Roots

I wouldn’t say that I’m the most experienced person when it comes to traveling, but over the past few years, I’ve definitely broadened my horizons in terms of drifting away from the place I call home (New Jersey) I’m most grateful to my ex-boyfriend for inviting me to be more open-minded about venturing into the unknown. The first plane I ever got on was when I went to San Diego, California for my cousin’s wedding in 2009. I was 18 and a freshmen in college. Leaving for college itself was overwhelming enough and I was only a 45-minute drive away from my parent’s house. Even then, I didn’t make the cut with sticking it out for all 4 years there. I eventually transferred to Rutgers University, which was about a 5-minute drive from my parent’s house. So much for venturing into the unknown.

Now, getting back to the first time that I was on a plane; it was a pretty frightening experience for me to be honest. I was overly excited to even be inside of an airport. Growing up, my parents weren’t extremely wealthy and we didn’t have the luxury to take summer vacations like all of my friends did. As a child, I had never even gone to Disney World. DISNEY WORLD (A sad realization when I think back on it)

Going to California for the first time was one of the most memorable trips of my life. I was blessed enough to have relatives that took it upon themselves to pay for both mine and my sister’s plane tickets. We just had to take care of our own expenses once we were there. That trip opened my eyes to realizing that there was so much more than what I sheltered myself to.

Spring Semester of my Sophomore year of college, I met the man that defined my college love life. I dated him for three years, and loved him with every ounce of love that I had to offer. A majority of it was because I loved his spirit, his personality, his carefree nature. I always wished I could be like that. Throughout our relationship, he would surprise me with mini get-aways. Eventually, the mini get-aways became big get-aways. And they extended further and further. It opened my eyes, and we hadn’t even left the United States.

I’d like to publicly thank him for giving me those opportunities to explore those unfamiliar places. It gave me the courage to move to New York City and embark on one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever been on. But, it won’t stop in New York City. He planted a seed in my mind to be brave enough to travel to where-ever I wanted to go. I learned that traveling exposes you to learning so much about people, places, and more importantly, yourself.

I caught up with another high school friend yesterday and we ran through the typical routine of reflecting on old memories and then moved onto to conversation of updating him on how much has changed in my life and how different I’ve become since high school. I’d like to say that it was mostly just age and maturity that has changed me, but a large part of it also has to do with the fact that I left home to find out who I am.

I have a lot of friends from back home who like to do nothing, but tell me how ridiculous it is to live in New York City for various reasons; too expensive, too dirty, too crowded, the list goes on.

It upsets me to hear them say these things though because although many of their claims have proven themselves to be true, I appreciate all of it. I’ve been able to find myself in a place other than my home in New Jersey. I stepped outside of my boundaries, outside of my comfort zone. And for that, Brandon, I’m forever grateful. You’ve helped me become the person I am, and you’ll continue to help me become the person that I will be.

For all of my upcoming trips to where ever the destination may be, I know that I will continue to learn more about myself. The seed that was planted has strong roots and no matter how far I go, they will always lead me back home.

Advertisements

RACE REPORT: Big Chill 5K

Distance: 5K (3.1 Miles)
Date: December 8th, 2013
Location: Rutgers University- New Brunswick, NJ

Yesterday, I ran my first race since August, when I ran the 5K leg of the St. Mary’s Triathlon in Huntington, West Virginia. (I still don’t count the Electric Run as a race and I never will)

I ran the Big Chill 5K for my 5th consecutive year which takes place at my Alma Matar, Rutgers University. It’s one of the largest 5K’s in the state of New Jersey, and personally, one of my favorites. Not only is it one of the more competitive races in the state, but it also contributes to a great cause. In it’s 11th year, it grows larger and larger as a well-known race where thousands of toys are collected upon race registration to donate to children during the holiday season on behalf of the charity organization, Toys for Tots. Each year since I’ve ran this race, I’ve never been disappointed with the turnout. The mixture between the sense of community, enthusiasm, and competitiveness makes this a race worth running.

The course takes you through the College Avenue Campus at Rutgers University and enters into Buccleuch Park, which is a prime running course for many local high school cross country teams as well as the training grounds for Rutgers University athletes. The final stretch of the course brings you back down College Avenue, ending in front of the College Avenue Gymnasium where the course begins. This course is quick and fairly flat, which makes it great for setting a PR (personal record) There is a slight incline in the first mile, but it’s smooth sailing once you get into the park and are nearing the finish line.

I hardly trained for the race this year, and to be honest, I typically never do because I like to run this race for fun. It has become a tradition for me and although I’m usually hard on myself with my finishing time, I always have to remind myself that ‘you reap what you sow’.

The Big Chill 5K holds a special place in my heart with great sentimental meaning because I regard this race as the milestone race that got me back into running, post-high school.

(For those of you who have been following my blog, I was very serious about running throughout high school. It has always grounded me and it still grounds me. I’ve written many times about how unbalanced I become when I don’t run)

When I first entered college, I had a hard time dealing with the many transitions that came my way. Running was a significant remedy for me to cope with these periods of change. It continues to remedy me to this day.

Running the Big Chill 5K has become a constant these past few years. It reminds me that no matter how busy I get, I can always make time to run. To clear my head. To motivate myself. To challenge myself. To heal myself.

Although I hardly trained for this race, I’m still amazed at how strong I still am. It just goes to show how mental strength can so greatly surpass physical strength. Where the mind leads, the body follows.

Overall, I had another great year at this race and I plan on continuing to run this race no matter how un-prepared I may be.

20131210-000804.jpg

Same mistakes

I was in Princeton, New Jersey on Friday night with my sister and her boyfriend when we passed a large, wooden caricature of Albert Einstein with a hole cut out big enough for people to put their face through. I had my sister’s boyfriend take a picture of me with my face in it and posted it on Instagram for a laugh.

image

I kept checking the photo for “likes” that night and later on at dinner, Albert Einstein became a topic of conversation.

Over the span of the weekend, my thoughts condensed to more serious matters about my life when I kept thinking about Albert Einstein.

Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

If this is true, then we must all be insane; or at least I am.

As I was running through the campus of my Alma Matar the other day, Rutgers University, I was observing all of the changes being made on College Avenue. The great landmark food trucks known as the “Greasetrucks” have been moved, new buildings were being built, and old buildings were being constructed. Everything looked so different in the short amount of time since I’ve left.

I, then, reflected on the times that I spent walking down that street, rushing to class, going out with friends, and started thinking about how much I’ve grown since college. I’ve already accomplished so much and have made it so far, yet there are still parts of me that remain the same.

I’d like to think that I’ve grown and matured a great deal since I’ve graduated, but I know I still have many years of change left. Even though I’ve managed to accomplish many things that I set out to, some of my behaviorisms haven’t changed at all.

I wonder, if mistakes are made in life in order to learn from, then what does it mean if we keep making the same mistake multiple times? Does it mean we’re not learning?

Why do I insist on making the same mistakes when I already know the outcome? I must be insane.

However, I’m fully aware of the mistakes I’m making when I’m making them. I already know what the results will be. Yet, deep down, I’m hoping that something different will happen the next time around.

Maybe a part of me hopes that things will magically change; that people will magically change. But change never happens by using the same methodology over and over again.

Some people believe that things are different the second time around. As I’ve grown older, I’m not so confident in that mindset.

Looking back on my experiences, I’ve learned that life yields the same consequences when we make the same mistakes.

The thing that baffles me is this: If I already know, then why do I continue to do the same things?

20130902-160734.jpg