Wednesday, January 30, 2013

At the End of the Day

Friendships are funny sometimes most times. We call each other on the phone. We text. We Facebook each other when things remind us of the other person. We get together. We make time for each other in our busy schedules. We talk about what's happening at work, at home, with our families, with our friends, in the latest television show... We talk about our dreams, our fears, our failures, and our successes. 

But we don't talk about it all.

In those quiet moments are all the things we don't say. The things we can't put words to because we haven't even truly admitted them to ourselves yet. The scary parts that we don't want to tell our loved ones because saying them aloud makes them real.

In the past few months I have had several grounding conversations with friends - either about my own life or theirs that have left me with the overwhelming reminder that we never truly know the innermost happenings of each other's lives unless we sit down and practice some radical honesty. All of these conversations have happened out of moments where we have slowed down enough to get beyond the chit-chat, beyond the surface conversations... to what is really happening. 

Why does it take us so long to get there? 

Why is it so hard to tell our self-proclaimed "best friends" the truth, even when it's ugly? 

There is a quote from Grey's Anatomy that says: "At the end of the day, there are some things you just can't help but talk about. Some things we just don't want to hear and some things we say because we can't be silent any longer. Some things are more than what you say. They're what you do. Some things you say because you have no other choice. Some things you keep to yourself. And not too often, but every now and then, some things simply speak for themselves."

There are a lot of things that I feel good at, but being a honest, loyal friend is something I pride myself on. In 2013 I want to be proud of the friendships I maintain because they are real, no BS, and full of rich conversations about even the messiest parts of life. Life is inevitably messy for all of us sometimes and if we cannot be truly honest with our closest friends about it, then where does that leave us?

I would say it leaves us feeling pretty damn lonely sometimes, and in the spirit of less fear and more love in 2013, I am aiming for real. I am aiming for honest. I am aiming for acceptance.

Open up to your friends. Be the type of friend your friends can open up to. At the end of the day, say the things you are scared of saying, because that moment when you push beyond the fear of what they will say is the exact moment you free yourself from the loneliness of not saying it at all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Welcoming 2013 with JOY!

"Less fear, more love."

My yoga teacher finished class last night with this simple sentence followed by the traditional "Namaste". I walked out of class repeating it to myself in my head thinking about all the crazy things we do out of fear - fear of the unknown, fear of judgment (even from ourselves), fear of failing, fear of disappointing people, fear of not being good enough... I also thought about all the things we do out of love and all the crazy, amazing, cool places love can lead us.

My word for 2013 is joy. I want a life filled with more laughter, more smiles, more kind hellos, more goose-bump-inducing moments of pure happiness - more joy. In 2012 my word was presence  and I focused on slowing down and enjoying moments as they happened. I still need to work on that to make it part of my daily life, but in addition to that, in 2013 I want to see all the beautiful joy in my daily life.

Just like my 2012 goals, I decided on eight themes and then created three goals within each theme.  I love goal setting because the idea of small goals along the way to my bigger life dreams is a great way to keep myself on track. And yes, I do have a Type A personality, thankyouverymuch.

This year's themes are:
  • Personal
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Finances
  • Professional
  • Travel
  • Health
  • Community
Some of my favorite mini-goals within these themes are:
  • Planning & hosting a "Friendsgiving" party in Minnesota next Thanksgiving
  • Attend a math conference - NCTM (in Denver!) in April here I come!
  • Master handstand to chaturanga in yoga without feeling like I am crashing back down to earth at rapid fire speed
  • Go one month without coffee & one month without alcohol (obviously not the same month because HELLO - the goal of goals is to make them challenging yet attainable)
As I started to finish my goals, I realized there was more I wanted to do and more I could do to put myself on track for more joy and less fear, so I decided on having monthly goals as well. These are things I have long wanted to do/try but haven't made into goals due to the fear (told you, it's always there) of not being able to do them for an entire year. So in 2013 - I am starting with just 30 days. Or 28 days days as is the case with February, and you bet I thought about that when I picked it to be no alcohol month.  My months will look like this:
  • January – No new clothes/shoes/accesories 
  • February – No alcohol
  • March – Vegetarian 
  • April – No restaurant food 
  • May – Farmers market 1x/week
  • June – walk/run 2x/week 
  • July – Volunteer 1x/week
  • August – No coffee
  • September – Yoga everyday
  • October – Read everyday
  • November – No bar food
  • December - Random Acts of Kindness
I also have a complete list of my 2013 goals to hang in places like my bedroom, closet door, etc. However, in the recent weeks this discussion of goal-setting has sparked long, intense, crazy-soul-fulfilling conversations with friends and I don't think I will have any problems with accountability this year! In fact, several friends share some of my same goals and/or have goals of their own that I will be checking in with as well. I love it when like-minded people get together and kick things into action.

So with that, here's to making 2013 a year of JOY-filled moments.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Eff Yeah 2012

2012 ended up being a year of massive changes in my life and when I sat down to reflect upon it, I realized I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out. Before looking ahead to some 2013 goal planning, I copied what I did last year, and wrote down all the awesome stuff that happened this year. Without further introduction, here is a list of some of my favorite 2012 memories/accomplishments... 

2012 Eff Yeah List
  • Traveled to Argentina 
  • Finally got my "Imagine" tattoo
  • Surprised my friend Kelsi on her 30th birthday in San Diego
  • Spent one last weekend in Bogota with my closest Colombia friends before leaving
  • Bogota Beer Company brewery tour
  • Valentine's Day dinner at Platillos Voladores with Kelsi
  • Blogged for Proexport Colombia
  • Moved home to the United States in five suitcases 
  • Moved in with my two best childhood friends
  • Bought my first car - 2012 Honda Civic
  •  Applied & networked like crazy to land a teaching job in St. Paul, Minnesota working with international students
  • Owned my food choices (AKA stopped caring if other people think its weird to pack your lunches, make overnight oats, and put spinach in smoothies)
  • Attended the first ever concert at Target Field
  • Organized & rocked a Pedal Pub for my 25th birthday
  • Was a bridesmaid in Anna & Andy's wedding
  • Attended & made it to the end of the going away party in Colombia
  • Teacher of the Year at 8th Grade graduation at my previous school
  • Attended Carnaval de Barranquilla
  • Visited friends Alex & Lindsey in Laguna Beach
  • Surprised my friend Liz with the return of our mutual friend Ilse from the Peace Corps in Uganda
  • Mastered the solo date
  • Skied at Lutsen for the first time in years
  • Mountain biked in Colorado
  • Water skied in northern Minnesota for the first time in years
  • Bought a Canon Rebel to start getting serious with photography
  • Attended yoga classes 3-4 times per week back in Minnesota
  • Joined a book club

New Year, New Blog

Welcome to Outside the Lines!

For those of you coming over from my previous blog, Coffee, Calculations and Colombia, thanks for continuing to read along! When I started blogging in April 2009, I was a college senior at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse about to embark on a journey of living and teaching abroad in Cali, Colombia for three years. That experience led to many adventures, great friends, incredible travel experiences and invaluable life lessons - all of which you can read about over at that blog.

However, upon returning home to Minnesota in June 2012, I needed to find a new home for my writing. After a semester of re-adjusting to life back in the United States, it's time I finally created that new online space. Friends and readers alike have been asking me about the future of my blog/writing over the last few months, so after several conversations, here is Outside the Lines.

The nature of this blog - what I will write about, how often I will write, etc. are still kind of up in the air. However, I don't want to get caught in the trap of "I don't have anything to say" and/or the (very real) feeling that the longer I put something off, the harder it is to begin again. So without knowing all the answers up front, I am just going to start.

Thanks for joining me :)