Connection

We spend 9 months preparing to come into this world connected to our mothers. We then cling to others for survival. It is not a mystery where our innate need for human connection originates. The mystery lies in the cultivation of the idea we can do it all on our own.

I have longed for independence from a young age. When I was in third grade I came home from school, sat my parents down and told them I was moving out. I wanted to build a small house next to our house that my dog and I could live in. My dad and I spent the next summer building my “fort” which has a striking resemblance to a shed. We put in a bunk bed and my dog and I lasted about 4 nights. My wanting for independence never left, after high school I moved to Portland to make it all on my own. This was not successful either. I learned I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed a community of support; which my family offered me for far away. I would not have survived my first year on my own without the love & friendship of my childhood best friend who moved to Portland at the same time. Without the love of my personal support community I would not have seen many beautiful places in this world, be on track to graduate in a few weeks, have a job lined up, or be thankful for every day I have. But I am still independent enough to stand on my own two feet for what I believe in and set my own goals and dreams.

I have found we need a balance of dependency and independence in our lives. Finding this balance is a tough trial; the key is learning from failures.

Lean & stand at once,
Cait

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African Adventure

Time to double check that you have your primary things: passport, copies of passport, headlamps, etc. And wish our family and friends farewell.

But most importantly, it is time to take a deep breath and relax, and get ready to experience a trip of a lifetime. Something will undoubtedly not go as planned, but we are ready as a group for this trip. We will learn so much during the next two weeks that will shape all of our future understandings of the world and our place in it.

-This is a note from my mentor and one of favorite professors, as we prepare to adventure camp in East Africa.

I sit here drinking my morning coffee knowing that 21 hours from now – yes, 21 hours of flying #emojiwiththebigeyes – I will land in Tanzania and embark on an experience of a lifetime with 12 of my peers and 2 of my professors. This trip has been over a year in the works, it is hard to believe it is finally here. I have spent the past months learning about the culture, ecosystems , and animals I will experience. But none of this will compare to what I will learn from camping under the stars of the Serengeti or hanging out with the flamingos on Lake Manyara. Experiential learning is invaluable. I am so grateful. I am approaching these next 12 days with an open heart and mind, and a lose sense of how things should be – as things will undoubtedly not go as planned. 

So what am I actually doing?

I have enrolled in a multidisciplinary course: Ecology, Evolution, and Culture of East Africa. The next 12 days will be spent in Africa on safari, adventuring, exploring, soaking up, and breathing in all that I can about Tanzania and experiential learning about one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. Each night we will be camping and in the morning we will move to a different site. We will have 4 locals with us to guide and direct us. I will be journalling and documenting my experiences and blogging about each day sequentially when I return.

What am I most excited for?

I am looking forward to many aspects of this adventure. The amazing fauna, the untouched nature, learning first hand, interacting with locals, and becoming closer with my peers. One thing I am most looking forward to is de-technostressing. What? Technostress is the stress associated with constantly being connected to technology. Getting off of the grid and purging technology for a few days is exactly what I need.

Asante Sana,
Cait

Perspective

It is amazing the clarity we get when we remove ourselves from a situation; to be completely impartial to yourself. To take a deep breath and be on the outside looking in is a funny thing. Perspective is a weird feeling. What do we do with this new found sense clarity? Do we run? or embrace it? If we run, we can run fast, but the sprint is all down hill. Embracement is an uphill climb. What are we more deserving of, Mt. Everest or the Dead Sea? We know how high we can get, where our lives can take us. 29,029 feet. We do not know what awaits beyond the Dead Sea. the deepest deapths of the down hill sprints are unknown, any ugly thing could be stewing at the bottom of that Ocean. The unknown pitfalls are not always to be explored. Climb. Look up with your new found perspective.

Keep climbing,
Cait

Why should I be upset?

Preface: This article discusses how Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting does not identify as a feminist because she has never faced inequality.

“Is it bad if I say no? It’s not really something I think about,” she mused. “Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around. … I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.”

-Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, in her interview with Redbook

Kaley goes on to discuss how she cooks dinner for her husband every night and take cares of him. The article claims this has sent feminist on a crazy irate rampage. Well I am here to say, MORE POWER TO YOU KALEY and hey I am a feminist!

Continue reading

Flipping a coin for God.

Sometimes when I do not know what the fuck to do about a decision. I flip a coin. I say a really sweet prayer to God. Then, I flip. It is always best two out of three. I assign one decision to heads and one to tails. I like to think that God has control of this coin and will point me in the direction …but that probably does not have the slightest bit of truth in it (although, I am still hoping that it is).

Right now is one of those times that I am having my coin-flipping-God-help-me moment. I am so torn about what to do, what decision to make…it is a small decision but could have extrapolated consequences; possibly good, possibly sucky. I talked to my best friend and to my mom about it all day, they are both on either sides of sending this text message (oh yeah, that is my small – but not – decision, hopefully my fellow millennials reading this are in solidarity with me).  The coin says, “send it”. but I continue to write this post instead of sending it… I am scared of the outcomes, I am scared of the timing. But I said a prayer and flipped my coin of fate, so should I just take a leap?

Is it unreasonable to trust in chance? Can we live by doing that? Even if we know it’s silly.

Flip away,
Cait

The Gym. My Body.

I do not go to the gym so others can judge whether my body is worthy. I do not go to the gym so others can decide whether my body is fit enough, sexy enough, or if my ass is too large or my waist too small. External validation of my physical body is not needed. My body is an amazing vessel capable of many things. I stand naked in front of the mirror every morning (and sometimes at night too) and tell my body how beautiful, strong, and amazing it is. This does not mean my body is perfect. I praise my body for all that it is; not shame it for what it is not.

Exercise for me is not about the calories I burn, or how much weight I will lose…so I can look hot for other people. No. Exercise for me is about loving my body and feeling satisfied knowing the strength my body can endure and the miles it is capable of running. And even though that is only 2, it is okay with me. My body will improve. But right now, for me, it is worth all the praise and glory I give it because it has taken me all over the world and it enables me to achieve my dreams. I am thankful for this physical embodiment everyday.

Love Yourself.

xoxo,
Cait

Some Pinterest inspiration.
Some Pinterest inspiration.