A Traveler’s Terrene

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

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.

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But, what? April 19, 2009

Filed under: Daily Life — italicana kitchen @ 1:04 pm
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Worse than the word “like” that seems to pepper my speech like powder on a donut, covering the cakey circle in layers of sugary dust that makes a mess on my fingers, a white mustache on my face and sprinkles what looks like dandruff on my clothes, turning me from the classy lady, to a sticky fingered embarrassed child, is the word “but”. Yes, the world “but” is worse than the world “like”. I can wash my hands, wipe my face and shake the powder from my clothes and—voila, like magic, no one knows that I had eaten a 500 calorie, trans-fat, unhealthy donut. If anyone asks, for all they know I could have eaten an apple.

The word “but”, however, is a word that reveals your secret and exposes your weakness forcing you to lose face by admitting your action and puts you on the spot as you attempt to string together a set of justified excuses or, in the end, a handful of lies.

“I saw your car at the donut shop, I thought you were trying to lose weight,” a friend might ask.

“Ummm…yes….” I would stutter, “I am but I didn’t have time to make oatmeal this morning so I stopped for  a donut instead.”

But…but…but….excuses, excuses, excuses. Why is it, that we let this word frequent our speech and furthermore, accept the explanations as justified reasons instead of just owning up to our faults, flaws or weaknesses? How many times have we heard or said, “Sorry I am late, but….”, or “I would like to do that, but…”

Stop. Stop with the excuses. Eliminate this word. Change your life. If you want to lose weight, no excuses—eat healthy and exercise. If you dream of traveling but are stuck in your 9 to 5, no excuses—start saving your money and figure out ways to incorporate traveling into your life. If you’ve always wanted to take a painting class, learn Spanish, grow prize-winning flowers, fly-fish in a fresh water stream, or go back to school, no excuses—formulate a strategy and make time.

If you eliminate excuses, then you’ll begin to lead a life of action. Instead of littering your life with broken promises and unfulfilled dreams, you’ll be filling your life with a desire, commitment, dedication and perseverance to make a change, taking charge of your actions, your future, and your life. By removing “but” from your vocabulary, you’ll be able to replace it with the most powerful phrase, “I am”.

 

A Moment in History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama January 20, 2009

I am sitting on my parent’s tan couch, feet up on the ottoman, the sound of trumpets and loud cheering are filling the living room while I watch on television as President Elect Barack Obama walks down a red and blue carpet, his face wavering between smiles and concentrated thought before taking a seat in a blue leather armchair that faces out towards the hundreds of thousands of spectators that are bundled up in hats, gloves and warm coats on the National Mall in front of the capital as they wait with great enthusiasm for the inauguration of the 44th President to commence.

Now, less than an hour later, Barack Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States and has addressed the nation with the current challenges that face America as well as his optimistic visions in addressing these issues head on.

“Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time, but know this, America — they will be met,” he said.

I find comfort in these words. They are not inflated with illusions that all of America’s problems will magically vanish now that Obama is President. He does not sugarcoat the gravity of America’s situation nor does he promise instant resolutions. Instead, Obama is honest about the detrimental crises that face our society, and the challenge it will be to restore or improve the nation’s economic, political and social standings.

“The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise healthcare’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.”

Obama’s goals for the nation are set high, and some may argue that they are unrealistic given our current situation.  Yet, why would we want a President who’s goals are set low? America does not need a President who is looking for a short fix for our nation in order to save face or to please the public. America does not need someone who wants to sew a patch on our current problems. America needs someone who is willing to rip that hole bigger, to rip out the old threads that are sewn in a zig zag mess or on the verge of breaking and to start new–thread and needle in hand, mending at the root of the problem even though it may take longer, yet, in the end it will be easier to sew a straight line.

A small goal is the same as a large goal, they are both goals and will only be accomplished by one thing…action. It is President Obama’s commitment towards action to address America’s challenges that will propel this nation forward.  President Obama will not coddle America through this recession, but rather challenge the public and the government to strive for high aspirations as we rebuild our society by combining imagination and courage to carve our own path and foundation for the future.