Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Need This Train to Breakdown...

When I was traveling in Europe this Spring, I often found myself willing the any train I was on, to slow down and let me off. Let me go explore the small towns we were passing, let me soak it all in, let me just be a little more and a little different than before.

Back in the city, after a few days in Georgia with my family and a lovely holiday with good friends, I find myself asking for the train to break down once again, and let me off for a bit. The activity of a life lived intensely is catching up with me. I am tired. I want one less thing on my to-do list. I want one less person I need to please. I want one less email or text or phone call to send.

I notice that I go through the spells a few times a year. Before I hated them... 'Slow down? Que pasa?" But I now I relish in them. Its these times that my extroverted self will slow down and watch the world vs. being what the world is watching. Nights at home, or mornings sleeping in become the norm vs. up at 6AM and to the gym, or out all night and still up at 6AM. I do wear myself out sometimes.

I am thankful that one of these 'retrogrades' are on the horizon, just as I have three weeks off from the office. It couldn't come at a better time. I need to retreat from the world for a bit and get lost in my own little world. Yep, I really do need this train to breakdown and let me wander for a bit.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Bittersweetness of Life

I don't really know how to catagorize this week. Its been one of figuring things out for sure. Its been a week of celebrations, and goodbyes. A week of learning what I want, and just when I think I have it figured out, there is another decision to be made. Its been a very 'real' 6 days.

I am still in shock over last night's news. One of my dearest friends in the world is going to be a daddy! I am in love with this news. In this day and age with so many couples have trouble with infertility, a couple that loves each other and I love together is going to have a baby in 6 months. On the flipside of this, this news means that in one month they are moving -- from being 3 blocks away to a 3-hour plane ride. This news sucks.

Of course I am so happy for them in their new life, the fact they have each other to go through these changes with, and to know that two of my favorite people have found the one they want to spend 'happily ever after' with. Its exciting times, for sure. But it does make me sad.

We are all growing up. Faster than we want too. Sometimes in this adult playland its easy to forget that life is happening and passing each day. This place is the land of opportunity, and yet with so many opportunities to try, sometimes its easy to keep trying new things vs. being confident in what we want -- there is always just one more thing to do or check off the bucket list before we allow ourselves to rest a bit and be content with life.

When changes happen to those around you, it reminds you of how short life is. And there is no time like the present to follow your dreams, because tomorrow may not have time for a trip to India or time for that long run in Central Park, and you will always want those moments back. The difficulty of life is making choices, for saying yes to something means saying 'no' to so much else...But one day, you find that something that gives you new meaning, and I believe when you find it, 'yes' is the easiest thing to say.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time For Me

As females, we love relating to other people. Whether its our girlfriends or boys, relating -- the back and forth of conversation, the sharing of time and ideas -- is what we revel in. That is what I revel in. I love having interesting people around, and I love ensuring they will be around for awhile -- almost to the detriment of myself at times.

It seems I am on another clean-out binge these days. This time in the male sector of my life. Its tough being single in a somewhat lonely city, as sometimes we cling to potential mates just to have someone vs. really wanting that person in our life. But over this weekend and this week, I realized that multiple faces in my life were just not cutting it. And as I bid them adieu for this reason or that, I felt myself opening up to something better. Because it is true, every moment spent with someone who doesn't provide what you want/need is time taken away from someone who might.

So I am flying solo again. And thankfully so. I had gotten so bogged down in dating, that I wasn't taking the time I needed for myself. And now I have that time back, who knows what will come. The universe rarely closes a door without opening a window, and I am excited and ready for what comes next.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Has Beens

Tonight I let myself do what I never do. I ventured past 'here' to 'then', and allowed myself to go along with a night that was presently happening but based on thoughts and feelings circa 2004. It was odd, meeting up after several years of " not meeting-up". Despite previous meetings and encounters that did not always end on the best note, there was still something between us -- whether that could be descibed as attraction, or joy at seeing a person from before, I don't know. Neither I nor my drinking buddy for the night knew what that meant.

Within a matter of minutes of agreeing to hang out on this rainy Friday night, old patterns and old roles began to play out. Me bringing the 'let's have fun vibe', he bringing the 'let's have fun my way' vibe. And as always was the case, we wash each other out. He interrupts my stories; I don't think his are funny. I find the silver lining; He just wants to complain. I am drinking my wine froom Spain; he is drinking a beer faster than the speed of light. Its just not fun. It wasnt' then, and it's not now... despite how easy it seems for two people who have known each other for 6 years to enjoy each other's company. With him, its impossible.

Somethings just don't change, even though time passes. At one point, I wanted this person to be in my life in a major way, but those days have long passed. Present day, I was open to creating a friendship due to the fact that we knew each other so long, but honestly, I think this guy is incapable of such.

And when words I was saying were butchered due to the entire bar screaming along to Michael Jackson and he thought I said something totally than I did, I couldn't even be bothered to explain myself. Because if I did, the night would end well, and there would be the option to hang out again. And why do that, when I know nights with him never reach higher than 'okay' at best? That's not the way I have been living this year, and its not okay to be fine with 'okay'. I have a better time alone!

So we parted ways, probably for the last time. And despite our history, I was more than okay with that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I ran a freakin' marathon!

There are few things I've ever done in my own life that I find impressive. Most things that I seem to accomplish are by happenstance or what I think is the right or fair thing to do. Its rare that I find my accomplishments remarkable.

Sunday was not that day. On Novemeber 1, 2009, I ran my first marathon. I am tearing up as I write this. :)

To some its 26.2 miles, big deal. To me it was something I said I would do, and I factored training for it into every week of my life since I first thought up the idea. I lived and breathed the idea that on November 1, 2009 I would wake up too early, board a bus bound for Staten Island (a far flung borough of NYC's five) and run all the way to Central Park. When November 1 dawned, I was ready -- mostly.

The week before the big race I had to go to Philadelphia for work to run a program at Wharton. If I was a trainee that would have been one thing. But I was the person with the credit card and responsible for picking up the nightly entertainment. There was no going to bed before 1AM during my time in Philly, and the final night our Global Chairman kept us all out until 3AM. When I arrived back to the city on Thursday I was exhausted. I drank too much. Played too much. And ultimately, was in no shape to run a marathon.

Friday my marathon prep was thwarted with a friend who needed help with final arrangements as he proposed to his girlfriend. (as a friend there is just no way you can say no) But I did make it to bed by midnight.

Saturday I had errands to run in preparation, carbs to eat, tshirts to find, registration cards to hand in. Plus, it was Halloween, the single day you DONT want to be living downtown in Manhattan. Every ghoul and goblin was out to get me that night. But I found myself asleep close to 10PM, after sorting out the time-change-semi-drama upon realizing I don't own an alarm clock.

The next morning I was ready. I woke up ready. Was in a cab for the Staten Island bus at 5:45AM, and was seated on said bus at 6:15AM.

The ride to Staten Island resembled scenes from Batman Returns. We were the only motors allowed on the road, like we were dangerous criminals being swept out to Staten Island. Yes, my imagination gets way ahead of me at times!

The weather is cold and damp. There are people camped out in sleeping bags. The smell of BenGay is in the air. Bagels are being handed out by the dozen, as is water and powerbars.

I find my coral, check my bag with UPS and head to the starting line. I can't believe I am going to do this.

When the gun does off, and Frank Sinatra starts singing "New York, New York", I know this is my race. And despite a twisted knee and a stop at First Aid and a few tears from running through the pain, it was just that.

I was amazed at the support of the crowd, the enthusiasm of the runners, and the beauty of my city. I ran my little heart out, screwed up knee and all. When I hit Central Park, I refound my stride, and when I saw the 400 meters to go sign... then 300... then 200... then 100... I raised my arms in victory as I fell across the finish line. I did it!

What an amazing feeling.

Then last week I was walking with a friend and he commented that he is a little intimidated about hanging out with a "woman who runs marathons". And I thought it was an odd thing to say and wondered who he was talking about... and then I realized he was talking about me.

I DID run a freakin' marathon. And yes, I am just a little bit impressed with myself. : )

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Place Like Home

These days, regardless of what goes on in my day, few things can get me down. For two weeks now, I have been on Cloud Numero Nueve, and there is no sign that I am coming down for a while.

After this wild and crazy year -- calling off a wedding, disengaging from the life I had with my fiance, heading to Europe for the spring, shifting living spaces all summer, giving all my possessions away along the way because 'who needs all this crap', running my ass off because I signed up for the marathon, convincing my boss that not only did I need time off but I needed to be kept around when I returned, I could go on and on, but this year has been nuts! BUT, after all that, I have kept a promise I made to myself at the very beginning of this journey: Miss Paige, you can do WHATEVER the hell you want this year, but by January 1 you better be living somewhere with your name on it and all your belongings inside that space. It can be a tent in Timbuktu, an igloo in Alaska, but WHEREVER it is, you better plan to stay there for at least 24 months. I am so proud to report I am almost there!

The day I returned from Europe in September, I found a terrific little apartment that I knew was meant to be mine. And now its my home. Every day I feel like a kid in a candy shop when I head home, because coming home to myself is such an amazing feeling. Kind of like in elementary school when you went to your best friend's house after school because it was the coolest place you knew... that's how I feel EVERYDAY about my own home. Silly? Maybe.

After 7 years in this gigantic Apple, all I have ever wanted is to deal with myself, and a space to do just that, and yet that one thing kept eluding me from crazy roommates who were convinced they were dying -- or worse, their boyfriends -- or double worse, their dogs, live in boyfriends that really shouldn't be there, fly by night roommates, that were never there except when you didn't want them to be... And even since leaving the apartment I shared with my ex, I have lived alone, but in other people's homes, so my stuff was there but the furnishings were nothing that I would have chosen. And then there were rules to follow -- like the lady that needed to come to the apartment for an hour every Wednesday and had all these pencil drawings of boobs on the wall (the Boob Apartment), or the crazy chick from this summer that wanted to charge me for plastic hangers that I didn't take -- its funny business living in anyone's house. Regardless of what or who, my living experiences in NYC up until now have never really worked out the way I hoped.

But since Day 1 - October 1 - when I moved my 3 suitcases and 4 duffle bags into my new home, I knew I would finally find the feeling I have been searching for since I got to Manhattan. And as my couch arrived this morning, and I sat down and watched the world go by outside my window, I know its time to put my feet up for a bit and relax. I am home. And that feeling -- the one I allowed to elude me for the past 7 years -- is simply the best feeling one could ever have. And I am so thankful that today, and hopefully for days to come, that feeling is mine.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We are who we are.

Lately (as in this week), I have found myself being more observant than before --tuning in, watching what goes on around me, and DOING less. For once, I feel like I can watch the people in my life with zipped lips, soaking up their actions and words like a sponge, while quietly analyzing the meaning -- if there is one.

Its been interesting, as I have been able to see those close to me in a different light -- almost as if the romantic glow of candles has faded and the harsh florescent lights of the bar have come on. I am happy to report that its not bad, just honest. And sometimes 'honest' is not such a bad thing.

It seems that more often that not, my interaction with people close to me involves less 'made-up' moments -- those when we have crawled out of bed to meet for Saturday AM coffee, or fresh from a work out coated in sweat, watching a hero lose a close-fought tournament and the crummy feeling that brings... All of these are much more 'real', much more honest, much more personal than I have often allowed myself to be. And in its own way that is truly beautiful.

Granted there are moments that are still harsh. Like when friends known for being flakey continue to be that way. Friends who don't bother to call until they are literally on your doorstep. People overestimating how much time they will have to hang out and then the compartmentalized feeling that brings. Friends being passive in making plans, but you know the moment you hand out an invite they are there 159%.

The truth is all the 'negative' things I know about my friends (and myself) don't change. And while the situations around these people may, these characteristics don't change. They are who they are. I am who I am.

Part of the difficulty in relating to others is being able to maintain who you are, while letting them be who they are. Sometimes it is about realizing that this is not about me, its about them being them. Their antics may drive me nuts at times, as I am sure mine do them, but the truth is we want to be in each others lives and we do what we need to do to make that happen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I don't wany anyone else's life but mine.

This sentence kept flashing through my brain this past weekend. I felt it wanted to be written down somewhere to solidify its existence in my mind, and I figure my blog was the best spot for it.

This sums up how I feel these days. I DON'T want anyone else's life, but I do want mine. I don't say this in a cocky way, in a way that says my life is better than anyone else's. This comes from a place of owning your own experience in this world, and not wanting to trade places with anyone because the journey you are on is about getting 'you' to the highest place you can possibly go --with the situations that have led you to this moment.

When I think of my life over the past several years, I remember always wanting to escape MY life. Always wanting to deny my reality really was that: my reality. I always wanted what someone else had -- whether that be material items, emotional well-being, or mental clarity. I didn't want to be me living in my shoes. I lived in a world of comparison. I lived in a place where I couldn't be content with what I had, because I simply wasn't content with what I had, and without major changes that one fact would remain constant.

Its been a year of changes. A year of moving on, and making my life better. A year of trying new things, going new places, and making new friends. A year of learning to be me all over again, and a year of celebrating all the things (good and not-so-good) that make my life what it is, and I appreciate my life more than I ever have. That one feeling makes it all worth it.

So you are moving to San Francisco? That's cool. Marrying next year? Awesome. Got a new job with lots of travel to South America? Good for you.

I have a life I love and I wouldn't trade it for the world. It has taken me 8 months to be able to say that, and it feels pretty damn fabulous.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Easy as 1 - 2 - 3

One of the things I often struggle with is the art of decision-making. I know I am not alone in this struggle, as making decisions and the choices that stream from that very often dictate our life and how good or how not-so-good it will be.

In the past year -- or 9 months -- I have tried to tune in, go with my gut, and get in touch with the part of me that knows exactly what she wants -- has basically believed these wants into existence -- and then I cannot help but be over-joyed when I see these things in real life. The reaction to going with or going without such 'thing' is an immediate knowing from some deep rooted place. Almost as if the decision were already made and I simply have to recognize it.

My favorite example of this in action is a story of shopping. In 2008, I attempted to find a dress to wear in April 2009. I wanted it to feel right when I stepped into it. I wanted to know it was MY dress, the one I knew in my heart of hearts I was supposed to wear. After many months of looking I settled for something exquisite, but never felt right. I had to wear something, and this was about as close as I was going to get.

Needless to say the events of April 2009 changed, but the inherent knowledge of knowing I needed a dress to wear in April 2009 did not. And easy enough, an afternoon of wandering and trying to adjust to Spanish timelines left me staring into a shop window in Sevilla at the MOST AMAZING dress I had EVER seen. When the events played out that I returned to the shop the following day during store hours, and I put the dress on... I knew. It was my dress. It was the feeling I wanted during my dress-pursuit in 2008. It was the feeling I wanted to have in April 2009, and the act of purchasing the dress and wearing it to Feria at the end of April led to the life change I needed...led to another place of knowing that I am meant to live in Sevilla, Espana at some point in my life. For a long period of time. I am meant to write books underneath the orange trees, or in cafes in Santa Cruz. I inherently know this. I didn't know that buying a dress was going to lead to this learning, but I knew I had to buy the dress. Regardless of cost, it was mine long before I saw it.

Yesterday, I had a similar experience. After getting back from Europe, the need for an apartment was calling me: A place to call home, that could contain my belongings. A place for me to escape from the world, a place for me to be me. A place that would not change for a while. A place I could count on.

Sure enough, one call to a broker led to an apartment viewing of a brand new renovated apartment in Soho -- and not just Soho, but the BEST block in Soho -- and the little New York dream I have been wanting for 7 years slowly began to find a home, to have a place to land, and not just occupy my thoughts and wishes. Yes, its costly, but to have a space that makes you feel good, makes you feel inspired, and ultimately makes you want to dream because you KNOW dreams come true... that is simply priceless.

And so when a decision was needed, it was easy -- Sign-me up. That dream has been waiting there for me.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Life I Love

Today is my final day of vacation. Kind of. Tomorrow is the last day that I am officially not working, but with an 830 bus ride to Sevilla followed by a 1315 flight to Paris and an evening in the City of Light for one, tomorrow is seeming less and less like a vacation day and more and more of a day that Paige designed.

Sometimes I really feel like sitting that hyper-active, plan-a-thon of a woman down for a good long chat. =o)

But that's the difference. She does these things when she is in NYC and well, I feel differently here. Here, in the place I love.

Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for an evening in Paris. I love that city. I love the romantic lighting. I love the charming views. I LOVE the food... infact I already know my menu for tomorrow -- moules frites and steak tartare with a lovely Bordeaux. I love Paris.

But I love the life I live in Spain more. This morning I got up and attempted to run, but this non-sensical congestion in my chest eluded me, and I biked a few miles instead. I had coffee and pan at a breakfast spot on the corner and spent the entire afternoon in the sun...broiling. I returned to Eline's (she's working so she can't really play today) and made a mimosa, wrote in my journal, got online to check the tennis scores, and then daydreamed about the day that I can finally figure out a way to make this Spanish escapade happen. I want that more than anything.

In the few days I have been beachside and my mind truly gets to relax, I compare moments like this -- of absolute calm -- to those that I know too well in NYC of constant frentic energy. Here, well, I am here. I have nowhere else I want to be. Even in Sevilla, I can sit in a cafe for hours, on the sidewalks drinking cafe con leche or tinto de verrano. But in New York, there is a state of craze that follows me. I can't multi-task enough, I can pack a bajillion things into one afternoon, or have a dozen things done before noon and still feel like I am not doing enough. Its nuts. Here, I have no need to pick up the phone. Here, I allow my mind to wonder, my thoughts to become what they will. There, I fill every 5 or 10 minutes up with calls to family or friends when we really don't get to chat, but more or less fill 5 or 10 minutes with as much as we can fit in.

I have often said to my mother that when I am here I understand her life in Cartersville and why my sister is there as well. They don't want to be anywhere else. Yes, they lead busy lives, but they are home. When I go there, I get restless. Cartersville is not my home. Its where I am from, but its not where I feel peace, its not where I dream, its not where I want to be. Nor is New York, or anywhere else on that side of the Atlantic.

This life I am staring out at, is everything I want. Blue skies, friendly people, warm weather, and an ease that you just don't find in the States. When I am here I find a way to fit in all the things I enjoy -- writing, being outdoors, beach, friends, reading, catching up, etc. There, its all the things I have to do. Its a depot for me, a stop along the way, until I can get back to where I want to be...however and whenever that may be.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I might be able to laugh at this... but not for another hour.

I am back in Spain. Which is guaranteed to put a smile on my face. This time around things are a bit difficult as I am for the most part flying solo, meaning I am directing my own course and having to fend for myself when it comes to the fact that I don't speak Spanish. (I try, but the going is very, very rough....)

It has been frustrating at times, as I just don't have the vocabulary to tell someone what I want, and they don't have the English skills to understand.

Today I decided I needed to hit the grocery store to pick up a few things -- vino, fruta, queso and serrano. Basic fixings for a light snack while watching the sunset.

How difficult could a grocery run be? Well, let me tell you.

There were a few things about this plan that were already fighting against each other. One, being that I like to walk everywhere. And two, being I really had no clue where I was or where I was going. When I travel, this becomes my way of figuring it out, or something like that.

I start off walking the length of the beach to a little stone opening in the wall that leads to the church that I have been plenty of times with Eline and Miguel. I know the sunglass shop I wanted to stop in was near and I kind of knew how to find the grocery store from there.

Well, I found the church, and after a 20 minute search for the sunglass shop I abandoned the search and would be fine with groceries... if I can find the store. Walking through town, I see several places I had been with my friends, but no grocery. I do see a sign with an arrow pointing to MERCADONA, and I think that is the way to go.

I never found Mercadona but i did find CarreFour, the European version of SuperWalmart. I go in, buy a few things including two bottles of wine and start walking home. It doesn't take long for me to realize that I have NO CLUE where I am going. After two miles of walking, I am very lost, and from the horizon I can tell I am NO WHERE near the beach. Problem.

I don't know why I don't call Eline, I know she would help me out, but there is this independent streak in me that is SO STUBBORN at times, and so I fend for myself. I am pouring with sweat, the sunscreen that I THANK GOD had applied before I left was beading up in white patches all over me, My hair was falling down in a true mess. My arms were hurting from the heavy grocery sacks and I was beyond irate... Where is this damn hotel? And then there was a sign! About 3 miles too late, but it was a sign for the hotel. I still had 3 kms to go... Yeah, we may be rethinking this independent thing next time around....

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Men...

Knowing I leave for Europe in two weeks, puts me in a mindset to be more frugal these days, spend less, eat less and drink less. I know that in the 10 days I am there these three areas will be totally maxed out.

This week I have cooked in more, gone out less, drank less and tried to be more lowkey as I know in two weeks I will be living out the fullest. Monday through Wednesday I was stellar at my act. For 72-hours I hoarded away money and calories like a bear storing up for the winter. Thursday I had plans to come home, practice my Spanish, prepare a nice healthy meal and go to bed. None of that happened.

The dreary clouds over Manhattan had me in the mood for company, and in New York (and probably most places) afterwork company involves going to a bar for drinks. When a friend mentioned happy hour, I was game. When she needed to leave two hours later, I still wanted company so I called a new friend to join me. And he did.

Five drinks later, not to mention dollars later, every pre-Europe plan had been tossed out the window, and I wake up this morning wondering 'why do I do this to myself?'...

But I had fun, and I don't really regret 'playing' when I should have been storing up for the fun times in Spain. Sometimes you have to focus on 'today' and live a little more than planned. I mean spontaneity is the spice of life, right?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What goes down, must go up....

I am a big believer in life having balance. For the times you are sad, you will have equally ecstatic moments. For the times you feel like a dumb-ass, you have equal amounts of feeling like Einstein. And for the times you are in a downward spiral, you will soon be on the upswing. Its just the way life works.

Of course there are times when that 'upswing' is just taking too long to gain its momentum, and for me that day was yesterday.

Prior to that I had been slowly spiraling downward, and by yesterday evening I was overwhelmed with all I was feeling. I was 'here' and 'there' at the same moment, with about 10 other 'here nor theres' thrown in. My head was in a tailspin. When I got to my girlfriends house my woes and uncertainties were all on the table in a matter of moments. Work.... life... friends... boys... apartments... travel... you name it, and it was probably there. Everything seemed to be hitting a breaking point, and emotionally I was hitting mine.

Alot of my emotions stemmed from the fact that I chose to be a bit of a nomad/vagabound/tumbleweed and live foot-loose and fancy free for this year. Tied down, I am not. And I like that. But on the flip side there is often the feeling of having nothing to cling too. And that can be hard. Sometimes even tumbleweeds want to sit still for a moment.

At this moment all of the possibilities were staring at me, all of the uncertainties seemed 5x more uncertain, and any ounce of stability I had been able to pile beneath my feet seemed to be slipping away.

With all my emotional issues spread out over my friend's couch and flowing onto the floor, I realized that what I was really having issue with is too many options. There is just too much I can do right now -- stay in NYC, move to Europe, move to the beach, go to grad school, become a nunn, etc. etc. As much as I love this open-ended phase of my life there are some times that it is just so damn hard to stay focused... especially in this crazy city I choose to live. In the 30 mins it took to walk to Sarah's house, I swear I had about 30 thoughts about my next move in life. All polar-opposite from the one that came before it.

As my woes ceased from spilling forth, my friend became the sage that she is and gave me some of the best advice ever: soak it up. The right decision will be easy to make, but soak up as much as you can interms of emotional/mental stimuli to make sure you FEEL the way to the right decision. And soak up this time in your life because times are coming when you will be more grounded and you will wish you had more options... but that day, is not today.

Realizing a decision didn't have to be made tomorrow or even the next day was comforting... After 8 months I still don't know what I want. But knowing that I did not have to know put me at ease. And I know that when that time comes to 'know' I will be ready to make a decision. But until then I am still foot-loose and fancy free... and slowly on the upswing to feeling like myself again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What NOT to do at a wedding

When it comes to what one shouldn't do at a wedding, I could probably write a few chapters based on my own wedding antics that have led to some hilarious stories to tell over the years.

--There was the time I drank a bit too much and made fun of my ex-boyfriend's friend for not having much hair (i.e, Are you sure its there? Because I am struggling to see it... -- I wasn't trying to be mean, I just was being honest...)

--There was the time that as a single person I has chosen another single person to be 'my date' and then promptly confused him with someone else and ended up making out with the wrong date.

--There was the time I drank too much at the pre-rehearsal dinner and then got sick all over the condo that I was sharing with 5 people. Room service took 14 hours to clean it up... and our AC wasn't working...BAD NEWS.

--There was the time when I RAN FROM the bouquet toss and upset my boyfriend at the time.

I could go on and on, but the truth is when it comes to weddings, and you want a good laugh, stick around... I am guaranteed to do something worth talking about the next day.

The one thing I don't do at weddings is dress inappropriately. Good appearance makes all the stupid stuff I do easier for people to ignore... at least for a while.

I don't think everyone knows this secret, as this weekend I went to a wedding (I was on my best behavior) and here are two no-nos I quickly picked up on.

#1: Wear 'Nantucket Reds' to a midwest wedding (particularly in Michigan).

#2: Wear a bowtie in the midwest when its clear the fad hasn't caught on yet in these parts, and quite possibly never will.

I will leave the list at this, as for this story you don't need to know more than this.

For those of you who don't know, 'Nantucket Reds' are pants commonly worn in the NorthEast, particularly around yachting areas -- Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Newport, Mystic, etc. They are a dark rose in color, kind of like a deep salmon. Its an odd shade to see on a man if you are not used to it.

Now, one thing that I am enjoying less and less as I get older and go to weddings is the singles table gets smaller and smaller, and for me there are less dancing partners to choose from. This weekend was no exception.

At the rehearsal dinner on Friday night it was clear there were only 5 singletons among us: one of the bridesmaids (so she gets first pick), John (who I was staying with), Troy (friend of the bride's brother), Jimmy (friend of the groom), and me.

I got along just fine with all the guys, but none of them were my type, especially Jimmy who showed up to the rehearsal dinner wearing Nantucket reds, a navy sports jacket, and looked like he just stepped off his sail boat.

However, both the BRIDE and GROOM felt differently. And at one point after dinner was consumed, and dancing began, Ben (groom) started walking and talking with me and Kelly (bride) started walking and talking with Jimmy until we all walked and talked into each other and I could see this was my predetermined wedding date. Fine, its their wedding, I am sure it will be fine. Plus, I had had a few glasses of wine and I could get along with anyone at this point.

Me and George (as I accidentally started calling him) got along fantastic. I can be really funny when I need to be, and tonight was no exception. We laughed and drank, and when we went to another bar I rode with Jim, and became best friends. This was until I decided I needed to go home as I was afraid I might bet sick. I was going home ALONE. And did so.

So the next morning, Julia who was also staying with John and I woke me up with, "Hey Paige, does the term 'salmon pants' mean anything to you?" Oh god. I was pegged as George's girl for the weekend. But who cares, its not like I went home with him or even kissed him. I was friendly and fun and I am sure he had more fun hanging out with me than being alone.

That afternoon as we all boarded the bus for the wedding -- well, Sean, John and I all ran for it as we were late -- who is sitting by his lonesome wearing a bowtie? Salmon Pants! I mean seriously, does everything you have to wear be such a stand-out article of clothing? Its my nature to be nice to be people in this situation, but I often feel like I am digging myself in even more. And Jim/George did not seem to know anyone else so be stuck to my side -- from saying I promised to sit beside him and dance with him the night before (who even asks these questions??!!), telling me what table 'we' are sitting, etc. etc. I was feeling slightly uncomfortable, but didn't want to be mean.

I was a bit rocky anyway from the night before and knew I wasn't going to last long. When there was a call for the last bus to go, and no one was getting on it, I ran to sneak out as I just didn't want to hang out with Salmon Pants any longer. The wedding was great, but I was tired and I wanted to get home and wake up fresh.

So as the bus pulls away, guess who ran and got on at the last minute? Salmon Pants! OMG. Seriously, its a free bus, and I am sure he wanted to go home too, but still... I would have stayed if he was going!

Anyway, Salmon Pants got as close to me as the bus would allow. But just like in New York, I requested two stops, and went home to find my own bed... and my own sweet dream.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Board of Paige

Since getting back to the office this week -- after celebrating my 32nd year on Sunday -- I decided to tidy up. Posters that were hanging around, found a place on the wall -- as did my mirror and fans from Spain. The other item to find a spot on my bulletin board.

On it, I have several postcards from my travels, two family photos, two quotes I like a lot, four birthday cards -- one with a sun flower, and another of the sun -- and a 'girls rule' card my sister sent me as I started the year. My board is AWESOME.

But as its 8:11PM and I am still at work, something dawned on me as I was looking at it.

This is my office. I am at work. And this board is something straight out of a college dorm room!

I call it inspiration, my boss would probably call it a mess.

But two thoughts have stemmed from this recent observation.

1) Given my year as a nomad, I often feel more comfortable and at home in my tiny office with the red couch and pink rug. Its been the most consistent landing spot for me thus far this year.

2) Shouldn't I have status reports, calendars or something hanging prominently on this board? I guess we know where my priorities are!


Sunday was my birthday. To celebrate, my girlfriends took me to a fun all-you-can-drink-champagne brunch in NYC's meat-packing district. We had the best time, and as it was pouring outside had nothing better to do, so we 'all you can drank' all afternoon. My birthday 'day' rocked.

This morning -- three days later, well after the champagne haze had worn off -- it hit me that from Sunday afternoon until this moment is my longest stretch without having an alcoholic drink. THREE WHOLE DAYS. That is insane, right? I mean why even bother with a birthday party, it seems like I have been partying all year!

Not that every night has been a free-for-all, many nights I would have A GLASS of wine, but there have been very few nights that NO GLASS was consumed.

As this realization sets in, I just have to say 'it is what it is'. For most of this year, I have had something to celebrate... whether that be me doing what it is I want to do, or cheering on the people I love in my life, 'c'e-ing la vie to things beyond my control, and the first part of the year coping through a very difficult time. Regardless of the reason, 'getting drinks' with friends seemed to be the obvious thing to do. And 'that' I did a ton of.

I loved my moments of clear abandon, but I have also loved the past three mornings of waking up clear headed, feeling productive and focused, and ready to do more than I ever have. My morning work-outs have been stronger, I have been more disciplined, and felt healthier than ever.

I guess in all the clearing out I have done this year, I forgot to clear the bad things out of my body too. So, here's to sobriety! May there be more sober days in the first month of my 32nd year than not!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Girly Me

My parents are probably as amused by the way I turned out, as am I when I think that they are my parents. My dad is a football coach -- tried and true, if its football he knows everything about it. My mom is a do-it-yourself kind of woman -- even tiling kitchen flowers, rebuilding patios, gardening, etc. Both of my parents have very masculine energies (my mom being softer of course). Maybe I have some of these energies, but for the most part I am all girl. I couldn't imagine being any other way.

I love girly things. I love the color pink. I love taking forever to get ready. I love wearing dresses. I love dainty items and sparkly shoes. I love playing 'dress up' -- both when I was 5 and now at almost-32. I love bubble baths and fresh flowers. I love putting ribbons on pets, and adorning my own hair with bows or braids. I love manicures and pedicures and feeling pampered. I love shopping and fixing up things and making them beautiful.

Of course, one could argue that what makes me a girl is two x chromosomes...and none of my silly ramblings matter. But definitely is more than that...

Although 32 years ago, I doubt my parents knew just how feminine I would turn out... especially in my tom-boy stage when I wore jeans and a ponytail everyday! But here I am now..

I love being a girl. Its one of things I am really 'good at'. And definitely the role I am meant to fit.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

One Life

This morning I did something that many people would tell me not to do... ever. I cleaned out my work email. Scary stuff, right?

The work part -- not so scary. I could delete and demolish there.

Its the little folder marked 'Pre-2009' that I decided to tackle, although I saved it for last. In it were files from the wedding that was supposed to take place in April of this year, all of the events that go along with tying the knot, and last but not least, every email I had ever exchanged with my ex and his family.

Its crazy, but deleting here wasn't as complicated or painful as I thought it would be. There were some funny things that made me laugh. Cute things that made me remember. Sad and angry bits that did bring up some painful feelings. And loads of insanity that more than reminded me why I left in the first place. It took less than 30 minutes to go through it all, and then I could delete the 'Pre-2009' folder. There was nothing in it.

There were a few things I held onto -- legal contracts, photos, etc. -- but most I tossed. What I kept, I merged in with my other folders that I usually use every day. This act alone was symbolic to me, because I am one person with one life and I should file those life experiences in one set of folders. I had a great life prior to 2009, and is shown from fun emails with friends and family I found when cleaning out those folders.

My life didn't just start this year. It did get turned around, and back on track, and seems amazingly better than where I was a year ago before my birthday. But still, all this is still my life... my one life. The one life I have to try and get this thing called 'life' right...if its even possible to do it wrong.

It felt good to bring all my experiences --happy, sad, lovely, amazing, cheerful, painful -- together into one place. Because that is where I am. Here, in one place.

In A New York Minute...

Last night I was walking home from work, I was responding to an email from our COO who had minor surgery the past two days. As I was writing "just want to reiterate how thrilled I am with recent changes..." it dawned on my that to her I could be talking about a number of things.

My COO, is also my boss, and also a mentor to me in many ways. She knows what goes on in my life, and she also knows that I just moved to an apartment down the street from her.

Within one week, my role at the office has totally changed. From managing interns and employee recruiting to managing manuscripts and global conferences. I am loving my new gig at the office. It suits me. I feel challenged. I feel involved. I feel impowered. And I feel valued. I also think this is the perfect job for me, so it works well.

Also in this same week, I have moved. Another temporary apartment, but still its a new home, new neighborhood and new surroundings. I am very happy here for the next six weeks.

Its crazy how quickly things change here, how things changing causes a shift in perception on many levels, and I am once again content with my New York life. I will be happy here the next few months, until my next New York minute, when everything changes again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Land of 'I Don't Know'

Ever since getting back to the city, I have found there are situations I just don't know how to handle. There are things I just don't know how to say. There are things I just don't know how to do. I attempt to do it with my past New York voice, but I am no longer that person. And when I say or do anything with the 'how I truly feel card' I get responses that leave alot to be desired.

Whatever am I talking about? Well, here are a few examples...

-- two single people hang out, one is male, the other female, when you part ways with no 0bvious interest in hanging out again what do you say? Especially when the meeting was suggested by your family.

--Your best friend has hung out with a guy you are currently befriending, and it didn't work between them, but you are only wanting to be friends with him, how much do you tell your friend? How much is too little? How much too much?

--You spend two weeks with a guy in different country than your own, there is a quiet chemistry that flows through two said two weeks, when you return, what does it mean?

These situations and many more follow me through my New York life, and in my case, every day this week. I do and say things because I want to, and some because I feel like I should... I truly want to be operating out of the most honest, and sincere part of me, but such acts seem to get lost in translation.

Part of me feels like I never fit into this hodgepodge of rushing here and there, 'crackberry' central, don't think - just do mentality...

And the truth is, maybe I never did, and maybe I never will. New York City for me, for now, seems to be one great big 'i don't know' after the other. But when operating in fluid motion, 'I don't know' is 5,000 times better than 'set in stone'.

Sometimes it is all about you.

There is something obviously going on in the universe... at least in my small space within such universe. Within 12 hours, two people I had been wondering about as friends proved they should be crossed off that list. I find it funny that it was these two people inparticular that showed their true colors in one evening, as I would describe each of them as being "my most selfish friend"... I like them, but the "Its all about me show" is annoying after awhile. For sometime I had been wondering if each was capable of being more, capable of being a friend that I can count on. I now have my answer.

I always find it intriguing how the universe brings about these 'spring cleaning' episodes when we least expect it. And yet once done, you feel so much cleaner and honest and real. I don't like feeling otherwise, and now, when it comes to friendships, I don't have to.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


There are things in life we just know. Last week, I knew in my heart of hearts that something was going to happen to allow me to stay in New York beyond August. I knew the plans I had made would happen - maybe in a different way than originally planned - but they would happen.
The news from the office last Friday, while slightly different than expected, was very much what I thought I would hear. The euphoria of having my wish come true (and my intuition prove correct), led to a fantastic weekend spent with friends celebrating the fact that I had gotten what I wanted.

As the weekend came to a close, Friday's news seemed to bring another series of hurdles regarding my new role, and whether or not it will be temporary or not. That question is really up to me. I grappled with this all night, as I packed up my apartment to move to a temporary setting through August.

And this morning, as I woke to storm clouds and rain pouring outside my answer and headed to the gym amongst people dressed in black and typing fiercely on their blackberries. 'I don't want that', I heard myself saying.

Throughout my workout, all I thought about was Spain. My pending travels, my past happy times, and the question of not knowing when or how I was going to get there. And as I wrote back to a friend who was asking if her sister to could crash with me for a few days as she is moving to NYC tomorrow... The single act that brought me to New York, seven hears ago, hit me full force --I simply went. I knew I needed to be in NYC, and I went. I bought a one-way ticket, and I went. No job. No place to live. No friends or family. No nothing. And it all came together in ways I could not imagine.

When I got to Sevilla at the end of March, knew I had to live there. Not at some random, unknown point of my life, but NOW. When the year ends, that is meant to be my new home. I know that single fact just as clearly as I know its pouring buckets outside and I am wearing silver flip-flops. I know that is my next home. I know that is where I want to be, for me.

'Knowing' answers the question posed by my office. I am moving to Spain at the end of the year, if they want to send my new role with me, good for them (and me). But if not, then I will figure it out... Somehow, someway I will.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For...

For the past three weeks I have been in a very yucky spot -- mentally and emotionally, as most people would love living in NYC. Being someone who likes fluidity, I found myself in a position I don't do very well. I was stuck. Trapped. Held in place. I couldn't move forward as I was waiting on answers. And until those answers came, I was in a holding pattern.

I don't do 'circling' very well. I prefer moving forward. Sometimes I need to side-step to get to the next adventure, but its always about advancing, getting closer to the place I want to be in life.

This Friday, I became unstuck. The answer I had been waiting on, was more than I could hope for. I went from having an "or" to also having an 'and'... basically I have the potential to have my cake and eat it too.

This weekend I was on cloud 9, more for knowing I had a few more months in the city, and a job I would enjoy doing while I was here. I also have the potential for that "90 day job" to become a permanent thing, should I want it.

As the reality continued to set in, it hit me that after 2009 I would no longer be in New York. I don't know exactly where I will be, but it won't be in the big apple. I don't want to be here, that I know, and the position I am being considered for could very easily operate out of London, or Paris, or if I am really, really lucky, Spain.

Knowing my days in NYC are numbered really excites me. There is something else out there for me, I know that. But as this news and the new responsibilities set it... and the blackberry messages come pouring in... I don't know that what I want is more work. I don't know that at the end of 90 days I will want to continue down "this career path"... maybe I really do at this juncture want more. It won't be more money, that is for sure. But more happiness. More real genuine moments. More moments looking people in the eye than having to apologize for looking at a blackberry screen. More moments of breathing in happy thoughts, and exhaling negative ideas. More moments of focusing on me, than wondering what I should be doing for someone else.

I find myself feeling in someways like I am doing another version of 'circling'...circling in this career path, of getting restless, getting offered more money/responsibility, being satisfied for awhile, being pacified with a trip to London or elsewhere, and then getting restless again...Is that what I want?

I did get what I wanted, for the time being. I did get a summer, and now a fall in the big apple. I get to be 'state-side' to help my sister with her festival, attend a concert with my family, and have friends visit from Spain, and run my marathon. And then, I have to jet. I have to go elsewhere. If I do that with my company, or fly solo that is still TBD. And its exciting and frustrating all at the same point... And I know the answer will be staring at me clearly when I need it to be. And until that time, I will go back to my holding pattern.... but this time, I am getting to do what I want while I figure it out. And that is not such a bad place to he holding onto.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Grow Best in Small Spaces

It's Monday night, and I have had a date with myself. Nothing spectacular really, but it was a night I committed to being at home, just me. I made my favorite homemade pasta dish that I am starting to call "Pasta al Fiorno", because I basically empty the contents of my spice cabinet into this tiny sauce pan, half a bottle of Frank's Red Hot, throw in some veggies and chicken, a bit of tomato sauce, waa-la! You are guaranteed to drink your FDA required 6-8 glasses of water a day.

But I digress, coming home these days is in many ways like coming home to a loved one. I ponder the events of the day -- from ridiculous meetings I sat through at work, to more ridiculous emails I received and possibly sent, to the thrill of helping my interns find their way through the Wonderland of Advertising, to the fun messages I exchanged between friends, and hopefully the awesome workout I had at the gym to try and shed the last of Europe from my hips and thighs so I can start 32 at the same weight I started 31. Reliving the day is like sharing with a housemate, BUT I am allowed to interrupt myself however many times I wish, and I can play my music as loud as I wish (although I have noticed several windows in the courtyard being slammed shortly after "Paige's Flying Solo Mix" hits the airwaves.)

And when dinner is ready, I call myself in from whatever daydream I am having and we sit down together -- me, myself, and I -- and laugh and peruse the day. And I am so delightfully happy to have these moments to myself, in my tiny apartment (although much better laid out than those past).

My living room is large enough for 5 people to be seated without touching feet. My bedroom has a queen size bed surrounded by 3 walls. My bathroom has a tub that I can sit in upright with my feet touching the other end. My kitchen has cooking space, eating space and writing space. That is all I need.

I fit well into my life here, just like I did on the road. Except on the road, I lived out of a suitcase that was 1 foot by 2.5 feet, and I did that for 3 months. Somehow in that time of living out of a box, I flourished like I never had before. I breathed, I lived, I committed to new plans that were good for me, I cast off old ideas that were holding me down, I exercised my body and mind daily and at the end of the day, I put all my toys back into the small box, closed its lid, and dragged it along behind me.

There was something therapeutic about knowing that all I really needed I had in the small bag sitting at my feet. Unless there was a blizzard in Spain or Italy, I didn't need much more.

Stuff... clutter... its everywhere. Filling up monsterous spaces, muddling our minds into thinking we need more. When in truth we don't... or at least now, I know I don't.

Yesterday I took three more bags of castaways to Goodwill, and I returned feeling a bit lighter than I had before. I don't need all that baggage. I don't need volumes of books I am never going to read again. Or clothes hanging out waiting on a rainy day so I can play dress-up like I was 8. Boardgames for the 'game night' I am never going to have. And the long puffy winter coat that was always too big, but I happily donated PRAYING TO GOD that I would never need to wear it again.

As I have learned throughout my life, clearing out room for the old and dried up, makes room for fresh blooms to blossom. It makes room for me to blossom.

For in this 385 sq foot space, I feel alive and thriving. No space is wasted, all clothing has been worn, all books have been read, and I know exactly what it is I own. I don't have much, but what I have is mine. These things are the things I choose, the things that make me feel like me; and when I feel a new journey on the horizon, these are the things that will fit neatly in my suitcase and roll along behind me.

I don't need much these days. I don't mind 'subletting' another's space. I don't mind eating off of someone else's dishes or sitting on their couch. I don't need to own anything that ties me down, or won't fit in my wheelie bag. Wherever I go, there I am... regardless if I own or rent.

While I might be complaining about my tiny abode if I were 6 foot, the fact is I am not. And I truly am best when spaces are cozy, the view is sunny, and I have time to sit and be, just me, myself and I.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The things I just know.

On this rainy Saturday in Manhattan, I sit gazing out my window praying for the skies to turn blue instead of this murky grey. But I know this is the chosen color for the day, so why waste my thoughts on empty wishes?

Spending the morning indoors, leaves me with time to reread and peruse things written in my travels -- from my blog to my journal, to the e-journal entries that found their way to my hotmail account, and the little notes to myself that snuck into my passport holder. I find it interesting the words I wrote to myself, and those I shared with others.

Most were exactly the same. Stories shared were missing few details. Lines written were always honest. And the random notes that rarely equaled a sentence, resonated in truth. There was nothing to hide.

Three months since that journey began, and three weeks since I landed in New York, I realize in looking back that I knew my journey long before it began. I knew the steps it would take, and the steps I would take to find myself here on this Saturday morning writing while it rains.

I knew my ex-boyfriend was wrong for me.

I knew my 'playdates' pre-Europe were nothing but placeholders.

I knew I needed to go to Europe.

I knew I would figure out a way to convince my office that it was in everyone's best interest for me to go.

I knew I would emerge from that journey wanting more than I could possibly find in Manhattan.

I knew all of this in the deepest part of myself, and yet was afraid to believe it because I was afraid to trust myself, and know that the things I wanted for myself could and would happen.

Now, on the otherside of the pond where my trust was regained, I know so much more and this time I am not afraid to believe in it.

I know I will get accepted to graduate school.

I know I will write.

I know I will run the marathon in November.

I know I will go back to Spain.

I know I will learn Spanish.

I know this summer is going to be productive, maybe not as much FUN as I really anticipated, but to accomplish all that is listed above I need some downtime.

I know this year is going to be exactly what I set out for it to be -- a year of figuring out what I want for me -- and I will be settled in that plan (maybe not that place) by year's end.

When we allow ourselves to be quiet, the answers are always there. There is always the chaos, the voices that muddle our own thoughts, but in solitude and quiet and in peace, there will always be the things we just know.

One Hit Wonder

Yesterday was quite interesting. I had fun Happy Hour plans made with someone I was intrigued to catch up with. This was someone I had had a slight romantic interest in before I left for Europe and while I had seen him since coming back, we had not really had any one-on-one time to catch up and figure out where we now fit into each other's lives... if at all.

So we had a little soiree built for two starting at 5PM, and a very fun place that I had picked. To be honest, after my last time seeing this guy I was slightly more excited about the fun happy hour plan than listening to him talk about himself. But everyone has their moments of being less cool than they really are, so I was open to give him a second chance.

When he needed to push it back to 5:30PM, I was not thrilled but flexible. When he needed to push back to 5:45PM I was annoyed. When we finally met up after 6PM, and the place was too packed to stay, I was less than estatic. It was up to this guy to be the star of happy hour, and I just wasn't sure he had that ability.

You are probably wondering why I am even bothering to hang out with someone that I think is less than par. And the answer is this: at some point there was potential. And while I had not seen said potential since my arrival back to the States (I had only seen him once, and I thought maybe he was having an off-day) I figure a second chance is not such a bad thing.

Well, dear Paige, guess again.

This was one Happy Hour that was not so happy. The conversation was dry. He didn't have anything interesting to say that wasn't about him and his seemingly important life. He wanted the discussion to circle around dating -- who I was dating, who he was dating, and whether or not we would date each other. He thought being obnoxious was the way to go, vs. being kind and polite and having fun together. I wanted a real conversation with a real person. He wanted a conversation with someone who thought he was cool. Unfortunately, I was not that person.

As we wondering back to the West Village in search of a better place than we had been previously, it dawned on me that I really did not like him. I didn't feel good around him. I didn't think he was special. And there were 10,000 things I had rather be doing than floating around downtown Manhattan with him. Sure, there was a day when we got along fabulously and it seemed we were quite smitten with each other, but that day had long past. And now, today, some random Friday in June, I had had enough of his ego, I had had enough of his khaki pants, and I had had enough of thinking there was more to him than there really was.

So when he wanted to know whether we were going to date this summer, the answer was something like this... N-O. I had much rather leave the door open for something new and something different, than keep waiting for him to walk through the door with something more. His one tune has more than been played out, and it was time to put that 'single' in the bin bound for goodwill.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cleaning Out Complications

As I clean out more and more stuff from my life that I don't want, I realize that there are more than just tangible items that need to be cleaned out as well.

This morning I took three huge bins of trash and unwanted items to the trash heap in my new building. And as I cleaned out those items from my apartment last night I thought a little too much about the men of March, April and May, and realized I needed to do some clearing out there too. Static energy is just not good for the soul, so I had to shake it up and get those thoughts just as organized as my closet.

Part of this "reorganization" stems from wanting to find a path forward vs. swimming in circles with thoughts from the past few months.

One of the greatest lessons of life from my travels, is that good relationships are easy. It doesn't take much to relate to those we care about and want to relate too. The difficulty comes in the personal expectations we establish, the life situations that arise, the occasional confusion that comes from communication going awry. But overall, relating should be easy. Or at least that is what I have discovered recently.

However getting back to the city returned me to a overly complicated situation, and fresh off the plane I could not make heads or tails with the signals I was getting. So I just stopped trying to figure it out. Complicated things tend to only get more complicated, and I wasn't signing up for that non-sense again.

As I think about relating and a fun summer in NYC, I like that I have a blank canvas to play with. And while I am not so sure I would welcome a full-on relationship right now, I am always looking for someone to play with. (I say this in the most innocent sense -- well, mostly.) Light and easy is my mode these days.

I think the one thing I crave right now -- other than Tasti-D-lite is a constant dialogue with someone. Most would call this a relationship, but for me its something a bit more specific. Dialogue is about two-way communication. You can't have a dialogue if one person is not participating. Dialogues are more constant, more aware, more meaningful. Yes, its conversing, but in a dialogue you are never left talking to yourself...someone always responds. When you reach out, they reach back. Should the other's world be a bit overbearing and he can't get reach back, they say that...simply.

For this reason, I have realized I am not, and don't like to be, a casual dater. If I am dating someone casually, then most likely, I don't really like them. Period. When I meet someone I like I want to immediate get the dialogue going and test the potential.

Therefore, I am not someone who sits around and comes to the conclusion that "i want a relationship", I find someone that I want to spend time with, and I do. Its simple. When I tire of it, I take a break, and sometimes come back to it, and sometimes not. I don't think relationships have to complicated in that way.

And yet so many people want to turn relating into a three-ring circus, with clowns and drama, and maybe an occasional elephant in the room. I just don't understand the point. With so many games and acrobats, how can you really relate to another person? How can it have any element of realness to it, or truth?

As I think about the past month, and the words that started my little romantical adventure with 'S'..."Guapisima, I like you." So simple. So sincere. So very 's'. That's all it took, and the dialogue began, so simply and complication-free.

Its those complication-free situations I seek. The ones that start simply. The ones that make you smile from a good place, without wondering what is really going on. The one where you can exchange info, and know you will hear from them. The ones that at the end of the day will always make you smile because someone wants to know you, someone wants you to know him, and someone really wants to have a dialogue...with you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Out with the old, and in with the new.

I love that today is June 1. I love that after two days of moving into my new apartment in NYC, I am starting work and my summer in the city today, on a 1st, with a start that is so promising.

After three months of travel, 10 weeks in Europe, 10 days in Jax Beach, I had two days of in-between-time. From "there" to "here". Getting back to NYC was a bit of a jostle to my system. Faces I had not seen in three months were back. Relationships that have had a questionmark hanging over them in my time away now needed an answer. Things I had not thought about in so long were now back with a vengence and I kept asking myself, 'is this really what I want?'

So how did I deal? Like any helpless romantic does. I played music from Feria, and songs I listened to during my joyous days in Spain. I perused fun photos from my fabulous adventure. And I found myself wanting to be back there -- with the people I loved, and the life I loved more.

New York can be a harsh reality for even the strongest of souls.

And then today I snapped out of it. Wanting to be "there" would only allow the potential of a fantabulous summer to elude me. Wanting to escape current situations would keep me from the "here" I have learned to seek. Failing to be honest with myself, and honest with those around me, would only layer on junk -- and my nomadic spirit just doesn't like to travel with too much baggage these days.

I am not going to do it all again. Repeat old patterns. Hold my tongue so I have a better vantage point. Be passive when there is something I so badly want to do. This time is different. Because I am different. The games of this city are not as much fun as they used to be. Real. Honest. True. That is all I seek these days. I can't live with less. And I know now I don't have to.

As a five hour siesta yesterday kept me awake at all hours, I pondered a situation that I had been mulling in my mind for a while now. And I asked myself, "what if I just threw it back?" Like a fish caught from the lake, that is decent in size, not the biggest and definitely not the best. Why hold on if I know I can have better? Sure, I will have to keep fishing... but on warm summer evenings is that really so bad?

Knowing that I don't have to keep what I don't want may be one of the greatest lessons of this year. Potential only goes so far. Half-way is still only half-way. And after sometime away from this silly little place, I know I will always want more than this city can offer.

Driving across the Williamsburg Bridge on Saturday I laughed as I felt I was gearing up to play a role in some gigantic movie set called "Manhattan". And maybe I always have played a 'role"have since I lived here. 'Southern belle takes on Manhattan', and of course I had the lead. Learning to do things the New York way. Obeying the social codes of the city. Following the direction of some imaginary producer that never really had my best interest at heart... and I asked myself again, "is this what you want?"

And the answer is no. I don't want what I did seven years ago when I moved here. This summer, I want my life -- the one I create, the one I direct -- in the city. The fantastic one I led in Spain and Italy, but with a different back drop. I did it there, I will do it here. I have learned that I can do anything I put my mind too. I can have everything I want. I just have to believe in something greater, somthing larger than Manhattan. And after being away for so long, I know that 'that something' is me.

Its going to be one hot summer that is for sure.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Getting by with a little help from my friends...

A thought continues to reverberate in my mind this morning -- upon waking, during my run on the beach, and now having coffee as I look for an apartment and Eline works on a translation.

Who is it that helps you? Who is it you can count on? Where does your source of help come from?

As I ponder this question, and I think of it in tandem with my current journey, I am a bit shocked at the answer I get.

Its been made clear to me as I move through southern Europe that my source of help and aid isn´t exactly what I thought it was when I left. Friends -- or people I refer to as freinds -- simply haven´t been that. Faces that had a great meaning, have really lost their value. And my memories are being colored differently by the involvement and interaction of people in my life currently... not what I once knew.

When I put the pieces of my journey together, I see more clearly who it is that helps me, that loves me, and wants me to succeed --in my travels, in my life, etc. I see more and more how the energies of my past were spent in the wrong directions, chasing silly dreams because I could, not because I wanted to. Investing myself in people and places and situations that were not worthy of investment. Endlessly spinning my wheels and seven years later, realizing the faces I value have changed little... even in the vastness of NYC and all the people I have met.

Don´t get me wrong, there are many people I care about and continuously want the best for. There are plenty of people that I would aid in an instant. My travels have helped me realize who is worth doing that for, and that number is not as great as it once was.

As I sit in my friend Eline´s home in Rota, Spain this is all the more apparent. Her and her boyfriend Miguel, have more or less adopted me on my travels. It also helps that she and I get along like two peas in a pod. And that she and Miguel are THE MOST easy going people I have ever met. I met Eline through my friend Daphne in Holland, she and I spent a summer interning together in Orlando when I thought I wanted to be a cruise director (my, how dreams change!). Daphne and I stayed in touch and her and Eline met me in NYC two years ago. Since meeting Eline, she became part of my journey. Wanting to create a new bond, a new friendship, guided part of my journey... and while the help she has offered me has been astounding, its the friendship I pursued that let me here.

Sandra joined me to celebrate what I anticipated a difficult day - then, but when it arrived I didn´t even realize it hit... until two days later when we celebrated her birthday. Some things truly belong in the past... and I am so glad to have a friend like her to move into the next phase of my life with.

A dear friend in NYC gave me all the contacts she knew in Spain, plus some great tunes on my journey. And many thoughtful and "go get`em girl" emails to persuade me in the "life is now" direction. (Sarah, you rock!) And the other NYC friends that have help my journey be my journey and loved me along the way. THANK YOU.

And my family and dearest friends have given their unyielding support of my travels and pursuit of finding my most passionate and honest self...and I have good news to report!

Friends are not a dime a dozen... maybe on Facebook, but in real life, to have one is it to have plenty. And in this world where talk is cheap and good relationships are hard to come by, less definitely is more. My friends these days may be few, but because they are who they are I truly feel like the richest person I know.

Thank you dear souls who have touched my life and made me more through knowing you, I can only hope that I have left the positive imprint on your life as you have mine.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Its official!

I am running the NYC Marathon on November 1, 2009! I signed-up today and could not be more excited with this decision. While away I have been loving these long runs in warm temperatures. (Sarah -- your running mix is amazing!) So why not?

For once I have no reason not to do so.

In 2007, I had a wedding on Sanibel Island to attend.

In 2008, I developed this bizarre allergy/asthma disorder.

And now, I am free. Of plans, of asthma, of any reason to keep me from running... except my fabulous Halloween costume I was already considering for this year, but I will figure that out... but I am running! Official training begins manana!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


As the sun has now moved into Aries, and a new astrological year has begun, I am feeling the need to restart a few things in my own life. And I am truly ready to do so.

While I am on the road, and living out of a suitcase, my life often feels very much in transit. And it is. But I think thats what I bargained for when I asked those I love most to allow me to be a nomad in 2009. (truly, be careful what you wish for...)

Each day that passes, I think of those I care about in both the North and South. I miss them all dearly.

I believe my family understands, minus the youngest member, Mr. Ramsey. And that I hate most, as there are so many things of his life right now that I am missing, and I do hope he doesn't forget who is Aunt Paige is.

My friends in NYC, both new and old, there have been days I wish I could "pop over" for an afternoon of good conversation and laughter before resuming my journey on this side of the pond. Europe is a very different place, and every weekend morning I wish I was reading the paper or enjoying "storytime" at Vbar...with some REAL coffee, and not the double espresso I have adopted since being here.

Its tough, as I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. And in doing so, I know I am missing out on being a part of lives that I so dearly want to share in. I guess you really can't have it both ways.

I don't want to lose touch as I take this time for myself. But in taking time for myself, I need to make sure that "myself" gets what she needs out of this time. And so I must do what I need to ensure that when I get back to the good ole USofA, I am ready to be apart of things again and not always have one foot out the door --that's what got me here in the first place, and I have never believed in repeats.

So as I delve into new beginnings with Aries, and the "bullish" days of Taurus that are sure to come my way, a part of me is looking forward to the day when the sun moves into Gemini, the sign of friendship and conversation, and I can't wait to relish in both... on that side of the pond.

Until then, I best be packing, I have an early train to catch manana.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A New Leaf

Since the year began, I have been loving being online and having an outlet for my thoughts. Being both extrovert and introvert, I like being heard without making a big deal out of it. Blogging meets that need. I realize some of my topics probably should not have made into public view, but it was an outlet I needed at the time, so I don't really make excuses...only apologies to anyone who read something they would have preferred not to read.

In reading through past bloggings, I realize they were interlaced with so many excuses and attempts at trying to explain the life I had chosen. They were "propagandish" in trying to convince people (readers) I was happy. There was an element of "fake" to it, and well, I tend to prefer "authentic".

Alot has changed in my life since I started blogging in February 2008, all changes I am grateful for. I will not hesitate to tell anyone "my life rocks!", and I truly believe it does. But that doesn't say its been without challenges or difficult times. I do believe that life cannot truly "rock" without having to face adversity and the less desireable times. We get through them, we learn, we grow, and I like to say, "we turnover a new page"... and I guess in my case its a "new Paige".

Well, here is my 'new Paige'. Its still my story and musings on life, just in a new venue. Its still me, just hopefully a little wiser, a little stronger, and a little more sure of what she wants in life.

If you found me here, I am sure you are someone I would want reading. So please enjoy. And if you have something to say, I love comments, so please share.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ode to my Mother

From my mother, I have learned many things. Having high-expectations of myself is one, having high-expectations of others is another, having high-expectations of men is something in a whole other ballpark.

I do think she taught me well, though, as when I am operating by her/my standards there is very little bullshit involved. It either is or it isn't and we go from there.

My mom is one tough-cookie, and through her own situations in her life she has made herself what she is... super-strong, passionate, and multi-talented, not to mention an excellent mother and awesome grandmother.

I love hearing stories about her growing up. How she broke in her own pony (Apache), how she would make money from the neighborhood kids by charging two coke bottles to ride Apache, how she tried to put out a field fire that she started with a mason-jar of water, how she was a tomboy turned Homecoming Queen, who made all of her own clothes including her wedding dress... and many years later earned a black-belt in karate. My mom is amazing. I don't think there is anything that if she wanted to learn how to do, she couldn't.

I can only hope that I can leave the impression she has on me, on my own sons/daughters... God knows if I don't, Nama Deb will! =o)

But getting back to the point of this...

In my time as her daughter, there have been many things that she has taught me that most men -- and people in general-- don't know how to do. As she would say "that's just unacceptable"... and I tend to agree.

So, since I am in a list making mode, here are the things my mother has taught me that everyone should know how to do:

1) Drive a stick-shift ( ie 5 or 6 speed).

2) Ask for directions.

3) Iron.

4) Be willing to take the time to teach someone how to do something new.

5) Make a 3 or 4 course meal with fresh ingredients -- preferably from the back yard.

6) Bait a fishing hook.

7) Know which plants are poison ivy and stay away.

8) Build a fire -- both in and out of doors.

9) Manage a budget.

10) Arrive on time, and call if you are running late.

11) Give thoughtful and meaningful gifts.

12) Be creative.

13) Dare to wander out on a limb... that is where the fruit is.

14) Plan a party for 30 and have it go off without a hitch.

15) Know the value of your own time, and be selective when spending it.

16) Take care of someone else.

17) Be considerate/chivalrous.

18) Wash a car... and wax it.

19) Plant a plant and have it last longer than a year.

20) Sand and refinish furniture.

21) Don't be afraid to tell someone your expectations of them, but in doing so, don't lower your expectations of yourself and your own life.

22) Live life outside of the box. Or in it... but own your decisions and be happy.

23) Never be too old to climb a tree, swing or jump on a trampoline.

24) Believe that you can have any and everything you want... thinking/believing truly does make it so.

25) Don't forget to say thank you, especially when you are thankful for having someone in your life.

Mom, I am so thankful I am your daughter. And since its Mother's Day weekend in Spain, I figure why not celebrate in America too? Here's to you!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

10 Funny Things

Being in the world for 10 days, stopping in four different cities, and getting used to life out of a suitcase, I have been able to observe myself in a different way than I have at any other point in my life. Most of my days are spent with me, as are most of my nights.

In ten days, here are ten quirky things that I have observed about myself:

1) I will talk to myself if I think no one is listening.

2) I am kind of afraid of the dark, and will leave the curtain open to be a "night light".

3) The word castles and fortress appeal to my dreamy side and immediately make the day's agenda. (What do I think I am going to find, a prince??!!)

4) I can be a bit of an asshole and assume that guidebooks are wrong and are leading me no where... and then ta-da, I end up being right where they say I should.

5) When it comes to lodging I am a bit high maintenance. I need a room on the highest floor possible, facing the street, and far from elevators/staircases.

6) I always think I am "Merlin the Magician" when it comes to packing, and of course everything is going to fit inside my suitcase. I just wave my wand and "abbracadabra!"...Unfortunately at that point, my clothes have not shrunk and my bag has not gotten any bigger.

7) If I don't get enough sleep (ie., more than 4 hours) I turn into a very sensitive and emotional soul and I am bound to find something -- either beautiful or sad -- to get weepy about especially if there is music involved.

8) I dislike routines. There has not been two days that I have gotten up at the same time, gone to bed at the same time, had a meal at the same time or done remotely close to the same thing.

9) I don't have a need for TV. Two of the four places I have stayed have had them and I have not even bothered to turn them on to see if they work.

10) "Life is (always) too short" for money to be an option when its something I really want to do.

So that's me in 10 days. By the time I make it back to the States, I am going to be such a dork... but a well traveled dork, for sure!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Favorites are that way for a reason.

One of the things I make a habit of doing is reading my favorite book before the start of a journey. Its only 150 pages so its not like it takes longer than a day. This time as I perused its pages, quotes and passages were just leaping out at me, so much so I actually picked up a pen and did some underlining. Maybe its just my stage in life that allowed me to find such passages so meaningful, but for those interested in some thoughts to ponder (out of context) here goes:

On Life:
  • Life attracts life. (my personal favorite)
  • You will never be able to escape from your own heart. So its better to listen to what it has to say. (my second favorite)
  • Its the possibility of having a dream come true that make's life interesting.
  • Its the simple things in life that make life extraordinary.
  • The world's greatest lie is that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.
  • When you are young, everything is clear and everything is possible. You are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything you would like to see happen to you in your lifetime. As time passes a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be possible to achieve their personal goals.
  • Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, its because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. And when you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. (Really....)
  • For her, everyday was the same, and when each day is the same as the next, its because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day the sun rises.
  • Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.
  • It is written, and sometimes there's just no way to hold back the river.
  • The language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, is a language everyone understands.
  • Making a decision is only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
  • Intuition is really sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything because its all written here.


  • When you know the universal language, its easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether its in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning. (favorite)
  • Realizing that he had loved her before he even knew she existed, he knew that his love for her would enable him to discover every treasure in the world.
  • You must understand that love never keeps a man from persuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, its because it wasn't true love.
  • When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I've known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it.
  • Many people let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid our for them. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

I found it interesting the quotes divided themselves into two categories -- life and love. Maybe that is why this is my favorite... it focuses on my two greatest passions.

(and in case you don't know me well enough -- although then don't know why you are reading this -- my favorite book is the The Alchemist, and my favorite author is Paulo Coelho)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Getting Back to Me Again

Tonight, as I packed the belongings I will carry with me to Europe into a 20X11X14 bag (with wheels!) I felt as if I was packing myself inside. And since they are my things and what I will wear for the next 65 days, I guess it is me... But the act itself was symbolic. And for the first time, and maybe the last, I am ready to leave New York. At least for now.

Its time for me to be away from the place I love most. To be away from some of the people I love most. To be away from everything I have come to consider 'home'... and simply get back to me.

The person who wakes up at God knows when (some obnoxiously early hour), who craves early morning coffee and equally alert conversation, who is amazed by the people I meet everyday, and tries to tread lightly on the world... leaving a imprints and not scars. The one who can cry or laugh at the drop of a hat simply because that is how I feel, and can simply be authentic... without pretenses or falsities.

I don't know how well I have been at being the best version of myself these days. Honest - yes. Best version -- not really. And that is what I want to get back to. Being fully present, being fully me. Being fully aware of the imprints I leave.

The one thing that the past 65 days has brought me is fun times, good friends and lots of drinks. Moments of revelation, memorable people, and lots of saying la vie to what was going to be my life.

And now... I want to be here now. For this is where its at. Back in my old building... yet, ready to try something new. I am ready to get lost in the world... ready to be in place that doesn't speak my language or even want to...ready to go and just be me where nothing else is expected of me.

So here I go...16 hours and long awaited adventure will soon begin. And truly, I will get the chance to finally get back to me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And then what?

This morning in my spinning class, a revelation was awaiting me at the end of my race.

Starting the class I was abuzz with weekend plans, dinner plans tonight, meeting up plans, work plans... plans... plans... plans... Do this. Love that. Change this. Swap that. My mind was spinning out of control... just like my bike pedals!

As we started the climbing part of the class I started thinking about a reservation that I have been looking forward to for a while now that is taking place tonight, and it dawned on me, so what about after? What happens when I have been there and done that?

Thoughts of a simple restaurant reservation quickly to a mini-analysis of my life, and all the times that I have raced into something, only to be left with a feeling of being let down when the experience is over... or maybe the experience simply did not meet my expectations -- which admittedly can be a little too high at times.

There have been countless times -- birthdays that were not as fun as hoped, dates that were less dashing, an engagement that lost its luster as soon as the diamonds did, trips that went awry, friends that let me down... I could go on and on.

And in that moment I realized the one thing I have failed to do all along is be aware of my expectations I have of myself. What do these things and events truly mean to me? What am I looking to add to my life by experiencing all these things on my list? What emotional/mental values can I glean for something?

I think this realization began in January... with my only expectation of myself has been to live my life to the fullest... and that I have. But I realize life and this year specifically is not about just having fun. Living my life to the fullest means passionately pursuing all the goals and dreams I have...

So its time to raise my expectations of myself... know fully what I want from life and what I expect from those in it... and when expectations are not met to truly know why, to learn from that experience and then move on.

Spinning in circles has never worked... and I hope that the only spinning I do moving forward is on Wednesday mornings when I am half awake.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Favorite Moments of 2009... (So Far)

This has been such an exciting and fulfilling year...and its only one-sixth over! There have been so many fun times that I have spent with some of the most amazing people that I could ever ask to know, and many of whom I feel blessed to call friends. So as I prepare for the next two months of travel and imagine the memories that will be made on the road, I want to pause and reflect on my favorite moments of this year...

1) Fantastic champagne brunches in fancy dining rooms over looking the park with special friends (thanks EE for turning the most difficult day of my life into one of the most fun moments imaginable)

2) Watching my best friend say "yes" to the love of his life. (the reception lasted into 2009 so it technically counts!)

3) Saying yes to myself and allowing myself to fight for, and have, the life I always wanted.

4) Asking my boss to take a sabbatical and her saying yes.

5) Getting to play "big sister" to my little sis after a night of too much fun.

6) "Bang on the Loose"... and all the other silly moments that led to the many songs that were either altered or made up on the fly.

7) Getting to have a "Paige Day" with my mom in my favorite city.

8) Hitting the slopes with a fun crew in January... George you are a rockstar, especially with Cool Rock Tape #5!

9) Getting "Carried Away" in Harlem by George Straight.

10) Sipping champagne in to-go cups while getting lost in the village.

BONUS) Realizing my life is pretty damn fantastic and will continue to be that way as long as I allow it.

Classiest moment of 2009: Falling off a stool while on a date. (Hey, my life may be fantastic, but I will always be a klutz!)

Saddest moment 0f 2009: Giving Jazz away.

Most Liberating Moment of 2009: Buying my ticket to Europe.

Most Unexpected Moment: Getting asked on date in the middle of breaking up with someone.

Scariest Moment: Lasik surgery

Coziest moment of 2009: Jazz, fireplace, a glass of port while the snow falls.

Conspiracy Theory

In my favorite book by my favorite author, there is a line that has been repeating in my head all weekend: "When you really want something, all the universe conspires together to make it happen."

For days, weeks and months now I have been living my own life unafraid to ask for what I want, because I truly believe the universe will hand it over. Maybe not in the shape I expected, but I truly believe that as humans we have the capability to always have what we want.

And right now I have everything I could possibly want. I could not ask to be anywhere than where I am right now. Watching the snow fall from my favorite perch in all of NYC, on a SNOW DAY, which never happens in New York – an adventure before me, an agenda to accomplish and fun memories of a lovely evening spent with a new friend.

Last night, I was wondering how I was going to do all I had to do before I leave in a week. Well, now I have my window of opportunity…SNOW DAY!

I cannot get over how in sync with the universe my life feels right now. And maybe it used to be this way, and I just fell out of sync with myself for so long that this feeling seems even more amazing. But when I think of the line from the Alchemist, I have to laugh because it is SO true.

Everything I said I wanted, I have gotten. I knew it could happen, all I had to do was open up my heart and ask. My plan that I concocted so long ago is all happening just as I imagined, and I don’t think I could feel or be more happy than I am right now.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Taking Off

In my life of excitement and fun, I often forget to take a night in, for me, to regroup and collect my thoughts, catch up on my to-do list, and just breathe. So its odd that on a day when I make one of my most exciting purchases (Barcelona here I come!... as well as the rest of Southern Europe), I chose to celebrate by coming home putting on my flannel pjs adornned with ice cream cones, and snuggle up with Monday TV. It was a real treat. As I don't think I have spent a night like this since I have lived here. Being the Queen of Distraction it takes a lot for me to sit still and not get caught up in reorganizing something or a phone conversation or the blinking red light on my blackberry... but tonight I focused on TV and reordering my recipe binder, and turning it into a folder (but it was a small undergoing).

I cannot believe that in less than two weeks I will be bound for Europe, taking this trip that I have wanted to take for FOREVER. I am excited to get lost in a world where I don't speak its language, I don't know anyone, and just take it all in. I want to be a stranger in a strange land. I want to be an explorer. And mostly, I want to be a nomad...until I find a place I want to call home. I haven't found that place in my life... yet. But I think... make that, know... I will once I take the time for me that I have been promising myself for SO LONG.

I made arrangements for my own storage unit today... and I laugh as I look around at the few possessions I have. And after cleaning out a trunk I have even less. I realize more and more there is not really much I need/want. I read it once that by giving things away, you preserve the memory of them forever... and I feel like that. As I cast off practically all of my worldly possessions, I feel so much more free, much more light, so much more like me. And that is the most wonderful feeling of all.

My life had just gotten to be full of crap...stupid stuff that I thought I needed...a sombrero from a Mexican night, a cap and gown from a graduation that I will only wear again if I decide to go dressed as a Columbia graduate to Halloween, books that I will never read, and clothes that were always "kind of cool" but not really...

So I move forward with the things I truly want in life. They are few. And maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. Keeping life small so you can dream big. Leaving extra room for the treasures we find along the way... or an extra bite we can't pass for something special to fit into our lives, into the space that we created.

That's really it. If you want something in your life, you have to make room for it... give it its space. My travels would have never been possible if I did not make room for them...and as I take a deep breath and relish in the idea that I am going to set out and do all I ever wanted to do... I feel truly blessed, and I am so thankful for every moment and every face that has led me here. Because I want to be HERE now. No where else. Just me and my cuddly pjs, a bit of Dido in the background, my few possessions surrounding me, and an adventure that is almost ready for the picking. Life truly is good.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fantastic X 1,000,000

That's how I feel today. Fantastic X 1,000,000.

I asked for something that was written on my heart, and low and behold, it came true. If everything goes according to plan, on March 9 I will board a plane bound for Europe and not be back until sometime in May... and I will have a job when I get back!

In presenting my plan to my boss, I felt like a rock star. I couldn't back down, and for once I think she saw me for the passionate woman I am, and she knew -- like I know-- I would get what I wanted. I wouldn't settle for less.

And that's what this whole year is about. Not settling. Chasing after my dreams and making them happen. Not being afraid to ask for what I want, and passionately persuing my life.

I feel so alive right now, every cell in my body is tingling with excitement.

Today is a feeling I will never forget.