Solo Reflections

I found this reflection in my phone. Ironically its almost a year old and yet, today I leave for my second solo trip – headed to Nicaragua. My heart melts at the lessons I learned in my 5 days of travel throughout Italy. These things take some people a lifetime to realize. A wink of faith and a touch of courage carried me through my first solo trip abroad. Nica, be good to me.

I knew I needed this. I sometimes know what I need but talk myself out of needing it because I’m scared of what it takes to go through it. But this trip and this time with myself was necessary.

Four years ago, while volunteering I had a conversation about travel with a young woman who was young like me, vibrant and had just finished traveling throughout Africa. 20+ countries – ALONE!! That conversation shook me! I was stunned, impressed, and wow’d by her journey. In less than 24 hours we became Facebook friends and I peeled through her albums detailing her travels throughout Africa. At the time I was also recently laid off and unemployed. So her experience got under my skin and even had me reconsidering entering the workforce.

Nonetheless, four years later here I’m am finally creating my own journey of opportunity, openness, and humility.

My takeaways:
1. I don’t know it all. Its okay to not know it all. Ask for help.
2. Stop assuming. Stop predicting the outcome. You don’t know until you give every chance, every opportunity, every person and every possibility a try.
3. Look people in the eye and engage them.
4. There are people who do want to help. They want to be apart of the journey. There’s good in them.
5. Smile. Even though I still haven’t seemed to master this in a way that doesn’t make me look crazy. I realize people are curious beings, their smile and stares aren’t necessarily insulting. Sometimes they’re intrigued or admiring. Stare and smile back.
6. Expect the best, expect to be wow’d. Expect something great to happen.
7. Never let weather stop you. Weather is like time >> it passes.

Italy, you wet my palette. This is just the beginning – for us and me. #dueseason #tobecontinued

#Stunt[ed] Season

I’ve been holding onto this post for a while. It’s personal and sits close to the heart. Today was a snow day which means I stayed home all day and worked from home. While sitting here today, working away, I realized a mood coming over me. Similar to the way I felt when I wrote this post. This was my day – today, a month ago, and many days over the last year. 


I need my thoughts to settle so I can air things out. Right now, the layers and levels of thought occurring in my head – well, they continue to stunt this writing process I’ve been trying to get going for the last year. Over the last couple of months, I have found it very hard to relax. Simply sitting down to watch a 30-minute sitcom like Blackish on ABC has come to feel like time wasted. A nervousness comes over me. I start to fidget. I’ll look at my phone, open up a web tab, scroll through social media, bake a cake, send an email, write a to-do list just so I can feel like I’ve made progress in life during a segment of life that should have been spent relaxing.

But I can’t relax.

I am constantly thinking, always doing, forever going, continually moving, perpetually leaving and incessantly arriving to a place that I always feel is just shy of the target. How could it be that in the midst of all this busyness, I have yet to feel like I have arrived at the goal?

A part of me feels like the constant flow of tasks, masks an insecure feeling on inadequacy. Just do, do, do – so I can feel accomplished, productive as I create this feeling that I am progressing through life. But there’s no gold star to be had in adulthood. There’s no award for conquering a busy life. And no incentive for a sore body, birthed out of stress and exhaustion. I think the tasks – the coming, the going, the doing and thinking  – mask the loneliness. The sheer reality is that in the midst of this lively life, I am right where I started and nowhere near where I need/want to be. The reality is that life sometimes is lonely. It has been that way for quite some time now. The treatment has been to exhaust myself with goals and tasks in order to validate myself. I’m realizing that no matter how many boxes I check, how many goals I accomplish that when it’s all said and done – none of these things provide me with the comfort that I truly desire. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of the work. However, “A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night” – Marilyn Monroe. I’ve had one too many cold nights.