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Glimpses.

As time goes on, I realize that I’m not the most open person. Especially when it comes to social media, which I think airs on the side of caution but sometimes I feel like I should let me readers get to know a little bit more about me. Just a little.

Fun Fact Number 1

My two biggest fears in life are getting old and commitment. In regards to getting old, the thought of losing control of my mind, my body, my life as I get older scares the crap out of me. And about my commitment issues; I can hardly sit through a movie. It’s too much time. It’s that bad.

Fun Fact Number Two

I like to think that I’m this outgoing girl with all the confidence in the world but the more I get to know myself, the more I realize that it takes me a while to warm up to people. I hold back on letting you see the “real” me because I’ve been hurt. Very hurt. And I don’t like when it happens so I tend to tread carefully. BUT, once you do break through those walls, I’m yours forever.

Fun Fact Number Three

I love people too much. When I’m in relationships; whether it be friendships, romantic relationships, family, I love them too much. I care too much. Not to the point that I’m enmeshed with them but to the point that it’s hard for me to let them go if they ever leave. Growing up as a military brat, I had to let friends go all the time. So I think that I now cling to those closest to me because I don’t want them to go like all the others did.

Fun Fact Number Four

I’m insecure. There’s not a whole lot I need to say about that. I’m secure with who I am but I struggle with who I want to be.

Fun Fact Number Five

My weight loss doesn’t define me. I know people sometimes think that because you’re losing weight, that should be the only thing you post about but we’re so much more than that. The people who know I’m trying to lose weight in “real life” only ask about it every now and then and I think that’s how it should be. There’s so much more to me than how much weight I’m losing.

That’s all I got.

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Words.

There are always words we can’t say. Words that don’t seem to come out, no matter how much they mean to us nor how much we urge them to. There’s always something holding them back. It may be fear, it may be longing, it may be too much emotion, it may not be the right place.

Regardless, there are words that I’m constantly struggling with to people in all facets of my life. I think there’s a fear within me to say the things I want to so badly. It’s not a fear of failure, it’s the fear that the things I say will change, for better or worse, the circumstances I’ve become used to.

There have been so many times when I want to scream meaningful thoughts that, to me, are so important. Sayings and feelings and emotions that have been bottled and closed shut since before I can remember.

I feel like I’m slipping, losing touch with what needs to matter. For a period in my life, I felt that I was upfront, almost too much, with those around me. If I felt a certain way about them, they were well aware of it. Good, bad or indifferent. But now, it’s as if I’ve become complacent with how others view me. They think we’re strong acquaintances? Good enough. They think we’re best friends? Sure. They think there’s a romantic connection, you keep thinkin’ that.

Now though, I’ve been struck with this fervor that I written about last time. The fervor takes over me wholly, not just in one aspect of my life. I’m the kind of person that when the wind blows strongly in one direction, I let it take me. And now is definitely one of those times.

I want to go back to Alaska. I’m going to Costa Rica. I’m going back to Belize. And if there are any more trips in the near future, I’ll gladly oblige. I want to tell that one guy how I really feel. I want to tell my sister just how proud of her I really am.

It’s not fear that’s holding me back, it’s this paralyzing anxiety about what they will say back. Will the nature of the relationship change? What if it fails miserably? Why do I feel the need to tell them right this second?

But it can’t wait.

As cliche as it sounds, life really is too short. I’m 21 and dammit, I’m going to make the most of whatever may come. If our friendship is severed because of words, then it never was a friendship worth saving.

There are always words that need to be said. Not only for your sake, but for mine as well.

Gravity.

We’ve all heard the adage, “We want what we can’t have.” A huge part of me has always wondered why that is. We see something we like and we want it, need it almost. Then when told we aren’t allowed to have it the feeling suddenly intensifies. We absolutely need it, have to hold it, have it, touch it. It needs to be ours.

Is it because we’re told no? Do we automatically register that as a desire?

I want a lot of things in my life, need them? No, but it would be nice to have them. I’ve exhausted the fact that I want to travel. But I’ve noticed when people tell me I can’t, I immediately book a flight bound for anywhere. To prove them wrong maybe? I don’t know.

It’s a conundrum, really. We lust after these things that aren’t good for us. Usually, anyways.

There are some things in my life, right this moment, that I’ve been told I can’t have. So naturally, I’m doing everything in my power to get them.

I’m completely fascinated by what’s happening though. I’m taking notes and observing my own behavior all while embarrassing the hell out of myself trying to accomplish my goal.

But, in the end, I know what I want. Whether it be good for me or not. As time goes by and I get older I start to notice smaller things. A quick smile from the guy at the coffee shop, a little wave from a pedestrian, a second longer on the handshake from that one guy. They’re not big moments but I kind of revel in them.

They’re like little distractions. You know those times when there’s only one thing on your mind and nothing you do will side step that thought. It’s always there, always prevalent and everything you do seems to relate in some way back to that one thing?

I like to take the time to notice the little distractions because in the end, that big thought will get chipped away. Slowly, I know. But a little piece will be taken away each time I notice something else. Each time there’s a new distraction, a tiny little thought kind of flutters away.

Fervor.

My true passion in life has always been traveling.

It doesn’t matter how small or large. A midnight roadtrip to see snow, a transatlantic to the Emerald Isle, an empty flight to see Mayan ruins.

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I’ve always had this intense feeling of wanderlust that I usually can’t put into words. It’s this pushing feeling against my chest screaming in the smallest voice, “Go. Be. Do.” At times this voice is a faint whisper and at times, like tonight, it’s this roaring and deafening battle cry. It’s my calling, truly and literally.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m only truly happy when I’m away. I’m constantly fighting the piece of me that feels like it’s too small for Florida. I sit in classrooms that teach me history of ancient lands and I’m chomping at the bit. I sit at tables and listen to stories of others who have gotten lost and I’m intrigued beyond recognition.

I’ve made plans as of late to fuel my fire.

I’m going to Costa Rica with one of the girls I met in Belize. We’ll be in the cloud forest, surrounded by volcanoes and jungle. It sounds like paradise.

Also, my lead professor has offered me a spot on this year’s Belize trip again. And I’m seriously thinking of taking it. I’ve never pushed myself further out of my comfort zone than I did on that trip. God only knows how much more potential I can actualize while there a second time.

I know that I’m blessed for these opportunities. I know and I’m grateful.

I also know that if I don’t take these opportunities, someone else will. Someone else will get to to experience the passion and fervor and all consuming love I have for the world that we live in. And to be honest, that doesn’t really fly with me. I live for that feeling and I plan on taking it with me wherever I go.

People have told me that it’s too much.
People have said that I’m too lucky, I need to stay grounded.
People have whispered that I had too much fun for one lifetime, time to take a break.

To those people;

No.

It’s not too much. I’m exploring the world I was placed in. There are millions and millions of things and people and sights to be gazed upon. I plan on doing so.

I can’t be grounded. I was born to fly. I’ve always been a dreamer, sometimes too much of one. But my parents raised me right, they gave me the best gift of all; creativity, imagination, love, passion and drive. They pushed me out of the nest. They knew I could fly. And for that I can’t disappoint them.

And for those who said I had too much fun. Is there really such a thing? Imagine for a moment the happiest you’ve ever been. Emulsify that into a tangible object. Would you put that object on a shelf because it was good enough? Would you let it sit there and collect dust? I wouldn’t. If I’ve had “too much fun”, then there’s much more fun to be had.

I was in a relationship for years that stifled me. It sucked me dry. I lost my lust for life.
He hated to travel. He hated when I brought it up. He hated when I went on trips. And slowly, very slowly, I started hating myself.
Then one day, I broke free.
I can’t look back to that. I can’t be that girl who depended on someone else for my self worth. Because I’m better than that.
This world is far too grand and great to not be appreciated. That’s what I’m here for.

There’s a place that everyone has, everyone knows of. There’s a place that everyone cherishes.

It’s different for everyone. Maybe it’s your bedroom, maybe it’s your local beach, a close encounter with someone in particular.

A place you can go where you feel the best, you feel content, happy, alone, forgiving, free. For me, it’s my lakehouse.

It’s this quiet getaway that I look forward to every year. Not so much the running around of the family, the happy shrill laughs that echo off the wall but rather the time right before sunset. There’s this inexplicable silence.

Like it’s just me and the trees. I like to sit in the hammock at this time, just rocking and listening to the creak of the metal chain, the birds that sing, the slight waves crashing against the rock. But it’s silent. It’s peace.

The inner workings of my mind seem to stop, even if for a brief few moments. But it’s like I can look at the world and see clearly for what seems like the first time. Like the daily nuisances that are constantly buzzing and beeping and screaming stops and it’s quiet.

I can breathe.

The wholesomeness of feeling again
The gentle breeze off the lake
Telling and whispering secrets
Of the many before me

The swaying of the hammock
Like inversions of emotions
Back and forth
Guiding me towards reckoning

The passage of time seems slow
The leaves seem to fall in waves
Drifting, floating, wavering
Still alone in the silence

Lessons.

I’ve done my fair share of exploring and seeing the world. Not as much as I hope to someday accomplish, but enough that I’m content.

What most people don’t tell you about traveling is how much you learn. About yourself, about other cultures, about the world in general. It’s not in the long lines of the tourist traps or in the audio guide rambling in your ear but rather in the people you meet along the way.

It’s in the lunch spent with a Belizean man whose whole life has been dedicated to holistic medicine derived from his Mayan ancestors. It’s in the shared pint with the Irish singer whose father died fighting for the IRA and still struggles with her identity as an Irish woman. It’s in the bottle of wine shared by two friends in Venice talking about stories of deranged childhoods who will never speak again after their travels.

As you go on, there are memories you will take back with you that no one will ever be able to appreciate in the way that you do. They become these little treasures that you hold the closest to your heart because they’re so precious. They’re glimpses of your hope in humanity.

But there are also those memories that make you reflect. Make you think.

Like the family who opened their home to you, made you a feast fit for a queen, gave you their biggest bed but struggled with the idea of having to send their kids to school because they couldn’t afford it. Or like the man in England who sat in the same spot everyday underneath the lion statue and looked so hopeless and his missing legs told a story too hard to hear. Or like the little girl in Guatemala who asked for money with big brown eyes and no left arm.

People don’t tell you about the bad things. But I think with good reason. Most of the time those “bad things” are just reflections of the society in which they’re brought up. They have no control over how they’re portrayed. And as Americans we expect the rest of the world to be to the standard that we are accustomed to. So when we see things that haunt us, they truly haunt us because we’ve never experienced anything like it.

That’s what travel is all about, though. It’s seeing, coming to believing, and experiencing. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wanderlust.

I have always had this intense urge to travel, to be lost, to see new things, to feel the earth beneath my feet.

I’ve never been able to let go of that urge or get a hold on it, whenever an opportunity presents itself, I take advantage of it. A roadtrip? Yes. A cruise? Yes. Study Abroad? Yes. Why should I limit myself to what I’m allowed to do? Who makes those rules anyways?

The more that I do see, the more I appreciate what I have. What I’ve been given. I’ve been given health. I’ve been given a family. Friends that love me, an education, jobs, food, warmth, love. I’m lucky. I know that.

But I can’t help but feel like my purpose isn’t limited to what I’ve been given. I’m constantly striving for more and I think there’s a reason.

I’m not entirely sure what that reason is nor do I need to know, I just want to explore the possibility of reasons. Tangle myself between them, lose myself to the idea of them, find myself within them.

There could be some profound reason like changing lives. There could be a mundane reason like I was an explorer in a past life. Who knows.

What I do know is this, I am the best version of myself when I’m traveling. I’m happy, I’m free, I’m wild, I’m the rawest form of me and also the most refined. I become who I’m meant to be, I transform into something out of a book. Placid yet intriguing, sharp yet content, I’m this ultimate conundrum of characteristics.

I learn something new about who I am and who I want to become every time I step foot onto a plane. A new land means new memories, new ideas, new thoughts.

Just the thought of getting on a plane and going anywhere makes me yearn for an adventure. To meet the people the tour guides warn you about, the locals. Learn the way they conduct themselves, learn their culture, how they communicate, how they learn, how they love and why they love their country.

Dr. Suess once said, “Oh, the places we will go…” and to me, that is everything. That’s my past, present, future. The places I’ve been define me. The places I’m going define who I will be.

And I’ll just be along for the journey.