Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lessons for Miami Me

I figured I'd follow up my Lessons for Little Me post with a Lessons for Miami Me post.  Enjoy!

Try New Food
This picky eater is trying to be more adventurous.  Eat the duck tongue.  Eat the oysters and clams.  Try dim sum.  Try Peruvian food.  Dining with friends is fun.  Dining with J is a great experience to talk.   I have found a lot of new cuisines that I like and restaurants that I will miss.  I'm looking forward to exploring the dining scene in Seattle now.

Tapas.  Yum.

It's a cliche, but it's true: it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.  Some of my best memories are about what happened on the way to a end-point and who I was with (reading silly billboards in GA with Miss E comes to mind immediately).  San Fransisco was a cool place, but going there with our friend and meeting up with J's brother enhanced the trip for me.  France is beautiful but my friends also made it fun.  Eat the local food, sleep on the floor if you have to, but just GO.

France is Fun-iculaire with friends.  Inside joke.

Learn Constantly
I've taken a writing class and numerous crafting classes.   I've also learned from people around me: how to crochet, how to work smarter and not harder, how to live and work in Miami...  I'm really passionate about being a life-long learner. 

I've learned how to do things that I never thought I could do...

Read, Always
I've had my nose in a book since I was a wee little thing, but my reading went to the next level while living in Miami.  I joined a book club and read books that I normally would not have picked up and in the process my world expanded even more.

Reading with wine is even better!

Be Brave
Yes, I am afraid of murky water.  Yes, I think about crocodiles grabbing me, but if I have to swim through murky water to pet a baby manatee and if I get to see that manatee roll over on it's belly because it likes being pet then I will just have to be brave.  When we went on that trip I was literally saying "Be Brave, Becca" over and over in my mind while snorkeling.  I'd never gone snorkeling before and that in and of itself was a challenge that I overcame.  I've had to be brave while driving and while working with some difficult individuals.  Be brave and you'll be fine most of the time.

This is not the murky water!  This was from the same trip, though.

Be Assertive, Ask Questions
I've had to stand up for myself, my husband, and my pets in situations that I might have usually shirked away from.  It can be difficult doing that in a city with a different culture than the one I grew up in.  I've been confused in some situations and I've had to ask questions.  I'm actually a fairly shy person (unless I'm one-on-one) but in the last three years I've had to learn how to navigate some challenging situations and keep some conversations afloat (to avoid that potentially awkward silence).

Becca and Grumpy Cat both hate awkward silences.

I'm sure there is more, like: How to do Your Laundry and Dodge Little Lizards and That was a Miami-Left Turn... but that's it for now.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lessons for Little Me

I wrote this list in a notebook a little less than a year ago and I've added ideas here and there.  I was just thinking of what I had learned thus far from life and what I could have benefited from knowing when I was younger.  I figured I'd share it on my blog because -hey- why not?

Lessons for Little Me 
(in no particular order)

Look at that dubious expression.  I still make that face.  And I'm still not sure about my baby brother...

  1. You are undefinable in genres, styles, and interests.  Don't feel like you cannot like something even if it doesn't fit your "code" as long as you enjoy it.
  2. Get over your fear of missing out.  You are a homebody prone to spurts of wanderlust and adventure.  If you don't enjoy parties, don't go.  If you don't like certain people, excuse yourself if you can.  And do what you like.
  3. Friends come, friends go, some stay.  Of all the people that are in your life, only you are constant.  Be good to you, be true to you.
  4. Everything in moderation.
  5. Everything is relative.
  6. Don't expect others to care as deeply as you do.
  7. Don't stop searching for your life soul-mates.  These are the people who you can let your guard down with, the ones you can be honest with, the ones who will not judge you or your quirks.
  8. Always be kind to the nerds.  You know you are a nerd and you always root for the underdog, but don't be too kind, otherwise they sometimes start following you around.
  9. You have a voice, use it.
  10. You have a vote, use it.
  11. You can be a walking contradiction, it's okay.  Love fashion and hate the industry.  Give advice and throw the rules out when it pertains to you.  And it is okay to wear yoga pants to Whole Foods if you feel like it.  
  12. Your gut is always right.  You are still paying for decisions made that you over-analyzed and talked yourself into.
  13. Take more risks.  Leave home.  Make new friends.  Leave that home.  Make another new home.  You will have a different world experience than people who grow roots in one spot.  
  14. Your outsider's observations paired with your intuition will pay off- in characters for future novels.
  15. Write, write, write.
  16. Keep drawing.
  17. Keep reading.
  18. Be more serious about the guitar.
  19. Your crushes and exes are gay or will lose their hair young.  Don't cry so much over them.
  20. The loss of a friend can be worse than a breakup, but there will be more of both, so get used to it.
  21. You can be whoever you want to be.
  22. You will become more introverted, but it will be because you realized you were trying too hard to be accepted by people you don't really like one bit.
  23. Some adults are as full of it as teenagers.  You will be disappointed by your role models.
  24. Keep your child-like joy and silliness.  It will even out that mature, responsible, boring temperament.  
  25. Don't work so hard that you burn yourself out.  Hard work will pay off for you, though.
  26. Take French.  Yes, Spanish is the more practical language, but you'll suck at Spanish, hate it, and you'll always wish you could speak French.
  27. The most painful events are the lessons you really needed to learn.
  28. Find a great doctor, veterinarian, dentist, mechanic, hairstylist, library, etc... these are gems.  They are hard to find but it will be well worth the search.
  29. You will make mistakes and they might be costly and embarrassing, but the things you will regret are the things you do not do or do not have the courage to say.
  30. Sometimes it is fun not knowing where you will go or end up.  Enjoy the ride.
More to learn.  More growing to do.

I'm so glad that I've challenged myself to live a more global life.  I could do even better, but I know that I've expanded my perspective on this world and the people in it.  I enjoy learning new things and every day my world gets a little smaller.  I don't think that is a bad thing.  Right now I have connections to China, to Europe, to Africa, to Latin America, and beyond.  I know people from all walks of life and all philosophies.  I am excited to see how my world will change, how I will grow, and what I will learn in my new city!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Bucket List

21 days left.  3 weeks!

We've been so busy with packing, working, and fitting in last minute fun.  In the last month or so we've been to the Miami Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 and Piano Concert No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 with Eduardo Marturet as the conductor and Philippe Entremont on the piano), A La Folie, Fox's Sherron Inn, the arcade, an Italian Greyhound meet-up in Broward County, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden with Emmy, Lan Pan Asian Cafe, dim sum at South Garden (twice), Bahama Breeze dinner with my office mates, lunch with some professors at Peru Criollo, and some drinks with my friends on Miracle Mile -first at John Martin's for Happy Hour and finishing the night at 100 Montaditos to soak up some of that liquor, but they had good sangria too! ;)  J and I have also managed to sneak in a last meal at Ms. Cheezious a couple of weeks ago. 

Farewell to my favorite Miami Food Truck!

Close-up of a Rainbow Eucalyptus from FTBG

The Cannonball Tree at FTGB is in bloom this month!

You can see where it gets it's name from...

Ending our evening out at 100 Montaditos
During that time I've still be volunteering, reading towards my goal of 85 books in 2013, and making a lot of crafts.  I made a project for J's friends that I cannot wait to show you, but for now it needs to stay a secret!  I also made little glass ornaments that were almost like cards for my office-mates.  On the front it showed their initial and on the back was a small saying of appreciation.  I embellished with dangling beads and keys that said Memory, Love, and Heart.  I didn't get a picture of them, but I plan on making one for my Craft Night friend.  I also finished my secret project for my future sister-in-law.  I've been busy! :)

We have some plans for what we want to fit in while we are still here.  We're hoping to get some good pictures of the graffiti at Wynnwood, some of the trees in Coral Gables, FIU campus, pictures off of the Rickenbocker, maybe of the Venetian Pool from the inside, the Country Club Prado promenade, us by my favorite pink snail sculpture, and picture/video of our Coral Way drive home.  I want to take a picture walk and get some of the smaller details too: the awesome tile at the library, a close-up of Miami oolite rock, the lions at the nearby bank, and more.  Right now J takes almost all of the pictures for this blog and has to e-mail them to me.  I wish I had an iPhone to take pictures of those small moments from my daily life that make me smile... maybe this summer.

Which brings me to the main point of this post: Our Summer Bucket List.  We will have less than 30 days in Wisconsin to see all the special folks, visit the places we love, and eat the food we've missed.  While talking to J, I ticked off on my fingers all of the people we're making plans with, events to attend, things to do, and mini-excursions to plan and it was more than one thing a day.  We'll be busy.  Here is -some- of our Summer Bucket List:

  1. Join this century and get an iPhone
  2. Visit Greenfield News and Hobby with Dad
  3. Madison (definitely going out, definitely eating some yummy food, definitely seeing friends, definitely visiting the arboretum, probably hitting up State Street, the Chazen, and MoMA)
  4. Make a trek up to MN to see a very special friend and her very adorable baby
  5. Check out the Rusty Quarters arcade (J and I love arcades!) while in MN
  6. Visit with J's high school buddy and his lovely girlfriend in MN
  7. Go to my family's cabin
  8. Tailgate at a Brewer's Game (for J)
  9. Go back to my old sanctuary: The Milwaukee Art Museum
  10. Comet Cafe for Old Fashioneds and oh-so-bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good food
  11. Brewery Tour
  12. Red Raspberry Frozen Custard at Kopp's
  13. American Science and Surplus to see if we can get some funny stuff for our new apartment
  14. Date at Alterra and Discovery World
  15. The Dentist! (I love my dentist.)
  16. Girl Day with my future sister-in-law
  17. Treat our newlywed friends to dinner (we are leaving Miami the day they get married!)
  18. Meet up with an old friend from middle school
  19. Bake a Rhubarb and Raspberry pie with my grandma
  20. Special Dinner with the 'rents
  21. Enjoy time with my new puppy-sister
  22. Barbeque with the Z's
  23. Makin' stuff with Mom
  24. Visitors! Emmy and her boyfriend might come to WI to see where we're from
  25. Dream Items: karaoke, paintball, and/or laser tag!
Of course, there are more items that are more personal and specific to special peeps in our lives, but you get the general idea.

I have missed some Wisconsin things and Wisconsin people, but I have realized there are people and things that I will miss down here in Miami (despite still not being too too fond of the place).  I found a little family here that I will miss terribly.  Everyone in my office is on to bigger and better things, but we've all expressed the sentiment that we're going to miss our team and the well-oiled machine that we've become.  These people made me feel loved and cared for here.  I didn't make a lot of friends, but I think the friends I've made are quality friends and I hope they come to visit me and my new life in Seattle.

Now I'm off to clean the bathroom and maybe try my hand at a new recipe.  Catch you later.