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A year ago today I set out on an adventure.

I thought I had it all planned out, but in so many ways I had absolutely no clue what I was tackling. A whole lot of folks thought I was going on the sequel to “Eat, Pray, Love.”
I can tell you that I have EATen some mighty fine food...and some other things that I don’t care to recall (pig brains and chicken feet in Bali).
I’ve had many a time when I have sat down to PRAY, cried, cursed and then prayed some more.
And of all things, everyone in every single country has thought that I should fall in LOVE. What they didn’t know is that I was...with myself. I finally had a year just to myself and it has been it has been an incredibly enlightening love affair!

I have learned SO much about myself, while being on the other side of the world, by myself, that even I am amazed. I’ll share a couple of these “ah-ha” moments with you:
It won’t kill you. Everything in this world that scares you so badly, that you think will just be the end-all of all ends. THAT is your imagination going into hyper drive. I’ve been attacked by a dog, plunged head first into moving water while trying to learn how to drive a scooter, had to bribe officials, defended a young street boy, lived through high-altitude sickness, caught a pick-pocket red-handed trying to pick-pocket me, and met the man that I could fall in love with (the only problem, I didn’t get his name and number, I just had a lovely hour-long conversation with him at the airport!). Wonders of wonders, I’m still alive and thriving. None of that killed me!
Your friends will come to bat for you when you least expect it! I’ve watched as friends I thought were close have made their way to the sidelines. I have new friends that speak languages that I don’t understand, but we still manage to communicate. I have revived friendships from decades ago (thanks Facebook!). I also have a whole new circle of friends that I have yet to meet in person, yet in some way we just jive and know that we are kindred spirits. There are moments when I think of someone and out of nowhere they touch base with me. That second when I need to hear something, someone comes through. It’s eerily spooky sometimes, but damn, if it doesn’t work!
I haven’t taken as many pictures as I have memory snapshots in my mind. I’m a photographer, so I know that makes no sense to most. But, some of the best shots had me in such awe I just stood there dumbfounded and stared. There were times that I wished I was the Bionic Man and had a camera in my eye and a microchip implanted in my head. That I could just blink my eye and take a permanent picture of what my eyes were capturing. One of my battles has been coming out from behind the camera enough to experience what I was seeing. Other times I have almost felt invisible while standing there shooting.
My big realization that has resulted from my past year of being on my own, probably the most important thing to learn, is that my parents getting divorced when I was 16 and forcing me to instantly become an adult overnight strengthened the core that centers my soul. That crazy overnight introduction to adulthood also taught me to lead instead of follow.
I read over Seth Godin’s blog this week and one line resonated in me:

“I don't think the shortage of artists has much to do
with the innate ability to create or initiate.
I think it has to do with believing that
it's possible and acceptable for you to do it.”

I have been called many things by people in my past...mainly hardheaded. The people in my present now understand the power of my belief, how driven and intense I am in my quest. I’m just the one who believes that if I think it, I can make it happen. I’ll always be that person and have no intention of ever changing!
I don’t know exactly what this next year will entail, but I hope you will be by my side watching it happen. This entire week I have felt a change in the air. This morning I woke up and knew that something big was about to happen.

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