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My brother took this photo as we explored Fort Ord National Monument (Laguna Seca trailhead, Salinas CA)

My brother took this photo as we explored the Fort Ord National Monument (Laguna Seca trailhead, Salinas CA)

My goal for this sparkling new year: EXPLORE.

Which means cracking open. Trusting myself. Shedding expectations. Kicking thoughts of unworthiness upside the head, giving me enough time to run away, shouting for joy.

Anyone wanna come with me?

Hello, 2016. Let’s do this.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

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the fixer upper

I have a favor to ask. Have you ever said to yourself, “Eureka! I know the perfect person for janeintraining…”? Because let’s face it, I know you’re constantly thinking about me. But be warned: too much me will fry your brain into one of those charred and shriveled potato chips you occasionally find in an otherwise fresh bag. I hate that! What’s it doing in there?!?

Oh, right, my favor: DO NOT TELL ME YOU ARE FIXING ME UP. Bold, italic and underlined should tell you how serious I am about this. Never in the history of my blog have I used all three at the same time. (Or maybe I have. I’m too lazy to check.)

It’s way too much pressure. I will get stressed out and act how I think a normal person should act, which will result in an even weirder version of me.

…awkward…(like my dating life)

I suggest asking me to meet up for a glass of wine and I’ll be there without blinking. If you mention champagne, I’ll dress up and arrive a few hours early. And then you can casually introduce me to your brother/cousin/nephew/grandpa/son. This way, he’ll get a few minutes of normal before I start to turn.

This woman obviously cares more about her date than the champagne she’s about to spill. Where are her priorities?

I’m bringing all of this up because…

[a few months ago while getting my hair cut]
MyHairStylist: “Hey, I almost forgot to tell you – I have a client whose cousin just moved into town. She says he likes Asian women!”
Me: “…uh…” (brain short-circuiting)
Me: “…(mental capacity now like one of those charred chips I just talked about)…”

Is this what people do on dates now? Is this hygienic? Why is she hiding her hands? Has she fallen asleep from too much romance?

I’ve been single for the last four years, dating here and there. I like being single, except for when it sucks to be single. I have hope, but I don’t want to use that hope as a life preserver. I’m shifting towards being okay not finding that forever-and-ever person; rather, I want to connect with allies, gather a tribe, surround myself with a gaggle of heart-wise, laughter-invoking tricksters and soul-tenders. I want to add to my existing menagerie of superstar friends.

My brain has somewhat recovered and I’m more relaxed now about being set up. My initial thoughts of rejection, disappointment, and general fear have given way to the possibility of meeting a potentially awesome person to add to my menagerie. (Don’t worry, I don’t actually tell people this when I meet them. They might think I want to display them in a glass case with the rest of my collection of humans. Oops. I’m always revealing too much information.)

As 2016 swiftly approaches, I’ve decided to try looking at the world as a curious explorer. Somehow, this idea gives me more courage to move forward instead of staying still and worrying about an unpredictable outcome…

“A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is.”

― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness

 

trippin’

Back. Need vacay from trip. Post pics to buy time. Unable form full sente

Arriving in Seattle

Arriving in Seattle

The stunning EMG building with photobomb by Space Needle

The stunning EMP building with photobomb by Space Needle

Leaves on Ground Retrospective:

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IMG_1481

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Oftentimes when I return from a trip, I need a vacation. The beautiful accumulation of sights and sounds, the wanderings and wonderings…it all tends to give me a travel hangover. My brain has been fogged over, compounded by a lingering head cold.

I came back from Seattle with memories of a very green-living city in the full bloom of fall. The trees! The leaves!! The people so fantastic!!! The men with beards so prolific!!!! I know you were hoping for a Bearded Men Retrospective, but I get kinda shy taking pictures of bearded strangers.

I also didn’t take one photo of anything I ate. No food porn to post. I have no regrets – except for the grilled goat cheese & tomato jam sandwich with tomato soup I had at Radiator Whiskey. It’s not the first time I’ve wanted to marry a food item and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

I was traveling with my friend GMoney (shout out to her street cred), who by the way, is a great photographer. Without her, I don’t think we would have found our way around as well as we did. If I were on my own, I would still be standing on that street corner after having gotten on the wrong bus. (I think in another life I was robbed by a circus clown while holding a map, staring at a fork in the road. Just a few of my fears rolled into one.)

Let’s return to something more pleasant, shall we?

Open Spaces, Peaceful Places, Quiet Moments aka Nature Will You Marry Me Gallery:

green with envy

GMoney at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

GMoney at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

Seattle Center

Seattle Center

I like visiting cities and feeling the excitement and energy in the air. I like getting the vibe of different neighborhoods. But I am clearly and definitively a country mouse who likes to rock ‘n roll once in a while. Travel has a great way of jumpstarting the brain with new activity. It blows the dust off those synapses and stretches them out like rubber bands. Feels good. It has inspired me to make a list of new places, near and far, that I want to explore with my boyfriend, Camera.

…i plan to propose soon…shhh…

I know it seems like I am a proposaholic, but I assure you, I am not. I do not have a problem.

Do you know if Coffee is seeing anyone right now?