The World's A -Game

Hey world,

I saw what you did there. 

I noticed that you pulled the rug right from under me once I got in my groove and had everything under control. I noticed how you tried to make me nervous; how you tried to throw everything into the air and see if I could catch it all in my basket-with-the-hole-on-the-bottom while standing on one leg and blindfolded. I noticed how you gave me bronchitis the weekend my mom got here before I entered my last few weeks of the semester. 

                                                                                                             Photocredit


Well, did you notice that despite losing almost a week of quality breathing I bounced back, only missing one day of work and one class, while still completing all of my assignments ahead of schedule?

Did you notice that even though you took away some days I was hoping to use to work on final projects, I was able to rearrange my schedule, and I'm back on track without being too stressed?

Did you notice that I never got nervous? That I knew that I could handle the pressure?

You brought your A-game, world. But I brought mine too.

---

In the next three weeks, a lot of things are going to happen, pretty much simultaneously.
I will be standing in the eye of the storm -- but now I'm as ready as I could ever be!

xoxo,
M

Take a Moment...

Hey world, 

How are you? How is your life, out there on the other end of the web of cyberland? I've realized I've never really asked. Probably because to this moment, I still haven't shared with anyone the name of this blog. There will be a time and a place for that. When the time is right, I'll know it. 

Today I want to take a moment to reflect on...well, taking a moment. 

--- 

At the end of my kickboxing class, we take about ten minutes to relax, meditate and stretch before we stand up, bow to one another, and then give each other high fives before we unwrap and rehydrate. But as we sit with our legs crossed and our eyes closed, our trainer J says the following:

"Take a moment to acknowledge your efforts today.
Take a moment to be thankful for your health, and your well-being.
Take a moment to be thankful for yourself."

They're simple sentences really. But among our collective silences, our collective sighs, rapid pulses, relaxing muscles and sweaty bodies, these words mean a lot to us. We have pushed ourselves to our limits for the past 60 minutes -- we have kicked and punched and push-upped and crunched and squatted and kept going even when our muscles were sore -- so the moment when we come together to take a moment comes to represent our successes. Our happinesses.

And it reminds us that while we fight, and we struggle, and we endure each and every day in a variety of ways, we also have so much to be thankful for. 

For lungs that breathe in the sweet air, and keep our bodies energized.
For legs and arms that give us the greatest gift of all: movement.
For companionship, for community. For independence, for selfhood.
For being in a position to take an hour for ourselves to reconnect with our bodies.
For being alive another day. 

---

I'm at this point in my mid-20s, as are so many of my friends, where we are so 'busy' being "busy" that we forget to take moments. 

To remind ourselves who we are, what we are doing, and why we are doing it. 
To be thankful for all that we had, all that we have, and all that will come.
To appreciate ourselves: the good, the bad, and the malleable. 
To look around and see all of the good. 

So I'm writing this to remind my future self to not forget to take a moment, every day, to just reflect and be thankful. Not to think ahead, or mull on the past; but to stay in the present and be appreciative...even if you have nothing more than a moment to spare. 

xoxo,
M






Birds Flying High

Hey world,

A few days ago I was walking down the street, sunshine streaming down onto my side of the sidewalk, and this song popped in my head:

Birds flying high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel





It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
for me
And I'm feeling good. 

(first sung by Nina Simone, then Michael Buble)

---

The last time you heard from me was a couple of weeks ago, when I challenged myself to get in touch with myself, and find small joys and simple victories.

It hasn't been long, but I've taken it to heart, and made some great changes that have brought a lot of happiness, (surprisingly) very quickly.

First of all, I wake up earlier than I would every day than I would, just because life is precious, and I'll enjoy it more awake than asleep. 

And as soon as I wake up, I make myself a fruit smoothie which is sweet enough to make me happy, and healthy enough to make me feel good.

I make a to-do list for the day, and make sure I have a homemade lunch. Self-loathing for silly food purchases is easy enough to avoid if I prepare ahead of time. 

Then, my day begins, and I accomplish as much as I set out for myself - keeping my goals manageable and allowing time for composure. 

I've also re-dedicated myself to reading: to spending time in thoughtful silence with a good author and a good story to chase the loneliness away.

And for the past three days, I've also gone to kickboxing class, like I promised myself I would. It has been absolutely extraordinary, and though my body is in SO. MUCH. PAIN. (who invented staircases and inclines? I could kill them right now!)  I am LOVING kicking my own butt -- while learning how to kick someone else's! 

In my academic life, I've also found out that I can finish my Masters program by the end of this summer, allowing me to both finish my graduate program and start thinking about what my next steps are going to be.


It's amazing how quickly the fog burns up, and the sun streams down. How quickly anguish can turn into energy. How mourning morphs into motivation. How much harder it is to find the willingness to seek change than to actually make change.

Oh, freedom is mine, 
and I know how I feel.
It's a new dawn.
It's a new day.
It's a new life, 
for me....



and I'm feeling good. 

xoxo,
Marisa