Are We All Lost Stars?

Since being in Spain, I have found that my plans (working a full-time job, implementing a scientific research study, learning a new language, volunteering with non-profit organizations), insecurities (feeling like I have bitten off more than I can chew, being away from all of my friends/family back home, having a low proficiency in the native language), and high expectations of myself have hindered me from truly getting to know this beautiful country and the people that inhabit it. Though this is normal because I am still transitioning, it’s difficult for me to put my expectations on hold sometimes. But despite this, I remain optimistic.

All of my experiences, both good and bad, have led me to this place of being in a foreign country, alone. Despite the sometimes scary notions, through the will of my inner faith, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help; my help cometh from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-2). He is telling me what to do and is giving me the strength and courage to do so. He is guiding me to a place where I will be able to join others who share my passion to help others. I believe I am here, alone, for a reason. And again, while I believe in Karma. I am aware that things don’t always happen how and when we think they should. But as long as my heart is sincere, I am not worried about the outcome of my journey. (though I can’t say the same for some others that I’ve come across recently…*sigh*)

I have mentioned in previous posts that we have the opportunity and capacity to determine our stars (i.e. path), and change them accordingly when necessary. I have found that allowing my thoughts to victimize me is of no assistance to my cause. Woe, is me. If we’re not careful. Turns into reality.

I am meeting so many wonderfully mysterious and colorful people. I am gaining insight into their hopes and aspirations…into their worries and fears. For example, here in Spain, with a population of 47.1 million, the unemployment rate is still at 24.47% as of the 2nd quarter of 2014 (11,525,370 people unemployed). How discouraging is this? I thought we had it bad in the United States, with a population of 318.1 and a 5.9% unemployment rate (18,767,900 people unemployed). I feel for those I have met, especially the parent who is unable to obtain consistent income or the young person of my generation just graduating from college but unable to find employment. How could I not be optimistic when I am so FORTUNATE to be studying abroad and working for a beautiful family and caring for their 2 children that I adore?

We all seek purpose in this life. Whether we believe our purpose is working a 9 to 5 job, day in and day out so we can maintain a dream of one day having a family of our own. Or whether we believe our purpose is to sacrifice our stability and contentment so we might be able to venture out into the world to do something more unconventional. We’re searching for meaning. But are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

I recently came across the film, Begin Again (2013), and it really inspired me. It pretty much exhibited the lows that people experience, and how forgiveness, confidence, finding one’s self, and common goals (in this film, musical collaboration and expression) can lead one to the opportunity of beginning again. The main song of the film, Lost Stars, touched me and is the inspiration behind this post.

I do not know where my path will lead me. But I do know that no matter what is thrown my way and what obstacles I may face, that I am capable of changing and aligning my stars. And I believe that in order for me to find serenity and peace within myself, while I am just fine with enduring these many moments of loneliness (which are inevitable because I am in a foreign country and working on obtaining goals that many are unable to relate to; these moments can also be a good thing because it allows for me to stay FOCUSED on what is most important), I must be open to allowing others to be a part of my journey. Please, see me. Reaching out for someone I can’t see.

Perhaps we ARE all lost stars…trying to find our way to one another so we can light up the dark together. I am full of gratitude in that I know how I want my stars to align. And while I may be just a speck of dust within the galaxy, taking each day as it comes. As I work towards fulfilling my dreams and aspirations, I am learning new things about myself, feeding my starved inner-ignorance by gaining new insights and knowledge, and/or establishing relationships with others who have similar interests. And each day, my stars are properly aligning that much more.

Don’t you dare let (y)our best memories bring you sorrow. Change is inevitable, and change can be good. Allow changes to occur in your life so that you are able to begin (the next chapter) again. Be brave and daring. Take a chance on yourself (and others). You will not be a lost star forever if you continue to yearn for more (new experiences, new knowledge, new relationships, new goals, etc.).

This post is dedicated to all the lost stars in Spain. Dices “Si Se Puede!!” Jajajja. Con amor, Nicola

Deciding when it’s Time for a Change of Pace and Place

Has someone close to you ever said something like, “When it’s the right time for a change, you’ll know. And no one will be able to tell you otherwise“?

For some, it is an inquisitive thought tickling those adventurous curiosities, anticipating the opportunity to live carelessly and vicariously through the eyes of your other (inner true) self, like the explorative kitten or baby impatiently waiting for something or someone new to see, taste, feel and experience, with no fears of consequences or shame. For many, this feeling can seem like an overwhelming cloud of sadness, anger, insecurities, and regret, weighing on you each day, telling you that the life you’re living isn’t really the one you were meant to live. And for those few others, who are blessed with the life-changing occurrence of discovering the magic bestowed within them the day they became a reality of existence. The thoughts, feelings and occurrences of change can come with notice or unexpectedly. It is up to you to determine if you will take heed to it’s advice…

The mysteriously colorful journey on the road to changing paces and places brings about the possibilities of the same change and evolution we all seek at one point or another. The change that will breed the opportunity for us to be someone else, live somewhere new, meet people (un)like ourselves, and set goals that we hope will bring about a life where the fears and consequences of sadness, anger, insecurity, pain, and regret cannot survive. Life is full of change, even though we may not even realize the change occurring because we are too consumed with our everyday struggles and lack of focus on achieving the life and potential that we were born to lead.

After making the decision to seek a change of pace, I can now admit that I am the woman who has had the young girl buried deep inside, banging (in)discretely, trying to break free and express myself for me, and not for who I thought I should be or who others expected me to be. I am the woman who has made countless (repetitive) mistakes due to carefree tendencies, growing pains, and just plain selfishness, rebellion, and ignorance. I am the woman who has been overwhelmed by sadness, anger, insecurities, and regret, thus enduring sleepless nights, choosing the wrong relationships, destroying sincere relationships, and losing myself altogether on my reckless journey to, what it seemed like, a depressive state of nowhere.

So because it seems as though my decisions led me to a place of isolation, loneliness, and despair (i.e. nowhere), it made the most sense to also seek a change of place. I know this might seem a little melodramatic, so please do not misconstrue. (Laugh out loud). For me personally, when you are stuck in a 9-5 job that you don’t enjoy. When you find yourself being unsure about who you can trust (because let’s face it…we live in a secular world with so many others going through “life”, looking out for themselves and doing their best to “survive”). When you haven’t reached the level of accomplishments and success that you have aspired to for so long. All of these disappointments and failures can lead one to a “depressive state of nowhere”.

Therefore, sometimes, when you are stuck in an “empty life” and this cycle of repetitive self-destruction, your body begins to slowly dissipate, your mind begins to wither, and your soul can no longer absorb the colors of life that we have been so fortunate to have at our fingertips. Have you ever just sat next to your window in the morning as the Sun began to bless us with its presence for the day, and noticed the colors in the sky and felt the warmth of the sun on your skin? Such beauties are wonders we tend to take for granted due to our blind inability to absorb the colors of gratitude, happiness, and life.

But again, please don’t misunderstand. I dare not promote the act of giving up or “running away”. I am encouraging the power of self-empowerment and personal growth. I am expressing that only you can determine the colors in your stars. If you stop, and take a second to really think about who you are and where you would like to be, versus what you haven’t done thus far to get to where you think you should already be, you will be able to see a little bit more clearly. Your own perception of yourself is bound to become a little less blurred. You will be able to recognize that sometimes you have to step away, reboot, and then return to the healthy aspects of your life (such as a supportive family, real and loyal friends, and a good job, that hopefully you can come to adore and enjoy), so you are finally able to love yourself and be a better you, and in turn, truly love another. And maybe once you’ve stepped away for that moment and taken advantage of a positive change of pace (and place), you might realize that your journey has open doors and insights into the life that you had been searching for so many years.

My blog will discuss my changes of pace and place. It will expose you to the mysteriously colorful people, places and experiences that life may bring on the road to self realization, empowerment, exploration, and discovery. It will also introduce you to the journeys of others that I come into contact with that are willing to share their life-changing decisions and experiences. You will get to see me from a blurred, yet transparent, point of view as I travel the world in search of finding myself, experiencing true love for the 1st time hopefully and unconditional friendship, and touching the lives of others as I participate in global efforts against child abuse and human trafficking. I will share my experiences ranging from the process of determining my next place of travel, to obtaining a travel visa, to finding the best places to eat, to personal interviews with individuals suffering in at-risk conditions.

As I share with you, I hope to open the world to my heart, encouraging you to share your reservations, passions, and aspirations with me.

Is it your time for a change? Do tell Nicola…

Please use this contact form to ask any questions that you seek advice to whether it is related to relationships, experiences, aspirations and/or making the decision to seek a change of pace. I will post your questions anonymously and provide a response:

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