Chi-Town

One of my favorite things in the world is to travel! I love the experience of getting to meet new people, try new things, and most importantly, challenge myself. This last weekend gave me just that!!

Last Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, three friends and I took a road trip to Chicago (which I like to call Chi-Town because it makes me feel cool). Chicago is one of my absolute favorite places to go, and I go quite often! This was a completely new situation for me though; before last weekend I had never been the one to actually do the driving, that’s what everyone else is for duh! This year that was not the case! It was a long six hour drive in a little PT Cruiser with three friends, and it was great!! Like I said, I have been there multiple times and they had not, well at least not with MY family! In these four days we did a variety of things: went to The Smoke Daddy (a BBQ place with live music), spent a day at the beach (got a little sun burnt), attended the musical Book Of Mormon (which was AMAZING), went shopping, took a nap (because shopping wore us out), and went to a Train/The Script/ Gavin Degraw concert (to die for)!! But it wasn’t really the big things that made the trip so eventful, it was all of the little things put together.

So back to the meeting new people, trying new things, and challenging myself. First of all, I got to meet my first slightly crazy person on the train! He was a nice crazy, but a tad creepy none the less. We were about to get off at our stop so we moved up a little bit and stood next to the seat where CP (crazy person) was sitting. He looked at me and asked me if I wanted to sit down, I said, “no that’s ok but thank you,” and the next thing I know he’s calling some chick out about having pink hair and a guy about wearing a straw hat! It was totally calm and playful but hilarious all the same!! Oh the people you meet!

Next there is the idea of trying new things. At first I didn’t think I would be able to say that I tried anything new at all this last weekend, mainly due to the fact that the whole point was to show my friends all of the things I knew about ie the best sushi place, The Smoke Daddy, the beach, and so on. But there was one place I had never been to before, Navy Pier! All the times I have been to “the big C” and I have never been to Navy Pier! And it was pretty nice! We took some photo booth pictures, had some gelato, and were photo bombed by some seagulls, it was absolutely great! That is what I love about Chicago, no matter how many times I go there, I always seem to find something new and exciting to explore. Even if it’s some place I have already been, there are so many people that it has an entirely different story surrounding it!

Lastly is the idea of challenging myself. I am always up for a good challenge, especially if it is a goal I set for myself, because nothing is more rewarding than saying “Told you so” to yourself! I find ways to push myself in almost everything I do, this last weekend was no different. My big dream is to one day live in Chicago (or a big city in general, but it’s at the top of the list), so every time I am there I try to prove that I know my way around. And let me tell you, I’m getting good! I have traveled by train, taxi, and bus. I am quite pleased to say that last winter I was even able to give a stranger directions in Chicago (and they were accurate!) That part of traveling was no big deal, my cousin would ask me where to go and I could tell him, and if I couldn’t I would find a way to figure it out. No, the hardest part this time was driving. Most of it was highway and that wasn’t too bad, but I was in charge of getting us through Chicago traffic as well. Luckily we had good planning and missed most of the Chi-Town craziness. On the way home I didn’t even use a GPS, I had great directions from my cousin and was able to get out of town with no trouble at all. The idea of driving started out as a huge problem for me, but once I was on the road, I realized how easy it really was if I just kept focused. We all made it back safe and sound so I guess that’s a good sign!

Who knows where I will end up in the future? I know where I’d like to end up, but that’s not always in my control. Even if I never live directly in Chicago, the things that I have learned in the many times I have been there will help me in so many aspects of life. From the crazy people I meet on a train, to the sights not yet explored, and the challenges to be mastered, I have learned so much and will learn much more. All I have to say is, “Bring it on!”

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What a blast!! I had a great day yesterday at the color run in Des Moines, IA. It was a long day and I definitely slept good last night, but it was totally worth it! New tradition? I think so!

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The Color Run!!

Happiest 5K

So tomorrow is my first Color Run and I am beyond excited! For those of you who don’t know, the Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k, is a 5k that is done and hundreds of cities around the world. The one I am attending is in Des Moines, Iowa. At each kilometer of the race there is a colored powder that is thrown into the running area, so by the end of the race you look like your own individual bag of skittles! Also, a portion of the money raised goes to the Variety Charity Foundation. It’s having a blast and helping a good cause at the same time, WIN WIN!

Like I said this is my first time doing a color run or even a 5k, but that is pretty normal. It is very common for people to have their first 5k be the color run for many reasons. First of at: It sounds like a blast!!! Secondly: it is not a timed race, you can go at your own pace, and it’s kind of hard to time someone when there is the amazing distraction of color! I mean even if it wasn’t “for the race,” if I was running and I saw a big cloud and bright colors, I would totally get distracted and run into it! Thirdly: anyone can run in the race; from infants in strollers to older people in walkers. It makes sense that they would call this the Happiest 5k!

Another thing that I really like about this whole color run idea, is that it brings so many people together sometimes without even knowing it. I have two particular examples in mind.

I have a best friend (well I have a few best friends but this one is named Josh). We just happened to be talking the other day when I mentioned that I was going to do this color run, and he told me he was going to a color run and BAM there was a (fictional) sudden flash of light and we realized we were talking about the same run!! No way right?! And the same thing happened with one of my other friend’s sister. Crazy, what a small world! These are people I talk to every day.

Even people who I don’t talk to everyday, like a fellow dancer who I happened to meet, oh once. Something was posted in twitter and bla bla bla. The point is, we were able to strike up a conversation about another mutual interest: running and supporting charity!

I am beyond excited to take part in the Happiest 5k tomorrow! I will definitely have a follow-up blog along with pictures! Wish me luck:)

Miss B

Tough Choices

We are constantly faced with tough choices. Some are tougher than others. I personally was faced with some pretty hard ones. If it was on a scale of 1-10 it would definitely be a 10. Not just because they are important, but because I am not the only one being affected by each decision and its not a single decision I have to worry about its a lifetime of choices!

Recently I came back into contact with some “lost” family. It has its fair share of tension, as does almost every family. What makes it worse is that it is also accompanied by sadness, regret, and not so fond memories. Sometimes all I want is to shut this out. I don’t want to confront it. But right when I am at the point of giving up I realize this situation isn’t just about me.

Last month was my 18th birthday. Wow I guess I am actually an adult now, well at least in the eyes of the law! The turning of my age also meant  the separation of phone bills, the switching of banks, and the impending idea of college… on my own. Now don’t get me wrong, most of these are a good things. But the idea of it is a smidge scary. The decisions I make from here on are my mine, and if they are wrong that makes it my fault. I feel very exposed and vulnerable, like being caught in a snow storm in may with nothing but a tank top and shorts. All I can do after that I figure it out and make it better. I know, if I do mess up, I can’t just go back and change my decision, I will have to make better ones in the future and learn from my mistakes, but no one said that was going to be simple or easy! 

So no matter how tense or sad or awkward it may be to “find” this somehow “lost” family may be, I know that I need to put myself out there and do my part in mending the bridge that was really never even built. It makes me realize how, of the zillions of decisions we make everyday, most of them aren’t even for ourselves. And if we stick to the statistic of a zillion per day, can you imagine the amount of decisions in a lifetime? Yeah, scary! 

I know that the decisions I make in the coming days, weeks, months, and years will either make or break me, just as much if not more than the decisions of the last 18 years have. Lets aim for the ‘make me’ idea!!