Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: purpose

Finding Purpose

I’ve been looking for purpose in things, both on a small and large scale.

One of those things is this blog.  It’s a funny thing, blogging– putting your thoughts out into the world, to both known and unknown individuals (although I guess that could be controlled– setting a password on the blog so it’s not totally public or not sharing the url with friends and family so it’s pretty anonymous.)  I’ve chosen to share the blog with family and friends and leave the blog public, so I’m left in this limbo of the blogosphere where I don’t share my innermost thoughts and musings on things as I might in a journal and I also aim to have the writing be a little more generally accessible.

And I seem to be finding that being in limbo is a challenging place to be.  Am I trying to be a little bit of something for everyone and in the process being nothing for no one?

So to get back on track, I’m working on finding purpose for this blog.  I’ve mused on this before, but I’ve strayed from that original purpose.

For a time, this was a travel blog, which was wonderful.  A documenting of my travels through New Zealand, Bali, and Malaysia.  But now I’m settled again (although itchy to travel, as always!).

It strikes me that I should write about what I love, know about, and care about.

  • Food
  • Social issues
  • Life journeys

So I’ll see how that goes.  Next blog: my attempts at using a sourdough starter!

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A is for “Assignment”

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I’ve come up with an idea for blog direction. I’m going to go through the alphabet and come up with a word for each blog post that begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. I’m going to see what word might inspire me on a given day and not feel compelled to write everyday, but write every few days or so to keep things going.

I must face the facts that I am an assignment/plan-driven person. I can be impulsive on rare occasion, but even impulsivity is followed by planning and careful thought and processing. Knowing that about myself, this could be a fun assignment.

I am a Virgo.
I am a first child.
I am the only girl among my siblings.

All of these things have contributed to my type-A personality, I would say.

This trip is a test of that part of me. I don’t really have an itinerary. I have a general idea of where I might want to go. I have a first destination and two plane tickets. But beyond that, much is open ended. And so far I’ve been OK with that. What I’ve found that works to not get my type-A self so worked up is saying things like:

  • What’s the worst that could happen? If I don’t like a place, I can just move on. And If I really don’t like being abroad, I can get a plane ticket back “home.”
  • I want the flexibility to stay longer where I like and move along faster from places I don’t like. This is my chance to be really free and not bound to any deadlines. I must want to make the most of that.
  • I want to see what will happen if I’m not overly planned. What can I learn from that experience?

It’s kind of funny that I want to be more spontaneous in a way, but I’m doing that with intention and focus. I guess I can never get away from that part of myself.

And so I continue to write with some direction.

Some assignments for me over the next few weeks:

  • Meet up with friends over dinner or walks and get to say “see ya later’s”
  • Get all my supplies prepared- equipment, clothes, travel guides and documents
  • Pack and store all my things
  • Explore parts of the Boston area that I want to before I go– Tanglewood, the MFA and Isabella Stewart Gardner museums, Crane or Singing beach, other places…
  • Enjoy the summer and breathe

It’s all doable. And I’m not going to lose my mind or my hair or my sanity doing it.

Reconnecting and Finding Meaning

Since I ended my streak, I haven’t been blogging regularly. Having photos everyday to share made it more interesting to blog and actually gave me a reason to blog. Now I’ve lost some reason to blog. I know that once I start traveling, I’ll definitely be blogging. But now, I’ve lost some direction.

I also haven’t been taking photos as much since the streak ended.

So I’m trying to start a new streak: deep breathing at the end of each day right before I go to bed. I often get home and realize that I haven’t really breathed all day. I mean, I’ve done the involuntary breathing, of course, since I’m still alive. But I haven’t done any real breathing where I feel the expulsion of bad air and energy and intake of fresh, rejuvenating energy. So I’d like to do at least 10 deep breaths before I turn off the light and go to bed.

I started this last night and it felt good. But then I went through today with its craziness and lost the effects. I’ll see what happens by the end of this streak. I’m aiming for a deadline of August 31st– my last day of work.

Reconnection is about plugging back into something that you became unplugged, separated from. How do I reconnect to the blog? How do I reconnect to meaning in my life? I’m hoping that my travels will allow me to do that. But what if it doesn’t? I guess the worst that could happen is that at least I get some time off of working and get to have a change of scenery. At least there’s a benefit to that.

Some of the bloggers that I follow have been raving about a recent event called the World Domination Summit which is organized by Chris Guillebeau, writer, blogger, traveler, etc. I’ve been jealous to hear about the amazing event and wish I could have gone there! I’m looking for more people to commiserate with who are in a similar mindset of wanting to do and be more. And wanting to use creativity, mission, passion, and innovation to get there.

It’s interesting how I’m looking outside of my networks, relationships, connections, friends to find something. Why can’t I find what I’m looking for among what I have? What’s missing? Will I end up coming back from my travels and want to come back to the comfort and known of those who are here?

The main point here, though, is I want to determine the goals of my blog. I read this post from a
“Freshly Pressed” WordPress blog. The blogger talked about needing a purpose for his blog and how he needed to write about something he was really passionate about. It was a good reminder that I don’t want to be aimlessly blogging just to fill cyberspace with more useless drivel.

So here are some thoughts about what I’m passionate about that I could blog about:

  • amazing people in my life– youth I’ve mentored, people who have mentored me, friends, family
  • recipes, restaurants, food reviews– I love to eat!
  • meaningful quotes I’ve come across
  • a line from anything I’m reading– a book, blog, newspaper article

I need to set a writing schedule, too. Once a week? More than that?
Hmmm. Where to go next…

#25: Rainbows and Clouds

We’ve been having summer weather (a bit too early for my liking) with mid-90 temperatures, high humidity, and then thunderstorms followed by blue skies, beautiful cloud formations, and gorgeous sunsets.  Today was the end of a three day hot and humid spell.  And then after a few thunderstorms, we had a beautiful evening. I went a little crazy on the photos (with my iPhone, no less!) and so here are some of my favorites.

This was doctored with Instagram, but even the original was beautiful.

The view of the sky and a local yacht club in the dusky light.

Amazing split sky– one side of the sky (to the left of this frame and beyond) was pure blue, no cloud a sliver of moon just starting to glow.  And the other side was grey, white, wispy, clouds far into the ocean.

I had a revelation about some of the discomfort I’ve been having about my blogger voice.  The blogs I like to follow and read (see my Links page under “Other Blogs”) are mostly people who give advice to others.  They are on their own journeys, but they share their life lessons with others and read more as self-help type narratives… which I like.  I find a lot of inspiration and food for thought from these blogs.  I know people don’t always like this writing style, but I enjoy it and find meaning from it.

However, I know that I’m not that kind of writer.

I’ve never been a “let me give you some advice” kind of person.  I’m much more a listener when it comes to others, bouncing off what they say with my own input and feedback.  And when it comes to myself, I just reflect on my own learning.  So this blog is becoming more like the latter, since I don’t have anyone on the other side that is talking to me.  If this were just my own personal journal, I would be fine with that– a journal for me and my own voice.  However, I don’t want this to become an online journal.  As I’ve said before, I don’t want this to be a musings, rambling e-journal, which I’m a little afraid that it’s becoming (see, what am I doing right now, as a matter of fact?!).

I’ve enjoyed the photo posting, but there hasn’t been any thread linking those posts other than I’m doing it everyday to keep a streak going.  The act of taking a photo everyday has also been really fun and enlightening about my own interest and focus.

However, the blogging– I need to (re)focus this effort.  Maybe that’s part of the process, too, though, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself that I’m still figuring out my blogger voice.

#11: A Beautiful Day

Living in New England, as I’ve stated before, the weather is unpredictable.  Yesterday we had torrential downpours and thunderstorms, and today it’s beautiful.

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This is the view walking from my apartment to a beach only a few minutes away.  I read a whole book today, partially in a lawn chair at the beach, and partially on my cozy couch by an open window.  A sweet, wonderful read: A Taste of Honey by Jabari Asim.  A series of connected short stories set in the late 60s in a small midwestern town about the lives of a few black families and love, “signs,” connections, and choices.

I’m reminded from this book as well as in my everyday life how things happen for a reason.  The people we meet, the things that happen when they happen, the challenges we face, the joys we have– I truly believe they happen for a reason that often does not become realized or unveiled until later.  And this happens for everyone, but not everyone is paying attention.

In the past few years, I’ve been paying more attention to what happens and have felt the power of not living with regrets or lamenting mistakes or the past.  Everything has happened for a reason, mostly for the purpose of learning new lessons:

  • meeting the people I have
  • moving to Boston
  • choosing the education path I did
  • staying connected with those I have; and disconnecting from others
  • little and big things, too numerous to itemize

When you pay attention, amazing things can happen.

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