Spinning in Circles

Carousal at the fair

You know when you were a kid and you would spin in circles until you were dizzy and then try to walk in a straight line? It was a lot harder and you probably fell. That is very similar to how 23 feels like.

As I was sipping my morning coffee I thought that maybe we keep falling because we aren’t following our dreams. Are we playing it safe and not taking the chances necessary to live the life of our dreams? I truly believe that we are put on this Earth to live the life of our dreams. That is not to say that our life should be perfect. Not at all. No matter what, life is hard and you have to work hard but at the end of the day you should feel fulfilled and pleased.

Think back to when you felt more imaginative with your life. How did you imagine feeling on daily basis? Creative, curious, energetic, engaged? Figure out what it is you want and ask yourself some questions:

What is stopping you from living the life of your dreams? Your loved ones, finances, other commitments? Ask yourself how you will feel about those things once you are doing what you want to do.

What’s the next step? You may be scared but start moving in the direction of your dreams. You may not completely believe it yet but there is no harm in getting yourself prepared in doing what you want to do. Do you need to learn a new language? Visualize yourself living your life and act accordingly.

Get back on track with living the life of your dreams.

 

Words to Liv by

The best advice I’ve heard.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” -Oprah Winfrey

I like these words from our First Lady as well:

“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.” -Michelle Obama

Free Fitness and Health

“Letting down barriers to be open to existence”

I always feel better after yoga. However, when I get busy it tends to be the first thing to go. Plus, the cost of classes can add up fast, especially when you have an entry-level job and are trying to save your money!

A lot of cities have opportunities for free community group fitness classes. You just have to know where to look! Do a Google search with your city and the type of class you’re looking for. On the top of my head, I can think of two weekly free yoga classes, a couple running groups and a CrossBoot class just in the Tampa area.

This past weekend, my friend Angela and I went to a free yoga class in downtown Tampa being put on by Downtown Tampa Yoga. It was a great class on a beautiful Florida Fall evening and the perfect way to start my week!

Towards the end of the class the instructor recited this quote:

“Letting down barriers to be open to existence”

I love this because in order to live a life full of loving people and experiences, you have to be able to let down barriers and let others in.

It’s always nice to have a reminder. It helps keep your mind and heart balanced on what is most important.

Love,
Liv

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

Liv Learns: Post College

It’s been a hot minute since I updated this thing so I thought I’d catch everyone up with five things I learned about myself since my last entry.

    1. I can go somewhere completely foreign on my own. Travelling on my own showed me how much I was capable of. Researching destinations, planning hostels, transportation basically everything is just the first half of going on a trip like that. Once you head out solo is you learn that, once you open your mind to opportunities you can accomplish anything.

      olivia leigh gaggi

    2. I can run. While I’ve always been into working out and fitness I absolutely despised running. At the gym, I’d sprint for about five minutes at a time, go do something else, then sprint again. Coming home after Europe and graduation was going to be the first time in my life that I didn’t have a gym membership. That, plus the fact that I decided to grow out of my asthma this past summer, is what motivated me to learn to love running! Since, I’ve done a 5k, 10k and next month I’ll be running in a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with my sister!
    3. I can kinda cook. Before I got my job, my life this summer consisted of these things: Instagram, running, Pinterest and catching up with old friends. But, mostly Pinterest. Therefore I spent a lot of time looking at food and recipes. Before this summer the only things I could make were strawberry pizza and tortellini soup. Thanks to the lovely invention of Pinterest I’ve now made cookies from scratch! And these interesting avocado chocolate chip pancakes! 
    4. I can get a job! After what felt like months and months of hunting for a job and feeling like I’d forever be living at home with my parents, I found a perfect one for me! Now, if only finding the perfect boyfriend were that easy.
    5. It’s possible to have a new beginning in an old place. If you had asked me six months ago where I’d be right now I would’ve said, “anywhere but Tampa.” Heck, if you had asked me four years ago I’d probably say the same thing. I changed my mind. I realized that my hometown is actually a pretty good place to be. We’ve got the best beaches nearby, amazing sunsets and plenty of interesting people to be entertained by. It’s all about perspective and how you see a place or situation.  Returning home having graduated college and having grown into who you are is a totally different situation then when you were 17. Like you would anywhere else, you’ll get a job, meet new people and have the experiences you want to have. You just have to go out looking for them.

Love,
Liv

PS- I also learned how to do a top bun! Wha wha!

Things I Wish I Packed

For the most part I think I packed pretty well. This is definitely the lightest I’ve ever traveled anywhere for any amount of time (just one backpack for a whole month!) there have been a few things that I wish I had packed.. but at least I’ll remember them for next time.

Here they are:

  1. External drive. I’m glad I didn’t pack my whole computer. I’m in Europe and I didn’t come here to spend my time on the computer. Plus relying on my smartphone and paying for time at internet cafe’s really limits my time on the internet which is good when there is so much to see and do in a new city. However, I do wish I brought my external drive. I’ve been keeping all my files, reservations and guides on my dropbox account which has been great but it would be nice to have something that doesn’t require internet access to get to my documents! Plus, the major reason it would be beneficial to have packed an external drive is that I’ve already filled up the memory card on my DSLR. I’ve been using dropbox again to store images but like I said, I’d feel more comfortable if I had somewhere off the internet to keep them safe!
  2. Towel. Just a small to medium size one so I wouldn’t have to pay one to three euros at every hostel to rent one. The last hostel made me buy one actually for five euros which I found annoying. The towel actually is pretty good for what I need though its small enough to be packed easily and big enough for showers/beach/etc. I’m just pretty sure I could’ve found a similar one for less in the States.
  3. Nyquil/Dayquil. The pill kind. Didn’t pack any because I decided I wasn’t going to get sick and I wanted to save space. That was dumb because they hardly take any space and I did get sick! Thank goodness for the sweet friend I made in Taormina who gave me a couple days worth of both Nyquil and Dayquil!
  4. An art tube. Since I was about 12 I started collecting paintings from street artists in different places I visited (my first one I bought in one of an old ghetto in Prague). I’ve already bought two paintings and tomorrow I’m going to the studio of an artist that I bought from four years ago in Florence. He said he’d give me a REALLY good discount since I’m a returning customer and his paintings are definitely my favorite ones that I’ve collected.
  5. Tevas or Chacos. Or whatever those hippy shoe are. I swore I’d never get a pair but honestly, I wish I had for this trip! I’ve done so much walking and the shoes I brought aren’t as comfortable as I thought they were.

Just a couple little things that would make this trip easier!

Love,
Liv


What I Learned in College

For the past for years I’ve answered the same question countless times.

“So, you’re from Florida, how did you end up at Appalachian State?”

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Four years ago, when I was a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to get out. I wanted to have the ‘going away to college’ experience. I wanted to try something new and live somewhere new. I wanted to grow up and become the person I wanted to be.  So many people I knew from high school (not all though), went to the same college, hang out with the same people, went to the same parties– Personally, I just don’t think you really have a chance to grow as a person and mature if you don’t challenge yourself and put yourself in new situations that may even feel uncomfortable at first.

Everything I had hoped I’d get out of college, I got. I definitely have had a lot of lessons in the past four years and looking back I got everything I wanted for out of college. It didn’t happen as easily and smoothly as I had imagined (nothing does) but I got there and I’m better for it.

At the end of each semester the seniors in my sorority stand in front of chapter and read a letter to the younger girls. I really liked mine. It was more of a list of things I wish I had known four years ago and lessons learned. Maybe I have regrets. I’m not sure, I’ve always believed you shouldn’t regret anything. But lately I think people who have regrets are good. They’re the people who look back on their life and thought about how they could’ve done better, how if they’re in a similar situation in the future they’ll do it right. As long as you don’t dwell on regrets and use them to give you direction in the future and be a better version of yourself I think they’re healthy and a good thing.

Anyways as cheesy as it is here is my list of things I wish I had known four years ago.  Continue reading

The House That Built Me

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself

So, in my last post I talked about how the new owners of my old house had trashed it and how sad I was that the house I grew up in looked uncared for and I need to take that back.

My last week in Florida my cat of thirteen years, Caliope (named after the Greek muse of music.. don’t ask I was a weird eight year old!) started acting kind of weird and sick so I hopped on over to Temple Terrace to visit her vet. Things seem to be getting better for her now but for a little while I thought she might be reaching the end of her life and since she was originally a mostly outdoor cat and was going to have to be an indoor cat for the next few months since my parents are in the process of building a new house I decided that if she was at the end of her life i’d let her return to our old neighborhood and live out the rest of her life as an outdoor cat again, I think thats what would make her happiest.

Anyways, so I decided to stop by our old neighbors house to see if they would be willing to look out for Caliope if she was getting sick. The new family that had moved in were having a yard sale and I noticed a shelf that would be perfect for my bathroom at school. I got out of my car and had a look around. After chatting with the woman a little bit asking what she was doing and she filled me in that they had just bought the house and were decorating and making room for new furnishing, I decided to let her in on the fact that her new house was actually the house I grew up in. She was so excited when I told her and wanted to show me around the house so I could see the changes she and her family had made.

Walking through your home when its not your home is a really surreal experience. I met her two young children and her youngest child introduced me to their cat. She was really cute and hyper and loud. She has the same bedroom I grew up in. I’m pretty sure she is totally ADHD and it makes me kind of happy that another crazy girl is growing up in the back of that house.

Seeing the family and getting to know them even a little made me realize that the house really wasn’t so bad. I even kind of liked them. I’m happy that they are so genuinely happy in my old home.