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Mantra? Life Motto?

Call it what you will....but this one saved me.

sunny 50 °F

Cards. Guns. Paradise. Destiny.

It all started when I packed my life into two big bags (one of which was entirely my SCUBA & underwater photography equipment) about to head Honduras for one week and then straight to Ecuador for another 6 months. One of my final pieces of preparation for this next chapter was to go on a search for my "Quote Card". Maybe it's the high-school girl that will forever live in me a little bit, but I wanted to find something to hang on my mirror that would bring me strength, inspiration, serenity, comfort, excitement....whatever I needed.

Really just a series of words strung together, but there would be something about these words, in such an order that would just strike me - something that would become my 'go-to', my 'comfort blanket'. I remember spending over two hours roaming the card aisle of FACES in Northampton, MA....until I had the perfect one. In the card store that December day I had no idea how much this now tattered, coffee-stained, very-loved, eco-friendly greeting card cover would go through / see me through.

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It's first big test was just three weeks in, after our hotel room was robbed at gun point by a group of men.

Supportive parents, a compassionate college community, a new best friend, the love of my life (well, then..), and lots of other factors contributed to being able to pick-up the pieces after that night and move forward. But, seriously. This little greeting card did empower me. It reminded me that I was in Ecuador to DO AMAZING THINGS, for myself, on my own. And nothing/nobody was going to take that away. It has taken a very, very long time but I am learning to embrace that experience as a pivotal moment that made me choose how I handle fear/trauma. I DIDN'T RUN AWAY, back home to Massachusetts.

And good thing too. Because over the next few months on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, I would get up each morning at 5am to run before the blazing, hot, sun-of-death would be beating down....that I truly feel in love with mulit-sport. It was where I gathered everything I needed to make the decision to pursue racing when I got home instead of grad school. My mom always says that 'things happen for a reason'.

And it's taken me twenty-something years to admit it, but "Damn...that lady is pretty much always right"

And so began the tradition of "Life Quote Card". This one that started it all has since traveled on various adventures to The Philippines, London, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Hungary before moving across the country to reside in Colorado with me. It hangs on my fridge, because ummmm......let's be real, as an athlete now, I see my fridge more often than I see the mirror.

I've had quite a few little mantras over the years...each seeming to serve their own purpose for that period of time and each coming to me in an unusually perfect way. With the exception of that first one, I have never gone out searching for one.

Not that there are "Rules" for the "Life Quote Card" but.....there are
1. I'm pretty sure you just need to make the jump and find your first one, the rest will find you in a 'pay it forward' kind of way.
2. Since you can't buy/search out cards for yourself beyond that first one, your job becomes to every so often find something for someone you care about....maybe you'll send the exact something someone you love needs at just the right time.

A Glimpse In The Archives

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Random package from my little sister after living in CO for a while. She reminded me that family is close, roots are deep and home will always be there...no matter where I journey or for how long.

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I have finally learned that when I get to this point, these feelings....it is time to go. Time to move forward. Move on. Start clean.

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Helps me remember that goals are more than just desire.
They take action, and that action is in the form of 'a lot of freakin' work'

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Reminds me that we're getting older every day,,,and everyday is a good day to do what makes you happy. And if what makes you happy is launching off a homemade jump with goggles on in a cardboard box plane....well. Shit, GET TO IT!

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Sent from Montana from my brain twin, Amanda. We saved each others lives in Ecuador.....literally. This card and her amazing spirit are my reminder of what true friendship is and what kind of friend we should all strive to be.

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There are countless choices we make each day, each minute....Choose Brightly.

Well. There it is.
If it makes me weird, that's fine.
It's just something that works for me.

Next time your out and about...why not spend some time browsing around the card shop?
A little inspiration never hurt anyone.

Here's to peace, opening up and honey almond butter,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 21:00 Archived in USA Tagged travel independence quotes living_abroad inspiration triathlon being_scared being_strong

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Comments

I find it very appropriate that this is the first blog I will comment on :)

First off, you are so totally right and so good at saying things perfectly. That was such a pivotal moment in my life as well, its hard to imagine what I would be like without that experience. Everything does happen for a reason, and despite the fact it was CRAZY to stay, our lives will never be the same in a good way.

Also, thank you. Thank you for staying with me and demanding we were both fine, running in the blazing sun of death, eating wet bananas and too much rice, journaling like our lives depended on it, recusing exotic shells from the sea lions and me from under a boat, and for bringing everything back in perspective!
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Love you!

by Amanda

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