Officially Unemployed…Let the Traveling Begin

Unemployed

So as of Thursday I was told I will no longer be working for my company.  It was not a huge surprise, but still somewhat unsettling.  I do not quite have the amount of money I would like to have to be able to travel without worrying about money and my student loans.

Things to Think About

Tomorrow I am heading for Michigan to see my family and visit my grandmother who is sick.  While I am there I will think about what my next step is.  I am thinking in July or August I will head to  south America.  July would be preferable time wise because that gives me a July and August and part of September to get through Colombia and Ecuador and then I can be in Peru at Machu Picchu at the end of September for my birthday.  However, August would give me more time to save up money (if I can find a source of income, I guess there is always unemployment but that is not a lot of money).  Plus flights are dirt cheap to Cartagena in August, $240 one way from Detroit and $115 one way from Miami from Spirit.

Also, I need to grieve the ending of one passage and celebrate the beginning of another.  I forgot how the much power grieving can give to the celebration of new.  I was not previously celebrating the end of where I was in life so I was not being reborn into my new life. That is why I felt I was not moving on i think.

So I have things to think about.

Maps

In order to visualizing my thinking process, I am putting together a Google Map of places I want to visit.  I just started so it only has a few pages, but you can add suggestions to it!  This map is open to suggestions.  Places I want to go or I am thinking of going are in green.  If you could add in suggested sites, transportation, hostels, etc in colors OTHER than green, that would be great!  I will make another map of my final destinations and projected path once I get going!

I added a few pages to the website for Maps.  On the top Menu under Travel you can access my Maps page and under the Maps page is my South America Suggestions Map Page.  Also, I am looking for help trying to figure out how to embed the Google Map to my blog page.  Google’s instructions are here, however, when I try to follow them WordPress does not accept the HTML and just changes it to a click-able URL link.  Am I just not allowed to do that on WordPress?

Loose Ends

One of the things I am doing now is tying up all those loose ends I should have taken care of long ago. This includes getting shots and doctors visits in before my insurance ends, visiting friends, cleaning out my car and doing one last downgrade of all my “stuff” that i have left, getting rid of my cell phone and getting a cheaper pay as you go plan (anyone have suggestions on where to find an unlocked gsm phone?), deciding what to do about a computer (mine is so heavy), and setting up my house sitting profiles.

I have not joined a site yet.  An article written by Nora Dunn, the Professional Hobo, has a discount to Trusted House Sitter. I did, however, put up the recommendations I got a long time ago from friends and family I have house sat for in the past (well I have two of them).

House Sitting Profile

So, if you need someone to stay in your house while you travel and watch your puppy or kitty, here are:

My house sitting profile

Sarah H. Recommendation

Kathy M. Recommendation

You can also find a link to those pages at the top menu on the right hand side!

So Many Changes

I hope you can all keep up with all the changes to the blog and my life, because I am having trouble with it!

 

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Favorite Author – Paulo Coelho – eBooks for $0.99

Paulo Coelho selling books for the price of a song

5/10/12 Update:  It appears this sale is only until Sunday May 13.  Gotta get on it!  Buy them for your mother.  Honestly I am not getting anything out of this other than more people reading his books which I think is a good thing for the world.

I just thought I would let everyone know that my favorite Author, Paulo Coelho has his books on sale for $0.99 on USA Kindle, Nook, Apple and other eBook stores.  He is the most inspirational writer I have ever read.  His books are about finding your path in life and living authentically with many broad religious themes that, use themes from a lot of different religious cultures, are all based in magic and miracles of life.  These are books I have bought all in hard copy several times and have given as gifts.  I now bought them all in e format.

The book I recently reread was The Valkyries.  I should mention each of his books I have read have always come at the right time for me to understand and use them in my life.  The theme of the Valkyries is to not kill your own dreams and what and who you love in life.  I realized I had been doing that.  No more blog posts, yoga was going down the drain, and I was in general letting everything get to me and using it as a sign to give up on everything.  I thought I could not do it, I did not deserve it, I should not do it.  If you need something to strengthen your resolve, read this book.

Coelho is selling his books cheaper as a way to show an alternative model for marketing and selling eBooks that makes information accessible to all types of people and allows access of the author to people.  He has been known in the past for pirating his own work to make it available to as many people as possible.

Also buy his books on your eReader for when you are traveling and need more inspiration or just something to pass the time away.  Who knows when the sale will end!

Doing what I want, when I what, how I want

So, I went to a yoga class tonight that was just not my thing.  I am very proud of myself in the way I did not get angry or frustrated at myself, the situation or the teacher.  I was slightly annoyed at somethings but nothing I could not get over by laying on my mat and enjoying the heat and the sweat. In that past that would have driven me crazy.  I have read many funny or sarcastic articles on things in yoga that are annoying or just silly.

Not as much annoys me any more, but there are a few things that just get me annoyed or in some situations, angry.  One that gets me the most angry is people, and many teachers, tell you not to skip a pose just because you do not want to, only if there is something that is not serving you. To me this is hypocrisy.  I understand that you should try doing things that make you uncomfortable to get over whatever is making you uncomfortable.  But there is a time and place for all of this.  If I am really paying attention to who I am am and how I feel and I do not WANT to do something, then it is NOT serving me.  The spiritual side of us does seem to manifest in physical problems and sometimes I do avoid things to avoid something I just do not want to do.  But if I want to be lazy, I will be lazy.  If I want to not do vinyasas because my body is just not feeling it, who is to say that I should just get over that feeling because it is not a feeling worthy of being listened to.

I spend long hours at work doing things that do not make me happy, I am not going to spend money and free time doing the same and having to justify a reason for doing it.  This whole letting lose and floating with the breeze thing is really showing me how much people tug on you in life.  They tug you in a direction in life because they think it is good for you or good for them.  No one can tell me what is good for me but me.  Sure you can give me advice and point me in a direction.  But if I do not go that direction do not assume it is because I was too weak, lazy or unskilled.  It was simply not the best path for me. I do not have to be challenged to feel as if I am doing good.  If I do not enjoy the challenge or the path I will walk another.  I am not giving up, I am being compassionate to myself and others around me.

Just because you feel something in meditation, or travels, or a yoga pose, does not mean I do or ever will.  There seems to be a feeling that there are too many lazy Americans.  What I see is people doing things they do not want to do because they feel this shame for not wanting to be the lazy, fat or ugly American.  When you spend all your time doing something you do not want to do you feel you deserve to be lazy and eat that piece of pie.

Instead, I feel that I deserve everything in my life.  I do things because they serve me in some way.  And I do not feel ashamed any more.  I do not feel shame masked as guilt, because if I had to do it over again, I would skip that vinyasa again.  People seem to think that our desires and wants are something that we should not listen to.  The point is to not be attached to them so that you can see what lie below them and what drives them.  You will never find out what is beyond them, without facing them head on.  I do.  I am.  Do not assume I am not.

I am very proud of being in this place.  I was afraid I would not be by the time I left for my travels and I would not enjoy the places I am in because I would either feel guilty or feel as if I need to worry about making things work.  Instead I am listening to my body and the world and figuring out how I want to make things work and what is available.  This is much more logical and then I do not do things just because they are available, easy, secure, or acceptable.  I will do great things because of this and I will be a great person doing what I want, when I want, and how I want.

Settling in…week after week???

Serendipity.  Really my life has been serendipitous recently.  I could not sell my couch so I posted it again on Craigslist with my bed.  I got a call half an hour later and sold it to a women who needed it for her daughter who just moved into her first apartment.  She found it in the AUTOMOTIVE section where it was accidentally sent to.

MyLinda, the owner of Altamonte Springs Yoga invited me to go to one of her 3 week series.  The series was yoga for back and neck.  I have had some neck problems for a few months, I think caused by too many vinyasa in a bad posture.  I have learned since to use my knees for chaturanga.  I kept worrying I would never be able to get farther in Yoga because I cannot do a single chaturanga off my knees. But, since it was the weekend of my garage sale and I had been sleeping on the loveseat while my parents were visiting combined with my stiff neck, it was nice to have a back and neck class.

I went to class and saw a Facebook friend I had met at a yoga class a month or two prior.  It is nice to meet people of similar thoughts.  And it was really an amazing class.  I realized I was not keeping my shoulders spread out.  It is not enough to keep my shoulders out of my ears, I have to keep the shoulder blades apart.  The class was almost entirely about stretching the shoulders.  It was amazing.

This was Sunday, the serendipity started Monday.  On Monday we started Warm and Slow a little late because Julie talked about the proper alignment for downward facing dog and how the shoulder are wide.  It was putting what MyLinda had been talking about Sunday to good use.  It was also interesting that I had recently asked Juliette and Lee about the proper alignment for down dog.  I was not sure if the line should be straight or arced with shoulders through the arms. Well that is much harder to do with the shoulders held wider.  At first my shoulders hated me for this.  Every time I went into down dog I had to reevaluate and move my shoulders into proper position.  Then I realized this is how my shoulders should be in plank too. Suddenly plank had so much more strength coming from the shoulders and no pull on my neck or elbows.

I am still experimenting with plank, I have not really gotten into a lot of no knee planks yet.  But, my knee planks feel much more stable.  Hopefully this will translate well for me.  It is much harder to do down dogs this way, but I am going to assume that is just my muscles getting used to this extra work.

For now, I am settling in to my new place, until Saturday, then the owner comes back.  It is a good prep for learning to travel and take what accommodations come cheaply.  It is odd being in someone’s home, but it once I decided I needed to just get used to it, I did.  I am comfortably sitting on the couch drinking a bottle of Pinot Grigio, watching Limitless on her Netflix, and trying not to mess up her incredibly clean house.  It is in a nice place with lots of shops and restaurants and has parking and high lofted ceilings.  It is nice to feel somewhat settled this fast.  Moving into a furnished place is almost like living on vacation in a vacation rental.  Only, I have to go to work on Monday.  Let’s see how fast I get used to settling in again someplace new next week when she comes home for a week.

Sometimes things just work out

So I have not been to worried about the fact I am homeless come Sunday night.  And I cannot explain why I am not worried.  Maybe it is because I have other places to go.  I think it is mostly because, unencumbered by “stuff” I can go wherever the wind blows.  This is truly the most liberating feeling in the world.  So much freedom.  I can do where I want when I want and stay where I want.  Its amazing.

This also allows me to wait for the best opportunity, where I really feel as if the universe is offering me exactly what I need, instead of taking the first thing that comes along afraid of “securing” something.  In fact, many of the choices I have made in the past are to be “secure” or to get something before someone else does and constantly looking for something better that I missed out on because I chose to be secure. Being able to choose what I want and waiting for opportunities is really allowing me to listen to the world or god or universe or intuition or myself.  Whatever it is, I am listening to it.  I am learning who I am and about the world and people around me like I have not been able to before.  It really is amazing.

And I have not even left yet!

This afternoon the Universe told me where I will be staying, for part of the time at least, after Saturday.  I had given up on the apartment search temporarily and was thinking I would have to couch surf around friends hoping not to bug one friend too much.  Only, a lot of my friends live 45 minutes to an hour or more from downtown Orlando, where I work.  I have done that commute before, but it is a beast.  So I texted my friend M that I would like to take her up on an offer to stay at her place.  She told me she had just talked to a girlfriend of one of her clients who works half the time in Florida and half the time out of state.  She has a really nice loft apartment about 5 miles from where I work.  Perfect location because I can bike to work, most of the way on a bike path.  I just need to find a bike. When she is in state I have other people who I can stay with, including M. All possible because I am sans “stuff.”

I am meeting the boyfriend today to check out the apartment and can be in there before Sunday if we agree!  Amazing how things just work out sometimes.  Paulo Coelho says the Universe conspires to help those chasing their dreams.  I think it might possibly be that if you truly listen to the Universe it is always there to offer you nurturing and solutions.  It is the beginning and end of us, it is us.  Its existence is our existence.  So people – listen!

Pay attention to the here in now or you might step into a big pile of dog….

Jack is gone

So, its a bittersweet day.  I am one HUGE step closer to leaving, but that step involved my wonderful, loving, best friend, caring, sweetheart, cuddly dog, Jack, to make his way to Michigan with my parents.  I have to admit, its hard to even type this.  I feel like such a jerk for abandoning my dog, even though I know it is better for him to not be here now.  Heck, it might have been better for him to be there even if I was not leaving. Since this kind of leads into the middle of the story, let me start from the beginning…

Where are you? In Savannah

So my mom was coming and then not coming and then she wasn’t coming but eventually when I told her that she could take Jack she decided she could brave her “nerves” and make the trip to Florida. It is a long drive and they were planning on driving straight through Friday morning to Saturday. Worked out perfectly since Friday night I was going to a Chris Botti concert (review next!) with my friend Kathy.  It also allowed Jack to go over and say good bye to Kathy and her family one last time.

So Friday morning at work I was mostly worried about whether we were going to get there on time if we left at 430 (barely) and if I could get in a nap before I left.  So I get a call at 720.  It is my mom, “So, where are you?.”  I replied cautiously, “Um…I am at work, where are you?”

“In Savannah.  See you soon.”

Soon, like in three hours.  Apparently they left Thursday night to miss those horrible storms that whipped through Indiana and Kentucky.  And thank God they did, they just could have, ya know, called me.  So I call my boss and tell him I have to leave early (at 930) and I already worked over time (which I had hoped to cash in) so my hours were okay.  I worked like crazy to get a job done by the time I left and then ran like a crazy person home to clean, clean, clean.  My house was a mess.  boxes everywhere, dirty floor, dirty dishes, etc.  I cleaned like crazy and a in the few hours I had it was spotless, well almost spotless, just as they pulled in.

They brought two of their four dogs with them to make sure they got along with Jack and because mom does not do well without them any more.  It was an instant hit for my dog.  He just loved their dogs.  Their dogs tolerated him but mostly ignored him.  Abbea would chase the ball and Jack would chase Abbea.  It was funny, Abbea hardly even noticed he was there biting her ankles.

So fast forward to me going to the concert, going to Disney with my parents, packing stuff up for the yard sale, selling furniture on Craigslist, mom getting an emergency tooth extraction, and getting my first pair of real glasses and sun glasses with corrective lenses (love the sunglasses, not the regular glasses) and it was Thursday suddenly.  A whole week flew by.  Friday they were going to leave to Michigan.  I had to give up my precious Jack the very next day.

Final walk

So, instead of  going out to dinner to use my gift card I got for crappy service at a Darden owned restaurant, mom and dad brought home food and cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory so Jack and I could spend the night with each other.  We went for our last walk around Cranes Roost together and then walked with Michelle and her dogs Hercules and H2.  And I admit, I balled.  I cried so hard people probably were wondering what was wrong with me.  As we were walking around Cranes Roost though, I realized I was so busy being upset and missing Jack and being preoccupied with moving that I was not actually spending the last moments I had WITH Jack.  Just being in the moment and walking my dog.  I realized this when I looked up at the sky.  It was a gorgeous sunset towards the west, bright pinks and oranges tinged with gold (much prettier with my new corrective sunglasses I must say).  To the North there were some intimidating black clouds that blew away very fast, leaving the smell of jasmine and orange blossoms in the air.  It was really the perfect Florida night.

If I was caught up in my emotion and attached to my own misery, I was not going to be able to spend this moment with Jack.  I would not have noticed the toddler getting chased by ducks, or the couple walking two massive dogs (not sure of the breed but HUGE) with a third little chihuahua leading the pack, or how in the east the sky was the most beautifully faded colors of blue and pink.  I would not have noticed the couple who wanted to say hi to Jack and who I had a great conversation with.  I also would not have noticed the pile of dog crap in the middle of the sidewalk, that some poor runner ran into.  I also would not have noticed the smile Jack looked up at me with his smiley face and wagging tale, questioning what adventure we were going on next.

My first goodbye

I know he is better off with them.  He was so much happier when they were here.  He was hardly ever alone (and hardly ever will be in Michigan) and when he was he had two friends to play with.  He loves mom and dad and the girls.  He did not chew on anything or pee on the floor.  He is much better off.  And at no point while I was walking around with Jack on our last walk did I think it was the wrong choice.  That did not make it any easier though.  This morning when mom and dad left at 5:30 (and they still have not called me with an update) I was a mess.  I forced Jack to cuddle with me on the couch one last time and took him to the car.  It was horrible, but necessary.

I also know he will be here when I get back, but in the mean time I have to come home and open a door where no happy puppy dog face greets me, shaking his ears and his collar tinkling. No one to cuddle with if I get scared at night.  No one to walk with at 2 in the morning when I cannot sleep.  No one to be there all the time so I never feel lonely.  No one to give me that unconditional love a dog gives.  I know it is all selfish, but I will miss him.  He was my baby.  No, he still IS my baby.  I just need to get over feeling as if I am abandoning him and feeling sorry for myself.

I realized though that I have been looking for something to come home to.  I did not think I had anything.  No boyfriend or kid.  I do not live near my family.  No house.  No job that makes me motivated to get up in the morning.  But, I had Jack all along.  I should have been a better mom to him.  Those, fairly frequent, times where I spent an hour later at work, were they really worth it?  Staying late and then going to yoga? Jack is definitely the number one thing I will miss.

My therapist pretty much told me today to keep on keeping on, in much more eloquent sounding words.  To use my skills I have developed to get this thing done.  Next weekend my lease is up.  So, I did what I do in such a situation, I went to yoga.  Happy Hour yoga at Altamonte Springs Yoga to be precise.  I even donated two bottles of wine (my parents brought four more down with them).  It was just what I needed. Then I chatted with and sold items to yoga friends, the yoga community is so nice to have at times like now.

So I am going to keep on keeping on.  Soon a post about the Chris Botti concert and Disney!  And I will probably take a trip to Epcot Flower and Garden Festival to take pictures.  I also need to find a place to stay after next week, which I am amazing not worried about.  And there are plenty more good byes to make.  But for now, I am going to go to bed.  There is a garage sale to tend to tomorrow; a day to say good bye to so much stuff!

Updated Moving Sale Page

I updated my moving sale page to include photos of my stuff.  Do you want some of my stuff?  Are you in the Central Florida area?  Come get it!  There is a list of everything (well not all, I have not finished the list yet) I am selling on the Moving Sale page.

Also I am having a garage sale at a location that is not my address (so do not show up looking for me at other times):

329 Green Oak Court
Longwood, FL 32779

March 10 8 AM – 3 PM

March 11 11 AM – 5 PM

Anything not sold is going to charity so if you come at the end for something free, too bad Salvation Army gets it.  All money the Salvation Army stores make goes back into the rehabilitation program that the stores are.  Recovering addicts, persons with mental disabilities, felons, etc. work there to get back into the work field as a final rehabilitation stage at the stores.  It’s a great program.  Much better than free stuff for your living room.

That being said if you want to pay me $1,500 dollars and take all my stuff (in your own truck) I might be able to work that out.

Also if you want a picture of anything on the list, let me know I can take one.