2016 was another roller coaster for the books. As you know, it was election year. Politics have never been more prevalent in the lives of so many until that god-forsaken election eased its way into our November. I’ve always known that people were easily manipulated but the power of the media reached a record high if you ask me. As I watched rants and raves and arguments among friends, I became really sad and gravely disappointed. When Donald Trump won, I lost faith in the American people. And when I realized Hillary had the popular vote by millions, I lost hope in our democratic process. I found myself in a pit of despair and I just couldn’t add to it by seeing all of the opposing posts on social media from people that I actually care about. That being said, I deleted my Facebook account on November 9th. When I deleted my Facebook, I feel like I disconnected from the world…in the best way possible.
This has been an eye-opening experience to be honest. A close friend of mine hounded me for a while because she was upset that she couldn’t “tag” me in her posts. A couple of people thought I had deleted them so I’ve had to explain that I actually deleted my whole account. Facebook can be a great way to network and stay connected with friends and family. I wish I could tell you that I miss it but I don’t. I don’t miss constant reminders of how easy people are to manipulate. For example, I could go 5 months and not hear a word from many of my FB friends. But I would bet a large sum of money that if I changed my relationship status they would flock to it like vultures on a rotting carcass. Like puppets on a string, it doesn’t take much to make people move. The sad part is that all too often, the motivation for connection is very shallow. That is something that I just can’t accommodate. I need depth in my life. I need for my connections with people to be more than self-centered political rants that don’t consider who might be affected by them. I need for my connections to be motivated by something more than a curiosity-driven post on my wall. I need to know that I have people in my life…my REAL life…who care enough to stay connected beyond my absence on every social media platform that’s out there. My social media presence is now limited to just a few that serve pretty direct purposes for me. I kept my Instagram because I love having a space to document my life in photos. I kept my Snapchat because I get to see my friends’ beautiful faces along with their constant contact whether we’re near or far. I also kept WhatsApp so that I could stay connected with some of the most inspiring women I know, and so that we could have a common place to encourage each other every day.
My connections may be fewer but they are deeper and that is exactly what I am aiming for by being selective with my time on social media. Any well-educated nutritionist would tell you that you should eat food with a purpose. We shouldn’t be eating junk because it taste great. We should be eating food for the purpose of nourishing and fueling our bodies. Kale may not be the best tasting dish but it’s packed with nutrients that we can benefit from. I’m not saying we should completely deprive ourselves of any indulgence. I’m just saying we should be mindful of whether or not we are feeding our needs more than we are our desires. My eating habits may need some (a lot of) fine-tuning but I do believe that we should use this concept to guide more than just our diets. I think it’s important for us to examine our relationships and the use of our time and ask ourselves “what kind of nourishment is this providing for my life?” Minimalists say the same thing regarding our material possessions. If our homes and our personal spaces are cluttered with things that don’t add genuine value to our lives, then it’s probably time to do some cleaning. I don’t think we realize how much we tend to hold on to. We don’t realize that when we crowd our lives, and our minds, and our physical spaces with things that we don’t need, we take up so much space (physically and mentally) that could be used for growth.
Whether you feel like you are completely content with where you are right now, or you are dying for a change, it never hurts to take inventory of your life. Look at every aspect and be honest with yourself. This is an ongoing process for me. I’m okay with admitting that I have not mastered any of this. The point is, I’m not going to stop working at it. Deactivating Facebook gave me a chance to breathe and it also gave me a chance to see who is in my life for the long haul, regardless of my lack of a profile. These are the people that I am holding onto and these are the people who will always have a reserved space in my life.
As this year winds down and we prepare our hearts and minds for a new start, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this year. I came into 2015 in a relationship that I thought would last long past June 19th. Alas, that was not the case. I won’t take you through the ups and downs that lead up to us parting ways but I will tell you that we had both become unhappy people. The love I had for her was real and it was hard to let go of. But that doesn’t mean that we were meant to be. I was in constant battle with myself and I felt guilty because I knew that I was shutting down but I didn’t know how to stop. The break-up wasn’t quite as painful as what came directly after. Yet I found myself feeling grateful for that pain because that pain is what pushed me forward and gave me the strength to truly let go and move on. Despite the mix of feelings that I had to go through, my ex’s honesty enabled me to move on without anger. I have respect for people who are honest even when it goes against their better judgement. It’s easy to live by the mentality that “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”. But I have found that there is freedom in complete honesty. The truth may hurt but it also facilitates the healing process.
Our break-up was a significant turning point in my year. It coincided with a 5-month health scare. I had been going through some serious complications and my first doctor’s appointment was scheduled a week after our split. That appointment offered no peace of mind and the next few months consisted of a series of tests, scans, and even a surgery. I am beyond happy to say that in the end, all was well. I have no serious health problems and everything is back to normal.
Being single again means a lot to me. To some it means being alone, starting over, and/or getting back into the dating pool. To me it means living for myself and making decisions without regard for someone who I once shared a life with. Being the free spirited gypsy girl that I am, I tend to prefer this freedom. However, when I’m with someone, I consider them in everything I do…whether it’s plans for the weekend or plans for the following year, my person will always be a part of my decision-making.
Being on my own prompted me to think about the future as well as the present. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of some awesome things this year. This was my second year participating in the Chris4Life Annual Scope It Out 5k (for colon cancer awareness), and it was also my second year participating in Relay for Life. I had a chance to do some volunteer work with the NC Harm Reduction Coalition (which I plan to do more of in the upcoming year). These are the type of things that I want to pour into for 2016.
Throughout this crazy roller coaster of a year, my future endeavors are becoming more and more clear. So as I exit 2015, I’m taking new vision along with late nights that turned into early mornings, spontaneous roadtrips, drunk kisses, heartfelt moments, sad goodbyes, happy reunions, and countless adventures! Overall 2015 was a great year. Every year has its ups and downs but I am happy to say that the highs have certainly outweighed the lows. Here’s wishing you all the best 2016 you could possibly dream of!
I have mad respect for people who can create a blog that focuses on one category (i.e. food, travel, personal advice, “how to”, etc). I truly admire that kind of consistency! However, I can go ahead and tell you that I don’t possess it. This blog will be completely random and all over the place. I may share my personal beliefs today and my favorite recipe tomorrow. All I can tell you is that I am anything but predictable.
Today I’ll continue with the introduction. After all, you still don’t know much about me. The things listed in my first post could apply to any free spirited girl, right?
Well this free spirit was born of roots that are spread out about as far as you could possibly stretch! My mom is from a tiny town in Eastern North Carolina. I grew up on the country side. We had few neighbors and a lot of cotton fields. Most of my family didn’t (and some still don’t) approve of interracial marriages. To this day, I believe the only thing I got from them is a touch of stubbornness and a lot of freckles. Our views and beliefs couldn’t clash any worse. They love me nonetheless!
My “father” on the other hand, is from a speck on the globe. It’s a teeny tiny island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. My first visit was complete culture shock. It took me about three months to adjust to life there. I was 15 years old and a long way from home.
Thinking back to that time in my life, I’m quite certain that that experience played a significant part in the birth of my gypsy soul. To have left everything I knew at such a young age, and experience a world that was completely foreign, and most importantly, to have adapted and grown to love that world, well, it was empowering to say the least. In retrospect, I have no doubt that it opened my eyes to possibilities. It instilled courage to step out of my comfort zone and it sparked a hunger for more…I’ve been wild ever since.
I’m the girl who chases sunsets, wakes up early for sunrises, and completely geeks out at the sight of the stars! I will always be mesmerized by the way they dance in the sky.
I’m the girl who absolutely adores her family…and believes that the term “family” has nothing to do with blood and everything to do with unfailing, unwavering, and unconditional love.
I’m the walking contradiction who loves security and stability but runs from commitment. I’m the free spirit that panics at the thought of being tied down or held back from living life to the absolute fullest.
I’m the girl who doesn’t entertain negative energy because life is just too fucking short and there’s no time to be anything but happy!
I’m the crabby Cancerian with a hard shell and a soft heart. And when I love…I love hard.
I’m a late night, early morning, spontaneous adventuring, music loving, hot tea drinking, night fishing, adrenaline junkie, deep conversationalist, star-gazing, nature walking, gin and tonic sipping, messy-haired, dancing while no one (or everyone) is looking kind of girl.