So… this post is going to be something of a departure from my recent blogging style, and it will probably get a little rambly. I’ll preface it by saying thank you for following me and for ‘listening,’ as I get a bit more personal than usual.
I officially began this blog seven years ago, as I was getting ready to move to Cambridge for university, full of grand plans to document my adventures mainly for family back home. I kept it up sporadically, usually reappearing during stressful periods, like exams, to procrastinate a while, before disappearing again back into real life. At some point I also migrated my blog to WordPress, so the first few years of archives are mercifully hard to find.
When I moved to Greece after graduation, the blog remained a fairly personal way of expressing my perceptions of life here as well as my adventures. At some point, gradually over the last several years, and especially during my year in Edinburgh, in an effort to be more ‘professional’ I began to distance my own voice from my blog, letting my photos do most of the talking. I’m happy with the way things are going, but dissatisfied that I’m not pushing myself to write more. Which brings me to today.. or rather to, three days ago, when I read this blog post by Matt Trinetti, a fellow Cleveland diasporan, in which he sets a 100 day challenge to push himself beyond his comfort zone in the last 100 days of 2014.
His post is a long one, but I found it pretty inspirational and a few things specifically resonated with me. He wrote that he was feeling a little lost, as if he had lost sight of the ‘bigger picture.’ That is something I totally relate to – I objectively love where I am right now, but I have (always) had a hard time being completely present, distracted by general uncertainty or malaise. That anxiety is the direct result of uncertainty about my Future (yes, with a capital F), and though I am battling with it and winning (most of the time) there are major changes coming, including the possibility of leaving Greece.
Uncertainty, however, is combined with major excitement about where my travels (and life!) will take me. Over the next few months there will be a lot of adventures, and I want to appreciate everything. At the same time, I am really very happy where I am, and I’m undertaking this challenge to consciously remind myself to stop and look around and remember that. I know it’s going to be January in the blink of an eye, but I’m going to get the most I can out of that blink.
And so.. for the next 100 days I’m going to take a picture (with the big camera, not just the easy iPhone) of something meaningful I encounter that day, and then post weekly with those images as well as some musings. I’m not sure where I’ll end up 97 days from now, but it should be an interesting journey.
Day One – 23 September 2014
I read Matt’s post about the 100 day challenge while drinking a usual cup of tea. When I was living in Scotland I became a chain-tea drinker (one cup after another) and as soon as the weather goes below 25 in the evenings (which it has, hooray) I am back to my old ways. One of my weirder habits is to reuse a teabag, if it creates interesting combinations. These two tasted nice together (blackcurrant and mint I think), but it was only after I drank the tea, read about the 100 day challenge and decided to take part that I looked down at my tea cup. Words to live by.
Day Two – 24 September 2014
Today I put this postcard (in an envelope) in the mail for my grandfather. I love old postcards – which is another story on its own – but this one jumped out at me from an antique store in June. My grandfather visited Fecamp while in Normandy during World War II, and retells the story of his first taste of Benedictine with some frequency. Not only was this card itself gorgeous, the message on the other side very sweet, but my grandfather’s Fecamp stories have made it especially significant.
Day Three – 25 September 2014
This rainbow staircase is down the street from me, and one of the little things that makes me smile whenever I pass by. From the metro station to my house I go up the red-yellow section, but the colours of the rainbow continue as you go higher. I recently started giving English lessons to some kids that live up up & up these stairs, and on Thursday as I was thinking, ‘urgh, work, why,’ the stairs reminded me.. people are wonderful.
Day Four – 26 September 2014
Today, it rained! That’s about all I feel I need to say, but this is a challenge after all, so I’ll expand it a little. ‘Autumn’ doesn’t really exist here in the way that I remember it from when I was growing up, but that seems really obvious. Greece and Ohio are not reaaaally that similar.. of course the weather from September to November isn’t going to be the same. Come winter, this is obviously a wonderful thing and I have zero complaints. Still, I really miss fall, and one cool day in Brooklyn at the end of August has had me craving it big time. So today, appreciating the rain and the little bit of chill it has brought to the air.