Learn to Love Yourself.

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Yourself.  You are going to be with YOU 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For life.  You can’t shut you up.  You can try, but trust me, it won’t happen.  If you happen to find a method that doesn’t involve bath salts or any other hardcore drug – please share.  I’m not trying to eat people.  

The best advice I can give is to learn to love you.  You are the only one that can truly get why you do and think the way you do.   Over the many years of life that I have been through, I have given countless people advice, listened to problems, cried, laughed, cried some more, argued points, tried not to hate people for mistakes they’ve made, tried not to hate myself, cried ALOT, laughed some more, found the good in sticky situations, cheered on, forgave, and all while trying to take my own advice when it came to my problems.  

I am definitely not saint Mary – but who is?  I’ve done things in life to where I have regretted it immediately – or regretted it a few months down the road.  But it’s all about finding yourself and where you are suppose to be.  Listen, I have no clue where I am suppose to be at this point in my life.  If my 16-year-old self was correct – I would have some corporate job, with my sexy foreign husband, and baby #2 on the way. And an Australian Shepard.   Despite my totally jacked up life prediction, I often find myself not minding where I have ended up. I have taken more time to truly learn more about myself and what I ultimately want.  Not just what 16-year-old Rachel wanted.  That girl was delusional.  

Loving you is hard.  There have been plenty of times where I really needed to slap myself. Not just figuratively speaking either.  I have actually attempted to before, but obviously it wasn’t shocking like a random slap would be, because well duh.  I’ve had to give myself a hardcore reality check a few times.  a “Coming to Jesus” moment if you will.  Those are tough moments, but good ones! It’s like your eyes finally open and you’ve stepped off that unicorn you were mounted up on.  Far too often I have seen people close to me go through things in their life where they question their worthiness.  Let me tell you something, you are your worst critic and your worst enemy – but you are your best game changer.  Learn to change you for the best.  

With that being said, go do it.  You will be surprised at what you are capable of afterwards.  

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Everything Changes.

Maybe some people just aren’t meant to stay in our lives forever, maybe some people are just passing through. It’s like some people just come through our lives to bring us something, a lesson we need to learn, and that’s why they are there.

It’s funny how time flies by so fast.  One minute you are seeing new things like a newborn sees the world for the first time.  The next, moment your on a plane headed to a new destination.   My cross country road trip turned out to be very rewarding and an experience I will never forget.  It’s funny, because it still hasn’t hit me I just drove clear across the country and put my feet in the Pacific ocean for the first time in my life.   It’s been a memorable trip for other reasons than the explorations we tackled.

I’ve definitely learned a lot about life, love, and people.  God doesn’t hand you things you can not handle – it is important to look at situations in that light.  Sometimes things don’t quite turn out the way you hoped for.

People change.  People move.  People screw you over.

It’s all apart of the journey and growth that is laid out for you.    A couple of things to remember: while people mold into to their true selves, so do you.  Don’t ever let someone break your character.  Moving doesn’t mean your problems will go away or escape.  It does mean that a new chapter of your life is about to begin.  It means that yeah, you might be scared or have your doubts, but you are not afraid to try a new challenge.  You are not afraid to take a risk.  You are not afraid to live and discover.   People screw you over – fact of life.  It really doesn’t matter how good of a person you are towards them, some people only consider themselves and that’s it.  While putting yourself first is in no way a bad thing, just make sure you do it with courtesy and consideration – especially when it directly affects someone else.  Selfless over selfish is a difference when it comes to karma.   Karma is a bitch and she will catch up with you one day.  That’s all the life lessons I have to offer right now.  Pretty extensive for a road trip lol.

Back to the fun stuff now =)  A few things:

Alabama to Louisana – boring.  Dallas, TX is huge and apparently is a magnet for bad weather.  Anything in west Texas is excruciatingly boring. And long.  Like the Serengeti.

 

 You will be thankful for Texas when you have to ride through New Mexico.  Carlsbad Caverns is a pretty cool place to visit for the low low price of $6 a person and 750ft below ground.

 

Roswell, NM is full of aliens.

  The entire population of New Mexico lives in Albuquerque – I will bet on that.  Don’t speed over hills in NM, cops hide in the trenches.

  Arizona has pueblos and pretty cool landscape.  Arizonians have fascination with the Navajo culture (duh) and dinosaurs.

 

 

If you ever get a chance to see the Painted Desert in the Petrified National Forest… do it.

Stop for gas when you see it cheaper that $4.00/gallon.  Don’t trust outside restrooms, Try not to read about zombie attacks when you are driving through the mountains of Arizona.  The Grand Canyon is one of the most breathtaking sights you will have the privilege of placing your two eyes on.  Never will you feel so small.  Never will a picture do it justice.

Remember not to take apples, oranges, plants or animals across California state lines.  Might as well take that bushel out, because apparently those are hot items to smuggle.   Wait to get gas a few exits in Cali, they rip you off that first exit.  Cali interstates are no joke.  Get a map and good luck.  Go to Madam Tussad’s in Hollywood.  You’ll have the time of your life.

 

Try to be prepared to hike Runyon Canyon.  Awesome views, but you will fill like you are dying at first and keep a look out for a shirtless Matthew McConahey.  Wait in line at the famous Pink’s.  It’s one of the best hotdogs you will ever have and worth the 45 minute wait.

Laugh Factory is hilarious.  And you just might run into Dane Cook ( this girl right here).

Take the time to enjoy this beautiful world and the simple moments of a patio lifestyle.  Take the beach for granted, but watch those Pacific waves – they are no joke.  Appreciate everything, everyone, and  every lesson God gives you.  Learn from your mistakes and trust your heart and your gut.

Traveling These Old Dusty Trails.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Ask and you shall receive.  That seems to be the theme of my past month.  I have been more than blessed in my life time to experience life changing things.  I am happy to say that I am able to cross off yet another item off my bucket list.  It just so happens that I was asked I am fortunate enough to be able to go across the country with one of my dear friends as she moves to Los Angeles.  While it is a sad time for me and the rest of my group of friends to see her leave, it is also bittersweet because she gets to start on a new chapter in her life, and I get to cross off a big item on my bucket list.

In preparation of the cross country trip to L.A. last week, I was asked to accompany another friend on a road trip to Erie, PA – where she is from.  I t was a definite unexpected trip seeing as how I found out and left all within 2 or 3 hours. But our road trip was definitely something special and we has an excellent time with our infinite music on our phones.   Her father is a grape farmer – supplying grapes for Welch’s Grape Juice and for their own vineyard of course.  So that was an experience to be able to visit the northern states of the east coast and play in the vineyards.

I flew back to Atlanta from Buffalo, NY just in time to work two 12-hour shifts for an event company on Saturday and Sunday =/  Monday was my day of rest/get everything done/ Memorial Day.

So, The cross-country journey started this morning – saying our last minute good-byes and leaving Atlanta for the west coast.

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We cruised right through Alabama, and proceed down I-20 to the ever so boring states to drive through Mississippi and Louisiana.  I did happen to see the city skylines of Birmingham, Jackson and Shreveport .  Also crossing over the Mississippi River was a brief, yet pretty site.   Finally in the early evening of the midwestern skies we crossed into Texas.  The majority of those 3-4 states so far were flat and boring.  you could definitely see for miles. We have finally came to rest in Dallas, TX for the evening.  Pretty sweet hotel deal too thanks to Hotel Tonight App.  Tomorrow, is going to be great.  Pretty excited to embark on a part of the US that I have never been, and to see some of God’s wonderful creations.

Itching for an Adventure.

Okay, so the previous post I reached out to my fellow peers in hopes of finding new things to add to my Bucket List.  I was given many different suggestions that I will definitely be adding.  For instance, a good friend of mine helped me add this to the bucket list

Explorer and Underground Cavern

I think this is an excellent addition to the bucket list, and totally unique!  My dear friend Melissa will also be helping me cross some current things off such as Salsa Lessons! I am pretty excited about that one.  

I’ve also been recommended to take flying lessons, cross the sydney harbor bridge, and volunteer with an animal shelter.  My best friend Jennifer actually started doing that this past week with the Humane Society.  I would love to do that, however I might want to take them all back home =/

I had an epiphany this past week in a major edition to my bucket list.  I’ve decided that I want to take on another study abroad program, since my first one was such a success.  I temporarily forgot that I was indeed a student again and this was possible!! So I began to look into programs to study and places to go.  I gave it some minor thought – because I was excited to be a student again – and decided that it needed to be somewhere unique.  Everyone goes to London and Paris, but I am thinking more along the lines of Sydney or my favorite choice…

 Yes.  by far my best epiphany in a while.  and I owe all my credit to the movie Rio.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I love animated movies more than the average 26 year old.  It was hilarious and helped me come to the conclusion that adding Do the Rio Dance in Rio De Janeiro to my Bucket List.  what dance you ask?  well this one to be precise

That, and I just really needed a reason to post that.  But all kidding aside, I am going to make this second study abroad happen!

On another note, I will be crossing something off that should have been on my bucket list this weekend.  I will be experiencing Savannah, Ga on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and I am super stoked! For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, its very similar to going to New Orleans at Mardi Gras.  They even dye stuff green! like the river.  and the famous Forsyth Park fountain

We are actually going for one of my best friend’s bachelorette party, and if I survive this weekend I will post updates.

On that note, if there are any other cool places that are unique and you wish to share, please let me know, I am just dying to add another stamp to this bad boy…

Itching for an Adventure

Your Life is Your Message To the World…

So… this week I have had some eye opening moments.  Some more disagreeable than others, that would have my favorite character Rachel from Friends say

Well isn’t that just kick you in the crotch, spit on your neck fantastic?

That was a legitimately in the scrip, there is no way I could have come up with that one on my own.  On a side note, I can probably use a great deal of Friends quotes to relate stuff to in my life on a daily basis.

Like I was saying, this week has made me realize that life is too short for me to waste it sitting in an office building.  But by the looks of my Bucket List, I have set the bar high for myself and I have decided I need to add some more items to it.  Granted, the originals are epic, however I am not going to Egypt to walk like an Egyptian anytime soon.  To be quite honest, not really sure where I came up with that one.  Maybe because of this music video?!


Yeah, that might have had something to do with it.  Or because it would make for a really cool photo opportunity.  But never the less… I am officially contributing to my bucket list, and thought to myself, “what better way to contribute to my bucket list, than to get my fellow peers and friends to help me out?!”  So my personal Bucket List guide lines are as follows:

– Try to be different.  I know I have some generic “I want to jump out of a plane” items, but I am looking for some unique ones too.

– Something that will not cost me a million dollars to achieve.

– Anything that a great photo opportunity can arise is definitely a plus =)

So what should I add to my list?  And better yet, what would you add to your bucket list?  If you haven’t made one yet, I really suggest that you do! It’s great to see your goals scribed out on a piece of paper.  Don’t worry with enough determination (or failed buddy passes) you will achieve them one day.

Testing the Waters.

Tribulation: n. Great affliction, trial, or distress; suffering

So I have this theory. I always think that my best moments in life are captured within the solitude of an even year. I know, it sounds slightly crazy, but I look back on my life and it is very much true. I couldn’t wait for 2011 to be over with because it was crap. So moving on through 2012, it has been fairly decent. Well until last week. I started off great! Went to the gym to get a personal training assessment, made some jokes – had a good time. Tuesday I woke up and felt like a train wreck. I ended up getting some sort of sinus infection because of this bipolar Georgia weather. It was literally 65 one day and 33 the next. Crazy. So I ended up out of commission until Thursday-ish. Needless to say I was behind. I tried to catch up over the weekend that I to cram a bridal shower for an old college roommate, school, and some tasks for my grandmother in one day. So… in the midst of trying to write my paper, my car – whose name is Thelma – decides this would be an opportune time to take a break on working properly. Long story short I was left stranded with an expensive2WD-4WD part to replace, and 6 hours to write a paper. Point of the story? When life throws you some tribulations… you have to power through. Thelma is still “man-down” but I finished my paper, and I am slowly able to breathe again.

What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Moving on to the Mini Bucket List…. I had a few firsts last week. It was my first trip to the World Farmer’s Market here in Atlanta. I LOVED it. It reminded me a lot of the Spanish open-air market I went to in Barcelona all the time. I am making it a personal goal to try and purchase fresh foods as opposed to processed items whenever I can. While in the market I bought my first ever piece of fish! Trust me, this is a big deal. I tasted tilapia my friend had over lunch previously that afternoon and decided I can possibly dig that.  So, I purchased one piece.  I haven’t cooked it yet, because of the tribulations I had, but when I do, the finished piece will be revealed.

And for one of my rolling Bucket List goals I am going to take the advice of my fortune cookie I received this week…

try and go somewhere! Vegas anyone??

Rachel’s Bucket List for an Legendary Life Biography in 50 Years.

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.- Susan Sontag

So Many of you are probably wondering… what is on your bucket list Rachel?  As I have previously mentioned it is pretty awesome.  So it does me great pleasure to introduce… the list.

So here it is.  The list that my life will consist of the next 50 years.  Scribed out on a piece of notebook paper – of course to keep the authencation of a true bucket list.  I have managed to cross off three of those items within a year! it was pretty great. and a wonderful feeling to actually strike through those items.

So before I begin this 2 year journey I have set myself with, I will first go through what I have accomplished so far starting with Ride a Train.  Long story short, after my glorious month in Barcelona, and then my week or so spent in Germany, Italy, and London with my BFF, who’s grandparents lived in Germany and took us everywhere –  it was time for me to go home after being in Europe roughly 6 weeks.

I was fortunate enough to have a Delta Airlines buddy pass for my flights.  On a side note:  First Class on a 9 hour flight to Barcelona from Atlanta was superb..

But The flight home was a different story.  I ended up staying in the Frankfurt, Germany airport all day after my BFF scheduled flight left… her grandparent’s came back and got me, and then we tried again the next day.  Nothing. At that point I didn’t care if they sent me to Wyoming – just put me in the US.  I was not getting out anytime soon, so her Grandpa put me on a 5 hour train-ride  to Amsterdam for a better chance of getting a flight.   It wasn’t so bad, I had several other buddy-passers with me in the same boat so I considered it an adventure! And I got to add Holland, Poland, Switzerland, and Amsterdam to my official list of countries I have technically been too =)

And I got to cross off something on my Bucket List! Ride a Train…Check! 

Other thing I got to cross off in Europe has got to be one of my favorite things on my list. and the most surprising! One day my BFF’s grandparents were taking us to lunch, and since we were so close to Italy, they decided to drive us there.  We were under the impression that we were just going far enough in to say we have been but her grandpa kept driving.. We finally asked what city we were heading too, and he said so casually.. ” Oh we just thought it would be nice to have lunch in Venice” WHAT?!  I promise you all, I almost cried.

Go To Venice and Eat Pasta….Check!  Best bucket list check off to date!

My BFF Jennifer and I on the Venice waters!

The last item crossed off took me a good 5 years.. my degree.  I did everything on my own and wouldn’t change it for the world! It was a long and rewarding journey but I finally made it!

Get a Degree…Check!


So there you have it.  My bucket list, and what I have already accomplished.  I would say I am off to a pretty decent start, but It’s time to work on another item.  I am working on a few of those items already, which I will go into detail on the next post =) On that note, I will leave you with this…

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
– Anatole France