Month: June 2016

Conquering my fear.

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Today was my first full day of vacation. My first full day of doing something. Today I would boldly go where I’ve never gone before…

Well I went, but I can not completely say it was bold. For to get where I went today, I had to take the Metro train there. Instead of having to pay for parking in a garage I thought it would be easier this way. Easier is a misnomer. As I will say I was really anxious and nervous to take the train on my own. For the first time ever. I am also not a fan of not being able to have control and drive. Living with my stomach issues I prefer to have that control and drive so I can stop whenever, and where ever I need to. You can’t do that in public transportation. You are boxed in to a set destination beyond your control. One of my scary fears. 


So I would go balls to the wall, as they say… Wait, has anyone ever said that? And go on the Metro. It took me some time to muster up the courage to do it. As well as talking myself out of driving there instead. Another thing I will do when face with anxious decisions try and find a way out of it. Luckily the metro station was only a ten minute walk to it and the train ride was about the same amount of time. Then it took me a few minutes to figure out how to get a card to get on the thing. It was 14.50 for a day pass, I am not sure that was cheaper than a garage though. I then hopped a train and went upon my way. Thankful that google maps told me which stop I needed, how many stops it would be before mine, and even what color train I needed. Without that I would have been lost. Technology can be a wonderful help for people like me.

The train ride was a lot better than I thought it would be. Coming back was rough as I stood the whole time and it made me all wobbly and motion sick and other reason I prefer to drive. After that I hit the Air and Space Smithsonian and had a blast seeing all the fun stuff. I then just walked around all over the place not really sure where all to go I ended up walking more than seeing things. I ended up being out for 7 hours walking all over the place. I was calm and relaxed and ok the whole time and made it back to my hotel and then to get some food. It was agre at dat and I conquered my fear and won. It did not defeat me this day.

I also met this chap and we discussed the theory of relativity. He didnt talk much though.

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My greatest adventure

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Today starts my greatest adventure to date. This week I would take myself on a vacation. A vacation going solo. Which means I have to do everything. Book the hotel. Decide where I am going. All on my own. Something I don’t normally do. Normally someone else is in charge of all that for me. It’s a different change of pace, albeit a scare change. As they say, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I will also probably take public bus, even scarier. So as to not pay for parking. 

For this vacation I would decide to do something that was not too far away but also new to me. So I decided to go down to see the Smihtsonian down in D.C. I am quite the nerd. I look forward to seeing that and as many sites around there to see. There is a dome of them. Truthfully I don’t have a full plan for what all to do. As I don’t know what all I will do. 

It’s taken me 18 weeks and a smaller vacation to get to this point. I am glad I stuck with it all, I am glad I took myself out that one day. I am glad I changed my eating, diet, and lifestyle to get to this place. It is very surreal being down here. It all was exciting and sounded great in my head, but to actually be here, seeing some of this stuff, is truly remarkable. I can not express it in words and I have not really seen anything yet.


My hotel is about four mins from Arlington cemetary so after driving 3.5 hours and getting to hotel room, I decided to head over there and check it out. I visited some of it. The Marine Memorial, the Iwo Jima statue. It was an impressive thing to behold and be around such history. 

I look forward to the rest of my vacation. 

Adventures in going out: Week 17

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The Silly String Edition.

This week out was my 17th week of adventuring out into the wilds of the world. I was not sure exactly if I was going to go out or not this week. With vacation just two days away I am saving money for my vacation, and still have things to do with regards to my vacation and its planning. I still have little idea of what all I will do down in D.C. I am leaning more towards just winging it. This is all out of my normal routines and bounds that I have no idea and instead of just overwhelming me I am gonna just go with the flow. That is what I have been doing with my adventures and it has steered me well so far.

I did not want to not do something and take a week off from my adventures as that is the route to the Darkside, that Yoda, warned my about so many years ago. Skipping one week now becomes skipping another week at another time. To eventually I am not going anywhere at all.

So I decided to just to a quick Google search on what was around to go an see and explore. I came across a place called Wharton State Forest, which was 40 minutes away from where I lived. Off I went to go and have some adventures. After driving and getting to where my GPS says this place is suppose to be all I see is just woods and some road that keeps on going. I drove down it some but did not find any parks. While there was tons of tree and woods to explore, I learned from my trip to Rancocas State Park to not just randomly walk in the middle of nowhere. I decided to not stop there and just start driving aimlessly. After about 10 minutes or so I found Wharton State Forest and eventually turned around to go to it. Upon arriving I saw lots of people on some sort of beach swimming in water. It looked like a fun little place. I get to the gate, and they want cash to park there. Sadly I did not have any cash on me. I did not know I would need some. I had to turn around and go about my merry way. Rejected and defeated from my place of exploring.

Instead of just heading back I decided to just keep driving, driving, driving. With no destination to go. With my trip coming Monday and needing to drive 2.5 hours to get to my hotel, I used this opportunity to practice being in the car, in a route I have no idea about, and see how I feel and did. I kept on driving, and turning, and driving, cruising to some good tunes, I managed to be out there driving for two hours. And I did great. I was calm, cool, collected, and had some fun out there. Today was not a failure in adventuring, as I did a car adventure and prepared myself for my big adventure this Monday.

It was a success and I am all ready for vacation. Well after I pack for it. Then I will truly be ready. Then the grasshopper will become the master.

 

Summer Solstice: Strawberry Moon

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strawberrymoon

Last night was a Full Moon on the Summer Solstice they say an event has not happened in many decades. I was fortunate to be able to see the event, and take a picture of it. The one you see here. It was such a beautiful sight. I have always loved the moon and the stars. They are always so majestic and peaceful. It was a lovely sight. It was a great reminder of the beauty that I have found in life these days and the journeys I have taken in life now. As I build a life that is more than I could ever have imagined or dreamed for.

The Summer Solstice is the start of the Summer season and this Summer is going to be the first Summer in my entire life that will have so much going on, will create so many memories, and will literally be the time of my life. It is both exhilarating and beautiful like the moon last night. It was called a Strawberry Moon yet it was orange. Looks more like an Orange Moon to me. I suppose that is why I am not an Astronomer making the big bucks.

My journey has only just begun and I look forward to new places and people to meet. Next week will be my big vacation where I go down to see the Smithsonian. Something I have always wanted to do but was always too scared to go. I never thought I would say this but I can not wait to go someplace.

My how my life has changed. For the better. I look forward to what life will bring me with joy instead of fear and trepidation.

Adventures in Going out: Week 16

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Holy Mackerel! Week 16. That is four months of going out at least once a week. That is an incredible accomplishment.  And an incredible feeling all together.

This week was a little different than my usual going out. This week I had a BBQ to go to for my friends daughter’s/son’s graduation. This BBQ was at his wife’s father’s house. Yes, it’s confusing for me as well. And I was there. So not only is it going out of my comfort zone I was pushing limits even further by going to someone’s house for a party with a bunch of people at it. A year plus ago I would not have even dreamed of this day. Back then when I went to something like this I would be so full of anxiety, so nervous, the whole week I would have been a mess. With the morning of I would have been sick in the bathroom all morning. While it was a new experience for me going to another person’s house, it did not really impact me. It did not slow me down or give me anxiety and panic attacks. Anyone that has ever experienced them in their life know how overjoyed I am at that.

It was a nice day out and was a nice day at this BBQ. The scariest thing with these things like BBQ for me is wondering what kind of food will be there, and if I can eat it, or if I need to eat before hand. When your body is like mine you have to eat a very special diet. Luckily there was foods that I can eat there. That does not always happen. It was a nice day hanging out with good friends and having great conversations about life and the pursuit of happiness. And at the game called Washers, I am not that good. More surprising was when it was all said and done I was there for 5 hours total, ate food and did not have to run to the bathroom, get anxious or feel sick. It was another win for me. I never thought I’d say that in life.

Two Monday’s from now is my big vacation a trip to the Smithsonian for the week. As so far I am going there alone that will be a big challenge to my journeys. I am confident and feeling good about myself and being able to do it AND have a good time.

 

Adventures in going out: Week 15

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The big 15… 1-5. What a number to arrive at. What a place to be at in life. Metaphorically and literally. Never thought I’d say that in this life. There was  not much planned for this weekend as I was not sure what the weather was going to like. One day it’s raining. One day is cold out. It’s as if Mother Nature has gotten drunk and forgotten what she was doing. We’ve all been there. Like going into the other room for something and forgot why we went in there. I rented a movie today and when I left the store and was driving home, I realized I forgot to pick it up. I even glanced at the kiosk too.

Since there was not much going on this week and nothing really planned. I am keeping my trips kind of thrifty to not really spend a ton of money as I am traveling to Virginia in two weeks to visit the Smithsonian. So I opted to just do some aimless driving around and do some window shopping. That took me back. I used to do that all the time when I was younger. I used to love just going to the mall and looking at all the things I wanted, and would like to have. Yet never had the money to buy. As a kid it was if you wanted something you better hoped Santa brought it for you. It was always for us growing up, maybe for Christmas. Even if that was last month.

So today I spent a few hours just driving around aimlessly and visiting some random stores. A book store, and a comic book shoppe. It was a nice and relaxing day in the car, with some old school jams on the iPod, Das Efx and some Onyx, even some MC. Hammer in the mix. Can’t touch this just brings out the groove in me… I’m just kidding, as a white guy, I have no groove. Nor can I jump. The weather stayed nice, albeit a little too warm for my liking, but it was a very nice day nonetheless. Low key. Outside. On the road. Making memories. What more could one ask for in life? I had forgotten how much joy and fun it can be to just do nothing while doing something. For the bulk of my teen and adult life the “doing nothing” literally meant doing nothing. Today it meant something.

And it was good.

 

Adventures in going out: Week 14

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rancocoas_state_park

The adventure train just keeps on chugging a long. When I first started out doing this adventure of mine it seemed large. I was afraid I had bitten off more than I could chew. It was scary, the idea of going out someplace, once a week. That was way beyond my norm and my comfort zone. But I knew this was something I had to do. No this was something I NEEDED to do. To bring down every wall I created and put in place to hide and protect myself my whole life. That life was no longer working for me. It had to go.

whitetree

Then here I am at my 14th week out in a row, more than I thought I could ever do. Yet here I am. Not only did I go out today, but this was not the first time I went out this week. In fact today was the 4th time I went out in one week. 4th times? Crazy! Yet, I did it. Monday on memorial day I went out to eat with my friend, twice. Thursday I went out to a group activity of a meditation class. With people I did not even know. I could not have even imagined that I would ever do something like that. Yet I did, and loved it, and will be doing it once a week for the next 8 weeks. Friday was my days birthday and it was my idea to go out to dinner with my family. I put it all together. Me? Once who would normally run from such ideas. This time it was my idea. Plus I really wanted to go back to Applebee’s to have their Maple Mustard Salmon. It was delicious. That there would be enough for most people, and originally I only had the goal of going out once a week. Yet I did not and would not stop there.

Today I decided to go and do some hiking and went to Rancocas State Park, down in Southern NJ. It was a nice day out to do some hiking so off I went. It was not too far from where I live. The park was nothing special for me. There was a lot of trees, I mean a lot of them. Which I guess is all part of the nature walk. I opted for the blue trail as that was the only one I could find at first. I followed that, and who knows what happened but the trail went all over the place, and I went all over the place, and had no idea where I was. At one time I heard a rooster and thought I may have stumbled into the twilight zone. It was freaky, and I was a tad hungry for some poultry now, and if only I could find a pig, I could have had one tasty breakfast, in the afternoon. I remained on the blue path, and then some how I ended up on the white path, and passed the same guy twice. It was all types of discombobulating. I walked, and I weaved, and I swatted an annoying fly over and over, and eventually. I got lost within the path, that was within the path, that was within the path. And boy is it scary not knowing where you are in a park full of trees. I was sure at this point I was being hunted by a Werewolf. There may not have been a full moon, and it was during the middle of the afternoon, but I could tell, he was out there. You weren’t fooling me werewolf, I was on to you. And your Teenwolf basketball skills. Eventually I found the start of the blue path, but that was not where I came in at, so I exited anyways, and had no idea where my car was. Dude, where’s my car? So I did the only thing I could think of, I turned to my GPS and asked for directions. It took me back to the start of the park, and where I was able to find my car. I was a little worried as I didn’t think I ever would find my car again. It was truly scary not knowing if I would see my car again. Once I found my car, I was so happy, I wanted to kiss my car. And I almost did. So Rancocoas state park, I do not like you. And your twisted blue/white paths of terror. I did see a chipmunk, but never saw the rooster, or the woodpecker I heard.

That would be enough to stop there, but it wasn’t for me. After barely escaping the woods with my life, and narrowly escaping the Blair Witch, I took myself to the movies to Ninja Turtles 2, out of the shadows. I am not a fan of Michael Bay because of the way he’s butchered that poor Transformers franchise over and over again. One of my favorite cartoons of all time. I still watch the original movie to this day. Yes, I am that much of a nerd. The movie was OK, not sure why they decided to drop some profanity in a Nickelodeon movie. Not a fan of the way the turtles looks Someone needs to tell Raphael to stop hitting the “juice.”

All in all it was a great week and another triumph for me.

chipmunk