Ernest Hemingway’s advice to would be writers: always stop when you know what’s going to happen next.

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Give attention to your intention

I just listened to Cathy Heller’s podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job, episode How to Find the Road to Success – Susie Moore and it brought me back to this blog that I had left to crumble into stardust in the cyber abyss. The words that brought me back- “You don’t need to be an expert. Share what you want people to know. Share your experience.”

Moore says you don’t need a fancy degree to relate to people, you don’t need hard data and research to write something that will resonate with others. We often overthink ourselves into inaction, yet we should simple choose, move forward, and act upon our dreams with faith that the universe will help us succeed.

“Whatever makes your body relax is the right choice.” Ah what a comforting way to make a decision! I am so relaxed when I think about writing, yet I overthink and decide it’s not a way to succeed. Writing is a silly, menial activity that I only do for myself. It will not help the world. But then the podcast answered this thought, referencing the following quote from Dead Poets Society:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

Once you have a career or side hustle in mind, realize what your intention is behind your actions. For example, I am a sales rep in the outdoor industry. My intention is to forge meaningful relationships, help my retailers’ businesses grow, and to get more people out enjoying the outdoors. More specifically, helping ensure that people are adventuring with the right equipment for their needs, properly fitted and packed for their adventure. Before I was hired, I was asked to listen to Simon Sinek’s TED Talk Start with Why. This was a great introduction to the company, because I realized that the position I was applying for was the right fit for me. Sinek says “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Keep in mind that “people” includes you.

After work I love to write. My intention behind my writing is to reflect upon things I have read, to find paths to happiness and mindfulness, and to look at the events of the day (current events and personal) from a different perspective. I would like to share these musings with you, dear reader… so I suppose it’s time I keep my promise from my September post. It’s time I share the pages I have been writing each day in my journal, which I love for the pretty ink on the page, drawings, washi tape, stamps and stickers in the margins, and the fact that I can tuck it under the bed for safe keeping. It’s time I type these up and post them so you might join me, keeping soft hearts in a hard world.

The Last Page

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I just finished a journal. It contains all my musings, hopes, dreams, inspiration and heartbreak from January, 2018 – today. Fellow journal keepers, do you know that empty feeling when you write on the very last line? Do you feel that satisfied, accomplished, air of completion, yet a feeling of loss upon punctuating your final sentence?

In today’s entry I wrote about someday wearing my heart on my sleeve, sharing my every day musings with the world in hopes that they might help someone, or at least provide some entertainment. So why not start now?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.

-To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I was thinking about all the things I don’t know. All the things I don’t understand. All the things I’ll never know. I felt small. A minnow in a great lake. A speck of sand in the sea. I thought of things I’ll never do.

But then I returned to what I still have time to learn, and all I wanted to do was get up and read. Read, learn, question, all the things I don’t know. From how to change a tire to how to help my country move away from Trumps voice of hate toward peace, unity, and equality for everyone.

At last I closed my eyes and counted my breath. I am grateful for the knowledge I have, for my family, for my health, for my life. Today is a new day. All I can do is keep going, one step at a time. Eat the elephant of knowledge one bite of a time.

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I am always sad when I arrive at the last page of a journal. Yet also accomplished. I think of when I’m old and tired, reminiscing upon the good old days, how I’ll look back at my light hearted musings and favorite quotes. I think of how one day maybe I’ll grow some balls and put the content of my journals on a blog, so others might relate to my quickly scrawled thoughts. I think of how many hours I spent reflecting upon my days in this crazy world, and I long to honestly call myself a writer.

I thank each page of every journal I’ve kept for listening, and for holding my secrets in its binding. I thank the tree its pages came from for giving me my most cherished outlet. For falling from the forest so I may scribe upon its heart, melting my mind into its branches.

I thank everyone who has given me happy memories to record, and everyone who has taught me lessons for the future, good or bad. I thank the books I’ve read, the quotes I’ve found, the beautiful places I have walked.

And I look forward to my future adventures. A new book of empty pages waiting to be filled. Thank you, little book. You are loved ❤

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…

– Jack Kerouac

DC to Denver

I decided to document our cross-country drive on Tumblr so I could easily post from my phone and am just now taking the time to upload the DC to Denver adventure to WordPress. Denver is so beautiful I have been spending every free moment in the mountains rather than at my desk…

IMG_0979Pictured above, left to right, are Lori-Ann & Ruca, Me, Hannah, and Melissa on the stoop of what we called “The Elm Street Lounge” near Howard University in Washington, DC. Melissa and Lori-Ann moved to San Francisco at the same time that Geoff and I left for Denver. Melissa has already been to Denver to visit us!

IMG_0987My room all packed up and ready for Transit Systems.

IMG_0992Me, Riley, and Geoff beginning our adventure out west.

IMG_0995First stop: Kentucky! DC to Kentucky was about 8 hours, so we went there first to spend a couple nights with Richard and my aunt Boo at their place pictured below.

IMG_0997See why I’ve been speechless? The pictures say it all.

IMG_0998Geoff, Riley and me looking like a happier version of American Gothic by Grant Wood.

IMG_1005Geoff and me at the Kentucky Horse Park…

IMG_1002Where there was a dog show and I fawned over this Bernese Mountain Dog.

IMG_1009Later we had our own dog show with Riley and Twiggy. What’s better than a floating dog bed?

IMG_1037After a relaxing stay at Boo & Richard’s we got back on the road to travel from Kentucky to Kansas, a 12 hour stretch. Pictures above and below were taken in Indiana.

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Indiana.

IMG_1031More Indiana.

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Heading through St. Louis!

IMG_1072I decided it was mandatory to stop at the Kansas City Library, which is built to look like it’s made of books. See Geoff with The Lord of the Rings and me with Journals of the Expedition By Lewis and Clark.

IMG_1073St. Louis and Kansas City.

IMG_1081Made it to Kansas!

IMG_1088Then there was a lot of this…

IMG_1091Until Riley decided it was time to stop.

IMG_1108And we stayed here.

IMG_1109Kansas transportation.

IMG_1134Last day on the road! Here is the Windmill Farm in Kansas along I-70.

IMG_1167Upon arriving in Colorado we tried to visit the Wonder Tower in Genoa, but it was closed 😦

IMG_1179Thrilled when we finally made it and got this shot on the balcony of our new place!

IMG_1200Our view– worth the move.

Farewell DC

Awaken in a cardboard castle
Climb in my snowy beast and turn the key
Roll down Elm street, taking in my rainbow row

Traffic cop brightens my 2,191st day with his smile
Chats with bikers and skips with children across the street
Will I never know his name?

The blind man waits patiently for the bus
Shading his eyes, straining to see
Does he know I send him love each day I speed by?

Fog sits over a sleepy Potomac
And a tear, at last, is pulled down my cheek
As the Key Bridge sways to embrace me