Friday, April 23, 2010

Compass Rose

I only have one tattoo that was not well thought out and I hate it. In all my travels and in all the aspects of life that beg for tough decisions to be made, it is always nice to know where you are and which way is up. I have been itching for ink for too long and thinking of getting this little symbol tattooed on me somewhere for many, many months. Tonight after one drink, a short walk down 6th St in Austin, Kelly and I decided to get tattoos. Just like that.

May I always remember that even if I stray off my beaten path, I can always find my way back.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Buried LIfe

I don't know how I missed this show The Buried Life. Four Canadian guys in their 20's travelling in a bus with a list of 100 things they want to do before they die; in the process encouraging other people think about their lists and helping them along the way. Seems like there are a lot of people in my general age bracket doing stuipid shit to get noticed for their 15 minutes of fame. The power to make a positive influence really starts with individuals, regular people who believe in their own dreams. From what I've seen, these guys are just super cool dudes who decided to do what we all say we'll do "some day".

It got me to thinking, what is really on my list? Really, really on my list, not just "oh yeah, it would be nice to do that someday..." I'm 28, I've been able to do and see more than most just in the last few years of travelling and taking a risks on new people and unfamiliar situations, but that's not enough.

Sometimes I feel like I just started to figure out how to really start living my own life. I have been existing and experiencing, but sometimes running just on auto-pilot as a means of survival and defense. But then I step back and realize that I'm 28 and I've figured out how to start living...

My bucket list:

1. write a book/get published
2. get my bachelor's degree
3. learn how to surf
4. speak a foreign language
5. be a mom
6. marry my best friend
7. adopt
8. be in the right place at the right time
9. look better at 30, 35, and 40 than I've ever looked before
10. Run a marathon, yes 26.2 miles
11. change someone's life
12. set foot on all 7 continents
13. life in a foreign country for at least 6 months
14. learn how to fly
15. own a ranch
16. adopt a dog
17. fall in love
18. donate blood
19. get a tattoo in a foreign country
20. build a house for someone
21. pay off all my debt
22. learn how to play the guitar
23. make money as a photographer
24. go to all 50 states before I turn 30 (scratch that, lets call it 50 before 50)
25. volunteer at an animal shelter
26. serve dinner to the homeless on Thanksgiving and on Christmas
27. sell my own art
28. put in my own kitchen floor  (I paid for a new one, we'll call it good)
29. camp in the snow
30. disconnect for an entire week - no phones, no tv, no recorded music, no computer
31. win a lottery
32. learn how to drive a stick shift
33. sing the blues. in public.
34. do 15 1-handed pushups
35. run for public office
36. be in a rally or a protest
37. be present for a historical event
38. have a 6-pack (and not the alcoholic kind)
39. attend a taping of the Ellen show
40. own a horse
41. Meet Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs
42. Own my own business
43. Learn how to shoot
44. teach someone how to read
45. attend a Red Sox vs. Yankees game on July 4th
46. write an article for a travel magazine
47. meet my family living in the Phillipines
48. drive up the East Coast
49. be in 2 places at once
50. be an orginal
52. be a volunteer at a senior center to just read, listen, acknowledge a generation of people with stories about all the things they did and didn't get to do on their own bucket list
52. compete in a dance competition
53. climb a mountain
54. find my life's passion
55. fly in a hot air ballon
56. throw a mega party so big that I could even invite the people that I only kind-of like
57. go to a cherry blossom festival in Japan (ok, or Washington DC)
58. walk along the Great Wall of China
59. live in a house that has at least 1 brick wall
60. swim with sharks (sharks are one of my ultimate fears in this entire world, I hate them, they make me sweat just thinking about them)
61. fly in a helicopter
62. bury all my hatchets
63. speak in front of a large crowd of at least 10,000
64. attend the olympic games
65. experience a thunderstorm in a wide open place
66. visit the Pyramids
67. visit Ireland, find out where my Grandfather came from
68. learn how to sail
69. be a teacher
70. go to a black tie event or a ball
71. compose a song
72. tell everyone that I love that I love them (I can't even type this without tearing up. I need to do this.)
73. audition for The Amazing Race
74. ride on an elephant
75. anonymously buy a stranger a meal, pay for a bridge toll, or pay for their groceries
76. walk in someone else's shoes
77. start fresh somewhere new
78. take an entire trip on a train
79. go to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downes wearing a big, huge, floppy hat.
80. take an entire trip by kayak, camping along the shore

I'm a work in I am leaving room for improvment between here and 100.

99. give my parents something they could never give me
100. live big, live bold, live breathtakingly

Ooohprah Winfrey!

Holy Sweet Mother!
Oh my baby toe!
You know, you are nothing if not thorough.
Oh God. I'm sweating.
Oh you've got to be kidding me!
I'm going to have to start stretching before I do this again.
Please. Just not that part.
Sweet Jesus!
That's it. I'm either coming in here all the time or never again!
Yeah, I'm fine. No, it's uhmm, yeah, oooooh...I'm fine. Whew.
Wait, up like this?
I don't know if I'm used to it, or if I'm just numb.
Yoga. This reminds me of Yoga, but with more pain.
I wonder if anyone has ever passed out during this?

This. is. justnotright.

A) things heard in a frat house
B) things heard at a Weight Watcher's meeting
C) things heard in Basic Training
D) things heard inside and outside of Lauren's head while getting a Brazilian

Friday, April 9, 2010

Little Wonders

Songwriter: Rob Thomas

Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in
Let your clarity define you
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours
These small hours
Still remain

Let it slide
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine,
Till you feel it all around you
And I don't mind
If it's me you need to turn to
We'll get by
It's the heart that really matters in the end

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours
Still remain

All of my regret
Will wash away somehow
But I cannot forget
the way I feel right now

In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Yeah, these twisted turns of fate
Time falls away
Yeah, but these small hours,
These small hours
Still remain

Yeah, oh they still remain
These little wonders
All these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These little wonders
Still remain

Drowning in the Sea of What's Right

Where is my head right now? Right now, it's plugged into a headseat, swimming with the thoughts, opinions, ideas, suggestions, concerns, and fears of everyone that I work with. I'm listening. I'm even listening to the people that go totally againts the grain. I'm listening because it's my job. I'm listening because I represent them, because I chose to be their voice and make decisions that are in their best interests. I've heard so many opinions, I'm having a hard time remembering what mine are. Is it a gamble or is it a worthy fight? Can you still maintain that there's a worthy fight and take a gamble? I will fight like hell and I will give it my damndest, but I'm not above letting my guard down and asking what it takes to fix this. I just don't know what is right.

***Sidebar: My head is also flooded with the voice of a 24 year old Taiwanese It's wondering how I'm going to get packed for yet another trip on Tuesday. He is phenomenal, and I'm again reminded about how judgemental I am. I hate that. I'm also completley in awe and appreciation of incredibly gifted people no matter who they are.

I know this in my personal life: If you both dig your heels in and refuse to give a little, and who looses? Everyone. Eventually you either let it all fall by the wayside and move on OR someone caves, someone conceeds, but then there's the risk that the damage is already done and you'll never be able to fix that relationship again. I wish I had a magic 8-ball. I wish it was just that easy.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Laugh everyday - it's like inner jogging.

My body is starving for physical activity. My soul is starving for happiness. I need to do some inner and outer jogging.

That's all I got.


PS - this makes for post #200.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


My Dove milk chocolate just gave me a message:

Indulge in the moments that matter the most.

Will do, Dove. Will do.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jenna photoshoot

Not too bad for my second maternity photo shoot...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Umbrella, ella, ella...

In my quest to simplify and get my passion for life back, step 1 is that I've had to make some hard decisions about what is really important and what is going to matter in the end. When I say simplify, I mean across the board...getting rid of the toxic and time consuming things in my life from old t-shirts, bad habits, excuses, anger, resentment, and relationships. Some changes are permanent, some might just be temporary. I don't have it figured out yet.

I have learned some new things and been reminded of some old things as of late:

I'm not a fan of change.
I am the most sentimental of the sentimental fools. This is bad, but this also makes for an incredible scrapbooker.
I don't like being vulnerable. I hate it in fact.
I'm stubborn but I'm not impossible.
I wish I could forget more often.
I want to forgive more frequently.
Giving up and giving in is just a pit stop, not a destination.

Sometimes the other side of disappointment is relief.
Longevity is no reason to keep something or someone in your life.
People change for a reason.
It is true...people do forget what you do and what you say, but they don't forget how you made them feel.
I love you actually does mean having to say you're sorry, but true friends don't have to keep apologizing.
You can accept an apology but that doesn't mean that you have to keep letting the hurt continue.
Forgiveness really is never about the other person.

Time heals.

My newest favorite quote...and especially on this gloomy rain-filled day is:

"Friendship is like an umbrella. If you don't open up, you'll get rained on."
I think it stands true for all relationships and definitely those make or break moments in life. It's not that I would rather feel pain than feel nothing at all, but there is a fine line between gaining life experience and being reckless and gullible. I'm always in a revolving state of opening my umbrella and then finding out who my true friends are.

From a friend in Belgium that I've never met, she reminded me of something I told her not to long ago:
"Keep your chin up, that's where the sunshine is."

If there is one thing that all my time 30,000 feet up has proven, it is that no matter what it looks like from down on the ground, the sun is always shining out above the clouds.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

She's so passionate!!!

I decided last Sunday that I am living a passionless existence. I have been having that thought but then reading a sentence in some guy's 2000 character minimum self-description about finding the one who he wanted to wake up to every morning just about pushed me over the edge. It's only about 1 in every 30 profiles that even catch my attention, so this guy was even ahead of the pack and not that bad looking but then I instinctively rolled my eyes at it anyways. I do that a lot. Then...the thought came. "What the fuck happened to you?" God, I remember day dreaming about cutesy romantical things. I remember daydreaming about my dream career. I remeber having goals. I remember painting a picture in my head of the life I really wanted and the person I wanted to be.

Fast approaching the ripe age of 29 might be partially to blame, but there are many more factors. Yes, there are things that I really like, and a few things I really love, but sometimes I just feel dead inside. I used to get called "passionate" about my response to things and it would piss me off but at least I was passionate about something and then I was more passionate about being called passionate. I don't really get called anything anymore (well at least to my face) and even that doesn't seem to phase me. I think I have died inside.

I go from trip to trip and event to event sometimes without enough time to catch my breath. Then there are the days when I stop so long, I can't convince myself to get out of bed before the crack of 3pm. I know, I might seem bi-polar in the last few posts about loving my travelling life one day and then hating everything in the world the next, but at least I see my own extremes. I do have a sincere love of going places and seeing new things...finding a place on the highway with a double yellow line, a good tune, and just my own thoughts is my ideal place to relax, but I think that the constant going is just my excuse to get away from the things that I am missing in my life. Missing because I want them, not because society's timeline says they should be there.

I think that the phase where the coolness of the things I accomplished in my early 20's is long since gone. Someone at work called me "the oldest of the 20-somethings in the department" a few weeks ago. A) what the fuck does that even have to do with anything? and B) what the fuck does that even have to do with anything? How is that a reference point for anything? The things I accomplished at 23 were fucking cool for 23...but part of the joy of getting those things checked off the list was being ignorant enough to think that was going to carry me further than it obviously has. I guess I've come to realize that the goals you set in life are braggable only until you've reached them and then you had better get your shit together and find another one to challenge yourself with again. Life doesn't end once you've bought a house, found something that pays you for both your time and your medical expenses, and you've squirted out a kid or adopted one from China. Maybe that's why marathon runners seems so cool. They are always pushing themselves to run faster and farther. They keep setting new goals and improving on their own performance. They're not only in competition to the world around them, but they're in competition to be the best version of their athletic self. That and some of them just have screamin' bodies!

I got kind of drunk last night and in my buzz-ed-ness, my friend Kelly told me she wished I got drunk more often because that's when I really speak my mind. Well damn! I thought I did on a regular basis. Apparently, there is a filter left. See now where's that girl when you need her? The one who has a strong opinion left and isn't satisfied with just throwing in the gloves and sitting quietly in the corner cause she's sick of being unheard and misunderstood.

I realized that I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of doing things for other people and maybe I kind of burned myself out. Scratch that. I did. I used to do things because they were the right thing to do and I felt SOOO much passion that I just couldn't say No! Although I don't feel like I've put myself in a position where I've compromised my integrity and my own personal core values, I find myself waiting for people to let me down and burn me, so I stopped participating. It feels like it comes true more often than not. My oldest friend said last week that the ultimate disappointment and bullshit that you have to go through with some people is the reason why she doesn't have a lot of friends. I might try her philosophy out. I've had to trim the fat recently, but I am afraid that I might have cut too deep in some areas.

I used to love my job. I really did. I used to stay late, come in early, I learned it for free during my internship before they even put me on the books. I loved the excitement and the camaraderie. I used to love being a step ahead of the game, the feeling of being unshakable. I don't feel any of that anymore. I still realize there's honor and integrity in my job, but I don't love it. I'm reblogging some feelings here now, but I can't help it. I used to tell my trainees this: "If you don't love this job, it won't love you back."

I want to tell myself: "If you don't love this life, it won't love you back." I do want to love my job. I do want to love my life. I do want to just love. I do.

I don't want to just exist, I want to live in a world full of passion for my work, for people, for places, and for all of my life around me.

It's time for me to get back in the race. It's time for me to put on my running shoes again and get back on pace. I think that it's time to set a new goal and start putting one foot in front of the other again. If you can't learn to pick yourself up after falling, there's no point in entering the race. I'm not a quitter, that's for damn sure and sitting on the bench while life rushes past me has never really been my style.


You can tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse. Well this woman thinks in extremes. Either I carry around the "dead zebra" packed to the brim with cables, bottles of pills, multiple pens from local insurance companies, a calendar from 2009, a book for that "downtime", a pay stub, old water bill, a couple of paper clips, some lip plumper, dental floss... You get the point, it's like the purse of a crazy person. Option B, I just carry my wallet. I cleaned it out today and in the place of cash money, I found receipts, baggage claim slips, and ticket stubs and I smiled. Money has value but memories and experiences are priceless.

I think it's the wallet of a cool person, even if it does live in the purse of a crazy chick.