Sunday, May 29, 2011

a lovely day

I'm leaving Christchurch soon, very very soon. So I wanted to spend some quality time with my little sisters. Sadly Melanie didn't feel up to coming. So I grabbed Emily and we went out for a cute little 'ladies who lunch' afternoon.

I had a lovely time, she's such a swell girl. This trip home has taught me to cherish the time with your family because none of it is promised to you. I'm really glad we got some cheesy photos of us together. Gonna try another lunch date, and hopefully Melanie can make it this time :)

I have my interview for Korea on Monday - freaking out!!! Things are so much scarier when it's what you really, really want!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

missing things

Missing things is a blessing. It means you've had really amazing things in your life, that were so special that you ache for them.

I miss the little dirt roads of Takeo. I miss the beautiful kids from NFO. I miss all of the wonderful friends I made there. I miss feeling so content I wondered if I would burst from happiness.

I can't wait to go back, but I know deep in my heart of hearts it'll never be quite the same. I'm so grateful for these parts six months. I am really blessed.

Doing less, doing more

I get inspired. I want to do everything at once. And I always end up doing closer to nothing.

So I'm going to do less, but I'll do more.

I'm going to start with one new habit a week. This week's habit is yoga every day (can be substituted out for a run or pilates)

One new habit a week. Easy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Falling in love

It's 4am, on the dot, and I'm wide awake. I've got a cup of my sleepy tea beside me, but I'm not too hopeful. I already drank a glass some five hours earlier and here I am. Wide. Awake.

My head is a fluster of thoughts. I'm sinking. I'm lost in my own thoughts. It's like when you're smitten with someone new and you're trying to figure out if they're fond of you, too. Except I am smitten with my life, the possibilities and what lies ahead for me. I'll be leaving Christchurch in a few weeks; I'm heading to Auckland. I'll be leaving Auckland two weeks later; I don't know where I'm heading.

I think, to soothe myself, my brain has distracted me by entertaining me with a flood of beautiful ideas. I'd quite like to write in chalk some of my favourite quotes on a busy side walk somewhere and photograph people's reactions. Yes, that would be quite lovely, but it's probably not necessary to stay up wide awake thinking of what I could share. Yes! I could call it chalk thoughts... OHhh I wonder if it's registered. I should definitely get up and check - oh it's free - let's reserve that just.incase.

I watched 1.5/4 of Seth Godan's Road Trip videos, and honestly they're interesting. Very, very interesting. I must remember to watch the rest at a later date.

I'm feeling anxious about a lot of things, or maybe I'm feeling anxious because I'm not really anxious enough about a lot of things... This is a weird part of my life... a year ago I was deeply in love with someone I adored, a great group of friends, a stable (but unfulfilling job), a nice home, all that I could want, a lovely holiday away planned and I was unhappy. Not because of any of those things, but because of all of me. I know I'm capable of great things. Honestly, I think everyone really is. But I guess I've got an advantage over a few; I know I'm capable of greatness and I want to make that happen. I do feel like everything leading up to this head space was absolutely necessary. Everything, good and bad, has etched me towards right now. I really do feel like I'm on the brink of something amazing. I guess that's why there's the sleeplessness because I can feel it's coming and I want to savour it all before then.

I don't really know what's next for me. It's hard, people keep asking and all I know is Holi festival 2012. I have friends who are married, who have babies and careers. That's amazing and I'm genuinely happy for them. But for me, that's a world away. I'm so free at the moment, more free than I've been in a very long time and I am really grateful for that. I think the world would be a really spectacular place if everyone lived their passions. I suppose it's hard if you've not found yours yet, or if you have and you're scared it's not enough. Or maybe you've found your passion, but you're so stuck into a routine with responsibilities that you can't move towards it just yet. I am lucky because here I am, without commitments or responsibilities, and I am allowing myself to find out what I want most from life and to work towards that. towards my passions. I'm not saying this kind of leap of faith is suited to everyone, but I do think it's perfectly suited to me, for right now.

I'll be honest, I do miss having someone to love. When I'm alone I direct all that love, I'd usually share, at myself. It's actually quite nice. Life is pretty fantastic when you sit down and really think about it.

In other completely unrelated but still wonderful news: My Kiva loan went out. It's the first time I've done something like this, and honestly it feels really cool. I hope my afghani borrowers know that this random girl, far far away, believes in them and wants better for them. I look forward to my next lending out.

And this song, oh boy this song. This is a song that great change could happen to. I could imagine it playing when you catch a glance at someone and get lost in their eyes. It's a song I could lay in the sunshine and brush my feet across the green grass while listening to it. I think it's kind of my like my own personal Alice and Wonderland hole. I could fall into it and have my own little magical experience. I think it's lovely.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Really truly

I think it's important every once in a while to ask yourself what you really, truly want from your life. I'm realising more and more that I don't want to conform to society's ideals. I don't want to work 40 hours in a job that I don't really like. It just doesn't appeal to me.

I want to travel. I want to take pictures of said travels. I want to make change with my photos. I want to meet new people. I want to have deep connections with people from very different walks of life from me. I want to help people. I want to inspire people. I want to give hope to those that have had a difficult life.

I've always had this embedded desire to help. Innate. I suspect it is a gift that my grandmother gave to me when before she died. I remember being 5 or 6 and we were at the super market together. She never had much money but was generous (she was quite active in our church as well). I remember her intentionally selecting a bag of rice that had the World Vision logo on it. I asked why she had picked that one and she explained that "she was just doing what she could to help". I remember her asking me to make sure that I did all I could.

When I was 15 or 16 I suffered a spout of insomnia. It was actually pretty annoying but allowed me to be insanely productive. I would watch lots of documentaries. One that really affected me was on Muscular Dystrophy. I just remember feeling so much hurt for those families affected. I was so frustrated that one error could cause so much pain and difficulty. One little change. I felt compelled to study Genetics because I wanted to find a cure for that and Cancer and I wanted to save the world. Somewhere along in my studies I lost interest in spending my time in a lab all day. I wanted more personal interaction from my life. I couldn't decide whether it was really that beneficial to cure genetic errors. Obviously if it was a family member of mine that was affected, I'd want a cure. On an individualistic scale it is a really good idea, But on a world scale? I'm not so sure. I think Genetics is something I would like to come back to later in life. Maybe when I have experienced enough to make a really educated decision about the ethical implications. I do believe it is such an amazing science that has so much great potential.

I want to help people who want to help themselves. I want to give them that little push (financial or encouragement) in order to do something really meaningful for themselves. I want to encourage sustainable projects. There are a few things I want to work towards, but for now I've lent a little money to a group of people in Afghanistan. It's not much money, but maybe it's enough to help them start out their venture. Hopefully it lets them know that someone, somewhere far away, believes in them and wants them to succeed.

And here I am... just doing what I can - more to follow. Lots more.

If you're interested I lent to this group:

South Korea

Okay, so if I'm totally honest South Korea isn't somewhere that's on my top gotta-get-there-now list (yes I do actually have one of those lists). But I've made a list of my options for the upcoming year (until Holi festival in India) and it would seem that teaching in South Korea comes out at number one. After a month of thinking and talking, I have finally done it. My application is sent away. Now it's all up to the Destiny Fairies to wave their magic wands (just like on sleeping beauty!) so I can get an interview. I'm sending out lots of positive vibes, I know this would be a great opportunity and I feel really ready for it. Teaching kids for the next year would be such a good way to earn a living. I think I would gain such a great personal satisfaction on a daily basis. I love the idea of living, breathing and really being in a foreign city for a year. I've got my fingers and toes crossed but I also trust that if it doesn't work out, something else just as awesome will fall into place.

That's a totally sweet picture from National Geographic of Seoul. Oh, also a timely reminder that I should enter their photography competition.

A lot actually depends on this Korea application. If I get accepted I have about 1-2 months of free time before my job will start. As I will be locked into the contract for the year, I think I will treat myself to a holiday (okay, so I am getting a little ahead of myself now). It will be Julyish when I go to South Korea. Looking at my trusty world map it seems that it would be a great idea to tackle China. Truth is, a big part of me is tempted to just go straight back to Calcutta. To go to India, back where I was before Every Thing Changed but I know that I want Holi festival next March. It makes sense to do something else. While traveling every one LOVED China and to be honest the Great Wall is definitely something big on my to do list. So, okay, if I get into South Korea I'll give myself: Melbourne, Perth, Bali, maybe Thailand? China and South Korea. Sounds like fun. I really do want to get in!!!

If I don't get in I'll still get those places, just a little bit later on. There is one advantage to not getting in to South Korea. I have a friend who is traveling to India for a month in Feb - she's an awesome girl and I would LOVE to travel with her. I think she's on the same travel crazy buzz that I am on. BUT if I go to South Korea I am locked into a year long contract and her trip to India doesn't fit in with Holi festival (but it's so close). If I'm not in Korea I will make sure I'm there to hang out with her and have Holi, so that is one advantage. And maybe if I don't get in, it's because it is written that I should go to India with her in Feb. I really don't know what's meant to be, but I am going to trust in the fact that whatever way the coin flips, it'll land exactly where it is supposed to. Maybe that's an naive way of looking at things, but hey it's working for me!

It's 3:04am. I'm a bit tired and we've had two decent shakes tonight. I'm super looking forward to my new laptop and I really do love my banner on this site.

And here's a song I love. It's beautiful. She's very talented for a 14 year old. I wish I could sing like this.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Three weeks

I've got three weeks left in Christchurch. Only three weeks. Time has gone pretty quickly. I feel like I'm always counting down to something new, something in the future. It's awesome that I have so many exciting things to look forward to, but at the moment I'm just taking the time to savour right now.

I've been a bit naughty and treated myself to a new laptop which I'm really excited about. I have been considering this upgrade for months and I'm semi against it because my laptop does work fine, when it works. It was dropped about a year ago (not by me!) and the screen stopped working on certain angles. After a few months of hardcore travel (yeah, I am hardcore) my laptop is currently at the stage where it only works on one angle. I don't really see the point in replacing something that works, but it doesn't really work. I spend more time being pissed off with it than using it, so in a few days a shiny wee Mac Book Pro will be welcoming itself into my life.

I've got a few projects planned with this new badass toy. I want to be a regular blogger on here again. The other night I stayed up way too late and read through some posts that I made when I first arrived in Thailand and in India. It's so nice being able to have a little place in cyber space where all my feelings and thoughts are frozen in time. I couldn't help but realise how much I've grown this year, and in such a good way too. It was neat.

I'm not sure what exactly I am doing after Christchurch. Heading to Auckland for a week (or two!) to catch up with everyone before I depart again. I'm considering either Sydney or South Korea (teaching English) but I'm really not sure where I'll end up and that's okay. I'm thinking I might pop into Melbourne for a week to check it out... I think i'd really like Melboune :)

For now the only there is only one definite in my life: I will be going to Holi Festival in 2012.

Ohhh I also have started my eating plan properly. It's really awesome knowing that I am eating appropriate portion sizes and proportions of food. Hopefully some good results follow :)

I'm going to go sit outside, sip on some tea and soak up some vitamin D.