19 September 2013

honesty.....

Warning - venting ahead.... 

Honesty.  I don't know why I feel like writing about this today but I do.  Ok maybe I do know why...  I guess (unfortunately) I've become quite skilled at knowing when people are lying.  I've got good intuition.  I didn't listen to it when T lied to me - I trusted him and our relationship and thought I was just being silly and obviously he wouldn't lie to me. Obviously I was quite wrong! I've now learned to trust my gut.  I'm perceptive and can usually figure out people's "tells".  For instance I have one friend who overcompensates when she is lying which came up a few weeks ago when I was concerned about a mutual friend of ours.  It's sad to think that our once really strong friendship has now been tarnished by a small lie and now I second guess everything she says to me. Then there is another friend who keeps battling to tell the truth but is hiding - I think because they are afraid of repercussions or damaging our relationship and yet I wish they would know that they lying is going to hurt it more.  They may think that they are hiding what they are really doing but again it's hard to put it past me.  We all struggle with things and have our own inner demons and fears that drive us to do things that we aren't always proud of but at some point we have to be truthful to those that care for us. 

Maybe it's not the easiest thing to do and yes we all shy away from the truths that are difficult to say but why, when you are given the opportunity to come clean and be honest, do people choose otherwise? I do think that people sometimes feel confident in their lies - that they are good at hiding but realistically, in the end, the truth comes out.  I just don't understand why it's hard to be honest.  Is it because you think I can't handle the truth? Trust me - at this point in my life there isn't much that I can't handle.  Though I wear my heart on my sleeve, I think I'm stronger and more resilient than people think.  I fly by my own wings.  I can get through anything and I'll tell you what, I will be better for it.  Just don't lie to me.  You will get caught and then there is no going back to fix that.  If I give you the opportunity to tell the truth - do it.   

Reflections of 9/11

The magnitude of this day never seems to escape me.  It has been twelve years and yet I am still overcome with emotion - thinking of what could have been and remembering the horror of that day. This morning watching the clock strike 8:46, I observed a moment of silence.  

It has been twelve years but the events of that day are as clear as it was yesterday.  Hearing the roar of a plane in the middle of Manhattan.  Having to address a crowd of primarily New Yorkers to tell them that the Trade Centres were hit and watching panic come over people's face knowing that their friends and loved ones were there.  Seeing people frantically dialling their cellphones to no avail as there was no phone service.  

Based out of Toronto, I traveled for work frequently and rarely ever told my parents (who resided in Windsor) where I was going or where I was staying.  Oddly, this was the one time I had given them my hotel information and when they saw the plane crash on tv, they phoned the Hyatt to be told that our location was just a few blocks away.  

Here is how my morning unfolded - After getting the keynote speaker situated and the conference underway, I turned my attention to ballroom 2 where I was running through a rehearsal of the Golden Marble Awards presentation that was to happen later that afternoon.  It was the last day of a three day conference & awards show - the next day was our free day and we had big plans of lunch at the World Trade and lots of shopping!  One of our techs got a phone call from Toronto ironically telling us that a small plane had hit the towers.  Instantly I asked for a live CNN feed and thought (rolling my eyes)  "I better call my mother - she is going to freak out".  As I dialed, they worked on getting the news on our big screens and as soon as my mom picked up I said "mom, it's meDon't worry, we are ok" and her reply was "no you are not.  they are naming your location as the next possible target. it's terrorists."  I asked her to call our office and let them know that we are all ok, told her & my dad that I loved them and that I had to go.  We watched the horror unfold on a giant screen and then we had to go in to the assembled group of 300 listening to the keynote speaker to let them know what was happening although we didn't really understand.  We were told that we had to remain inside as we were on the evacuation route and invited everyone to the ballroom so we could watch CNN together & try to understand what was happening. 

Once we got a hold on the gravity of the situation we gathered up food & supplies and took to the streets to see if we could help, give blood, do something.  We were turned back but not before witnessing the horror of people jumping out of the buildings or smelling what I can only assume was jet fuel burning.  Back in the ballroom we all just sat eyes glued to the big screen - that is until the buildings collapsed and shook us so bad that our ceiling plaster crumbled and the emergency sirens went off.  The group of us just grabbed our bags and headed for the door without a clue as to what was happening - the moments just completely surreal.  Again we were turned back due to the amount of people on the street and told to wait inside.  At that point we just sprang into action and got all of our supplies and boxes packed and brought to the in-hotel shipping department, got all our out of town guests checked back into their rooms and cots brought into one of the smaller ballrooms for those who had no where to go.  

Somehow we made it through that night and the next morning boarded a ferry to New Jersey to get on a bus that had come to get us from Upper New York and take us back towards the border.  We had no idea if we could even get home but our boss just wanted us out of danger and as close to Canada as possible.  It wasn't until I got home to my tiny little bachelor apartment days later that I finally cried - hit by the gravity of the situation and how close we were.  Survivors guilt hit most of us - feeling bad that we had left and not done anything to help.  I would have nightmares of the people coming up to us on the street with pictures of their lost loved ones, asking if we had perhaps seen them.  Holding on to the smallest possible hope that they were still alive and not buried in the rubble of WTC.  Hearing sirens would stop me in my path for years and instantly I would panic.  

This year I did finally return to the site of the attack and began to make peace with it all but it is something that will always be with me.  I will always remember.    

25 August 2013

Sometimes it amazes me just how quickly time can pass and how one season can be upon us and then ending with the blink of any eye.  Against I'm sure popular opinion, I anxiously anticipate the arrival of fall.  As much as I love the warmth and sunshine of summer, there is just something so quiet and cozy about the fall season.  Boots, blazers, jeans & scarves - not too hot but cool enough to bundle up a bit.  It means I can finally straighten my hair again.  I can walk to work without sweating off my makeup and overheating.  Long runs, the changing colours of the leaves, baking, sleeping with the windows open - the joys of fall are many and dear to me.  It's my birthday season.  It was my wedding anniversary. It's Thanksgiving and all things pumpkin.  It's the lovely time of planning for Christmas and my favourite holiday! There is still so much promise in the fall and yet also a time of wrapping up the year and reflection.  Looking at my vision board for 2013 I cringe at the fact that it's actually still incomplete but happy that I at least started it this year! It was to be the year of love - I haven't seemed to find that as of yet but there is still plenty of time! I have stayed as true as I can to living with positivity and optimism.  I find myself still learning new things about myself every day.  There has already been so many new things and milestones this year - new friends, new adventures, new hope.  I've had to learn to be the one left behind when someone else embarks on a voyage to find themselves.  There have been hard choices and times of contemplation.  There have been moments of closure and moments of things just beginning.  Looking at the words here, loving like you've never been hurt is probably one of the hardest things to truly do.  As much as you can convince yourself that it's time to open your heart again, there is the scarred part that, even though it has healed, is still trepidatious about letting someone in.  Sometimes you begin to see more clearly what others saw in your past relationships.  You realize that you do definitely deserve better and that perhaps cooking for one, although challenging, is exactly what you have needed.  Slowly you can learn to cook for others again and set the table for two.  Not being afraid is difficult but never living because of fear just seems so wrong.  So take chances.  Accept change in stride.  Look both inside yourself and at who surrounds you. Know that time does heal a broken heart and those hearts learn to love again one day.  Seasons will continue to change and time will likely fly by even faster so find blessings in each day.  Say I love you when you feel it.  Let your heart be loved if someone is willing and trust that not everyone will hurt you.  Believe in miracles.  Be the person you want people to remember you for.  Go out on a limb. Love. Live. 

24 June 2013

Adaptation

You know when you can see a friend standing at the precipice of a major life change and you want to find the words to tell them that you know what they are feeling. The "excited yet I want to vomit" feeling in their gut - like a dull ache holding on to your body.  Knowing somewhere deep down that the choices they are making are for the best and are truly what they need to do at this given moment.  That it's natural to second guess - to want to just stay in the comfortable 'here & now' rather than take that step into the unknown. 

Adaptation is defined as:
1: the act or process of adapting : the state of being adapted
2: adjustment to environmental conditions: as
      a : adjustment of a sense organ to the intensity or quality of stimulation
      b : modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the      
           conditions of its environment 
 

The way I see it is that any sort of important life change usually requires ending something & leaving it behind. Like it has been lyrically noted "a beginning is some other beginnings end".  Growth demands that we move on and keep moving forward. Without that we become stuck - never becoming who we are meant to be, not loving who we are meant to love and not accomplishing the dreams that our abilities afford.  Life is too short to live where you're not happy or stay in relationships that are toxic.  It is most important to focus on the positive of the imminent changes and the possibilities that lay ahead.  

I think it's important to note that that sick feeling in the pit of their stomach is usually a sign that something great is about to happen.  I felt that way just about a year ago making the decision to open a second business and similarly almost two years ago in deciding to return to Canada after my marriage came to an end.  Coming home is not always easy.  People you once loved and who have remained here have changed in different ways then you have.  As with most things in life, until you've followed this path it's difficult to understand the mix of emotions.  

As much as I love being back here to be with those I love,  I know it's not forever and sometimes oddly that is comforting - to know there is always possibility out there.  It is quite true to note that the only constant in life is change.  We continually adapt and move and grow and that is the true beauty of life. 

23 May 2013

NYC you are always in my heart

It was almost twelve years since I stood on the streets of New York City - amongst bloodied people, debris, dust and most of all fear.  I have to admit that standing there, even on a bright and clear day, those images are what came back to me.  Looking at this image of 1 World Trade and the new "Peace Tower" it made me realize that the feelings from that day are never going away.  And that is ok.  They will stay with me forever and hopefully it will make me always treasure my days and remember that life is a gift.  Going there was a start to further healing.  Eventually maybe I can make it in to the museum and see the names on the reflecting pool but this trip wasn't the time for that.  I just had to go back and say hello - leaving a further conversation for a longer visit.  

On the subway ride I began to feel the anxiety - I knew that this would be emotional but I honestly didn't realize how overwhelming it would be.  As we exited the metro and walked up the stairs to street level, Dave turned to me and asked if I was ready, saying "we are going to turn this corner, and you will be there." I could only nod my head because I was afraid that opening my mouth to speak would just falter my reserve.  And yet, without any words I turned the corner, looked up to this site of beautiful new glass and architecture, and immediately began to weep.  D's words guided me along the sidewalk as I tried to focus on the here and now and not get lost in the sights clouding my head which were as vivid as it were yesterday, not well over a decade ago.  We walked up into one of the buildings near by where we could sit and see in to the memorial area - I just sat there and said a silent prayer for those lives lost and thanking God for my life being spared.  If I didn't have a plane to catch, I could have likely sat there for the rest of the day - just staring in.  As much as I thought I could have gone there alone, I am glad that I wasn't.   I am glad that someone was there to listen to me and give me a hug and then make me laugh with a dry sense of humor, reassuring me that as with anything life does move on.  I think I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve and though I easily cry out of empathy for others, I do rarely let people see my own hurt.  I think it has been good for me to be this honest and open about the effect that this day has had on me.  Every moment in our lives shapes us, that which breaks us often strengthens us at the same time.  Our challenges make us better people if we choose to find the message - if we search for the meaning of it rather than wallow in the pain of it.  I wholeheartedly believe that the most significant moments and losses in my life have shaped me - being in NYC for 9/11 is just one of them.  But because of those moments I live more freely, love more openly and search more diligently for the positive.  When faced with a situation, we are offered a choice in how we respond to it.  Ultimately we have the option to find the positive, however sometimes very well hidden under the chaos, or to succumb to the negative which is usually the less difficult option.  The events of September 11th have no doubt been one of the most significant, life-altering moments that I have lived through and which has certainly altered my perspective of life.  Sometimes the memories are vivid and other times they remain a little foggy in the back of my mind, but they are always with me.  Everyday when I wake up grateful for a new beginning and every evening when I journal what I am grateful for that day, it is with me.  I can only hope that it will never leave me - that it will continue to challenge me to find the positive and appreciate the life I was given to live.  So please, whoever is reading this, accept the challenge I put forth to find the good in even the worst of times.  Love with an open heart.  Take risks.  Take a chance on something or someone.  Live every moment.  Be grateful.

18 April 2013

Life as a care bear

Last week a friend of mine told me that I remind her of a Care Bear - mostly likely because I tend to view the world through rose coloured classes.  I am, most definitely, a glass half-full kinda gal - choosing everyday to look for the best in a situation and for the good in people.  This week however I feel like Grumpy Bear as my current view on the world took a beating.  The only problem with living in a Care Bear-esque world is that when humanity disappoints, it really breaks your heart. 
Last night was a not uncommon battle in my head of "should I go to yoga or stay here cuddling with Ruby?"  Even with an impending thunderstorm I decided to just go in hopes that a good sweat would take my mind of all this and try to center myself.  The moment I walked into the hot room and felt the warmth surround me I began to let go.  Laying on my mat waiting for class to begin it was a struggle to maintain my composure.  I could feel my closed eyes welling up with emotion as all my thoughts of the day pounded in my now still mind.  As our teacher came in to class to welcome us and help us set an intention for our practice. I must admit that at first I tried to tense my face and hold them back but at one point I knew I needed to just set my intention, calm my breath and let them go.  My intention was peace.  In our world.  In my own world.  In my mind. In my heart.  

I've been trying to hard this week to deal with the feelings that are so deep in my soul and quite honestly that I thought I had made peace with.  For the first few months following 9/11 it was hard to talk about being there but it was the only way to try to make sense of it.  There was definitely survivors guilt - wondering why my life was spared when so many perished.  I thought that the more I tried to talk about it that eventually it would make sense but that's the catch - it can never make sense because an act of terror of that magnitude is completely senseless. Then eventually I stopped talking about it and tried to move forward because life carries on.  I used that experience and decided to try to seek happiness and be grateful for each day.  My life had to have been spared for a reason and I was determined to live my life fully as honour to those that did not survive.  It became part of my own personal philosophy to say "I love you" more without worrying what the response would be.  I tried new things and made a crazy amount of "bucket lists" and starting crossing things off.  I paid respect to the lives lost each anniversary of Septemeber 11th by sitting and listening to each name being read - so thankful that my name was not on that list.  That my morning at the World Trade Centre was scheduled for September 12th.  

I used to hope that one day I would forget the clouds of smoke or the insanity of people hurling themselves out of the trade centers - body parts & random items littering the streets below.  I hoped that I would stop cringing every time loud fire engine and ambulance sirens went past me.  I hoped that I would forget the looks on family members faces searching for their loved ones that night.  I hoped I would forget the fear.  Part of me hoped that one day it would be a distant memory.  

But on Monday, when those bombs exploded and there was chaos everywhere - with injured people everywhere and good people rushing towards them to help - it brought all those feelings back.  Remembering how it felt to be in our hotel rooms that night with every channel broadcasting the horror and wondering if we would wake up.  Wondering if there were bombs underneath us in Grand Central Station or next to us at the UN Building.  Seeing the streets of NYC empty except for armed guards with very large weapons.  And I realized I will never forget - it will always be a part of me and that's ok.  Because I am survivor and I could not be who I am without having that experience.   New Yorkers rebounded - forever changed - but the city pulled together and eventually regained it's vibrancy.  Boston will do the same.  Marathoners will do the same.  If we can maintain focus on the people who ran toward the explosions to help.  If we can share the stories of people opening their homes to stranded & confused runners.  If we can remember that we are blessed with people who do more acts of kindness than acts of terror.  Hopefully we will all eventually heal from this and move forward remembering that we must do good with our lives.


I made it through the rest of my yoga practice but then in our final shavasana I again could not control my tears as they ran down my face and mixed in with the sweat on my skin, cleansing me of the despair.  It was in that moment I did finally feel at peace and grateful.  And happy.  And alive.  


Maybe that is a total living in a 'care-bear kinda world' thing to say but I've been blessed with my life and that's the way I want to live it.  I want to be Tenderheart bear and Friendship bear and yes maybe even Grumpy bear from time to time in order to remember that though bad things happen, there are so many good people there willing to help.   I admit I got caught up in the feelings of sadness this week, unable to see past the despair and the hatred of this act.  It was overwhelming to remember but now as we see people running in solidarity for the people of Boston and we hear the crowd at the Bruins game sing the National Anthem in unity, I know that hope is stronger than fear.  The people of Boston & the runners of the marathon will carry this with them forever, just as I will carry 9/11 with me forever.  Let us remember that we are all affected by something - we have been broken but we heal.  We have been hurt but we regain strength.  We are charged with task to love each other, help each other and make sure that kindness overshadows evil.  

15 April 2013

prayers for Boston

There are a lot more people in my prayers this evening as my heart aches for those in Boston.  My heart aches for all of us - in a world where such senseless violence takes place and where people, children, lose their lives because of a coward.  As with many things in life,  you can't fully understand something until you have gone through it.  Unless you are a long distance runner, it will be hard for you to understand the sacredness of the finish line and the prestige of running Boston.  It doesn't matter how many races I've done but I can tell you that each time I cross the finish line - knowing that my body and my mind are both equally spent - I cry.  I am overcome with emotion that I did it, that I pushed myself physically and mentally and made it over that finish line.  There comes a time during the race where it becomes a race within yourself.  When physically your body is telling you to stop and you have to rely on your head to convince yourself to push through - run harder - don't quit.  The runners who qualified for Boston are amongst the best in the world - they are an elite group of men and women who worked hard, sacrificed and pushed themselves to get to this historic race.  There is no reason for this type of violence to occur - let alone in the last few hundred metres of the race where finishers should be celebrating and crying tears of triumph.  

Next month I will venture back to NYC to attend a trade show in lower Manhattan.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling emotional about this return.  It's been over 11 years since I was last there on 9/11 but as I start to think of going back, it has brought to light so many of the feelings that still remain within me.  I'm not fearful of anything happening again while I'm there but I do think it will be an emotional return.  I'd like to see the memorial site and hopefully find peace, forever grateful that my name is not amongst those that perished.  Today's events brought back the feelings that we went through that day and in the days following 9/11.  The sound of all the sirens.  Seeing people bloody and dazed, laying in the streets and chaos all around them.  People running, people trying to help.  The unsettling notion that other explosions could still be planned to later detonate - fearing that your life is still, in a way, in jeapordy.  Again, it's not an emotion that I can really describe - honestly I don't really want anyone else to have to know that feeling.  

All I can do is say an extra prayer tonight and hopefully put more good into the universe than the bad that rears it's ugly head.  For those that made it out unscathed and unharmed today, be grateful and know that it's ok to be grateful.   Runners know that hard is what makes it great.  Running in the rain and snow, getting up at 5am to get to a race, losing a toenail or having blistered feet - the hard makes runners special.  We are kindered (or crazy) spirits.  We run because it's who we are.  I run because it clears my head, because it makes me conscious of my own strength, because it makes me a happier me.  I know it's not good for my knees or my hips but it's good for my heart - physically and emotionally.  To all the runners, especially to those not able to finish, you are amazing and I am sorry that this triumphant moment was taken from you by senseless violence.  To those who lost their lives or who were injured - you didn't deserve this.  You were there out of love and support.  Please know that I will keep you in my prayers.  It should have been all happy tears today at the finish line. May you all eventually find peace and heal.  xo 




















08 April 2013

Impermanence

Impermanence. That was the intention put forward in my Moksha yoga class today.  It's true that nothing in life is ever permanent.  People, possessions, locations - all go through some sort of change at one point in our lifeSome things are in our lives for a long time and some just pass through like a whisper of wind.  Change is sometimes scary but at the same time, invigorating as it gives us the opportunity to begin again.  Every ending, be it with a tear or a smile, is in turn another beginning.  The impermanence of life may mean that a good thing must come to an end, bringing with it the pain of letting go.  But congruently, impermanence also means that said pain is also temporary.  At some point, it ceases to consume us and perhaps helps us find a way to move forward.

Today my mother dropped off a Rubermaid bin of mementos that I stored at my sisters house when we moved overseas.  Items of special significance but from highschool & university days, so not necessarily items I wanted to ship back and forth from Canada to Finland.  It's likely been four or five years since I looked through those items.  There were mixed tapes, tons of pictures, journals with so many of my thoughts & dreams, letters from friends, poems and so much more.  The box was most certainly filled with love.  I alternated between laughing and crying as I poured through everything, flipped through photographs and read words that friends had written to me.  I can only hope to be the woman that they see me as.  If I can be even half of the way their kind words describe me, it will make me proud.  


It's true - nothing is permanent and eventually things will end, people will leave us, possessions will be lost - but what we are able to carry in our heart will live as long as it keeps beating.  Sometimes I pray for peace within myself to be ok with the impermanence of it all while doing my best in the day to day.  Today my intention in class was for a friend who is struggling to let go of love and consumed by the inability to move forward - may they find the strength within themselves to know that the pain they feel today will eventually subside.  May their heart mend in such a way that they are able to love again.  May we all embrace the impermanence within in our lives and live in such a way that the things which matter most to us remain always in our hearts.  And in our Rubbermaid bins. 

23 February 2013

Fully Belly - Full Heart


What sustains us in life is not just the food that we are nourished by but also by the people that we share the meal with.  There are the big, substantial moments in our lives where we lean on others or where we are the pillar for those who are fallen.  But then there are the other, everyday moments that are small and simple and perhaps at times seem inconsequential.  But those moments, the simplicity of just being with others that are actually the times that nourish our soul the most.  Last week I yet again hosted Fat Tuesday Pancake night at my house with 6 of my girl friends and this year not only served my famous Carrot Cake pancakes but I also added on these Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes.  It was a simple meal with pancakes & fruit salad accented by a table full of love, laughter and sharing. 
 

Healthy Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes:
Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup agave syrup

2/3 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup milk (skim works)

Instructions:
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, baking power, spices and sugar/agave. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.


The winter edition of The Wilderness Girls followed this past weekend - four fun-filled days of playing in snow in the beautiful sunshiney Muskoka air.  There were snow angels, tobogganing, snow treks and of course and exorbitant amount of food! I was on breakfast duty this year and so one day we had nice healthy egg & avocado roll-ups but on our final day, I broke out a new Pinterest recipe of S'mores Pancakes.  They were as delicious as they sound.  Simple to make really and sooooooo disgusting in a very good, yummy kind of way!! 

S'mores Pancakes are really quite simple to recreate.  Using which ever recipe or mix that you usually do for pancakes, add in a cup of broken up graham crackers and chocolate chips. I of course didn't really measure this so eyeball it and if you think it needs a bit more, go for it.  This is not the recipe to think about "healthy".  Cook the pancakes as per normal and while they are cooking add 2-3 tbsp of boiling water to a jar of marshmallow Fluff to make a sort of marshmallow syrup..... Top pancakes with said Fluff syrup and you are good to enjoy your S'mores pancakes!! 

When shared with friends, calories and sugar content doesn't really count so don't worry about it!! These are definitely best enjoyed at the cottage.  I'd have to say that most things are best while at the cottage - I don't know if it's because we actually take the time to slow down, relax and enjoy.  Life passes so quick when we are focused on work and family and extra curricular activities.  It's sometimes hard to take those moments to ourselves to just recharge but at the cottage, when there are no schedules and no to-do lists, it's just natural.  You can spend the day sipping coffee and reading books or playing cards.  My Wilderness Girls are all so amazing.  They are sisters, wives, mothers, aunts.  They don't nearly give themselves enough credit for all that they do and for the lovely women that they are.  My battery recharges in those four days and my heart refills with hope.  The day after we return is a sort-of friend hangover because I am on my own again but luckily memories also sustain us.  I am a better person because of them and after close to two decades of friendship, I forever grateful.  

  

02 February 2013

Congruence

Congruence (≅) is the state achieved by coming together, the state of agreement. The Latin congruō meaning “I meet together, I agree”. As an abstract term, congruence means similarity between objects. Congruence, as opposed to approximation, is a relation which implies a species of equivalence.  

As individuals can we ultimately find congruence - whether it be with another person, within a career, in a location or just with oneself? Anyone who has read my rambling words will know that I often struggle with the question of where I want to be or who I want to be or where I want to go.  I find myself often using the term "when I grow up" when referring to the future which is slightly ironic as I pass through the mid-30's.  There are parts of my life where of course I feel grown up - like with my businesses - but there are also other parts where I feel like I've reverted back to a stage in my life where the path is yet again undecided. 

Or is congruence something we achieve over and over again with many people, in many places and while trying to find our way? Do the dots ultimately connect? Does just believing they will give us the courage to keep trying - to keep moving forward in pursuit of dreams or in pursuit of who and where we want to be? Are we aware enough to capture the moments or the lessons in life that shape us? As we move along a certain path are we open enough to change or to accept that perhaps our path will fork? I'm lucky in that I've found congruence with family and friends who are the constant in my life that allows me to further search to find the rest of the answers.  I don't know where I want to be or who I want to be with or what I want to do but I do know that as I search I aim to do so optimistically and with peace in knowing that it's ok to not know. I don't have to have the answers, I just have to have the guts to search for them.