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  • kittycurry 6:07 pm on January 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    BOS->BOM Part 1 

    IMG_0037I went to India the second week of January for work. My colleague, a videographer, and I, a writer, were there to cover a water desalination device developed at our university and its impact on the lives of villagers in rural India, where electricity and money and clean water are all hard to come by.

    It doesn’t sound scary, I know, but I have to admit I was a little nervous. For one, I would be away from my daughter for almost two weeks.

    Two, I was going to a developing country, a first for me. I’ve traveled to well developed countries like England, Iceland, Italy, and France, but never anything like this. I really had no idea what I should be prepared to see or feel. All I knew was that apparently I was going to stand out, I should bring my own toilet paper, I’d probably get ill, and I owned zero appropriate clothing.

    Three, I was going on a work trip, so, while I was traveling with a co-worker and wouldn’t technically be on my own, in a way I was going alone — another first for me.

    Four, we weren’t going as tourists, meandering around big cities to see the sights and shop and eat our hearts out – we were going to mostly small, poor villages that lack basic amenities like 24-hour electricity and clean water. Did I mention how long the flights were? Oh, and I would be practicing a type of extended in-the-field journalism that I had never done before, getting nice and cozy with subjects and environments that were quite different from anything I’ve ever known.

    Talk about moving outside your comfort zone. I didn’t know if I’d get there and burst with joy from experiencing so many new things all at once, or start crying and maybe vomit from the shock and horror of it all. It really was a toss-up.

    Nevertheless, I was excited. (More …)

     
  • Kimberly Hula 9:41 am on January 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clean slate, never, not, regrets   

    “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way” 

    “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau

     
  • kittycurry 10:18 pm on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Dip in to a Sea of Possibilities 

    Polar Bear Plunge_2015I stood there, numb.

    Not emotionally numb. Physically numb. That shit was freezing cold.

    In the course of telling me about her idea of 52 adventures for the first time, Kim mentioned taking part in a Polar Bear Plunge, and I knew instinctively she would ask me to do it. How could she not? It was karma. It was my worst fear. I won’t even dip into the ocean on the warmest summer beach day. I prefer near-bath-water temperatures myself.

    I cringed internally and hoped to God I was wrong.

    I wasn’t. She texted me one night and said, casually, as if it were no big thing, “Wanna do the Polar Bear Plunge?”

    Shit.

    I couldn’t answer. I pretended not to see the text. Maybe she’ll think it wasn’t delivered, I thought.

    She asked again a couple of days later. “I’m not sure,” I finally said.

    “Let’s discuss it in person,” she said. “I’ll convince you.” “We’ll see,” I replied.

    We met up for drinks at a local bar. We drank wine and talked excitedly about many things, and for a little while there, I thought I was home free.

    Wrong again.

    “I really think you should do the plunge,” she started. “It’s a great way to begin a year of 52 adventures. It’s very symbolic of a rebirth, a washing away of your past self. It’s very refreshing.”

    I was scared shitless, but I knew I had no defense. This was the whole point of 52 adventures: to force yourself out of your comfort zone, to confront your deepest fears, to prove to your irrational side that you can do anything, that the only thing to fear is fear itself, and that discomfort, whether physical or emotional, won’t kill you. It will empower you. Invigorate you. It will allow you to bust through whatever walls you’ve built around yourself that are preventing you from living the full, boundary-less, bullshit-less life you know full well you would have if you could just get rid of all this baggage that’s been growing around you, slowly, sneakily, so that it actually took you quite a long time to even notice it was there.

    No, fuck that.

    “Of course I’m going to do it,” I blurted out, before my weaker side had a chance to protest.

    I thought about the idea of a rebirth, and I liked it, but for some reason it didn’t quite resonate with me. But then I remembered one of my favorite Patti Smith songs, “Land.” I’ve always loved the line, “Dip in to the sea of possibilities,” and I realized what the plunge would mean to me, and that gave me the strength I needed. I was actually looking forward to it now. I’m going to literally and figuratively dip in to the sea of possibilities!

    And that’s exactly what I did first thing in the morning on January 1, 2016.

    Well, actually, I didn’t dip. I ran into Dorchester Bay. For one moment, I stood there, numb. But then I jumped up and down and waved my hands around wildly. And it was awesome. And it was beautiful. And it didn’t hurt.

    Here’s to a year of running into a sea of possibilities!

     

    -Alissa Mallinson

     
    • Kimberly Hula 10:37 pm on January 5, 2016 Permalink

      Congratulations lady! I’m digging Patti Smith as a source of inspiration. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

    • abstractangel7 8:46 pm on January 6, 2016 Permalink

      Wow, I admire you both but this is something I don’t think I could ever do! I get cold just thinking about it. You are both so brave!!!

    • eatveggiesdrinkwine 1:45 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Yes, so brave — way to go!

  • Kimberly Hula 3:20 pm on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Albert Camus, awakening, Lake Ontario, , raymond carver, remake, reuinon   

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. 

    “They had laughed. They had leaned on each other and laughed until the tears had come, while everything else–the cold, and where he’d go in it–was outside, for a while anyway.”
    ― Raymond CarverWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Love

    1003397_10156378892700284_14679645118229807_n

    SPOILER (?): If you are a Star Wars purist who somehow hasn’t seen the newest installation, don’t read on lest I SPOIL something for you.  In all honesty, what I’m soon to say isn’t so much a spoil as a near expiration but I thought I’d forewarn you nonetheless. (More …)

     
  • abstractangel7 12:44 pm on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , friendship, life   

    Hi, fellow adventurers! I thought it would be helpful if we began with some introductions (or re-introductions). I just read my posts from 2010- wow, time flies! I found them hilarious. They brought back some great memories.

    For those of you who don’t know me, I am 33 and the mom of two boys, ages 10 and 12. I’m a self-professed travel addict who loves randomness, nature, and tries not to take life too seriously. My day job is as a therapist (LPC, CADC) in a supportive-living facility on the Southside of Chicago.

    This blog inspired me to continue making short-term “bucket lists” of things I wanted to do and accomplish. My list for 2015 included:

    *Buy a car
    *Drive for Uber/Lyft
    *Visit at least 1 foreign country (Two! Spain and Turkey)
    *Take the boys to visit at least 1 new state (12!!)
    *Try LSD (that’s another story, lol)
    *Take a trapeze class
    *Take a swing dancing class (it became my new monthly hobby!)
    *Take the kids on their first horseback ride
    *Bring Jake to visit a dairy and pig farm (it ended up being a pre-factory farm. oops!! lol)
    *Run my first 5k
    *Live with a roommate (previously I’d only lived with my ex-husband and sister)
    *Join the Red Cross Disaster Action Team

    Last year was a mixture of emotions for me. I dated a bit but stayed intentionally single, trying to work on myself as much as possible after a devastating break-up near the end of 2014. I feel like I’ve grown spiritually, gained confidence and clarity in my identity and passions, and am redefining what “adventure” will look like for me in the coming year. (More …)

     
    • Kimberly Hula 2:54 pm on January 4, 2016 Permalink

      So glad to have you on board! Can’t wait to see all that 2016 has in store for us!

    • eatveggiesdrinkwine 1:41 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Thanks for the reintroduction! I love what you did in 2015 and your plans for this year. ! I re-read my 2010 adventures recently, and it was a great way to reminisce and to get re-inspired.

  • Kimberly Hula 10:12 am on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt", , Kurt Vonnegut, year of adventure   

    Everything is beautiful, and nothing hurts 

    I take liberties with the subject heading: “Everything is beautiful, and nothing hurts.” If I’m to stay true to the original (and perform consideration citation!) I should say, “everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”  So said Kurt Vonnegut, and by proxy the Tralfamadors as they attempt to destroy the earth in Slaughter House Five (or Children’s Crusade dependent on your title allegiance).  It may seem silly to quibble over tenses, but I’ll argue quite the opposite.  There is a quiet danger to disregarding your tenses.  There is a tension to every pull of every year.  And while I’d never advocate against reflection and nostalgia, it’s my aim to promote the possibility of the future.  That’s why I’m here.  And, essentially, that’s why I just can’t quit adventuring.

    I don’t think I’ll make friends with the subject heading alone.  Some things are not beautiful.  Some things really do hurt.  It would be easier to adhere to the true quote and think of beauty in past tense.  Can I see through the piss and shit of the past and find beauty in it?  Sure, of course – it’s over and hindsight is a lovely trick of the mind.  Can I sit in the pain of the present and find the same semblance of beauty?  Now that’s a tall order.

    I’m a runner.  Of roads, yes, but also of life.  Of my past and my present.  I’ve convinced myself that my future is a product of my own making and that wealth and prosperity and love will be found in it if only I impel myself to move.  There’s nothing wrong with working toward a better tomorrow, but there is something scary in not attending to your present.  Was, is, will: they are conjugations with real consequences.  For me, I need a reminder of the beauty that is around me.  I need to stand still and take in my surroundings.  Revel a little – unravel a lot.  I know that life isn’t a screen print of sunshine and roses.  But if I apply basic science I can find a reaction in every action.  I can find beauty in certain hurt.  I can give this year a light I might not have otherwise been able to see.

    I hope you’ll join me.  Your adventures can be loud (see: singing in the subway; riding a roller coaster), or soft (letters to loved ones; letting something you love go).  They can be intimate or shared.  They can be in response to your past or in hope of your future.  Whatever the case, make it your case.  Do whatever you need to do to remind yourself of just how beautiful you are, and that the world, with you in it, hurts a hell of a lot less.

    Thanks for joining me.  Community like this – and weekly reminders like these – really reaffirm the notion that everything is beautiful, and nothing hurts.

    Go forth and adventure you crazy lot, you, and keep doing what you’re doing.  You do it so well!

     
    • eatveggiesdrinkwine 1:32 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Kim, I love this! It’s so good to receive another invitation to live fully this year by the original adventurer!

    • Kimberly Hula 11:08 am on January 13, 2016 Permalink

      Will you be joining us again this year?!?!

  • barrettje 5:29 pm on December 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    A Year of Adventure Has Begun 

    a-year-of-adventure-has-begun

     
    • Kimberly Hula 4:45 pm on January 22, 2015 Permalink

      So glad to hear of it! I’m in, too! Please post your progress!

  • Kimberly Hula 10:20 pm on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Boston weather, snow tubing, winter sports   

    Never Let Me Go 

    I’ve had a good run with winter sports. The past few years have found me skiing (mostly lodging), snowboarding (mostly falling), ice skating (OWNED IT!), snow shoeing (good center of gravity), and now, snow tubing.

    Snow tubing is one of those activities I wasn’t privy to in the midwest. For whatever reason I equate it with New Hampshire hills off highways. While I wasn’t immediately familiar with the concept it was explained to me as follows: you go down a big hill in a tube.

    snow_tubeThis seemed exciting. Tubes haven’t much height but offer cushioned support. I thought that because of a tube’s material there would be no way to exact speeds as fast as say, a toboggan, because the tube would rip. In all, it seems the perfect ‘sport’ for me. A leisurely ride down a gently sloped hill in a slow moving inner tube – on par with a day in a lazy river, just colder. So I enthusiastically agreed to go.

    The day was unseasonably warm. Boston had it’s first hit of 50+ F and residents let it be known by going on runs in the tiniest of shorts, or wearing tees and tanks (sans jacket) and soaking up the sun as if all roads led to the beach. It was silly, and as much as I wanted to frolic through the streets I had a winter sport to attend to, so I donned my snow suit, packed a change of clothes and made way for New Hampshire.

    Well, Amesbury. New Hampshire was a step over, but the weather took refuge there, too! Our snow park was reduced to a parking lot slush pool and a gaggle of children in light fleece tops and colorful snow pants. Because I went in thinking tubing was for wusses I didn’t worry much. It wasn’t until we pulled into the sports complex to find a towering hill with steep runs – each carved out of snow with ice tipped bumpers. There was a ‘magic carpet’ – or a flat bed escalator to take you and your tube to the top. There were children in helmets – some in hockey masks (WHY?)- pacing back and forth as we waited for the park to open – one upping each other in dares, each one sure to dive head first or double sure to make their tube fly. I don’t know why anyone would go down, much less draft a death wish by going head first, but the kids seemed resolute. With no one yet on the slope I watched the sport park employees trudge up the hill and stand guard at the dismount. They looked like frigid life guards with no cause for concern. Realizing how afraid I was I looked to the line to find someone, anyone, as nervous as I. This was a fools errand as I, and my cohort of three adult women, were the only unaccompanied adults. Meaning we didn’t have children. Suggesting that we were the only people in greater New England who thought it fun to throw themselves down a hill in a tube on a slick surface for the sheer want of it. Not because a kid in a hockey mask begged it of us. And of our small group only I seemed destined for panic.

    I don’t know why I worry, only that I do. And that I have strange ways of attending to my phobias. For one I put myself out there, but I also make a spectacle. I took too long to choose an inter tube, and when I did my selection was curious. As we were some of the first people in line we had our pick of the litter! With so many tubes so late in the season it might be rare to find one in pristine condition but Moira and Angela found the brightest of blue tubes. Karleen, likewise, found one in a ruby shade of red, and I… without being able to explain myself chose the oldest, most faded, saddest looking tube in the lot. It operated and seemed as air filled as the rest, but this tube would never photograph well. This tube was probably the tube everyone left behind – statically growing into it’s shade of grey by way of hiding. It was a tube that spoke to my feelings and I dragged it along like I’d trained it in my own image. (More …)

     
    • Jen 6:21 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink

      Way to go, Kimberly!!!! And I’m with you on mostly lodging it when I ski :)

  • Kimberly Hula 11:59 am on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , figure skating, , optimism, pessimism   

    On occasion we all need to opt out of optimism 

    I don’t agree with the subject heading.  They are my words, even the fixed sub-text in the banner of my writing blog, but I can’t keep them close.  You see, for as cry-eye and morose as I can be; for all the time devoted to sad movies and sadder novels and saddest music; for all the depression in the world, I am really an eternal optimist.

    In the thick of a thunderstorm I might recall some source of shelter.  Or when I think up something I might summon the strength to work it out – make it happen.  It’s a blessing to be born this way.  I allow myself to believe that things are possible.  That I can really get up and be it.  And while destiny may laugh at my naivety I can’t shake this optimism, which is what found me here, on an endless adventure trail chasing the tail of opportunities that I’ve long avoided.

    It can all come at a cost.  One can over visualize, hyper expect.  You can think your way out of a bad way only to find yourself in heavier boots.  Nothing is more damning than letting your optimism down, but I’ve no recourse.  I choose to believe in trying – to make better our circumstances if only in mind.  And although I haven’t a solid track record – while you might find me bemoaning something at some point – I’m going to stay with the program and keep up the optimism.  Because with it we find second chances, and with chance we find adventure.

    That’s how I found myself back here.  It starts off so easily, as it does every four years.  I watch the Olympics.  Really, I love the Olympics.  I love the fervor and excitement and attention to celebration.  I love that anything seems possible and that hard work is rewarded.  And I love how throngs of tiny ice flower girls become inspired to be their next best version of Michelle Kwan or Lindsay Vohn or Bodie Miller.  And because our tvs are bigger and the picture crisper, I love how I feel at one with the action.  That I’m really gliding across the ice like a bladed centaur.  When I see this  – the pure athletic prowess, but even more, the crowd swell of support – the snuck smile whenever some athlete completes something special – well, I want for that.  I believe that anything is possible.  I feel the power of Horatio Alger and the American Dream and want to try, try, try.  I wish the trying translated to writing more, or setting up a sustainable system or pattern in my life, but instead it takes wild turns.

    On dock today, figure skating – or my impression of!

    I watched all the figure skating and declared that TODAY WAS THE DAY to take to ice.  I haven’t much memory of time spent skating, although I must have done so once or twice as a girl.  Still, it seemed appropriate to make an effort and Hiro and I headed off to the Kendall ice rink in Cambridge to make our public debut.

    Everyone for miles had the same idea.  The rink was teeming with little girls and boys and men and women inspired by the latest quad sequence for Yuzuru Hanyo.  The rink was filled with optimists gliding past one another in seamless streams.  The collective energy, replete with artful falls and botched stop sequences, was endearing and I couldn’t help but think these are my people.

    It’s not easy here in the cold northeast.  The people can be mean.  Everyone has an agenda and a privately guarded inner world.  It was a hard transition coming to Boston with my midwest wide eyes and belief in beauty.  I felt, and still feel, bruised by people’s hurried nature.  Everyone has got something better to do, a place to be.  I feel here, moreso than anywhere, people would sooner opt out of optimism.  Dreaming derails progress.  Get on the pragmatic program and stop holding up the line.  The negativity sticks to you like mid-summer sweat and I’ve had a hell of a time finding a towel to dry off.

    But here, if only for a moment, the ice was magnetic.  It melded our skate blades to the ground and asked that we abandon inhibition.  That we believe in a dream, even if not our own.  That we allow ourselves a moment of reckless belief.  And it’s obvious, from the throngs of skaters trying desperately to turn as beautifully as Mao Asada did.  It’s so evident from the ecstatic smiles on their faces as they fall that THEY ARE TRYING.  THEY ARE DOING.  THAT THEY ARE BELIEVING the best thing anyone can: that anything is possible.

    And it occurs to me that what is crucial is to believe
    in effort, to believe some good will come of simply trying,
    a good completely untainted by the corrupt initiating impulse
    to persuade or seduce – Louise Gluck
     
  • Kimberly Hula 8:38 pm on February 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2nd amendment, ice dancing, liberal fantasy land, , shooting range   

    Live Free or Ice Dance 

    Hiro and I did two things with our Sunday.  We watched the last Olympic leg of the Team Ice Dancing competition and we drove to New Hampshire and shot some guns.  We didn’t do one to play off the other for effect.  Nor did we do either with any planning as Hiro isn’t much of an ‘ice-dance man’ and I sit squarely in the liberal fantasy land that is Boston fully in favor of a full repeal of the 2nd amendment.  Instead, we found our way into these activities and because they are of note, I thought I’d share them with you.

    The Olympics themselves are the first hurdle.  I love the games and the sad sappy commercials that oft accompany them.  I love seeing athletes recognized for their abilities no matter how niche or otherwise uncelebrated.  I also love the emotion that comes of winning AND losing.  There is no moment like the one moment you have opportunity to prove your worth.  As sad as it is to see someone fall, tumble, foil their way through their event it’s ever more uplifting to see them comforted.  To see human spirit in its purest form come to the aid of one another blindly and with good faith.  These games are a tall(er) order, what with the human rights violations and seeming disregard for said companioned vigor by the host country.  I was all set to boycott the games!  No games!  Not in my house!  But, besides my fervent need to feel kinship with all that hope, I felt it a great disservice to those athletes that are there based on their merit.  They did not chose for Sochi to host.  They only chose to be good/great/best in their field and can still use all the support we, as their adoring fans, can muster.  At any rate that’s how I justified that.  And that’s how we found ourselves ice-dance aficionados.

    We don’t know anything about ice-dancing, and if I hear the phrase “side-by-side twizzle sequence” once more I’m afraid I may never hear anything else.  But we were into it.  It was graceful and athletic and synchonized.  Before I knew it Hiro had fully seated himself at my side and we TALKED A BIG GAME at the Jonny Weir about what it takes to truly execute a side-by-side twizzle sequence, thank you very much.

    In all honesty I could have devoted my whole day to that, but ice-dance knows how to make an exit and Hiro and I were left with two choices.  Make a further dent in the sofa and become intimate with insane ski jumping or do something else with our day.  Because I’d sooner defer to adventure I chose the latter.

    flower gun

    “Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt”

    Let me build off my earlier disclaimer.  I don’t like guns.  I hate them, really.  I want only to live in a place without them and can’t imagine having one anywhere near me without a lock, and a box, and another lock and a safe.  I have, however, shot one before.  Two, actually.  It was years back at the ranch of a then boyfriend in none other than Texas.  Then BF and I were already fading fast and my trip to meet his parents did little more than solidify the fact that this whole trip was going the way of my journal and a memory store I’d work extra hard to purge.  That may be why, when offered, I agreed to shoot those guns.  Even when my judgment told me to go back in the ranch house and read a book and let the boys and the ranch hand point big shot guns at clay pigeons with the right hands, while holding firmly onto bottles of Shiner Bock(s) in the other.  It seemed unsafe and reckless and my anxiety was mounting.  I was sad to be stuck in a place I didn’t belong and mad to have made that choice.  I felt alien and prudish and frustrated so I took that shot gun and did as they said.

    I did not shoot the clay pigeon.  I shot off into some vast air target never to see my bullet meet matter.  I did, however, feel some crazy backfire in my shoulder from the butt of the gun and quickly gave up.

    That was six years ago and I’ve long since forgotten the feeling, but somewhere in the back stores of my mind I must have equated the release of a trigger with that of frustration.  I may have mixed memories and convinced myself that all the trouble I had with the former BF was made palatable, or at least unleashed some irritation by way of firearm.  I don’t know if that’s the leap I made then, but I think that’s what I convinced myself today, as I found myself asking Hiro if we could go to a gun range. (More …)

     
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