When was the last time you really had a conversation with yourself? For me it’s constant. My brain is always synapsing. I hear myself talk in my head as I process every thought that buzzes around inside of it. I spend every waking moment with myself. I’ve come to know myself very well, and I notice immediately when something feels off balance. I’m analytical, and I piece apart the reasons as to why I feel certain ways. There are two sides to my soul that feed off of each other; the feeler and the thinker. These traits are like twins. They mirror each other while still being independent. Sometimes they conflict, and sometimes they come together in beautiful harmony and friendship.
I’ve always felt deeply connected to my Gemini zodiac sign, and being aware of the symmetry of my internal equilibrium has only solidified that. I am a dualistic person, and I strive for balance in any situation. I know this about myself because I am willing to self-reflect in an honest manner. I enjoy my own company. I feed off of the many types of internal energy I feel within myself. I lift my own mood without relying on others. I'm honestly my own best friend and I feel connected to my own soul. It excites me to be who I am.
I feel inspired to share this with you because I feel that self-meditation is a practice we can all benefit from. I know there are so many people in pain in this world and plenty more who have not been inspired to think about themselves or the world in abstract ways. Or perhaps they have lost the confidence to do so. I have known pain, and ignorance, and bliss, and I have known what it feels like to be enlightened. We are never done growing or feeling, so I urge you to open your mind and strive to look at yourself from your own perspective. You control how you go through life. Allow yourself to feel every emotion your brain is triggered by. Not only by the ones given by others but also the ones you give to yourself.
I choose to be happy today. I want to be full of joy and life. The things that weigh on me can be lightened, detached from the moment. And yours can too. Blast some music, be open to new experiences, have conversations and be inspired by people, do something creative, believe in yourself and learn new things, be curious about everything. If you feel out of balance, add something to your life from the other end of the spectrum. Stay in tune with yourself. There are always going to be shadows that follow us, but I find that the best inspiration to lessen their stretch can be found with the happiness we allow ourselves to know.
Over the past two weeks or so, I’ve been immersing myself in every bit of music that is being passed my way. If you’re up to date with my life, you know that it’s changed a lot recently. Music has been a major source of comfort and reflection, and it’s helped me to continue to find daily happiness. It didn’t make sense to me to listen to the same music I would have a month or two ago. I’ve really been working on expanding myself as a person, having new conversations, which inevitably meant checking out new music. During this process, I’ve realized that I have also been neglecting far too much music that I used to listen to years ago. It’s as if the past two years have been narrowly focused on a select few musicians. I don’t necessarily regret it, but I feel as if I’m not living up to my full potential as a music fanatic.
So, if you’re looking for a new combination of music to listen to, definitely check out this mixtape. Because of all of the new things I’m listening to, I have a lot of upcoming mixtape posts coming up! Aside from that, my the music section of my blog will be expanding as well. I’ve had my eyes on a number of shows and concerts coming to town, so there may be enough to make a new subsection of my blog. Tyler and I are going to the Modest Mouse concert next month and I’m beyond excited. Check back for a post on it! Until then, I’ll be getting my daily dose of musical medicine. It’s amazing how different combinations of sounds and words can help heal the soul.
PAIZANO'S ITALIAN BISTRO
Last month my dad and I were in the Norcross area and started to get hungry. Somehow, my dad always knows where to find the best pizza place within a ten mile radius, no matter where he is. He can sniff them out with fantastic instinct, and he’s never given me a bad pizza recommendation. The place he decided we must go for lunch that day was Paizano’s, a quaint Italian bistro on the square in Downtown Norcross. He had gone here with my mom years ago, and it didn’t take much to convince me it was worth the stop. The part that really hooked me was his description of this appetizer that we ordered immediately when we sat down. If you ever find yourself at Paizano’s, I highly recommend you try the Gorgonzola Chips.
Freshly shredded Basil covered the pizza, everything was so flavorful. The sliced tomatoes were the best part, they added this juicy component to every bite, and made the Basil really come through. The only addition I’d recommend is a balsamic reduction drizzled over the top, but that’s just because I’m a Caprese fanatic. Seriously, this experience changed my perspective on what good pizza crust is. I haven’t had anything like it anywhere else. I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other yummy sounding topping combinations on the menu.
The restaurants in the area will all plan drink and food specials on the third Thursday of every month for an event they call Tastes of Downtown Norcross. I imagine it’d be a fun crowd! I might have to check it out sometime. If I do, you’ll definitely be hearing about it. Check back soon to see what else I’ve been up to!
101 IN 1001 - UPDATE #4
August was quite the whirlwind of a month. I almost can’t believe it’s over but at the same time, I’m glad it is. The month started out by me spending a lot of time with family, celebrating my brother’s wedding, having no idea what I might do for a job, and feeling very unsure about myself and my future. Then suddenly, great opportunities presented themselves to me. I was beginning to feel very proud of myself and excited that my life was finally looking full and successful. In some ways it still is, but I now find myself with some part of that missing. I was hit with a blow that quaked the steady ground I had just discovered. Vinnie, the goofy and characteristic person I’ve wrote about many times on this blog, decided our relationship shouldn’t continue. There are things in his life that he has to focus on right now that I can’t understand or help him with. As much as I feel that I’m struggling with all that I have on my plate, I know it doesn’t come close to what he bears every day. Maybe he thought I was finally at a place where I would be okay without his support, and he used the opportunity to end our relationship and give himself the attention he needed. I feel that this shift in perspective will be healthy for both of us, and I know that everything happens for a reason. I’m coping with this as best as I can, and despite my lack of publishing, I’ve been writing quite a bit. The situation I find myself in now, the place I’m at in life, is the opposite of where I was at the beginning of the month. It just goes to show how quickly things can change, and how nothing in life is guaranteed. In the midst of all of these drastic changes, I still managed to contribute to my goal list. Let’s check out how productive I was in August.
Completed will be bolded. In Progress will be italicized. Incomplete items will stay normal.
I added to my mileage count for goal #21, which made me feel a little better about it. Another goal I feel better about is #41. I’ve never been good at saving money, so I’m happy that I’m sticking to this goal the best I can. As for goal #47, you’ll have to stay tuned to hear about my first Paizanos experience. My parents have been a big fan of this pizza joint in Norcross for years, and now I finally know why. My write-up will have your mouth watering for sure. If you want to hear about my trip to Wicked Weed Brewing (another one down for goal #48!), read up on my post from my trip to Asheville earlier this month. I also added to goal #49 by listening to a less-mainstream Led Zeppelin album that was recommended to me by my sister’s fiance. I plan on recapping this in it’s own post sometime in the future.
Three and a half months in to my challenge, and I’m already a third of the way finished with goal #79 to publish 100 blog posts. I’m pretty surprised with myself, and also proud that I haven’t been slacking quite as much as I feel like I have been. It seems the more I publish, the more I want to write about. And I know that next month I will have even less time to do so. I hope I don’t lose sight of this goal and that I can keep up with this deeply important personal outlet.
This is old news to most of you now, but I was recently published on an online journal, Thought Catalog. As part of goal #81, I submitted my first article on a whim that one of the editors might like it. Well, it turns out they did, and I was ecstatic when I received an email from them. You can read my article, 6 Eye-Opening Realizations You Have When Changing Your Lifestyle, on Thought Catalog any time you like.
I managed to complete two of my goals this month, which is very exciting. Goal #85 was a spur of the moment decision that was inspired by my increasingly frequent blog posts about music. I decided to make a series of posts out of it, calling it Musical Commotion. Check out my introductory post and see what you think for yourself! As for my other completed goal, #96, I had finally owed up to a bet that Vinnie and I had made over our fantasy baseball league. Since he beat me head to head earlier last month, I owed him a new pair of shoes. He picked out some fantastic bright yellow and grey Nike sneakers that suit him well, and will hopefully encourage him to stay focused on his workout goals.
I’m really looking forward to what September has in store for me. I’ve been getting the hang of my new job, which you will be hearing about very soon. I’ve also been trying to keep myself busy and have some fun things planned that I’ll be writing about also. It’s also almost Autumn! I can’t wait for the smell of leaves, chilly night stargazing, football season, and all of the holidays that come with the changing season.
Until then, I still encourage all of you who feel like they need a change in their life to put yourself up to the 101 in 1001 challenge. Read my first post on it if you need a reminder of how I got hooked on it, and how it wasn't easy to realize that I needed this catalyst in my life. It’s a great way to prioritize and make goals for yourself that will impact your life positively. Some days, this list is the only motivation I need to know that I will wake up and do something important. Even if I don’t do anything worthwhile for anyone else that day, putting the dedication in to take care of myself is important enough for me. I hope all of you find that motivation, because in life, the only person that will be by your side the whole long and crazy trip is yourself.
Writer, stargazer, believer in human beings. Die-hard rock and roller with an insatiable urge to dance my way through life.