Thursday, April 7, 2011

am i living it right?

Me and Kiki

It's been dreary and raining for days here in Connecticut, which typically doesn't do much for my mood. As I watch the rain fall from the grey sky today, I'm thinking about loss......something I'm sure we are all familiar with (whether it's in the form of death, a relationship, health, money, etc). Although it always feels entirely indigestible and heart wrenching in the moment, I do come away from every loss with a pocket full of lessons, strength, and a heightened sense of urgency to live my life with passion and intention.

Last week was the anniversary of the day my friend Kristin (pictured above) passed away on March 31st of 2008, at the young age of 33. Interestingly, it was on that day last week that I felt an overwhelming need to take some risks in my life, rededicate myself to my true artistic path, and I began taking stock of what I've done so far in my short 30 years here on earth.

As I prepare to infuse my life with some huge changes (to be shared another day:), I decided to make a list of memorable things I've done so far with this life. If there is one thing I've learned in my years, it is to take advantage of every breath you are blessed with, use every talent you are graced with, and love to your greatest capacity. I often wonder why more of us aren't living lives filled with the things we love and enjoy most, why we continually procrastinate on our dreams, why we live as if we're not mortal and the clock isn't ticking. On that list (in no particular order, off the top of my head, not all pleasant, and by no means complete!):

1. Loved and been loved.
2. Started my own business.
3. Moved cross country to a city (San Diego) by myself where I knew no one and had never been before.
4. Lived in San Francisco.
5. Learned to play the guitar.
6. Taught myself to write music. Recorded said music.
7. Learned a second language, became fluent, dreamt in that language.....then forgot most of it.
8. Lived in Spain for a summer with a group of people I'd never met before.
9. Had my heart broken. Broke a few hearts (a few too many, sorry guys!).
10. Worked with children. Worked with money. Worked with art.
11. Told every single secret I have to another person.
12. Studied with my yogi/writer idol (Stephen Cope) on a 4-day retreat.
13. Took the LSAT.
14. Moved 3,000 miles on the basis of pure, blind faith in a man I'd only been dating for 4 months.
15. Married the love of my life and best friend (yes, same man:).
16. Started painting after a 15-year hiatus and decided to make it into a business venture in the future.
17. Went to an illegal rave on the beach in California lit by only the full moon. Ended up with poison oak for 2 weeks after running from the cops.
18. Posed nude for art students.
19. Drove 24 hours with no sleep from Connecticut to Fort Lauderdale, FL to drink on the beach.
20. Lived alone.
21. Learned how to be happy and fulfilled without a man.
22. Learned to let myself need someone other than myself.
23. Taught myself to retile a kitchen floor and patch old plaster walls.
24. Made a lot of money. Made a little money. Learned that the number on my paycheck is insignificant.
25. Drove 7 hours to see Niagara Falls and only stayed for an hour.
26. Slept in the Adirondack Mountains.
27. Began writing my first book. And my second.
28. Slept next to a living, breathing bear (in a tent).
29. Sang in front of a crowd (solo).
30. Dined solo in a restaurant (countless times).
31. Jumped off a rock cliff, topless, into the Mediterranean Sea.
32. Danced on top of a bar.
33. Kissed a stranger.
34. Spent 72 hours in complete silence. Not one word.
35. Canoed and camped on a river in Maine for 5 days.
36. Went on 3 vacations by myself.
37. Got a tattoo.
38. Ran a mile in 5:30 minutes.
39. Went to a party on the top floor of the World Trade Center. Visited Ground Zero a few weeks after the towers fell.
40. Lived in 16 homes.
41. Told someone "I love you" first before they told me.
44. Went white water rafting in Colorado and Maine.
45. Swam competitively for 8 years.

Count your blessings!

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