Monthly Archives: June 2013

“Rereading” my past…

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I am not one to reread a book. Once I am done reading it I tend not to pick it up again. These days I am lucky if I even finish the book I am reading. Unlike books though I have moments where I “reread” my past. I tend to get caught up in these moments of reflection at transformative times in my life. It is at these times that I think back, observe differences in myself, ponder the choices I made and wonder what my life would look like had some  choices been made differently or had some thoughts become different actions.

I used to do a lot of “should” thinking. I “should do this” or “I should do that”. and when reflecting back it would look like, “I should have done this or I should have done that”. A very wise person, my mom, once told me, “Hunny, ‘shoulding’ on yourself s like shitting on yourself“. Ew! was my first thought after hearing that, but she is right. There is no point in”shoulding”.  We continuously make decisions and of course our decisions affect the journey of our lives. If different decisions were made in the past then our present realities would indeed look different, but we made the decisions that we made and things look the way they do. The concept of “should” is a created one if you ask me.

In truth there are no “shoulds” or “should nots” there are only decisions, choices that we make. While I may wonder how my life may have turned out if I had chosen a different path I do not want to change anything. It is because of the  decisions that I made in the past that I am who I am  today. Not all decisions were easy or even good for that matter, but each decision brought something to my life, whether it be a lesson, a memory or a chance to grow. This does not mean that I have always made the best decisions, to be honest I have not. To that, the same very wise person, my mom, said to me, “Em, there are no mistakes in life as long as we choice to learn something from our actions.  What are called mistakes (or bad decisions) then become lessons.” Again, I believe that she is right.

As mentioned in previous posts, the transformation that is approaching in my life is my start at a new job and my upcoming move to Germany. Just a few years ago I would have never envisioned myself planning for such a move or starting such a new job. When I look back, there are a few moments in my life that I feel like someone else must have been inhabiting my body because the choices I made are not ones I would make now. Without those choices though, be they painful, potentially dangerous, daring, risky, overly trusting etc. they brought me to where I am today. When I hit a “bump in the road” I chose to stand back up, keep going, and to learn from it. From that I have learned a great deal. I may be only 22 but trust me I had a lifetime of experiences already.

Remembering that we all have our own unique story… My personal life story involves more challenges than may be in another person’s. It also includes more joys, wealth, love, laughter and adventure than may be in another’s. My personal life story may include less of all these when compared to another as well.

Yesterday, in preparation for my move I was going through items of mine that are in storage from a previous move. In the boxes I found pictures, lots of them actually. Many of  the framed photos that I found were taken in Maine, the place that I call “a little piece of heaven”. Looking at the photos brought tears to my eyes. My brothers, sisters, cousins and friends are in the pictures. We were all so young then. Back in “the good old days” as kids, things seemed easier. We were concerned about playing games, making restaurants, going swimming and hiking, watching airplanes take off at the local airport and picking blueberries. I looked at myself, a much younger girl then in the pictures and I saw such happiness. That happiness fills me today, it has matured though I think. As the tough situations in my life taught me to be stronger than I ever thought possible. The love in my life taught me to share love in ways I never could have imagined. Now, internationally engaged… preparing for an international move, I hope that I am making the young me proud.

Looking at the photo, seeing a childish reflection of myself, I imagined what, Em, my younger self, would say to me. Here’s what I think she would say, “Why do you stress so much? Don’t you see that things always work out in one way or another?” ~”Keep smiling, it looks really good on you”

Who knows if the younger me, would really say that. But I know that it is a good reminder and the innocent smile I saw looking back at me in the pictures reminded me that life is too short for all the stress that I let in. Life is too short for all the worries. Life is just the right length of time to smile often, love much, hug a lot, laugh too much and trust your heart to lead you to a life of sheer happiness.

At the end of “rereading my past” yesterday, I found myself smiling from ear to ear. My past is an imperfectly perfect one, it is my story and I would not trade it with anyone. I was once told that the past should remain in the past. Like how I read a book, I was advised to never “reopen” it. I see no harm in revisiting the past. It holds beautiful memories filled with great people and places. Even the tough moments can be good to remember, serving as a testimony to how strong I am and to much I am capable of accomplishing.

My dad, another wise person in my life, once gave me what looks like a simple coin. Yesterday, while rummaging through things I found it. A circular coin with a tree engraved in the middle, in the tree lies a single mustard seed and around the tree the words “If ye have Faith as a grain of mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matt. 17:20 KJV. A simple yet profound statement inscribed on the coin serves as a reminder to me that anything I dream up may be possible if I choose to create it. Moments, while rare, that provide me the space to “reread” my past are comforting and heartwarming. I am not saying they are always easy moments, but our past is a part of us. I invite you to have Faith. I invite you to take a moment and “reread” your past. I am always surprised at how much I have accomplished in my short life, you might be as well. Peace.

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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Think positive thoughts.

It’s pretty simple actually. and remember our thoughts become words. Our words become actions. Which brings us back to: Think positive thoughts. ❤ Do what makes your heart happy.

“Happiness is w…

I stand for love, equal, beautiful love.

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“Where there is love, there is life” This is a phrase I have grown up hearing. I believe it completely with all my heart. Love does not exclude. Love does not see color, gender, race, size, differences, delays. Love sees what matters, the beauty that is within us. 

For years now, I have been troubled by the unequal rights that the government had in place for marriage rights. Marriage, a celebratory union of two people in love, was not federally recognized for those who are not heterosexual. Today though was an incredible day for love in the United States of America. 

DOMA is no more, ruled unconstitutional! Prop 8 is gone too ❤ Now this makes sense! Thank you Congress for recognizing that love is not a force to be interfered with. 

Everyone deserves to be happy and to have the chance to be married to the love of their life. Straight, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender… it is all beautiful, wonderful and lovely. There are still countries in this world where people are persecuted for being gay. The fight for equality is not over yet. 

My heart is smiling. Today a chant from Pride Day ran through my mind  “Have Pride, Have Faith” … let us never lose faith that change is possible!

 

Lost in Nature…

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Lost in Nature...

Can you spot the porcupine (in the tree), the snake slithering (through the water) and of course the family puppy Lily ?

The beautiful sunny weather of today provided my Mom, Dad, and I with our puppy Lily the perfect opportunity to “get lost in nature” as we hiked up Mount Wachusett.
Sometimes the thing to do is disconnect from all the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with beautiful nature.

My wish for everyone is that you have the chance to “lose yourself” in nature. Take a moment to stop and relax in the wonder of it all. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Today, I give thanks for nature, its wonder, the mysteries it holds, the beauty it provides and the calm it brings me…
Peace is what our hike today filled me with. What does the outdoors provide for you? Please do share …

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Dad, You’re my Hero by Teresa James *Dad’s day song*

As I did for Mother’s Day.. I would like to stop and say thank you! Thank you to my incredible Dad and to dads and father-figures all over the world. 

I will always remember the Christmas store that my Kindergarten had so that all of us in my class could bring our change and buy gifts for our family. I excitedly picked out an art easel decoration for my mom and a Super Dad notepad for my dad.

I could not wait for Christmas to come after my selection because I was sure that I had just picked out the greatest presents ever! What more could my parents want but a decoration and a notepad!?

… of course when Christmas day came my parents were thrilled with their gifts! Three years ago in 2010, during my first trip to Germany I bought my dad a mug that said “Du bist Super Papa“! On it is a lion with a superhero cape on and his arm up in the air.

My dad, my personal super hero. 

As a little girl, I thought my dad was the funniest… As a pre-teen I began to understand what people meant when they used to say “he’ll embarrass you someday”… As a teenager, I just wanted my dad to let go of the reigns and stop trying to hold me so tight. I wanted my dad to trust that I could do everything on my own (being the all-knowing teenager that I was)… now as a young woman, I am so glad that my dad is still here, ready to listen, make me laugh, embarrass me, frustrate me… whatever. 

You see, I will continue to grow up … but in my dad’s eyes I have come to realize that I will always be his little girl and in my eyes my dad will always be my Super Dad or in German my Super Papa

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The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can. -Mike Dooley

My life, different from yours, includes its unique set of dreams. Dreams, turning into reality with each moment that I take action towards their achievement are a wonder to see unfold. Not all my dreams come true as quickly as I would like them to, but with patience, persistence, love, and baby steps living the life of my dreams turns into reality.

The past few months and the summer months are steps toward a dream: Study Abroad and living in Germany closer for a time to my loving fiance, family, and friends there…

Step 1: Apply for study abroad program through GlobaLinks Learning Abroad at Freie Universitat Berlin

Step 2: After acceptance, apply for as many scholarships as I can get my hands on!

Step 3: Have patience, more than I was originally wanting to… great things come in time.

Step 4: Receive approval from department chairs at my home university for classes that will be taken apart

Step 5: Have all paperwork signed and completed, copied and sent to GlobaLinks Abroad

Step 6: Continue clear communication with advisors, program, host university and home university

Step 7: Work on learning some basic German language skills before it is time to fly off, Pimsleur is a great language program for those interested.

Step 8: Book a flight!!!

Step 9: Wait for knowledge on scholarship acceptance/declines…

Step 10: Submit travel plans to study abroad program

Step 11: Meet other students traveling abroad through Facebook

The remaining steps continue to unfold… in an effort to assist in financing my time abroad … I am working full time all summer before I leave… a new journey begins during my eight weeks left here in the USA.

The secret to l…