Love, Uncategorized, Writing

365 days since the day before you.

It’s been 365 days since the day before you.

For 25 years I had been living my life without you. It seems strange really, to think about all of the times that I sat awake at night simply wondering who you were. Had I met you before? Were we already friends?

When I think about the days and years before you, I feel so much. Emotions crash through my mind like a whirlwind and I think of loves lost and forgotten. I think of all the things I love that I’ve accomplished. I think of all of the holidays and parties where I wished you were by my side. I didn’t even know you then, but I longed to.

Last year, on this day I didn’t know you. I didn’t know that you had the most amazing hazel eyes that I would ever see. I didn’t know that someday I would sit for hours by your side, holding your hand and talking about our future, and our pasts.

I didn’t know that the very next day, you would capture my attention and never let it go.

I think about the emptiness I felt 365 days ago. The hopelessness and fear of never finding you. It’s funny how one day can change your world forever. It’s funny to think about the fact that 365 days ago from this moment, I didn’t know that the next 24 hours would change my life forever.

There’s no longer any emptiness inside of me. You have invaded my heart so thoroughly that I can never escape your love. I can’t imagine loving you even more than I do now in another 365 days, but we’ll see won’t we?

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Corina Goes, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing

She was the tide.

I wish I could be a good blogger. A blogger who actually follows up on all the post ideas that she thinks of and who blogs things in chronological order, and shares travel diaries after trips and Friendsgiving posts before Thanksgiving is officially over.

But you know what? I’m not, and that’s okay. Because blogging to me is simply about releasing emotions. It’s about driving down the road and hearing a song and putting the words in my head and the feelings in my heart to paper (or you know, the internet). It’s about simply releasing these words into a place that is far bigger than the four corners of my mind.

Usually my blog posts come about because I bottle my emotions for far, far too long and then music, hearing a simple song, breaks my heart quite literally in half. There are some songs that just get me. Or I get them, I can never tell for sure. It’s almost like there are certain songs, and certain chords, that pull on my heartstrings until I can’t hold my emotions back anymore.

But guess what? This time I’m trying something new. Instead of breaking first, I’m writing. And I have so many thoughts.

This year has been a crazy season in my life. I’m looking back now, in December, and realizing that I never truly understood what it meant when those older than me told me to cherish the time that I have now, in this present moment, because growing up makes everything pass by more quickly than ever.

It seems like just a few weeks ago that I made my one big New Years resolution. And now, after 11 months, I’ve decided to break it.

Here’s the thing.

My New Years resolution was a travel goal. If you know me, then you know that it’s my passion to adventure and to explore, and I have a job that gives me the incredible opportunity to travel the world. I’ve found that it’s both a blessing and a curse to work for an airline. The blessing is that travel doesn’t break the bank, and the curse is that it puts an insatiable taste for adventure in your soul. At least, it does for me.

Last January, I decided that I wanted to see more. I had been working at American Airlines for a year and a half by then and I’d tested the waters of standby travel and decided that I couldn’t waste my benefits and that I had to do more. I made a goal: 12 months, 12 trips. It didn’t matter if they were big or small, I was going to get out and explore at least once a month.

And I did. With the exception of the month of August where I was part of a wedding shower, bridal shower, bachelorette party and wedding, I’ve gone on at least one trip per month. (I actually did plan a day-trip in August where my flight got cancelled right after I got through security because of the weather, but we don’t have to talk about that.)

You guys, I’ve flown 56,584 miles around the world this year. That’s 2.3x around the entire EARTH. I’m very proud of myself, but there’s also something else. Something that’s been lingering in the back of my mind. I’ve tried to push it down because I didn’t want to face the facts. That I was exploring to my hearts content, seeing places that other people only dreamed about, and at the end of the day. I wasn’t fulfilled.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have LOVED traveling this year. From Japan to London to Milwaukee to Maine to Lisbon. It’s been incredible. My camera roll currently holds 26,000+ photos and I look back at them sometimes and can’t actually believe that I’ve been able to see what I have in my lifetime. I don’t take the ability to travel for granted, and I never will.

But last week, I had one of the lowest days of my life. I can remember the tears running down my face as a friend heard me hurting and became a listening ear to my pain. She didn’t judge me or try to fix me, she simply listened. And I appreciate that more than words can say.

I think it all started with my previous post. It’s like a tiny little match lit with those words I wrote and I realized that this year, traveling has been my way of escape. It’s hard for me to talk about traveling when I get home. It’s almost like I want to bottle those moments away for myself only. Like when I’m traveling, I’m a different person.

I read something today that really put this year into perspective.

“She was the tide, always drifting in and out of the lives of those who loved her, eternally indecisive, unable to discern whether she enjoyed the solidity and safety of land, or the wild freedom of the ocean.”

-Beau Taplin // W i l d O c e a n

My heart craves adventure. And even though I wouldn’t change this year at all, I feel like I need to re-evaluate. I’ve been drifting, in and out of those moments of wild freedom and I’ve realized that it’s not enough to block out the fears and the unfulfilled desires that I have when I get back home. I don’t want my passion of traveling to become a hiding place. A place that seems magical to those on the outside, who only see brief moments captured in time on my social media feed.

And so I’ve decided, I’m okay with breaking this goal with one month left in the running. I’ve been learning that my stubbornness doesn’t always lead me to the best decisions. I’ve been learning how to listen to my fears instead of pushing them away. I don’t know all the answers. I don’t know what will happen in the next week or month, or year. But I know one thing. I know that I’m human. And that it’s okay to hurt sometimes. And that every single thing happens for a reason.

It’s time to trust, and to explore my heart a little bit, and to accept the people, the situations, and the dreams and the disasters that God puts in my way.

XOXO,

C

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Corina Goes, Iceland, Travel, Writing

Iceland

I remember the way the stars looked when we stopped on the side of the road and leaned our faces out the car window on our midnight search for the Northern Lights. 
I remember the way I felt that week. Like adventure was always just beyond my fingertips and all I could think was to reach reach reach and take all I could wrap my fingers around. 
I remember the rushing of the water as it poured over the falls and the way my breath froze over and over and over again until we had to go back even when we could have stayed there forever. 
I remember the city streets and the colorful buildings and the view from the top of the church tower as we took in all we could and pushed it deep deep deep into our memories so we would never forget this moment. 
I remember the way my heart ached when I thought about leaving the only foreign country that actually felt like home because it’s been aching since I’ve gone. 
I remember these things as the weather gets colder here and I long for the brisk clean air and a long drive down a singular highway and the greatest desire to be lost but somehow found among the beauty and the stars and the dancing lights and the magic of it all. 

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Love, Uncategorized, Writing

The Unseen River. 

There’s a river held behind my eyes.
Blocked by an unseen dam,
I feel unseen, I don’t feel alive.
If you can’t love me, then who can?
I’m ready for this holding force to give way,
To break, to rush, to scream.
For emotions to spill and pour and leak away.
It’s so easy to block the things not wanted.
It’s so easy to shut the door on pent up feelings and desires.
It’s so easy to sweep the pieces into little corners and crevices, out of the way,
Until they aren’t.
Until a small sliver, a tiny crack in the dam, a drip of water, and
Suddenly
Overwhelming thoughts and hopes long forgotten and dreams once hidden are exposed, raw, vulnerable.
And it’s not easy anymore. It’s not effortless. And you’re so afraid that if you see yourself for who you really are, for all those dreams that haven’t come true, for all those desires darkening the hidden corners of your heart,
Everyone else will see them too.

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Travel, Uncategorized, Writing

The Year of Twenty-Two. 

11:58 PM found me locked in my bedroom, earphones in, my face covered in LUSH Ocean Salt Facial Scrub (trust me, it’s magical),  and having the time of my life jamming to T Swift’s 22 for the last time while actually twenty-two. 

Twenty-two has been an incredible year for me! From graduating college and moving back home, to getting a successful business job (yay for adulting!), to traveling the world, I have seen and grown and explored to my heart’s content. 

I have road tripped the entire East Coast, explored Maine, NYC, and Boston with my best friend, and checked three continents off my list (Europe, Asia, and Africa). 

I have discovered the pure joy and fascination one can get from growing and watching plants and flowers as they thrive under your care. Green living things have taken over my apartment like you wouldn’t believe and I’m totally okay with it. #crazyplantlady 

There have been struggles, heart break, and hard times this year but through it all, I’ve learned a couple of things:

  1. Being able to afford all the clothes and coffee and home decor I want can never feel as good as being broke and traveling the world. 
  2. Try new things even if they scare you! The first thought I had when my mum bought me my first house plant (on my birthday no less) was utter terror that I would kill it off faster than it could grow. I look back at that moment and can’t help but laugh at myself. (I also want to cry when I think about not having a house full of thriving plant children…) But, seriously.  Also, if anyone needs some ivy cuttings hit me up, yo. I can’t bare to trim them and throw them away. I know, I know, I’m crazy. 
  3. Never ever ever refuse someone’s help when moving. Lesson learned. 
  4. Give God all you’ve got, and more. I have never in my life been as blessed as I have this year. You can hear it as many times as you listen, but until you truly sacrifice of yourself (time, money, energy, etc) for God, you will never know the true value of living for the Lord.  I could tell you of so many things this past year that have really made this statement ring true in my life! 
  5. All the iPhone pictures in the world will never be able to compare to the beauty of seeing that view from the cliff overlooking the clear turquoise ocean, or the giraffes bathed in the first light of morning and mist in the distance while driving through a safari, or the spectacular view of the River Thames and the sparkling city lights of London. So don’t forget to take in the moment, put down your phone, your camera and all other distractions, and breath in the fresh salty air, let yourself feel like the tiniest part of the universe while taking in the views from the London Eye, and enjoy the ultimate feeling of freedom in the majestic African wildlife while pretending to be Queen of the Safari. All the pictures in the world will never be worth the memories, I promise. 

As I drove to work today (yay, adulting?), I may or may not have been belting out Queen Bey’s Grown Woman with my front seat filled with flowers and succulents (the fam bam knows me too well). I am so blessed and can not wait to see where The Year of Twenty-Three will take me! No need to fear, I will still be dancing and feeling 22, my wanderlust will continue to grow, and I’ll still be overwhelming your instagram accounts with my plant babes. Happy Thursday! XOXO

  

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Love, Uncategorized, Writing

Home. 

I always have this feeling that I will meet you away from home. Away from everything I have always known. And because of that, I will know in an instant that you are the one I will spend the rest of my life with. The one that can make me feel completely safe away from familiarity. The one who can break away my comfortable shell and replace it with new feelings of tangible love and adventure. You will be my home away from home. 

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Uncategorized, Writing

My middle name is Love. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. I’ve been thinking about the moment my great grandmother decided to give my grandmother a name that would one day be passed down to a child she had never met. A child that would someday grow into a woman who would wander through life believing in the one true miracle of love.

I am that wandering child. My middle name is Love. I believe in magical moments. I believe that the opening chords of a song can touch a place deep within a person’s heart and touch memories that release their deepest feelings and hopes and dreams. I believe in nostalgia and wonder and magic. I believe that true love never fails and everyday, I am reminded of this by the love of My Saviour, Jesus Christ. Everyday I am amazed that His love can last forever. I am astounded that as a tiny spec in the galaxy, I am even noticed enough to be a recipient of His love. 

I have been a giver of love and I have been a receiver of love. I have been a recipient of heartbreak, and I have questioned the meaning of love with every fiber of my being. I have cried tears of happiness over being loved and I have also shed tears of heartbreak. I have doubted love and I have been afraid to open my heart to love again. I have lived and I have grown and I have come to realize that not all love will last forever. I count it a blessing to have been able to experience true love. And someday, I believe I will be equally as blessed to experience the magnificent joy of true love again. 

Love is a word that I have learned not to take for granted. 

I have loved many things in this short life I have lived, and I know I have so many more things and places and people to add to the list. 

I love a good swing set with an incredible view of the stars. I love the rush of wind that sweeps over my face and rushes in between my hair and makes the slight bubble of laughter involuntarily escape from my lips because with every ounce of my strength I am nearing the stars. I love the three bright stars that make up Orion’s Belt and how they are a constant reminder of many lovely memories past. 

I love the way a plane increases with such force until it finally breaks free from gravity and points it’s way into higher and more unexplored territories. I love the feeling of turbulence because it reminds me of roller coasters and butterflies in my stomach and the feeling of two hands intertwined for the first time. 

I love the feeling of opening up the door that leads me into a home filled with my favorite people on earth. I love the joyous shouts calling my name and the tangle of arms that surround me as the purest acts of affection are given. 

I love the overwhelming feeling and the tears that slide silently down my cheeks when I am surrounded by the presence of the Lord. 

I love roots. And the way they curl and tangle and grow together until one finds it almost impossible to separate them. I love the immense satisfaction that comes with watching a plant grow and knowing that your care is recognized with each new leaf that opens and each new bud that blooms. 

I love the day it first feels like summer and I love the day when it first feels like winter. I love sidewalks filled with leaves and boots crunching in the snow. I love sunshine and I love shadows and I love the ripples of light that play across my bedroom walls. 

I love taking old and broken things and bringing them back to life. With words, with strokes of a paintbrush over an old canvas, with kindness and with tender care. 

I love being able to share my love and I love the feeling of being loved. 

I know that my great grandmother wasn’t thinking of a somewhat quirky and awkward girl called Corina when she gave my grandmother her middle name. I know I was never able to meet her, but if I did, I would look in her eyes with as much gratitude as I could muster, and I would thank her for giving me something I could hang on to with all of my heart. I would thank her for the constant reminder to share love wherever I go. I feel like I know my great grandmother through my middle name. I can imagine the way her ballet slippers swept across the studio floor as she practiced her dance. I can imagine the graceful way she twirled and the look in her eyes as she practiced one of the many things that she loved. I can imagine the emotions colliding within her as she held my grandmother in her arms for the first time and could only think of naming her after the feeling bursting in her own heart. I am so grateful to my own mother for passing along the memory of two of the greatest women in my family line. 

As I sit in this parking lot, frantically writing down the words that seem to spill out of my heart, tears slide down my cheeks and I can’t help but feel content and nostalgic and overwhelmed. I look forward to finding new things, new people, and new memories to look back on with such violent waves of love as I am feeling now. 

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