Hello, it's me

Woah, that was a long stretch.

So why no blogging? There are a few reasons, but what it comes down to is that right now getting my thoughts out there takes a lot of energy, and I am really trying to use that energy to make some sort of impact with street dogs.

Since May I’ve been channeling everything I’ve got into launching my new nonprofit, For the Love of Dogs. It's a registered 501c3 in the US and the current focus is unloved dogs in Argentina and Portugal! 

 https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274831

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274831

I am sure it would be interesting to have been along for that ride with me (the highs, the lows, the I DON’T EFFING KNOWS!), but here is a brief summary of what my journey looks like, so far. I think it is similar to one of those entrepreneur graphs > 

What can I do to help?
Why can’t I find somewhere to volunteer?
Get. Me. Out. Of. Here.
But I love this guy.
Sweet! I can volunteer at a government sterilization center.
No one speaks English.
YAY! Day 1. OOPS, 2 cats escape (my fault), PHEW, caught them! Well that’s an infected hand, 20 punctures is definitely sexy.
I need to learn better Spanish.
Oh I can help write surgery notes.
And suture up ball sacks.
Ok sterilizations are key in helping dogs.
This place needs to be more efficient. Great idea! Make sterilizations more efficient!
Spanish, right, study.
How do I even start a nonprofit.
Ah that’s how.
Nope, this is.
I need to get my vet tech certification.
No, I am a marketer, I can find vets.
Paperwork. Legal Fees. 1 month waiting.
Dogs are so miserable in the streets here. And the world.
I cannot even understand anyone, how could I think I could run a nonprofit. I am lonely.
Who am I to even try?
I have my whole life to get this right. Relax.
Well at least Pato loves me regardless of how many dogs I save.
STUDY SPANISH YOU GODDAMN SLACKER. Ok, un poquito.
Wow I like what this brand is becoming.
Website. Logo. Content. Photos. I got this.
No. Logo. Is. Not. Right.
What even is a nonprofit? Haha, typical me, thinking I can do anything… Sigh.
I haven’t even helped one dog.
OMG we have a rescue dog. And I love her.
OMG more dogs, starving near our home.
I can speak with locals! I convinced them to sterilize the mamas!
This nonprofit is going to earn so much grant and fundraising dollars.
Still no final logo.
I am lonely AF. Why does the world have so many languages?
I hate to do this, but I need another version of that logo.
Ok, more sterilized dogs.
OMG no one will adopt this puppy. I will take care of him till he is better…
Amazing, a group I can volunteer in the streets with and find more in-need dogs.
My Spanish is better, a little.
I can’t put this puppy back on the street.
Headed to the US! Launching the nonprofit! I will be a great success!
And I will bring this puppy!
No one wants this puppy in the US.
OMG MOM WANTS THIS PUPPY.
How the hell does a puppy get into the US?
Get this website just right… And this fundraising campaign. It will be a wild success.
I don’t have the right paperwork.
HOORAH! The US with my little immigrant street dog!
Nonprofits are lots of work.
Ok LAUNCH!
Holy shit, fundraising is a lot of work. This is not EZ money.
Wow, so many people trusted me with their money. Now I have to do things.
22 dogs sterilized!
What do you mean the costs have increased?
I love my mission.
I will effect no change on this godforsaken earth and we will all die due to climate change.
Look what I can do. Save the dogs. Save the world.

 it's all worth it to help these guys! thank you Mike Gelen!

it's all worth it to help these guys! thank you Mike Gelen!

You get it. Or maybe you don’t and you think I should be admitted into the psych ward. There are highs and there are lows, but I think that I’m living life with open arms. I’m building a new life with a really amazing guy (today is our 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!) - 2 months of backpacker romance, to 2 months of separation (while I taught English in Colombia), to intensive, grown-up-style, living together. We’re being creative about what our dreams look like and how we can turn them into a reality. How lucky am I?!

Also, I am so very excited to be able to present the website that I designed for my new brand, For the Love of Dogs here and the first fundraising campaign I have ever launched, 101 Sterilizations. My goal is to make sterilization (spay / neuter) sexy! Yaaaaa! Let's get it!

Also, I definitely couldn't do any of this alone. I am so very thankful to my sweet and sexy boytoy, Pato. To both of my parents and both of their partners. To all of my friends who have been supporting me in my ups and downs and freak out phone calls. To Michael Gelen, for the wonderful logo. To Nikki, for the wise & fun counsel. And to all the dogs, just because. 

Travel Log Day 348: Nomad Update

coffeeshop-albania-juice-travel-blog

Last Thursday I stayed in bed all day and watched The Blacklist on Netflix. I ate vegan, had 3 cups of tea and did about 25 billable minutes of work (14 minutes of which were a phone call). I booked a flight to Morocco and researched Cape Town. I meditated for 14 minutes and made plans to do yoga, pushups, social media work, blogging and head to the beach - none of the latter was accomplished. 

Marketing schemes that romanticize the digital nomad life are everywhere nowadays. I have to admit, the experience is unreal. It's the sort of solo experience everyone owes themselves for at least 1 month:

  • Research a country
  • Book a ticket
  • Book a non-luxury place to stay for the first few nights
  • Figure it out as you go

But there are some downsides that are often brushed aside and more and more nomads have been blogging about these. Not until you actually experience them does the sting settle in. A year ago I read these lists and brushed them aside, "Pfft I can handle that, I'm the greatest." Well I can say for a fact now that these are all components that I take into account when deciding how long I plan to pursue this lifestyle. Accordingly, here is MY list of downsides - however, I end each on a positive note, because perspective is everything. 

Digital Nomad • Loneliness

As an introvert I avoid over-committing myself socially, and can't do more than a week in hostel dorm rooms. When I do make a friend, we usually have a weekend to get to know one another and then one of us is moving on. Twice now I've used Tinder as a means for meeting people, but there is an implied layer of sex when you meet someone on there - also, it limits the connections to the opposite sex (I don't misrepresent myself as a lesbian). POSITIVE: Being outside of my comfort zone forces me to change for the best. I can't use my introversion as a crutch to stay in a few stale friendships, but instead I am opened up to new and more rewarding connections - should I choose to embrace the challenge. 

Nomad • Drinking

The communal language of bonding is drinking here on planet earth. I've cut down on that (1-2 drinks one day each week) to such a degree that going to a bar to "see what happens" just isn't a thing for me anymore. Believe me, some rich and exotic tales have spun from those nights, but as a solo chick in the Balkans I think it might attract the wrong attention. POSITIVE: I'm drinking less and finding more interesting things to be the basis of new relations - animal rights, minimalism, veganism, travel... Conversations about your new handbag? BYE.

 Nik + me hiking in Kotor

Nik + me hiking in Kotor

Nomading • The Whole Enchilada

Opportunities like Remote Year combat loneliness by pairing a group for a month in each location around the globe. Resulting experiences are often very positive, but you're buying in for $2000 per month or more (not including food, alcohol or flights to and from the experience). My daily average for ALL expenses since November is averaging $34 per day ($1020 monthly), half the cost and including everything. I do often arrange trade situations (like my current at Playworking) and that has defrayed a lot on the spending end of things so I am on the low end of cost, but DIY is absolutely less expensive. These experiences simplify finding housing, coworking spaces, friends, events and excursions - but figuring those things out is half the fun and experience of nomading. They're like the cruise ship of nomad life... The Disney cruise ship... POSITIVE: The more people attracted to this sorta life expands global compassion and understanding of other cultures, regardless of how the experience has been packaged. I'd love if these companies could incorporate an eco/humanitarian component to the experiences... (Ok new brainstorm is starting in my head ATM... Adding volunteer opportunities like dog shelters into the experience where nomads walk dogs/assist shelters and donate some $). Speaking of, I convinced the owner of my coliving/coworking space to let me foster a local pup - he said no. And now I have a foster named Nik for 4 weeks... ;)

Digital • Romance

I'm always the one leaving. Or we are both leaving. Yes, there is a romantical component of my brain that loves the idea of getting swept away by a fellow nomad and then pursuing the adventures of the world together, but the more common reality of the situation is that you either meet a fellow traveler and then stay in touch less and less as the miles between you grow OR you meet someone who lives in a place as you pass through and they scheme up ideas of how they also want to travel the world and do things, and then you leave, and then they stay. Relationships are not impossible to find, but are certainly less promising than when you've got roots planted in a location. POSITIVE: Traveling with someone speeds up the getting to know you process. Knowing there is an end date makes it easier to be open and honest about intentions. It's a lot less likely that you'll hold onto someone out of convenience, which in turn leaves you open for the extraordinary - if you believe in those sorts of things ;)

Digital Nomad • Stability

Being on the go all the time precludes you from easily having a pet, a fridge full of your favorite foods, your own space where everything has its own place, exercise rituals. These are things that make me happy! I miss them! POSITIVE: These things and others are not impossible on the road, just harder. By staying 1-2 months in a few places I've been able to get my fix of all these things, but it's an exercise in patience and letting go. I'm an impatient, OCD, occasional control freak, so that's probably a good thing to learn.

NET POSITIVE:

I still get Netflix and chill days where I encounter no other human life forms, but despite those, my brain is constantly igniting with ideas, dreams and schemes. I broke out of a materialistic rut that had sucked my soul for the past decade. I'm creating a life I love on my own terms, and after stripping away the bullshit, I'm learning what I want to add back in. 

Am I Crazy

 I am crazy. Fact.

I am crazy. Fact.

The title of this post is a rhetorical question. Hence the lack of a question mark. I already know I'm crazy. Take a peek into my unedited brain. I've attempted to write an authentic Stream of Consciousness. It goes in order of my thoughts as they popped up tonight (Saturday), post yoga, post a half-assed meditation, while dinner cooks on the stove.

Ok. My pointer finger knuckle hurts. Pretty sure it's arthritis. 
Not exactly insured. Now it's a pre-existing condiiton.
Should stir the curry.
Curry stirred. The electric range is supposedly fancy, yet trying to get it to work started this joint pain.
Am I actually thinking something more important now? 
Not really no.
I want to bike to the beach tomorrow, but not bring my laptop. I really don't want to work tomorrow. 
Yet that requires me to work for 90 minutes tonight.... It's 8:47. Ok, I can work.
I don't get paid enough to work on a Saturday night.
Tonight's dinner is vegan. I'm not getting skinnier.
Oh yeah, alcohol.
What am I thinking? Not much. I like the silence - in my head and this apartment.
Yoga will be good for me tomorrow. If I can find it. I know I will be a rushing anxious mess bc the train arrives at 7:59.
Setting myself up for anxiety. Cool.
Does my internal monologue sound whiny?
Am I mentally healthy?
Will I ever find someone who loves me 100% including the craziness?
Am I actually really normal and just like to think I am crazy to seem interesting?
No. I am crazy.
I think not in a diagnosable way - just like a little OCD and anxious.
Ha when ____ flipped out because I chucked the shampoo bottle and shattered it. He was a little scary then.
Not scary to me in general.
Why do I get myself into those messes?
Dinner smells good. 
Stop trying to force thoughts into your stream of consciousness to seem more interesting.
Seriously. This is a learning exercise.
I wonder if this is boring to read?
Oooh. I seriously don't give a fuck about ______. Maybe I should just ____. So close to zero fucks.
Is a vegan Vietnamese themed dog rescue cafe really my dream? 
A lot of times when you get what you want it isn't what it was cracked up to be. 
I should hustle some more and put money into savings. Paradoxically, people live on so little and are happier. So maybe "should" is really relative.
Money absolutely has almost zero correlation with happiness.
_____ are pretty miserable. 
Toys are nice though. White Vespa and white Specialized bike.
Why white? 
Because it's trendy or because I like it? Also, a Fiat.
Those things cost money. I don't have money.
Well some. 
Where do I want to go next? Do I even care to get to Africa? 
It's scary. But scary things are what help you grow.
Maybe I am done growing.
I like being alone. 
Banana pancakes for breakfast. I should try and meditate again now. 
I wonder if other people think I go off on ranting tangents when I talk to them. Sometimes I see people's eyes glazing over. I talk less now.
That's sad.
__ used to say I had melancholera. A disease of unhappiness. Maybe it was because I was dating him.
Or maybe I am just bound to be unhappy with whoever I am with.
Or maybe I just need to find the right person.
Maybe I need to be the right person.
I wonder if my list is too specific. Tony Robbins thinks no. He and his wife seem happy. 
"Seem" so many smoke and mirror shows.
Who really is happy?
WTF is happiness?
Why couldn't I get out of bed this morning? 
I need to figure my shit out. 
Or don't I?
No one saves anyone. 
I want to find that thing that makes my soul expand. 
It's out there I think.
I have almost traveled all the way around the world. In December I will have done it, plus 400 miles.
Where will I end upppp? Fuck.
My contacts are dry.
It's 9pm. I should probably work.
I should do whatever the fuck I want.
I don't really want to drink. Drinking alone is pointless. 
Hm, Does drinking ever have a point?
I drank too much Thursday. I don't like how that feels.
My stomach looks fat. Maybe another month off the sauce.
I want to travel. But from this as my home base.
A few plans already.
Maybe re-downloading Snapchat was a mistake. Too many channels to get worn thin on.
Another social media cleanse?
I should blog more.
When I die will I look back on my life and think "I should have blogged more"? No. Shut up.
Dinner is probably ready. I didn't make rice. On purpose.
I hope I don't go blind.
Why did I cry?
"I am not empty I am open" - remember that horoscope. 
Am I boring now?
I want a hug. Now I am sad. Fuck I sound like a crazy person. 
Well mom said it was brave to do an unedited stream of conscience. Is it conscious?
Sadness passed.
Numb now. 
Definitely crazy. 
I probably have a layer of thoughts I am not tuning into, maybe they are more interesting than this layer. 
I wonder if she will be mad if I _____.
Some things are too personal to type out.
I want to be off computers and phones and technology 100% for a while. I won't be able to work though. Maybe I should WWOOF. Will I write postcards?
I want Frank's phone number. Not to get an inheritance. Because I miss him. I will bet that's why that bitch wouldn't give me his number. I will just write him a postcard. I have been planning on doing that for 8 months. Why did I delete his number? Oh right. I am crazy. 
I blocked a lot of people and deleted a lot of numbers through the years. I wonder if I owe anyone an apology. Yes. I do. I wonder who the most? Probably _____. Or __. Or _____? Oh I apologized to him already.
Emotional warfare. But not intentional. 
Oh or _____. He hates me.
No comment. 

 I live here.

I live here.

Aged, Aging, Age, Agh. Nudity.

When I was 4 my best friend Timmy Ulbrich took his shirt off on a walk through Como Park. Not to be out shined, I also took my shirt off. After a few minutes, self doubt flooded in and I asked mom to please return my shirt because I was "cold".

 where my babiez at? nope.

where my babiez at? nope.

Today I turned 32 and while reflecting on different ages, I feel the same as I did when I was 18, plus some key lessons.

At 18 I had just left Buffalo for college in Boston. College, a place where the small circles of friends from a tiny all girls high school didn't apply. Friends of all shapes and sizes were possible, gay Filipinos, beefy black men and Long Island Jewish princesses. I made them all. And some enemies too - like a douchey hockey player who I told off in the cafeteria (Pat Noonan, hiiiiiiiii), and my bipolar freshman roommate who slept all day on the top bunk, and the "friend" who picked me up in front of a group of friends and held up my skirt so everyone could see (thanks rape-culture!).

So much of that time and my 20s was spent focusing on the next step and appearances. 2 years ago something snapped though, and it started with my foot - in 8 places. Breaking my foot and totaling my dream car was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Insurance wiped out 20k in loans and the accident recovery coincided with my 30th birthday, a milestone that is oft met with panic and expectations (dafuq where my hubby and babiez at?). For me it was a joyful celebration of how lucky I was to be alive.

Just 2 short years later and I'm shocked at how much things have changed and keep changing. Just this week I went to a topless beach and did headstands & cartwheels as my 32 year old boobs sunned themselves.  I didn't even feel "cold" once.

Infested

Tonight I made pesto pasta in the electronic teapot in my hotel. And it made me so fucking happy. 

Little pleasures like this really matter while enduring a harrowing bed bug infestation. In the last 6 days I've accumulated around 50 bites covering my upper back, face and arms, oh and 9 on my knee, for good measure. For those of you that don't know, bed bugs hide in mattresses, bed frames, walls and travel in clothing and other objects. They can lay dormant for up to a year as they wait for their favorite thing, human blood. For some reason, they LOVE mine. So although I was staying in a relatively nice hostel, someone before me must have left them behind, because, 24 hours post check-in the nasty bumps made their debut. 

(L to R: selfie on day 2; note-to-self in phone; gratitude journal, May 17th)

After a day of scratching I went to a dermatologist who immediately diagnosed me and prescribed some stuff (ugh $). Then I washed all 15kg of my clothes on the hottest setting and was moved into another dorm room in the hostel, with promises of an exterminator. But hello, I woke up this morning with new bites. Cue 3 more rounds of laundry, bagging of belongings, checking into a hotel to cortisone my naked body on repeat while I Netflix & chilled with bae (me), and the teapot pasta. 

 tick infested pups, bed bug infested Lulu. samesies.

tick infested pups, bed bug infested Lulu. samesies.

Most of you haven't had a skin condition that marks you in such a miserable and obvious way since the chicken pox, so let me explain, the red bites come in clusters, mostly on your arms, back, face - they can raise into hives, and are so itchy that each night I wake up scratching the shit out of myself. These welts then either blister or open into sores, and as of Day 6, are still quite visible. Did I mention they were on my face? A quick Google search yields interesting responses to bed bug outbreaks such as alienation, depression, oh and suicide. Nice. 

So, I did what any logical woman would do. I joined Tinder. Insert Marilyn Monroe voice "If you can't love me at my worst...blah blah..." In fact, this was not my reasoning but still pretty funny. My first dating experience in Portugal was nice, but isn't that the kiss of death? Nice. Although my sores didn't frighten him away, his lack of a job did frighten me away. 

Through all this I've managed to work, buy a bike, find an Airbnb for the next 2 weeks and volunteer with the dogs at Goldra (a dog sanctuary with 110+ dogs!!). While picking ticks and fleas from the body of an abandoned 4-week-old puppy, it dawned on me that maybe I don't have it so bad. 

Chocolate Cake

Last night I got 2 wonderful presents. 1 was chocolate cake. 

I'm a few days into a 30 day social media cleanse - removing Insta-gratifications and the pseudo-connected feeling that apps can bring, while adding free time and a considerable amount of mental space. Yesterday was devoted to sightseeing, including a Port wine tour, climbing an ancient church tower with 2 Korean friends, and eating at a vegan co-op with some hippie guys that are obsessed with Rainbow (note: don't call it a festival - also of note, don't let them know you work in marketing, because that's totally like, selling out man). 

 Porto, the home of Port wine

Porto, the home of Port wine

At one point I was skipping down a path and taking panoramics of gorgeous Porto, giggling at my good fortune. This moment was in sharp contrast to a meltdown, hours later. Let me explain, I am so grateful to be alone right now and devote a considerable amount of time thinking about what this means. The train of thought led to questions on why we need a partner at all. And if that's the case - why the fuck are we even here on the planet, when all we do is destroy it? Cue the tears - thanks wine. 

And the tears wouldn't stop. And then I was sobbing and leaning on a park fence in the dark, crying into the night when 2 girls stopped. 

They asked me if I was OK. And they cared about my response. And they didn't leave. Because I wasn't OK. Then they insisted I join them for coffee. This gift of kindness was exactly what I needed. My loneliness stemmed not from a lack of people to interact with, but from a lack of loving interactions. This love doesn't need to be a romantic one, and it's defined by special human beings that come and go and sometimes stay. But really, the length of time is irrelevant. 

I spent a few hours with my new friends and they bought me chocolate cake. It was the best cake I've ever tasted. And today I walked to the Atlantic, pranced into the waves and waved to the East Coast and my friends back home. We are looking at the sun at the same time now ♥ 

Blogz

Blogging. Believe it or not i have been writing a bit over the last month and a half, but sometimes it feels like a chore. And sometimes i have no wifi. And the days with good wifi and interest in writing aren't that plentiful. And oh... did you see that sunset? And mm Tanduay rum and poker night is more fun.

Also - I am not sure that the current layout of the blog still works as my life evolves. Dickz. yeah i have a ton of ridonkulous lessons in dating still to impart, but i am dating a dick who is not such a dick most of the time. So do i write about us under Dickz? 

Travel... well that is my whole life now. Finances and work and life all revolve around where we are and where next might be, so do I add a section for that?

Promise: I am going to back-date what I did write and post it at some point but the size of that job increases with time. The next goal is to make sure that the blog reflects me and where I am going right now. For the short term here's the soundbite version of the last 2 months:

IMG_6730.JPG
  • Circus school was a haven for relaxation and not getting shit done. 24/7 there was mellow thai weed in the pagoda, there were parties every night (a BIG PARTY at least twice a week), and one of the highest ratios of humans getting laid:humans I've ever seen, perhaps 1.4?
  • Kittens are definitely funding ISIS, specifically Drugz
  • Travel from Pai, Thailand to Palawan, Philippines was a true testament to our relationship - we meandered off the most direct path many times (ooh a cock fight... ooh a 3 day cargo ship trip...) and only fought 2, max 3 times
  • The world does not end when I don't regularly workout, my butt gets more juicy and i still fit all the same clothes
  • Divemaster school is not as easy as imagined. Night dives are terrifying. And i am not good at everything in the entire world as once suspected
  • You can in fact blow off a chunk of your finger with a firecracker, and it might just happen on a cliche night like NYE
  • Being in a relationship centered around travel + living together is a huge test but the personal growth it allows can be mind blowing
  • The magical, creative place where fiction + reality collide can be as simple as this... (special love to Xavier - pictured for the photos, memories + writeup on his site) 

Stuff

Closing out a life remotely is a world of stress and simultaneously freeing because you have NO CONTROL. 

buddhist-buddha-letting_go-stuff-travel

My mind keeps jumping to the list of things I want to get in order back in the states, yet the quieter voice inside of me says... Let go. This is such a paradox for someone as OCD and organized as myself. I'm pairing down my earthly belongings to a 50L North Face bag and whatever my dad can fit in the back of his F-150. To be fair, I only started with a studio apartment <400sq ft, but this is extreme. 

Today I called dad to arrange for the grand pickup and of course he quelled my fears and anxieties... "If you came home to your apartment burned to the ground you'd be thankful you didn't still have a dog in there and that your landlord was safe." Truth. So anything I get from the apartment is really just a bonus from the fire gods. Things I want:

  • contact lenses
  • Olive's ashes
  • perhaps a few workout / travel clothing options 

But really, the latter even seems excessive. Whatever I get I have to carry with me now. The things I am carrying are starting to mean less to me. It's this weird shift in your mindset where each item is a symbol of its function. What can I use this tanktop for (day/night/adventures/etc)? Is it comfortable? I do have 4 dresses with me, but I have a feeling that if I found a really kickass pair of shorts I'd gladly drop a dress or two. 

What an exercise in letting go. So what do I have in my 50L bag? Here is the current rundown, I'll update this post w addendums as I perfect the mix:

  • 2 pairs workout shorts
  • 1 pair jean shorts 
  • 4 dresses 
  • 2 sports bras, 2 regular bras
  • 5 thongs, 1 pair mesh booty shorts (duh)
  • 3 bikinis (this will increase)
  • 1 sarong
  • 1 pr lululemon capris
  • 1 pr bali pants
  • 4 pairs socks
  • 2 tshirts, 1 workout tank, 6 tank tops
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 pr each: nike free, reebok hiking shoes, tevas, havaianas
  • 1 north face shell
  • 1L ziplock of toiletries
  • 1 small cosmetic pouch
  • 1 small accessory pouch
  • 1/4 cup of olive's ashes in a small tupperware (she's currently frolicking around the world from napa to the gili islands)
  • 1 iPad (exclusively used as a reader for kindle books, debating it's necessity in my life)
  • 1 iPhone (I'll be switching to Samsung once I secure some income)
  • 1 small acer laptop purchased this week 
  • 1 passport carrier, also used to store credit cards etc.

Now that it's all listed it feels really excessive... Time to wean down!

Grateful

In a span of 9 days I will have been in airplanes and airports for a total of 52 hours and 34 minutes. 4 hours of those because my pilot died.  

My red-eye flight from Tahoe by way of Phoenix yesterday was the one in the news because of the emergency landing made by the amazing crew after the pilot passed away mid-flight. Being a part of the experience was completely un-traumatizing and we have the crew to thank for that. their grace and professionalism made a panic situation one that had me wondering "Is this a joke" and "Does he have food poisoning..?"

So for them I am completely in awe and filled with gratitude, and for the pilot's family, I can't even begin to understand their grief. But I do know that Olive is happy to have another person she can mooch treats off of. 

melissa me friends tahoe french bulldog.jpg

So why so much travel? And why does my life feel like a snow globe, of out-of-body, surreal experiences right now? For starters - I don't see any of the following as warnings, omens or negative signs. No, I feel the most alive and grateful that I have ever felt (after all of the car and other accidents my life alone is a ton of miracles stacked one on top of another). But really, the travel...

Last week Sunday I stayed up past my bedtime to watch the blood moon lunar eclipse from an overpass on Storrow drive. I felt peaceful, alone and alive. The next morning on my commute to Stoughton (part bike, part commuter rail) I was hit by an SUV and tossed off my bike, yet neither of us was hurt (us being me and my one-true-love, my bike).

Within a few hours of the accident, I had an email from the new dating app (Meet Me Outside) I had dabbled with that gets active and outdoorsy people connected (i.e. non-creepy, non-Tinder experiences). I had won their ultimate first date in Tahoe to meet a mystery man and run a Spartan Race - that weekend. Of course I said yes, but, I'd maxed out my vacation time at work so we had to get crafty with booking travel - cue the red eye! 

The weekend was magical, my date was an energetic, bright, successful guy who is totally on his way to doing tons of cool shit; and i can absolutely see us staying in touch as we move on our separate tracks. Speaking of tracks, as the universe would have it, his and mine had overlapped so many times before that weekend that it was uncanny:

  • He was a t.a. for a natural disasters class at NU the year after i took it
  • I bartended at a cigar bar he frequented in college
  • We had multiple mutual acquaintances and he attended a NYE party this year that I RSVP'd to but didn't attend...

Meet Me Outside, Reebok + Spartan Race showed us an amazing time and I felt like the ultimate, obstacle race princess. What a thrill, and what's even more awesome? It was my first >1 mile run since shattering my foot last year. 

After that whirlwind weekend, the pilot tragedy, and a 3 days at work it's time to hit those blue skies again for 3 days (back) in Cali with Melissa (the most fiercely loyal and true friend anyone could ask for) for some acro yoga, Napa winery hijinks, Bonk-bulldog-snuggles and never-ending laughter.

From Cali, the most interesting part of the story begins: 151 days and 22 hours in the making (on my biggest adventure yet), then almost a day in airports (20 hours and 44 minutes, but who's counting?). This one, I’m holding close to the vest.

Breathe

What's new you ask...

  • Hit by an SUV yesterday (no damage to the bike or me), hustled the guy for a ride to work + $45 in potential damage (mental? lol)
  • Won a trip to tahoe for this weekend from an outdoorsy dating app I recently looked into via Bostinno (but didn't really pursue for one specific reason or another... that's a whole 'nother tale) AND get outfitted in reebok gear to do my first ever Spartan Race!
  • Launching studdly.com next week
  • Cleaning up the brand new site I've mothered from infancy at my actual job
  • Cali in 9 days to see the love of my life, Melissa (one of them, sorry Eileen, Maggie, Stephanie...)
  • Then right into a 20 day magical mystery tour
find your soul soul cycle meditate boston bike bicycle

It turns out I can be an absolute fucking machine (no not a fucking machine, or can I...?). When it comes to getting shit done I am a perfectionist and I push myself really hard. This can be a blessing and also a curse. When it comes to social commitments, however, it can become deadly to my mental health. As an introvert (yes, truly) I stop functioning when I overcommit. Last saturday my angel (Maggie) came over and I couldn't dress myself because I had filled my itinerary and queue so full. So some things got axed (some really hurt to let go, like committing to learn Wordpress - she's a total babe and yet a total cunt). 

Wanting to do it all vs. wanting to retain my humanness - the ongoing struggle.

Over the last year (since the break) I've started to meditate 2-4 times each week as well as take a regular inventory of my life. The things that are not giving me joy, exciting me and furthering my goals have been sacrificed one by one. My friendship circle has grown smaller, and yet stronger. My passions are becoming more refined. And allowing some time to breathe has opened up the door to extraordinary possibilities. If something doesn't bring you joy LET IT THE FUCK GO. Do. It. Now. 

UPDATE. Some rules were made to be broken... I have been so #cheapasfuck that I had a friend cut my hair a few weeks ago and almost had another friend highlight it this weekend, but the cost/time analysis did not work out in the favor of buying supplies for and then learning a trade. So my one true splurge lately is for an appointment with my hair soulmate Kashmir tomorrow - #wwlbwd*

*What would Luke Brian's wife do? A hashtag crafted during a long ride back from Buffalo w Maggie where we decided we should marry hot-southern male-country-singers. My plan to marry Luke Bryan involves an elaborate scheme of catfishing his wife into cheating emotionally with another hot-southern-country-male-singer then exposing the truth to Luke, wherein is in unable to resist my charms and we live happily ever after. Oh, and he has a big dick. Also oh, Maggie has dibs on Sam Hunt.