In-Flight Yoga and Other Goodies

This blog functions as a narrative on my wellness nowadays. I am still not 100%, wrestling with the pressure of “What’s next?!” and budgeting like crazy. The process of downsizing material belongings is refreshing, albeit a bit depressing. I’m still undecided with what to do in regards to my snowboarding equipment. Currently, I have a vehicle that will get me to the mountains, but not really enough extra cash to warrant lessons and tumbling down the mountain. However, on the off-chance I do come across an extra wad of money to play in the snow, I can have the option of going.

In the meantime, I’m trying to rebuild my savings and get ready for some student loan repayments. I’m also putting a good chunk of my paychecks into my gym membership. CrossFit is killer, but the thing that keeps me going is the accountability to a team. I’ve found something to focus on that keeps me driven–and healthier. Heck, most of what I spend on the gym is what would have gone to nights out and wasted calories, so there’s another bright side.

The job is going well, and the adjustment to Portland is coming along nicely. It takes me awhile to settle in sometimes, and this is a particularly challenging time, with more messages via social media to “settle down” or “grow up” coming at me. However, I am doing a better job of reminding myself that my priorities are just that: mine. My priorities right now are to build my savings, strengthen my social ties, keep growing professionally, and get healthy and well.

Of course, I still long to travel. I have a few smaller trips coming up that I am very much looking forward to, namely a quick jaunt to the East Coast, and a trip to Los Angeles in February for the Gallifrey One convention. I really cannot wait, especially since 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. I’d love to be doing even more than this, but it strikes a good, healthy balance.

Now, the thing about traveling is that often, I find myself sitting in just one teeny spot. I’m pretty compact, so fitting into a standard economy arrangement on a plane isn’t as terrible as it is for others, but I still get stiff and tired.

But check this out! In-flight yoga. Yes, it’s a bit strange, as the article points out, to strike poses in front of perfect strangers, but as I’ve said a lot lately, “Wellness should come first.”

The way I see it, most of my young adult life has been trying to figure out what my priorities are. I am coming into more of a conscious and mindful way of being, and it’s been beneficial. I still stress out about life events, like my car getting hit in the parking lot or finally giving in to the need for new jeans after realizing my hips won’t fit in any of the pairs I own. Or where I could possibly end up if I pursue a doctoral program, and what I will do if I have to move my family at that point.

However, like one of my favorite professors said, some journeys are like a cross-country flight; you’re in it for the long-haul. You can complain about it all you want, but it’s ultimately up to you to make it through as best you can.

If it means striking a modified cobra pose while you’re 34,000 feet above the ground and breathing deeply, then I say, “Go for it.” The perplexed looks on those around you won’t matter as much as the refreshment and fulfillment you’ll gain.

I remind myself when I’m feeling stuck that it’s all one big journey.

This is a story that keeps on unfolding.

That is what makes it good in the end.

Buzz Words

“Passion.”

We hear/say/read that word a lot in student affairs. Most of us are in this field because it directly relates to what we feel is a larger purpose in life. We’re in the field because we love education and working with students. We’re passionate about what we do, and we hope that it comes out in the work that we do.

I came across a great article that doesn’t have to do with student affairs in the slightest, but its moral has everything to do with jobs and passion. Via Pithypants, the article “When applause means more than, ‘You didn’t kill us!'” is simply a wonderful read about a job done well.

Also, there are airplanes involved, and I love airplanes. (And I’m especially happy that the airline involved was Alaska Air, since it’s a PNW-based business.)

Dream Sequence

I dreamt of airplanes over O’Hare. They flew in flocks, like birds crossing the Oregon sky. They alighted upon green hillsides, the airspace too crowded for conventional landings. Each plane was gentle, careful as a butterfly on a spring petal, and the late afternoon sun glinted off their aluminum bodies.

I dreamt of bridges and tornadoes. I ran as fast as I could with no direction, the storm moving closer and closer. I looked back over my shoulder– over and over. The sky turned bluish-gray, never that eerie green seen in Tornado Alley; it eventually parted as a twister reached me. Clouds’ rotation slowed and slowed, as gold and sun triumphed over gray. Instead of dissipating, the clouds transformed into an angel, flowing robes hanging from her body– perhaps she was a goddess– and she spoke to me in the middle of a flowering field. What she said, I do not recall. I felt peaceful when I knew I should have lost my life.

I dreamt of you, coming and going just like the women of whom Prufrock sings. I snarled at you, a fox snapping at her cage, reeling against your presence. I blamed you for my state, and you stared silently, your vacant gaze indicating you still knew nothing of empathy. I remember raising my voice but never shedding one tear. Still, you feigned worry, then continued out the door to a job you would always hate. The kitchen lights– one burnt light bulb, the other flickering– barely illuminated the wall clock.

I did not dream of resolve in the chaos. Instead, I awoke with a sense of dedication. Lost loves, I will forget you all; bit by bit, only the highs and lows will remain until possibility finds its way to me.

Of whom will I dream? Who will inspire me to live life in an unaccustomed fashion? Has he frequented my most unconscious dreamscapes under moonlight’s cautious gaze? Or like the angel from the storm– will he only emerge when all is lost?

*It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any original non-bloggy/non-academic writing. This is just a short piece which  was inspired by a series of dreams I had several weeks ago.