Archive for change

Softly Speaking

Posted in motivation, photos, random, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by afuntanilla

Sitting in the oversized chair in this quaint, cozy asian-style inspired decorated room…I look out one of the windows and my eyes are dancing at the sight….
The mountain just over yonder is caked with snow. The Ashland, Oregon area was blessed with snow last night. Not a lot, but enough to make the mountain beautiful, to soften the sounds and to add an element of reflection.

I need this. This time to just be. This moment. Who are we without reflection?
I need this wintry weather to help ground and still me. The me inside. To help dim the inner chatter and truly SEE and GET this significant time of my life. (but, isn’t it all significant?!)

I see that I have been brave and will continue to need to be to pursue my dreams. I see that I took big leaps of faith in myself. I GET that this time can also be a scary one. Scary > Exciting > Scary > Exciting > Two sides of the same coin.

I left a nest where I was challenged, but perhaps more protected than challenged. I allowed myself to be held back…and held back I was. Sometimes, we need protection in order to grow. We need a big warm coat to keep us warm before we get comfortable enough to shed the cloth, feel a bit of a chill, and keep moving forward.

With so many situations in our lives, there comes a point where the situation, the relationship, etc…NO LONGER SERVES YOU. These are the crucial moments in ones life, I think. To pay attention to those signals, those signs…that give you that gut feeling that the time has come. Time for you to “go”. Time to be bigger. Time for change. Sometimes, it might be radical change. Radical Change > Radical Growth. If you miss those opportunities and stay in situations that no longer serve you, I believe that is the most damage to ones SELF can occur. Ones soul and spirit might suffer dramatically if one stays beyond the time “limit.” And I think we know that inside, don’t we… When we stay too long? Inside, we know. Even then, it’s so important not to judge ourselves, but to approach ourselves with compassion, gentleness, love. We all have those moments.

I have been on some skinny branches and I think I might be venturing out onto some even skinner branches….YIKES! But, I am ready. It doesn’t mean I am not scared…because I AM SCARED. But, my drive and my desire is stronger than my fear.

And when I was being protected, I felt like I had to claw, scratch and scream sometimes to be heard. Even then, it was sometimes not enough. I don’t want that experience anymore. I don’t need to fight so hard to be heard. My independence will give me that…

We are all on our own road…with all the potholes, smoothness, wide and narrow stretches. We are all driving at different speeds, with different levels of comfort as we try to get to where we are going. Compassion.

And yet, some things are universal to us all. Life sometimes asks things of you. Your soul & spirit will ask, often DEMAND, things of you. And we have all these things inside us. We just need to step up.
When the time is needed, I hope we all can be
Brave, driven, dedicated, visionary, courageous, humble, gracious and determined.

Your strength lies within you. Believe it.

Onward.

Week 4 Run Report

Posted in motivation, random, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by afuntanilla

Had a good week of running while driving across the country from Atlanta to San Francisco.
As previously noted, I left Atlanta on Jan 23rd.
That night, I stayed in Oxford, MS and the next morning went for a run in town. My route took me into the town square and thru the campus of University of Mississippi. Beautiful and full of rolling hills. 4-4.5 miles.
2 days later, I ran in Oklahoma City. This was a very boring route as I stayed on the outskirts of town and ran from my hotel. Really nothing noteworthy here but a good 4-4.5 miles.
Another 2 more days, and I was running in Flagstaff, AZ. I do regret NOT running in Little Rock as I then could have crossed that off my list of states I have run in, but…I had to move on!
So, FLAGSTAFF! One of my favorite places to visit. Nestled in Northern Arizona at an elevation of 7000 feet and about 1-1.5 hours drive from the Grandy Canyon. It’s a nice, casual community with many young folks. (home to northern Arizona university) Has some neat shops and one of my favorite coffeehouses, Macy’s European Coffeehouse. It did not disappoint! In addition to good coffee, they also serve food and everything is organic, healthy yummy food. I ran Saturday morning from the hotel. It was about 30 degrees with 17 mph winds. Cold! Toss in the elevation factor and it was a tough 4.4 mile run. The wind was with me on my way out, but against me on the return. Body was warm, except for face and hands. Brrrr! The hot shower at the holiday inn express felt pretty darn good.
Sunday morning rolled around and after some Starbucks instant VIA coffee, I drove into the center of town and ran from there. It was the same temperature, 30 degrees, but thankfully no wind. What a huge difference. I loved the quiet, empty Sunday streets. However, after about 10 minutes, I was ready to stop. I think I was just feeling the elevation effect. Not sure, but I kept going. Having internal conversation with self: “if Nadal/Djokovic can last more than 5 hours playing tennis, I think you can last more than 10 min, more than 20 min…keep going…” You get the picture, right?!
Oddly, even though I had been feeling bad, after about 35 minutes, I felt better and better. Stronger. Stride opened up and I was cruising. Go figure. Went a bit over 5 miles. This was the highlight run of week.
I was pleased to get 4 runs in while doing so much driving. It was great to move my body after sitting for many hours. It also gave me pause in terms of thinking about the individuals who have literally run across the country. I realize some have had support crews and such, but wow…what an incredible feat. Pretty humbling to think about….

Week 4: approximate total miles 18

I am currently writing from Merced, California. This is my last night “on the road”. Part of my journey ends tomorrow and an entire new journey, a new chapter begins. lots of thoughts and feelings are swirling. LIFE…..So amazing, really!

Onward…

Catapult

Posted in photos with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2012 by afuntanilla

CATAPULT; to thrust, move suddenly or quickly

I first came to Atlanta in 1999, July. Moved here from San Francisco, which always surprises people. WHY would you move from San Francisco to Atlanta? It’s not an easy thing to explain, but I will try….see if you can follow along. 🙂

I had been to Atlanta twice before moving and had spent time here and LOVED it. The landscape is unlike anything out west. A bounty of trees, so damn lush and gorgeous. Maybe like a drop dead gorgeous woman so that when you see her, you just stop and stare. Soak her in. That is the Atlanta landscape. (not so much in winter, but you get the picture)

Atlanta is enough Southern so that one does feel it, in a good way. The slower pace, the true Southern Ways. You know..people of all ages addressing one as “ma’am” and “sir”. I find it endearing. People are kind here…and yes, many Southern Charmers. And contrary to popular misconceptions, Atlanta is VERY metropolitan. Very. Even more so now than when i moved here in 1999.

So…that is a little of what DREW me to this Southern City. Looking back, I also believe I needed to leave the Bay Area, which is more accurate to say. I didn’t leave San Francisco. I left the Bay Area. I left the Bay Area that had had so many very difficult memories for me. Very difficult and very painful. If you know my story, you understand. One might say I was “running” away from them, but I don’t see it that way. I really view it as something I needed to do for me. I needed to leave the nest. Surprisingly, it was pretty easy to leave. I was excited for an entire new place, new opportunities and to see what I could do on my own. I am a firm and loud believer in wandering. I think more people should do it. You can discover a lot about yourself while wandering. I, was wandering…

Almost 13 years have now passed. Wow. In many ways, I feel like I really “grew up” here in Atlanta. Became an adult. Been very focused on my career and have enjoyed that process. My running has also truly accelerated here. I did my first BIG RACE in January 1999 (before moving) in San Francisco; The Home Depot Half-Marathon. My finish time was 2:01:43 — a record i am still trying to break! After that race, I was hooked and proceeded to run and run while living in Atlanta. Luckily for me, my living situation/income etc has allowed me to travel for many races. 13 years later. Still very much hooked on the running.

One of the biggest issues of my life has been a constant nagging feeling of feeling like i belong anywhere. I think maybe we all have one or two or three or…nagging issues, don’t we?? Well, this is mine. It’s been huge. It is constant and can be a real freakin’ downer. DOWNER!

Well…I realize that I have a part in perpetuating this feeling. Some of it is real and true and some of it is stuff I create. There are people who know me, who really know me. Who really love me. And I have chosen to be far away from them. Well, that will certainly help me feel like i don’t belong and not connected. Duh!

Throughout my years in Atlanta, I have been unhappy on a deeper, spiritual level. For whatever reason, I have not been able to create the kind of relationships or community that helps sustain me on the inside and I think we all need that as part of our life. I read back to journals from 3, 5 years ago and read where I question why i am still living in Atlanta. Obviously, living here for as long as I have, there have been reasons for me to stay. I have been fulfilled here it some ways, but ultimately, for me, it has been like a spiritual desert. Over these 13 years, I have traveled back to the Bay Area to visit friends and more and more, those visits have provided me with a shot of the best juice i could possibly give myself. And it hasn’t just been my friends…it’s been the place…the San Francisco Bay Area…the water, the culture, the diversity, the abundance of so many good things….I kept going back to visit to get INJECTIONS of all this good stuff. Each time I have been back, over the last 5 years especially, I appreciate the place more and more. There is truly no place like it. I’ve been around the country a few times, so i feel i can legitimacy say those words! Back in October/November, I was having one of the worst times of my life and where did I seek comfort and nourishment…back in the Bay Area with my friends, who are my family. This past year, 2011, I traveled to the Bay Area 4 times. I finally got the message.

Things in my work environment have changed and it’s definitely time for me to leave a situation. It definitely has had good points, but I think when one becomes quiet enough, the message is there in the quiet, inner space. My message has been to leave a situation that no longer suits me. A relationship at work that is no longer serving me. Sometimes, we just have to move on and that’s what it is for me. Time to move on.

So. Yes. I am going home. Finally going home. I’m excited and a bit nervous, but mostly excited. I’ve been thinking about this for a loooong time and finally have gotten the courage to take the leap. As mentioned, 2011 was a tough year. However, it was a spontaneous meeting by the water with a friend with a red rooster in my hand that helped catapult this decision. At that moment, my year changed and ultimately, the direction of my life.

With a deep breath, I look forward to 2012 and all of its challenges and opportunities and adventures. I hope you’ll follow me along the way.

Onward…

p.s. so much more to say, but will save for a later time

blood, bonds and costumes

Posted in random with tags on October 29, 2011 by afuntanilla

family. tribe. whether we want to or not, we are all members of a family, a tribe. we may be connected by blood, by common interests, by our work or other means. when a tribe comes together and stays together for any significant period of time, bonds are formed. through the good, bad and ugly, bonds are formed. we develop our routines, our patterns and we develop our expectations within the tribe. as the days pass and we come and go, we get ourselves in a groove and we become familiar with what is. we come to rely on those tribal mates for our everyday survival…whether that be to see their face everyday, hear their voice or joke around with them. throughout the every day mundane that is undoubtedly a part of any tribal community, we build bridges, we cross over rivers to meet each other, we cheer for each other, we care when things go wrong, we laugh together and we commiserate together. history gets built over the years and thru the mundane of the life lived together. it’s not always exciting or fun or even noteworthy, but the history gets made and all of sudden, you wake up and realize you know so much about your tribal mates and they you.

and then. there is a yank of separation. a tribe mate voluntarily departs; calmly, yet violently…for how else can one describe the yank of separation from everything that is known, everything that is familiar. it is a brutal, violent and painful jolt from all current reality. a torturous yank of separation from the tribe who is all you know. the willing individual walks away from those that have helped shape, nurture and love them. And yet, it doesn’t feel so willing. it feels as if a huge beast flew into the nest and tore our tribe apart..The Big Beast flies away, carrying the member as they scream viciously in silence. Unable to be heard, unable to fight off the wicked beast.

And yet, don’t we all have to leave the tribe at some point in order to grow? Don’t we all have to peak our heads out and take a chance? or should always stay with that which is so comfortable, stable & familiar? How will we ever grow and be challenged if we stay with what is familiar and easy and comfortable?

Wearing a willing suit, I walked away. I was heavily disguised.

Six months later and the suit, the costume, has been torn, ripped to shreds.

Happy Halloween.

change(s)

Posted in random with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by afuntanilla

Change. Big Change has happened for me. Well, I guess BIG is relative. All work related and all good. Still doing same job, just at a different place. A new place. Oddly enough, it’s only about a 5-7 minute walk from the OLD place. But…lemme tell ya, there’s a whole lotta different in that 5-7 min walk.

My whole routine has been changed. I didn’t realize how much it needed to change. This change was an ELECTIVE one, but I see now how much I need it. I feel different. Lighter. While at Chipotle yesterday for the first time EVER, a song i liked came on and as I made my way to toss my plate in the garbage, i was dancing. At lunch, in my work suit. Hmmmm…..see, I needed the change. Or….maybe it was just that happiness at eating at Chipotle for first time and loving it.

the doubt creeper

Posted in random with tags , , , , on August 21, 2010 by afuntanilla

Trying to fit in to bigger shoes. In more ways than one.

Feeling overwhelmed and unsure if I can do it. Can i adapt? Am I ready?

Maybe I am ready since situations have presented themselves?

Or maybe I get to see what the “bigger shoes” feel like and then decide that I am not there quite yet.