Archive | February, 2013

Pressed: 52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Sixteen: The Purple Hostel

2 Feb

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Sixteen: The Purple Hostel.

solo pic

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Sixteen: The Purple Hostel

Am I on the Right Path? Most of us have had those times in our lives where we had to make distinct choices between opening door number one or door number two. We sometimes even chose door number three. We then wonder, “Was it the right decision?” Then when we are further down our path and we hit a point of what we perceive to be no return, we wonder, “Is this as good as it gets?” Typically, people are not always satisfied with their present course. We are always passively or actively seeking a better route, calculating what might be just a little bit nicer, easier, faster, more exciting, etc. We are so busy speculating on whether we should be where we are, being single, a parent, married, separated, committed, un-committed, and other, that we tread uncertainly on our path. We don’t take long confident strides on the ground we are on. Instead, we ruminate, perseverate, and second-guess the course we have chosen, and walk tentatively. In doing so, we do not find our rhythm, our groove, and happiness in the moments of our experience.

What if this is as good as it gets? What if right now is all we will ever have? Imagine that. If this thought is unnerving, and causes a sense of regret, then it is time to reconsider everything.

Choices: Many times in life I have made choices. I have a job where I have to make 1000 decisions a day, and hope that most of them lead myself or other people in positive directions. I have also made personal choices, some with too much calculation, and some with too much impulsivity, but I have made these choices never-the-less. The things that I have regretted most, in retrospect, were those experiences that were truly out of my control. I regretted not being able to influence the outcome more. They were, in fact, non-choices. As for those things I could influence, it has turned out remarkably well — by my own standards. This is because I have decided that it has turned out well. Someone else looking in might think otherwise, examining me as that chick who ran to BC and lives with her cats (weird). Others might think, “Wow, she ran away to paradise and lives with her cats” (enviously). Either way, I now live in Comox with my cats, and the choice has led me to the next choice that is just around the corner. In the meantime, I am enjoying my moments here.

South Carolina: One year, I remember closing my eyes and pointed to somewhere in the USA that I thought would be a good get-away on a small budget. I knew very little about the good old USA, so any place seemed like a good idea, provided that it was warmer than Calgary at that time of year. I landed on the decision to go to Charleston, South Carolina. I found a ticket online. I booked a room in a hostel in a location that appeared close to the downtown, and a month later, I landed with my suitcase in front of a wild looking old purple building on the edge of a seedy part of town. I was a little nervous. I was led up creaky stairs to a small room (again purple), and lay down exhausted on an old, but comfortable bed on some relatively clean linen.

I slept for two days. I was a single mother who worked full time, and I was finally on holidays with the luxury of having some time to myself. I think that the owner thought I had gone upstairs and died, and I could feel uneasiness about my absence in the common room downstairs. However, I chose not to care, as sleep seemed more important to me than anything else. I slept through loud music, parties downstairs and a whole host of big city outside sounds like sirens and men fighting. I finally emerged from a dead sleep on Day Three, and came down the stairs and said hello to a group of strangers that looked up at me and smiled.

They were mostly fellows from all over the world. They all had the most amazing personalities and over the next couple of days in between our independent explorations of a very historical city loaded with American history, we got to know each other. Every morning, I had someone making me breakfast, or offering to go out with me somewhere to explore the East Coast together. I connected with these people in unique ways that would never have happened in a five star hotel. Sitting together on ratty old chairs eating our Kraft dinner and drinking our whiskey seemed to be the right friendship tonic.

This choice to visit Charleston led to a series of events that stand out in my memory as one of my best holidays. I felt the water of the Atlantic on that side of the continent for the first time. I ate alligator. I learned about slavery. I grew a little bit more as a person as I grasped the reality of vivid racial discrimination.

Had I ruminated on and researched my choice to go to Charleston or even that hostel a little bit more, I might have talked myself into something a little bit safer. Instead, I was a little bit careless and a little bit intuitive, and found myself in the middle of a city that has a strong character, and an even more powerful spirit than I could have imagined. I was not insulated from it. I was in the center of it because I chose to be.

My Next Journey: In a week, I go to San Francisco. I go to a conference on creative thinking, and learn about brain-based research. http://www.learningandthebrain.com/brochures/Feb%20SF%20Brochure2013-ASHA.pdf I have volunteered to have an MRI of my body to better understand how the body and mind work as we visit one of the best neuro-science laboratories in North America. What will I learn? What will happen as a result of this one decision to attend this conference? Who might I meet? What might putting this on my resume gain me? What will I enjoy most about the experience itself? I won’t know until I get there, so it is best to not speculate too much. It will unfold the way it is supposed to. I just made the decision to go. The impetus is the critical part. Living it out with a positive attitude is the next most important step.

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” ~Attributed to both Edwin Markham and Pythagoras

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52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Sixteen: The Purple Hostel

1 Feb

solo pic

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week Sixteen: The Purple Hostel

Am I on the Right Path? Most of us have had those times in our lives where we had to make distinct choices between opening door number one or door number two. We sometimes even chose door number three. We then wonder, “Was it the right decision?” Then when we are further down our path and we hit a point of what we perceive to be no return, we wonder, “Is this as good as it gets?” Typically, people are not always satisfied with their present course. They are always passively or actively seeking a better route, calculating what might be just a little bit nicer, easier, faster, more exciting, etc. We are so busy speculating on whether we should be where we are, being single, a parent, married, separated, committed, un-committed, and other, that we tread uncertainly on our path. We don’t take long confident strides on the ground we are on. Instead, we ruminate, perseverate, and second-guess the course we have chosen, and walk tentatively. In doing so, we do not find our rhythm, our groove, and happiness in the moments of our experience.

What if this is as good as it gets? What if right now is all we will ever have? Imagine that. If this thought is unnerving, and causes a sense of regret, then it is time to reconsider everything.

Choices: Many times in life I have made choices. I have a job where I have to make 1000 decisions a day, and hope that most of them lead myself or other people in positive directions. I have also made personal choices, some with too much calculation, and some with too much impulsivity, but I have made these choices never-the-less. The things that I have regretted most, in retrospect, were those experiences that were truly out of my control. I regretted not being able to influence the outcome more. They were, in fact, non-choices. As for those things I could influence, it has turned out remarkably well — by my own standards. This is because I have decided that it has turned out well. Someone else looking in might think otherwise, examining me as that chick who ran to BC and lives with her cats (weird). Others might think, “Wow, she ran away to paradise and lives with her cats” (enviously). Either way, I now live in Comox with my cats, and the choice has led me to the next choice that is just around the corner. In the meantime, I am enjoying my moments here.

South Carolina: One year, I remember closing my eyes and pointed to somewhere in the USA that I thought would be a good get-away on a small budget. I knew very little about the good old USA, so any place seemed like a good idea, provided that it was warmer than Calgary at that time of year. I landed on the decision to go to Charleston, South Carolina. I found a ticket online. I booked a room in a hostel in a location that appeared close to the downtown, and a month later, I landed with my suitcase in front of a wild looking old purple building on the edge of a seedy part of town. I was a little nervous. I was led up creaky stairs to a small room (again purple), and lay down exhausted on an old, but comfortable bed on some relatively clean linen.

I slept for two days. I was a single mother who worked full time, and I was finally on holidays with the luxury of having some time to myself. I think that the owner thought I had gone upstairs and died, and I could feel uneasiness about my absence in the common room downstairs. However, I chose not to care, as sleep seemed more important to me than anything else. I slept through loud music, parties downstairs and a whole host of big city outside sounds like sirens and men fighting. I finally emerged from a dead sleep on Day Three, and came down the stairs and said hello to a group of strangers that looked up at me and smiled.

They were mostly fellows from all over the world. They all had the most amazing personalities and over the next couple of days in between our independent explorations of a very historical city loaded with American history, we got to know each other. Every morning, I had someone making me breakfast, or offering to go out with me somewhere to explore the East Coast together. I connected with these people in unique ways that would never have happened in a five star hotel. Sitting together on ratty old chairs eating our Kraft dinner and drinking our whiskey seemed to be the right friendship tonic.

This choice to visit Charleston led to a series of events that stand out in my memory as one of my best holidays. I felt the water of the Atlantic on that side of the continent for the first time. I ate alligator. I learned about slavery. I grew a little bit more as a person as I grasped the reality of vivid racial discrimination.

Had I ruminated on and researched my choice to go to Charleston or even that hostel a little bit more, I might have talked myself into something a little bit safer. Instead, I was a little bit careless and a little bit intuitive, and found myself in the middle of a city that has a strong character, and an even more powerful spirit than I could have imagined. I was not insulated from it. I was in the center of it because I chose to be.

My Next Journey: In a week, I go to San Francisco. I go to a conference on creative thinking, and learn about brain-based research. http://www.learningandthebrain.com/brochures/Feb%20SF%20Brochure2013-ASHA.pdf I have volunteered to have an MRI of my body to better understand how the body and mind work as we visit one of the best neuro-science laboratories in North America. What will I learn? What will happen as a result of this one decision to attend this conference? Who might I meet? What might putting this on my resume gain me? What will I enjoy most about the experience itself? I won’t know until I get there, so it is best to not speculate too much. It will unfold the way it is supposed to. I just made the decision to go. The impetus is the critical part. Living it out with a positive attitude is the next most important step.

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” ~Attributed to both Edwin Markham and Pythagoras