| April 6, 2017 |
I spent a good chunk of time in January laying in a dark room with ski goggles covered with cardboard on my face, excessive tearing from my eyes, and pondering the complex thoughts expressed by Alan Watts. I listened to almost 15 hours of Alan Watts’ Out of Your Mind while recovering from PRK laser eye surgery and *woah* was it awakening. The lectures were recorded in the late 1960’s in Alan Watt’s home, and the voice of the ‘self-proclaimed spiritual entertainer’ was my sole source of entertainment as I literally sat in darkness for three days straight. After that time, I slowly re-integrated back into the world, without the need to stick contacts into my eyes in the morning, and no more glasses in the evening. FREEDOM!!!!
After my surgery on January 20, I went through one full tissue box in one night as my eyes were uncontrollably tearing. They were literally running down my face, and every time I blinked I felt like there were teeny tiny grains of sandpaper in my eyes. When my eyes were closed, it felt like I had a bandaid over my eyes, yet when I opened them, even the smallest light was like daggers through my pupils. Even the tiny green light on my Mac’s charger was like a laser beam. I could barely stand it.
So what’d I do to stay sane? Get out of my mind with Alan Watts.
| April 4, 2017 |
You’re back for more OW-some talk about the WFR course, huh? I’ve told you how much I miss this group of people, right? If I could have, I would have lived eternally in winter at Raquette Lake. Waking up every morning for breakfast at 7:30am wasn’t even a battle. I was usually awake before my alarm clock, ready for the day. Though my brain was somewhat overwhelmed at times, it never got unbearable. Some of my knowledge from my Doctor of Physical Therapy program was actually becoming applicable, and raised some interesting questions for our units such as spinal cord injury and cardiac/respiratory conditions. I also recalled the time I had Acute Mountain Sickness in Ecuador as we covered the effects of altitude. It was really amazing to see the skills of my classmates and I evolve in a few days. Our confidence was rising, and our professional medical skills were growing exponentially. We all supported each other in beautiful ways, and I couldn’t have handpicked a better crew to endure the WFR course with.
| April 3, 2017 |
I’ve started writing about this course a few times now, and every time I sit and think about these 9 days, I feel overwhelmed. So I’ve been a real jerk about it and haven’t devoted the time to actually put this course into words. I don’t really have a lot of photos, so I can’t even overcompensate for my hesitancy to write with photos. Damnit.
Well, let’s be honest here. I was super lost before this course. Frustrated, confused, and ready to just run away to Hawaii. NOLS and Raquette Lake gave me just what I needed at this time in my life. I’m so glad I sucker punched the doubts in my head, questioning why the hell I was spending the money on this course (cost was FOUR digits) when it wouldn’t give me any credits toward continuing education for my actual career, I didn’t feel my desire to learn was justifiable alone, and I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted out of it. Yet… I was drawn to take this course to be more comfortable venturing into the outdoors (and not depending on others all the time), and maybe… just maybe… find a way to use this course to get me outside in my career. Even if not, I didn’t care. I just wanted to take this course.
And so my journey began in Raquette Lake, New York on January 5, 2017. Let’s dive into this…
| March 22, 2017 |
No, I’m not going to talk about the “Incredible Journey” in the ’93 movie, although that does make me feel warm and fuzzy inside to think about. I’m talking about my homeward bound journey for the holidays this year, and all the other times I’ve needed home. There’s nothing better than reuniting with my loved ones after traveling, allowing for myself to reset with some quality time with family and friends.
Not to boast or anything, but I an entirely convinced I have the best family in all the lands. In 2016, my family supported me through every transition I made. My Mom, Dad, and two brothers were waiting for me with open arms when I decided to move from South Florida to Washington in May, and again in December at the termination of my first travel assignment in Washington State.
I have to admit; I feel I’ve put my family through some emotional turmoil. I was only supposed to be in Washington for three months initially (July-October 2016), but when I realized how satisfied I was, I decided to extend one more month… and then another two on top of that. Essentially, I was in Olympia for six months on the same travel assignment. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing this if you have the flexibility and desire. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel guilty for empty promises of my return home that only led to an extended time in Washington. Add that to my decision to visit a friend in Florida in late October, and I really felt like I was failing as a family-devoted individual.
When it was time to drop off my rental Jeep Renengade at Enterprise, hitch a ride to Seattle-Tacoma Airport from a dear friend, and fly across country on Christmas Eve Eve, I was more than ready to be in New York. Turns out, I needed this time more than I thought. I was enthralled by the fact I’d soon be reunited with the four people (+ Nana/Nonno, aunts, uncles, and cousins) who I know I could never live without. There they were, waiting for me to come HOME…
| March 20, 2017 |
There’s a whole lot of Intagram Inspiration talk coming your way. That’s Insta-Ration for short.
The era we live in constantly intrigues and confuses me. I seem to be in limbo between appreciating the easy access to information, and strongly disliking the emotional battle we have on social media. It’s really a curious thing. People are becoming “Insta-famous,” exposing their lives via video and photo in a way that hasn’t existed before. We have access to the whole world at our fingertips, yet many young adults are battling depression and self-esteem issues. We seem to have it all, but really don’t have it all together at all. Our relationships are suffering and we are living out of balance. It can sometimes feel incredible, and other times downright overwhelming. I certainly feel there’s a huge cost-benefit to the world of social media, especially on a platform like Instagram.
I will admit that I’ve found some huge benefits to Instagram. I’ve been inspired by the success of others, and a big part of recent my journey to the Pacific Northwest was sparked by images of foggy landscapes and breathtaking mountain ranges I saw in little squares. I have grown to appreciate Instagram in many ways, despite my underlying tumultuous emotions regarding social media. I really fear disconnect from the world and shallow living without real relationships. I see so many people scanning through their Instagram news feed while sitting at the table with a group of friends, waiting at a red light, or before bedtime.
And, yes, I’ve seen myself do this.
The reason I love Instagram is because it’s allowed me to connect in curious ways to my surroundings. It’s a really complicated relationship that has actually grown beyond the screen. I’ve actually connected with real humans from Instagram communities, and am now even more baffled by the world of social media.
Read on for my first Insta-Meet and more complicated, bipolar emotions regarding Instagram, social media, and the millennials…
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