Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

I feel like 2016 was a pretty shitty year for the world in general. But to be honest when I look back at 2016 – it was actually an amazing year for me. Yes there were struggles, but overall I really did have an awesome year. Sometimes when you think life is really hard, you need some perspective (getting to go home and visit) to make you appreciate life the way it should be appreciated.

Was it an easy year? Definitely not. But when I look back the nights I slept on mattresses on the floor/ a couch, I appreciate the hell out of my bedroom. When I look back at the hours stuck at work on the weekends, I remember how worth it it all was when I got to travel across Europe with my bestie and meet my family in Amsterdam. When I think about the nights I cried myself to sleep, I think about how far I have come and how much I have to be proud of. When I think about how I came back to Atlanta after my Eurotrip not really having a clue where I was going to be living or what I’d be doing for work, I smile and think about my awesome job and apartment I have now.

Even though I only had two weeks to spend with my family and friends back home in South Africa, I’m grateful I atleast had the opportunity to be with them. Even though the visit was short it was better than still being stuck and not having much to come back to. Also, I’m grateful I atleast have an incredible family across the world that I love unconditionally. So even if I feel alone, I’m never completely on my own.

I’m so beyond grateful that 2016 allowed me to travel the world, spend time with my amazing family, see how grown up my siblings are, learn how to be more independant, work my ass off, achieve my goals, make new friends, appreciate true friendships, learn from my mistakes, focus on my own happiness, be kind and understand that karma is real, and appreciate the little things in life.

Trust that everything happens for a reason. Even the hardest times end up being a lesson at some point and help us be more humble, grateful human beings.

Bring on the 2017 adventures ❤

 

How is this my second blog post all year?

How is this my second blog post all year?

I don’t even know where to start and of course when I finally put pen to paper my pen doesn’t work properly. (Not taking it as a sign, gets new pen)

Last year I got into the habit of writing regularly and I didn’t delay capturing my thoughts for very long. I really loved it. It was a way I could look back and see what was on my mind at that time. I wish I had forced myself to set aside time to sit, gather my thoughts and just write more often this year.

Before my Eurotrip I had planned on making an amazing GoPro video as well as writing a post for each country we went to. We ended up being so busy that when we weren’t busy – we were sleeping. It was the most incredible three weeks, but the late nights led to nocturnal sleeping habits as we pretty much just slept on the bus while we travelled to the next place in the day (No regrets). I definitely wish I wrote more throughout the trip but I did take tons of photos and will always have the memories. Eventually I will finish the video and post about my European adventure but for now I’m just glad I’m actually writing so I’m just going to keep going.

The trip flew by and I headed back to NYC to visit family and friends in NJ before getting back to reality with my life in Georgia. I started putting the videos together and sorting out my photos but it honestly made me miss my best friend and my family so much that it led to a lot of procrastination.

The weeks after getting back went so quickly and July had become August, August became September, September became October, and all of a sudden it is the bloody 20th of October. It is kind of scary when you think about how quickly the months go by without even realizing it. I mean come on, by the end of December I would have lived in America for TWO YEARS. *Mind blown*

For the first time in my life I have an amazing, stable and intriguing job. I am so grateful for it everyday even though it’s just a job. It makes me feel productive and significant, and it has given me the opportunity to really settle into real life in Atlanta. Before my trip I was comfortable not doing anything serious for work and just wanted to save up and be able to travel. Then afterwards I went through a strange place trying to understand what I want, how I’m going to get it, and what need to be my priorities. So having a steady salary paid 9-5 job might not seem ideal to many 23 year olds but it is exactly what I needed.

Other than that it hasn’t been an easy four months. I moved in with a friend of a friend who opened up her home to me when I basically had nowhere to live. I am so grateful for her kindness. After a few weeks I moved in with some awesome friends who let me crash in their spare room. They are such genuine and kind people, and they helped me to get my head in the right space just by giving me a room to call my own. I never realized how much I had taken things like a bed for granted my whole life. This year has been a hell of a ride for my messed up back living life as a nomad couch surfing.

When I moved to Brookhaven I had no real job (just waitressing) and had no idea what I was going to do. I spent weeks looking for jobs online and after spending a day handing out my resumes to wherever I possibly could, I got a call from my family friend that night. He explained his friend is an Attorney and their firm was looking for a new Administrative Assistant/ Receptionist. I emailed him my resume immediately, went for an interview the next day, and had an offer emailed to me later that night 🙂

However when it comes to taking care of myself and staying productive personally, it has been a struggle and I’ve definitely lacked ‘me-time’. All the moving back and fourth (I am now back in Sandy Springs, long irrelevant story) really impacted my mental state and motivation towards fitness; which prior to my trip was a huge part of my mental and physical wellbeing.

After a much needed candle-lit bubble bath, I’ve realized that I really need to start taking my own advice and also work on not feeling guilty putting my myself and my happiness first. It hit me that yes I can keep procrastinating but it is literally only detrimental to my life if I don’t start making an effort to work on my own happiness. When I am happy, I am excited to get shit done and cross things off my list, but I tend to stay busy and distracted to avoid thinking about everything that stresses me out and it is a problem I am aware of.

I know I should feel proud of my accomplishments but it is hard to see the bigger picture when there is still so much to be done. Primarily being a car, apartment and my post-graduate studies; which are all way easier said than done when you are pretty much doing it alone.

Looking forward to camping tomorrow night. There is just something about being in nature that makes me happy and free from the stresses of life. Rant over – I don’t even know where I am getting at anymore but I’m glad I picked up my Van Gogh notebook and just started writing tonight. I clearly needed it.

 

 

I’ve got a lot more blog ideas and a lot less time.

I’ve got a lot more blog ideas and a lot less time.

A couple months back my uncle Tom saw I used dove soap, and bought me a pack of three big liquid soap bottles. At the time I was all like ‘omg it’s going to take all year to finish these’, and now I’m almost finished the second one. The relevance of this soap story is how crazy fast this year is going. Winter has passed, Spring is basically done, and Summer is here – come back to me tan I beg of you. I’ve had my first year of actual seasons. At the end of June, I would have been here for six months already.

I’ve been so busy that it is hard to believe how quickly 2015 is going. I’m always thinking about things to write about in my next blog, but I’ve got barely any time to sit and get them done. I’m currently working 8am-8pm with a one hour lunch break, Mon-Fri, with weekends off. Which basically means I have weekends to have a life. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, I quite like it actually. Staying busy and working hard, and then in the times I am free; socializing, working out or just chilling out keep me distracted from how gosh darn scary this all actually is.

I’ve gotten used to not being around my girls and my family. I miss them and I know they miss me but they have their own lives to deal with, and if I wanna be happy I’ve got to have my own to deal with too. We all stay in contact as much as possible, but sometimes I wish I had more free time to be able to Skype everyone back home more. Yet at the same time if I had more free time to sit and Skype everyone I love at home, it would only make it harder to be happy here. Staying busy is my way of distracting myself. If I’m busy working a lot, when I do have time then I make an effort to go out, or see friends and do cool things. When I have too much alone time, I think about home too much.

It’s hectic but I am working towards my goal of travelling, so it’s all going to be worth it when I’m sipping Sangria in my bikini on a beach in Greece, riding a bike around Amsterdam, taking touristy photos by the Eiffel Tower, getting gondola selfies in Venice, ETC ETC ❤

So what else can I tell you. It has been awhile. I visited family in Long Island last weekend and it was amazing. I had never met them before! Overall I had a wonderful weekend of memories with them, ranging from going to Splish Splash Water-park (which was life changing), experiencing true New York City traffic, Le Miserables on Broadway (Wow) and lots of great conversation getting to know each other.

What’s ironic is how neither Alyson or her daughter Marielle are actually blood related to me. But they didn’t feel any less like family. I think Alyson’s grandfather, and my step-dad’s grandfather were brothers. Marielle was adopted. But nonetheless, I was visiting family. Family is family. They opened their house to me, made such an effort to do cool things and it was really special getting to know them. I’m so lucky to have them, and now I have an excuse to get to visit more cool places in New York!

On an ending note, I have a desk in my room now which automatically means it should increase my organization and magically make more time for me to sit down and look at how cool it is while I blog right?

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Apple pie, May, New job, Identity theft & Canada

Apple pie, May, New job, Identity theft & Canada

Probably the most random blog post title ever but that pretty much sums up my life right now.

I had apple pie for the first time a couple weeks ago and now I realize why Americans love apple pie so much. Dear g-d it is fantastic. Yum.

I cannot believe it’s May already. I feel like I just got used to the fact that it’s April, and now it’s May. This year really needs to slow down it is freaking me out. It’s crazy how it feels like I just had my 21st, and now I’m almost TWENTY TWO. Wow. I do not feel ready for this all haha

Two days ago I woke up to a notification saying I have less than $50 in my account. Which was strange considering I had literally deposited my check the night before. I freeeaakkkeddd out, checked my transaction history and it turns out that some scumbag had gotten my card details (from an ATM- I still had my card with me) and had stolen close to $300 from my account. I hadn’t even paid all my bills for the month and I was left with basically nothing in my account. So Saturday was an awful morning for me. Eventually I sorted it out with the bank and they blocked my card, but I’m still waiting for the money to be transferred back into my account.

Boo. Not even 5 months in America and someone’s already stolen my identity. So ironic that I come from South Africa, and this happens to me here. There really are screwed up people everywhere in the world.

On a happier note, I get to go to Canada soon! I’m visiting family in Toronto (and hopefully Ottawa). I cannot wait. Not only am I ridiculously excited to see them and spend time with them, but I can’t wait for a little break. A week away from work just sounds like perfection right now.

Life has been pretty crazy in the past couple weeks. I started a new job, so in the process of finishing off shifts at my old work I was training over here. I’m meant to have weekends off with this new job but ended up working all weekend to try make up for the shifts I’ll be missing when I’m in Canada for a week, on top of just having $300 stolen from me. ‘I need the money’ is putting it lightly.

What’s kinda awesome about my new job is that it’s a 25/20 (depending on how lazy I am) minute bike ride to work and back home everyday, so it’s forcing me to get a lot of cardio in each day. Seen as summer is coming that’s a good thing right? I’m slowly getting used to not having my car to depend on, and considering how expensive it is to taxi all the time I’m really enjoying being able to ride my bike. It’s muuuuch quicker than walking, it costs nothing, and it’s healthy!

Still taking each day as it comes and trying to get into a new routine now that I’m working basically 8am-8pm Monday-Friday (with a lunch break don’t worry). I’m excited to have weekends off once I’m back from Canada!

It’s true what they say, “Life happens when you’re busy making other plans”.

🙂

I’m bored at work and felt like writing something between clients.

I’m bored at work and felt like writing something between clients.

I wrote out a blog post last night and got too tired before I actually typed it out. I left my note book at home and I felt like writing something now so I’ll have to type it out later after work. Bla here it goes:

I might have to start calling myself Leanne here. It’s my full name but I’ve always just preferred being called Lee. Some of my family calls me Leanne. But I introduce myself as Lee. Now in America, people don’t understand what I’m saying when I say Lee. I don’t know if it’s pronounced differently here but every time introduce myself to anyone I have to repeat my name at least once. And now that I’m sick and sound like an old man, it’s basically impossible for anyone to make out what I’m saying with my ‘accent’. They think I’m saying ‘glee’ most of the time. Then I just spell it for them, “L. E. E” and they’re like “Aleeey”?

So that’s why I’m starting to consider using Leanne. Rose is my middle name and for some reason I really hated it when I was younger. I don’t know why but I just didn’t like it and didn’t tell people my middle name. But now I actually dig it. It’s pretty and different. Plus I’m sorta addicted to anything floral so it kinda works with my personality. For ages I was just ‘Lee, or Lee Murcia’. Now I like my name more; Lee Rose Murcia. Well Leanne Rose Murcia, but I gotta adjust to that first.

I don’t even know what this post is about. It is so incredible random and pointless. But hey I guess it’s just me writing what comes to mind.

Today has been such a beautiful day. It’s around 13C and 55F which is crazy warm compared to how the weather’s been recently. As much as I’m loving the cold weather and snow, seeing how beautiful the sun was today has made me really excited for the summer here. Asbury Park is apparently fantastic in the summer, so I cannot wait! Had a nice jog to work, followed by a 45 minute gym session. Being sick sucks and it’s crazy how it affects your body when you want to work out. My heart rate went up to 175 every time I tried to do a set of reps. So I took it easy, no point going hard and then being sick for longer.

I’m now sitting at work at my part-time job,Tao Massage. There’s a client who is coming out of session soon and will need to be checked out. Been a great day so far. Love starting off my day with a workout.

Happy Monday 🙂 ❤