thoughts for the week

Good morning and happy Monday! I don’t know why, but I felt inspired to show up here today. I had a wonderful, running-filled, outdoorsy weekend and now I am feeling tired but very happy. It took a while for me to get out of bed (I was just so comfy), but a couple of cups of coffee and some oatmeal did the trick.

Yesterday Patrick and I did our run in the afternoon as opposed to our normal early-ish morning start. It was cold and snowy and rainy and the forecast showed some potential for sunshine in the afternoon, so we decided to wait it out. We headed to C&O Canal Towpath and enjoyed some mileage through some slush and snow, but mostly on soft dirt surface. We talked as we ran but sometimes pushed along in companionable silence. Eventually we decided to split the AirPods and listened to a pleasant playlist! Earlier in the run we had had a conversation about adventures and goals and the things we want to do with our bodies and lives. We have some fun things lined up for the next few months which we are pumped about.

Even on the drive to the canal I had been telling Patrick that time has really slowed down. In my previous job I anxiously hoped for 4:30pm, for Friday, for the end of a pay period because it meant I had survived. Before that, I had awaited Patrick’s graduation, our wedding, our big move, a new job. There was always something to be desperately waiting for! Now, Patrick and I discussed, there’s no big, life-changing event on the horizon. And I’m in a job that I enjoy and doesn’t make me pull my hair out (literally). It feels really really good.

It means that the things we look forward to are things we get to create. We select our adventures, our challenges, our hopes and wishes. All in all it may come down to feeling some control again, but it’s also an appreciation of what we have right now. So as we were running, I found myself thinking on this. We’ve had discussions about how life could potentially feel boring if we didn’t have adventures and if we just worked all day and then did nothing but sit around. Honestly, it’s easy to fall into that. School has been keeping me busy too, so sometimes I log off of work and immediately start taking care of school work.

As I ran I thought of what it would be like to maximize every single day instead of looking forward to the weekend. Easier said than done and I know many people have had the identical thought. I wondered what it would be like if I found or created an adventure, however big or small, every day. It would be something to put some thought into, but wouldn’t necessarily require a ton of effort. Today we are going on a lunch break walk in the sunshine. It felt like a good start.

So that’s what I’m going for this week! I’ll also be drinking plenty of water (I track 160 oz a day, in fact), enjoying a light week of schoolwork, and planning our XC ski trip this Saturday!

What’s your week looking like? And what little adventure will you have today?

Much love,

Juliana

peponi.

(Disclaimer: This post kind of got away from me. The usual. I can never follow one thought for too long.)

(Also, TITLE REFERENCE! 

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Yesterday at work I was talking to a coworker about age.

I was telling her how some freshman in my Spanish class asked me if I felt old for turning twenty this May. It was the first time anyone had ever asked me if I felt old — I wasn’t asked that when I turned 16 or 18!

We talked about how I’ll be launching into The Twenties. We talked about how there seems to be a timeline for when to settle down and have a house and a career and etc..

At the time I didn’t think much of it, but today as I was swimming and staring at a pool floor for a few thousand yards my mind went to it.

It is the absolute truth that there is a semi-unspoken timeline placed on us the day we are born. And if you don’t prescribe to that belief, you probably at least acknowledge that there is a LOT of pressure to be stuff.

A college graduate.

A working adult.

A wife/husband.

A perfect friend to all.

An espresso chugging busy-bee.

A kombucha drinking yogi.

A mom/dad.

Basically, anything that popped into your head while reading this list.

But guess what… You don’t have to be any of those things.

I recently watched a video of a montage of three years of travel. In it, the narrator said that we don’t have to do anything. We only need to do the things we decide to do.

Yes. YES YES YES! What a freeing thought!

You do NOT have to be best of the best. You do NOT have to be the perfect being, because you aren’t!

Being in a college, I’ve witnessed some people have a small mental freak out about what they’re doing with their lives. I hear the word ‘should’ all the time.

“I should be getting an internship. I should be taking more classes. I should sign up for summer school. I should work harder. I should relax more. I should I should I should.”

Should is a dangerous word. It’s haunting, in my opinion.

There has been, and will never be again, a day like today. You only get one. This doesn’t mean that you should do anything.

It means that you get to.

Our lives won’t last forever. The number of days are limited. But guess what, you get today.

That is so beautiful.

I don’t feel old for turning twenty. I refuse to feel old when turning ninety. I live in today.

And what a magnificent day it is.

Stop being so afraid of what is ahead. Stop planning so hard. Stop trying to be something you’re not.

Go with it.

Stand in the rain. Let the cold air bite your skin.

Don’t fix your hair when the wind blows it askew. Don’t be afraid to sweat if it means you are soaking up the sun.

Get your hair wet. Smile as much as you possibly can.

Dance. ALWAYS! When you’re sad. When you’re so happy you could explode.

Life will throw you hurdles. Keep your head up. Front flip right over them.

Scraped knees are okay. Scars are glamorous.

Refuse to see life as anything less than wonderful.

Because it IS wonderful.

Happy happy happy Sunday night.

You’re a rockstar.

The week ahead of you is your stage.

good thoughts

Love,

Juliana

2014: To be fearless.

2014 is almost over. It’s unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday I was planning out my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions… So silly!

See last year I had one resolution. To be fearless. My goal was to do one thing every single day that was out of my comfort zone. To do one thing that scared me. Unfortunately, like many New Year’s resolutions, my exact idea was short lasted.

Luckily for me, it bloomed into much more than I could’ve ever hoped for.

2014 taught me many things. But ultimately, this year I learned what it means to be fearless. Contrary to what the word itself suggests, it does not mean having no fears at all.

No no no, what it means is to not let those fears into every nook and crevice of who you are.

I think that fear is healthy. And pretty dang incredible. It taps into one of our most primal instincts: fight or flight.

This year I learned how to look my fears, my demons in the face. And laugh.

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I did things I would’ve never thought possible for me. I met incredible people. I laughed. I cried. I smiled. I woke up every single day with a fire in my heart. On some days it wasn’t quite so bright. But I learned how to feed it.

I traveled. I adventured. I sought out adrenaline rushes. I crossed borders. I discovered my physical limits and pushed past them. I made incredible friends. I discovered who I am, who I want to be.

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I learned how to be unafraid. I learned how to live.

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I wanted to round up as many pictures as I possibly could for a visual depiction of my years, but I found it was hard to do so for two reasons:

1. I didn’t take many pictures. I embraced moments instead of capturing them.

2. Honestly, there are no pictures or words to describe this crazy, beautiful year of my life.

Nonetheless, I have some!

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And my personal favorite…

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It’s been the best year of my life. I can say that with no hesitation.

I guess as 2015 approaches, there’s one thing I want everyone (myself included) to remember…

The ticking of a clock. The flipping of a calendar page. A number changing from 4 to 5… None of that changes who you are. It doesn’t grant you another opportunity to start afresh.

And that’s because it’s all up to YOU. Who do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to keep being afraid of the life you’re leading?

You get to choose. You get to choose happiness. To choose a different path. To choose who you do or do not want in your life.

It’s yours. Get after it. No hesitation. No fear. Just choose.

As you count down the clock on the 31st, I hope you know that it won’t make anything different.

You have to make things different. How? You just do. It happens the moment you just decide.

Live openly. Live freely. Live fearlessly.

Love,

Juliana

P.S. When I was getting ready to fly to Portland, I was scared. Flying kind of terrified me. However, I decided to tell myself that I was not afraid. Over and over and over I repeated it in my head until I actually believed it. After that, it was truth. I wrote a poem on the plane and I always felt as thought it would be better spoken aloud, but I’m going to write it here anyway, because it helped me actually crush a very legitimate fear of mine. ABSOLUTELY CRUSH IT.

Haha, this is the whole journal entry:

“Bear Cub” 12.15.14 @ 7:33 p.m.. Somewhere over TX.

I like fear.

I like it because I think the only thing we’re actually afraid of is who we become when we are afraid. when we’re fearful. when we’re scared.

We turn into these people that we don’t want to be: pitiful, hesitant, stressed.

We let our fear consume us.

We let it eat us whole.

It doesn’t even need to chew.

One second we’re alive and well and the next?

The next second you’re in the belly of the beast.

No survivors.

Our fears are a seemingly incurable disease – destined to attach to a host and suck the life out of it.

We are those hosts.

Sometimes we think we’re safe.

We think we’ve worn repellent.

We think we’ve washed our hands.

But the fear is like a tsunami. A tidal wave. A riptide.

Your pool floaties won’t save you.

How discouraging. What a lost cause.

Not exactly.

You see, we all have the ability to squash our fears like bugs.

You know they say that if you’re ever being attacked by a shark – poke it in the eye.

Big bad Jaws will get his feelings heart and

will

swim

away.

When a grizzly bear is preparing to attack you, you’re supposed to go into the fetal position.

You’ll seem weak.

Like a baby. A cub.

The big, scary bear should

leave

you

be.

Because in that moment, you are not you.

You are telling yourself over and over:

“I am a bear.”

“I am a bear.”

“I am a bear.”

“I am a bear.”

When the fear us about to swallow you alive:

You are a bear.

You are a bear.

You are a bear.

I am a bear.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid.

You tell yourself that over and over and over and once you believe it – fear sure as hell will too.

You are a bear.

I am a bear.

I am not afraid.

I like fear.

.

.

.

Because I am NOT afraid.

Day 1

Good morning!

Yesterday was pretty fun. I walked almost 11 miles. Hahaha!

Yesterday I woke up at 7ish and went to the main guest house for breakfast. A bakery down the street supplies the hostel lots of bread every morning and the coffee shop across the street supplies reaaaaally good coffee.

Afterwards, I got ready to face the cold and headed out to Stump Town Coffee. I got an almond milk cappuccino and it was nice!

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As I was drinking it I decided to head to Forest Park next. I figured out what bus to take and sort of just hopped on. Luckily, the bus driver was super nice and she helped me out a bit.

Once I got off I had to walk up some huge hills to get to the trails but it was worth it.

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I decided against walking all the way back so I requested my very first Uber. It was convenient and cheap, but Uber is pretty evil sooooo…

I ended up taking a nap at the hostel because I was tired and cold. When I woke up, I headed to the coffee shop across the street for a pick me up. The coffee really is so good. And they had vegan pastries! This one is a banana chocolate chip muffin. I’m pretty sure Portland is more vegan friendly than ATX.

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Afterwards, I called yet another Uber to take me to the Historic Mississippi District. There were LOTS of funky shops and I went in and out of almost all of them. I decided against getting another ride home so I walked back to the hostel. It took a while! I got to cross the Mississippi River by foot which was pretty neat.

I think that I like the Pearl District the best… It reminds me a lot of S. Congress!

After I got home I walked some more to Trader Joe’s to buy stuff for dinner! The hostel has huge fridges and kitchens so that you can actually make things! I ended up eating veggie patties, vegetables, and pita chips with an obscene amount of hummus.

It gets dark at 4:30ish here so I kind of holed up inside because I was cold and tired and I had gotten a really early start! I got a lot of sleep though and I feel really good now!

I’m thinking I may run to Washington today!

Love,
Juliana

12 Hours Later

Almost 12 full hours after leaving my apartment, I have:

Flown from ATX -> SFO -> PDX.
Taken my first solo taxi ride.
Checked into my hostel.
Met a recent UT grad! \m/
Showered.
And now I’m ready to rest up for whatever tomorrow brings.

I’m really hungry, but this still rocks so hard.

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Finals.

Well hey.

I’ve been crazy busy lately. Yesterday was the last day of classes for the semester and now it’s time for finals. Lucky for me, I only have one on Thursday. Unfortunately, it’s OChem. Soooo the next couple of days of my life will be dedicated to filling my brain to the brim with reaction mechanisms.

This past week I had three exams: nutrition lab final (I got a 92!), sociology exam #4 (grades aren’t up), and NTR 312 exam #3 (I got an 84). I was studying so much that I barely even ran this week. Yeah, it was crazy.

I am exhausted. I’m taking today off from studying completely so that I can go watch one of my favorite homegirls KILL IT at her half marathon today! Then I work a midshift tomorrow, followed by a 10 miler, and the the studying extravaganza begins. Good vibes and coffee are always welcome. 😉

The apartment is decorated for Christmas! We have a small, but real, Christmas tree and tinsel and stockings and lights and a bowl of mini candy canes. Oh, and on Wednesday I took a picture with Santa on campus. It was hilarious, but that may have been because I was exhausted and stressed to the max.

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I leave for Portland in 9 days and I am so so pumped. The only thing I really have planned is that I’m going to rent a bike to get around the city! I may or may not go bungee jumping off a bridge while I’m there. 🙂

Geez I cannot believe this semester is over! Last fall was pretty rough and unpleasant for me, so it felt like it lasted forever, but this year it flew by! I loved my classes and I’m really going to miss my assistant position. Nonetheless, I went through the semester with no regrets and I cannot wait to see what the spring brings!

Not to mention, this 5 week winter break will be niiiiiice. I have a week off in January for an adventure, but I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. Ideas? I’m thinking maybe a Louisiana trip because it’s one of the closest states. Or maybe New Mexico? Or even the Grand Canyon in Arizona! Where should I go?! East or West?!

Anyway, sorry this post has been all over the place. Life has been a bit hectic lately, but it’s been good!

Also, in regards to everything that has been happening in America lately… I’m sure that if you know me well you know I have my own stance on everything. But when it boils down to it, a human life is a human life. And in my opinion, all lives should be valued equally. NO life should ever be lost due to brutality or negligence. I’ll leave you with this to think about:

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Greenbelt Adventure Run

Holy guacamole guys. I just had so much fun! Yesterday I headed to the Greenbelt here in ATX for a trail run, but I was getting eaten up by mosquitoes so I called it quits after only 1.8 miles. So today I headed there again covered head to toe in sunscreen and bug spray (welcome to TX)!

I ended up getting pretty lost, running into some obstacles, stumbling onto some homeless camps, seeing some beautiful stuff, and STILL getting attacked by mosquitoes…

Nonetheless, it was awesome and I swear I will know the trails like the back of my hand by the time I graduate UT.

Rather than try to ramble on what I can remember, I’m just going to throw a bunch of pictures at you and comment on them!

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The Greenbelt! The way you access it is important because it’s different everywhere you go!

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Awesome rock painting!

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Rock face.

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Lost selfie. I had just climbed up that “path”… And by climbed, I really do mean climbed! It was way steep.

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Not 100% sure what this was, but I think this is what I free climbed for a bit.

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THIS BRIDGE. Oh my word. Okay, I was seriously lost on what I thought were trails  – word of advice: Just because it looks like trail DOES NOT MEAN IT IS ONE. 😉 I crossed it once, ran for about a half a mile until I dead ended at a homeless camp. I filmed it the second time I crossed it but the video is blurry because it was on my phone. The smart thing to do would have been to climb down into the ravine and then climb back up the other side (it was about 4-5 ft down) but instead I did what any reckless adventurer would do and decided to cross the dang bridge. It rocked.

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Some flowing water yo.

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I LOVE seeing these things! They crack me up.

It was an awesome time! If you’re ever in Austin and want a Greenbelt adventure buddy then just hit me up! We can run or hike or whatever! 🙂

Love,

Ju

Pumpkins & Knives…

Make for a good time!

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I carved the baby on the first step and Erica carved the baby cyclops on the second step. I carve the same thing every year! 😉

Now we’re roasting the pumpkin seeds (without burning them this year)!

Have a beautiful October Sunday!

Juliana

P.S. I bought a plane ticket to Portland, OR. And I reserved a bunk in a hostel. That’s the extent of planning I intend to do. #wanderlust