Revelations

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I cherish the nights where my mind is running wild with the possibilities my imagination throws at it. These nights are full of excitement, a nervous optimism. These occurrences happen deep into the night when anything feels possible. The world is sleeping but I am awake making plans to follow grand dreams that will lead me to happiness.

However, an even better feeling is waking up in the morning, sobering up to the reality of the world, and still feeling electrified by the plans made the night before. It is not often this electricity lasts until the morning; the flame from the night before is almost always extinguished by the smothering realities we face during the light of day. On these special mornings where the excitement continues to grow, you know you are on to something.

This morning I had one of those revelations. Recently my mind has been consumed by the future; where will I live, where will I work, and how on Earth can those two variables combine to make me happy? These types of thoughts are exciting at times, but mostly frustrating and confusing. Most ideas sound great at their inception, but then flounder away after a couple days, bringing me back to the drawing board. Every once in a while, an idea sticks long enough to work its way into my dysfunctional, scatter chart of a life plan.

These ideas are always challenging, outside the box ideas that are not easy to attain. In the past, I have made the mistake in my uncharted excitement of telling people about my ideas only to find negative responses. People are wary of bold ideas, and it is almost impossible for them to back you if they themselves don’t personally feel the driving passion and need to pursue it. This negativity can stifle the brightest flame and introduce mountains of doubt into an already challenging endeavor and thus extinguish the dream.

Over time I have learned from this crucial mistake and I have started keeping these ideas to myself. After all, they are ideas. I am working toward them, but I have nothing to show for them yet, so what is the use in telling people? It is enough that I know I will succeed; that is the only fuel I need to keep going.

This being said, encountering someone who shares your passion or someone that can at least relate to it can give you the extra push you need to be successful. So I guess the real lesson is to be selective about who you tell about your dreams, or learn really quickly to not care about their responses. Don’t let anyone derail you on your path toward your dreams!

On a side note, I survived my experience jumping from a plane at 14,000 feet! It was invigorating to say the least. I would absolutely do it again!

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Take the Plunge

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Plans are what keep us going. Spontaneity is wonderful and opens up bundles of opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have, but spontaneity is irregular. You can’t constantly sustain spontaneity. If you can, then in essence it becomes your plan.

Planning trips is the best way to get through a monotonous Monday, or even just a regular I-woke-up-and-came-to-work kind of day. I have four big trips lined up in the next year, with a few other possibilities presenting themselves in between. When I think about the future, I am filled with so much joy that I will be out in the beautiful world experiencing new cultures and visiting ancient wonders of the world. These trips take the pain out of day to day life, the struggle with responsibility and the ever present how-much-money-do-I-have issue. Trips are typically expensive, so the last one doesn’t really make sense at face value. However, when you have trips to pay off you make it your goal to save money and pay off the trip as fast as possible, focusing your energies on conserving money at all costs. This mentality ideally saves you money in the meantime and allows you to put your money toward an amazing trip that you will cherish forever. Paying off a trip is the best feeling in the world.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy spontaneity as well; this weekend I will be jumping out of a plane from 14,000 ft. hoping to land softly on solid ground.

Happy Adventuring!

The Victor

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The triumphant victor ascended up,

All the way to his much earned position.

After a deep sigh of relief,

He lifted his gaze to cherish his view.

To his dismay, there wasn’t a sight to see.

He climbed to the top of the world,

Fighting for every inch to the top,

Constantly denying the urge to quit.

He envisioned how amazing the world would look,

If only he fought on.

He would bask in the glorious view below him,

If only he fought on.

The view he found was opaque,

A curtain of white in all directions.

The victor sat down for a moment,

Too heartbroken to move.

Without another thought,

The victor rose and started running.

He retraced his steps and found a new path.

As the victor ascended once more,

He envisioned how amazing the world would look,

If only he fought on.

He would bask in the glorious view below him,

If only he fought on.

Traipsing Through the Monsoon

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Rain was tapping through the trees, disrupting every leaf in sight. Silence slipped into every pause in precipitation, filling the woods with a foggy mystique. The tall, towering, wooden giants protected the surface from most of the storm’s wrath. Between the trees I traipsed alone through the monsoon.

I decided to go hiking on a rainy Thursday afternoon, knowing that I would be sharing the trail with no one. I was walking through the wild alone in a misty barrage of rain. It was the closest I have ever felt to nature; I could feel the heartbeat of the forest. I felt like I was a part of the forest. I belonged there.

As I was walking back from the summit, I saw movement ahead on the trail. I cautiously approached, unsure of what I would be encountering since I was fairly certain it would not be a human. Directly in front of me was small deer, going about his business. I was captivated; I had seen deer before, but this was different. This time I wasn’t just an observer. I felt a kinship with the deer. At that moment, I realized that I could never kill an animal for sport and I don’t understand how other people could. Seeing the innocence drawn all over this beautiful animal’s face was enough to ensure this realization. The deer lingered on the path for a moment before seeing me and running off quickly.

Several other deer ran across the path as I was walking back, and every time I would just stop and marvel at the sight of them. A couple of them would run to a safe distance away and then watch me with a similar curiosity. After all, I was the guest in their kingdom. These moments were too precious to waste on a picture; I didn’t even make an effort to capture it.

I hope that those deer continue to run away from people; the next person they run into may have completely different intentions.

The City Calls

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Recently the city has been calling to me.  I’m not sure if it is a call to live there or just to be a part of all that there is to do and see.  I had been there several times before but not since I became a living, breathing adult, uniquely shaped by my experiences and outlooks in the world.  Therefore, I was looking forward to this trip where I would be able to see the city in a new way, a new New York for me.  Our first day in the city was spent wandering like most tourists up and down the avenues near midtown where we were staying.  Seeing the shops, Times Square, the mass of people on the sidewalks, the unbelievably giant buildings all around, the variation in architecture, and simply the sounds of the city; frantic yet peaceful in the right light.  We eventually bought tickets to a Broadway show entitled A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.  My sister chose this show after our last trip to New York in which she was put under pressure and decided we would see an off-Broadway show.  Needless to say, she was excited to finally be seeing a real show.  The show was phenomenal with one person playing about 9 different characters, and afterwards we met family friends at a restaurant in the theater district named Joe Allen’s.  It was there that I ordered a 50 year-old secret recipe slab of meatloaf covered in the finest mushroom sauce I’d experienced in my life.  This heavenly slice of meat was accompanied by a golden IPA and several desserts as we told stories about old times and learned about the newlyweds’ lives in the Big Apple.

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It all sounded so enticing especially when I went to see my friend Connor the next day to got burgers and beer in midtown and talk about his experiences in the city that summer.  One of these experiences included going to the Belmont Stakes and watching American Pharaoh win the first Triple Crown in almost 40 years.  We parted ways eventually and I walked back to the hotel wondering how I could fare in the city.  The best thing that we did in the city was visit the 9/11 memorial and museum.  It was one of the most moving experiences I think I have ever had.  Seeing all of the things salvaged from the site in the museum was shocking really.  This included several full-sized, mangled fire trucks that had debris fall on them, as well as a large piece of the radio mast from the North Tower.  There were other areas with backlit pictures of the WTC in New York and Pentagon in Washington where you could hear survivors accounts of what happened at what time that day and showed where in the building they were.  I was just imagining the pure chaos of being downtown that day because over the years my understanding and sadness associated with 9/11 has only grown seeing as I was only in second grade when it happened and didn’t fully understand the gravity of the situation.  Then, there was a backlit picture of United 93 and instead of survivor stories they played back phone calls and messages made from the plane to the loved ones of those on board.  This was the most heartbreaking of all because you could hear fear in their voices and the understanding that things were probably not going to have a happy ending.  After hearing two calls I broke down and cried for several minutes, then moved on to see the rest of the museum.  The museum in general was incredibly well done and was tactfully tasteful.  On our last day in the city we woke up early to go to our favorite breakfast joint in NY called Sarabeth’s Kitchen.  Sarabeth’s has several locations around the city and that day we went to the location right on the southern border of Central Park.   I got my current favorite meal of eggs benedict and it was outstanding.  House made English muffin with a sizeable piece of cooked ham and a positively perfect poached egg (I am a sucker for alliteration), with the whole thing covered in light and buttery hollandaise sauce and topped with chives.  I finished it in less than seven minutes and asked if I could be excused to go look around the Park because it is my absolute favorite part of the city.  In the middle of one of the most populous cities in the world is a massive park full of green trees, massive rocks to climb on, lakes, ponds, and beautiful fauna.

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As I stood there at the top of a rock and grinned to myself at the beauty of the park, I realized that for all of the money that had been spent on food and extravagances that vacation, I would have been content to walk around the park for four days and discover everything that it has to offer.  I snapped a picture, my family found me, and we walked around the Park for another thirty minutes taking in the stunning scenery before we left the city.  We are going back in December and I can’t wait.

This was an article from our very own Alex B. If you enjoyed this article, reference a display of his past work at http://spinningatlas.com/2015/03/15/a-bahamian-sunrise/