Tag Archives: new year

live with intention.

Welcome to the New Year everyone – and to my new followers – welcome to my blog. I hope I can keep you interested!

Many of you have found me thanks to my most recent post: Young, Married & Pissed Off. When I set out to write it, I had no idea it would spark such a fantastic conversation – with friends, with family and with complete strangers – all who have taken the time to read and share their own experiences and stories.

As someone pointed out, views on marriage are incredibly personal, and I am so grateful for those who have shared theirs – whether we agree or disagree. That’s what makes the world so great… a myriad of opinions with no true “right” answer, but instead just thousands of different ways to look at something. I have especially loved reading all of your stories about your own relationship and marriage experiences and I am touched that you shared them with me!

Now, to catch everyone up…

Last year I set out to do something crazy. I made a list of 213 things I wanted to accomplish in the year 2013. I was feeling stuck, depressed and unmotivated. I hit the post-grad slump hard as I went from being at the top of my circles in college to starting all over again in a new city and at a new job. I didn’t like who I was becoming, so I decided to do something about it.

That one time I jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet.

That one time I jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet.

I sat down and curated a list of 213 things I have always wanted to do, but never did thanks to a book of excuses. Some as small as taking a painting class, others quite outrageous like jumping out of an airplane. No – I didn’t get all 213 things crossed off my list. (Probably not the smartest decision to attempt this crazy feat while saving for and planning a wedding…) But what I did accomplish was even better: I regained my confidence and my thirst for life. So ultimately, the list achieved exactly what it was meant for.

This year I’m doing something a bit different. New Year’s resolutions seem to catch quite a bit of flak because they are rarely maintained throughout the year. Others like Jess Lawlor choose to instead pick words to live by as a way of guidance for the year ahead (which I love!). Some treat the New Year no differently than they treated the last. To me… there’s just something so exciting about a brand new year and the possibilities it holds.

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Taking a page from Jess’ book…instead of making a list of resolutions, I decided that this year I want to be more strategic and focus on a theme. A guiding principle, I guess you can say that carries over from last year, just without a giant bucket list to accompany it.

This year I hope to:

Live with intention.

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What does living with intention mean exactly?

To me, living with intention is to live with purpose. To create the life you want to live, and become the person you want to be. By making every moment and each opportunity count.

I can’t tell you how many times I find myself guilty of drifting in and out of my day-to-day routine. Thanks to Netflix marathons, drifting has become EXPONENTIALLY easier. (Seriously though… getting Netflix was a terrible, terrible idea).

At the end of the day, I sometimes find myself asking what I actually accomplished. Sure, I may have knocked a few more things off of my to-do list. But did I get any closer to becoming the best version of myself? Or make any strides in reaching those pie-in-the-sky dreams of mine?

It’s easy to fall into the “routine trap.” Life has a funny little way of throwing distractions and detractors at you, from household chores to bills and debt to going through the motions at your 9-5 job.

But it’s important to continually ask yourself: what’s the bigger picture? What do you always dream of doing?

Do you want to travel more? Do you want to pursue your passions and write a book, start a blog, or take up photography? Maybe creating a big family is what you want out of life, or quitting your day job to open up that little café on the corner you’ve always dreamed of.

Living with intention is about taking the proper steps to make those dreams a reality.  It’s about loving and respecting yourself enough to dare, to try, to fail, to succeed… despite of the fear.

So, picking up from where I left off last year, it’s time I stop drifting, and start doing. I’ve got some big things I want to accomplish, and I’m excited to share them with you as I go and take those first wobbly baby steps towards them.

I’ll let this quote sum it up:

Live with intention, walk to the edge, listen hard, practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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What about you? How goals do you have for the year ahead?

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#3. make a new friend

If you recall, a few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the difficulties I was having with making new friends in my new-ish city. I’m glad I wrote it because for the longest time, I thought I was some sort of loser or weirdo for not being able to dive into the social scene and cultivate a brand new group of friends instantaneously. A lot of people reached out and shared similar stories of how challenging it can be to make new friends after college, especially when in a new city (and some in a new country! I can’t even imagine.)

With the holidays approaching and overhearing everyone talk about their “super-awesome-uber-epic” New Year’s Eve plans, from flying to Miami to dancing the night away in New York City, I felt like a total dud because Mike and I didn’t really have anyone to ring in the new year with besides each other thanks to being broke and not really knowing anyone in the area. I threw a pretty decent pity party for myself for a solid day or two, cake and confetti included, as I whined that making new friends shouldn’t be this hard.

Call it an act of ultimate desperation, but I jokingly went on to Craigslist and told Mike I was going to find my “new best friend,” knowing that I’d probably just end up having a good laugh at the usual crazies that post listings about “lady friends into Sailor Moon and anime who are into lady kisses just 4 fun timez.”

I went through about 10 – 12 of those kinds of listings… reading them out loud to Mike as we laughed that at least we weren’t THAT weird. That’s when I clicked on the last post before closing up shop for the night. Something about being embarrassed to use Craigslist (hey, me too), loving wine, blogging, attempting to cook, cats, a love for Philly, studying in Paris, etc., etc. It was weird. It sounded like I had wrote the post myself with everything we had in common. So, I swallowed my Craigslist pride and sent a response email. The worst that could happen? I wouldn’t hear back and I’d pretend it had never happened.

The ultimate boozy brunch experience: bottomless bellini bar

The ultimate boozy brunch experience: bottomless Bellini bar.

But I did hear back. And after emailing a few times, we met for brunch.  And it was awesome. Between great conversation, a never-ending flow of champagne and shamelessly taking pictures of each other’s food, it was a perfect Saturday afternoon. If you haven’t checked out Urbana’s bottomless Bellini bar yet… GO! The food is okay… but let’s be honest, people brunch for the booze, not the food.

Pumpkin spice waffle with apple butter and peach bellini.

Pumpkin spice waffle with apple butter and peach Bellini.

On Friday I’m hosting my first dinner party down here with my very, very small, albeit great group of new friends. Slowly but surely, this new city is starting to feel like home. It goes to show you that anything is possible, if you have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.

#1. learn a new language

I took Spanish for three years in middle school & absolutely hated it… probably because I was still full of resentment towards my parents for not letting me take French. Something about it not being “practical.” I didn’t want to take French because I thought it was practical. I wanted to learn it because the sheer thought of the beauty of the words wrapping around my tongue and leaving my lips was irresistible.  I wanted to be that cool, sexy girl with a cigarette hanging from her mouth, a glass of red wine in hand, whispering something about Hemingway and Stein in the world’s most beautiful language.

But instead I sat in a cramped, worn desk while listening to Ms. Hernandez yell at me about my inability to roll my r’s.  The only time I ever enjoyed the class was when she brought in empanadas. I think I pulled off a C average. The only things I can remember now are hola, adios and of course, gato.

Fast forward to high school, I enrolled in French and spent the next three years falling in love with the language and the culture. I studied French artists, musicians and cuisine. I began dreaming of truffles, macaroons, unevenly paved side streets and jazz musicians filling the night air with the sounds of their trumpets and saxophones. I became a francophile. A Parisian at heart. So much so that I went on to spend five weeks studying French at the Sorbonne two summers ago.

I think learning a new language is one of the best things you can do in life. It unlocks an entirely new world for you, giving you access to a culture you had until this point only read about in National Geographic years ago. It connects you to the global community and broadens your understanding of the billions of people around you.

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Learning a new language isn’t easy though. Which is why I’m starting this item from my 213 in 2013 bucket list early — so I have time to make the necessary dedication. I found this awesome deal on Living Social — only $25 gives you access to Livemocha’s online language learning portal for six months, with 38 languages to choose from. I’m still debating which one I’m going to take up but once I decide I’ll update you on the progress I’m making.

If learning a new language this year is one of your goals, check out the deal and consider taking the plunge. FOX News offers some great tips for those who wish to learn a new language — be sure to check it out.

Don’t forget to make today, and every day after count, whether it’s learning a new language or taking that painting class you’ve always wanted to. Because if not now, when?

Ciao.