A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Belief September 19, 2009

Filed under: Inspiration and Motivation — italicana kitchen @ 3:49 pm
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Do you ever feel like you are treading water through life? You are working as hard as you can just to stay afloat but in return you are just exhausting yourself? Instead of swimming for the exercise or towards a destination you go nowhere. Or, instead of lying on the surface of the water and letting yourself relax and float, you stay rigid, body half immersed in the water, head cocked up looking in each direction while just kicking your feet. Life becomes neither an adventure or a comfort, instead it becomes a constant struggle just to live and at some point it seems almost easier to just let go and let yourself sink.

After a few months of treading water where I was exhausting myself but going nowhere, I let myself sink. I stopped writing. I stopped studying. I stopped dreaming. I stopped pursuing. And, instead, I started analyzing. I started critiquing. I started doubting. I started diminishing my goals and choices. And instead of filling my mind with productive thoughts, using my mind for creative outlets…I questioned myself: what is the point? What is the point of writing a book? What is the point of learning a language? What is the point of constantly challenging myself when I could just relax and lead a life of indifference?

But, a life of indifference is a life without belief. And, a life without belief is a hollow existence. Belief gives meaning to the day’s otherwise trivial events–because when it comes down to it, life is just life. But, when you believe in life, when you believe that the things you are doing are important than life itself becomes a life of purpose, not just a life spent treading water.

If you believe in the choices you make, you will find satisfaction with your results.  And, if you aren’t sure about the choices you are making then change perspectives or alter your beliefs–just don’t lose your ability to believe in something because that takes away the happiness of living.  For example, look at children when they play, they seem to always be happy and it’s not  because of the toy they are holding in their hands that makes them laugh and smile, but rather the belief they have in that toy to be something they created with their imagination. The toy car becomes the get-away car for their JI Joe or the toy doll becomes a magical fairy that flies through the clouds.  The object it not significant, rather the belief in what that object can do makes it significant.  

Children make the world how they want it to find happiness. So can you. Get interested in something, and believe in what you are doing. Instead of spending your time living, why not spend your time creating?


A Blank Canvas September 15, 2009

Filed under: Daily Life — italicana kitchen @ 8:20 pm
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When I arrived in Italy, I came loaded with a mind of ideas and goals of all the things I wanted to do while I am here. The problem, however, is that perfection began to prevail over action, and I’ve found myself the past few months spinning circles instead of moving forward with my goals.

It’s like I have been given this huge white empty canvas, clean new brushes and every imaginable color of paint. But, instead of picking up a paintbrush and painting, I’ve been analyzing, strategizing and over thinking everything. What do I want to paint? What colors will look good together?  What will be others reactions when they see this? I’ve been analyzing and trying to perfect something instead of  just picking up the paintbrush and see what comes in that moment.  I’ve been thinking that I only have this “ONE” white canvas….I don’t want to screw it up…and pressure builds to exponential levels because what I paint now will it be a picture that I want to look at for the rest of my life?

Yet, the truth is and what I am starting to get myself to realize each day is that with life it’s not just one canvas you get, but many. The portrait, landscape or image you paint today and hang on your wall can just as easily be removed and changed.  Let go of the pressure of trying to paint a picture you’ll be content with your entire life, and instead paint a picture that you want to paint in this moment given the tools and materials you have. Hang it on your wall, and after a while it may grow into a timeless piece you love forever or you may find you want to change it up–it served it’s purpose and it’s now time for something new.

It’s a waste to let a canvas stay blank and the paint dry up.  Enough analyzing, enough thinking, it’s time to start doing. It’s time start creating.


The Land of Speedos… July 6, 2009

Filed under: Italy — italicana kitchen @ 2:14 pm

One thing I think I will never get use to is men in speedos.  Seeing a professional swimmer wear a bikini cut, spandex material bathing suit to reduce water drag in a competition is one thing, but a beach full of white, black, blue, pink and even violet speedos, this season’s “color”, is too much. It’s not manly. It’s not sexy. In my opinion, it’s just plain wrong.

So my advice to European men:  say NO to banana hammocks.


Why are people so f’d up? June 5, 2009

Filed under: Opinion — italicana kitchen @ 6:22 pm
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I just read the most disturbing news article, so horribly wrong that it literally moved me to tears. In summary, this article addresses a horrible myth perpetuated by Zimbabwe’s traditional healers: that a man raping a virgin can cure him of HIV or AIDS.

The theory is so completely impractical and absurd, it almost makes me wonder if these traditional healer’s are joking–but, alas, there is no punchline. Instead, in it’s place are thousands of girls some not even barely able to walk yet that are raped each year, leaving many infected with HIV or AIDS themselves. The worst report was of a day-old baby being raped.

My eyes now are filled again with tears. I seriously don’t understand. ….HOW…HOW…HOW…regardless of who tells you to do these acts, could one possibly rape a day old baby? Image a little baby girl right now. She is tiny, can’t even open her eyes, looks like a sweet little angel….

I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I am left completely speechless.


Life’s Possibilities… June 3, 2009

Before I begin this post, I would like to say a short prayer for the victims of a horrible car accident that took place last weekend.

God, I pray that you are with each person filling them with the strength and courage towards a fast recovery. Please help them to be okay.

Now…to start at the beginning.

I arrived at the local pool (which is turned into a bar/discoteca at night) with a group of friends, but since it is a small town ran into different friends and acquaintances I’ve met over the past few months living here.  On this particular night I saw a girl I met a month or so prior.  She has an extraordinary effervescent and friendly personality and is fun to be around so when she invited me to join her four girlfriends to go to another bar I momentarily thought about going–after all, I love spontaneity and what she was suggesting sounded like a lot of fun! However, after a moment’s consideration I decided to stay, after all I didn’t want to ditch the group of friends I originally came with.

“Definitely, another time,” I had said before they left.

The following afternoon I received a phone call from a mutual friend informing me there had been a car accident leaving all of them in the hospital. My first thought was for them—are they are okay? My second thought was a flashback to the night before–that could have been me….

One constant aspect of life is that there is always possibility. Possibilities are both a beauty and tragedy in one. Being an optimistic I tend to think more about the beautiful possibilities in life: finding true love, making new incredible friends, witnessing a natural event etc.

Yet, thinking about the negative things in life and what if scenarios are extremely important: what if the plane crashes, what if I choke on this food, what if I get in an accident and lose a limb? These are definitely not warm fuzzy feelings, but it helps to reign in to the present and to GIVE THANKS for everything you have in this moment: my plane didn’t crash, I’m not choking and I have my arms and legs in tact. In this moment, I give thanks for the beautiful life I am living. In this moment, I forget about stress from work or petty feelings towards a friend.  In this moment I remember that here, right now, I am extremely fortunate for all that I have because from a moment from now–everything can change.


Silence May 29, 2009

Filed under: writing — italicana kitchen @ 8:43 pm

When I get mad, upset or hurt I don’t show anger; instead, I become silent. I am a whisper in a crowded room. A shout into the wind.  A muted scream in a bad dream.

In the past few weeks silence has taken over me, eating my words like a starving dog and consuming every last morsel until I am left with nothing–even the bone is licked clean. Sparkling clean.

Writing is my therapy, yet I have ignored what I know is best for me because  that is who I am mad at.  My writing is like my lover and right now we are in a fight.  Instead of a heated argument, I choose to remain silent…brewing in anger…and shutting my words out.

But, now it is time to make amends.  Here are my promises to the writer in me:

I promise to be more accepting of your flaws.

To not expect to much when you are trying your best.

To let you relax and not constantly push you.

To support you, and help you overcome your doubts.

To be patient with you and let you write at your own speed.

To believe in you.


Pursuing your Passions May 4, 2009

Filed under: Inspiration and Motivation — italicana kitchen @ 1:59 pm
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Pursuing your passions is not easy. In fact, it is hard work. Yet, as all athletes know, the sweat, tears or injuries are well worth the sacrifice for that moment of glory when you win the game. The feeling is orgasmic. Brief, powerful and gives you insurmountable pleasure and a hunger to feel that way again–if only for a moment.

“But, why live your life devoting so much time and effort towards achieving a feeling that only lasts a moment?” one may ask.

Well, a life lived without these pulses of glory is like making love without reaching a climax, it just doesn’t feel complete without it.

Let yourself pursue your passions, whatever they may be. The road you’re travelling may be taking you straight up hill, or a mountain even. You may be tired, hurt, want to rest or give up–but, don’t. Keep in mind all of the feelings that you know will consume your body when you reach the peak, and it will help motivate you to keep on pushing on.