* Made of Glass *

Last weekend I went to see the Chihuly exhibit at the MFA. It was stunning. All of his glass sculptures were presented in dark black rooms with dramatic lighting and mirrored reflections, so the colors exploded. At first you are so amazed by the color, but then when you get close, you can really see the details of the textures, and the flow of the shapes. I couldn't help but think about what must have gone into creating these amazing works.

In one of the rooms was a long pathway full of intricate glass flora that immediately brought to mind an alice in wonderland sensibility. It was difficult for me to not get right inside it and start rolling around. I wanted to live in there forever. But, of course, it is glass, and rolling around in it would not be the wisest of choices, so I restrained myself. Below are some of the photos I took with my phone, but it doesn't do the feeling justice of standing right next to these sculptures.

While I was there I couldn't help but think about all the amazing museums I'm going to be visiting on my trip, and the "other worldliness" that I'll be feeling walking around these ancient cities. I still can't get over the fact that I have less than a month before I leave. I find myself sitting and staring blankly at a wall, not willing to accept that I'm actually doing this. Truth is though, I bought the tickets, I have the eurail pass, and aside from a bit more research, and maybe a wardrobe trial pack, I have nothing preventing me from going. Only my ego, where all my fears and insecurities live telling me this is a stupid idea, and I'm a loser for not just trying to live and work like everyone else in the world. Why do I need a 2 month long "vacation"?

But, I'm not looking at this trip as a vacation, although I know that is what it seems like to many people I talk to about this trip who are unaware of what I've been going through the past several years. This trip is a journey back to Maria. A necessary adventure to realize who I am, what I want, and find the strength, beauty, creativity, and compassion I know I have. Yes, I could have done this here in America, but traveling Europe is the jolt of the unknown and the unseen that will let me explore myself in ways I wouldn't be able to if I just stayed in Boston and meditated.

I need this trip like a child needs nutrition, to nourish my soul, my mind, and my body.

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* First Steps *

After my ticket purchase and hostel reservation, the first step to figuring out this trip was to find out how to get from the airport to the hostel. Success! So, now I feel much more secure that I won't be stranded with no idea what I'm doing. I at least have day 1 of 60 down, and it might not seem like much of an accomplishment to figure out, but it really is. I won't be able to plan out all 60 days, but I'm researching the places I want to hit, and a basic visual outline of each city and its metro stops.

Since I'm not working right now (this is officially my fourth day of freedom), I have the time to do this research so I'm not going to a new country blind. I want to have a basic orientation, a few phrases in the languages, and an idea of what I want to do in each place I visit. Although it's weird to not be planning for every single day/night, I'm feeling more comfortable knowing that at least I'll have a few plans set.

In the meantime, I've been hanging out with these two cool cats. Literally, they are cats. I'm cat-sitting for a week for a friend of mine.

Also, I made this awesome gnocchi tonight, and it came out great! Just some whole wheat gnocchi I bought from Trander Joe's, added marinara sauce, spinach and goat cheese. Pretty spectacular.

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* Changes *

Obviously I have been MIA from the blog world for the past 5 months. I have my reasons, but, I'm hoping to change it.

I actually have exciting news! I recently quit my job (last day was yesterday) in order to explore more of myself and the world. I bought a ticket to Barcelona in August, and another ticket from London to Boston in October. So, I have two months to travel around Europe, see all the amazing things in person that I've only seen on a slide projector in art history class. I've been wanting to do a trip like this for a while, but have never really had the guts, or a reason. Then I realized, I'm never going to have the guts or a reason, so why not give myself both?

So, here I am creating an opportunity for myself that will at least be amazing, and at most be life-changing. Sometimes, in order to move forward and become the person you want to be, you have to make some changes. Some of which can be extremely difficult, and most of which will make you feel a little unsteady. But, although change is never easy, it is inevitable. And, I've been fighting it for far too long. I'm ready for it now. Bring it on!

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