Blog

Be present

We are all always trying to live in the moment more but it's harder than it seems. I think most people try to control situations more than they realize, or maybe it's just me. Most people (me included) are also attached to their mobiles and trying to capture everything to post on social media (I just like telling stories) that they forget to just enjoy moments for what they are.

But sometimes, who cares. Forget about capturing and telling and just live.

 

On a mountain  

The day after the show at red rocks (best. ever.) the squad and I decided we wanted to spend the day in the Boulder area doing outdoors-y things; maybe climb a mountain or something. We had no hard plans though and by the time we got to Boulder (we were staying in south Denver) we were hungry so we first found a roof top patio for some lunch and a beverage.

Suddenly it was already 3pm and we still really wanted to find some kind of mountain because, you know, we're in Colorado. We grabbed a brochure from an info booth at the downtown mall and picked one that seemed close. We got back to the car and we were on our way.

I drove up a winding mountain road (slowly, although my friends would disagree that it was slow) and found a suitable place to park. 

We started up a trail. 

"Bears?! Mountain lions? Shit feels real you guys. I don't know about this."

"I THINK I JUST SAW SOMETHING MOVING."

And then suddenly we were fearfully walking up the mountain road, not on a trail. I wouldn't call this hiking. 

But then we found a little opening with a pretty great view.  

We walked up a little more. A better view. Apparently, this was good enough.

We sat on this silly mountain ledge for a couple hours doing nothing and it was the best time ever. We did not plan for this day to go like this but we ran with the moment and it all turned out perfectly. 

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En route

After a fun couple of days in Denver, I said goodbye to these friends and found myself on the way to Nashville to see a few other friends. I started off feeling a weird sense of anxiousness but I brushed it off all day while in the Denver airport, connecting in the Houston airport, and on both flights. Completely happy and in the moment, as glamorous as a day of airport travel can be, and not at all focused on the fantastic few days I had in Denver nor on the week to come, fearful that it would be a disappointment.

But then all of a sudden I landed in Nashville and for some reason I started to panic.

"Oh my God. I'm here. Now what? I don't know. I have no expectations. I want expectations. Expectations are comfortable. Roll with it, M. You'll be fine." A little self-talk to myself was key as I worked my way towards exiting the airport to where a friend was waiting to pick me up.

I grabbed my bag from the carousel and made my way outside—hello humidity—to find Dani. We picked up where we left off the last time we saw each other months ago; we chatted all the way to her friend's new house where a few of them were painting. I jumped right into the evening festivities. We moved a fridge, we did headstands, we shared a late dinner (family style).

"I am fine." I told myself later.

The rest of the week went similar to that first night. I didn't plan much in advance until maybe the night before at best, yet somehow I always filled my days and nights. 

I love window seats on two seater planes but if it's a triple seater, I prefer the aisle seat.  The different perspective once in awhile is nice but truthfully it is because being two strangers away from the aisle makes me feel claustrophobic as hell.

I love window seats on two seater planes but if it's a triple seater, I prefer the aisle seat.

The different perspective once in awhile is nice but truthfully it is because being two strangers away from the aisle makes me feel claustrophobic as hell.

 

Tattoo  

On Thursday Megan and I were bumming around south Nashville. I decided I wanted a tattoo.

I've been wanting to get it for awhile but the urge to do it here before leaving (on Saturday) was strong. I messaged a friend in Nashville (a friend who has a lot of tattoos himself) for some good tattoo shops that accept walk-ins. He told me one that was really close to Megan's place (where I was staying) in East Nashville—within walking distance even.

We drove there after we were done in south Nashville and I booked an appointment for the following day.

Fresh ink. Inspired by @atticuspoetry on Instagram. Always be yourself.

Fresh ink. Inspired by @atticuspoetry on Instagram. Always be yourself.

 

Present

Bright and early, exactly one week later, my Uber ride to the airport picked me up right on time and $14 later, I was checking myself in for a long day of flying.

Thinking about sleeping in my own bed in about 14 hours would just make me anxious as hell and frankly in a rush all day so I opted out from going there. Thinking about the fact that I was leaving music city would break my heart, so that was no good either. I settled on thinking about the delicious bowl of protein oats and the Starbucks flat white that I was about to consume at that moment. 

I had a good chunk of time to sit and wait before boarding and it was too early to try to focus on reading so I texted a few friends and family and then just sat and thought about what I had just done.

Unlike most trips, or life events in general, reality actually exceeded my expectations for this trip. It was easy to do since I had no expectations at all of course. I wasn't trying to have the best vacation ever and do the most amount of things that I could post about on social media in attempts to falsely glorify my life and make people envious.

I wasn't trying to create the best memories that I'll look back on and I wasn't trying to have more fun than in the past only to set my standards higher for adventures to come. I was just there ... experiencing it as it came.

Do I sorta wish I had planned things a little better? Sure. Were there things I did not do, places I did not eat at [the foodie in me cares about this], people I did not see because of my lack of planning? Of course. But who cares. I had fun. I ate more delicious food than I should have. I saw old friends and met a few new ones. I did enough things one needs to do in one week and it was nice not thinking about what I should be doing instead of what I was doing. I did very few things this week that I had expected and it was refreshing.

So the next time you go on a trip somewhere, go with less of a plan (do ensure you won't be sleeping on street and maybe have transportation though) and see where it takes you. 

A simple airport breakfast: Starbucks oatmeal (no toppings) + banana + protein powder (bring your own) ... and a flat white.  I take pictures of my food because it helps keeps me present with what's right in front of me and sometimes I swear I enjoy food more when I actually take the time to recognize it with my camera.

A simple airport breakfast: Starbucks oatmeal (no toppings) + banana + protein powder (bring your own) ... and a flat white.

I take pictures of my food because it helps keeps me present with what's right in front of me and sometimes I swear I enjoy food more when I actually take the time to recognize it with my camera.

Malary Cloke