Monday, June 30, 2014

If At First You Don't Succeed...Wait 5 Minutes...The Truth of it is, for Better for Worse: Everything Changes

AH! The title is so true!!!  Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like the world got flipped on it's ear last night --but it is true that tomorrow is a new day.  And you actually have a pretty big role to play in what kind of day you are setting yourself up for, but we'll get to that in a minute.  

You know, so many times, one of my biggest frustrations in life is transiency.  Especially for those of us 20-somethings, where your life is in a constant state of change: leaving home to go to college, moving for a job, getting married, having babies, watching your friends do those things , etc.  I'm sure change is always a part of the deal to an extent, but surely dampened some in later decades, if by nothing else than learning how to better deal with it.  But, all of those times I have really wrestled with (ok, borderline hated) all of the change and transiency, because I was holding on to something good.  Now that I'm facing some fairly basic yet emotionally significant challenges on a daily basis, all I can say is thank goodness for transiency!!!  haha  Thank goodness for some things, whether emotion or circumstance are short lived.  I JUST had this realization the other day, and found it ironic since I left Dallas telling myself I needed to figure out a way to embrace the transiency of life.  I think those were my exact words, actually...  Anyway, long story short...I'm learning...

You know, earlier I mentioned   "emotional significance."  This is something I've given some thought to recently...the idea that we create meaning.  There are many things that to someone else, are insignificant.  Or the meaning terminates of the thing itself.  And then there is the flip side...creating significance to something and letting it affect your life based on the weight you gave it.  This is heavy stuff for someone like me who sees (and heavier yet, feels) that everything is significant.  You can insert an infinite number of examples in here, but I'll spare you all since I have already trekked on this tangent.  There's plenty more where this came from, but I really should save my strength for some future posts.  haha

Without wasting all my brainpower on one blog post, I'll circle back around to what I said in the into about you having some say in what kind of day you are going to have.  The idea that happiness is a choice.  I dig that, I buy that.  It's all about perspective, perception, priority...all things that I am learning A TON about on this new journey.
Have you watched the documentary "Happy?"  It brings up an interesting fact that people think you can't measure happiness, but then, our society has done extensive research on objectively measuring are we missing?  And isn't that in itself saying something about the way we think as a society, that we have focused so much on depression: causes, symptoms, how to fix it....why does it seem so crazy to focus on happiness?  And why does it seem more far fetched to think that this is something that we have a say in and aren't just victims of our circumstance?
In this documentary, they presented some stats that I thought were interesting.  It said that 50% of our happiness is based on our genes.  That we have a "set range" that we tend to operate within.  Their research found that 10% of happiness was dictated by circumstance: job, finances, age, social status, health, etc. which is also fairly surprising as these are the things that we, as a society, use as measuring sticks of our happiness.  So what is the other 40%, you ask?  Intentional activity: things you choose to do to be happier.  And that is essentially the premise of the film.  Very interesting, thought provoking for sure.

I added some photos!!!  The landscape out here really is beautiful.  


a panoramic picture of the Blue Ridge Parkway (amazing!!)

The swing I cam across on a hike at Howard's Knob....a mountain that overlooks the city of Boone (which is where I call home for these 6 weeks).  All of the mountains around here that you can hike are called "something Knob."  ... If you can get past the obvious humor, it really is a nice place to go and enjoy nature.  So, I drove to the top of said Knob, walked into the trees a little way and there is, what would be an amazing view of Boone!  The day I went, it was so overcast, everything just faded to white.  I could actually see the fog drift past me as I sat on a rock that looked out to the white abyss. So cool.  Then I came across this swing, right on the edge of the cliff, like you might be able to imagine flying or base jumping or something off this thing before being rescued by the physics of pendular motion.  Pretty sweet.  It also rained that day, and it was awesome to be so deep into the trees, that I could hear the rainfall, but because the canopy was so thick, I was keeping dry.  Nature's secret.  
Who knew?!
Doesn't do it justice.  But the sky is always doing cool things around here

I have much more to say, but...gotta keep some reserves in the tank.  What I will say, since it's mostly good friends and family reading this anyhow, is how thankful I am to have a support system that transcends geography!!  You guys have been awesome--I would have been back home sucking my thumb a long time ago if it weren't for you guys (ok, maybe I'm doing that some anyway, but at least Im doing it in Boone, haha)  You guys are great.  Thanks for all of your encouragement and support.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Came, I Saw, I Traveled...OK Now Take Me Home

Well, well, well...hello old friends! Been dormant for the last few years, but...I'm reviving this thing, moreso as therapy for me, but I'd love for you to play along! Lord knows Im living the truth of the "no man is an island" adage.

So, I'm traveling. I left a job I loved in Dallas for the life of a nomad. I left security, for insecurity. The known for the unknown. Why?? I'm still figuring that out... My reasons for leaving my job and leaving Dallas were really some double edged swords. The things that were great were ironically enough, the things that were also debilitating. Honestly, I loved my job, loved what I did, and felt I was good at it. Turns out that can be a deadly combination for a singleton who was more than willing to find identity in work. As time went on, it took it's toll, and realized that it was hard to have any physical or emotional energy left at the end of the day to pour into other hobbies, friends, relationships that I wanted to. There just wasn't enough room. I thought about things and people and clients at work so much...there was no more room in the more space on the iceberg... Couple that with the dicey question of "Why are you in Dallas?" and I was in trouble. I was in Dallas because I never left. Yes, there are things I loved...and still, things I love (shoutout to my people), in Dallas, but those came later, after I was there. There was no draw to Dallas for me initially, and I've always thought life is too short not to live someplace beautiful. Maybe that's because I grew up in Midland, TX (google image that trash), but there are so many gorgeous places in the world to live in the proverbial armpit of any state. Ok fine, maybe Midland is like the knee pit or the elbow wenus or something, but you get what I'm saying. So...I decided to travel...out to see the world, out to try on new cities, out to free up some of "the clench" that got its claws into me for a second.

 WORK! What a dirty mistress! Don't get me wrong, work is good, but when did our culture become SO much about her? It's in our thoughts, our conversations, our identities, it affects our day, our mood, our security, our relationships...sometimes, and for many people, moreso than the things that should be filling up that space in our heads and our hearts. Life is about more. There is so much you miss with your nose to the grindstone. And we put the responsibility on ourselves...we make it seem like the world WILL end if we don't do this or finish that TODAY!! "I have to work late, I'm swamped here" all the while someone who loves you and wants part of you is back-burnered for the filthy mistress who tells you that everything and everyone else will just have to wait. ME FIRST!! The whore...

 Ok, now that that's over...hahaha man, I sound bitter!! Like I said, this is just therapy for me. Don't freak out, or mail me a 90 day supply of Zoloft just yet. I'll turn this around. So... packed, sold, and stored all my crap and took out for North Carolina! Landed outside of Charlotte, and had a great time. Hiking, biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, the great outdoors, SO beautiful!!! What a great breath of fresh air!! I have a ton of stories from this time, but I'll have to save those for another day (it'll be a funnier post, I promise).

 What was I even talking about anyway...????... ... ... Let's just cut to the chase then...this post has rambled on and been hum drum enough (esp for the rekindling of the revolution). An unexpected set of circumstances lead me to take a job in Boone, NC (you know why is sounds like the Boonedocks? Because IT IS!!! Don't get me wrong, its gorgeous here...but I can get to work without going through a single stop light if that tells you anything) . Strolled into town, realized there are really just the two main streets in this town, and have setup shop here for the next 6 weeks. I am working at a skilled nursing facility--today was my first day--and despite my initial shock, horror, and just plain freak out...I think it's gonna be all right. :) First day antics included getting peed on, as well as a colossal toilet clog (caused by me but not by my bowels). Thank God for framily, is all I can say. You cats really pulled me through. Good friends following up, making contact, praying, sending flowers, and then of most notable mention is Momma Midge flying in, cape in the wind behind her, and chicken souped my soul. Humpty Dumpty is back on the wall...and the view is still lookin pretty good. More to come...