2013

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2012 was a year of _______.

I’m not sure what kind of year it was, at the end. At any given point, I could have filled in a hundred different adjectives to describe it.

2012 was a year of travel. I visited the Philippines three times and India twice in the second half alone; saw a friend in Nepal; visited Mexico, South Korea, Hawaii, Phoenix, San Diego, Illinois, Ohio, Miami, Tahoe, LA x4. I racked up frequent flier miles and hotel nights, amazing experiences and longing for home.

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2012 was a year of growth. I changed track in my current career a few times, gained responsibilities and made some hard decisions. I gained some amazing new friends and said goodbye to some old ones. I accepted responsibility in the form of a pet, Pearl, a kitten whose antics can be exasperating but whose presence is a gift.

2012 was a year of milestones. I moved from my basement “extremely cozy” apartment into a fresh new place just days ago – a place that’s expensive but full of light and shiny floors, a place to make a fresh start. I was of one of my best friends’ weddings, watching her start the next phase of her life. I watched as significant events happened in the lives of my family, friends and coworkers. Loves gained and loves lost, death and new life, endings and beginnings.

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2012 was also a lost year. Feeling lost in the murky waters of futures and finances and where I want my life to go. Having my heart broken. Hurting. Feeling lonely. Questioning everything, especially myself. Lost.

I started to make a list of resolutions for 2013. In less than two minutes I had thirty. I’m including them here for amusement purposes, but I quickly realized that by making this list I was guaranteeing simply that nothing would change.

Never hit the snooze button again, stop swearing, run six days a week, run an ultra, break four hours in the marathon, compete in triathlons, lose ten pounds, stand up straighter, stop watching Netflix, get 8 hours of sleep a night, avoid all processed foods, cut out sugar completely, bike or run to work every day, save a bunch of money, fix my skin, stop drinking so frequently, stop eating out all the time, have dinner parties, wear heels more often, make new friends, fall in love, join new social circles, complete random acts of kindness every day, invest in a church community, make a 5-year plan, de-clutter my life, be more effective and efficient at work, re-master Portuguese, get more flexible, floss…

The best New Year’s resolutions I ever made were in 2009. I had just moved to Africa three months prior and was looking out on a seemingly endless two-year stint in the Peace Corps. I made three resolutions: to drink more water, to stand up straighter, and to wear sunscreen. Those resolutions helped me build habits for life – because they were simple.

The laundry list above – who knows if I would ever be able to accomplish those. Would they make my life better? Absolutely. Would they get me closer to the person that I want to be? Debatable.

Instead, my resolution for 2013 is a simple phrase, but a profoundly complicated thing to do.

Let Go.

In 2013, I need to let go of the things that hold me back from becoming the best version of me. Relationships that make me feel bad. Past loves that linger in the heart. Doubts and anxieties and fears that exist only in my own head.

I need to let go of the pressure I feel on me, related to career, romance, finances, friendships, appearance, accomplishments. Because most it comes only from me, and it is toxic. Stop thinking about where I *should* be, about where I rank in the file, about what others are evaluating.

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I need to let go of the things in life that I wish I had and for whatever reason I don’t. To put my focus on the millions of blessings that have been stowed upon me without being distracted by the few things I don’t have.

I have spent so many years focusing on external things – accomplishments, awards, acknowledgements, checkboxes on the laundry list of life. In 2013, I want to grow into the best version of me. Or at least get on the right path.

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That’s a lifelong process, but I feel like I’m on the verge, and perhaps feeling so lost in 2012 was just one step on my particular journey. But I see a new year, a blank page, and a fresh start ahead, and I’m ready to embrace 2013.

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New Beginnings

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Life has been a bit crazy lately. Since I last blogged I’ve taken two significantly lengthy trips to India, two significant trips to the Philippines, trips to Miami and several other destinations. I’ve experienced crazy things – the opportunity to visit a friend in Nepal while on a business trip, kiteboarding on a Philippine island, running down Miami Beach at sunrise, tackling ice baths at the Tough Mudder, and more.

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There have been a lot of great memories over the last several months. There has also been a lot of stress, a lot of tears, a lot of just wanting to chuck all the trappings of this life and buy a sailboat and head for Guam. Or maybe back to Boracay (below).

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But there are new beginnings. I welcomed a new addition to my little family of one:

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This is Pearl. She was a spontaneous decision at the SPCA. She’s three months old, “undersocialized” and in need of a whole lot of love. Her mercurial nature is frustrating – she hides every time she sees me, but then two minutes later is practically licking my face and attempting to curl up and sleep on my shoulder – but I know she just needs love and patience.

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Welcome Pearl. I promise to do my absolute best to give you a nice life.

I also signed up for my first triathlon today. It’s a half ironman in wine country next July. It sold out in 9 minutes or something.

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1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run – I know I can do it, I also know it will be a challenge.

I have many other things to write about. But I’ve been so overwhelmed by the sheer number of them that I just haven’t blogged.

I am trying new project: the 15 minute blog. Any day I can, blog for 15 minutes. About anything. That might be what I need to get back on the horse.

I am ready for some new beginnings.

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Introducing 30 x 30 (and 140.6 dreams)

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Two weeks ago, I almost signed up for an Ironman. And I’m not talking about “I considered it for a brief moment and then realized that would be insane, so I let the moment pass.” I had all the credit card info entered. Was on the last page of the registration. Fingers shaking. And I couldn’t press the button. The end. Just kidding – so, I’ve always wanted to do an Ironman. Even before I’d ever run a marathon. and now that I’m getting a bit burnt out on marathons and looking to make the […] Continue Reading…

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July (AKA “Sleep is for August”)

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It’s July! This year has already been pretty insane for me and it’s about to get a heck of a lot crazier. First, HOW is 2012 already half over?!?! I mean, seriously. This year is absolutely flying by. In the first half of 2012, I’ve traveled to Hawaii, ran two marathons, taken trips to everywhere from Mexico to Illinois to Palm Springs to Tahoe to LA (three times), gotten stuck on the side of the road in a blizzard, fell in love with a new bike and promptly had it taken away, threw a bachelorette party, […] Continue Reading…

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One More Year

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The times, they continue to change. I have a list as long as my arm – leg – okay, maybe body – about topics that I have wanted to blog about but hadn’t. the couple of posts a month is probably a really clear indication of how crazy life off of the computer has been. I have really needed to focus on joy right now and unplugging a bit. But as I have said before, a source of joy is this blog, which is causing me to set the goal of blogging 5 times this week. […] Continue Reading…

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  • #1: Bike More, and a green giveaway!

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    So much excitement for one long overdue post. Let’s see! Okay, last week I blogged about my desire to create an atmosphere of growth, with a variety of different goals. Today I want to jot a note about #1: Bike More. For those who don’t know (99% of you) I’ve been trying to bike to work here in the City. The issue is that I’ve been on a 40 pound, 15 year old clunker of a mountain bike, which works surprisingly well for its age, but left me wanting to take “walk breaks” on 1% grades.  I walked […] Continue Reading…

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