I wrote this blog post a few days ago. I usually write/edit my posts for at least 2 or 3 days depending on the subject matter. My message is even more important now that I have received terribly heartbreaking news today that another one of my friends from WVU has passed away far too young. Brad Fagula, you were a hilarious and loving spirit who always knew how to have fun. You were a great friend to so many and I truly can’t believe you are gone. I still think my sentiments for this blog post are very pertinent to my feelings but the sense of urgency for gratitude has increased tenfold. When you go to sleep you never know what or who will be there when you wake up. All we have is right now. Memories and love truly do go on long after a physical body leaves this earth but I pray that my WVU family, Brad’s family and all of those affected by losing someone they love too soon, find peace and strength in this hard time. Our time is the greatest tool and the greatest gift we can give to those we love. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I hope it adds a smile and some inspiration to your day. ❤ RIP Brad
This morning I am reflecting on how many people have reached out to me in the past few months whether it was about my piece about Corey, a blog post about my crazy traveling life or a fitness related post I have had friends from near and far tell me that they connected to my story, my words or were inspired by my attitude or positivity in some way. Some of these friends consistently like my posts, share or comment on them, but some of them I had no idea even read my blog or appreciated my work. It was eye opening to realize that just because someone is inspired by you does not mean you know it. Just like people hide pain and struggle, we often don’t publicize things that affect us positively. This is not a bad thing. There are many aspects of my life I leave off of social media even though as a writer and an online health and fitness coach it is part of my job to share my journey, we all live the majority of our lives outside the cyberworld.
When I post something I hope to add value to your day, bring a smile to your face, encourage you to work out, try a new recipe, quit that job you hate, or stand up to someone who is making you feel inferior. I am humbled and inspired by how many people respond positively to my story and I urge you to never hesitate to tell the person who inspires you that you feel that way. One incredibly small gesture means more than you know, especially for those of us whose main aim is to help others. The world needs more of that.That being said I am constantly inspired by my coach and friend Amy for helping so many people start their own business and running a kick ass business of her own. She leads with her heart and never gives up on anyone. I am inspired by every single one of you who has reached out to me and told me that I have helped or am helping you in some way. It is not always easy to share my thoughts, but I do it anyway because of the tremendous amount of support and positive feedback I receive. I know it also takes your time and effort to reach out and that in itself is worthy of a “thank you.”
Since I last caught you up with my antics I have settled into my new life here in Sydney, Australia. I moved into a three bedroom flat with 5 random roommates…and one bathroom. To many people that may sound like a nightmare but it has turned out to be one weird, dysfunctional blend of cultures, accents, workouts, boxed wine, laughs and (unfortunately) cockroaches. We are all here to do the same thing: travel, work, explore and get to know new people and we seemed to have lucked into a very compatible group. We also live 5 minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches in New South Wales… that definitely is not something we’re complaining about.
Workwise, I found a job teaching English as a second language to adults. Most of my students are from Thailand, with a small minority from Taiwan, Colombia and Italy. I have been reminded how incredibly satisfying it is to enjoy what you do everyday. I don’t dread going to work, I actually look forward to it. I AM HAPPY EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yes, I still have bad days, stressful situations and daily annoyances but for the most part I am that weirdo smiling on the train by myself. I find myself blabbering on about work constantly, not to complain but because I can’t help but share how fun and entertaining my classes are. My hours are more flexible than a traditional teaching job and my students are absolutely wonderful. Back to the days of, “Teacha, you so beautiful” and “Thank you, teachaaaa.” The Thai culture is one that I am fascinated by and appreciate as a catalyst in my world of understanding. Being around Thai people always reminds me of the value of working hard just for the sake of working hard, not to stress over things in the future and laughing is an essential part of every day. Now that I have a more stable routine I have been able to focus more of my attention on my coaching business. I continue to be inspired and motivated by my team and the more I exist in a culture different than my own, the more I see how blessed I am with this opportunity to run my own business and create my own life by design. So many people don’t understand that we all have that opportunity.
As I form a new reality in my new city, I try to remind myself to take it all in. I try to remind myself to appreciate having a beach within walking distance, a chilled out career that still provides me with the lifestyle I desire, the chance to explore somewhere new each and every day. Once you plant roots and move to a city it is easy to forget to try new things and be a “tourist” in your own backyard.Recently I came to the conclusion that I have been in a stage of adjustment for years now. I went from grad school, to Thailand, back to America and then to Australia. Adjusting to a new life, new friends, and new countries is both exhilarating and exhausting. Sometimes I crave the comfort of familiarity, but I remind myself how precious these years of my life are. I don’t want to put it off until I retire. I want to do it now. I want to climb mountains and drink martinis until 3 am, wake up with little sleep and jet off to the next adventure. Despite the rapidly changing environments I surround myself with, I seem to get closer and closer to the person inside of my heart. The more things change around me the more I understand who I really am on the inside. I am learning what I value in friends, lovers, coworkers and living atmospheres. I am learning what pushes me, motivates me and what sends me spinning in the wrong direction. We all have new experiences as we grow older and the people who continue to push themselves to be MORE, do more, see more, help more, and eat more(DUH) are the kind of people I want more of. When you move somewhere on your own you realize how infinitely powerful you are in your own destiny. Either you design your life or you sit back and become an extra in someone else’s. Gratitude and thankfulness are so important to me. Not only this time of year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but every time of year. I am so fortunate. So are you. I take the time to write for myself, but the more I share the more I realize my words are also for those who can’t formulate them on your own.
Social media is a platform that takes a lot of heat and criticism from our society. I understand both sides of the spectrum but my personal view is that with all of the shit people post on social media;selfies, complaints, negativity, crude and degrading jokes, the least I can do is bare my heart through my words. The least I can do is share my story in hopes of a positive ripple effect that can touch the life of a friend or possibly a stranger. You are in control of how you utilize this new component of our human culture. It isn’t going anywhere. I respect people who hate Facebook, I respect people who are private, I respect people who see the superficiality that runs rampid through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. But I hate to break it to you, it exists in life with or without social media. Many people abuse their voice and the anonymity but I am a firm believer in supporting what you LOVE rather than bashing what you hate. Spread love, spread rawness, spread positivity and then spread your wings and fly away from the computer. For a blogger, traveler, fitness coach and overall social person I would say I use social media a lot more than most people. But I use it with purpose, I use it to help others, I use it to support myself through my business and encourage others to change their lives. And then I live my life knowing I share what I believe is helpful and positive, I engage with others I want to stay connected to and I get out there and live my message. I use social media as a platform to enhance my life and my reach, not a manner to define it. I have a new found drive and passion for sharing after the realization of how many lives someone can touch without knowing it. If you like my journey now, keep following. The best is yet to come. But don’t just read about it, be about it. Actions speak louder than words(no offense words you know I love ya.) Read, digest, reflect and then go out there and explore, absorb and cherish the world outside your front door. See & be MORE. You never know when it will be too late…