Thanksgiving

I haven’t written [here] in so long, but to my readers, I am still alive. It’s been a tough year. My soul and my heart have been challenged more than ever. Today is Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for. 
First off is life. As my 32nd year earthside approaches, I can’t help but reflect on everything that has happened in this lifetime. If I were to read a letter to myself written 15, 10, even 5 years ago, I don’t think I’d recognize that person. I almost didn’t have this ability, but “someone” was certainly looking out for me and I am forever grateful for that. With that, I closed off a lot of myself from the outside world. I dug deep into my soul and connected with my maker. There are spiritual things that I can’t even begin to describe, because even to the most open of minds, they sound insane [myself, included]. I am just starting to emerge and it has been an awakening. This has blessed me careerwise as well, but that is still a complete work in progress. 

Second is love. This is not necessarily romantic even though there is involvement. I learned to love myself again. Self-love is hard. The person most critical of your flaws, your goals, your actions, is YOU. I got back into a healthy lifestyle and it connects back to that whole spirit thing. I have also experienced my very own seasons of love this year. I loved someone who loved me, but yet couldn’t commit to something. It took some time to realize and admit, but it wasn’t meant to be. I know it had to happen to lead up to the present. It forced me to come out of my shell, go on dates, experience the good (& the bad) that goes along with that, but above all it cleared my mind and showed me the caliber of a relationship that I deserve and desire. It gave me confidence to speak my mind rather than be passive and fall into something just because it was there in front of me. It’s then that something somewhat magical just might happen. You just might choose to go to a party, even though you’re exhausted & would much rather sleep, to find something you didn’t know you were looking for. Something that makes you want to be a better person. Something that actually makes you want to take risks. Something that makes that commitment-phobe that you’ve known for so long go running for the hills. New beginnings are beautiful and I just want to embrace every second I have.

Last, but not least, is companionship. I say it this way, because this year has taught me that just because someone is blood doesn’t mean they are family and just because someone isn’t blood doesn’t mean they are not. Family is who you hold closest to you. The ones that sacrifice for you, support you, build you up, embrace you for all your faults. I’ve let go of a lot of friendships & family relationships, because they were so negative. You are not forced in this life to walk the path you are given. Everyone you encounter plays a part, but most are seasonal. They all have their own time frame. They blossom, they bloom, they fall, they lay dormant, and they either blossom again or they end. I am grateful for both scenarios. Yes, it can be hard to adjust to endings, but once your mind clears, you realize their purpose. 

I have a lot to be grateful for and if you’re reading this, so do you. 

TORUK – The First Flight

Join us in welcoming Cirque du Soleil back to Amalie Arena as they take us into the Na’vi world with TORUK -The First Flight. 

We here at Second Blog to the Right are extremely excited to see what this show is all about. We have been lucky enough to become friends with Cirque du Soleil and they never seem to disappoint. 

TORUK – The First Flight is a live immersive multimedia spectacle that brings to the stage the breathtaking world of James Cameron’s AVATAR like you have never seen it before.

 

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

 

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

 

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

(This certainly won’t be the last we hear about Avatar this year, stay tuned for coverage from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.) 

With 4 days & 7 shows, you’ll be sure to find a time to fit into your busy schedule.  

Show Schedule (March 17-20, 2016):

Thursday, March 17 at 7:30pm

Friday, March 18 at 4pm and 7:30pm

Saturday, March 19 at 4pm and 7:30pm 

Sunday, March 20 at 1:30pm and 5pm

To purchase tickets, visit Cirque du Soleil.

A Pep Talk to Myself (& anyone else that might need some life reassurance)

This blog post is meant to be encouraging. It’s deep, it’s personal, it’s mine. Sometimes we hit a point in life where it feels like the walls are caving in around us and we need to be reminded that it happens to us all. It will get better. Sometimes we forget all that with things like Facebook and Instagram only showing us the highlight reels of our lives and never seem to bring light to the dark side. If I can help one person in addition to myself, I have succeeded.

Dear Kira,

You are not broken. You never have been, you never will be. Your strength and your faith won’t ever let you falter to weakness. This past year was a hard year. Your life was brought to a hault due to medical issues, but you handled them and came out on top. You went through a huge transition career-wise, & you are still adjusting, but you’re doing it. You had two guys who tested the waters & broke down walls that hadn’t been broken down in years. We won’t discuss what kind of guys they were, but they were necessary to open the doors to the other things that happened this year. Yes, there have been an abundance of engagements in your Facebook feed recently, but does that mean that life is over for you or that your future is not out there somewhere?! No, not at all. The holidays tend to attract more of those & that is okay. You don’t even want to be married right now. And that biological clock that you’ve been hearing faintly in the distance, I can guarantee that its only present because babies are cute & you love them. But let’s think of the reason you don’t even want a puppy right now…they will tie you down. & babies live way longer than dogs (please don’t take offense to that statement, I love that I have babies in my life that are not my own). As for love, you have it. The love you give is far more rewarding than any that you could possibly receive, so keep on giving it the way you do. You haven’t gone through all the things you have to stop now. You are a humanitarian. It is only natural for you to give your love selflessly. That person that you’re giving it to right now, may not be your forever (he certainly could be in time), but if he’s what you want right now, then go for it & show him what it means to be loved the way only you can. You haven’t regretted anyone you have ever given your love to, even in the worst of situations, so don’t let it stop you. Even if it doesn’t work out, you can walk away knowing you gave your all and he will learn what he could’ve had when he has something more to compare your love to. You’ve got a ton of goals for this year & you are making them happen. You’re taking advantage of that employee discount and making sure you’re traveling this year. Hell, you are traveling outside of the country this year for the very first time! And then next year, you’re aspiring to LIVE outside of the country. This is HUGE. You’re not in a point where you are doing nothing with your life. You are LIVING it. You are creating your happiness, solidifying friendships, & working hard to make your mark in this world. You are doing it all. With that, you know there will be people who will try to tear you down, but don’t let them get to you. They don’t have the ability to even come close to doing so. Keep opening the doors of opportunity and when one is ready to close, CLOSE it. When there’s a fork in the road, take the road less traveled, give in to the fear. Any struggle will only make you stronger. Keep taking chances. Give into life’s temptations, but don’t stray from your goals. You’ve got this. & maybe, just maybe, you are meant to “Eat, Pray, Love” this life and you will do just that. Be exactly who you are and don’t let anyone make you hold that in. This is your life, take the reigns, & don’t let go!

Love,

Yourself.

Rebel Challenge Recap

Well it’s been a little over a week and I believe my Disneyland hangover might finally be cured. Ok so maybe it’s not “cured” per se, but I can say it has somewhat subsided…for the moment.

 So let’s get down to business and discuss the big event. The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!!!

In one word? AMAZING!!!

 I wasn’t sure at all what to expect in this event. My thoughts going in went something like this…

“Well, Disneyland is smaller, so how are we going to run 13.1 miles through it?”

“There will be a lot of backstage time.”

“Star Wars Weekends are incredible…in Florida.”

“We’re not running it all on property.”

Even with all of that, I was running 2 Star Wars themed races and excited to challenge myself in the process with 19.3 miles. I knew I’d be seeing my friends, meeting new ones (the inevitable when you are part of the Disney social media community), & traveling to the beloved “Mecca” of it all (& my personal favorite), so to say I wasn’t ecstatic would be an absolute lie.

 So as with any RunDisney race, it all starts at the expo. The merchandise for this event was great…while it lasted. I heard many complaints over the weekend about how many items ran out long before the races were over. For me, I debated a Dooney & Bourke to commemorate my run, but decided against it as I am trying to be sensible (& somewhat frugal) these days. I did buy a few small items; a couple pins and a mug, but nothing too crazy. For running the Rebel Challenge, I ended up with 3 tech shirts and 3 medals, so that helps as memorabilia as well. I didn’t catch much of the guest speakers, but did catch a glimpse of Jeff Galloway. I also heard buzz of Chris Powell and Sean Astin hanging around.

I didn’t attend the Wookie Welcome Party or the 5k on Friday, but heard good things about both. I hung around with a couple of my favorite people (my friends Lisa and Perry) during this time and took advantage of some quality Disneyland time.

Photo Jan 16, 17 35 30

yeah, they love me 🙂

Corn Dog meet ups at Paradise Pier!

Corn Dog meet ups at Paradise Pier!

Photo Jan 16, 14 11 12

bonus footage: got to finally meet up with my friend, Guy!

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bonus footage: a magical moment with Fairy Godmother

Photo Jan 16, 15 46 49

bonus footage: Poof! Genie appeared!

bonus footage: Poof! Genie appeared!

            (Sidenote: I was blessed with the opportunity to hang out in the 1901 Lounge and Club 33 Jazz Club, but that will have to be in another post.)

My friend, Kathryn, also came into town Friday to stay with me.

Photo Jan 17, 08 45 58

May the Course be with You!

 Saturday morning came quickly. Up at 3:45 and out the door within the hour, Disneybound as ewoks, Wicket and Kneesa, we were on our way for our 10k. The first corral started promptly at 5:30am. I was lucky enough to be reunited with some of my favorites in Corral C (my friends James, Jessie, & Heather). Everyone’s favorite droids, C3PO and R2-D2, came out to see us all off along with the emperor of darkness, Darth Vader, and a couple of his stormtrooper pals. The course started at the Disneyland Hotel, a small amount of running through Anaheim and then into the parks, ending back at the Disneyland Hotel. There were a few hills in the beginning, but nothing too crazy (honestly, I LOVE running on hills. We don’t have them in Florida and I used to run hills all the time in Massachusetts.). By the end, I was having such a good run, I was ready to continue on and do the half marathon right then and there. The race route was great and after hearing people compare it to Avengers and the Disneyland Half, it seemed to be a common consensus.

James, Me, Jessie & Heather

Corral C buddies!

Photo Jan 17, 09 45 18Photo Jan 17, 09 45 13Photo Jan 17, 09 37 19

Kathryn & I as Ewoks and 10k finishers!

Kathryn & I as Ewoks and 10k finishers!

10k finishers!

10k finishers!

After the race and a short meet up with my friends, Kathryn and I took a trip to Goofy’s Kitchen to refuel and carb-load with the gang!

 Photo Jan 17, 11 08 34Photo Jan 17, 10 51 50Photo Jan 17, 11 44 07 (1)

Photo Jan 17, 11 52 48Photo Jan 17, 13 35 44

Saturday consisted of some simple park hopping and taking it “easy.” — According to my fitbit (which is not properly calibrated to my long strides), I covered over 20 miles for the day.

James, Perry, Katherine, Jay, Jen, & I

James, Perry, Katherine, Jay, Jen, & I

Sunday morning came much quicker than Saturday and as if I wasn’t already a bear when it comes to mornings, getting ready to run 13.1 miles did not make it any easier or desirable. A prompt 5:30am start again for those in Corral A. A pre-race meet up with Corral C buddies (Jessie & James). The course was somewhat similar with start and finish being the Disneyland Hotel, but hills were cut out and the last 7 miles of the race were outside the parks. There was a ton of course entertainment.; local high school bands and cheerleaders, cosplayers, and members of the 501st. My race highlight came around mile 8 when I finally realized I had been running neck and neck with a member of my favorite boyband, *NSYNC. That’s right everyone, I ran two races with Mr. Joey Fatone. (I screwed up taking a selfie and running at the same time, so I only have a few unflattering videos for my own discression, but a witness in my running partner, Jessie)! Luckily, it wasn’t my first time meeting him, so I won’t die from it. I finally realized during this race that I can actually run with someone, not Joey, my friend Jessie. Having someone who can run right within your pace is key, who knew?! Finish line partying was brief on this day as the pain set in slightly sooner than the day before.

Corral C buddies!

Corral C buddies!

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morning sunrise!

me & my half running partner, Jessie

me & my half running partner, Jessie

Photo Jan 18, 17 40 39

Exhaustion seemed to set in during the course of the day, but some park hopping still occurred.

 So all in all, I have no complaints about this race and cannot wait to do some more Disneyland races! Now that I am moving to California, there will surely be plenty in my future. As for doing the Rebel Challenge again? You bet I will be there for sign up as soon as it’s announced!!!

 Photo Jan 20, 15 55 15

Thanks for reading, may the force be with you!!!

Missing in Action

I’ve been absent from the blogging world lately, caught up in this crazy little thing called life.

It’s been a stressful month or so between vacation, graduation, illness, & other life scenarios, but I feel like I have made it out on top. I’ve had friends come & go (and I am absolutely grateful for the ones that have come into my life). My life in Orlando was short lived, but made me realize a lot about myself and those around me. I’ve got a lot planned for the next 6 months, including a bigger move than the one I made 5 years ago from Massachusetts to Florida. This time, my sights are set on California. I am completely ready for my gypsy soul to carry me across this beautiful country to new adventures and experiences. I feel like anyone I tell about my move immediately follows it up with “what do you plan to do there?” The truth is, I don’t know, and for the first time in my life, I am perfectly comfortable with the unknown journey ahead. So for the next few months, my plans are to work hard and play even harder to soak up every little last bit of my Florida experience. I will focus on the positive and ignore the negative. I can’t wait to share my stories along the way.
Thanks for reading!

“I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives for a reason,
Bringing something we must learn,
And we are led,
To those who help us most to grow,
If we let them,
And we help them in return,
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true,
But I know I’m who I am today,
Because I knew you…”

Read more: Wicked – For Good Lyrics | MetroLyrics