On being 33

It’s just about an hour before I turn 34, and I can’t help but look back at this year and think about all the things I did and didn’t do. All the things I said I wanted to do and never got to. 

There have been so many changes this year, and when I think about all the ups and downs, I feel so very grateful to all the beautiful people who have been on this journey with me. It’s hard not to get all sentimental. The adventures with friends, the road trips, being in love, Sunday mornings with coffee in bed, making new friends in new cities, spending time with my nieces & nephew, and my new godson :) , the heartbreak and heartaches, and all the laughing and quiet introspective moments in between, alone. 

This year, I also vowed to do 33 things I’d never done before. 

It began as a silly list that I cobbled together in hopes that I’d push myself to do stuff I normally wouldn’t. As much as I wanted to avoid an overly cliched list, some things made it on there, like riding my bike across the Golden Gate Bridge (never got around to it). But there were other things too. Things like taking myself out to a nice fancy restaurant. Building a piece of furniture. And facing some real fears. Things that would force me out of my comfort zone. Those were the ones I really cared about the most. As it turned out, 33 things were a lot of things. And halfway through, after crossing off more than a dozen off the list, I started feeling like a lot of these bulleted points were arbitrary and meaningless. (I mean, did I really need to take voice lessons?) So I ditched most of the list at some point, focusing on just the things that would push me in ways that were uncomfortable, but that I knew would be ultimately rewarding. 

It all pretty much culminated in my trip to Mexico in late July when I decided to explore Guanajuato on my own, and spend some more time in Sayulita, writing. It was the best thing that I could have done for myself. And the first time I had ever really taken a trip on my own. I was scared, nervous, and worried. But I was also so excited. I threw myself into the experience and told myself to just be present. To soak up every moment and feel every emotion.  And I did. I cried, I laughed, I ate amazing food, I spoke strictly Spanish, I almost peed my pants, I crashed my bike in the Nayarit jungle, I swam freely (wink) in the salty ocean, I danced and sang in the alleyways of Guanajuato, I had fireflies visit me and fill my bedroom, I got lost, I found myself. Again.

It’s been a truly great year. Here’s to 34…and more.

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the best gift

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sometimes comes in the form of an intangible connection, a chance encounter, a serendipity of sorts, between two people. 

i found myself to be the recipient of such gifts on my last trip to Mexico.

it was my first time traveling alone and yet, it was when I felt so vulnerable, that someone would come along and start up a conversation. conversations that led to adventures, and lots of shared laughter. 

and those conversations—well, they couldn’t have been more perfectly placed at that specific moment in time. how could i not think that there was someone greater looking out for me?

One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else—closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel—one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them—even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering—the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.

Though here is a word of warning—you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn’t to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.

- Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure