Tag Archives: Travel

Bit of Happy #112: Pursuit of Happiness

2 Mar

“Some pursue happiness; others create it.”
-Anonymous

Whether pursuing or creating, achieving a lifetime of happiness is an accomplishment in itself. There are definitely difficult times in life. Times that you can’t even imagine being happy. But it’s those who go out and pursue it, it’s those who go out and create it when it’s no where to be found… those are the people who make a difference.

After the tragedy of 9/11, it’s the people who supported the families and communities surrounding them that were effected. When hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, it’s the people who traveled short and far distances to help rebuild what was once there. When you are having a terrible day, it’s the people in your life that go out of their way to put a smile on your face. It’s the people who – when there’s no hope in the world – shine their brightest.

It’s those people who you are forever grateful to have in your life. Don’t forget to thank them for all that they do, because it’s those people who clear away the rainy sky and fill it with a burst of sunshine.

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Bit of Happy #90: Stand

31 Jan

“Stand”
by Rascal Flatts

All of us know what it’s like to feel alone. Helpless. Vulnerable. “Like a candle in a hurricane. Just like a picture with a broken frame.” Life comes with a lot of uncertainty. The unknown can be very overwhelming. One minute your traveling along a newly paved road, and the next you find yourself taking twists and turns down a beaten path with no end in sight. “Stand” by Rascal Flatts recognizes those bumps in the road, but also shows the strength and patience people have to find the next right turn.

“Because when push comes to shove,
You taste what you’re made of.
You might bend ’til you break,
Because it’s all you can take.

On your knees you look up,
Decide you’ve had enough.
You get mad, you get strong.
Wipe your hands, shake it off,
Then you stand.”

 

I had a hard time finding the song I wanted to share this week, but the moment I skimmed over “Stand” in my iTunes playlist, there was no question. The lyrics are pure and real. Like the sunlight through a dusty window, this song shines truth and strength, overpowering the uncertainty that life sometimes leads.

Life’s like a novel,
With the end ripped out.
The edge of a canyon,
With only one way down.

Take what you’re given,
Before its gone.
Start holding on,
Keep holding on.”

It expresses the fight and determination. The hope and appreciation. We all have it inside of us. Burning inside of us. Sometimes it’s not always easy to find, but once our search crosses paths with that passion, we never give up. We uncover a new direction. And we don’t stop until we are back up on our own two feet. This song has never failed to give me the inspiration I need to keep fighting when things get tough, and I hope it can do the same for you!

Happy Monday!

Bit of Happy #36: Make Mistakes

2 Nov

Reese, a close friend of mine, claims not to be much of a writer, so he left it open for me to write most of the entry. However, he did add in his two cents, and what the quote meant to him personally. Thanks again for submitting a quote, Reese. Means the world!

Reese and I when he was visiting from Australia

“I just reckon it’s a good thought. It’s okay to make mistakes, but we need to learn from them. Mistakes lead us to greater experience in life. Life shouldn’t be spent wrapped in the safety of the known. We need to push into the unknown, enjoy it and learn a thing or two.”

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Easy going and adventurous, Reese is one of those people that I will forever hold close to my heart. There aren’t enough words in the world to say about him. He and I met when he was visiting the States (as he would say) for a cousin’s wedding. He was only in for a few more days after we first met, and there was no way I was falling for a guy who lived on the other side of the world. He left with a twinge of heartache – not knowing the next time he’d see me. I, on the other hand, had protected my heart against any type of butterflies I could possibly feel for him – or so I thought.

Long story short, he slowly reeled me in. We grew close – from friendship to a little more. We talked through email and on Skype all the time. That was pretty much all I had – we had. I found so much passion about life and travel in his eyes. He would tell me story after story about living in Australia and what it was like – he still does. I had stars in my eyes. Before I knew it, I was in deeper than I every wanted to be. He was coming back the following summer for another wedding, but that was a year away!

He was always encouraging me to try new things and not live in fear of making mistakes. He was always outside, going on ridiculous adventures during his holidays. He wanted me on a plane to Australia as soon as I had the money. I even looked into studying abroad a semester, but I wouldn’t have been able to graduate on time. So, we left things open. The only fair thing to do. Neither of us wanted the other to miss out on opportunities with other people. We were both in agreement that if someone came along, we wanted to let the other explore that chance. At the same time, there was a part of me that didn’t want someone else to come along.

We were each others’ comfort, and at the same time, our long distance relationship made us feel even more lonely at times. We would sit on Skype and wish somehow one of us could be on the other side of the computer screen. Just to touch his face, hold his hand, hug him, kiss him… The experience certainly made me realize that I would never take the little things for granted in any relationship that may bud in the future.

Do I regret the time I spent with him? Not for one second.
Do I regret giving him a piece of my heart? Not for one second.
Do I regret waiting for him to come back the following summer? Not for one second.

Those few weeks were some of the best days of my life. Days that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Memories that will last forever. I felt so alive. He got me to try things I would never dream about doing. He brought out the spontaneous, carefree side of me – the best side of me. Before he came the following summer, I contemplated even seeing him. I was afraid I’d fall in love with him and bury a deep, dark hole when it came time for him to leave. But I took that chance. I risked making that mistake.

Was it hard having him leave? Yes. It was one of the most difficult good-byes I’ve ever had to say (well, not good-bye – see ya). I never say good-bye. If there’s one phrase I hate, it’s that.

Anyway, the point is… I tried something new. I took a chance that I was hesitant to take, and he ended up bringing out the best in me. And when it came time for him to leave and go back to Australia, our relationship was so free and happy that not even him going back to the other side of the world was going to squander that. Not to mention, I think a big part of me not grabbing a shovel and starting the dig to my deep, dark hole was the fact that it was our norm. Being apart was our norm. As much as we hated to admit it, as much as we cherished every moment we could spend together… we both knew that he belonged in Australia. And I belonged here.

The distance is ultimately what made us separate enough that we could remain close friends, while living out the lives we were meant to without holding back. It was difficult, but gradual. It was necessary. I didn’t want to take him out of Australia as much as I knew I couldn’t leave the States. So, there was only one mature and logical thing that we could do. The only problem was… hearts are blind to things realistic. My heart will always have a special place for him. My mind will always have a tiny thought of ‘What if things were different…’

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I wasn’t surprised for a moment when I read the quote Reese chose to share. It shows so much about him in just a short phrase. He’s a great person with the whole world reflecting in his eyes. He’s someone I’m sure I’ll mention again and share more stories about because some of my happiest and best moments were spent while with him. Some of my greatest times of growth were spent while with him. Some of the biggest realizations and dreams of life were recognized while with him. And even now that we’ve taken the level of a friendship, he still has the power to make me smile no matter what the circumstances. No matter what the stress. No matter what new boy I’m crying over. No matter what the obstacle or challenge I’m facing. He encourages me to get up every morning with a smile on my face and the optimism to try something new. And even though you never know when that chance may surely turn into a mistake, it could also very well turn into something quite perfect.



Bit of Happy #35: Leave Your Mark

1 Nov

A photograph I took for my Black & White Photography class in college.

“We are born into the world like a blank canvas, and every person that crosses our path takes up the brush and makes their mark upon our surface, so it is that we develop. But we must realize that there comes a day that we must take up the brush and finish the work. For only we can determine if we are to be just another painting or a masterpiece.”
-Javan

So uplifting and motivating. It paints a picture of the path that life travels. In the beginning – a white canvas is born. Pure. Innocent. Untouched. With each passing day, those who grow close to you will forever leave a mark on your canvas – some warm reds and yellows and others cool blues and purples. Some marks will last and go on forever and some may be abruptly severed. Some strokes will overlap with others, and may one day smooth over the underlying mark completely.

But no matter what effect others have on you – it is ultimately your choice how you live your life. It is ultimately your choice if you are strong or weak. It is ultimately your choice if you stay optimistic about the future or let the past drag down your spirits. The brush is in your hands to finish the work. Your life is in your hands to make it what you want. Live it the way you want.

So what is your choice? Will you be just another painting? Or, will you look at the marks others have left on your life and find a way to turn it into a masterpiece?

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Bit of Happy #17: What are you settling for?

6 Oct

“Don’t settle for the one you can live with. Wait for the one you can’t live without.”
-Victoria Richards

Settling for anything in life – whether it is for love or something else – is a battle lost. Knowing you deserve better and not going out and achieving it or learning the proper skills to obtain it, well, you might as well be bleeding out in a bunker. (Okay, maybe that’s a little graphic. I was just trying to go along with the ‘battle’ theme.) Anyway, I’m telling you to stand up and fight for what you can’t live without; don’t settle for what’s comfortable – what you can live with.

If you are miserable at your job and know you can do better – don’t settle. If all you want to do in life is travel the world – don’t settle. If you deeply care about someone, but know you aren’t in love with him or her – don’t settle.

Settling is the easy way out – the mundane way out. If you’re too afraid to take the risk, then stay at your crappy job within ten miles of same location and staying with someone who you aren’t in love with for the rest of your life. You might learn to become completely satisfied with that. And if that works for you, great.

But instead, I’m asking you to do something a little more challenging. I’m asking you to go out and take the road less traveled. I’m asking you to take a chance. I’m asking you to chase after whatever it is that you can’t live without. Really… What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Do you find this quote inspiring? Is your perception different than this entry?


Bit of Happy #11: Give Life Your All

28 Sep

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”
-Andrew Carnegie

Okay, so today’s quote comes with a fun activity! Well, it’s fun to me anyway. I made what is most commonly known as a ‘Bucket List.’ I’ve been building mine for many years now – long before the movie came out. So below is a list of all (well, not exactly all of them – some are a little more personal than what I’d like to share on the internet) of the things I would like to do before I no longer have that option. These are all goals. Goals that command my thoughts – that motivate and inspire me down to my core, my soul. So enjoy mine, but most importantly:

Share some of your goals. It can be a long list like mine, or just a few of them. What are some of the things you would put (or have) on your Bucket List?


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