“The difference between a dream and a reality….”

“…is just doing it.” — Cheeming Boey

I start tonight’s post by referencing a quote used in the closing remarks of my last post, which is dated March 7th.  Today is July 21st.  4 1/2 months.  How quickly things can change in a relatively short lapse of time.

In the time between now and then, a few non-insignificant things have transpired in my life, namely:

#1: I attended my 3rd consecutive Coachella Music Festival, which was, by no stretch of the imagination not incredible.  Au contraire, it was amazing, as Coachella proves to be for all of her patrons, both those returning year over year and those who are gracing her lush green polo fields for the very first time. However, when comparing my 3rd time in Indio against my inaugural visit in 2010 and my return in 2011, I’ll admit that a bit of the magic that I was looking forward to was lost, perhaps in part because I can no longer be considered a Coachella newbie but am now a bonafide veteran.  Perhaps some of the luster gets lost when one does any one thing for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc times?  I don’t really know.  What I do know is that I have a ticket to 2013 and I’m committed to feeling the freshness of the weekend as if I’m gazing upon the grounds and experiencing the festival for the first time.  At least I’ll be keeping this top of mind this next time around, we’ll see what actually happens.

#2: I ventured off to the beaches [and humidity] in Thailand with Megan for a sunny [yet very brief] respite and in 6.5 days managed to hit up 4 cities: Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, Railay and Bangkok.  Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely lovely.  But could I have used a few more days lazily lounging on the sandy shores of Krabi? Yes, absolutely.  Will I be back? Oh 100% I will.

#3: I completed my 2nd AIDS LifeCycle ride, traversing the 545mi between San Francisco and Los Angeles on my bike in 7 days — and promptly signed up to do it all over again upon successfully crossing the finish line.  Am I nuts?  Yes.  Team Mary was back in full force, this year showing up at opening ceremonies as more than double our size from last year and I have every confidence in the world that our return in 2013 will be just as amazing if not moreso [if that's even possible].  All I can say is that it’s 11 months away and I can’t wait.

….and probably most paramount…

#4: A week ago today I left my job at FreeWheel and have temporarily relocated to Florence, Italy.  You heard me correctly.  I left my job and promptly left the country, taking up residence in a cute little flat in the heart of Florence’s Santa Croce neighborhood alongside of my best friend, Megan Gordon.  We’re doing something we’ve always wanted to do. That is, we’re living abroad, taking a bit of a sabbatical from our 9-to-5 gigs in the states and are just… being. Living. Traveling. Relaxing. Savoring all of life’s small treats. Not living on a timetable. Not setting an alarm. Finishing books we’ve been meaning to read for ages. See places we’ve never been to but have always wanted to visit. Drinking great wine. Making conversation with strangers.  It’s fabulous.  We arrived on Tuesday, July 17th and don’t have plans to return to San Francisco until mid-August [though that's still up in the air at this point].  This is completely unchartered territory for the both of us, but we figure why not? You’re given one life to live so why not make the most of it?

Which is why I started tonight’s post by referencing a quote from the video I posted of Boey where he states, “the difference between a dream and a reality is just doing it. Don’t wait. Just go for it.”

So, that’s what we’re doing. We’re going for it.  More posts will soon follow, but so far, so good!  Life in Italia is wonderful, relaxing, beautiful.  In fact, at 5 days in, it’s challenging to think of what life will be like once we return to the states.

But I won’t think about that just yet….

It’s been awhile…

Damn. 3 months into the new year, and I have no posts to show for.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

What have I become?!  I guess this is just a testament to how crazy.busy.fast.chaotic.whirlwindish the new year has been.  [Note to self: I should probably stop referring to it as "the new year" now that we're in the middle of the first week of March and daylight savings is this weekend. March, people. March. Jeebs. This year is going to fly by, I know it.]

Anywho, a quick assessment of my posting tendencies would suggest that I’m not one who tends to write about things un-thoughtfully.  So, the other excuse I have for not posting anything is that I really haven’t been inspired to write about anything in particular. [This is mostly true. One could also argue that I just haven't actually made the time.]

Well, that all changed for me this morning when I randomly stumbled upon the following video. While the whole thing is just so freakin’ cool, I couldn’t help but be so incredibly inspired by the 2nd half of the clip. How simply Boey articulates something that I’ve been thinking about myself for… gosh… well, for a really long time now.



I think each of us is a dreamer like Boey is. Yet, not all of us are able to muster up the courage to follow such a dream — and without a back-up plan, for that matter. Or as we get older, we get more settled into our routines and more deeply rooted in our responsibilities.  For some, this includes the obvious things like responsibility at your job, to your spouse and your children, and financial responsibilities like paying your car payment or your mortgage.  For others, this also includes the fear of missing out on what you’d potentially be leaving behind by making such a significant leap into the unknown. I think I’m someone who falls into the second bucket, for when I think about packing up and traveling the world and embracing my inner wanderlust, I think about all the lovely amenities I’d temporarily forfeit in San Francisco. Things like having Golden Gate Park within walking distance of my apartment, being able to see my friends at the drop of a dime, access to great music shows and fancy dinners, stuff like that.

Then again, when I daydream of all the amazing treasures that the world has in store, stuff that I don’t even know about yet, well… I waffle back and forth. A lot. And then there’s the whole argument of “it’s just not the right time”. Well, to Boey’s point, if not now, when? 

I hope anyone who reads this and sees Boey’s video can take a step back and ask themself, what have I always wanted to do, but haven’t done yet? And why haven’t I?  This is an exercise I’m actively putting myself through, posing to myself some tough questions that I feel I’m on the precipice of answering.

Using Boey’s words, I’m pushing myself to fully embrace his statement that “the difference between a dream and a reality is just doing it. Don’t wait. Just go for it.”

Here’s hoping that I can just go for it, and soon.

Katie Carroll, v3.0 | Goals for the next decade

Well, it’s here!  I’m 30-years-old!  Today. 30. 30-years-old.  Today is my birthday. My 30th birthday. A huge milestone.  A time to reflect on the last 30 years and plan for the next 10, 20, 30 — and beyond.

Inspired by my last post, where I captured some of the greater highlights of my 20s, I feel it necessary to project what I’d like to set out to achieve in my 30s.  There have certainly been some things that I’ve been mulling over for quite awhile and I think it’s about time that I officially commit myself to accomplishing them now that I’m a bona fide adult.  Here it goes:

  1. Finish a marathon in under 4hrs
  2. Complete a triathlon
  3. Travel to Italy, France, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland
  4. Get certified to teach yoga
  5. Learn to ski/snowboard
  6. Take piano lessons
  7. Finish my t-shirt quilt [a long-term project I've been postponing forever]
  8. Bolster my personal savings [actual details reserved for Katie and her financial adviser]

I think that’s about it for now.  I intend to revisit this post and add to the list when other long-term goals present themselves, but I wanted to get these first few up and publicly posted so as to hold myself accountable.

Here we go!  Wish me good luck!  Today is day #1 for the next 10yrs [well, assuming the world doesn't end in 2012].

***Disclaimer: please note that none of the aforementioned goals include having babies, securing a man/getting married, or obtaining a mortgage.  Not to say that these things are completely off the table.  I just don’t feel that I should be working hard to cross those things off of a goal-oriented list when, to me, whether they happen or not is entirely up to fate and in the chance that they don’t happen, I don’t want to feel disappointed.***


I’m turning 30, people

This day has finally come.

Tonight marks my last night as a twenty-something and in many ways, I find it strangely satisfying.  After attending yoga earlier today and mentioning to Elizabeth that my 30th birthday is tomorrow, she remarked “you’ve had a really good decade, Katie”.  It occurred to me then that she was right; what a great perspective to have on the eve of the next decade of my life.  Of course this totally warrants a blog post, where I felt it only fitting to list the highlights of the last decade.  Indulge me for a moment:

Highlights of my 20s:

  • Graduating from college in 4yrs
  • Moving to San Francisco [and subsequently setting up my adult life here]
  • Gaining financial freedom [paying off my car, student loans and credit card, setting up my 401K, etc]
  • Completing 5 marathons and 8 half marathons [9 after tomorrow’s race]
  • Discovering a love for Bikram yoga
  • Participating in the 10th annual AIDS LifeCycle Ride [535mi on my bike in 7 days]
  • Embarking on several international trips [UK, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, Mexico]
  • Working for a start-up company, a company relatively fresh out of start-up mode, and a well-established Fortune 500 company
  • Embracing my love for music [read: more concerts than I can count, music festivals Coachella, Ultra, Outside Lands, Treasure Island, Electric Zoo]
  • Falling in love, being okay with being vulnerable, and mending a broken heart
  • Making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and supporting friends progress through new chapters of their lives [think: marriage, children, relocating across the country or to another country, going back to school, going through a significant break-up, starting new careers, etc]

I’m sure there are some other highlights that I might be by-passing, but these are the ones that stand out as most prominent for me tonight.  I look at this list and my heart swells with pride, for as great as my 20s were, I know that my 30s will have many more great things in store.  Thanks for the memories, 20s. You were fabulous.

“how I’m feeling right now” series | post #1

i am so happy right now
i’m at home
the sun is streaming in through the windows of my living room
i’m laying on my stomach on the floor
the light is hitting the back of my leggings
it’s warm
and bright
and music is playing in the background

song of the day | yay snow patrol!

I stumbled upon this little gem of a song by Snow Patrol today and couldn’t help but shake my shoulders and tap my foot to the beat.  Enjoy!

here’s to the crazy ones

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.

They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

- Apple Inc. 1997

Ten Rules for Being Human

Perusing a friend of a friend’s blog this morning, I stumbled upon the Ten Rules for Being Human, by author, life coach, and motivational speaker Cherie Carter-Scott.  It’s a simple read, one that I’ve come across before.  Reading it today, however, has a greater significance for me, for its words help to maintain the perspective that getting caught up in the minutiae of our day-to-day lives is a distraction, that there are greater lessons to be learned, only when we’re ready, and while it might be difficult to see, there is a path, a purpose to this thing called life we’re all traveling down.
Enjoy.  :-)

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.”
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”
4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all this.

Messages from Ajahn Brahm

A friend of mine passed these talks off to me today and I just fell in love with them.

My hope is that you will, too.  Enjoy.

Tales from the Ride

It’s been a little over 3 weeks since I’ve returned from the 10th annual AIDS LifeCycle ride and have been operating back in the real world again [well, attempting to, at least], and yet I continually find myself looking back fondly on my experience from a week that changed my life.

Today, Ferd’s Mojo video got published to Mojo’s YouTube channel and last week, Derek’s video was posted.  I also stumbled upon a video that Ken “Chicken Lady” Thomason had done and finally learned about just why he rides year over year.

I publish these tales here to serve as a keepsake [mostly] for myself, but also for those of you who have yet to participate and are perhaps considering that next year will be your year.  Enjoy!

Ferd’s video:
[watch for a cameo by yours truly!]

Derek’s video:

Chicken Lady’s video:
my favorite quote: “if the energy of these people that are pedaling today was put in a generator, we could light up New York for a week”

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