I love quotes, these are some quotes that define certain areas of my life and how I feel about them:
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran
"Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."
"Wisdom begins in wonder."
So this is me. This is me stepping outside of my comfort zone and writing my thoughts, not just any thoughts, but those thoughts that I would typically keep to myself because I know that the majority of people don't agree with them. But the more I write them, the more I realize that who am I to know that people don't agree with me, perhaps there are more people out there than I realize that think like me but I'll never know unless I start sharing. There's a vulnerability in sharing that shows strength, my friend who recently read my blog told me that and I think its true.
So anyways, before you start reading these blog posts and start to wonder who I am and what I'm all about (because you'll notice that it's quite varied) let me tell you a little bit about where I've come from and the experiences in my life that have formed me into who I am. I grew up in Rockledge, Florida a small town that no one has ever heard about unless they remember seeing it on I-95 on their drive down the coast of Florida on their way somewhere south and hot, like Key West. So I tell people I'm from around Cocoa Beach area, because Ron Jon's Surf Shop has done a good enough job of marketing themselves with billboards that people actually are familiar with the area. I grew up inland of that, 30 minutes to be exact, over the ditch of the intracoastal waterway but east of I-95. There's always these dividing north/south lines in Florida that help people use to help orient themselves of how close to the beach someone lives. I-95, US-1, the ditch (intracoastal waterway), A1A, A1A Beach, etc. The further east of those lines, the luckier you are. I was lucky enough to make it as far east as you can get when I moved to St. Augustine, Florida and lived in a place for 6+ years where the dunes were in my backyard.
After leaving Rockledge, Florida I moved up to Jacksonville, Florida in the northeast for college. I spent 3 1/2 years getting an 'education' there. Like most recent high school graduates I was unaware of what I actually wanted to do with my life, let alone my career. Luckily I had recently went on a trip to Honduras with my mom where I got my first passport stamp. We volunteered in an orphanage and I had culture shock when I got back to the US, not the other way around. So I at least knew that I had the desire to travel. I was hoping to get a degree in religion or philosophy but my parents, who were paying for the 25% of my college tuition that wasn't covered by the Bright Futures Scholarships (best program ever that paid 75% of my tuition based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores) told me that wasn't an option. I know understand why since those degrees don't exactly make you 'marketable' in the job market. But my thinking at the time was that I wanted to learn about the things that I was interested in and not learn about the things that would make me the most money. I still actually think that's important to do but I understand now how it doesn't make your resume stand out, other than to people who value a person's interests in addition to their skills.
Luckily I settled on Sociology as my degree and minored in religion which I think I actually ended up using in a way when I actually started my career. But before I started my 'career' I went and did a year long stint in AmeriCorps (it's like the Peace Corps, but in America). I went to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi which is on the Gulf Coast and I went there only a few years after Hurricane Katrina had hit the area so enough recovery work had been done in the area for a new Habitat for Humanity affiliate to have been started and already be running like a well oiled machine, cranking out 40 new homes a year. I had already been to the Gulf Coast multiple times on I guess about 3 different occasions, the first of which was 2 weeks after Katrina had hit and the houses we did 'mud outs' in were still filled with wet mud that hadn't even had a chance to dry yet. They still called them mud outs in the subsequent trips but on those trips the mud was dried and we were not only removing furniture and entire house contents (including family photo albums and every other possible thing you can imagine to break your heart) but we would then remove the drywall as well. The piles in the yard were layered in the same way, furniture, stuff, drywall, insulation. Typically there would be a side pile for salvageable pictures or photo albums. If you're wondering what falls into that category of 'stuff', it's pretty much everything in your house that doesn't actually end up mattering after it's been covered in water and mud including clothes, trinkets, paperwork clutter, everything in your kitchen cabinets, food, etc.
....to be continued...