Embrace Nature

Embrace Nature

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Finding Peace in the Now

Lately I've been so caught up in trying to figure out my next steps that I've forgotten to let myself live in the moment. I've been researching teacher certification programs and visiting schools; I've been applying to volunteer opportunities and worrying about getting the right experience. Everyone keeps asking me what my plan is, and I have no great answer for them. I find myself saying, "Right now I'm really exploring my options," over and over and over again. It's been stressful and anxiety-causing.

But then something kind of fell into my lap.

A few weeks ago, Sam and I stopped by World Cycle after a sweet mountain bike ride. Jared gave us a tour of the whole shop -- including the employee lounge, complete with its very own kegerator (earned by reaching their April sales goal). As we were sipping our frosty beverage, Jared mentioned that he'd heard through the grapevine that I was looking for a job. Before I knew it, I had an interview lined up with the head honcho Tom, and a week later was offered a part-time position on their sales staff.

At first I was psyched not only to have some source of income, but also to be working at the coolest bike shop in town. But now, after my first week of training (spent learning all sorts of things, from sales to bike technology to clothing to working the cash register), I can say that I am even more enthusiastic about this job than before. My coworkers are fantastic. The bikes and accessories we sell are top notch. And the vibe in the shop is unbeatable. From the moment a customer walks in the door, they're treated like a friend. And I get to talk about bikes and learn about bikes all the time -- and get paid for it!

So right now, I'm pretty dang satisfied with where I am. Not to worry; I haven't lost sight of my goals or plans. But this feels good. I'm learning. I'm pushing my comfort zone. I'm immersed in something I've never done before, yet at the same time something I've done for years and years. And I'll be helping people get fit, stay active, ride to work, spend time with their families - just that thought makes me smile.

Goodbye to anxiety, hello to right now.

Monday, May 2, 2011

An End and a Beginning

Today I am filled with so many emotions.

Yesterday the President announced that the leader and founder of al-Qaeda, the endorser of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden, was killed by U.S. forces.

I think about the troops who are still putting their lives on the line, and wonder if they can come home sooner now.

I think about the terrorists and wonder if they will retaliate.

I think about the young boys in madrassas, being trained to terrorize.

I think about many things, and feel excitement, sadness, hesitance, uncertainty.

There have been about as many reactions to this news as there are people who have heard it. I think that alone proves that there can never be a single "right" solution to any problem. The question now is how we learn from this event, these past 10 years, the history of the world -- and how we move forward, embracing some sort of understanding of where everyone else is coming from.