Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ok. When I think of heaven, or that magical place where everything is good, THIS is the image that comes to my mind: the sun shinning through the California kelp beds. So here it is for all to see, and consider it a welcome to this journey. The Watson year, Swimming Around the World, living well, exploring, being challenged, discovering, having adventures...I'd like to think of it all as a reflection of this image, because life is good, and shit, I'll never know what is coming next, and so it is in my best interest to believe that heaven is here, and now, and not tomorrow, or after whatever it is I am doing, or when I die, or whatever. I guess that I am tired of waiting. I've been thinking like this for a while now, probably because I have experienced a number of grand events/accomplisments. Things like college graduation, which means the fufillment of my Six Year Plan, leaving Maine, the Potter Street Co-Op, and all those beautiful amazing people, taking the MCAT (and who knows how that went?), and most recently, embarking on this year abroad. With so many occasions so close together, I've come to realize that life is a little more continuous than I had previously thought- meaning that my persective won't suddenly change when I graduate from school or leave the country. If that were the case, I'd have changed into a whirlwind of personality over these past few months. Instead, what I do expect is a solid and gradual change grounded in my vision that we can enjoy life to a max. And I am down to embrace the bumps in the road, the feelings of desperation and sorrow, feeling lost, and all those other things we generally try to avoid. I don't believe that it is all easy, life woudn't be interesting if it were, but at the least I can stay positive.

So here is what I have to do this next year (these are both personal goals and the requirments of the Watson Fellowship)

1) Stay out of the US for a full year, avoiding countries on the US State Dept. Travel Warning List and places I have been before
2) Keep swimming, everyday if possible (and I should make it possible)
3) Try to organize a few transnational swims around the world: Strait of Gibraltar and Gulf of Aqaba
4) Work on the language skills
5) Help to develop a Junior Lifeguard program in Lima, Peru
6) Cultivate that postitive vision and embrace the challenges
7) Write about what is going on. Hence, this blog
8) Stay open to adding or subtracting anything from this list

Now, a few words about the summer...

Yeah. Two of the Potter Street Pirates, Madelyn and Charles, getting ready for an afternoon in the kelp beds of Nicholas Canyon. There were many visitors that came to the Culver City home, and thank you Dad and Monamom for your always warm welcome. So much love.

The family, missing the older brother Ben, but still able to enjoy the beaches of Santa Monica together. I love you'all so much.
The Junior Guards. I spent the summer working with a group of super cool C's, kids ages 9 to 11. We learned an array of lifeguarding skills, including ocean swimming, surfing, CPR and First Aid.

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