Lonely stuff

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“Stuff” has turned into a dirty word for me.  It haunts me.

My stuff has been sitting in a friend’s basement for 19 months, being all lonely.  I miss my stuff.  Well…I miss the idea of my stuff.  I had some good stuff.

(Could I say “stuff” any more times?! 😉 )

Anyway… back in January, I needed to get away for the weekend.  So I abandoned my big suitcase, packed a little travel bag, and took 4 buses and 9 hours to travel from northern Colorado to southern Colorado to visit family (CO is not big on their public travel options).  One thing led to another and that weekend turned into 5 weeks and counting!

*waves*

Obviously I packed light, for a weekend.  Here’s what I’ve been living with for the last month+:

  • 1 brown t-shirt
  • 1 white short-sleeved blouse
  • 1 pair jeans
  • 1 brown fleece sweater
  • 1 black hoody
  • 1 cream corduroy coat, w/ matching scarf, hat, gloves
  • jammies & slipper socks
  • some undies & 3 pairs socks
  • 1 pair black Dansko walking shoes
  • bathroom bag with travel-size necessities
  • hair brush & flat iron
  • netbook & external drive
  • little blue journal & pen
  • 1 library book (overdue now!)
  • camera (forgot the cord)
  • cell phone & charger
  • small travel duffle bag
  • and the ever-present messenger

My constant companion

I’ve been living out of my big red suitcase for a year & a half (which some may think of as extreme in itself), but now after living for over a month with 20-some items, minimalism is sounding so much easier!  Except I wouldn’t mind having more than 2 outfits, and another pair of shoes!  I really could have used my winter boots during the month of February, just sayin’. Oh, and a hairdryer would be nice.

The “right” dream

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“What’s your dream, your passion, what do you want to ‘be’ when you grown up?”

Biggest question ever, and always beyond my reach.  It never occurred to me that “travel” was a valid response!

Travel is what you do for vacation, your reward for suffering through a shitty, soul-sucking job. You still have to live in the “real world” and follow some kind of career plan like everyone else.

That’s all I ever heard. But it never sat well with me.

Then again, I was never one to take a “relaxing” vacation.  Taking time off and staying home would NEVER occur to me.  What is that about?!  I always had to GO somewhere, anywhere, the farther the better.  I would booked myself so solid, every traveling minute filled, because I never knew when I’d be able to travel again.  I’d barely leave myself enough time to fly home, change clothes, and get back to work on time.  I didn’t have time for jetlag.

I didn’t “live to work”.  I “put up with work” and lived for the days when I could travel.  And continued, year after year, to figure out something brilliant to do with my life.  To find that acceptable dream/passion/job that could materialize into the perfect career for me.

It’s not that I couldn’t realize my dreams, I just never realized I was “allowed” to dream of travel.

The world = that’s my passion!

Looking forward

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Sometimes I start to worry about my lifestyle decisions, listen to the nay-sayers, second-guess myself.

Good or bad, it forces me to imagine the “what-if’s”…

  • I could return to any of those crappy jobs that may or may not pay well, but guaranteed to suck my will to live.
  • I could get an apartment again.  Decorate it with the few things I own.  Enjoying the process for a bit, and then sitting there all alone, with no idea what I’m doing.
  • Followed shortly by freaking out, and walking to the nearest bar or cafe for some social interaction.  Probably have some random guy hit on me.
  • Texting friends and wondering why everyone is always too busy to call me or hang out (*generalization – I heart the few who actually check in on me.)

The idea of going back to my old life stresses me out WAY worse than the nervousness of an unknown future.

So I look forward.  I imagine the completion of my minimalism project.  Packing my bags.  Getting more stamps on my passport.  Continuing with my world-wide education.  It takes me to my happy place.

Blog recs

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Another week, another chance to stress over everything.

*sigh*

I’m having difficulties dealing with things right now.  I have good days, I have bad days.  Today is one of those days that I’m just going to have to stay in bed and try again tomorrow.

But… I am very thankful to those inspirational bloggers out there.  There are a few, especially, who are responsible for keeping me sane during this difficult transition period of mine.

Shout-outs to:

Chris @ The Art of Non-Conformity

Sally @ Unbrave Girl

Jacob @ Sensophy

Jenny @ Where Is Jenny

That’s just a tip of the iceberg. Check out some of my favorite reading material listed in the BLOGROLL on the right side bar.

Quotey Goodness

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“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion.

He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”

— Buddha

(found this on Jacob Sokol’s Sensophy FB page today)

Happy Hour? Yes please!

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I love happy hour with my little brother!  Well, I love happy hours in general, but even better with awesome company.  🙂

Between the two of us, man, can we talk!  Talk and talk and talk.  About life, the universe, and everything (42!).  My littlest brother, Jon, is going to school for linguistics, and shares my interest in adventure.  I enjoyed sharing some of my ideas on minimalism, hobo-ness, travel, the difficulties of writing (for me), to name a few.

Gotta love the looks you get when you move the beers out of the way and set the netbook up on the bar!  Hey, I had some excellent blogs to show him.  😉

Foto Friday

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Right…so…remember when I decided that I would do this daily photo thing this month?  Yeah, that was before realizing I don’t have my camera cable with me.  So now we have Fabulous Foto Fridays!  I’m excited.  🙂

And because it’s all I have, we’ll start off with some really crappy phone pics!

Here’s my week:

Herbie sighting! This amuses me to no end.

In training for St. Patrick’s Day.

Check out the awesome clover on the foam!

One day it’s warm and lovely, the next day is freezing and snowing sideways.  Come on Colorado, we’re ready for Spring!

Holy Brrrr, Batman!

Spanish FTW!

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I’ve been participating in a few Spanish Practice Groups since last summer.  I love them for the  language practice of course, but  more importantly, for the social interaction with kindred spirits interested in travel and other cultures.

But I’ve been at my sister’s house this past month, and I’ve really missed these weekly get-togethers.

I can’t just sit around by myself all the time, so I spent some time surfing through the usual social sites to get the lay of the land.  [*NOTE* This is not my city of choice, validated by the lack of anything interesting to do around here!]

This town I’m in has a much different vibe, not the community feel that I’m used to.  I’m having to work really hard to find any kind of social interaction around here.  Especially not having a car in a city with no public transportation options!

The only thing I’ve been able to find so far is a brand new Spanish Conversation Group.  I signed up for their next meeting, even though there was no way I could actually get there.  I decided to post on their activity webpage, asking if there was anyone who would be willing to carpool with “unknown me”.

Didn’t get a response until one hour before the start time.  Luckily I was all ready to go, just in case.  Very excited, I jumped at “random dude’s” generosity, and caught a ride with him over to the Mexican restaurant, chatting non-stop like the crazy person I am!

For a brand new group (this was their 2nd meeting), I was very surprised to see 15 people slowly wander in!  Long story short – I got to meet all these new people, practiced my dwindling Spanish, enjoyed a Negra Modelo, got a tummy ache off too much chips & salsa, and generally had a fabulous time!  What I thought would be a quick 1 hour “get to know you” session, turned into 3 hours of entertaining conversation.

I love meeting people!

Everyone needs a scarf

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OK….March 2nd for realz!

Random thought of the day — scarves.  Who doesn’t love a nice scarf?  🙂

I was watching Samantha Brown this morning (as part of my morning coffee ritual), admiring one of the many scarves she tends to wear on her travels.

I really enjoy her occasional interjections on how scarves are used in other countries.  Traditional use by women and men, decorative uses, practical uses, required uses, and of course the different ways to wrap them.

Scarves are something I like to pick up as souvenirs from countries I visit.   I purposefully don’t bring one with me, so I have the excuse to shop for one when I arrive!  I wear them all the time and love the constant reminder of where it was purchased.  For example:

  • loopy scarf from London (since lost, so sad)
  • silk scarf from Paris
  • sarong in Mexico
  • stripped summery scarf in Chile
  • And from USA,  the beautiful handmade scarves from friends & family!

I love scarves!!  🙂

A shot of me in front of Notre Dame