One Reflection Leads to Another…and Another?

My last post was written as a reflection on my life thus far. It was inspired by my upcoming 30th birthday and the gift of childhood photos my Aunt Karen sent me. The reflections resulted in thank you’s to the friends and family that have been a part of my life up to this point. It really impressed upon me that because of my past with them, they are also a part of my future. I hope after you read the rest of this post below, you take the time to read this earlier post titled “Reflections on Life Before 30…Thank You!”.

A few days after posting the reflections, I find myself making a point to stay home and stay in tonight. Most nights I can be found working from my favorite local coffee shop, Rooster and Moon Coffee Pub, or at dinner with friends in downtown Denver, or salsa dancing, or maybe at Opera on Tap…you get the picture – I tend to be very social and stay busy…sometimes too busy. But I enjoy being home as well. Tonight I’m home and I made myself some tea. Along with being healthy and great taste, I love this great tea called Yogi for the different proverbs that are written on the little tea tag. Or is it called a tea label? You know, the little folded over paper stapled to the end? I’m not sure what it’s called but let me know if you do. Well the one I received tonight sparked this post and taught me a few things besides what the proverb itself says. Here is what it reads:

“Love what is ahead by loving what has come before.”

Do you get from it what I get from it? I love when I read or hear something and it seems to be exactly what I needed at that moment. This little sentence made me think of how powerful and wonderful it is to take time to reflect on things in one’s life. The reflections I took time for earlier this week have led to another…and yes, even another. Just yesterday I went and hiked the Sanitas trail in Boulder where I have many memories from a very different time in my life…let’s just put it this way – they’re memories that can be bitter-sweet and still make me a little sad now. Yet, I made a point to enjoy this memory-filled place and to stop at the rocks where I would rock-climb and boulder with those who were in my life at that time. Even with how beautiful and true I believe this proverb to be, I think that there are still things from our past that we’re not going to love…that we shouldn’t love. I suppose that there’s a balance. For this place, that is not the case for me. The times I had here were not harmful to me – they were joyful.

Looking at it from either side of a tree...

Sitting in the setting sun in this old spot full of memories, I reflected…and I appreciated…and I loved what had come before. And I am excited and loving what is ahead. My hope for you, is that you take time to reflect on something in your life, and love it. Then see what other reflections it leads to.

Happy reflecting and happy loving!

Reflections on Life Before 30…Thank You!

Going back to the 1st birthday...

In about three weeks I turn 30 years old. Talk about a time to reflect. Some people dread getting older, however I’m looking forward to starting a new decade of my life. I hear that 30’s can be your best years and that the way you start a decade can set the pace for the next 10 years of your life. Hmmm…maybe this explains why I’m living the next 6 months traveling throughout Britain, Europe, Israel, and who knows where else. For more details on that adventure, check out my travel blog www.EthnosTravel.wordpress.com.

What kicked off these reflections was a gift for my upcoming 30th birthday that my loving Aunt Karen from Pennsylvania sent me. In a birthday card she enclosed an entire stack of old photos. They were of my childhood and captured me at all different ages: infant to toddler, kid to teenager…it’s very touching to look at them to say the least. To see the album click here. There was something sentimental about the feel of old photos in my hands. It made me realize how much things have changed, not just with technology, but in me as well.

Loved that poodle sweater!

And so began my reflections back on my life thus far…almost thirty years of life and I was struck with how much the people in my life have molded me and influenced who I am. More than anything though, it made me grateful. I’ve been fortunate to experience a family that is loving and gave me an amazing childhood. Full of love and affirmation, my parents invested all of themselves into me. They spent time with me, reading and playing music, camping and hiking, even climbing trees. My life has been blessed with amazing people through my family and through friends.

Life has also had its surprises and hurts. Not everything is rose-colored glass…there has been heartache and loss, tragedy and grief…however, more than anything, there has been love. There is love. And for that, I am forever thankful…

First I want to thank the friends I have had in my life…I thought about naming them here, but would hate to limit myself that way and to leave anyone out. You each know who you are. From elementary school friends that I shared the same birthday with to high school friends and middle school girls I mentored…some of you are now married and with kids of your own. Some are graduating from college and reminding me of how young I was when I would babysit you…crazy that adults entrusted you to me.  And my trusty, fun college girlfriends…people would swear that we were cousins if not sisters, we looked so much alike and were always together so much. It’s neat to see where all of us are now. To more recent and current friends, you’re an amazing part of my Colorado home and life. From skiing to backpacking, roommates and building-mates, downtown nights out to weddings and babies…you’ve been there for me through celebrating joyous events and grieving through tragedies. Thank you does not even begin to describe my appreciation to all of you…but you have my friendship for the rest of our lives to continue to show you my gratefulness.

And I have to thank my first love. You rocked my world and the after-shock still resonates…and in the best of ways. Sure, things did not turn out the way we hoped, but I believe part of turning 30 for me is coming to a new place where I am glad for the past and would not change what we had or want it gone for the life of me. You’re a very special person and got to me like no other, even to this day. God help the person who does one day get to me even more 🙂 But for now, you hold the record. Thank you for you. There’s simply no other words that can express what I feel about you and will always appreciate about having been in love with you. You have taught me the most about myself.

Last, but certainly not least…

With Mommy and Daddy...always loved saying it with "y".

I want to thank my mom and dad for all their love that they continue to give – you each loved me so much that I have never doubted that you would always love me through anything and forever. My appreciation and love goes out to my grandparents, those who are still with us and those who have already gone ahead…your adoration of me makes me think of the coziest blanket. To my aunts, uncles, and cousins – the memories I have created with you remain with me still and I look forward to many more memories to come. As our family has grown with the addition of my step-mother and step-siblings, our family love has grown as well…thank you for your openness and growing together. You’re love and faith in me touches me still. And to my brothers: Marky and Brendan…don’t forget that it was me who named you both and you are such close friends and the coolest boys I know…your friendship with me is such a joy! I always laugh so much with both of you and I see each of you as one of the coolest parts of me and my life. My family is so wonderful to me! Each of you have showered so much love on me, instilling in me the strongest sense of making the most of every moment by being kind, affirming, and loving to others. Life is short, so why be mean or unkind…you’re each extraordinary people in how you love and live.

The coolest brothers in the world!

I’ve learned so much from all of you. The most important things I’ve learned have been from my mistakes. Thanks for loving me, mistakes and all.

Where would I be without each of you? Who would I be? I would be a completely different Amalia, that’s for sure. I’m in love with the Amalia that I am…all of me and all of who makes me who I am. With that truth about my past and present known and loved, I’m excited to venture into my 30’s. And guess what…you’re each coming with me.

With continued love ~ 

Random Observations of the Spring Season

Signs of Spring in Denver's Golden Triangle NeighborhoodIt is that wonderful time of year when things wake-up, come to life, and re-surface. The interesting part for me is how different Spring is living in the city compared to the mountains. Right now in downtown Denver, the cold winter days are already giving way to warmer breezes and higher temperatures. This is the kind of weather that sees people out in droves on their cruiser bikes, walking more to work, and still enjoying the mountains with Spring skiing.

Over this past week, I’ve been trying to find that balance of layers that life in Colorado is famous for. After all, this warmer weather doesn’t really kick-in till about lunch or early afternoon. The chill of the morning definitely wakes you up in a brisk way! In the mountains and for outdoor activities it usually entails the breathable socks and long-sleeve under shirt, the wick-away socks and perhaps a pair of long-underwear (the thinner kind though), and then a vest and soft shell jacket. On the other hand, bopping around a downtown metropolitan area (in my case Denver), looks more like zigzag design pantyhose under denim shorts with small heels or boots, a tank top or sleeveless blouse, and then a soft button-down sweater that hopefully later in the day ends up tied around my waist.

Officially, I heralded in this year’s Spring season for myself by bringing my vintage cruiser bike out of hibernation. She was covered in inches of grimy dust and her tires were practically flat from sitting for too long. So off I went with dear Hercules (and yes, she has a name…I’ll get to that soon) and I wheeled her to a local bike shop near me for air in the tires. Next stop was the car wash just down the street for a nice generous spray-down. It was pretty fun seeing all the cars lined up around the block to get a car wash. My mini cooper is still filthy actually, but my cruiser is shiny clean!

My Hercules!So what is this about a bike that I refer to as a “she” and that’s named “Hercules”? Well just about one of my favorite things about this Spring Season, that’s what it is. Allow me to introduce Hercules, my vintage restored 1954 Hercules women’s cruiser. She was made in Birmingham, England the year before the company (Hercules) was bought out by Raleigh. She’s a super small frame and lighter, with a great old-fashioned gear switch that is actually a lever. Hard to explain, but just know that it’s unique and awesome.

I’ve ridden her now everyday for the past week. She gets me to the Rooster and Moon Coffee Pub I love to work from, to the Denver Public Library to return books, Tommy’s Thai on east Colfax for amazing Thai food, Wash Park on my way to business meetings with clients, and on my recent excursion to incredible French food at Le CentralDenver Art Museum and Public Library

I love Spring!