Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One Last Post

So. I’m headed out tomorrow. Work is finished, bags are packed, and flights are arranged.

When I land in Louisville Saturday night, I have no plan for myself. No clue what I’ll be doing. Another January has arrived, and the funny thing is, I’m right back where I started one year ago: moving home from Central America, planless. :)

There’s a slight difference though. You might not see it, but I can feel it. Last January, being planless felt like falling into some dark abyss. I was bitter about coming back, options seemed nonexistent, and I felt like things were out of my control.

This time around, I’m energized about coming back. I have options -- very, very few (realistically, I'll be lucky if I get a paying job by June) -- but options nonetheless. I feel in control of the planless-ness. This time, it's less of an abyss and more of a....hmm...a wide open plain. :)

Oh, and there's one more thing.

I've decided this will be my last blog entry. At least for a while. At least here on You Only Live Once. Two years is a long time, and we've had a great run. In fact, I've had more site visitors this month than in the entire history of the blog -- thanks, everyone! It might seem counterintuitive to then stop the blogging now, but I think it's time. I promise that when I decide to start blogging again, wherever that may be, I'll let you know.

Until then, Happy New Year. Here's to new plans, new successes, new failures, new adventures, new ideas, new risks, new priorities, new fun, new memories, and new beginnings. I just have this feeling...that it's gonna be a great 2012. :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Upcoming Week

It seems that every day, something about this changes, but here's my plan for the upcoming week:

December 29 (this Thursday!): Leave Honduras and fly to Guatemala. Meet up with Cheryl at the airport, head straight to Lake Atitlan that night!

December 30: Spend the day at the lake. Eat delicious food. Witness beautiful vistas. Enjoy time with great people.

December 31: Catch a noon flight out of Guatemala, and if all goes as planned, land at the Louisville airport at 8 p.m. Change clothes, head out, and arrive just in time to ring in a new year and a new beginning. :)

That's the agenda!

P.S. Unfortunately, December 31 is where the agenda stops. This girl will be needing a phone, a car, and a job with the words marketing/communications/editorial in it, so let me know if you have any  tips!

Hope Christmases were merry!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just When You're Feeling Your Most Loserish

I've realized something this week.

Just when you're feeling your most loserish, you realize how many amazing people you have in your life.

All week long, just looking at my Gmail inbox and my Facebook account, I have just felt so loved. Loved by people I've always known have been there for me, but who've shown up in a big way at my big moment of loserness.

All week long, I've just been thinking, "Man, these people are awesome."

And man, I'm pretty lucky.

P.S. Important.

NPH will always always always always always hold a very special place in my heart. No change of plans could ever change that.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Screeeeech. Change of Plans.

Hello, lovely readers. It’s Carrie. Remember me? I’m sorry I deserted you so suddenly over the past few days. But today I have some news.

Well, I’m leaving. I’m leaving my job and I’m leaving Honduras.


Now before you accuse me, this wasn’t an impulsive decision. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. If you want the truth, I’ve not only been thinking, but I’ve also been pondering and analyzing and rationalizing and contemplating and weighing options and designing pro and con lists for quite a while now.

(Reader: But Carrie, I had no idea! I’m a devoted follower of your blog, and I had NO idea! How did I have NO idea?

Me: You see, that’s the funny thing about blogging. With time, we start to figure out what it is you want to hear.)

I’m not going to write about the nitty gritty reasons I decided to leave. It’s not what’s important. Here’s what is important:

You only live once.

Come onnnnnn. I say that all the time. You’re sick of it. But today, just listen.

You only live once. What I’m usually saying when I rattle off that mantra is to take adventures, visit new places, plan crazy trips, play hookie, live overseas, face fears, be a weirdo!

What I haven’t been saying are the things I’ve always just assumed went hand-in-hand with all that adventuring. Be energized and inspired, and laugh a freakin’ lot. Experience challenge and frustration in a good way. Feel exhilaratingly free and feel downright alive.

Did you catch that? “I always just assumed.” You know what they say about assuming.

Some day, one day, there may come a time when your plan goes slightly off course. Your adventure may leave you feeling all the complete opposites of energized, inspired, laughing, challenged, free, and alive. When that happens – if that happens – and you’ve exhausted all your “How can I change this?” arsenal, I think you have to stop and ask yourself:

What am I doing here? Is this what I should be doing right now?

If the answer isn’t what the adventure-planner-and-follow-through-er in you wants to hear, well then guess what? That’s okay. Does it suck to realize? Hell yes. But is it the end of the world? Nope. Breathe deep. It’s really not.

You get one life. Uno. You get to live it once. Whether you’re on your third round-the-world trip or still living in the house you were raised in, the point of each day should be exactly the same – seeking all that energy and inspiration and laughter and freedom and alive.  

And if those things aren’t where you thought they’d be, then, I don’t know. It might be time to look somewhere else.

So, folks, there’s been a change of plans.  :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Goodie Bag

Every year, the NPH Honduras administration passes out Christmas goodie bags to everyone who works or volunteers here on the Ranch. A Christmas drumroll please...


...we received our goodie bags last week!

So let's see what's inside!

And just as a side comment, there were different types of goodie bags for employees and for volunteers. I'm technically an NPH employee this time around, but my white skin lumps me into the volunteer group. It's okay though. I'm pretty sure I got the better deal. :)

Let's open this puppy up.

Captain Crunch?!?!?!?! THAT IS AWESOME. Where did they find that?

Sweet bread. Always a good holiday call. 

Fluffy new towel. Thank you very much. 

Cookies? Don't mind if I do.

 Granola! Woohoo! 
This plus Captain Crunch will add some nice variety to my mush-every-single-day routine.

Annnd toilet paper. Gotta hand it to 'em. They have truly figured out the way to a foreigner-on-the Ranch's heart. :)

Be honest. Are you jealous of my goodie bag?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Friday

Wednesday night, in celebration of Pete's despedida (going-away party) and Mark's birthday, we decided to hold "Man Night." Pete and Mark are the only two male volunteers right now, and they are constantly surrounded by about 15 lovely lady volunteers. Lucky boys.

So, to celebrate "Man Night" in pure man form, we built a bonfire, grilled steaks and baked potatoes, and did one more manly thing.

We all wore our best mustaches. 

Don't judge! It was a requirement for attending the party, and we take our party rules pretty seriously here on Rancho Santa Fe.

Enjoy the photo documentation, and Happy Friday!

Baked potatoes cooking in the bonfire. So many mustaches gathered 'round.