More Promises

Today is Monday. Not only that today is the last Monday of February 2018. March is this week. I think we can all agree that January this year lasted three years and February lasted three seconds. This past weekend I had an incredible weekend in Barcelona, Spain with my friends. While I am completely exhausted from walking over 20 miles these past few days with a massive pile of laundry and an empty fridge (the travel lifestyle is NOT glam, like I think for breakfast today I have no choice but a granola bar I have hidden in my drawer), for the first time in a while I let myself feel free and let go of whatever was holding me back. I danced in the street, sang a lot of Ed Sheeran, took a ton of pictures, spoke exactly what was on my mind, bought a purse, drank lots of sangria ... lots of sangria. I feel so recharged, inspired, creatively motivated and ready to take this next (super super super) busy week of college head on. Now that February is closing, these next few months are going to fly by. I am literally traveling every single week. While I don't even know how I am going to even manage some of these quick turnarounds in addition to maintaining good grades, preparing for housing and coursework back at Wake next year and planning more travel for the summer - I have decided to take some time today to write five promises to myself during these crazy busy next few months.

- I promise to stay in this moment.

- I promise to continue to be kind - to others of course, but lately I am recognizing the power of actively giving the love I give to other people to myself as well because I too deserve to be loved.

- I promise to be humble and grateful for every annoyance, for every travel mishap, for every moment where it doesn't seem to be going as it should - I promise to remember that in a bigger picture how truly fortunate I am to be experiencing what I am experiencing in Europe.

- I promise to honor myself and those around me by speaking my truth and sharing exactly what I am thinking. At the same time, I promise to be aware of when a square peg just won't fit in a round hole.

- I promise to never go a day without laughing.

Happy Monday :)


What I Eat in a Day

Well everyone its been almost two months since this post and I thought it was time to give you a little update on how this new journey is going. First off let me just tell you that these past two months of eating plant-based I literally have never eaten so much food in my whole life. Not even going to lie I am hungry all the time and in order for me to feel satisfied I have to eat considerably a lot more than I have before. Even when I do eat a lot give it two hours and once again I will be hungry! Because of how much food I go through in a day with the fact that I am buying and preparing the majority of my own food, it can get very overwhelming. At first coming back to school, I was very much concerned about having different foods and different meals - you know like food variety because I know myself well enough that I get bored of eating the same thing over and over again. After literally a week of nonstop food shopping and prepping, I eventually got over it and realized the power of a few basics. Except when I'm traveling I literally eat the same thing every day. While it's not ideal, it's what works for me right now and makes traveling that much more special.

Breakfast - My favorite food of all time and my favorite meal of all time is oatmeal. At one point last semester during finals I was literally eating oatmeal for every single meal :) It's super simple and super fast but incredibly yummy. I usually start with a quick oat and hot water combo with a splash of almond milk. My favorite things to put on top of it are bananas, raspberries or blueberries, mulberries, chia seeds, cacao nibs and a heaping spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter (that I literally brought here with my from Trader Joe's :)

I love to treat myself to coffee or tea most days from my favorite coffee shops around the city. I will do a post all about them later.

Lunch - Has surprisingly turned out to be the trickiest meal for me, but also key for overcoming that midday energy slump. Since I am not near my kitchen in the apartment, it's easy (and dangerous for those who do not wish to experience a hangry Kira) for me to forgo it. I keep it simple by bringing a Clif Bar and an apple and some nuts from home or on days when I feel like / can spend the money there is this super yummy bagel shop right by where it take classes and I like to get a sesame bagel with all of their veggies and hummus.

Dinner - Again, I'm super lazy and I hate cleaning up and thinking about what I am going to eat. On most days I have a some kind of high veggie and carb meal. My favorite recently has been a bed of spinach mixed with 1/4 of an avocado, topped with jasmine rice and black beans, tomatoes, more spinach and the other 1/4 of an avocado. I always have room for something sweet and my go to recently has been dark chocolate, dates and a spoonful of peanut butter :)

The biggest thing I've learned these past two months of being vegan is to listen to your body and not compare what you eat to how other people eat. It's your life and your body and everyone's body needs a different amount of nutrients in order to feel satisfied. With that in mind honor your body: when you are hungry, eat when you are full stop. It seems simple but because I am eating simpler foods that are more aligned to how they came from nature your body will begin to give you more obvious signs of satisfaction after a meal. Food is fuel, not a weapon. Eat real freaking food, but remember that you are human and that if you have a day where you eat a sleeve of Oreos - always remember that life is all about balance and tomorrow is a brand new day.


Ten Things I Take For Granted

A few weeks ago it was an absolutely beautiful morning here in Copenhagen, so I decided that instead of taking the metro to class I would take the forty minute walk. I mean it was sunny and there were literally no clouds in the sky which is quite a rare occurrence in the forecast here.  My optimism did get the best of me because the day I took the photos here was the coldest day I have ever experienced in my life thus far - I have never ever been this cold in my life. Like cold enough that taking my gloves off would result in my fingers turning purple - not even being dramatic. 

I haven't shared a lot about Copenhagen here simply because I have kind of a love / not really hate, but dis-love relationship with this city, but more on that later. This is a quick photo share of my walk and some things I take for granted about living in this city. The best way to get out of a rut is to slap yourself in the face and look at your life from a new perspective.

- When I decide to walk to class I literally walk next to a plot of land with a castle (Christiansborg) that has seen much of the history of the Danish monarchy; one of the oldest reigning monarchies in the world. 

- While I am still deciding on my stance about social welfare in general (last semester I wrote a pretty heated paper about why it works in Denmark but why it could never work in the States), right now it is pretty nice to be a Danish resident because with my little yellow CPR card which grants me free health care.

- I hear so many languages every single day. I can understand and some Danish and if need be I can hold a super basic conversation. I hear so many languages and accents every day that my own English is being tested a little bit. Sorry for anyone I've texted recently my grammar has gotten so bad. 

- I am independent. Like any second of the day I can do whatever I want. Within reason of course but like I can get coffee whenever and I don't have to go directly back to my apartment after class; like my day is entirely up to me and not confined to a seven hour day like it was in high school.

- I am literally living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Do I need to say more?

- I am surrounded by tall people all the time. As someone who generally towers over my friends and people in America, here I am maybe an inch above average height which is so nice. I can buy pants here and they are long enough!

- I am taking some very interesting classes this semester - some I am definitely more interested in than others, but overall my professors are very enthusiastic about what they are teaching which makes me as a student very eager to learn. 

- Cute. Dogs. Everywhere. 

- The sun is setting later and later which means that spring is on it's way here! It used to set around 4:10 but now I've even looked at my watch it's 5:10 and the sun is just now setting. I am so here for these longer days.

- Social media and the power it has to connect me to all of the world and as a way for me to document this incredibly unique experience that I am having.

Tak for i dag : ) 


Am I Alone?

(grab some tea this one's more of a ramble and me trying to find my way around my own headspace)

In high school I was always around people: school for seven hours, volunteering, seeing my yoga family at yoga, going to football games with friends, always going out to grab food or even weekend nights scrolling through Instagram on my bed with my closest gals. While I did switch schools once I never had the feeling that I didn't fit in or that I would never make friends. Don't get me wrong at first I definitely felt like a fish out of water but because I was constantly surrounded by people at a huge school and I begin to spend so much time with a handful of people because we had so much in common. Eventually we became basically inseparable. Out of a large group of people at the same high school and navigating through the social system I eventually found a group of people who naturally I was incline to be friends with because of our similar personalities, beliefs, values. These were and still to this day are my people. I never realized how much going to a big high school helped me to find out of the many thousands a group of 10-15 people I would literally do anything for - even today.

Speaking from being in a small cohort abroad, finding my people is very different. While I have two sweet roomies, live and go class with a group of incredibly smart and kind people, I have never felt more alone in my whole entire life. I think right now I am experiencing what a handful of people went through in high school and it's a something that I have rarely had experience with before. Since 2018 is my year of living my truth I am recognizing that right now I totally feel like a fish out of water; vulnerable. I feel alone even though I am with people more than I ever have been before. I am actively seeking more time alone than I ever remember which is a very bizarre feeling since I pride myself on my ability to talk to all kinds of people and to make everyone feel welcome. Maybe I've changed? Maybe I am recognizing that I am overwhelmed by being exposed to all kinds of different worlds - both the physical world that I am living in here in Europe but also the world of academia which has exposed me to information and perspective that I didn't even know existed before. 

I may feel alone right now but I think spending so much time alone is helping me to realize that while sometimes I feel lonely I am never ever truly alone - I have my people, friends, family who I know will always be there for me. I think that another reason that I feel so alone is that right now in my life especially being away from my home, my country and even a university that I don't even know that well is that I am scared of the connections that I make here and the self-constructed idea of my European connections being ones that are fleeting - a feeling I am too familiar with. I have met some incredible people here in Europe through my travels and in Copenhagen who have taught me so much and who have been nothing but kind. Whether they know it or not they have forever changed my life and changed how I interact with people.  I am constantly left thinking about the temporary nature of these connections and the idea of my legacy ... what happens one year from now when I am absorbed in my "normal" college life back at Wake Forest? Will they forget me? Will I forget them? I hope not, I really really hope not - for better or for worse.

I think the biggest takeaway here goes back to the concept of not being afraid. I need not be afraid to show up with all of my being with these connections and being truly present because they are literally embodying the idea of all we have is this moment. I have never likened this idea to people and now I see how powerful it is. Take it for what it is because each connection changes who I am.

I am not the same person I was back in August - I look differently, I think differently, I interact differently. Change is ok and change is beautiful. But more than that I have grown up so much and while I was an old soul before I feel even more beyond my years which is at the same time both exciting and terrifying for someone who is (still only) nineteen.

So alone? yes more than I ever have been before - and lonely? no because I have connected with a part of myself that I never knew existed before, I have the love of my people back home driving me and I am constantly meeting new people all of the time - each day is someone new but each one impacting my life forever.

perhaps our fatal flaw is that we attempt to make forever out of people who are meant to be temporary

scary? absolutely. that's why this moment is the only moment that matters. show up. 


Seeing Differently in Capri, Italy

I have been to Capri many many times - but only in the summer. When I went in November it was completely different. Without the hoards of tourists and the blazing summer heat, Capri had been completely transformed from a space where someone just passes through to say the've been there into a place where I could see the authentic flair of the city. It had more of a small town a feel, a feeling of neighborhood togetherness - a hometown feeling more or less everyone knowing each other, Sunday routine of having pasta with your nonna or knowing the secret hidden from the tourists of the best place for the most amazing limoncello in the world. It became evident this time around that Capri isn't just a tourist trap, but rather a place where someone calls a home.

Without the harbor being crowded by yachts (*sigh*) by driving up to the highest point of elevation on the island, this was the first time that I saw Capri for the beautiful reserve of Italian nature that it is. There's something about how the autumn sun hit the crystal clear (but darker than the summertime) blue of the water that made me think about this Island before the days of tourists and fancy summertime homes. I can't even imagine what kind of world the Roman's were living in when they first came to this place or the stories of love and of conquest and work and dedication that have taken place in these waters and in this rocky landscape. I like the idea of nature holding secrets and stories - it really affirm's it's place as something greater than human kind. While we are only here for a certain amount of time, nature has been here before us and will continue to be here long after we are gone.

My Sustainable Development in Northern Europe class this semester has got me thinking a lot about what kind of impact I and my fellow humans are leaving on this planet. I'm not just limiting the impact to an ecological one (which, do your research, we alone have the power to prolong the life of this planet through conservation and compromise), but also what our legacy we leave behind for ur future generations. I'm a firm believer in that this moment is the only one that we are promised to keep, but sometimes I catch myself thinking about my future and what comes after I leave. I know that this will be many years down the line; however, having this thought in the back of my mind makes me want to live my life in the biggest, most daring, adventurous way possible so that I will be remembered not only for my bravery but also my kindness and for what I have done to make this world a better place.

College has left me thinking more than ever, yet at the same time more confused than ever and more unsure than ever about how one day all of these ideas will play out. For now I will do what I have always done and just live my own life for what I have right now.

So here I leave you with something to think about -

"They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” - Banksy


For Now

The biggest thing so far that I have learned in college is that education is not about memorizing facts and spitting them back for a test. A college education is different than a high school education because it teaches you not what to think but how to think. Never in my life have I been more confused - there is so much about this world that I had taken for granted. Everything here on this earth is connected, everything was done purposefully and with meaning and the most overwhelming thing is that everything has meaning. Every single day I come out of my classes not knowing what the heck just happened; my world completely rocked and more perspectives added and dissolving what I thought was true before. I have never thought so much in my entire life. I think that's what makes college hard - not the papers, not the tests, not the projects (while yes they are hard) - but what you learn will shake your core and your mind will be opened up to things you had never even thought about before. The best way to describe how I am feeling right now is that I am so overwhelmed by what I learn every day but at the same time it's like an addiction and I can't stop thinking wondering, questioning and wanting to know more.

College has made me realize that the world is so so much bigger than the world I have made for myself. There are global happenings which are important, community happenings which are important, and of course there's what goes on in your family and friends and even important too what happens in your own mind. There is a phrase which I've seen time and time again inside each person is an entire universe which could not be more true but what I've been thinking about is when we interact whether on a personal, regional, national or global scale is what happens when all of these universes collide.

As I am sitting here in the library surrounded by paper, textbooks, academic journals and notebooks filled with my absolute shit handwriting (probably spiked off of a lot of caffeine) I can't help but feel stupid. Here I am going through my readings, my to do list, doing a paper for class, doing research - all of which are important for my education and my grades. These are items that are important in my own universe. But what overwhelms me is that once I shut my computer for a break from typing my analysis of gender role portrayal and conflict between religion and culture in Medieval Sweden shown through Ingmar Bergman's film The Virgin Spring, there is a whole other world out there that I could be a part of ... helping to make change. In my country people recently were murdured and what makes me mad is that this is not the first time that it has happened - we are running out of digits to keep track of national sadnesses like this. My universe doesn't even begin to reach what families in Florida are going through right now and here I am far away from my country and it's sufferings. I want to be there ... I want to actively make change ... I want to be a part of the fight to forever end these kind of happenings, and yet right now I have to throw in the towel because acting like this is just not in the cards for me. Right now the path that I have chosen forces me to focus on my own education.

That's all I can do right now in this moment. Educate myself. Never stop learning. Never stop questioning the world around me. Never stop analyzing. Right now my place is as a college student. The best thing that I can do right now is become one f*cking smart and well informed young woman so that one day I can use my powerful, well educated voice to make real change, to make a real difference. That is my job. Right now I am creating the foundation for how I will impact the world and create a legacy.

Ok back to my own universe.


What's Next

I'm trading vikings, sneakers with trousers, social welfare, smørrebrød, hygge, Carlsberg, and the Dannebrog

for a summer of chateaux, vin, baguettes, linen dresses, straw baskets, fields of lavender, and le tricolore. 

From the middle of May until the middle of July I am moving from the metropolitan city of Copenhagen, Denmark to the idyllic town of Tours, France in the heart of the Loire Valley to live with a French family and study advanced intensive French at the Institut de Touraine. I wasn't quite ready to leave Europe and I knew my French needed some tender loving care, so with the help of my professor/academic advisor and the French Department at Wake Forest I will be continuing my European studies into the summer to make my transition back to campus this fall that much smoother. Because of my work in high school and my solid grades here in college so far, I will be declaring my major earlier than most people of my year and studying French this summer will logistically make the rest of my college years much more flexible.

So I guess the time has come to tell you how I plan to spend the next three years of my life: 

I plan on double majoring in Politics and International Affairs and French Studies and minor in Art History at the beautiful Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina - oh and don't you worry 2018 will not be my last year of studying in Europe there is plenty more time to do that and so much more

So much has happened in the past few weeks I am at a complete loss for words. The universe works in crazy, wonder, mysterious ways. I pinch myself every single day that I get to live this life and know the people that I know, study what I love at a university where the sky is the limit - or actually as my professor/advisor and I discussed the need to live life with the intention of there being no ceilings on what the extent of possibility is. 

Me in France three summers ago

 When I return to the United States in July I will have just enough time to be a wild and crazy teenager and spend all day and night at the beach with my hometown friends, explore some of my favorite places in my own country and of course snuggle with my puppy before heading to a meditation center in Upstate New York in August to complete the first Level of training in Baptiste Yoga in order to be a Baptiste Certified Yoga Teacher by the year 2023. Baptiste power yoga is the discipline of yoga that has literally broken me down to build me into the person that I have become today and this summer marks two years since my 200hour teacher training so I thought it was time that I took my yoga to the next next step to not just do yoga but to be yoga and give yoga back to the world.

At the end of August my journey will settle down in Winston-Salem where I will resume a somewhat "normal" college life - I plan on attending every single football game, rushing a sorority and even joining the rowing team and my weekend trips won't be to Amsterdam, Barcelona or Berlin but to see my friends at Clemson and USC and even Alabama - however my college experience will never be normal because I will be constantly looking for adventure and living each an every single day like the adventure that it is. 

wow. just wow. 

breathing in dreams like air.


On Love

So as we all know Wednesday was February 14th - Ash Wednesday, the middle of the work week and oh wait Valentines Day. I'm going to be honest while I've only been here for nineteen years I am pretty content about the fact that in high school I was never anyone's special someone and in elementary and middle school any excuse for chocolate and cute cards was good enough for me. I have been quite comfortable accepting this socially constructed day as just any other day of the calendar year - for example this year I sat myself in the Copenhagen Main Library and wrote a paper for my Islam class and read many pages of a textbook for my Film and Media class and read about sustainability in Northern Europe. I was content, I mean after all I love learning so (wow I kind of hate myself for this but kind of not) in a way college was my valentine :)

Remember this post about truth? Well here is my truth: this Valentine's day was hard. Once I left the library I literally had no food back at my apartment and zero motivation to grocery shop or cook. It was cold. I was tired. But more than that I was alone with no human interaction for more hours that iIeven want to think about; I lost track of how long I was in the library - it was 8:00PM and I had sat down at 1:30PM. What was weird about this time warp was that I had entered into the library on what seemed to be a particularly sunny yet normal Wednesday and at 8:00PM it was literally as if though I had stepped straight into a Hallmark card. I have never seen so many couple in my entire life - hand and hand, kissing and glimpsing into the windows of the restaurants having glasses of wine in cozy candle lit cafes. There were twinkly lights, men in the metro holding flowers and chocolate and red heart shaped balloons for their special someone. Not to mention that by this point in time everyone back at home was now awake and I have never seen so many couples clogging my Instagram feed with "I love you" and "I can't imagine my life without you". Maybe I'm cynical, maybe because I have never experienced this kind of love or maybe I was just hangry I found myself fuming and before I could thrash out and literally pop the next freaking heart shaped balloon I saw I called my friend Cathie and poured my heart out. Our conversation was made of several circumstances of me cursing love, being angry for public displays of affection and even being creating the impossible story about how this one day was dedicated literally to make people like me miserable.

During our phone call I treated myself to dinner - a granola bar and an apple! college! - and I began to see that this day was not actually solely created to make single people like me miserable as I think about my past and doubt love forever. I think all of these emotions resurfaced this year because of the fact that after several years of being closed to the idea of opening my life up to someone else; I have found myself at the point in my life where I see it as a strong possibility. My greatest superpower but also my greatest weapon of self destruction is my ability to imagine and create these beautiful stories in my head of what life could be; so this Valentine's Day I found myself making up scenarios of what my life would be like if I were one of these (*annoyingly*) happy and in love Danish couples. Mostly I am sad when reality smacks me in the face and the story I have created in my head (and which seems so so real) is in fact not real (insert my promise to myself of not being afraid of making dreams into my reality), but more than that I am scared. As someone who feels the need to have control over all aspects of her life; love is something I literally have no control over. Like it is beyond me that there is someone out there who I will spend a Valentine's Day with and that one day maybe I too will be given chocolates on this day or maybe sent a good morning text.

I guess that's where I leave it up to the universe. What's meant to happen will happen and right now it's not my job to worry. More than that I love love - despite cursing it in my rage on Wednesday. Though my minimal experience and through my friends, my parents and family and even a good cheesy romcom (LOVE ACTUALLY!!!) I have gotten glimpses of what this would feel like. While I was made the other day, today I am accepting of the fact that right now this feeling is not in the cards for my present moment and while sometimes there seems to be a void that needs to be filled - I think about this void in a space that holds a universe of possibility. What I deserve will be given to me and right now the universe (while frustrating and annoying) is telling me to wait: openly, patiently and excitedly for whats to come.

I love love. I really do. I think it's the most beautiful thing on earth and I believe in doing each and every single thing in my life with love. From putting my contacts on in the morning, to bringing myself snacks to class or even listening to a good song to pass the time on the metro or even talking to myself kindly in the mirror. Everything I do is out of love. Right now I am focused on putting love into the world fully knowing that one day ... one day .... the universe will give it back to me.

Mostly what I have taken from this rush of rage in the metro on February 14th 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark is you don't need one day a year to give love to the world, your person, your family or yourself. Brb calling my mom


La Vita in Rosa

(this is Monte Vesuvio right outside of my hotel window, covered in pink clouds)

(all of these pictures of the sunset were taken in less than thirty minutes)

Do you ever have those moments where after time has passed you close your eyes and that one moment seems to have been permanently frozen behind your eyelids? That's this moment. October 29th 2017 - I had woken up that morning in dark, rainy and cold Copenhagen an ended the day in Italia with the people that I love the most in the world drinking wine before, during and after the most incredible sunset that I have ever seen in my entire life.  

If you know me than you know my obsession with sunsets; I think that they are one of the most beautiful phenomena on the planet and the fact that each day the earth puts on a spectacle to signify the end of the day and slip into darkness is such a beautiful metaphor and a promise of hope for what's to come after a period of rest. October 2017 had been a hard month but in this moment all was right in the world as I thought about my trip earlier that month to Venice and my incredible weekend in Amsterdam the week before and about how after several weeks in dark, rainy and cold Copenhagen here I was once again with my parents in the most beautiful place on the planet. Time works in the most peculiar way; it seems slow but in reality everything happens in the blink of an eye. You change. People change. Things change. Sometimes all we need to remind ourselves about how fast this life goes by is a sunset like this one for me in Sorrento, Italy to remind us how precious life is and how lucky we are to be in the place where we are - the people we meet, the experiences we have, everything that life gives us shapes us into the humans that we are today. For everyone who I have crossed paths with in this lifetime so far I want to say thank you. thank you for helping me become the woman I am today. I am truly humbled to have had this incredible life that I am living and to have made connections with people all over the world. 

Sunsets give me all of the feels not to mention the connection that I have to Italy and all of the special memories that it holds for me in my heart. 

La vita in Rosa. I choose to see life for what it is - beautiful. 

(lol how cute is this pic of me and my daddio)


No Broken Bones This Time

Four years ago I went to Switzerland for the first time and since then I had always wanted to go back. One of my favorite travel stories to tell is from Switzerland. It was a beautiful summer day in St. Moritz and after a morning of hiking around the countryside and an idyllic lunch in some Alpine pasture, the plan was the spend the afternoon mountain biking. Being the beach gal that I am I have only ridden a beach cruiser and up until this point I had never ridden a bike with brakes on the handles, much less multiple gears and manual settings. By nature I am athletic (more so then than now, thanks college ;) but my athleticism did make me a little cocky this day in Switzerland and I would be lying if I said I wasn't warned but one downhill and one squeeze too hard of my handlebar brakes and I went flying over my bike. It's funny now that I write it because the first thing I said to my dad right after the accident was "Dad just tell me ... are my teeth ok? I can't feel my teeth." He reassured me my teeth were perfectly fine but that was definitely the least of our problems - starting with my smashed helmet, bloody (slightly broken) nose, and (definitely) broken left arm. The first and only time I have ever broken a bone was in freaking Switzerland while mountain biking and while it was completely miserable at the time since I was basically a walking medicine cabinet in a splint the rest of our trip through Austria and Germany until I got my arm reset (without meds ugh) back home in the States - it's my favorite story to tell.

Two weekends ago I went back to Switzerland and visited Zurich and a fellow American-turned-European (who actually can speak another langauge now!) in Zug and Luzern for a weekend. Honestly Switzerland was everything that I remembered: gorgeous - especially since it was covered in snow - and expensive. I can't remember the last time I saw mountains before coming to Switzerland this year and because I so rarely see them I can't help but lose my breath at their beauty. Of course I ate chocolate, but also discovered that Swiss beer isn't that bad - but in all honesty I wouldn't trade Italian wine for anything in the world.

Most importantly: this time there was no broken bones and I actually got to see the sun - something we rarely see here in Copenhagen.

Next stop: Barcelona! (And then ... well you will just have to wait and see but it's somewhere completely new :)

Life is so so good right now ... there are so many exciting things happening that if you would have asked my one year ago where I would be I would have not even fathomed that this would have been possible. 2018 is going to be incredible. (Also I turn 20 ... what?)



"What's done in love is done well." - Vincent Van Gogh

Almost two years ago I completed my first yoga teacher training - casually I am going to insert that this summer I will be completing my second and the first of many many more but more on that later. One of our breakthrough exercises was coming up with a phrase, usually a lie or a way we bend the truth from ourselves that a) hide us from who we truly are b) are not true and c) prevent us from connecting in the most authentic way possible with those around us. Like it or not everyone has something that they tell themselves that molds to these three categories. This was a particularly difficult exercise for me since I consider myself to be pretty much an open book; an honest person who does not shy away from saying exactly what is going through my mind. After much thought and through conversation with my fellow trainees and my teachers what I was feeling I could finally put into words. I've kept my lie a secret from the world for quite some time but it's 2018 and its time that you see a little more into whats in my head.

I don't care. 

Yep these three little words have trailed my thoughts all of my life and I thought they protected me from a side I didn't want the world to see: my vulnerability, my emotions, my fears, dreams and innermost struggles. I used this mentality as a way of preventing myself from recognizing these complicated feelings and life a life where honestly I was emotionally numb. I think this came from an emotional scar of letting a certain someone know how I felt when I was sixteen and since then have closed myself off emotionally from the world and buried these feelings under a powerful, badass facade that I have as a way to hide the world to hide what really goes on behind the surface - to show what I considered the only version of "strong" that I thought there was. Three years later I am finding myself in a similar situation of opening up my more emotionally vulnerable side to let people know how I really feel. Sometimes you are rewarded and sometimes you learn - that's what I am still coming to terms with through this journey. After seventeen years of hiding away my emotions I am done with hiding this extremely important part of who I am from the world, but mostly I am done with hiding this version of myself from myself. Emotions are powerful; beautiful and I realize more than ever it takes a strong badass to be vulnerable. Win win honestly.

One way that I have been exploring and dealing with the effects of this unfamiliarity is through words. Until now I really have never appreciated the power that comes with words. Words are not only how we communicate how we feel and what's going through our mind (ugh in real life I am definitely not as eloquent as I am when I type - literally ask anyone I stutter a lot and I literally don't know how to speak in full sentences lol) but also words are a way that we can connect with other people and realize that we are not alone. Did you read that? We are not alone. What we are feeling - someone before us has felt it before and by putting it into writing what the word's owner is doing is immortalizing what they were going through at that one certain point in time - maybe for their own sake but for us readers in the present it is a way for us to realize that we are not alone. 

Words have helped me come to terms with the fact that I DO CARE. I do not want to be numb. I want to feel because feeling is what makes me a human. Vulnerability is not a weakness ... it's a damn superpower.

Here are some of my favorite words (along with some pictures that I took from a recent trip to northern Denmark):

"For what it's worth; it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you are proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Maybe there's something you're afraid to say, or someone you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go. It's gonna to hurt. It's gonna hurt because it matters" - John Green

"We are all broken, that's how the light gets in." - Ernest Hemingway

"I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lives within." - Rumi

"People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of." - Paul Coelho

"Hell is other people." - Jean Paul Sartre

"Practice and all is coming." - Sri. K Pattabhi Jois

 "The hardest step we all must take is to blindly trust in who we are." - Atticus

© Kira Tabor | All rights reserved.