4 planes
19 trains
9 buses
5 boats
6 cars
95 miles on foot

Day 1: 4/30/16 4mi

We boarded our airplane at 10:30. The plane was set to take off at 11:05. The row held four seats, we got the two middle seats. We settled in for our nine hour flight.

Day 2: 5/1/16 11mi

We were served dinner at 12:30am. They served us salmon with mixed vegetables, Caesar salad, spinach salad, bread, and a brownie. I had hoped to sleep most of the night, but I couldn’t. Instead, I watched the Martian. By the time it ended around 2am I still could not fall asleep. I decided to write. I wrote until 4:30 in the morning. Apparently I had a lot on my mind and what better time to address it then when you are trapped in a seat for 9 hours?

We landed in Istanbul at 1:30 (TK time). We had a six hour layover there where we ate, slept, walked around, and waited until ten minutes before boarding until they announced the platform. We boarded and off we went.

We landed in Roma at 11:55pm (IT time). We had booked an airBnB fifteen minutes away from the airport. The host agreed to pick us up and did so around 12:30am. We got back and went to sleep.

Day 3: 5/2/16 9mi

We woke up around 7:30am and the hosts provided us with little cakes, tea, and fruit for breakfast. The hosts drive us to the train station where we set off on a two hour train ride for Firenze. We had to catch a bus to our new host. The bus system was confusing and it took us extra time to figure it out. We ended up missing our stop and had to walk back two stops. Then, we got lost trying to find the house. Eventually, we found it and our host rang us in. She was a sweet older lady who owned a two bedroom flat in Firenze. She showed us around and told us we had access to the kitchen.

We then left and made our way to town Centrale. We explored Duo


Duomo Firenze

mo Firenze, Galleria del’Accademia, and more. We climbed to an overlook and had a spectacular view of the entire city. Around sunset, we made our way back to the flat. We stopped at a grocery store and bought food to make pasta and asparagus. We called it an early night.

Day 4: 5/3/16 9mi

In the morning we packed up around 8:30 and caught a train to Bologna. We wandered around with all of our luggage on our backs. We explored IMG_3451the university, the city market, and the monastery. At the market we picked up fresh salami and cheese that we enjoyed for lunch. We laughed as we ended up with 1/2 a pound of salami simply due to not knowing how to ask for less. We also explored a medieval museum just because they had lockers where we could store our luggage to give our backs sweet relief after hours of lugging it around.

In the evening, we took a train over to Mestre where we checked in to our next airBnB. Afterwards we found a little restaurant that serves amazing ravioli. We order a glass of Merlot but neither of us cared for it too much so we left it half full.

Day 5: 5/4/16 8mi

We allowed ourselves to sleep in this morning. It was wonderful and then we took our time getting ready. Afterwards we heads back to the train station, took a train to Venezia and


Boat ride view to Murano

then a boat to Murano. Murano was incredible. The moment I stepped foot on the island, I was in love. The island is known for its glass making. Every store we passed sold some form of glass. Earrings, necklaces, plates, clocks, lamps, knick knacks. You name it. We got to watch a bowl get made. We ate at a restaurant where I had my first Italian pizza.



It was absolutely incredible. We explored the island for hours. The canals, the houses, the glass, it was all amazing. After several hours we decided to make our way to Burano. Burano is know for its lace. I didn’t think I would be as into the lace as I was, but I couldn’t get enough. Burano was beautiful with its canals and brightly colored houses.

It’s no wonder Venezia is known for being the most expensive island, it was difficult not to buy everything. The bridges and canals just make it a stunning city.

When we got tired, we took the ferry and train back to Mestre where we bought a suitcase and then realized that we were out of euro. We searched until we found an ATM machine and got more euro.

We then showered and finished the salami and cheese.

Day 6: 5/5/16 9mi

We got up at 6:30 so that we could catch the train by 7:30. We had limited time but wanted to still go to Sam Marco and see Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica. Doge’s Palace opened at 8:30 so we got there fifteen minutes before. The line filled up fast. We made it in by 8:45 and walked through. We got to cross the Bridge of Sighs and walk down to the


Bridge of Sighs

dungeon. The rooms in the palace were incredible with ornate murals and gold engravings.

Saint Mark’s Basilica was incredible in the outside. The detail in the architecture was breathtaking. The index was beautiful, but it was too crowded to thoroughly enjoy it. We still had time before we had to catch our next train so we walked over to Rialto Bridge and plaza.


St. Mark’s Basilica

Unfortunately the bridge was under construction and wasn’t much of a sight. We wandered around until we caught our boat back.

We bought a second suitcase, a bunch of groceries, and checked out of our airBnB and got on the train. We had a three hour train to Roma, then caught another train to Napoli.

We arrived in Napoli around 6:30pm. The moment we stepped out of the train station we could tell that this part of our trip would be different from the rest. We had to catch the metro to get to our next airBnB. We figured out the system and made our way.

We got off the metro and walked into the city center. There was trash everywhere, the air was different, and the people were different. We timidly wandered around trying to follow the directions the host has sent me. We could not figure it out and by the time I got my phone out to call the host, he found us on the street. He asked who we were and then he led us to the building where we entered a tiny metal door into what felt like a dungeon. We followed him to the apartment where he presented the key, opened the door, and began to spit all kinds of information at us. He told us which switches not to touch and all of the rules and then left. Every other place had just been a room in someone’s apartment, this places was its on studio apartment with a bed, mini kitchen, and a bathroom. He left us and we just laughed. We felt so lost and out of place and unsure of what to do next. We tried logging into the wifi and with great difficulty, we eventually did.

We then headed out to find a pizza place that had reportedly the best gluten free pizza ever. We sat down and ate the best pizza we had ever had followed by some delicious gelato. When we got back to the apartment we laughed more and expressed our concern about staying in this city. We looked into changing our train ticket so that we would only spend one full day here instead of two, but did not have much success.

Day 7: 5/6/16 13mi

We woke up with some of the hesitation from the night before. We were still unsure about staying until we reached Pompeii. The scenery and the history behind the city helped ease our fears.



We spent a few hours wandering around there (where I got pizza for breakfast)



and then headed to Sorrento. Sorrento was next in line to Venice. It was absolutely breath taking. We wandered around the streets and found food. We ate at a restaurant where we got prosciutto and melon to share and I got the best Gnocchi with tomato sauce and cheese. We got Panna Cotta for dessert with Lemoncello. We thoroughly enjoyed the Panna Cotta, but struggled to drink the Lemoncello. We laughed at ourselves as we drank the shot in multiple sips.

We spent the afternoon walking around and exploring the streets of Sorrento. Eventually we stumbled upon the view of the coast. We found beach access and walked down the side of the mountain to get to it. The water was as blue as could be and was beautiful with the sky line holding mountains and boasts of villages.

I decided I wanted to go swimming. So we made the trek back up the mountain so that I could buy a bathing suit. After, we made our way back down where I got to run into the Gulf di Napoli on the coast of Sorrento.

Then we spent a few more hours walking around, buying all things lemon, and eating gelato. Twice in one sitting.

We ended the day in Naples by getting a gluten free pizza and eating it back at our flat.

Day 8: 5/7/16 12.5mi

Today woke keep around 7:30 and gathered our belongings. We walked to the hotel that our host worked at. We had been told that we could leave our luggage there for the day since we had to check out of the flat.

We got lost trying to find the hotel and wandered around for a while. Eventually we asked for help and were directed in the right direction. We found the hotel and fit our selves, two backpacks, and two suitcases in an elevator designed for three really small people. We found the place and deposited our luggage. We got lost trying to find the train station, but a woman who spoke English stopped and asked us if we needed help. She pointed us in the right direction and said she was headed that way as well. We got to the station and to Mt. Vesuvius we went.

We got to Ercolana here we purchased bus tickets, found an ATM, and got the last seat on the bus. The last seat as in we had to share the single front seat up the side of the mountain that overlooked the entire city. It was insane and incredible. IMG_4082

The bus dropped us off at the end of the road and we had to hike the rest of the way. We hiked straight up the side of the mountain until we reached the crater. It was so vast and much larger than I had expected. There were even vents producing smoke and the smell of sulfur was strong. After lots of pictures, we hiked back down, caught our bus, and made it back to Ercolana where we grabbed a quick lunch.


Mt. Vesuvius

After, we headed back to Napoli to pick up our luggage and catch a train. We got lost trying to find the hotel. Again. We found it and got our luggage. We made it to the train station with an hour to spare so we enjoyed some gelato and piano music. There was a piano in the middle of the station up against the elevator wall. People took turns playing and it sounded lovely.

We made our way to Roma and checked into our last AirBnB for the trip. It was a quaint little apartment. The host did not live in the apartment, but made sure she was there to greet us and was incredibly helpful. We enjoyed a great nights sleep that night.

Day 9: 5/8/16 11mi

We decided to allow ourselves to get some extra sleep and started our day a little later than we had been. After sleeping in, we made our way into the city where we spent hours walking around.

Our first stop was an indoor farmer’s market. Upon walking in, we were stopped by a camera lady who asked if we were tourists. She continued to ask questions such as, “Why did you decide to stop at the farmer’s market.” My friend answered most of the questions and when we walked away we just laughed at how bland our answers hIMG_4195ad been. The market was full of vendors selling different things such as meat, cheese, jams, pasta made on the spot, and more. We found our way to a vendor that was selling fresh homemade gelato. We both chose to get the largest size which normally consisted of two scoops of gelato.
We chose our two flavors and then he continued asking, “What about this one? One more?” Until we each had four large scoops of differing flavors. It was by far the richest gelato I have ever had. It was so rich that even I, ice cream/gelato fanatic, could not finish it.

After leaving the farmer’s market, we continued on and bought tickets to see pantheon and the colosseum. The architecture was increIMG_4342dible and it was amazing to think of what it had looked like centuries ago. We also walked to the Trevi Fountain which was absoluIMG_4173tely breath taking, but also intensely crowded.

We called it an early night and made our way back to the AirBnB where we made a dinner of gnocchi and sauce. Since we had pushed ourselves to do so much in the days prior to getting to Rome, it was nice to finally have some time to just relax. It was worth it to push ourselves to do everything in the other cities, but it was also absolutely necessary to slow down at the end of the trip.

Day 10: 5/9/16 18mi

IMG_4404Our final day it Italia was spent exploring more of Roma. We made out way to the Vatican museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, the a castle that I cannot remember the name of. The castle provided beautiful views of the city of Roma. After the castle, we made our way to the Vatican Museums. We spent quite some time admiring the intricate walls and ceilings that were decorated with detailed paintings and encrusted in gold. As we continued to walk, we eventually came up to the Sistine Chapel. We were rushed through a entryway, told pictures were not allowed, and continuously commanded to keep moving through a thick crowd of people. We were in and out of the Sistine Chapel so quickly that we had hardly had the chance to  admire it. Upon exiting, we looked at each other and then agreed that it had been quite anti-climactic. The entire museum was so intricately designed that the Sistine Chapel did not stand out as much as we had IMG_4450anticipated it to. As we ended our tour of the Vatican, we made it to the gift shop where we saw post cards of the painting of God’s finger reaching down to give life to Adam. It was then that we realized that we had been so overwhelmed by the art work and being told to keep moving, that we completely missed the most iconic painting in the Sistine Chapel. We kicked ourselves a bit but also laughed at the ridiculousness that was our situation.

Our next stop was St. Peter’s Basilica. I had worn a dress that day that did not have full IMG_4530sleeves and did not go to the knee. As we got in line to enter the basilica, we were told that our shoulders and knees had to be covered. So, we made due by wrapping a sweater around my legs to cover my knees and using my scarf to cover my shoulders. It was quite the outfit indeed. We managed to cover eighteen miles on foot even with sleeping in and calling it an early night.

Once we arrived back at the AirBnB we began to pack up and plan how we would get to the airport in the morning. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 7:20am and therefore we wanted to be there by 5:30am. As we were trying to plan, we realized that all of the public transportation shut down and did not open again until 5am. We needed to be at the airport by 5:30 and it was over hour away. We contemplated calling a taxi, but then were informed that there was a train that ran all night. We found out about a night bus that ran every thirty minutes, however the site did not clarify whether it was on the hour, quarter, or what. So, we planned to leave ourselves two and a half hours to get to the airport. We called it a night after eleven and our alarm went off at 2:45 in the morning.

Day 11: 5/10/16

We made it to the bus stop by 3:15, were picked up around 3:45 and made it to the train station by 4:00. Despite everything we had been told and read, the train station did not open until 4:30. We started to stress out a little bit as it was pushing it awfully close.

While waiting outside of the station, we met two young men who spoke very little english, but tried their best to help us. They told us it would be faster to take another bus. We ran around the bus station for a while only to discover that one would not be running for quite some time. The guy assured us that if our flight was not until 7:20, that we would be just fine catching the train. He asked us where in America we were from and if we knew anything about Wyoming. We told him that we did not and asked why. He continued to pull out his camera and show us pictures of his girlfriend from Wyoming that had come to visit Italia. They met in a restaurant where he worked as her server and the rest is history. It was adorable how absolutely enamored he was with her.

The station eventually opened and we ran in to buy our tickets. We were even more disheartened to learn that the first train would not be leaving until 5:30 which would put us at the airport around 6:30. We bought the tickets with no other option and made our way to the terminal. At this point I was stressed to the max and sincerely believing that we were going to miss our flight. I even started looking up the next flight. After a little while we calculated everything out and realized it was not doable. So, we left the station and found a taxi. The driver asked us what time our flight was. He told us he could get us to the airport in thirty-five to forty minutes. The man sped and while it was slightly terrifying, we just sat in the back hoping to not only make it to the airport on time, but to make it there alive. He made it there in just twenty-five minutes. We got lost in the airport for a little bit, but arrived at our terminal just as they were beginning to line up to board.

We had a layover in Istanbul where we got some snacks, including Turkish Delight, and just wandered around the airport. After a few hours we boarded our last plane and began the last ten hour leg of our journey. Landing in the United States is much more time consuming and complicated than in Europe. It took us five minutes to get through customs in Italy, but to reenter our home it took us nearly an hour.

As sad as I was that our trip was over, it felt so good to be home. My friend picked me up from the airport around 7:30pm EST , we drove home, dropped her off, and I turned around and went to a friends hockey game.

I did not go to bed until 3:30 in the morning which meant that with the time change and all, I had not slept in over thirty hours. I slept until about 7:30am at which point I got up, packed my belongings up in my car, went to a meeting and by 2pm finished loading up my car with everything I owned and drove two hours to my parents with my friend. We unloaded my car that evening and stayed the night. The following morning we drove back to DC where I went to another hockey game and then the next day we loaded my car up with my friend’s belongings and began the drive to move her back to Boston.

The drive was supposed to be about eight hours, but due to traffic took us about twelve. I was fine driving for the first six hours, but finally asked my friend to drive halfway through. At some point I realized that I could not keep my eyes open any longer and I passed out for the remainder of the drive. Jet lag at its finest, only hitting three days late.

Our trip to Italia was absolutely incredible and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity. The trip was affordable and if I never make it back to Italia, I feel like I covered enough grounds to hold me over.

Plane Ticket through Turkish Arilines: $608
Lodging through AirBnB: $435 (split between two people=$217)
Train/Bus/Taxi: Approximately $400 (each)
Museum and Attraction Tickets: Approximately $150
Food for the Entire Trip and Souvenirs (and lots of gelato): Approximately $450

Since I don’t remember exact prices of everything, the numbers do not add up exactly, but for a ten day trip to Europe I spent $1840.



Do you ever think about all of the different ways you could die? This question is not intended to be a morbid one nor is it supposed to be one that raises concern. It is simply a matter of fact question. Do you ever think about your fears and how they correlate? I am terrified of lightning, yet when I see lightning I do not think about death, I am just terrified. The ocean is one of my absolute favorite things, but when I am in it I think about how the ocean could very easily kill me. The ocean is not a fear of mine, I do not fear it or the possible ways that it could kill me, but I acknowledge it. There are animals in the ocean that could kill me, such as a shark. The ocean current could pull me out and I could drown. Driving is one of those things that I do out of necessity, but also when I just need time to think. However, every time I get behind the wheel I think about the fact that I am in control of a powerful machine. There are so many things that could go wrong while behind the wheel or even as a passenger. Even though these thoughts cross my mind on a regular basis, they are just thoughts.

Death is all around us and I do not believe it to be abnormal to think about it. I am not a fearful person. In fact, I tend to be more daring then fearful. The thoughts are not debilitating and do not prevent me from doing what I love or simply doing every day things that are necessary for my lifestyle.

However, knowing that the things that I love and my every day actions could easily result in a mishap, it pushes me to think about the life I do have left to live. You never know how long you have. It is impossible to predict and life can be taken as quickly as it is given.

So, the next question is, what drives you? What drives you to live your life the way you do? What mark do you want to leave on the world when you go and how will you ensure that it is left?



With a blog/website title of “A Storm You Can Weather” how could I not write when the daily prompt was simply the word, storm.

I love a good storm, yet they terrify me. I love the roar of thunder and the sound of rain. However, lightning is one of my biggest fears. Why is it my biggest fear? My fear of lightning made itself known when I was about eleven years old. My friend and I were swimming in the pool in my backyard when I began to hear thunder. I told her that we should get out, as that is the rule. We shrugged it off a little bit longer, but I began to get more fearful as the roll of thunder was heard more frequently. Finally, I convinced her to get out. We were drying off when we started to think about getting back in as the thunder seemed to have stopped. The sound of thunder was heard in the distance so we decided to go inside for a little bit. We left the top deck and I turned around to lock up the gate. I was standing on the staircase between the bottom and top deck, holding a metal lock in the air as I prepared to put it on the gate when lightning struck. The lightning seemed so close as if it had struck right in front of me and the loudest crack of thunder echoed almost immediately after the lightning. I have never screamed so loud, nor for so long in my entire life. I ran into the house with shaking knees and continued to scream even once safely inside. My sister was telling me to be quiet as her son was sleeping, my friend was laughing hysterically, and my knees were shaking uncontrollably. Ever since then, lightning has enthralled, yet terrified me. I have since been caught in terrible storms and ten years later that anxious feeling still makes itself known every time I see lightning.

While storms are brewing outside every day all over the world, storms are brewing within the people around us. Maybe even within you right now. There are good storms. Storms when life goes crazy but for reasons that bring joy. For example, having a baby. I cannot speak from personal experience, but from plenty of observation, man is that a storm. Your life is turned upside down as you prepare to bring in a new life to the world. Your life is forever changed when that baby finally make its appearance. Then your life is in a constant whirlwind watching that child grow up way to fast. It is a storm indeed, but a storm that you want to sit on the front porch for as you watch in awe. There are storms that bring chaos and sadness. Losing a loved one or losing a job are both circumstances that bring their own unique storms.

Storms are unavoidable. There is not a thing that we can do to prevent or change the nature of a storm, physical or figurative. What we can do, is control the way we react. For me, when I see that first strike of lightning, I begin to tense up and get very anxious. Knowing how it affects me, when I sense a storm coming, I can begin to prepare myself and work towards changing my reaction. Sometimes I practice this and actually enjoy the beauty of a streak of lightning stretching from the sky to earth (from a great distance and in shelter of course). It is the same idea for the storms of life.

I just spent four years of my life studying social work and varying techniques that are applicable to the field of work. One technique that comes up over and over again is mindfulness. Google, (oh so convenient, isn’t it?) defines mindfulness as, “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” How different would we be if we constantly practiced mindfulness? If we were always aware of our state of consciousness and of our surroundings? How often do we go through a day without noticing a single thing outside of our little bubble?

Life is hard and there is no avoiding that. We are bound to face trials and hardships, we cannot alter that. What CAN be altered is our response to life’s surprises.

This week I over booked myself and planned to do far more than I should have. It was stressing me out a bit and when other things were not going according to plan, I was getting more frustrated than necessary. When I got off of work early today, I decided to just take an evening for myself. After a quick trip to the store, I went home where I watched Netflix, ate ice cream, used a face mask, and just took a breather. In that time I realized how often I stretch myself thin. Better yet, I realized how little I give myself time to just breath. I also realized how it is starting to catch up to me.

People are often times defined as selfish or selfless. You cannot be both, or so I thought. I am beginning to realize that there is a healthy balance. We are called to do unto others. I have been called to serve those around me, particularly children. It is in my nature to want to serve those I love, it is most definitely my love language as far as showing love goes. I chose to go into a helping profession so that I could spend my working days serving and I love {almost} every second of it. As much as I love serving, it is becoming apparent how the lack of serving myself is beginning to affect me. Contempt and Bitterness have never been personality traits of mine until recently. Then, the realization that I can take care of myself AND make serving others a priority hit. It is okay to say no every now and then and just spend a few hours mindlessly watching Netflix. There is no need to feel guilty about taking time to just be alone without obligation to anyone else. In fact, it is necessary. In order to be your best to serve others to your highest capability, you have to refresh. If you are constantly on the go without time to refresh, then eventually you will burn out. Taking a day here and there is far better than burning out and needing days on end to recover.

So, where storms are avoidable, we should avoid them. Why suffer when it is completely unnecessary? But when it is completely unavoidable and you have no choice but to walk into a storm, remember mindfulness. Life is what you make it. Hold your head up high and remember that it is only for a time. You have made it to where you are now, you can keep going.
When it gets too difficult and taking one more step seems impossible, just remember, life is A storm You can Weather.




The saying, “when one door closes, another opens” seems to be the most commonly used phrase when it comes to decision making or trying to explain why something went wrong. Sometimes a door closes and another one does not open again for a long, long time. Sometimes a door closes and another one simply never does opens.

We live in a “right now” society. We live in a “cop out” culture. Nothing is ever our fault and we can always find something or someone else to blame things on. We blame our circumstances, those around us, influences, etc. but how often do we stop and put the blame where it belongs? Sometimes it really is your own fault. We cannot just tap out every time we realize we have made a mistake, you have to own up to it.

If we are always tapping out, then how are we supposed to learn and become stronger individuals for it? Instead, the same mistakes are continuously repeated and history never truly becomes history.

I will be the first to say that I hate admitting that I am wrong. It makes me cringe to just think about it. My pride gets in the way and tells me it is never my fault, there is always some other reason for the mistake. However, I will also be the first to admit that I am incredibly flawed and make more mistakes than I can keep track of.

Swallowing our pride, owning up to our mistakes, and learning from them is all part of the journey to discovering who we are. We become complacent and content with where we are and who we are while at the same time wishing we could change. Complacency is never a good thing. It is important to be content with what we have, but we should always be striving to better ourselves. This does not necessarily mean earning a higher income, holding a better title, or owning more expensive things. While all of those things are great,  it is about bettering our inner selves. The idea of if you fill yourself with good, then you will pour good out is such an important concept. In Christianity, this rings true as the more you fill your heart and mind with the truths of God’s word and love, the more it will manifest itself within you and pour out onto others. The more of it you let in, the more it becomes you.

The same is to be said about the more bad you allow in, the more bad you expel. Toxic relationships, harmful actions, and the like all have lasting effects on your heart and the essence of who you are. The longer you allow those things to be a part of your life, the more damage will be done and the longer the recovery will take.

It is easier said than done, but constantly re-evaluating the people, things, and to do(s) in your life is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The journey called life is made up of complicated and difficult decisions. It is made up of happy times that give you reason to go on and it is made up of trying times that make you question whether it is all worth it. In the end, no matter what happens, life is A storm You can Weather.

Better yet, life is A storm You can Weather {with God by your side}.



They are everywhere.

We layer ourselves. There is a depth to our personalities, our emotions, and our likes and dislikes that form layers that others can peel back as they get to know us. Sometimes as another gets to know you, they discover another layer that you were not aware of. We are constantly changing and therefore adding layer after layer.

It is the best thing when you meet someone who is equally interested in getting to know you as you are them. There are all different levels of relationships. Strangers, acquaintances, friends, significant others, and family. Not everyone is intended to get to know you in your entirety, in fact, more often than not very few people ever get that far. (Really, can anyone ever truly know you in your entirety? But you get the picture.)
There are layers for a reason. You choose who gets in. Sometimes you willingly show yourself to others, sometimes people find their own way in. There is nothing like realizing that you were important enough to someone for them to spend the time pushing through walls and peeling away at your layers. Even when you resisted. It’s that person that you do not want to let go of.

Let go of the people who do not care. Let go of the people who never push beyond the surface.

Let go as in work at their level. Do not waste energy knocking down the walls of someone who will not even brush the surface of getting to know you. A relationship involves two. It cannot work if one person is pushing to get to know the other while forcing the other to know everything about themselves. If you spend hours, days on end with a person and they only know what you have willingly told them, then stop.

It is important to pursue friendships. Yes, there are situations where you need to push your way into someone’s life when they will not return the gesture, but it takes careful consideration to determine which relationships rightfully require that. Do not put your heart into someone who will not even offer a listening ear. It may sound like common sense. You may want to say, “Duh, who would do that?” But you think that until you are in the situation where you are all in and you just cannot understand why the other person is not.



Who We Are |Fourth Edition|

When did we become people that care so little about the feelings of those around us? How often do we ask someone how they are but start thinking about something else before they answer? I wish I could say that I never did this, but I have become aware of just how frequently I do it.

Perception and naivety.
Two character traits that contradict each other and have caused so many issues in my life. I am an incredibly perceptive person. It is something I pride myself in. It fits in well with my line of work as I work with people constantly and unfortunately, am lied to a lot. Being perceptive helps me be able to determine when a client is lying to me or telling the truth which is sometimes quite a trying task. However, I am naive. I see the good in everyone. It is not a bad thing until the desire to see the good in someone overcomes the very obvious negative things.

Determining what our various quality traits are and how they benefit and hinder us is so important. It is something that I have been focusing on as of late and it has opened my eyes to why certain things have happened in my life.

There are two kinds of extremes when it comes to people. The people that blame everyone else for things that happen in their life and the people who blame themselves for everything. I have been told by those close to me that I am the type of person that blames everyone else. I agreed and tried to change it. Then I realized that that wasn’t the case. I am the person that verbally blames others for things that happen, but internally I blame and victimize myself. All of which is incredibly unhealthy.

I blame others because it is the easy thing to do. It is a lot harder to sit down and dissect the actual reason why something occurred. I internally blame myself because deep down I believe that I always could have done something differently.

As of late I have just felt an overwhelming anger towards the apathetic, care-free nature of our society. When did it become okay to completely disregard those around us and not even consider how our actions might affect them? We have become a society of self-centered individuals who only seek things that will benefit themselves. We are driven by the desire to feel fulfilled regardless of what it takes to get there.

Love. We are commanded to love other as we love ourselves. We are told to love our enemies. We are told these things over and over again yet we choose not to listen. I am learning that loving those who hurt me is one of the most rewarding and freeing experiences. I spent time feeling such complete anger, borderline hatred towards an person that did not even realize they hurt me. What was that anger doing? It was not affecting the individual, it was just eating away at me. It was making me become someone that I did not like. Then, like a switch being turned off, the anger dissipated. I began to understand where that person was coming from, even though I did not agree with it, and I stopped hating them. Now, I feel compassion towards them. I have forgiven them even though they still do not realize that there was anything for me to forgive.

So, ;et’s learn to let go and not hold on. Let’s learn to love and not hate.

Who We Are |First Edition|
Who We Are |Second Edition|
Who We Are |Third Edition|