#goals, Arizona, Deep thoughts

Happy 1st birthday, Interceptionary!

Happy New Year…  And happy 1st birthday, Interceptionary!

A lot of people had some not-so-great things to say about 2016, but I can’t complain – 2016 was good to me.  It took my adventuresome-self completely out of my comfort zone and kept me and my family safe.

I’m so glad I started this blog and continued it!  I made it a resolution to keep up with it and I think I did pretty well.  The best is reading the very first post – I had no idea that in just 8 months, I’d be across the country living a whole new life.  I hear people say things like when you take time out to put your thoughts on paper (or in a blog) magical things happen.  And it really happened!  2016 was the most action-packed year I’ve ever had.  It was so exciting that I’m still a bit overwhelmed and I’m still trying to figure out WTF happened and HTF it all happened… and whether I want anything more to happen LOL (just kidding, of course I want more to happen!)

brave

I know that if I focus on what makes me come alive, life will unravel for me.  Here are some goals and things that I think will help me come alive:

I’ve always loved photography and taking photos.  This new world I’m living in and the colors of the Arizona landscape have inspired me to take my creativity to a new level.  I want to start taking painting classes so I can pour out my creative juices onto a canvas.

aliveI’ve always been pretty good with staying physically fit, but I think I’ve been falling off the wagon more and more lately, especially after the move and everything else going on.  I think it would help my energy level and confidence if I made a good hard effort of getting to the gym 3 times a week, 52 weeks out of the year.  I feel a little embarrassed that I have to put this goal out there for everyone to see – but goals are better achieved when you make a commitment to yourself and hold yourself accountable for it – by putting it all out there like this I feel like I’ll better achieve it. It’s been challenging juggling this whole new life of mine, but I’m ready to get back on the crazy, bumpy wagon and I’m staying on ALL year!

challengeLiving in NYC and moving across country I faced some expenses that caused to me use my credit card much more than I’m proud of.  2017 is the year of using cash/my debit card.  I will only use my credit card if I really need to.

Don’t deal with assholes.

loveMINIMIZE!

OK – speaking of minimizing, that’s all for resolutions – usually I go into the new year with all these ideas of what I want to do and how I want to change.  Now I realize that I just want my life to play out – on it’s own – as I do my own thing.  My main goals are: be more creative, take time to follow my heart and do whatever it is that makes me come alive.

Here’s to another exciting year with family and friends healthy and happy!
Advertisements
Standard
Arizona, Deep thoughts, random

Familiar

One day I’m in the pool, the next day I’m wearing a scarf. I live in a place that I knew nothing about before moving and so I’m experiencing and taking each moment as it comes. I had no clue before I moved here what a dust storm or monsoon or a haboob in the summer meant or that fall and winter in the desert meant cool sweater weather mornings/evenings but mostly mild afternoons. Each day is a new experience with new people, new places, new roads, new culture. I miss familiarity like crazy but I was craving new experiences so I’ll continue to go with the flow and eventually these places and people will be my new familiar too. me-scarf

Standard
Arizona, Conversations, Deep thoughts

Adapting

Next week will mark 4 months since I moved across the country to Arizona.  I might as well say it – Every day I question WTF am I doing here??  Why do I do this stuff to myself?  I love to push myself out of my comfort zone and then when I do I wonder why I’m making life so difficult for myself?  Well, I’m here.  And I told myself I’d give it at least a year… I told my sister that too.  This was the conversation during one of my last days in NJ:

Sister: So we already want you to come home so how long do you think you’ll be staying out there?

Me:  ummmmm… I’m not really sure – I haven’t thought of it like that.  I feel like it’s like getting married – you don’t go into it thinking you’ll get a divorce.

Sister:  But what if you get out there and you hate it and want to come home… what will you do?

Me:  I’ll at least give it a year!  I want to know what it feels like to live in a warm climate through the winter!

So then I got here.  And I think I like it, but I’m not sure.  People are different.  They vote for Trump.  (I guess a lot of people do, secretly.)  Drivers are different.  Everything is different.  So what have I been doing to adapt?  I seek out every east coast, NJ/NY/PA person I can find and cling to them.  Well, not really – but kinda.

A friend of mine told me to join Tinder.  So I did.  And every guy that I talk to has lived at least part of his life on the east coast.  Talking to people who are from the east coast is so comforting.  Flipping through their pics and seeing familiar things fills my brain with oxytocin.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but I feel comforted by doing that.  I have a student who is from New York and I love talking to her.  I asked her where she went to get her hair done and the guy who did it is from NY – PERFECT.  So today, I went to get my hair done by a guy from NY recommended from a girl from NY.  I hope this is normal.  It’s my safety blanket.  If you’re from NY I won’t feel like an alien when I talk to you.  I’ll get you.  I miss familiarity and I think that is the biggest struggle.  NOTHING is familiar.

I look at pics from when I was living in the Bronx – I didn’t really love living in the Bronx, but when I look at the pics I think “oh the Bronx!  I wonder what I’d be doing if I lived in the Bronx right now.”  I’d be miserable!  I wanted a change.  I was tired of New York – the only reason why I look back with awe is because it’s familiar.

The house that I’m living in is in Phoenix and is kinda far from everything so I’ve been contemplating moving to a new place.  An opportunity to move to Scottsdale came up and I’m thinking of jumping on it.  And as I’m thinking about it, I realized I’m going to miss this house.  I’ve got a whole lot of room.  I became friends with the girls here.  The dogs one of my roommates dogsits are so cute and I love seeing them every so often.  But I have to remind myself – I hate the drive.  I hate being far from everything.  I’ve been wanting to live in Scottsdale since I interviewed here because that’s where I stayed during my interview – I have to try it out.  Who knows – maybe better things await? I’ll never know unless I try – if I made it out this far – I might as well keep trying.

Standard
Arizona, Deep thoughts

Choosing a President

One of the things that has helped me during this transition process across the country is having a place to congregate every Sunday.  Growing up, religion was never pushed on me.  We were expected to join our parents at church every Sunday.  I’m sure my parents prayed that we would continue to be faithful to the church, but it was never pushed.

Growing up I would never have guessed that I’d be glad my parents encouraged us to join them at mass each week.  It feels good to go to look forward to going to a place to clear my mind, remind me about what’s important, and has the same traditions of home.  Church is a piece of home and a piece of my family.  The church that I have liked the best is St. Benedict’s in Phoenix.  The second week I was there, the priest asked if there was anyone new so I raised my hand and announced I was from New Jersey.  Made me a little teary eyed to see a new parish be so welcoming.

You’re probably wondering if I got the title of this post confused with a different post and asking yourself why would I be talking about religion in a governmental post.  Since this election is EVERYWHERE, a couple weeks ago a presidential debate was taking place right after mass – so I wondered if the priest would dare bring it up during/after mass.   I thought about it – and when the mass concluded without any mention – I thought of course he didn’t say anything.  Government and Religion are two different things, right?

Well today we had a priest who actually went there.  Fr. Bill Faiella – He started off by saying, “It’s not in my job description to tell you who to vote for — Thank God for that!” 🙂  He went on to explain that there were some things though, that he wanted us to think about when we are making our decision.  He encouraged everyone not to look at one single issue – but look at the entire person and their being.  “Look at their values, programs, and behavior.”  It seemed like there was one singular thing he thought would sway certain people.  I quickly tried to think if there was one singular thing that Trump had over Hillary – and because I was glued to what the priest was saying I couldn’t come up with anything on the spot. I’m grateful that he eventually shared a story with us that made me realize why some people might vote for Trump.

He told us a story about a man who came to him and explained that although he does not agree with abortions, he doesn’t think it should be considered a crime.  The man said that he worked with women who have been through so much abuse and hardships in their lives and sometimes ended up pregnant.  This man felt these women have enough hardships in their lives and shouldn’t be forced to choose between having a baby or being put in prison.  The priest didn’t say this, but we all know that Donald has been saying that he thinks abortions should be illegal.  I’m so thankful that this priest made the bold move to let Catholics know that we shouldn’t be voting for someone because of one idea.

The priest then went on to say, no matter who wins or loses – remember this:  The Lord will either go through him or around him to make sure things in this world are right.

Amen.

Standard
Arizona, Deep thoughts

Tradeoffs

It’s been about 2 months and a week since I moved across country.  Of course when I decided to move here I was thinking about all the positive things about moving, but after a little while – you start to see that there are some tradeoffs to living anywhere.  Here are some that I’ve come across:

Slow drivers —  more open roads

Beautiful cities with lights and energy — beautiful mountains, puffy clouds and bright stars

Subpar hair salons — more good hair days

Slow service — more people willing to help

No family around — living out my life wishes

One of the biggest tradeoffs is not being near my family.  Not having them around to hug is a huge deal, but I’m doing better than I was the first month.  When I went home last month for my dad’s birthday – I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about coming back.  My flight was supposed to be Sunday night – but I was so ready to go home that I went to the airport Sunday morning so that I can wait on standby to catch the earlier flight.  Because of this, I wasn’t sure if I’d get to NJ and not want to come back to AZ – but I was ready.   And then I got to the airport to go back to AZ – and they offered me a $400 voucher to stay an extra day.  It was tempting because I didn’t have to return to work for a couple days.  I called my mother, and she said “Michelle, stay on your schedule – go home.”  Wow!  My mother called Arizona “home.”  When your mother, the owner of your first home (aka, her womb) tells you to go “home” and considers another place that she doesn’t live in home, then you go home.  This is my new place – my new home and I have to come to terms with the fact that I’m making a new life for myself.  Stay on schedule, stay focused, stop looking back at the door that’s closing – observe as the new doors opens.

I realized that although I loved being home, there was nothing left for me to do there except for visit my family and a few friends.  After you’ve lived in a certain place for so long, and you haven’t built a new life for yourself with a spouse and kids – it’s time to explore and see what else is out there.  Thank goodness for Facebook memories because each day when I click on “On This Day” I come across different statuses that I’ve written in the past seven years.  I can’t believe how many times in different ways I wished summer were longer.  Then there were times when I expressed ways that I was trying to get over my seasonal depression and how I will need to go into hibernation because the cold was starting to come.  As much as I want to be around my family because they are such a big part of my life, my core has wanted to be in a sun shiny place for a long time – I wished and wished for it – and even though I really never thought it would happen, not taking this leap would mean I’m not living my life for me.

It feels like I’ve been here for so long, but then I remember it’s only been two months – it’s normal for me to feel unsure.  I wonder how long it will take for me to feel like I belong here.

One of my Facebook friends is doing a social experiment by calling each of her Facebook friends and having a conversation with them.  She couldn’t believe that I picked up and moved to Arizona.  She’s originally from Minnesota, moved to New Jersey, lived in Korea, and now is in Cali.  I met her in college and I always envied her – just like I do anyone I meet that has learned to live in a new place.  Something about that has always intrigued me.  And I told her that.  Everyone I’ve ever met who has picked up and moved somewhere else has always inspired me.  I told her how the first month I felt a little homesickish, but felt better once I went to visit and came back.  After our conversation, she told me she’s felt homesick each time she moved too.  For some reason I didn’t think she ever had.  I thought maybe some people are cut-out for this and maybe I’m not?  Having her tell me that met a lot.  It means she got over it, and then moved again – so it’s not the worst thing in the world.  I think the worser thing would be staying put, and not ever pushing yourself to take that leap and try something new.

Accomplishments during my second month:

  1. Pumped my own gas and learned how to use the metal thing to hold it so I don’t have to hold the pump the whole time.
  2. Started going to Sprouts food store!
  3. Saw a man running while dragging a tire with a rope attached to his back.
  4. Witnessed a haboob – major dust storm.
  5. Experienced a lazy Sunday with a full day of rain!
  6. Went to the DMV to get my license.
  7. Took a Dale Carnegie communication class.
  8. Got a standing desk at work.
  9. Went to Bikram yoga.
  10. Went to a dentist for a root canal that I really loved – thanks to one of my student’s recommendations.  I know this sounds like a really crazy thing to be excited about, but I am – good dentists are hard to find!  He was awesome and not only that, but my student told me today that he called her to thank her for recommending me because he loved treating me.  This is the new world I’m living in.  The guy had his hands in my mouth for a total of 2 hours (2 appointments) and for the second appointment I had just left the DMV so I was short on time and had to eat MC DONALD’S because it was the quickest option before my appointment so even though I mouthwashed, I was sure my breath smelled of onions and I was falling asleep half the time.  What was there for him to love?  I really loved because he explained everything so nicely and seemed to be so precise with everything.
Standard