? I never imagined what my life would be like at 30, I always thought it was too far away to think about. Now it’s coming up, and coming up quick. Inside I want to just run away, but I have to face it in full force. Life at 30, no turning back.

When I first turned 29 it wasn’t so bad. Another year of life. I still felt like I was 22. Somedays I still think I am 22. But I’m not 22, I’m 29! When people ask me my age, I often forget that I am 29. I want to say 22 or 24 or 26, then it hits me, I am really 29. When the response is “wow, you don’t look 29!”,  implying that I must be much younger, unfortunately I am not flattered. I do feel that I have a youthful essence. However, I think I really must be old if the response sends someone into a state of shock. Though I know being 29 or 30 are not really “old” ages, these are ages that take on a lot of responsibility. Responsibilities that I don’t want some days. I can’t go socially embarrass myself in public, or on Facebook, or Twitter, and blame it on my young age. I can’t sleep all day and blow off work like they are classes in college. I hate to drink during the week because the hangover is miserable.  I have to think seriously about retirement, and have invested interest in the debt ceiling crisis, all because I realize that congressional decisions affect my livelihood. I am forced to be an adult every day I wake up. I am turning 30.

One of my best friend’s turned 30 a few weeks ago. In her true extroverted fashion she had a foam party. Why not? It’s fun and reminds us even at 30 we are still young. She asked me what we are going to do for my 30th birthday. My response, sit around and cry. I can’t help it, I am really not looking forward to this. Her response was, no I am not going to let that happen. And I know if she can help it, she won’t let me mope around with pity because I am a day older than I was the day before. I will have to take 30 like a true champion, with a smile.

At 29 I feel like I am going through a mid-life crisis. I feel the need to kick start my life into gear before I turn 30. It’s time to step up to life. It is my go hard, or go home moment. I have questions for my life. I question my choices in dating, which dates I should go on, and which ones I should just outwardly reject.  I question my career frequently. Is this something I want to do for the rest of my life? What if I want to do something else? A career where I can allow my true self and talents to shine. How would I go about doing that? I have invested a lot of time and money into my current career. Am I allowed to just throw that all away out of indecisiveness and moments of boredom? Have I set myself up for a successful life, or is there much more I need to work on?

To be continued….

Soul Mates: Is that for real?

After nearly two weeks, I finally returned to Bikram yoga today. Painful is an understatement for the appropriate word to describe that experience. By the start of the floor series I was ready to go back home and crawl myself back in my bed. A missed week of Bikram, is like starting your first hot yoga class over again. On my travels east, I did go with my friend to a Bikram Yoga class in Virgina, however the experience was nothing like the Honolulu Bikram experience. Ahhh, another reason to love Honolulu 🙂

As I attempted my 90 minute moving meditation in the very hot room, my mind started to wander. Well my mind always wanders, nothing new.

But today my wandering brought me to thoughts about soul mates. Do they really exist, or is the idea of a soul mate a piece of fiction that can be comparable to Walt Disney fairy tale?

If this blog by some random chance of fate gone wild ever turned into a book, turned movie, my movie would not be your typical love story, or romantic comedy like so many other single girl goes on a random adventure to find a new life kind of movie.  My movie would be more like a cynical comedy. Somewhat like Juno. Dry humor, with an unpredictable ending that is still unwritten.

If my life were fit for true Hollywood fashion it would go something like this: I leave New York, fly across the world, end up in Hawaii, learn the island, then randomly meet a gorgeous, charming man in a way that involves some form of irony, he falls in love with my quirks, flaws, and amazing personality. We spend an endless amount of time together, we have the all too predictable conflict over a meaningless topic, eventually get back together because we realize this is what the universe wants. The ending:  we drive pass the ocean into the sunset. In movie world, I would have met my soul mate by now, or at least someone who I thought was my soul mate for the time being.

However, in reality, my life works something like this: I leave New York, fly across the world, end up in Hawaii, learn the island, make a ton of crazy friends, engage in life threatening adventures just to see if I survive, go to work everyday but love my job, and sit around thinking about what my next life challenge will be. Hmm that may not be interesting enough for the big screen. In my movie world, I will not stumble upon Mr. Perfect one day, who I eventually realize is the one I have been looking for all my life ( how cheesy does that sound anyway?)

But I am starting to wonder, do soul mates actually exist. Some married  people have said, I knew I had met “the one” the moment I laid eyes them, is that real? Or, do people just say things like that because it sounds like love? Personally, I don’t think I would know  my soul mate if he actually did come and save my life because I was about to get by a bus (just saying). I am not sure if ever in my life have I just laid eyes on someone, and knew he was “the one”. I think I have actually fallen in love by accident, it just happens over time. Obviously I haven’t yet met my soul mate.

Since I have decided that I would not make a good career military wife, I doubt my soul mate is on the island of Oahu. Maybe he is on Maui? Or,  maybe not. Since there are so many people in the world, maybe we all get a pick of three or four soul mates. Fate would have us only meet one anyway there would be no conflict later in life. Perhaps my soul mate is in another state,  he  could actually be in New York and I just missed him. I could do some more traveling in case my soul mate is in another country. However, if fate brings us together than I really don’t have to look for him right? He will just pop out of the sky one day by some random coincidence. That sounds about right. I am not searching for “the one”. I will just stay still and let life happen.

To anyone who has found their soul mate, how did you know it was that person? And more importantly are they everything you expected they would be?

My Happy Soundtrack- I’m gonna smile cause I deserve too

Honolulu from Diamond Head.
Image via Wikipedia

Back in Honolulu!

I wake up and  it is another beautiful day in Honolulu. The sun is shining, I look over my balcony at the mountains going towards the Pali, and my day starts off with a smile. How could it not? I already know that I am alive, I feel healthy (well most of the time), and I have a lot to look forward to. So each day I tell myself, “I’m gonna smile cause I deserve too”, as sung by Leona Lewis.

Flashback to a few years ago. I remember a time when I didn’t smile as much. I would wake up in New York sad. Unhappy with my job, my personal life, nothing seemed to be where I needed it to be in life. Life for me was out of place. I would wonder, where did my happy go? During that time I had a sad soundtrack. You know that soundtrack we have for moments of self pity. Those times when we want to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and just cry (or maybe I am the only one who has one of those). My sad soundtrack was a running playlist of songs on my ipod that I would play over and over again. I would go into a deeper feeling of self-pity each time I listened to these songs. The problem? The only person who knew I was sad was me! I would be sad to myself. So obviously the only person able to get me off the sad train to nowhere was me.

In case you need a soundtrack for moments of brief sadness (keep them brief!), I can help you out. I know a great list of songs that really fit the mood. As much as I listened to them, I could say in some strange way they did catapult me out of those moments of sadness. My advice to you: don’t stay on your pity pot too long, it us fine to sit on it sometimes. But, try not to do it too often, and bounce off of it as fast as you can. If you sit too long you may get stuck.  Being happy is a whole lot easier than loathing in self-pity.

Better in Time
Image via Wikipedia

My sad soundtrack was most used for those post breakup moments (of course, I’m a girl!) Those moments when love was lost, and I felt my world was about to come to a crashing halt, with no plan how I will get out of it. The more I listened to each song, I thought maybe it will put a stitch back in my heart one by one, but no it didn’t. Eventually only time did that. But my sad playlist did offer me some comfort while riding on the NY city subway!

In case you were wondering, here are some of my favorites for my past of sadness:

  1. Usher-Burn
  2. Chris Brown- Say Goodbye
  3. Leona Lewis- Better in Time
  4. India Arie- This too shall pass- *Favorite*
  5. Mariah Carey- I stay in love
  6. Boyz II Men- Doing just fine, or Seasons of Loneliness
  7. Alicia Keys- Sleeping with a broken heart
Wow those songs are sad,
My Happy soundtrack is much better, it’s motivating, inspirational, and keeps me on my daily vote of confidence that, I am That Chick! It keeps me smiling, keeps me positive, and reminds me through moments of sadness, life always get’s so much better.
These are my favorites from my Happy Soundtrack:
  1. Brandy- Camouflage
  2. Just Stand up!- Various female artist including, Mariah Carey,  Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna
  3. Beyonce- Ego
  4. Bruno Mars- Just the way you are
  5. Fabolous- You be killin em
  6. Ace Hood, Rick Ross, Jasmine Sullivan- Champion- *Favorite*
  7. Flo Rida- Who Dat Girl
  8. Pink- F**kin’ Perfect
  9. Keri Hilson- Pretty Girl Rock
  10. Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten
  11. Kelly Rowland- Heaven and Earth

What’s included on your Happy Soundtrack?
*Positive energy, Positive thoughts, Positive experiences!