Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Live Like You Were Dying

Today, I got word that a girl I went to high school went died of breast cancer. She was 29. It's always hard to see someone that you know pass to the other side, but I think when they are young it has a more sobering affect on the mind. For me, at 30, I think to myself what if I knew I was going to die at 29, what things would I have done differently. It really makes you think about not only how important it is to be happy and pursue your dreams, but be grateful that you are given a new day to do it in as well.

 The one thing I have always noticed about any young person who has a terminal illness is that they are incredibly passionate about living every day of their life. They love harder than most people I have ever known, they are more willing to take chances and not worry about who calls them crazy for fulfilling their wildest dreams, but most importantly, they are some of the happiest people I have ever known. I think there is something exhilirating about living your life like every day is your last. I am sure this is an experience most of us will never truly achieve, due to the fact many of us are unwilling to let go of the everyday demands of life. However, I really dare more of us to do it.

Since, I have decided to do what makes me happy in life and not worry about the little things, I must admit, I am a happier person. Not to mention, it seems, everything always falls into place. I think we could all be happier people if instead of judging the lives of others, we judged our own quality of life and then made a commitment, every day, to do what makes us happy. Imagine a world like that. Where it was ok to be thought of as crazy or unconventional, to not worry about the pristine image you spend so much time trying to maintain. What a life it would be. I guess Buddha was definitely onto something when he said the power of happiness lies in the ability to just be.

Rest in peace, Natalya Marie Campbell, you have taught us all a valuable life lesson. May your energy continue to inspire us as much in your absence as it did in your presence. You will be missed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No Ways Tired

Today, I must admit I'm a little apprehensive about this whole Ghana move. I know in my two previous posts, I was really over confident, but then again, we have talked about my big mouth in those posts too. Yesterday, I realized I was going to have pay of my car to take it to Africa and if you are wondering how much that is, its $7,000. Yes, a significant amount of money. Most importantly, it impacts every financial plan that I have.

Now I am really considering this as my come to Jesus moment because I feel like my options are really restricted, at least the set of options I would consider. In fact, who am I fooling, there is no other option, but to push on. I feel like I have come too far to go back. So now you may ask, what does this mean, and to be honest I have no idea.

I am a firm believer though that God has a plan for everything and its like the old gospel song says, " I don't believe he's brought me this far to leave me." In fact, I know he didn't. I remember five years ago, I moved to DC with $3,000 and no job. I was living with a cousin that I met once for two days and I didn't really have an abstract plan. Three weeks later, just when I was down to my last dime, I got a job.

I really feel I have to remember this situation in this case, because I have learned life never works out the way I plan it. Most importantly though, I have learned it always works out. In my mind, the greatest advantage I have over most people is that I am willing to walk on faith. I guess its one of the greatest benefits of my past struggles and failures. I have learned quirky things happen for reason. It's like when I wanted to get into law school and my LSAT sucked. I got denied by every law school, it was the first time ever  that I was rejected by any academic institution, I was devastated. Looking back though, I would have come out of law school at the peak of the recession and probably, like many of my other friends with law degrees, unable to find work.Not to mention the $100,000 plus debt I would have racked up.

So when I look back at life, it has always worked out, and this is the attitude I have chosen to adopt for particular journey in life, it will work out. I will not be swayed by the way things look, instead I will be led by the voice inside of me that says, "go forth." After all, I don't feel no ways tired.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Motivation

The number one question I have gotten since announcing my departure to Ghana is why did you decide to move. So it occurred to me, that I should perhaps give a little background about how I ended up making the decision to move out of the country. I know to many it seems like a bold move to some, in fact, many probably think its a  crazy move, especially since I am unemployed. But if you ask me, its the perfectly sane choice. After all,  I don't see a difference between being unemployed here and unemployed somewhere else. In fact, The only difference, I see, is that in Ghana, I won't be broke in three months and who knows with the opportunity that exists there, I may be hell of a lot better off in another three months.

Sometimes, I think many people forget how booming Africa really is. In spite of the worldwide economic downturn, many African nations are still experiencing a growing GDP. Investments are almost guaranteed to quadruple there and, most importantly, the continent holds 3/5 of the world's natural resources. With stats like that it looks like the continent is definitely on its way to success...........and I want in.

Besides, I can't think of a better time. In the past year, America's economy has continued to get worse, despite the optimistic reports. I have friends who have been unemployed for almost two years, despite being ready and able to aggressively compete in the job market.Now some would say, you live in DC and you have worked on the Hill, how hard could it be for you to find new employment. My answer to them, it was a lot easier when there weren't thousands Hill workers looking for a job at the exact same time.

So in summary, I chose to live out of the country because it is more economically feasible. My rent will be cut down by 2/3, start-up costs for a business are not high, and did I mention its warm year round and has beautiful beaches. Plus, I get the opportunity to live abroad, have new experiences and create my own opportunity. What more could a young woman ask for? Well, there are a few other things, but I think those will come to me in Ghana as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Making Moves

If someone asked me what my biggest motivation was, I would say it was my big mouth. My entire life I have talked big, and as result, I often feel obligated to live up to the hype. I mean after all, I, like most other people, have an image to uphold, and I have noticed that once I say it I feel obligated to achieve it. Now this by no means is a bad thing, some of my greatest successes in life have come from running by big mouth. However, I most take the time to note, some of my biggest failures have come from it as well.

I obviously never learn though, because soon after I returned from my month hiatus I started announcing to people I was moving to Ghana. Now, at the time of the announcement, I didn't quite have my entire plan together. Don't get me wrong, its not like I didn't have any idea what to do, it's just that I had so many ideas of what to do. However, previous experience has taught me you always have to focus in on one. It's like the old folks say, "If you have too many pots on the stove, one will inevitably burn."

So over the past few weeks, I have had to not only rediscover what I am good at, but learn to apply it to a feasible business plan. I would love to tell you that I have narrowed it down to one solid venture, but I haven't. I have two, and I must admit I think I am comfortable with that. After all, a stove has four eyes and my two pots surely won't burn. Besides when I cook at home,  I can use up to three eyes with no issue  and trust me its not as easy as it sounds. 

So now is the point, where everyone is dying to see what I am going to do. I would tell you, but it's not quite the time yet. Besides, I have to find some way to bring you back. :)