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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Summer Recap

Hey hey! Here I am, drinking my first pumpkin latte of the season and I’m feeling festive. 🙂

Today I thought back to how phenomenal my summer was; surely the best one yet. So, to celebrate the unofficial beginning of autumn, I’ve decided to make a list of my summer adventures!

In chronological order (mostly):
Won 3rd place at Autism Speaks 8K
Turned 19 🙂
Visited McKinney Falls for the first time
Bungee jumped
Kayaked and paddle boarded on Town Lake
Vandalized on the graffiti wall
Finally visited the pecan place with the giant squirrel statue
Went on a road trip trough NM to Colorado
Had Amy’s ice cream for the first time
Trained my bootay off and got very tan in the process
Camping trip in NM
Galveston day trip (complete with hennas)
Got new running shoes
Had a hilarious GNO with my best friend
Took a 40 mile bike trip to Hamilton Pool
Swam at Krause Springs & Reimer Ranch Park
Went on a Blue Bell tour
Moved out of my first apartment ever
Solo camped for 4 days in the heat
Visited Sabrina, Mathew, and Bolt in Cali where we hiked, longboarded, and chilled

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Moved home for a few days before finally heading back to ATX
And then I started school

Aaaaand I got a bit lazy on the blogging front… But check out my Instagram to see pictures of said adventures!

🙂
I want to go bungee jumping again soon!

Haha!

Love,
Juliana

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Read These Please

Hey world 🙂

I am currently sitting in an oddly empty room with a sleeping man at some public library. I wanted to kill time with AC, some wifi, and possibly another new book before I head to the airport for hours and hours.

My flight for California departs at 6 am tomorrow and I didn’t want to book a hotel or camp, so I’ll be spending the night there! New experiences > comfort.

Considering I was in Bookpeople earlier and now a library, I figured I’d share the books I’ve read this summer! You should most definitely read them.

However, let me first say, that i really really like to read. Nonfiction. And mostly travel memoirs. I get on reading kicks, though. I can go months without reading a single book to completion, but then I’ll suddenly read 3 books back to back to back. That’s happening now. And I love it. Although, I’m having a hard time finding more books as soon as I finish one.

Nonetheless, here is my short list:
Wild by Cheryl Strayed – The movie comes out in December (which I didn’t know when I was reading it) and Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl!
Going Somewhere by Brian Benson – I liked this one a lot and it inspired my further for my bike trip to Hamilton Pool (which I haven’t blogged about yet…)
Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson – Okay, Bryson is hilarious. In this book, he’s traveling throughout Europe (which is awesome) and he’s cracking wise butt jokes along the way.)
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – I actually read this in high school, but I loved it. And it is why I want to hike the Appalachian Trail eventually.
Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves – I’m actually currently reading this one, but I can relate to Eaves a lot. And it has sparked an interest in Egypt in me again.

I don’t know what to read next! I’ll probably buy another book in California. I’m thinking I’ll read all of Bill Bryson’s books….

Got any recommendations?!

what do you like to read?

[wanderlust]

Erica and I are now in Salida, CO! #plzdontstalkus
😉
We are letting our phones charge for a while before we head out on a hike… No matter what Erica tries to do to convince me otherwise.

The drive here was breathtaking. Seriously, mountains and trees everywhere.

We even got minorly lost and got up close and personal with a cow. It rocked.

During the drive, I kept reveling in the beauty and thinking about how happy I am.

I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy to travel. I’m happy to adventure. I’m just so happy.

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Being outside is my favorite thing. My heart longs for the sun and the earth.

I read once “we must adventure to know where we truly belong.”
And I agree completely.

I love ATX and I’ll be happy to be back on Saturday but… Let’s just say my wanderlust is full fletched.

My whole life I’ve made a mental list of places I want to go and things I want to do and for the first time in my life, I’ve been acting on it.

And it feels wonderful. Start doing. Find you.

Love,
Juliana

Random random random!

Helllloooo! :]

I’m going home today! I survived this week, thank goodness! 

I woke up at 5:37 and I had eaten breakfast and was dressed and ready by 6:15… I was up before my alarm and I was super quick… Can you tell I’m excited about today?! Haha!

I have class until 12 and then I’m driving home! ❤

Tonight, Alex, Erica, Blake, and myself are all going to see Thor 2. I’m very excited because I’ve heard it’s good! And so far, all the Marvel movies have been good!

Also, after today, there are 2.5 weeks of the semester left! :O :O :O :O

Well, then there are finals… But at least there will be no class! Just lots of coffee and stress and tears and studying… Hahahahaha

Anyway, I made it my goal to get a bunch of homework done this week so that I could enjoy my weekend without having to worry about rushing home Sunday night to get it all done. I did it, too! I have some bio reading and some chem, but that may take me all of an hour and I’m sure Alex wouldn’t mind chilling in Starbucks… #IHope! ;]

To celebrate my excitement of today, I am wearing my favorite outfit. It sounds silly, but everything feels great today! My crazy awesome sweater I got, my new dark jeans, and fuzzy grey boots {yes, I am that girl!}

The next four weekends are going to be so good :] ❤ 

There’s really no point to this post, I just have 20 minutes to kill so I am typing away! Hahaha

So, I’ve decided that if I get a job this summer, I’m going to go local/organic. Not 100%. But when I buy my produce, I think I’ll stick to local farmers markets. Yay environmental stability and FRESH food! I ❤ my fruits and vegetables. Another thing: I’ve decided that when I run out of bread and oatmeal and stuff, I am NOT going to get more. I’m going to try-out going a little bit wheat-free… I’ve read a lot about people that do that and they feel way better because by eliminating wheat, they are eliminating empty carbs and quite a bit of sugars.. Hmmmm… I like to try things out, so why not?!

Here’s another random thing. A couple years ago, my dad took us kids to a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show one Christmastime. It was good! It’s really cool how they combine traditional orchestra and electric guitars! ;] The only thing is, it was two hours long! And it started kind of late! If you know me, you know I am so much more of a morning person. It takes quite a bit to get me to happily stay up late! —– I only brought this up because I have Christmas Pandora on and one of their songs started playing!

Another random tidbit: Tomorrow is my 10 mile run! 😀 HOLLLAAAA. Sabrina and I did 1/2 a mile of sprints yesterday… 8×100 on the outdoor track. It was c-c-c-cold! But it was fun because my pants were falling down and she has such longer legs that I felt like an awkward giraffe trying to keep up with her. But, my BME test is done. What’s done is done. It was HARD! Like, much harder than the practice tests {Dr. Y is a bootyhole} but I tried my best and now we can only see…

 

Alright, I need to go pack my stuff in the car!

Peace out! 🙂

Love, 

Juliana