Saturday, April 30, 2011

Up North

"Do you miss being up north?"

I answered just as the nice couple from Chicago finished their sentence. It shocked them how quickly I answered almost as it shocked me. Lately, lots of tourists have asked me how I got here and I've recanted the story over and over again the last week or two. Is it to remind me of something? Yep, my past life in which the choices I made did not suit me. And much how the right ones do.

It's been almost 6 years (I think) since I emptied out my storage unit in Chicago giving most of my belongings to a charity and moved on down. In that time, I've entered an entirely different type of customer service job. No more servicing of egomaniac brand clients who think they know exactly what their customers want.

Instead, having a job talking directly with those customers one-on-one. Getting more information than you ever wanted or needed about their needs and wants. Some days a little too much. If you ever want to learn how to market things to people or tap into the consumer mind, get a friggin' restaurant job.

When I came down in 2005, I was at a point that something had to change. When things don't feel right eventually they crash, at least for me anyway. That is one big lesson, I have finally faced. Don't ignore the tugging feelings and late night dreams that wake you out of a dead sleep. If something feels off, it usually is.

The job situation has definitely improved from last year's hell. The restaurant has been a godsend of cool people and laid back creative types. I've gotten exactly what I desperately needed. When one shift disappeared from the restaurant, the paddle boarding stepped in and up. In getting that area of my life to work for me instead of against me, it allowed the space to grow my own interests and feel alive again. Bottom line, work is important but more importantly is to like your work, whatever it may be.

To be on the water at least four times a week is sanity. I find I like teaching new people how to do it and it makes me happy seeing them move past their fears of failing. I've been learning lots of patience and communication skills that I know have already benefited me. Plus the sport just rocks and people dig it as much as I do.

My old cube days have been replaced with a different kind of board meeting. That was my goal starting back in good ole 2005. Actually I think it was crapola 2003, the escape from advertising. Looking back, I cannot believe I thought I could function properly in an office but I thought it was the only way. To see things shifting feels great and all the old stuff that's been keeping me back continues to fall away as I give myself exactly what I need. Lots of things contribute to that, too much to go into here.

Back in October when I had that astrological reading, she said one thing that I thought of this week. "You have the map of where we all need to be going." I literally laughed out loud when she said that to me cause at the time, it couldn't have been farther from what I was feeling.

But as I allowed myself to hear that voice and follow its direction, it's led me exactly to where I need to be. Supporting me the entire way. I finally truly believe that we are all given exactly what we need in each present moment. Our lives are already perfect in that moment. No need to wait until, if or when. It just is. That has given me more solace than anything I have ever discovered. I continue to take refuge in it.

And in that belief, my heart opens and the walls fall. Releasing old fears that only serve to keep me back. I trust that voice. It has always been there and always will. I remember to listen to it daily.

As it gets stronger, I get stronger.

Paddling has many benefits as well as getting rid of my car and biking. I feel strength everywhere in my body. At work this week, I finally opened this wall that I've never been able to before. It was an amazing moment cause I've only ever been able to squeak part of it up. I decided to try it one more time and in one fail swoop that thing flew up and surprised the hell out of me. I've been smiling about that one all week. Another wall down.

Biking and paddling are my brainstorm rooms and the ideas have been flying out. So much so I think I caused myself to short circuit the other night. I passed out after having a major brainstorm day and woke up seeing sunset but thinking it was 7am and time to get ready for work. There's a channel that's opening and it was something else the astrologer mentioned. She said I'd need to watch out for over stimulation cause a ton of information will be flying in. Not a bad thing to have but I do realize the need to take care of myself in order to properly harness this stuff.

I started reading a book I got a few years back before I visited Peru. It wasn't about the region I was visiting but the one I will be in a month. I knew. I knew before I knew.

As people inquire into my decision to move to Key West I feel them searching as I was on what to do. I think of what I'd tell them...

Surround yourself with all the things you need to be you. And if you don't know who that is, just ask that little voice.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I have been trying to figure out what bird this was and leave it to a walk with Cricket to let me know. Cricket's good like that.

As we rested in the shade, one appeared above us and I immediately pointed up and asked her what it was. It's a Grackle. She mentioned how she used to see them swarm the trees in Costa Rica. Wow.

Finally. Sometimes stuff like that sticks in my brain until I get the answer. They follow me everywhere and have even tried to come in my house. Like walking through the balcony door just like a person making a visit.

In Spain, I used to have these really large black birds follow me from place to place. They felt like guardian angels, always hovering in the background watching over me. They would only fly away when I tried to capture them with my camera.

Kinda what these remind me of. The Key West version. Grackle!

Piercing yellow eyes. I love their name and especially their high-pitched grunt.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Scenes from a Tour

In the zone.

Found a couple of Conchs!

Ze tour.

James & Howard obviously enjoying themselves. I love this pic!

Been enjoying the paddle board tours a lot. Getting out on a board a couple times a week is sanity for me. Plus I just really enjoy getting people who've never done it out there. They have this moment of peace and enjoyment on their faces by the end I just can't describe. It's an awesome job and I was thinking this week how much I love it and how lucky I am.

Had a couple of characters on one of the tours. This one guy came up to the booth really wanting to go on a tour. He was amped, man! I was leaving in 10 minutes and told them they could join me if they wanted and so they did. Funny guys who I later found out are crew for Bob Weir (Grateful Dead dude) and were in Florida this week for some his shows. They decided not to ride the tour bus and drove their own van through the keys complete with their own kayaks.

They were really cool to talk to and the whole tour talked about all kinds of stuff while paddling around the mangroves. Who knew my old Boulder life would have come in handy when talking about String Cheese Incident and Broomfield to James. I asked why Bob hasn't made it down here yet. They say he always talks about it but he never actually makes it. I told them about the Green Parrot and all the awesome music that goes through there including the incredible Big Sam's Funky Nation. Howard had heard of Big Sam said he was going to try to talk Bob and the crew into coming down to kayak sometime. Now that would be a fun tour if they're anything like these two.

James got some cool shots with his Iphone and just sent them to me with a note telling me to hit the mainland this summer to hear some music. Thanks guys!