Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18th: List Friday: Cool Things I've Done Part 1

Hey Ho,

One of my affirmations for 2013 was to be aware and appreciative of my strengths, talents and spiritual gifts. In an effort to hold true to that, here's a partial list of Cool Things I have accomplished in my first 30 years of life. I was aiming for 10 or more, but I ran of blogging time and had to stop at 6 Things for now, I'll save the rest for future posts :)

6 Cool Things I Have Done That I Am Insanely Proud Of

- Climbed the Bell Tower of the Duomo in Florence Italy: For those unfamiliar, the Duomo is the common name for the Cathedral of  Santa Maria del Fiore (St. Mary of the Flowers), and is the main Cathedral in Florence. I was lucky enough to visit Italy twice when I was a teenager, once when I was 11 and again when I was 16. When I was 16, my brother Dan and I climbed all the way to the top of the Bell Tower of the Duomo, which is 414 steps and something like 277 feet tall. Was it Mount Everest? No, but it sure as heck was not easy. Very steep, very narrow. But the sense of accomplishment and the view from the top were TOTALLY worth it :)

- Drove a Horse and Wagon: My maternal grandmother is half French-Candian, and we still have family living in Canada. When I was a kid we were there visiting some of them, and my grandmother's cousin took us for a ride in his horse and wagon. I sat in the Driver's Box with him, and about halfway through the ride, he asked me if I wanted to take the reins. I remember being really excited and really scared. He guided the reins over to me and hung on for a few minutes while I got a feel for it, and then he let go.  It was only for a few minutes, and I didn't have to do anything particularly difficult ( make the horses turn or go around something, etc), but I will never forget that feeling. Pretty much everyone has walked a dog, so they're familiar with the tug of something on the end of a leash, but I cannot tell you what it feel like when HORSES are on the other end. You really get a feel for the strength and power horses have, and yet there is a  sensitivity there too, I barely had to move the reins at all to get them to respond to what I wanted them to do. AMAZING. In this life, I don't have a ton of experience with horses, though I have always loved them. Every experience riding, driving, etc, sticks out crystal clear in my head, and riding is definitely something I'd like to get better at in the future :)

- Drove Back and Forth from Syracuse, NY to Hilton Head Island, S.C. 6 times, Alone, With No Map and No Cell Phone. One of my best friends from middle school moved down to South Carolina, and on one my visits to him I met a man who would become my late high school/early college boyfriend. Between visiting said boyfriend, his family, and my friends down south, I made this drive pretty frequently, and way back in the dark ages before everyone had a cell phone and a GPS, I made this trip without either. I didn't even have a map. All I had was Highway Route Numbers: 81, 77, 26, 95. I took Rt.81 down to Virgina where I picked up Rt. 77, took Rt. 77 into South Carolina where I took a quick jump onto Rt. 26, and then took Rt. 95 out to Hilton Head. I made this drive in one day. 15 and 1/2 hours. I don't say this to make myself sound like a foolhardy badass. I took regular breaks, drove carefully and was always very aware of my surroundings and my safety. However, these drives were incredibly affirming and healing for me. I was proving to myself that I could do things on my own, that I had the courage and the ability to go on solo adventures. I got to see parts of the country I never would have if I had flown. It's been years since I made this drive, and I could still do it in my sleep :) I'm aching for another road trip.

- Been Performing Shakespeare Since the Age of 12. The first summer that I lived in Liverpool, NY, the summer between 7th and 8th grade, I signed up for Royal Fairytale Theatre's Shakespeare in the Rough Program, led by my dear friend Mimi Foxmorton. The play that Summer was *As You Like It*, and I was cast as Rosalind. That show was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Mr. Billy Shakes. I was his from the beginning. Today, I get paid to perform and teach Shakespeare :) This Dream actually came true and it makes me smile every day :)

-Won a Kennedy Center Award from the American College Theatre Festival for Stage Management. The Show was Blithe Spirit, a Comedy by Noel Coward :) Some of the finest Stage Management work I ever did :)

-Stopped Four Babies and One Adult from Choking: An 18-month old who was choking on a penny, an 11-month old who was choking on Cheerios, a 7-month old who was choking on a barrette, a 13-month old who was choking on a blueberry muffin, and a 20-something friend who was choking on a doughnut and scalding hot chocolate (they are all fine now, Thank Heavens). I credit all of these situations with Divine Providence, and two other things. One: having a Police Officer for a Father and a Nurse for a Mother, and learning early on that in an emergency, above all things, You. Do. Not. Panic. Second, when I was 11 years old, I took a Babysitting Certification Course co- taught by the Red Cross and a local hospital, where I learned the swide-finger swipe technique that I used on all the infants, and of course, basic CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, etc. In my opinion, EVERYONE should take a class like this.

Sometimes I feel like I'm not good for much, really. But then I look back over stuff like this and I realize that I really am a strong, talented person with a love of adventure, life, new exepriences, etc. I like that :) And I like Me ;)

More to Come!
Happy Friday :)

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