Posted in Advice

18 to 25, what a love I’ve lived

I didn’t think I’d change so much from 22 to 25, so it’s like a whole different life I lived when I was 18.

I don’t have a single regret for having made any of the decisions I made, and I would make 99% of them all over again. The choices I made then, have made me into the person I am today. I think the one thing that resonates with me more than anything was this exchange.

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I fell for a guy at 19 who I truly believed was the guy for me. We were friends, but also we were (for a short time) partners. We were never fated to make it work though. I just denied it, in the naivety of being 19 and truly holding onto the idea of true love and a soul mate. He challenged me but also made me laugh. But when we were just babies learning about the world, him 21 and me 19, we weren’t ready nor did we know what love really was.

It took a long time to truly get over this love of mine. I never believed our story was closed. It was just taking a moment to restructure itself before bringing us back together. And it’s been that way, over the years we would check in with each other and keep each other kinda in the loop about our various undertakings. Then in a big blow out we ended it all, the friendship, the love, and just left the pieces to sit forever.

3 years later and we reconnected, but I realized he and I had become different people. I was a little more jaded and cold to the world, and he was more receptive to admitting that he loved me. I finally had the upper hand with him and I took it to my complete advantage. He was saying everything that I had so desperately wanted to hear all those years ago, and when he said them to me now, well my heart gave a leap to life and here I was stuck in an impossible situation. Was I going to make this same mistake a third time, potentially for yet another devastating heart break, one which I wasn’t sure I could come back from, or would I be smarter to just walk away for good and love him from afar?

I chose to let him go, I’ll always love him, I can admit that so easily and so fearlessly because he’ll have the one thing that no one else had. He’s my first love to whom I gave my heart and soul for. As I told him, I would’ve waited for him, no matter the distance or time, because I felt he was the one my heart wanted to curl up next to at the end of each and every day. Even now, I do wonder, if we truly tried and gave it our all, would we truly make it?

We know each other’s quirks and habits, even after all these years. We get each other’s humor and how to push each other’s buttons. But since we were together in 2010, we haven’t been in the same city. How do we know if we could even be in the same city together, let alone the same place?

I know he’s got regrets to how he was young and stupid, but I loved him and will always love him.

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My life though since losing that part of myself has changed me. I now approach many relationships with one foot out the door, no attachment to the people who I let into my world, I keep them at an arm’s length and let them walk away thinking it was their idea to keep myself from hurting them. Perhaps that’s masochistic, but I prefer to let them think they’ve broken my heart than for me to do that to them. Perhaps it’s because I remember clearly as if it happened yesterday the pain I experienced when my heart was stomped on and left in the dirt. Perhaps it’s made me a little softer to the feelings of others, but why do I just feel cynical at the end of the day?

Perhaps I’m just not cut out for love these days, and that’s okay.

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Posted in Advice

Imagining Life 5 Years From Now

It’s hard to believe that in five years I’ll be hitting that 3 decade mark. It’s funny, it seems so far away and yet so close. The question that remains though is, who am I going to be in 5 years? Will I have accomplished all I’m hoping to do by then; will I have surpassed it or will I have stagnated?IMG_3172

I’m envisioning 5 years from now, I own my own house/land/property, I maintain a life-work balance and I’m not afraid to go after what I want. I’d like to think by then I have found someone who I have been building a life with and creating a world and sanctuary that is ours and ours alone. I’d like to think I’m in a city where I want to put down roots and I’m also working on my own business. I’m living a life that 18 year old me always thought about but wasn’t sure if was possible.

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I’m hoping to be living a life that I am proud of because it is entirely my own and the decisions I make are for the long-term. I’m hoping in 5 years I have a plan for the next 10 and I’m already working to implement the goals I’m envisioning now.

 

 

Posted in Travel

The Moments That Give You Life List

I think everyone needs to come up with a list of accomplishments they want to have checked off in their lifetime. It’s not a bucket list. It’s a list that gives you total freedom and exhilaration. The adventures and places that make your heart soar.

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My list isn’t nearly complete but I have a few:

  1. Sky diving
  2. Riding horses in Mongolia
  3. Ski in the Alps (in all countries that the Alps sit- Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia) because why not?
  4. Climb Mount Fuji
  5. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  6. Ride a top level Spanish horse
  7. Climb to a base camp on Everest
  8. Parasail
  9. Paraglide
  10. Zip line through another rainforest
  11. See another active volcano
  12. Go on a real African safari
  13. Stay at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya
  14. See the Northern Lights in Finland
  15. Go to Moscow and St. Petersburg
  16. Go to Tibet
  17. Trek up in Sapa (Vietnam)
  18. Swim in the world’s largest pool in UAE
  19. Go to Machu Picchu
  20. See the salt flats in Bolivia
  21. Go to Malaysia
  22. Visit Dubai & Abu Dhabi
  23. Go to Australia- Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Darwin
  24. Visit all of New Zealand
  25. Go back to Ireland and ride more horses
  26. Buy land and build a horse barn/cabin on the land
  27. Rescue OTTB’s and start a baby horse
  28. Adopt unwanted puppies from either other countries or here in the states
  29. Run my own business
  30. Start my own business

The fun part of this list is that it’s only going to keep on growing and changing as I get older. Maybe some of these goals will change, but for now, this is what I what to do in the next five years.

Posted in Love

Bodie Barks emBarks to the Beach

Beach trips are a highlight for everybody… just ask a friend.

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Somer’s Point

Now I love the beach. And I love my dog. I’ve had the hardest time combining the two, and then I learned about Somer’s Point, a beach south of Atlantic City. It’s an off-leash dog beach, and it’s absolutely paradisical!

The first time we stepped on the beach, Bodie took off to the waves and jumped right in. I walked miles that first day with Bodie, working on his recall and obedience with so many things going on and surprisingly he was very good (I think partially since he was worried I’d leave him) and didn’t stop for a second while we were there.

I like to think I give the best life I can to Bodie considering we live in the city and he doesn’t get to be as free as he likes and was as a puppy.

After learning Somer’s Point was in fact much closer than I had thought, we make a weekly trek out there for a few hours of fun in the sun.

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Seeing Bodie frolick and love life makes my days better and the fact that he does in fact have a pretty awesome life makes my life better.

Of course after we get home from the sandy shore, we need a bath. Bodie has learned that post beach days, he’s immediately sent to the tub for a quick spa day.

img_4323Resigned to his fate, Bodie uses the power of the puppy eyes to try to sway me from soaping him up and scrubbing him down.

Unfortunately for him, I’m unswayed and the bath continues.

Another one of his positive qualities, he’s really easy to bathe. He doesn’t try to jump out of the tub and will sit there and let you soap him up and rinse him off without much fight.

Bodie’s adventures are just beginning. Soon we’ll be taking the South by storm and shaking it up, more to come on those details!

Posted in Travel

Autumn Hikes; tough to beat

Now that the weather is changing it’s the perfect time to get out and hike.

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With views like this, it’s hard to imagine anywhere else to spend afternoons!

Bodie and I enjoy going to the Wissahickon trails and then celebrate with a hard earned cool-down and swim (well Bodie swims). With the changing of the leaves and cool breezes it’s gym pants and sweatshirt season.

It’s amazing to see we’re in the middle of the woods not more than 10 miles out of the city. It’s a haven and heaven away from the hectic life in the city. Between parking being tough in the city and traffic getting out there, the best time we like to go is on our weekends!

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Bodie loves to get in the water, no matter what, it can be a mud puddle, a small creek, a lake, a stream, a slow moving river, or the ocean.

After hiking a solid five miles, Bodie was readily looking for a nice body of water to lay down in. His favorite way of cooling down, is to fully submerge himself in the water and then drinking to his heart’s content.

I never get enough of his antics and I’m so glad this little monster has improved my life a million times over, even with our bad days.

 

#bodiebarks

Posted in Advice

Food For Thought

Sometimes we all need a little time to get away from what we’re too busy staring at and we lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the social media spiral, where we’re attached to problems that are far removed from us, crying for justice with the quick click of keys but no actual mobility to make a difference.

The bigger picture is preserving our legacy for our future generations; our land, air, water, and planet. We can’t continue on this path where we are so thoughtless to what our actions are creating for the future…

Perspective needs to be on all aspects of our lives, not just in our individual bubbles.

Posted in Travel

Fall Detox; Mind, Body, and Soul

I firmly believe in the power of quarterly detoxes. They are not only good to set yourself straight, but they can help firm you back to reality. The needs vary from person to person, but I find that I have a set criteria for what helps bring me back.

 

For the mind: I find I need to unplug from the social media world. Set my phone on airplane mode and leave the world to do its own thing. I listen to music which calms my soul, it can vary from old country jams to some relaxing oceans waves hitting the shore, or just letting the music randomly shuffle. My mind unwinds with being able to just immerse myself in what is around me. I find myself happiest when I can do my own thing and not feel tied to someone else’s agenda. Maybe you wanna try hot yoga (let me tell you it’s body and mind- that heat, it’ll get to ya!), go try it!

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For the body: That’s easy! It’s all about pampering yourself. Whether I opt for a bubble bath or a massage, I embrace the pampering. It’s all about how I can come back feeling refreshed and calm. Sometimes I give myself a manicure and pedicure with the oils and lotions and just total extravagance, but it’s worth it because it makes me feel good. It’s about grounding yourself back. Perhaps you wanna try a juice cleanse, go do it! I mean I would never… but to each their own!

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For the soul: Well this can be a challenge. It can vary each season, it can vary on your mood. But I find that sometimes it’s a change of scenery for me that help me. Whether I go to the beach for the day with the pup or go hiking or drive to a new space, it’s about breathing in different air, it’s about getting into a new head space, it’s about finding more about yourself in the exploration of something new. Maybe you wanna go hike the highest mountain in your area, suck it up and try!

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Stop reading this and get out there and do something for yourself!

Go do it.

Posted in Advice

Cleaning Your Car…. oh Good Luck

Cleaning your car is always a fun task, not only are you cleaning the outside, you need to clean the inside (which is the equivalent of cleaning your soul- but maybe that’s just me), vacuum, dust, and then leave it a little neater than before.

My system generally is just to dust the car using Armor-All, windex the inside of the windows, followed by a deep vacuum of the entire car. It’s not that time consuming, unless you plan it wrong, but it’s a good way to detox your car as well of old trash and food which falls through the cracks…

Buzzfeed offers, on occasion, some useful tips and tricks to organizing which I enlist to add to my weekly cleaning routine. A few which I do keep handy are: using file folders to keep records of various bills/car records/work records/medical files (both human and pet)/old keepsakes/anything else close at hand and easily accessible. I also keep a file of my car records in my dashboard. Not only with a copy of my current insurance, but also my registration and any other documents I’ll need in an emergency.

I personally also keep wipes on hand for when I’m stuck in traffic and have time to do a quick wipe down of my dash and anything else close to hand. I keep a plastic bag around the gear shift/shift knob for a handy trash can, but I do need to update it to something a little less unsightly!

Check back for some more fall tips!

Posted in Advice

Dates Under Golden and Red Leaves

There is something about the brisk fresh air with a cool breeze flowing through your hair that paints a perfect fall afternoon.

It’s the way you can smell the season just around the corner and knowing boot and sweater weather is here!

Here’s a great list of dates for the fall to get started with, thanks to PopSugar.

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Let me know which ones you end up doing and how they go!!!

Posted in Love

9/11; 15 years later

Hard to believe that we’ve seen 15 years pass since the fateful day where so many lives where lost between NYC, DC, and that field in PA. Our military and first responders made impacts of countless lives and put the greater good of our people before their own fears.

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In a world where social media dominates the news, it’s hard to always see the good in a world that seems to be covered in bad, but life truly is not as bad as we seem to think it is. Terrible injustices are happening, but at the same time, we’re seeing people come together and restoring faith in humanity. It’s amazing how far one positive gesture can go, who it can affect, and how easy it is to choose to be nice rather than hateful.

I know I’ve changed so much in the last 15 years, I passed through the awkward teen years, and made it to adulthood with no real problems other than figuring out this life called “adulthood.” But each year 9/11 passes by, I take the time to pause and remember how easily my dad could have lost his life.

What people don’t know about the Pentagon is the wing which was hit, was relatively unoccupied since renovations had been wrapping up. Had the plane hit any other side of the Pentagon, there would have been immeasurably more casualties. My dad and his team were supposed to have relocated to the new wing, and I am so thankful each and every day they had not moved because I could be writing a very different reflection here today.

Today is a day of reflection and memory, but rather than letting ourselves be filled with hate, we should all take today as a reminder of the amazing people who sacrificed their lives to make our nation stronger, to remember those who lost their lives in utter panic and chaos, and let’s choose to hug our loved ones a little tighter.

 

We’ll never forget, but we’re always stronger together. Let us never forget that.

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