Um – When I Said I Wanted An Interesting Year… That’s Not What I Had In Mind

Um – When I Said I Wanted An Interesting Year… That’s Not What I Had In Mind

Being the woman of my word that I am, if I challenge you to make 2016 a year of “pursuing interesting,” I give myself the same challenge. With arms out wide, mind open, and spirit excitedly expectant – I was ready for all the interesting things 2016 would bring.

Now.  It’s possible I may have had very particular interesting things in mind at the time. New countries, work opportunities, friendships, nice things and experiences.

Hahahahahahahaha <<< (That’s what the universe said when it realized before I did that “interesting” arrives in all sorts of packages.)

Interesting was supposed to look more like this:

T&K1

And less like this:

T&K2

But this picture ^^^^ happens to be accurate.

It all started with the flu.

As some of you know, I suffer from a smidgen of anxiety. One way my anxiety unfolds is an irrationally strong fear of getting sick before a big event. All of December (and I mean ALL) I was panicked that I would get Dengue Fever before my family came to visit us in Costa Rica early January.

If you don’t know what Dengue Fever is, don’t be like me and look it up on WebMD.   (But in case you are like me = Click Here to see the horror!)

Well, I didn’t get Dengue. But I did get quite sick a few days before they arrived, and it lasted, of course, until their final day here. Truly, I didn’t know that much snot could drain from one person’s nostrils .

(Main takeaway: I obviously I should spend all of February worried that I’m going to get too rich in March.)

But that’s nothing, dear ones.

The day after my family left, The Boyfriend needed to rush to CIMA Hospital in San Jose for emergency surgery.   And by rush, I mean get stuck in stop and go traffic for 6 hours.

Because I believe in being brave enough to share the gory details of my life on this blog, but kind enough to leave out other people’s gory details, we won’t get into the reason why The Boyfriend had emergency surgery. But you will get these hints: Gross and Painful and Scary. (Don’t deny it.  I know your minds are currently running through all the embarrassing possibilities.)

After hours in the car, we made it to the outskirts of San Jose.

Let’s pause here.

In Costa Rica, my iPhone and his Android do not have any cell service. We use them only through Wi-Fi. We purchased a super cheap local phone that’s totally circa 2000 and put minutes on it to make local calls.

So on this little medical emergency voyage, we had no Wi-Fi – thus no GPS – and a circa 2000 local cell phone.

Yes, of course, we did get lost in a city of hundreds of thousands of people who speak Spanish.  At night. And street signs in San Jose are as rare as people who speak fluent English.

Lost.  9PM.

Since the Boyfriend and I are really evolved and mature in our relationship, we handled this little hiccup the best way possible: screaming at each other in loud tones of love.

With our brick of a Costa Rican cell phone circa 2000, I ended up calling the doctor since she was the only English speaker I could think of. She gave me instructions, but we only managed to make it to a gas station before getting lost yet again.

**Enter more screaming in loud tones of love**

I called the exceedingly patient and gracious doctor again. (Could you imagine ANY doctor in the U.S. caring about whether or not we could find a hospital?) She agreed to come get us and show us the way. Bless her rich doctor heart.

This lovely woman gave me one instruction on the phone. Just one. She said, “STAY BY YOUR PHONE BECAUSE I’M NOT 100% SURE WHICH GAS STATION YOU ARE AT. DON’T LEAVE YOUR PHONE.”

Ever obedient, I didn’t leave my phone. Really, I didn’t. Promise.

But I did manage to drop it in a large puddle of Sprite that had seeped through a McDonald’s cup and filled up the cup holder.  See, I told you I didn’t leave the phone.  I just let it swim.  Could we have cleaned up this pool of Sprite during the 6-hour-long drive?  Sure. Did we? Of course not.

Apparently, Sprite can both give you diabetes and completely ruin cheap brick-like cell phones circa 2000. Let me reiterate that this was our only way of calling any phone number in Costa Rica.

Cue: Tears. Lots of tears.

Cue: Dramatic, “We are done for.”

Cue: Even more screaming in loud tones of love.

Then, my friends, I have no idea how, but she found us. She found us!!!! And showed us the way to the hospital and performed a flawless surgery. She then showed me how to drive to the nearest hotel to take my anesthesia-stoned boyfriend to bed. She said goodnight and told me I could call her if I needed anything else. I smiled and expressed my sincere gratitude.

All while knowing I could never actually take her up on her last gift of kindness.

After all, I had dropped our only method of Costa Rica phone calls in a pool of Sprite.

I walked back to the hospital to pay the bill. The Anesthesia-Stoned Boyfriend sat next to me in his wheelchair as I stood waiting to pay. Out of nowhere, he yelled (REALLY YELLED): “Taylor! In the OR, they pinned me down like the cross!” and dramatically puts his arms out as if he were being crucified.

In an exceedingly Catholic country, that’s how he chose to have the anesthesia crazies affect him. He imitated our dying Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in an attempt to recreate his surgery.

This is my life.

I looked around slowly and nonchalantly (only with my eyes, like a spy) to see if anybody was offended.

Bless their hearts. None of them spoke enough English to know how offensive The Anesthesia-Stoned Boyfriend really was.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Sometimes “Interesting” looks less like travelling to an exotic land and more like getting lost in a foreign country.
  2. Clean up Sprite when you spill it.
  3. Don’t spend entire months worrying about Dengue, or you will get another type of flu for two weeks.
  4. Park your anesthesia-stoned loved one’s wheelchair OUTSIDE and FAR AWAY from other people while paying their bill.

Surprisingly, I actually have a workbook that I sell here on this website that guides you through 11 steps toward living an interesting life you love.  For a small fee of $10, you could have an interesting life just as glamorous as the one I’ve described.

You’re welcome.

Dropping The Idea of a “Soul-Career”

Dropping The Idea of a “Soul-Career”

soul-job

Soul Mates.  The romantic idea of one person made just for you.  No others could ever bring love and joy and fulfillment.  Just him.  Just her.  Is this romantic notion fact or fiction?  Some hold to this concept like a religion and spend their life searching for and holding onto the one person who completes them.  Others scoff at the idea of there only being one in a sea of billions.

Whether or not you hold to the idea of soul mates, most of us do hold to the idea of “soul-careers.”  And I think it hurts some of us.  Let me explain.

I used to think I must have a soul-career: one tangible career that would lead me into my 50s or 60s happily and successfully.  This idea terrified me.  How was I going to choose THE ONE?  What if I regretted my choice and wanted to breakup from my career?  Would the 45 year old me still be into it?

The Boyfriend and I were talking about how amazing it is to work for ourselves in creative fields while living in various countries throughout the globe, but we both wondered if this was something we’d want to do forever.  If not, what do we do then?!

But I remembered something: life is full of weird twists and turns you could never expect.  Our careers may be like that too.  And even though the core of who we are may stay the same, we are still evolving and changing creatures.  Yet, we sometimes tie our hands by thinking we must have the same career at 22 that we do at 42 and 62.

It goes like this:

We got to school as children.  Then the government suddenly tells us we are adults, and we are to choose a college major that will guide the rest of our lives down the path of our soul-career.  We are supposed to spend 40 hours a week for the next 40 years in this one and only job.  Then we retire and do all the things we’ve always wanted to do.

There are 3 massive problems with this “Soul-Career” concept:

  1. At 18 or 19 or 20 years old, most people still don’t know enough about themselves to confidently choose one career for the rest of their lives.
  2. People change throughout the years.  The person I was 5 years ago is not the exact same person I am today.  The person I’ll be in 20 years – I can’t even imagine who she’ll be!
  3. Hating what you do everyday and praying that retirement comes quickly sounds like a good way to miss out on way too many years of your life.

This is why I think we should drop the concept of the soul-career.  Instead, we should embrace the idea that there may be more fish in the career sea!  Sure, there are some lucky folks who grow up knowing exactly what they want to do for their entire lives.  They confidently choose their major, soar through their careers, and feel sad to leave at retirement.

Then there is the rest of us.  Maybe we don’t know what are passions are, or maybe we have so many passions we don’t know how to choose, or maybe our passions and interests change a lot.  How do we choose our college majors and careers?  What if we’ve already chosen, but want to change our minds?

If you are one of these people, like I am, maybe we aren’t soul-career-ers.  And that is perfectly okay. Here’s the deal for us:

  • You only need to take the next right career step at at time.  Take step 1, then step 2, and don’t try to jump to step 312.  You’re not there yet.  You won’t be there for years. What is going to pay the bills and nicely support you and your family?  What are you good at and interested in right now?  Do those things.
  • If you end up hating the college major or career path you’ve chosen, don’t stay stuck. Get creative.  How can you combine your the education or experience you do have with the path you’d rather go down now?  Maybe you’ve studied medicine for years and hate it, and you want to be a writer.  You could easily write for health companies and market health and medicine as your niche.
  • Sometimes you just yell “Plot Twist!” and change your career: As long as you’re taking care of your responsibilities, the world is yours.  Why feel obligated to stick to one idea? Yes, it will take some hard work and extra time, probably some extra learning and dedication too.  But you are not bound to any one career forever.  For inspiration, here’s a list of 13 awesome people who did a huge career change.

So my friends –

If you are currently making the college major choice with fear in your eyes.  BREATHE.

If you are starting a new job and have no idea if you can make it into your career.  BREATHE.

If you are a few years in and like it, but wonder if there is something else out there.  BREATHE.

If you flat-out hate your career and want to switch.  BREATHE.

If you’re a parent who wants to dump the career to be a full-time parent. BREATHE.

Then remember –

There are seasons in life.  Winter doesn’t have to look the same as spring.

You. Are. Not. Stuck.  Be bold and be brave.  And lose the idea of a “Soul-Career” – there are so many other fish in the career sea.

P.S. – I love writing.  I thought I would write 80% of the time and edit 20% of the time.  That’s changing.  I’m finding that I like the balance of about 60% editing work and 40% writing work.  Also, someday I may teach.  Also, someday I’d like to be an activist.  Also, someday……..

soul_career

Book Talk: December 2015

Book Talk: December 2015

Book Talk

Here’s a recap of what I read in December.  As you can see, I didn’t get through as many books as I usually do.  You can blame this on two culprits: the holidays and discovering Homeland on Netflix.  Damn you, Netflix binging.

I did love everything I read, though.  Here’s the rundown:

book talk

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

5/5 Stars

You guys.  This book was made for me: feminism and travel.  Gloria Steinem, leader of the Women’s Movement, shares the stories of her life through the lens of all her travels.  Not only are there so many interesting chapters about her vast experiences and decades of fighting for women’s rights, you get wisdom and insight from all the places she’s been in her life – and this woman TRAVELED!

You clearly see that the negative press she’s received throughout her life as being a man-hater or excited baby killer is completely unfounded.  In fact, she spends much of the beginning of the book lovingly recounting her life with her father.  It was a delightful description of positive feminism.  It was such a joy for me to read this book.  I closed it feeling inspired and reinvigorated.  (If you are sensitive to the discussion of being pro-choice or cringe with liberal politics, it’s not for you.)

book talk

WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source by Alisa Vitti

4.5/5 Stars

I first heard a podcast interview with Alisa Vitti on The Jess Lively Show (one of my favorite weekly podcasts.)  For the first time IN MY LIFE, I started to realize that we, as women, live on a 24-hour cycle of being even though our bodies are running on a 4-week cycle.  I was intrigued and bought the book.

Seriously, I learned more about my body and health as a female in this book than I’ve ever learned before.  I cannot believe all this information isn’t common knowledge.  From eating and exercising along with where we are on our cycle, to what is actually happening in our bodies. I recommend that every single woman read this (especially those between puberty and menopause.)

book talk

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

4.5/5 Stars

I discovered Kristin Hannah’s work years ago, and I’ve loved every novel I’ve read by her.  But I think this is her masterpiece (which is agreed on Amazon with a 5-star average rating and over 16,000 reviews!)

The Nightingale brings us to WWII in France and gives us a glimpse into the war the women were fighting back home.   One sister fights by doing everything she can to save her home and child; one sister fights by spying, illegally distributing literature, and bringing allies to safety.  It’s beautiful, intense, properly disturbing, haunting, and a refreshing view of the women in WWII.

What have you read recently??  Let me know in the comments!  I always love taking a peak at other people’s bookshelves (or Kindles for our generation) :)


*Affiliate disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. This means if you buy a product I suggest through a link, I may receive a commission at no cost to you.  As ALWAYS, I only discuss or recommend things I believe in or use myself.  Nothing that I am not totally crazy about will be promoted on this blog. I feel grateful to pay bills by sharing my interests with my readers. *

Happy 2016!

Happy 2016

Happy New Year’s to all my favorite people!

May 2016 be a year of joy, peace, and adventure!

It’s an exciting moment for me because it marks the beginning of my new blog focus (see the new header image up there ^^^) and the release of my “The Interesting Project Workbook” which you can buy TODAY!

The Interesting Project Workbook


Buy The Interesting Project Workbook

Let’s pursue interesting lives that we love together this year.

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2015:

Why Women Should Be Rocking Their Bikinis

When You’re Divorced In Your Twenties

Her Story Is My Story: When Mental Illness Found My Mom

Let’s Be Real About Travel Instagram For a Moment

Why I Won’t Sacrifice My Life For My Hustle

Do I Dare Step Out of My Comfort Zone?

Fear Is Not Allowed To Drive

How To Go Gluten Free Without Crying

|Hugs & High Fives for a great year!|

Tay

A Costa Rican Christmas

A Costa Rican Christmas

Oh hey there, friend!

Long time no talk!  December was a busy month for me, and I didn’t get around to reaching out to my readers as often as I would have liked to.  I’ve had my hands full with new client work, rearing up for launching my blog’s new focus for 2016 “Pursuing Interesting,” creating two ebooks, and enjoying the holidays.

…Speaking of holidays…  I thought I’d share what our Costa Rican Christmas looked like this year.  I was a bit bummed to be so far away from my family in December, but we made the best of the situation and ended up having a fantastic Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Trees aren’t so easy to come by in this little beach town, so The Boyfriend created one out of trash bags.  If you think it’s lame, I don’t think we can be friends.  It was basically the coolest part of our holiday.

Costa Rican Christmas

I also embraced my artistic side over the holiday break, but let’s just say that we will be leaving most of the painting to the expert from now on.  My giftings are elsewhere, but hey look at this glamor shot!

For Christmas Eve, we took a walk on the beach, relaxed a bit, and then met up with some lovely friends to spend the evening at Black Stallion, a ranch in the next town over that offers zip-lining, horseback riding, and the most delicious BBQ dinner family style.  We partook in the dinner.  Beyond tasty food and fun cocktails, the entire place was decorated for Christmas, which made my little Christmas heart soar.

The occasion was so momentous, I actually put on makeup and did my hair.  (I’ve missed that a bit if I were being honest! There’s something fun about a casual beach town, but there’s also something fun about eye liner and flat irons.)

costa rican christmas

 

There was also plenty of goofiness…

Costa Rican Christmas

Costa Rican Christmas

This picture was taken right after I accidentally slapped The Boyfriend across the eye.  This is when I convince you I’m not violent.  See how lovingly I took care of him after injuring him? That’s true love.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Christmas Day began with the two of us enjoying mimosas and french toast with whipped cream (we went the healthy route, as you can tell!).  Santa even visited us and brought us lots of fun gifts.  That was really creative of Santa because there aren’t that many stores and definitely not a large variety of things within those stores here in good ol’ Costa Rica.

We spent a couple hours at the beach.  I can’t even describe how busy it got overnight with Christmas tourists.  I wouldn’t normally put Costa Rica and Christmas together, but apparently thousands of people do!  The sand was covered in beach lounger after beach lounger.  Also, I have yet to see so many fake boobs here as I did on Christmas.  And nothing makes you think of Christmas more than that.

We came home to eat junk food and watch Miracle on 34th street.  Then we went out to watch the sunset at a new local rooftop bar with a gorgeous view (but seriously overpriced drinks!  I think they didn’t realize we aren’t in Laguna!).

Costa Rican Christmas

After $3 a sip, we went home to make a real dinner.  Like a grown up dinner.  We roasted chicken, sautéed mushrooms and other veggies, and even made oven fries.  When I say “we,” I really do mean WE.  The Boyfriend splits cooking duty with me equally.  That’s a man.

Overall, we had a lovely Costa Rican Christmas!  It was nice to start our own traditions as a couple.

I cannot wait for all the fun new stuff that I will be sharing with you on my blog this new year!  I’ll see you again on the 1st of 2016!  Remember to make your “Pursuing Interesting” resolutions (click here to learn more!)

Tay xo