It’s been a while, eh? I have since turned 26 here in Thailand, I liked being 25, I don’t really like even numbers. Weird. I’m now closer to 30 than I am to 20, I’m no longer a kid, this is when real life starts, right? Uhmm. No, not really.
From what I’ve been told by my elders the confusion never ceases, the wondering never stops and the self-doubt continues on with us through out our whole lives. At this point I at least feel like I’m getting closer to feeling at home inside myself, I’m studying and learning and thinking and trying to meditate on everything—
maybe I should zero in and meditate on one thing at a time… I hear that’s how you’re supposed to do it.
But enough about my confused head, heart and mind: birthday weekend! While approaching the date I had to reminisce on past birthdays—I then realized that this is the 4th continent I have spent January 18th on! Crazy!!
Things that happened:
- I had a school of 900 beautiful Thai children sing me a version of Happy Birthday that I’d never heard before.
- I received a birthday package from my Grandmother in Michigan who retraced my old stomping grounds of Holland, MI—making me tear up a bit at the memories. Then I ate candy and smelled the delicious coffee she sent!
- I was bombarded by first graders with open arms yelling “Happpppy birfday, Teacha SaLone!!” I quickly corrected them “birthday, teacher SLOan” (if you know me you know that my name is ONE syllable. NOT TWO.) Just kidding, they were too damn cute to correct.
- I ate an amazing meal, sang horribly in front of friends and was given some amazingly thoughtful gifts and cards.
- I went to another province and went Thai camping.
- Hiked down to a big tree, hiked back up and was applauded at my speed by a bunch of Thais lighting up their cigarettes.
- I then hiked back down and hiked a short hike back to the camp ground, all the while pretending I was back in the Siskyou mountains.
My friend then said to me “Why don’t you pretend you’re there, in Thailand, you don’t have to pretend so hard that way.” Good point. Chalk is up to another struggle of not being here. I needed that, I’m here, in Thailand—let’s quit pretending otherwise.
- I then logged onto Facebook and Gmail and was showered in love via messages, emails, and notifications.
Overall—yeah, turning 26 was pretty damn great!
I’m singing ABBA
Taksin National Park
Way to big tree
In a far far away place known as Chicago, there lives a rad little lady. She runs along the Lakeshore in the wee hours of the morning, teaches children by day-time and captures moments of lovers, families and sunsets on the weekends with her camera lenses. Her name is Emily Alt and boy does she have a deal for you!
My former co-worker, friend and fashion inspiration has begun a venture in a photography business this year. She specializes in making YOU look fabulous while capturing the moments that matter most: weddings, reunions, senior photos, family portraits, basically anything you want. I swear she either only photographs attractive people! She’s that good.
With the holidays coming up she’s running a sweet special and a giveaway—holy moly who doesn’t love something for free!? Especially when you get to get all dolled up, hang with your family and Emily!? I’m jealous, if I wasn’t kicking it here in Thailand sipping on Thai Coffees 24/7 I’d be figuring out a way to rig the thing and win myself. Maybe I’ll bribe her with a tasty glass of vino when I eventually return.
Check out her website HERE.
Click HERE for more details on the giveaway.
Email here at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m so glad that even though I’m here far away in Thailand that my friends back in the USA are doing awesome things that I can be a part of. Even by just writing a blurb here on WordPress I get to connect with friends from the past and hopefully help her carry out her dreams of capturing your life and spreading joy this season.
Everything is starting to matter. Every little interaction is taking on the weight of the world and yelling from the rooftops that I’m going to missing out on something, or everything while I’m gone. This has been a fear of mine for years—the idea of missing out.
While I’m gone… this is the little phrase that continues to leave me baffled and confused continues to pop out of my mouth. Am I coming back? How long are you THERE, Sloan? I haven’t figured out the perfect answer yet. I’m committed to Thailand for six months, yet after that I have no other life plans. I can do anything for six months was the idea behind not signing on for A YEAR. A YEAR requires huge commitment (commitment is such a dirty little word). If I come back in April I could still get my job back selling shoes, I could still be involved in setting up that race, I could still train for that trail run in July—do I want to COME BACK?
Flash forward, or backwards, to yesterday; my second to last day at work. The Pride Parade danced down town and my friend saw me standing from the sidewalk, ran from her float and gave me a huge hug. Flash to Friday: 2.5 hours on the trail with my friend telling me how excited and brave I am, I’m not so sure. Flash to today, this morning, I’m up at 6am going for a run with some amazing ladies followed by a potluck party in the park tonight—all these people are coming to see me off. I’m not so sure.
All of the sudden each moment, each person, each little thing this town is offering me is sounding better than getting on a plane and running away to Thailand. It’s bittersweet, beautiful and begging me to stay. Yet if I stay I’ve failed, and do I really want to stay even if it was an option?
Then a friend, a previous college professor, a man who I bonded with over miles of road under our Bianchi’s tires every Tuesday evening, a man that left his wife in the US for Paris to study, sent me this:
And that’s what I’m going to do.