Thursday, February 23, 2012

Surrounded by Beautiful Things. (My Quote Blog)

Quotes, proverbs, mantras, sayings, whatever you want to call them, we all love them.  We sign off our emails with them, we scribble them in notebooks and sometimes we even hang them on our walls.  They are reminders to persevere, be happy, but mainly, each of these little quotes hits us for a reason that is unique to us.  They help us achieve what we want to be and have confidence in who we know we are.  I love quotes.  I have kept them in my shoes, I have one that I always keep in my wallet and sometimes I hang them on my wall.  Sometimes they're witty and sometimes they are philosophical...mostly, they are just straight out about life. 

The reason I've been thinking about this was because of a gift I received from my Mom and Dad on Valentine's Day.  They gave me a book of quotes called, "The World According to Mister Rogers.  Important Things to Remember."  I have been reading little quotes from this book for the past week or so and I finally realize why I loved this show so much when I was little!  He was such an optimist and he really seemed to grasp what was important about our emotions.  Pretty great!

Reading this got me thinking....wouldn't it be cool to have a quote book of really awesome things I say.  I know many of my friends have recorded some of the ridiculous things I've said and they remind me of it every once and a while.  Then I thought, you know what, I did a lot of thinking in my blogs...lets see what came out of that.  So, over the past week I've been slowly compiling some of the quotes from my blog that I thought really stood out.  I hope you enjoy them and I hope that you get a little something out of this.  Well, here we go...

Important Things to Consider from the Greatest Blog of the Past Century that I've Kept
(You all have free use of any of these, as long as you buy me ice cream sometime in the future)
I was thinking this for the cover of the future book.

“I don't have much more insight for today's blog.  Just, one thing.  I talked to a homeless man who had a hello kitty hat on.  It was stylish.  If you are homeless wear something innocent like that, I might give you a couple pence or something.  Just don't try to hug me like this one did, that sort of ruins the vibe.”

“Anyways, now that I have some chocolate and cheap red wine, I believe it is BLOG TIME!”

“Believe it or not, I actually do attend class here in London.  Sometimes I forget that I don't have the semester off, and then I am briefly reminded, and then again quickly forget.”

“BORIS!  Add a Green Man to Hanwell!  Also, find a comb! Do it!  Quick!” 

“The doctor says its good to have a glass of wine and some chocolate.  I think specifically it is good for the heart.  This may have been the healthiest blog I've ever written in that case.”

“The Apples here are so small!”

“…every morning I wake up and the first thing I think about is, "Wow, I'm in London!"  Not too bad.”

“What she taught me that day, was that through all the diversity, and the hardships that invade our minds and cause us to just want to sit at home and give up, there is always a bit of hope that keeps pushing us out the door.”

“As ugly as we may think we live certain aspects of our lives, there are always some who are still there to support us and care for us.”

“Now on to the next thing!”

“Well, cheers everyone!”

“There will be plenty of life to grasp before I go back to America and I intend to grasp all of it.” 

“This adventure is by no means the last great adventure of my life, but it may be the last great adventure of my youth, or maybe the first of my adult life.”

“We decided to touch the water.  Some of us touched it a bit more than others, me included.  I accidentally sort of jumped in, my feet were a bit wet after that.”

“The next morning we went to The Elephant House Cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the first two Harry Potter books.  It was magical to say the least....haha (honestly I wrote this blog last night and decided to read it again this afternoon when I was more awake and I realize that that was a horrible joke and I apologize for it.)”

“Although it was also great to escape the cold for a bit inside one of the gift shops where they were handing out free tastes of Scottish Whisky.  I had a couple tastes, I love Scotch.”

“The important thing is to stay open to surprises, and take chances.”

“I love Hummus!  Here they call it Houmous!”

“So, on Valentines Day, and the days surrounding it, I can't help but think about the one thing that is on everyone's mind in some form; LOVE.  Not specifically love in the context most people think about love around now, but the sort of love that gets us through life, all of our doubts, our fears and the demons inside of us.  That is the love that comes from the consistent people, our friends and family, as weird as it may come.”

“All I'm going to say; for all of you love sick, heart broken, smitten people or whatever you may be out there; is something that a certain someone who knows who they are from home tells me time and time again…When you care about someone, let them know... honestly. I think at some point the rest just works itself out from there.”

“Apparently Parisians love to Riot.  So we decided to riot as well.”

“What I found though, is that one of the joys of traveling is going to a place and loving it so much that you spend time finding reasons to go back.”

“I can't tell whether he is being sarcastic or not, but I like to think I'm a relatively pleasant person.  Except for when I don't get my chocolate fix.”

“Although, I'm happy that every time I walk into Rosebery now they get really excited because I'm going to repulsively buy things (usually chocolaty or peary) I don't (necessarily) need.” 

“I like nonsense too.  For example, back when I was in Scotland I was sitting in the Lounge and this guy walks in, walks over to the fish tank and said, "OH! FISHY FISHY FISHY! FISHY, FISHY, OH FAT FISHY!" and then turned around and walked out the door.”

“I love life sometimes.”

 “Just make sure that when you are in London you think right first, otherwise you might get hit by a car.”

“Don't just live.  Go out and really live, because when else are we going to get to do this whole crazy thing?  Keep adding more, do more, feel more, relax more, appreciate more, laugh more, love more...whatever it is, do it more.”

“It’s really important that you take some chances, go outside your comfort zone and do the things you imagined yourself doing.”

“Dr. Suess also spoke of not being able to sleep because reality is better than your dreams.  Aim for that.  Why not?”

“For what its worth, Good Luck with everything everyone.   We could all use a bit of it once and a while.”

“I think that time away gives you two opportunities.  The first being to make new friends, the second being to really learn to appreciate what the friends you have back home contribute to your life.”

“I want to run a sub 20 minute 5K again, and I want to run a marathon.  I'm going to do these things.”

 “ I just know that I have to let destiny just sort of work this one out for me.  I like surprises anyways.”

“Who ever said you learn the most about yourself while traveling, they were right.”

“Once we reached the top, I took a minute to look out over the view.  It is hard to really describe what I thought, but it was one of those moments in your life where you feel accomplished, and surrounded by beautiful things.”

“As I walked up the mountain I thought about regrets and living life without them.  I guess its about taking those risks and actually taking time for YOURSELF.”

“I guess we don't always get the chance to climb a mountain after a tough week, but if you do, take the chance.”

“For the mountains we don't make it up I guess we hope to get something, anything out of it.  Even if its just taking the time to lay down in the grass, close your eyes and think about all of the mountains you have left to climb and all the things you have left to do.”

“Every once and a while you need those sort of days where all you can do is laugh at the things around you, especially yourself.”

“Its one of those days you wake up not really knowing what to expect and then go to bed thinking, "hahahahahahah wow, I almost got run over by a little 'rabbit deer', chased by geese, sorted at Hogwarts, pictured jumping in front of numerous buildings, made faces at people through a burrito shop window, rioted and even got lost and found in Paddington Station with Paddington Bear."”

“Life is funny, if we choose to make it that.”

“Even if you are being pursued by a group of geese, it’s important to laugh.”

“Personally, I think every once and a while it's the best thing in the world to laugh at ourselves...”

“I think that when you are able to say that you are taking a casual weekend trip to Paris, France, you can assume that your life is going alright.”

“Now, I'm back in London--preparing for finals...and realizing just how great life is!”

“In the end, I realize that all I have to say is easily summed up into this one little paragraph.  The last four months have been some of the most amazing months of my life, for a couple, very important reasons: the places I’ve challenged myself to go, the fun I’ve had and the people I’ve let into my life.  I think that is all that really matters in the end.” 

“Reminiscing is great, but living in the past too long is never that good.”

“As for my future, thanks to this experience and the talk I had with Jill, I’ve learned that it doesn’t need to be so scary or terrifying…because I will make it whatever I want it to be.”

“It was funny waking up my last day in Stockholm not really knowing where I was headed, but also really exhilarating.”

“I guess living life in the fast lane really does have its consequences sometimes.”

“I'll never forget that the week I turned 21, I went to seven different countries!”

“Anyways, quite frankly I'm lost.”

“Things just kept getting better and better.”

“For those of you who know me, a walk like this really wouldn't be surprising to you, because basically what I do is walk.” 

“I guess its pretty natural when you come to the end of something you start to think back to the very beginning.”

“Honestly, I'm going to miss traveling, I've never felt so free.”

“I doubt I will ever do anything like this again in my life, but the fact that I have done it is such a great feeling and I can travel to any of the places I've been in my mind anytime I want and have one of those little laughs.”

“Not to say of course that my traveling days are anywhere near to over!  Its only just the beginning.”

“Not that I'm starting a new chapter or’s just another day in my life!”

“One thing I really learned while I was in Europe was how to take life a little slower.  I think that when we do that it becomes a little easier to catch our second chances.”

“Endings are hard.  We are stuck in some weird dream like state trying to figure out what just happened and what it all meant.”

“Really, you never know what life throws your way...we can plan all we want but sometimes it works a different way.” 

“Naturally we think a lot about how we affect the lives of the people we meet on our journeys.”

“You know as well as I do that life isn't about how successful we are or how we look, its about opening our lives to people who will love us and who we can love right back.”

“…living your dreams actually is worth it...I'm happy I can't describe it because that is how I'm going to force you to go live yours.  Feel this feeling!”

“I know that as long as I have you all by my side and stay the person I am, I'm going to make this life and this world something pretty spectacular.  I already have done exactly that so you just all wait and see what is next...”

“For the last couple of weeks of 2011, I've been thinking back a lot, but not to Europe, but to the part back here in America.  Its sort of funny, but I came to a realization: these two stories, the first half of my year and the second are really not so different.”

“I love traveling, having ridiculous things happen, I love turning the bad things around, I love the moments that mean so much, but we never saw coming, those really infinite moments...I really love life, and just because I'm not studying abroad or in some place new will ever stop me from doing all of this and more.  So don't look back, just keep moving, and you might be surprised at how exciting life is if you decide to make it that way.”

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year 2011

Really, this blog only tells part of the story of my 2011.  For the last entry of this amazing year, I thought it would be important to tell the other half of the story.  It wasn't until very recently that I had decided that this would be anything worth writing about in this blog.  It all began when I had a talk with my friend Dennis at Starbucks a day after finals ended.  I asked him what the highlights of his semester were, and we started recounting all of these great moments that we each had, some moments that were really difficult and some that were just really unforgettable... none of them having taken place in Europe.  For the last couple of weeks of 2011, I've been thinking back a lot, but not to Europe, but to the part back here in America.  Its sort of funny, but I came to a realization: these two stories, the first half of my year and the second are really not so different.

I've celebrated even more birthdays!

I've had more random dance parties
Konstantin gave us hats and we danced around in them

Singing AND Dancing

I went to yet another Hyde Park...
Hyde Park Neighborhood in Chicago, IL
Riding Bikes in Hyde Park, London

Had some more great pints...

Had yet another Martini Night: 
Martini Night: London

Martini Night: Storrs, CT

I've had some more great dinners

Family Dinner in New Hampshire!

I ran another race (this one was a bit longer than the 5K in Regents Park though)

Saw even more breath-taking sunsets
Sunset in Berlin

Photo out of the front window of Flash in Storrs!

Saw another Buckingham Landmark!
Buckingham Fountain, Chicago,IL
Buckingham Palace

Another Paris Monster Metro Gate....yes, even saw another one of those! 
This picture is from Chicago, they have the same ones in Paris

Somehow I've even managed to wear MORE weird animal hats...

Somehow also managed to wear random scarfs: 

Went to another soccer game (and even played in it!)

Striking Sphinxes made it to the Playoffs this year!

I've had so many great meals cooked for me, even without Konstantin around
Emilio adds latino flair to my diet

Nothing like bacon egg and cheeses in the middle of the night.

 Gone out to the bar with friends...just like in London

I a suit!

I still travel: but this half of the year I can travel in real style
We all love Flash!

 Managed to be dressed up in a bar again:

Made it to the top of three more mountains!

Most importantly, I spent the second half of the year doing the same thing I did in the first, having a great time, with some amazing people.
UConn in London in Storrs

Kenny and Claire!  In Rhode Island (Ironically the same couch I was jumping up and down on during the first seconds of 2011)

First time at a Casino!


Just me and my friends in New Hampshire

Me and Dennis after my marathon

My parents!

Still living life on the edge of course

Meeting a dog at a party


Gingerbread Houses!

Fleece Club
Its sort of funny thinking about how much time I spent wishing I was in Europe doing the things I was doing there, only to realize now, that all along I've been doing the same things...right here in America.

I like to think that says something about my life from here on out.  I love traveling, having ridiculous things happen, I love turning the bad things around, I love the moments that mean so much, but we never saw coming, those really infinite moments...I really love life, and just because I'm not studying abroad or in some place new will ever stop me from doing all of this and more.  So don't look back, just keep moving, and you might be surprised at how exciting life is if you decide to make it that way.

I'd be lying to you if I said I truly got everything I wanted to out of this year, and I'd be lying if I said everything worked out the way I really wanted it to...but as an old Irish proverb goes: "May you get all your wishes but one, so you always have something to strive for."  I sort of like that.

So, here is to a year that I will never forget...not just part of it, but the whole of it.  From the first moments of the year, when I was running full speed into the Atlantic Ocean, to the moment 2012 begins.

And here is one more making 2012 even better than 2011!  Maybe we can start with some champagne and more chocolate!  Chocolate always makes a situation a good situation.       

Happy New Years Everybody.  I hope you enjoyed meeting me, travelling with me, drinking with me, climbing with me, hanging out with me, reading about me or whatever else we may have done together in 2011...we should do some of that stuff again in 2012 and forever past that.