Thursday, January 28, 2010

Back to Land.

Hi everyone,
I have made it back from my trip and boy do I have stories to share. Unfortunately, school also started up again this week and work+school+jet lag is really not giving me the energy to write a fabulous post.

Tomorrow I shall write you a blog entry reflecting on my trip, which was simultaneously the most fun and the most lonliness I have experienced in a very long time. Until then...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blogging from a Boat

Hi all,
I'm signing off for the next 9 days in seek of adventure and relaxation in Central America. I plan to blog overtime when
I return about my hijinks abroad that, hopefully, reveal some themes (because evolution of self>hijinks) for us to discuss here. In the meantime I wish
you all a very happy week and I'll see you all on the other side!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Guest Blog: New Year's Resolution Confession of a Compulsive Target Shopper

Well, I promised a sassy guest blogger, and I have delivered! Kaitlan Capalbo is the kind of person that when you meet her, you decide immediately that you really want to be friends with her. She is super fun and witty, and always has a sassy response for every question or quandary. She is a person who is not afraid: to laugh loudly, to sing karaoke, to speak her mind. Her confidence is contagious and her wit is absolutely magnetic. That said, it didn't surprise me that she sent me this little essay that is as introspective as it is sassy. It takes a strong person to honestly reveal little chinks in their armor, and discuss ways for self-improvement. I like it because it reminds me that we are all on this earth to learn from every experience. This year, The Epic New Year's Resolution Project asks us to do just that: to look closely at ourselves and resolve to be better (whatever that means for you.) That, my friends, is a brave undertaking upon itself. Enjoy our little resident sassy's piece...let's continue our discussions about an epic resolution for 2010, and show Kaitlan some love in the comments.

New Year's Resolution Confession of a Compulsive Target Shopper

By Kaitlan Capalbo

I can always think of a reason to go to Target. I love Target. My boyfriend says my demeanor and attitude lightens the moment I walk into a Target, like I am passing through the pearly gates of heaven. I just love it. And it’s not just Target -- I love to shop. For anything: clothes, shoes, Swifter products, or cat litter. I can always think of something I need. This is why I am writing this blog, to introduce my New Year's resolution and put it out there for the world to see and, maybe, hold me accountable. My resolution is to want less. To ask myself, before I get the bug up my butt to go buy the new Pledge Fabric Sweeper literally 8 seconds after I see the commercial, 'Do you really need this'?

I didn't map out a plan to measure my progress in achieving this goal, which probably isn't good for someone like me, who needs a trainer to hold her accountable for what she eats on a weekly basis or to motivate me to workout. (“Kaitlan, you have to go to the gym cause Susan is going to yell at you if she doesn't see you there every day.”) My loose plan is really to dig deeper when I get the urge to run to Target, or go buy some new jeans at the mall. I resolve to ask myself the tough questions: you don't have a job, do you really need those $200 jeans? Is it absolutely essential to buy your cats three different kinds of wet food? I realize I am making myself sound like a shopaholic, but I am really not. Denial? Maybe.

I am just hoping to become a better person by making this resolution. I have caught myself saying 'I want, I need, get me' an awful lot lately and I don't like the way that sounds coming out of my mouth. I sound like a spoiled little brat. I'll keep you posted on my failures and successes (through hopefully more of these writings.) Happy new year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happenings Around the Blogosphere

Because blogging is such a community, I just had to share a bit about some of my favorite WelcometoAdulthood contributors. As emerging bloggers, it is all of our efforts (and all of our dear readers, like you) that keep our blogs relevant. In the spirit of this kind of community of support, I am proud to announce some really cool happenings.

Sarah Busta, who is all over the blogosphere with The Papery Dolls, and the amazing Call-it-Inspiration (and who also designed this very site) has been featured on Brooklyn Bride's Annual Card Swap!

Here is a little peak at her expertly designed original holiday card.

This is a huge accomplishment because Brooklyn Bride is a well-established national (maybe even international) blog and Sarah is a talented lady who deserves tons of accolades.

Second, check out guest blogger Morgan Leahy, who recently got married and was featured on Ruffled at her "Vintage Mexican Wedding."

Sneak peak from photos as seen on Ruffled.

Congrats to Morgan on your feature!

Annnndddd, coming up next on WelcometoAdulthood, we will continue our theme of The Epic New Year's Resolution Project with a guest blogger with a lot of sass, and a great new year's resolution. That's all I'll tell you for now...
Stay tuned!

Want to contribute to The Epic New Year's Resolution Project? Send me your thoughts on our theme, what it means to you, or why it is epic, and we'll keep the conversation going.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Epic New Year's Resolution Project

Every year I make the same resolutions: not to bite my nails, to exercise more, and to not procrastinate. Last year, before 2009 rolled around, I went on a quest to find an epic resolution -- one that I could hold onto, learn from, be moved by, and spread like the most delicious cream cheese frosting. I wanted a resolution that would be a daily practice in a really epic way: I wanted it to be a habit I never kicked, and something so big I couldn't explain it to anyone without reaching my hands out to my sides, as far as they would reach, and laughing a big belly laugh with my mouth open wide. I wanted it to focus on laughter, and love, and kindness, and singing, and the smell of ocean on a sunny day, and spinning round in big poofy-skirted dresses, and ants opening peonies, and skipping and swinging, and 100-piece orchestras.

But I wanted it to be little too. I wanted it to be simultaneously small, something I could hold inside my heart like a warm, soft glow. Something subtle, like the smell of lavender, a mini-earthquake, or a dog's soft ear. I wanted it to be tiny enough to take with me, to fit in a pocket, maybe the size of a bejeweled blue button. A little, loose button of meaning to remind me to be compassionate, better, grateful, open, bright.

I searched for this epic resolution and I found it. With my firmest resolve, at the stroke of midnight in 2009, I was resolute to be an instrument of peace.

What does that mean exactly? To me it was a hybrid vision of the prayer of St. Francis (though, I must note, I am not religious), and the Jimmy Eat World song Goodbye, Sky Harbor (from their early and quite amazing album, Clarity. The song is noted to be inspired by John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany -- a book I must resolve to read in 2010.)

The prayer of St. Francis is really simple and beautiful. Abbreviated some, it reads:

Make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

That I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love...

And then the Jimmy Eat World song, from an album that reminded me of a time in my life when, after a too-long period of less-than, I had finally felt inspired, living, and whole. It is not as much the lyrics, as the song with the lyrics -- loud and quiet, loud and quiet, repeating, repeating, crescendo and quiet, drums and voice, long and finished. But, I'll try:

"Is tomorrow just a day like all the rest?"
How could you know just what you did?
So full of faith yet so full of doubt I ask.
Time and time again you said don't be afraid.
"If you believe you can do it."
The only voice I want to hear is yours.
I shall ask you this once again.
And again.
He said:
"I am but one small instrument."

(Interested in the song? Check it out on YouTube here.)

Being an instrument of peace was everything I had wanted in a resolution, and the first resolution in memory that I have stuck with, held tight to, and braided with my hair. I have kept it with me, like my blue, sparkly button, for the whole year. I think any of my friends who interacted with me on a regular basis in 2009 could attest that I wore this button like a proud cape, or some shiny shoes, or a toothy grin. I quoted it, "I am an instrument of peace," I would say to myself (and sometimes aloud.) I would channel my instrument: a violin when I was cut off on the freeway; a cello when I felt really sad; trumpets in times of great joy; an acoustic guitar to forgive; tiny, high celeste timbres, like music box notes while a sugar plum fairy dances, for when I was angry; Rhapsody in Blue for those long walks and good conversation with friends; Leonard Cohen's rich molasses voice for my mom. And for love, it is the full symphony, or the full chorus in a joyous musical.

This year, I have reprised my epic resolution that is as big as an ocean, and as tiny as map pin. I am but one small instrument.

May 2010 be a year of peace for the world, and for our lives.