Checking In…

It's time for another progress report on my "30 Before 30" list. Regarding the deadline, let's just say I keep asking for and granting extensions. 23-year-old Ardith is thankful for the more flexible time constraints, I like to believe. (That could be Present Me projecting.)

First, the last update from 2015. If you remember, I whittled my definitive list down to a handful of items. Below is the progress made since then, along with some notes where necessary.

The List
1. Visit theItalian town my Italian ancestors are from (Monastero di Lanzo)

2. Visit Australia and New Zealand

3. Visit Kauai, Hawai’i – Completed in February 2017

4. Learn to swim

5. Learn to ride a bike – Completed as of July 2017 (Well, my three class beginner series ended, and it ended with me being able to successfully ride in circles in a single gear! The learning continues.)

6. Learn more Spanish and Tagalog 

7. Meet my cousins and family in the Philippines – Finally completed as of April 2017 (And I plan to go again. Coincidentally, I returned to SE Asia a month later on a business exchange to our Vietnam office.)

8. Travel to the Oregon Coast again

9. Get my CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Change of plans: Completed my USAW Sports Performance Coach certification in June 2017

10. Visit Iceland – December 2015

11. Have the BEST 30th birthday celebration w/ my closest friends somewhere far away – See #10!

Giving me a little bit of extra time seemed to be the trick to ticking off more of my pared-down dream list.*

To be honest, this check-in was inspired primarily by my bicycling milestone. Can you believe this 31-year-old learned to ride a bike in three Sunday sessions? My goal was to be able to ride a bike at a reasonable speed on reasonably level ground, and I'm tickled that I met it. Now, clear the road and get out of my way–mostly for your own safety, because I'm still not fantastic at riding in a straight line.

*Full disclosure: I have a list of 100 dreams I created during a challenge issued by my work. The 11 items here are just a sliver of the whole. I would also be lying if I said most of my 100 dreams aren't travel-related… More to come.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Finding a Niche

My blog is about life, plain and simple. When I started blogging after college, I thought it would be a good way to record for potential employers my professional development and thought processes. More recently, I thought it would be a good way for others to explore one person’s Quarter-Life Crisis, which is why I’ve been somewhat active on and been plugging my posts into Facebook and Twitter apps.

Neither of those things have really happened. (At least not to degrees I’m wholly satisfied with.)

Currently, my blog seems to be a general record of my travels and other life happenings. At the very least, and I’ve said it before, it’s a way for my family and friends to have more insight into what I’m thinking and how my life’s path is developing. It’s my preferred method of sharing events, as opposed to weekly e-mails.

I still want to share my blogging with others outside of my family/friend circle. I haven’t really told anyone that I’ve submitted applications to blog for a small company that caters to the QLC (which I should say is still simply amazing!), mostly because I’ve applied twice and been rejected twice and I still handle rejection like a 14-year-old girl with a bad crush. I was really hoping this last time around that I would get good news. Instead, I was turned down for one reason or another, which, no matter how it’s worded, always filters through as, “Your blog sucks, your writing isn’t that good, and your adventures aren’t as cool as other people’s.”

It’s a totally irrational way to feel, and I know the way I’m living my life is just fine. My writing skills are also just fine, but please feel free to tell me if my sentence structures bother you. EDIT: In addition, I still don’t handle things like, “You don’t really have the qualifications we’re looking for in this job position” or “We should just be friends” in totally mature terms. When I got a whole slew of assistantship rejections at my dream school, I was crushed. There was a day where I got rejected from my “last hope” and almost had another melt-down. …I have mini melt-downs a lot, don’t I?

I hope that I can find an appropriate outlet when I get more involved with student affairs. Perhaps my other bloggy callings lie in contributing to SA blogs. Or vlogs. Hmm…

ANOTHER EDIT: I didn’t really tie any of this together, but what I should say is I am still learning to deal with rejection or let-downs by making them lessons. I have often overcome these low-points by not giving up. When I say that I was the captain of my college cheer squad, what I don’t usually tell people is that I was cut from cheer try-outs my sophomore year and dance team my junior year in high school. I came back senior year, made the team, and used the momentum there to make some impressive changes in my life.

Things have a way of working out; I tell myself that one opportunity closing means it wasn’t right at that moment or that something that is a better fit will come along.

Enough of that, though– can I just say I’m so thrilled that Spain won the World Cup? I almost cried when I saw the camera shots of the crowds in Madrid. If only teleportation was an option…

The Best Thing About Being a Blogger (Guest Post)

This post was written by Alissa from The Corporate Chick. We’re participating in 20SB‘s Blog Swap! Enjoy! – ‘Dith

I never thought I’d be writing about me…on a blog – even someone else’s blog, no less. But, Hi. I’m Alissa and I’m a blogger.

So, people ask me, “Why do you blog? What do you write about?”

I mean, really, why would you want to pour your heart and soul into writing something that possibly no one would read? Why put so much effort into something that is a speck of kilobytes out in the millions and gazillions in cyber space? So much effort for so little in return.

So why do I do it? What’s the passion in it for? I blog because it makes me feel different. It gives me a piece of mind that I am a human being with emotions and a heart. These words spill onto the pixels of my screen, forever (well, as long as I pay my hosting server). I feel alive as my thoughts pour onto the screen. I’m documenting my life as if it’ll go out of style. I guess sometimes it my little place of “me”, where I can be me and nobody cares or judges me. Call me the Corporate Chick all you want, but I know who I am on my blog.

But, sometimes, we meet others that have the same feelings, emotions and hearts. They speak to us on late nights through the glow of our monitors. These pixelated people become our cyberspace friends. They have names, but no faces. Emotions, but no tacile trace of feeling. But, yet these friendships keep us coming back to reading eachother blogs, sharing the little things in life and the big.

Blogging connects us to other people. The world is becoming a smaller place (hello, I’m in Ohio and I’m writing on a blog that’s on the other side of the USA!). I think that’s why I enjoy blogging so much. I write, I share, I feel and I’m more a human being. I’m not my corporate job, I’m not a wife or a social sercurity number. I escape into a land where opinons are listened to and people seem to care.

So, the best thing about blogging to me, is that I get to travel the world, experience sights and people that I might never get to meet, and if no one reads your blog, at least you can escape the daily grind to remind yourself that you’re alive.

I know, I may have lost you with a deep post – or you think I’m a complete nut job (no, I don’t eat paint chips!). But, I encourage people to blog and the most common response is, “But, I don’t have anything to write about.”

Yes. You do. What do you think about, what did you do today? Everyone sees the world from a different point-of-view and you’re not blogging for anyone else but yourself, and if that’s the case – you probably shouldn’t be blogging.  But, you never know, once you get those words onto the screen who may read them and think you’re really interesting or completely relate to you.

I challenge you to write a blog for yourself. Be honest, feel for yourself and no one else. Take a few minutes to see why I think the best part of blogging is escaping. But, also, take time to read other’s blogs and really listen to them and take time to comment. You’ll be surprised of the relationships you may build.

Oh, and only because I have to share some cupcake advice, as Ardith did on my blog…if you’re in Ohio, get some cupcakes from Main Street Cupcakes. See, I already have something in common with my fellow blogger swapper – CUPCAKES. Now who doesn’t like cupcakes?