Saturday, February 16, 2013

Scared, Surreal, Sublime

Hello again my lovely friends and family, and to all of you that I do not know but who read this, thank you, and you are beautiful (never forget it)!

Now I am settled into the apartment that I will be living in until at least June, have internet, and can catch up on some posts that are long over-due. Again, I have so much I want to write about, and feel I need to write about, to get you (and my blog) up to speed on my life. I think I'll start at the beginning though, and then come back to my housing situation. I've already written a post about it, which I will post up as the "initial/first impression" post, and then make amendments as the months pass on and I learn, grow, and love more. :)

But for now, there is something I want to share with you that I wrote on the airplanes coming over here. It's in the notebook I often use to write poetry, thoughts, and entries. This entry is dated from 10/01/2013 (the day that I was arriving in Spain last month, 10th of Jan.)...

Scared. Surreal. Sublime.

Initially, FREAKING OUT. 
Questioning if I could even do this.
What was I thinking?
Almost screaming, "TURN THE PLANE AROUND!! I have to get off, I can't do this!!" As if it were a ride at a theme park.
Nope, hunny, this is now your life. 

Satan was getting in my head, making me think I'm not strong enough, brave enough, or capable at all. 
And you know what?
That means I'm on a hot trail, and on the brink of doing the right thing, and something big.

They always say that if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough. 
Well, I think it goes the same for everything in life. If it doesn't scare you at least a little, you're taking the easy route or the easy way out. 

Life isn't supposed to be fearless. It's good to get the blood pumping every once in a while, otherwise, you're killing yourself. Our minds, bodies, and souls were created to do great things. We can't deny them that opportunity because we choose to live in fear instead. 

I actually think the word "innate" needs to be used here. When something is innate, it means that it is inborn, natural, and originating in the mind. I think it is an innate desire of our souls to do something big and impactful with our lives. I've yet to see a baby that isn't curious about everything that goes on around it, so where does that curiosity go?

I know a lot of us remain those curious beings, wandering off from the group to look or observe, questioning constantly, seeking and finding, just to seek again. So what about the rest? 

I know too many people that have the same wants I do, for a life of adventure and travel; wants for the life that I am about to begin living, but they have fallen prey to societal bounds. They've become so paralyzed by their fear for breaking the mold, that they don't realize how much they're suffocating. 

On the upside, at least many of them still enjoy their lives. They are happy, like their friends, families if they're at that stage in life, and even like their jobs. But you know what? Not a single one of them said, "man, I'm so glad I never did something like you're doing," or, "if I was your age and had the choice, I'd go corporate and start your work life." No, not a single person said I shouldn't do this. But everyone of them said they wished they had. 

[So yeah, it's great if you are living a life you love, that's what it's all about. "Love the life you live, live the life you love." As long as you enjoy your blessed and gifted time on earth, then you're good doing what you're doing. But life's certainly not about looking back and wishing you'd done things you didn't. That's the worst thing a person can do, hold regrets about their own life. (This portion is in parenthesis because it wasn't originally in what I wrote on the 10th, but is a very important note. I've left what I wrote in it's original format, and unedited to let the emotions of the moment shine through more.)]

My 2012 resolution was to live my life with no regrets, and so far, I've done a killer job. A few things here and there I would have done differently, but when I look back, I'm pleased. But pleased and really satisfied are a far cry from the same thing.

Here I talked about my 2012. My 2012 kicked butt. I lived it up, drank it down, grew a lot, and rocked out hard, but as I said in that post, I want more. 

I want more than festivals and raves and the same experience in a variation over and over again. No, 2013 is all about having those experiences, in other countries, and then some!

See, now this is why they are ADD Adventures, I was going to write about the three feelings I've spent most of the last 30 hours with, and instead, I ended up with this. Haha. 

I'll pick up at the end of scared... Actually, I think terrified beyond belief is better. I was really questioning myself and what I was thinking doing something like this. I was sad too though. To be leaving my family and friends behind was a hard pill to swallow. I've gotten used to being with my family, and knowing we would be so far away was killing me inside. 

Luckily, "Pitch Perfect" was the film they showed during the SF to Chicago leg. I was so happy when they said that would be the film. I needed those laughs so much, and had been wanting to see it again. (If you haven't already, you should watch it, it is hilarious.) God was looking out for me on that one!

So the first flight I enjoyed "scared shitless" and "sad."

By the time I was on the plane to Madrid from Chicago (a quick hour between this and the first leg), surreal had sunk in. I sat there, completely bewildered, that this plane would be taking me to Spain. Then, the more I thought about it, the excitement started to sink in. 

[I was actually going back. The thought, the thing, the life I had been craving, thinking, wanting, manifesting, and hoping for almost every single day for two and a half years, was finally going to be mine once more. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was sitting on a plane, bags packed, moving back to Spain. It's one of the craziest realities I've accepted so far.]

The self-assured-ness that I'd been feeling came rushing back, and immediately my mentality switched. I am moving back to Spain. Wow. I still can't believe it's actually happening  And now, I will land in Madrid in less than 40 minutes, and I am feeling like I'm on the upward climb, peddling my heart out, to sublime. 

Side note -- I'll feel even closer to sublime after I brush my teeth and change my socks. Haha. 

A life full of new experiences starts right now. LEGGO!


So, as you can see, I'm not really as brave as many people told me I am. I am in the sense that I actually did this, am here, and am living it, but it's not like I'm some superhero with no fears (how great would that be!?). I'm human, I am scared, and I'm still not completely comfortable, but I'm getting there. I really had to tell myself that it isn't acceptable, or going to work, to scream for them to turn the plane around and let me out. I kept picturing my amazing dad standing there outside security, watching me inch closer and closer to the point of no return, waving and working his way up the stairs and out, as I worked my way forward and on. It still makes me cry (as I now am) when I think about, picture and feel that, but it also makes me remember how blessed and fortunate I am to even have this option. 

That was one heck of a roller-coaster I was on for about 28 hours (traveling here), and it still is one. I've had two mental breakdowns since I got here, and doubted myself more times than I can count. But it's these moments of fear, questioning, and doubt, they have also brought strength, assurance, and confidence. If I wasn't on a hot trail for God and goodness, Satan wouldn't be trying so dang hard to make me think I can't, so I'm going to keep on keepin' on!

Today's Thoughts: I've come a long way since the stupid kid I was my senior year in high school or the party girl I was for so long. I'm really proud of who I've become, what I want to do with my life, and what I'm doing. I hope that each and every one of you gets to this point, because it's the only way to live your life -- constantly loving on yourself, so you can project it out to others. Live well, be well, and as always, MAKE YOUR OWN REALITY! 

<3 Love, blessings, and excessive amounts of joy to all! <3

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's the Scoop with the Poop?

You know when you move to a country with an open-mind, trying to accept everything as being "part of their culture," new, and somehow exciting because it's different? Well, you know how sometimes that just doesn't work out no matter how hard you try to accept it and just think of it as a cultural difference? That's exactly how I feel about the Spaniards tendency to let their dogs "caca" anywhere and everywhere they dang well please. Walking down the street is like playing a never-ending game of hopscotch, or a real-life version of Super Mario! Walk with your head up at your own risk! 

These dogs have the run of the mill over here, and it doesn't seem to phase many of the locals as much as I think it should. In the States, if someone doesn't have a little bag with them and pick up the poop of their dog from the sidewalk, you glare. You automatically categorize them as a douche or jerk, and hope they catch your scolding look. Here, it doesn't matter. Here, everyone does it.

In the total of 10 months I've lived in Spain (nine in the north in Bilbao, and now one so far here in the south in Sevilla), I have seen one person pick up their dogs poop (that I can remember), and it was a couple weeks ago. (Thank goodness too, because he had a German Shepherd, and those big dogs, man, they leave a nice pile for ya!) I've even watched people kick their dogs poop into the garden box where the tree grows on the sidewalk! But bend down and put it in the trash bin that's undoubtedly ten steps away? Not going to happen. I guess it can be explained by the fact that in many places they actually come through at night with high-pressure water sprayers and clean the streets, but not every single little street all over the city! Certain areas, sure, if it's going to be washed away by the morn', I suppose I can accept that, but in those areas where it will just sit and go through each and every phase of decomposition, and then still remain there, NO. Unacceptable. I just can't.

I have actually taken to avoiding certain parts of Mairena (the village that I am working in about 35 minutes outside Sevilla) because 10's of land mines is not on my "To-See In The Mornings" list. It's gross, and there's no other way to say it. I am not trying to turn you off to Spain, but just beware, if you come, pay attention where you're going. It's so hard, because you want to walk around with your head up, looking at all the splendor there is to see, but you also run the risk of returning to your sleeping quarters with some stanky feets.

I've even asked some locals, "Ok, so I just have to know, why is it that Spanish people let their dogs poop all over the sidewalks?" They didn't even know. It really is just a part of la vida Espanola. I think this explains a lot about humans in general and our behavior -- we do things, and we don't even know why. Could be anything. I know a lot of times I'll think, say, do, or want to do something, and think to myself, "Why? What the heck??" Human nature, gotta love it!

Today's Thoughts: Now I'm trying to think of things that people might go to our country and think, "I just don't understand why they do that." I'm thinking...obesity. And the tendency to live a tasteless life. ;-) Live it large, live it good, pay it forward, and as always... MAKE YOUR OWN REALITY! <3 

(Also, if anyone can shed some light on this grave mystery, please comment below. I'm always looking to understand those things that I don't, especially if you are coming from a local perspective! P&L)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sevilla, A Canvas of Color and Creativity

Oh my gosh, not too much time has passed since I last wrote, but I feel like so much has happened! My creative juices are flowing so much here, that I keep thinking of things I want to write about! There´s so much to tell you, so much to describe, and for some of you, most importantly, so much to fill you in on! I am completely unsure where to start, but this is the kind of time when I implement the simplest advice ever given to me in my working days: "Take a step back. Slow down."

These words were spoken to me by one of my co-workers at the Disney/ABC Television Group when I had that six week job I talked about here. I was doing a lot of data entry on invoices and other forms that you really can´t screw up, and for me, when I see numbers all over the place, my mind starts to skip. I was forgetting certain things and inputting others incorrectly, and Ou told me to just, "take a step back and slow down." I don´t think he realized how much weight these words held with me, and I know he has no idea how many times I´ve thought them since. 

I am the kind of person that moves quickly. I do things fast, I rush, and I am incredibly hyper-active. This causes errors that are completely avoidable, and was the reason I was so bad in math. Now, as I´m getting older, I´m becoming a much calmer person, but for a while, I was not. Having someone who was training me on a job tell me that I needed to just take a step back and slow down was very impactful. I use this as a reminder anytime I can tell that I´m getting frantic, over-worked, stressed, or overwhelmed. It helps me to stop what I´m doing, take a deep breath, slow down my thinking, and then return to whatever it is feeling stronger and more capable. And that´s what I have to do with this blog.

I want to tell you about all the adventures I´ve had, the places I´ve seen, the things I´ve done, and the foods I´ve eaten, but I also want to tell you about the realizations I´ve had, not-so-coicidental moments I´ve experienced, and about how perfectly everything seems to be coming together. As you can see, it´s a lot. The last post I dove into the spiritual side of my life and talked about the revelations that I had, so perhaps, this time, I will write about something else. But, the spiritual side of what´s happening to me seems to be the most prevelant and remarkable at this time, so I´m just not sure. 

All I know for sure is that I need to tell you all that Sevilla is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities. When I visited it during Semana Santa (holy week, aka Easter week) in 2010, I didn´t appreciate it as much as I should have. I was here to party, see the tourist attractions, experience Semana Santa, and nothing more. I didn´t get a chance to really appreciate the beauty and culture this place has to offer, and was completely overwhelmed by the massive crowds of people, processions, and other celebrations. That must be why God brought me back -- He knew that this city and I would mesh well and love one another. 

The city is like a canvas, everywhere, there´s art. Paintings cover the city, and although I presume their main purpose is to prevent graffiti, they result in the city being full of color and creativity. When stores are closed, they have, usually, metal doors that pull down or slide across to cover the glass windows and what-not of the store. These are down many hours of the day, since the siesta takes place from about 2-5, and all day on Sundays, so it makes sense that store owners would want people walking by to know what the establishment is, and also be drawn to it even when it is closed. Most of the paintings depict what the store is, and some are just colorful paintings of lovely, Spanish-type images. 

And as if this wasn´t enough to make a girl feel creative and get the juices flowing, even the recycle bins around the city are all painted! It really is a wonder just to bike or walk around and see how many different illustrations I can find. It makes me feel so alive and happy to know I´m in a city where art is demonstrated everywhere. It´s not just a medium to express here on paper or parchment, but on things that we consider dirty, ugly, and only serving one purpose (recycle bins). It makes you think about art in a different way, and for me, love it even more than I already do. 

I still have it on my list of to-take´s to take my camera and go out and take photos of the street art and graffiti here, but for now, I had to share this. I know many of you are artistic people, and I hope that this inspires you to consider art differently, more widely, and perhaps to take to doing more creative things more often. It feels so good to be this alive, with my brain working and thinking, dreaming and doing. I was so disctracted before by TV and media, but now, I´m freed from that hold and experiencing life with new eyes. I feel like my passion and lust for life have returned to me after a period of uncertainty and slight depression. I´ve always enjoyed my life, but I´ve always craved and needed more. Now, I am living the dream I created many moons ago, and feel like the most blessed child alive! I pray this for you all, and as always, MAKE YOUR OWN REALITY! <3