Monthly Archives: January 2012

1/30/12 – Passion


“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” – Earl Nightingale 

As many of you know, I graduated from grad school in May of 2010. But, what most of you don’t know is that I don’t have my diploma yet. Why? Because I never finished my thesis. To many this apparently seemed like an easy task, or one that I would find the time to complete if it meant a lot to me, but, believe me, it wasn’t that easy…and I’ll tell you why.

The topic of my thesis is LONG:

Tourism under Dictator & Democracy: How the Catalan Culture and Catalan Nationalism

have Affected Tourism in Catalonia, Spain throughout Changing Political Power

You may ask why someone would pick such a deep topic covering politics, foreign countries and tourism, but I will tell you why…passion! This is something I am passionate about and my heart was in this paper. Well, half way through grad school my father passed away and I pushed forward that last year just to finish and when I finished my last class I was flat out exhausted: emotionally, physically and mentally, so I put it off. I refused to write anymore of the paper until I was in a place where I felt that passion again.

Well, this past weekend it came back. I sat down for two and a half days and typed. I typed about a country, a region and a city that make me feel alive to even think about. I wrote until I had nothing left to say and I finished it! Yes, I will have edits to make, and that is fine, but I finished this paper on my time and I made sure to put all the passion in the world into it. I felt so intensely about writing a great paper about tourism in Catalonia that it directed me to its fulfillment. As Oprah says, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Travel, culture, Spain, Barcelona and tourism excite me and its amazing the power and energy that comes from that passion. What are you passionate about? Let it drive you!

The images below are Left: The view from Parc Güell and Right: Montjuïc, about two blocks from my first apartment. Click on them to learn more about my passion!



1/27/12 – An Open Mind


“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candor.” – Tom Hanks

Not only do I love this quote, but I LOVE Tom Hanks.  What a brilliant point he makes with this statement. I try to keep an open mind in all situations, especially when I’m encountered with meeting new people that come from a different background than myself. This is very important to me. I can’t be afraid of someone just because maybe I’m unfamiliar with their background or scared of the unknown they encompass within the mystery of any stranger. I look at strangers like “friends of the future.” I love meeting new people and being open to what they have to teach me. Why would I close myself off to learning something new based solely on fear or prejudices created by the ignorance of others.

I have a very low tolerance for close-minded people. Maybe that’s awful of me or just awful of me to admit, but it’s the truth. But then I have to remind myself that I only have control over myself and my own thoughts and I can’t let the thoughts and opinions of others get me worked up.

So, that being said, I’m going to leave today at this (re-quoting Mr. Hanks again): “…We can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candor.” I would like option two, please. Because, he is right, we will never fully understand each other, we are just too complicated, but the least we can do is try. Put a “Come in, I’m open sign” on your brain and let it ALL in!

Speaking of Tom Hanks, every time I watch the trailer (linked below) for the new movie he is in I just lose it. I can’t wait to see “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” Who’s with me?

1/26/12 – Desiderata


I’m not sure how I’m just reading this now, but I do know that I will be forever changed because of it. Please enjoy! And, thank you, to a friend for sharing this yesterday. There are no words of stories of my own that need to be added. This poem could be talked about for days and days on end, I prefer to enjoy the internal dialogue that it creates within me.


By: Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

I looked up “desiderata” and it means, “Something that is needed or wanted.” Just an FYI. I have linked the image to a beautiful slideshow of images I found to the words above. 

1/25/12 – You is kind. You is smart. You is important.


“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” – Aibileen, The Help

So I am a little behind in reading The Help but I have had to catch up on other reading. I am now about a third of the way into this brilliant novel and this one line keeps sticking out to me, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important,” that Aibileen says to little Mae Mobley. She wants to make sure that no matter what anyone else says, no matter how much her mother may neglect her that she is kind, smart and important.

I don’t think these are words that only children need to hear. I think these are words that need to be conveyed to any and everyone. I think that we tend to feel like people know this is how we see them and how we feel without saying it. I disagree with this. How great does it feel when someone pays you a compliment? When someone tells you how important you are to them? It’s funny how no matter how old we get, kind words and affirmations like these can change our whole day, make us feel like a million dollars. It’s amazing how much negative words and comments can start to be believable when you hear them. Remind someone about the positives! So instead of just thinking your friends, family, co-workers, etc know how you feel about them, how grateful you are for them and what they mean to you, TELL THEM! It will make you feel better too 😉

Now I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I found the clip with this scene and have linked it below. If you haven’t read it yet, buy it, rent it, borrow it, Kindle it, whatever. It’s humbling and a wonderful reminder of many things.

1/24/12 – Responsibility


“There’s a point in your life when you want to become really responsible for what you’re putting out there and what you’re saying.” – Tim Kring

I heard this quote on Ellen one day last week. Keifer Sutherland quoted Tim Kring, the producer of the show “Heroes” and the current new series Sutherland is in, “Touch.” I had to rewind it about 5 times to get it exactly right. I was taken back by these words and reflected for a moment on my life and what I’m “putting out there” and what I’m saying. It all goes back to being impeccable with your word, one of my favorite of The Four Agreements.

After hearing this, moving forward, I’m going to try even harder than I already may to focus on the responsibility I have for my words and for my work and actions. I want to always be proud of everything that I say and do instead of looking back in doubt or worry. Mainly, I want to be able to look back one day and know that I have done my best and hopefully have made a difference in some way, no matter how big or small. Everything we say is out there and we are responsible for it from the moment it leaves our lips and the things we do and create are stamped with out names forever. We need to remember that before we speak and act, knowing we are responsible for these things and the effect they have on ourselves and others.

This is all a part of growing up, and I realize that, and this is why I LOVE getting older. I get wiser and life begins to make more and more sense every day, every year. I’ll be 30 this October and I’m looking forward to it and what wealth of knowledge and understanding comes with the experiences of this year and the years to come.

1/23/12 – The Love of Power


“When the Power of Love Overcomes the Love of Power the World Will Know Peace.” – Jimi Hendrix

This quote was also said in a more proper way more than a century ago by British Prime Minister William Ewert Gladstone: “We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”

I’ll be short so I don’t get political. Even though this is my personal blog and I can write whatever I want, I don’t want to lose any of you that read it based on my personal political beliefs and ideas. Staying neutral, this quote applies to all areas of politics in every country around the world and applies to any business I can think of. Power! People crave it and some will do anything to have it. They LOVE it! Why? Where does it really get most people in the end? I seem to think the love of power ends with loneliness and conflict. Like Hendrix and PM Gladstone say, we need to replace this with the power of love. Many of us in this world and in our own country have lost the vision of what is really important in life and I think ALL politicians need to reevaluate what drives them to do what they do, what they stand for and who they represent. I think that peace should be the goal…the ONLY goal!

I just HAD to link this image to Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love.” How could I not haha

1/22/12 – Decorate your own soul


“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
Veronica A. Shoffstall

For a long time I think that I wanted others to make me feel beautiful, to tell me what my passions were, to hold my hand through life and to inspire me throughout my journey. But I think it is important for all of us to realize that no one can do these things for us, we must do them ourselves. We are responsible for who we become and the choices we make as well as for lighting our own inner fire.

So take the time to take care of you and make yourself happy. It’s important to love and nurture the most important relationship in your life, the one with yourself. Looking for your soul mate? Look in the mirror! I got a massage today, took a little time for me, and I feel great! We need to pamper ourselves from time to time instead of focusing on taking care of others. I always buy fresh flowers for myself and have them around my house.   Why wait for someone to bring you flowers and plant your garden when you can do it yourself!

I took this picture in Croatia. This rose bush was at a vineyard we visited and it was absolutely gorgeous!

1/20/12 – Learning Wisely


“We begin to learn wisely when we’re willing  to see world from other people’s perspective.” 
― Toba BetaMaster of Stupidity

Today I’d like to share with you my daily emailer I receive from Moodscope. You can go to their page or just read it below.  It reminded me of the quote above, which I love. I think that we should all take time to think about how other’s view things, look at things from different perspectives. What we see as “reality” is not necessarily the “reality” of another. Be willing to learn wisely. Enjoy! Moodscope’s blog is brilliant today 🙂

“Imagine this. I ask you to close your eyes, then open them again after I’ve placed an object immediately in front of you.

As you focus on it, you see a white square whose sides are roughly a metre long.

That’s it. A white square.

Now I get someone else to stand a couple of metres to your right, and you ask them what they see.

‘No problem,’ they say, ‘it’s a white cube.’

Aha. From where you were standing it was a square. From where they were, though, it had depth. It was something else altogether.

You and I have our own views of the world. We see things through the filters of our experiences and sometimes (I have to confess) our prejudices and misjudgements.

And this is never more so than when it comes to trying to solve some huge problem or dilemma that you’re experiencing.

You see things as you think they are, convincing yourself that your way is the only way.

To discover the real truth, though, perhaps nothing beats learning from the view of someone who’s close, but just that little bit further away from it all than you are.”

Click the image below and check out the awesome perspective photographs I found on Google!

1/19/12 – To be Remembered


“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.”
– Edgar Allan Poe

In honor of what would have been Edgar Allan Poe’s 201st birthday, I decided to use one of his many quotes. I thought hard, and this is probably my favorite from him.

You know the hard times in your life, or the times when you are embarrassed or ashamed, the times you want to block out? Well, I agree with Mr. Poe. Those are the most important times to remember. They are the ones that teach us the most about life. I have one day in my life I wish I could forget, it was the day my dad passed away. It’s in my mind all the time and it is hard as hell. I know I talked about this the other day but there’s something specific I want to talk about from that day.

Those awesome friends I talked about? THEY are what I remember from that day. I try my damnedest to not remember what he looked like, or the pain, or the emptiness. What I remember is the following: the giant hug Melissa gave me as I walked out of the room hysterical, how she caught me and cried with me. From that I learned love and comfort and empathy. I remember Ashley and Anna standing behind her looking at me with eyes that spoke a million words about compassion and empathy and shared pain. I remember Lola and Ashley being there, two people that found out where I was and found me, once again teaching me how important I was to them.  I remember when my brother walked in and we shared a moment that is hard to explain that taught me about family and togetherness and forgiveness, what’s really important in life. The feeling of relief and completeness when Niki pulled up after leaving work, walking to me down the driveway, hugging me and telling me she new it wasn’t fair teaching me the meaning of “family” and reliability. I remember Vickie and her family not leaving our side and I remember every GREAT thing that people did for us; how quickly they showed up, the phone calls, the texts, the visitors, the food, the booze (let’s be real) and my girl friends all sitting in my mother’s bed helping to write his obituary. I remember ALL of that! So, the one day I immediately wanted to forget is the one day that I should and will always remember for the out pour of love and the positive energy my family and I felt. Noted: 8/29/09 is to be remembered!

I have linked my favorite Poe poem to this post it–check it out!

Annabel Lee is also one of my favorites by Poe!

1/18/12 – What big problems are you trying to solve?


“We don’t find happiness by looking within. We go outside and immerse in the world. We are called to a higher purpose by the inescapable circumstances that are laid out on our path. It’s our daily struggles that define us and bring out the best in us, and this lays down the foundation to continuously find fulfillment in what we do even when times get tough.

Happiness comes from the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, and what the world needs. We’ve been told time and again to keep finding the first. Our schools helped developed the second. It’s time we put more thought on the third.

What big problems are you trying to solve?” – Oliver Segovia

A friend of mine sent me a link this morning to an AMAZING article, part of which is quoted above. I don’t know what else to say about it, other than I believe in it 150% and it has made me think more about the topic than I already do on a weekly basis. It gets to the roots of why I want to move back abroad and do something I am passionate about that will really make a difference in this world.

Click the link below (and by link I mean the picture), PLEASE! Read the article, maybe even two or three times. Really digest what it is saying and think to yourself, “What big problems am I trying to solve? If I’m not, what big problems would I like to try and solve and how am I going about doing this?”