Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Recap

How time flies! A combination of having fun, summer school, and working has evaporated my summer. Every summer I convince myself that i'll have more time to do said things and every summer I end up feeling like I have less time than I do during the school year. But here comes August and along with it Fall semester (will it ever end?). However, before I get carried away with what's in the future I want to reminisce about the fun things i've been doing.

May and June were the mule months. Essentially all I did was go up to the cabin on the weekends spending time with my Dad, Casper and Ruby.

Grand Daddy Lake

Second big event of the summer was Ragnar! I ended up running 17.1 miles. Definitely a memorable 48 hours, lots of good laughs from being deliriously tired.

4th of July at Hanna. Complete with a trip to Stillwater dam and the Tabiona rodeo.

My birthday. Which consisted of a beautiful mule ride in the morning to Grand Daddy trailhead, a fun night out with friends, and then a day of boating. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by amazing people!

I wish it could be summer forever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Risky Business

The biggest risk is not taking one

This week we are finally have some nice weather here in Salt Lake City, mid 70's and i've already got my first sunburn after doing homework outside today. I just couldn't be cooped up inside.

Time is just a flyin' by and in just two and a half weeks the semester will be over! Although i'm excited to be done with the courses i'm taking, I don't have the kind of loathing that I have experienced before by the end of the semester. Typically by the time finals week arrives I want to throw in the towel and give up on school but I feel like i'm finally finding my niche in school and actually enjoying what i'm learning. Studying still may be a pain, but it is fulfilling to put in the work and see how much I learn.

After having a conversation this week with one of my close friends about careers, it had me thinking the rest of the week about the reasons we choose what we do, and why people end up where they do.

I was, and still am on occasion, on the fence about what I want to do with my life professionally. The only thing that makes me more sure of my decisions now, is that I know in the end ultimately I choose how I want to live. At the end of the day work is important and I still want to be passionate about it but I don't want it to be the only thing i'm passionate about. I don't want to miss out on living the rest of my life. I keep wondering and wishing for an experience to get out of my hometown for awhile to meet new people and experience something new. Then I look at my pre-planned life and think, "I don't have time to do that! I've got to do this, this and this within this amount of time, I don't have any connections that would lead me out of Salt Lake, I have security here. etc. etc. etc."

and it all comes down to...

that it's too risky.

And then, I know or read about all of the people who have taken risks and it's all been OKAY. Whether they succeeded or failed, they are better because of it. The book "Wild (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail)" by Cheryl Strayed which I finished this last weekend fueled my inner wanderlust. It is about a woman who finds her life in shambles and decides to backpack 1,100 miles from California to Washington by herself. It was inspiring to read her memoir of finding herself that I yearned to do the same. She took and uncountable number of risks all of which she knew could end uncomfortably and learned tremendously from each.

So this week I have decided...

I want to be a person that takes risks.

Maybe, I want to try living in Seattle, even though i'll probably end up paying 4 times the rent I would in Salt Lake.
Maybe, I want to move the south where I can wear cowboy boots, get a little country, eat fried chicken n biscuits.
Maybe, i'll do a humanitarian trip to Costa Rica for a few months and learn Spanish.
Maybe, i'll buy a house.
And just maybe, at the next random opportunity i'll say yes instead of no.

I know i'm going to make mistakes, and I know all risks aren't going to have a positive payout. But if you're not making mistakes, you're not living enough.

Besides, I read somewhere that making mistakes while you are younger makes it much easier to bounce back if you fail. I've got a little to lose but more to gain. 

So now you're probably wondering when i'm going to just up and move away, or study abroad again, or invest in something risky. Well, there is such a thing as calculated risk and timing. I'm hopefully beginning that preparation now so that when I know the time and the risk is right i'll make that leap of faith.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Clarity at 40,000 Feet

It's been awhile since I was last on a plane, maybe 6 months or more. After frequently flying in Europe it feels like ages. The dreaded parts of traveling always have a way of leaving their mark on my memory; the packing, the queues, and just the airport in general. However, something that I often forget about traveling, especially solo, is that there is that time where you have jumped through all of the hoops of the airport etc. and all you have left to do is wait. After take off I just stare out the window and my mind wanders and it's amazing to me the kind of clarity that comes. 

No matter what my wandering thoughts are at the beginning of the flight, I always end up reflecting about where I'm coming from and where I'm going both literally and metaphorically. 

Here's what's coming to mind during this flight: 

- I love Utah. 
Sometimes you have to take a step away from your situation to realize how good you've got it. Taking off and watching this big beautiful mountains reminds me of how much I love where I live and how much I miss these mountains and the recreation they provide when I'm away. Watching the promo videos at my gate that show scenes from Zion's, Canyon Lands, and Moab really hit home how lucky I am to live where I do. Bravo to whoever did the promo, it's more inspiring than the ones in Texas welcoming people to the US... Anyways, I'm really grateful to have grown up in Utah and I'll keep an open mind this weekend while taking a look at the University of Washington to see whether or not I could really see myself making the jump if I'm lucky enough to get accepted. 

- What's really important? 
I realize that I don't exactly fit the cookie-cutter mold for most born & raised in Utah, and right now that's okay for me. I'm living and learning how to be happy in my own way and I am happier than I have ever been because of it. I have tremendous respect for anyone who strives to live a life that makes them happy. It's not always about the wrong and right way to do things but about how it makes you & others feel. 

I am especially realizing it now that I'm at a point where it's really important for me to have some sort of an idea of where I'd like to go in life. I'm a firm believer that to get anywhere you want to be that's worthwhile you've got to have the vision and the drive to get there. I can only hope that I can be genuine enough to myself to be driven to go in a direction that truly makes me happy. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Throw it back Thursday

Thursday I was in physically in Salt Lake..... but somewhere completely different mentally.

Why Thursday? Well... Thursday it rained in February. In Utah. After having 2 days of weather in the 60's?? What kind of a sick joke is this, mother nature? Knowing Utah, we still have at least another month of wintery snowstorms. Not looking forward to it... i'm sick of scraping snow off my car windows. :/

Anyways, I knew it was going to rain so I tried to be prepared and dress accordingly... except for the fact that I wore a jacket without a hood and no umbrella. So maybe I didn't really prepare all that well, other than to throw my hunter rain boots on. Which by the way, can I say have been a GREAT investment? It drives me crazy that I didn't buy them before I left to go live in a city where it rained for 2 months straight. Oh, and of course I regret not having them when I was in London for obvious reasons. Even the queen has been spotted in her Hunter wellies.

Enough about boots, so i'm walking back to my car from campus, the rain is running down my forehead into my eyes, my glasses are all foggy and all I can think about is Rome...

All I can think about is praying to the Roman weather gods to please, please let me have good weather and then convincing myself it wasn't going to rain and wearing; flats instead of boots, terrible jeans that absorbed every drop of water, and my non-water proof jacket  rather than my raincoat. I did however, bring an umbrella. And of course because I dressed like it wasn't going to rain, it rained... ALL day. And me being the devoted tourist I didn't want to miss a minute of seeing things in Rome.

The first part of the day.... ain't no thang! I had an umbrella and all was well in the world. And then, the wind started... my flimsy umbrella didn't stand a chance. It didn't even make it back to the hostel before I threw it away. That 2 mile walk back to the hostel was a very long, wet, cold walk. As I'm walking along tour buses and taxis are driving by and ruthlessly splashing me one after another and I remember thinking... you cannot be serious!

And so there I was making the trek on campus to my car and completely living in an entirely different moment. But this time enjoying the rain, even the water running down my forehead into my eyes. I never expected that I would ever reminisce about that moment in Rome, when nothing had gone as planned. But there I was, doing just that, and all I was thinking about was how homesick I was for Italy. Ti amo Italia!

Just for fun here are some selfies from the rain here in Utah, along with some from Rome.
Note: This most definitely was not the day that I had a ton of time to get ready.


Just another glorious day in Rome when you've got an umbrella and it's raining!

Passing Manuel Antonio Monument on my 2 mile jaunt back to the hostel
Hostel elevator selfie post 2 mile jaunt

 Luckily I had an outlet to blow off some of my Italian nostalgia. Julia, who also studied with me in Milan last spring, and I got together for a pizza night! We rolled our own dough, added our own ingredients and voila! Just like we were back in Italy... just kidding, not quite. However it's about as close as I can get without leaving Salt Lake. Nonetheless it was a fantastic evening and we always have a great time getting together and reminiscing about Milan.


As always thanks for the great times Jules! 

Now, only one exam and a week of school stand between me and spring break!

Ciao, Ciao!