Travel Detours

Leave it to what was supposed to be a fun and adventurous overseas trip, to have you come home feeling unbalanced and slightly defeated, and it is not to be for the reasons you would think.

A week of fun is what it was supposed to be. The first half of the week was to be a bit more relaxing under the Florida sun. A bit of beach time mixed in with some booze and good food was all it was meant to be for the four of us. Each traveler, carrying far more weight than what was contained in their luggage, were anxiously awaiting this mini getaway from the harsh realities of a cold Jersey life. Now looking back at it, I guess it wasn’t a total shock that by day two of this 4-day excursion the group had let a small ripple course between them. Not all was lost, and we were able to enjoy the last full day we had together as a unit, but no matter. The air felt thick and I was very much ready to get to the latter half of my vacation, the one I was really waiting for.

A four-day music festival in the capital of Colombia, Bogota with over a hundred bands and DJs from all over the world were set to perform on this little trip. I had never been to anything of the sort, and I would be lying to you if I said that I wasn’t at all nervous about going. Months prior I had been invited by a good friend of mine and since then I had talked another good friend of mine to tag along with me. She was also tagging along on the first half of the trip to Florida, we needless to say, I was comfortable with leaving the good ol’ USA to head to a an “out of this world” experience. Being 36, who knew if I’d ever get a chance like this again, especially at an age that is still deemed “acceptable” for me to attend. With a bit of a rocky start to this week’s travel endeavors, I was stoked to be flying somewhere totally new. After our 4 am, hour long drive to the airport, we excitedly exited our Uber and headed inside to the terminal. Our excitement lasted for what seemed only a breath for the second we arrived at the front desk that moment of happiness was snatched up by one young lady simply doing her job.

Again, hindsight is a little bitch, because looking back, it all almost seemed too easy. We had arrived at the airport with more than plenty of time. There was no line to wait into so as soon as we printed out our baggage tickets, we were able to move right through to the very front. The girl who called us up was pleasant enough for it being so early in the morning, not to mention when we initially walked in, she was having trouble with an irate customer. She swiftly moved through all our paperwork without a hiccup, and finally with our suitcases on the baggage belt, it was at this very moment the air had been sucked out of us.

“Ok ladies, lastly I just need to see your proof of COVID vaccination card or proof of a negative test please.”

It seemed like I stared at her for a full 20 seconds before asking her what she meant, as if I hadn’t known what she meant. Was I subconsciously stalling? Most likely. I mean I didn’t have my card on me, no test, and neither did my friend. NEITHER of us had thought to look since both of us had already flown to multiple countries by this point without ever being asked for documentation. Naively, we both had thought this entire COVID shit had blown over. After dancing around with the girl for a couple of minutes in regard to what our options were, we decided to allow her to reschedule our flights for free for the very next day, in hopes that we’d be able to find some place to test within those 24hrs. Testing wasn’t going to be the problem, getting the results back in time was. Regardless, we were turned away without a way to fly, and as we sat in the airport deciding what to do next, I couldn’t help but admire our composure. Most people in our shoes would have lost their shit, and although I wanted to scream due to our stupidity of the situation, I couldn’t. I didn’t blame the airline for not sending out a reminder email that this destination was a “COVID Restricted Access” location or whatever. I couldn’t blame the friend who had invited us for not mentioning it, even if he had been flying back and forth to Colombia just recently. At the end of it all, it was our own fault.

To make a VERY long story short, we were not going to receive our results in time, and although we still took it just in case, we decided to make moves in case such was to happen. Which it did.

In our hastened (and very tired) state of mind, we ended up booking an Airbnb that was NOT what was advertised. This was the cherry on our nightmare sundae because when we arrived we completely deflated. The neighborhood was sketchy to say the least, with about 20 stray cats littering the roads, sidewalks, and driveways. Broken down cars and barred up windows decorated the, what was described to be as, a “quaint” neighborhood. Inside it was dark, dirty, and musty, not at all like the beautifully bright “cottage” stated in the ad. Even opening up all the windows didn’t help this place. There was a huge rat trap under the bathroom sink. The handles on most of the drawers throughout the place were broken or completely missing. Duct tape framed the door leading outside, most likely to help keep out the pests, and while we tried to make the most of this place, there was just no way that we’d be able to stay 4 nights here. Zero.

It was the moment that my friend and I looked at each other, our eyes meeting over top of the overused, grungy brown leather couch, that we decided to not let this ruin our trip. Since the airport, we had been firm in our decision to make the most of it, and this Airbnb was not going to make up for us missing our music festival. We put not only our funds but also our thinking caps together and made moves to turn this vacation around. We booked an affordable hotel in St. Pete, rented a car, and came up with a game plan. On our drive from the Airbnb to the hotel we did research on places to site see, as well as restaurants, bars, etc. Throughout our unexpected St. Pete 4 night stay we did all that and more.

Was this week what I expected? Was it what I thought I wanted? Nope. Not by the least bit. Can I say that maybe it was more of what I needed? Sure. Maybe I didn’t need to go into my work season with a bang? Maybe this wasn’t the time for me to enjoy my most authentic self under a barrage of musical artists and slight consumption of hallucinogenic goodies. On my way home from Florida, I discovered that what was supposed to be my flight back home from Bogota to Tampa was actually cancelled, meaning that if I had gone to Colombia, I would have been stranded coming home. The kicker was that even though my friend and I had been flying on the same flight, it was only my ticket that had been canceled, not my friend’s ticket. Could it have been fate that stood in our way that morning we were to fly out? I’m not a believer in coincidences. I am, however, a believer at looking at the glass half full. This entire ordeal could have been worse by simply allowing for external shit to affect my internal world. It was not easy, in fact, I arrived home more exhausted than if I would have spent the 4 days at the music festival. It was a test in emotional and mental strength, and I feel as though I passed with flying colors. Although in the very thickness of it I did not see what good would come, I now know that it’s moments like those that make up what is life’s real adventure.


Losing A Buddy: Pets

I knew that the passing of my 19 yr old dog was imminent. I braced for it, probably coming to terms with it much earlier than most would have. When I got my cat Stella, I figured he would be such a support. And he was…for 3 months and then he, too, died.

There are things that I still cannot get used to, and I never realized how hard it truly would be. Not just normal routines now broken, such as daily feedings and walks. Or calling out for them randomly just to hear their paws against the floors coming out towards you. Or even hearing their name out loud, because now, there isn’t any of that either. But, for instance, I notice that I now leave a pile of clothes at the foot of my bed, something I’ve never done before. You could always find Stella there at the very end of every night until the moment he felt me stir awake in the morning. It’s a weird feeling not feeling his big, warm body there against my toes when I’m stretching out. I can only expect that is the very reason why I’ve now been randomly leaving piles of whatever where he once laid.

I now always see movements in my peripheral where I felt like my dog once walked. It’s almost like I see a furry, white, blurry ball of cotton moving around. I look, and for a split second, I see her staring up at me, head cocked to the side, wondering who knows what. But that’s a mirage. She’s not there, nor will she be. It’s like my mind and body are still catching up to what my heart has come to already accept.

I knew that losing a pet would be hard. Losing both was soul crushing. Sometimes life feels a little empty, as if I no longer have a real purpose to be stable anymore. I’ve been filling up my time with a bit more of me time, which falls in alignment with winter and hibernation season. I’ve gotten to go on a couple extra little adventures and have also done a bit of splurging on myself. I hadn’t realized how much money it took raising my babies. Yet, none of that is comforting in moments when I wish so bad they were back here and annoying the shit out of me. Stella always bumping his fuzzy, soft-ball sized head against my hand any time I wrote. Melita barking at me to toss her the toy she only brought halfway towards me.

People ask me all the time, “Am I ready for another dose of pawppy love??” Sure. There’s nothing like it. But I’m not searching. I have a feeling my next four legged best bud is going to find me, so in the mean time, I’m just here hanging out, getting used to the new norm until it no longer is. It is obvious that I will never forget my two little beanies and that the love I hold for them will live in me forever. There’s talk about a rainbow bridge at the end of this short journey, and that’s where we reunite with all of those we love who have also met the end of their journey, that’s including our beloved pets. Not that I’m rushing, but I look forward to the day I get to bury my face in theirs, enjoying their company once again.

The Universe, A Trickster

The Universe has one hell of a humor. For instance, I loathe waking up before the sun is up. For whatever reason since a child, I’ve had to get up ridiculously early, be it for school during the week, or, if school was out, to get to the babysitter’s house before mom went into her 5am shift. I wouldn’t say there’s trauma, but I’ve definitely developed a distaste for getting up early, especially for things that I have to do versus want to do.

Anyways, in the last couple of days, I’ve been diving a bit deeper into some self-discovery. I took my days off this week and dedicated that time to me, and during this time I decided to look into what yoga classes my local studio had available. I was excited to see that they had a 6am class on the morning I was to go back to work, and although I dislike getting up so early, with a late start time for work, why not? I love yoga. There’s not much motivation needed to get me to go, it’s timing that usually gets in the way. So I decided that I would wake up and get to that 6am Power Yoga class to begin the start of my work week off right. I set up all I’d needed the night before, clothes, mat, work gear, etc had some tea before bed, an earlier bedtime than usual to avoid being cranky. I was all set and ready to go.

My alarm goes off. An angelic little ringtone I set as to not be jolted awake by too harsh of an alarm. I decided the night before to set my phone across the room so that I would have to get out of bed to turn it off. Leaving it next to my bed just leaves me, still, too comfortable to get out of bed until I absolutely have to. I tumble out of bed, and only half consciously get ready for my class. It’s not until about 15 mins later that I then take a glance at my phone and see a text message from an unsaved number. Not crazy since I just recently lost my phone on a trip to Jamaica and lost all of my contacts. As I open the message and read on, it states that the 6am Power Yoga class has been canceled due to a medical emergency. This is why I know the Universe is a prankster, and I don’t know who got a bigger laugh, her or me.

I did not find myself going back to bed, and not because I wouldn’t have but because I had already had a morning coffee and for me, there is no coming back from that. Instead, I now sit in front of my journal and create a bit. I think back to yesterday and how I had just read an article on how to make the most of your days. In one point it mentioned how waking up at 5am is beneficial to getting more out of your day as well as creating a healthier sleep cycle. I crack a smile at this because this is no coincidence.

For me, the biggest bummer of this was the fact that I was in the middle of finishing up a dream. Ironically, at the point that my alarm went off, I was saying ‘goodbye’ to all of those who helped me on my journey, or at least that’s what it felt like. I do remember that I was able to say bye to the two who guided me the most, or again, that’s what it felt like. The first was a woman, her hair pinned back at the sides like a 1940s war nurse. She wore a thin white silky, dress, with flowers embroidered on the hem of the skirt part. She was taller than me, slim, and hugged me tight as we said our goodbyes. As she pulled away tearfully walks away, she says to me, “Don’t forget your mother isn’t the only one who took care of you…” and her voice trails away. I’m then quickly distracted because I feel the urgency of having to say bye to the others. I see a young man; it was obvious that our hearts tugged for one another. As I make my way to him, I push past a ‘better’ looking chap who is trying to half-ass give me a kiss. He feels embarrassed but I don’t care. His vibe was “Gaston” ish from Beauty and the Beast. I move right past him and his inflated ego and wrap my arms tightly around ‘my’ guy, taking him by surprise. He seems sad, as he knew this day was coming. I hold him tight and say, “Thank you.” Looking over his shoulder I see an older man, standing in the distance. He seemed wiser. He patiently waited for his turn to say his farewells. Then, all of the sudden, like air being vacuumed out, I woke up to my alarm.

The feeling I came out with was that of wanting to have been given the chance to say bye to the others. Yet, I was content with being able to see the two that I did. Who were they? It was as if we all knew I wasn’t supposed to be there forever, wherever “there” is. I’m a firm believer in receiving messages through our dreams. I may not know exactly what this morning’s dream message was exactly, but I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be moving into a different phase of my life quite shortly.

My Walk Remembered

After a much needed “me” morning that included reading tarot, journaling, and a mini meditation session, I decided that I wanted to extend my personal time. I showered, dressed, pack a small backpack, and off I went to interact with the Universe. From the moment I stepped onto the sidewalk I knew I had made the right decision. Instead of walking on the main roads towards the boardwalk, I opted to cut through the backstreets, making my way through neighborhoods I never really drive through. With headphones in, random songs setting the soundtrack to my day, I gazed at little quaint houses, cottage-style homes I never knew existed. Meanwhile on the very same street, huge mansions were in the process of being built. At times the home being so big it casted dark shadows over humble homes. I enjoyed looking at these different houses, taking in their outdoor decor, and imagining the array of personalities that lived within those walls.

The weather was grey with a slight chill and a lazy breeze. It was early afternoon, so it wasn’t very busy. There was a sprinkle of people walking their dogs, but my first interaction was with a woman, blocks deep into my walk. She was alone and walked with a purpose. I saw her from a few houses away. From a distance she seemed young and athletic, her curly hair bounced with every determined step. She walked on the same sidewalk as I did, and as she got closer, I noticed she was an older woman, who looked pretty darn good for her age. Those bouncy curls were locks of whitish grey, slight lines decorated the sides of her eyes and smile. Her smile was the best. As we passed each other, in a gesture of greeting one another, we smiled. Her smile was big and bright, and it was yet another sign that I was on my proper path. Her smile made me feel so good that I too put a bit of a pep in my step, bouncing to the beat that played in my ears.

Once I got to the boardwalk, it was as if I was the only person in the world. It was completely empty of other people for miles that I could see. The waves crashed repeatedly to my right, and to my left were high rise condos and multimillion-dollar homes. No matter which way I looked there was something to observe. It’s obvious that beachfront properties are worth a pretty penny and why, but as I look at these homes, most of them empty, some to be sold while others have been left completely abandoned, it looked to me as though being wealthy isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I compare the humble homes from the earlier neighborhood to these cold and empty mansions, and to me, there is no comparison. I much prefer a humble abode to a lifeless castle.

Right before the residential area turns into commercial properties, there’s a break, and within this area lies a playground. This is where I found my first sight of humans since stepping foot onto the boardwalk. There were 3 young adults, 2 guys and 1 girl, and then 2 kids, 1 boy, and 1 girl. As I slowly shortened the distance between us I noticed that the 2 girls were playing on the jungle gym, while the boys played frisbee. Watching them all play brought love to my heart. It was a beautiful moment to capture, people laughing and enjoying, fully, their present moment. On one of their tosses, the frisbee lands close to where I walked. One of the men runs over and to me, he looked like the sun. We made eye contact and his crisp blue eyes, pierced me like an ocean wave crashing into me. His golden dreads danced around his face like warm rays of sunshine. His smile said to me, “Hello there! Nice to see ya! Have a great day now!” I continued my walk feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside.

I felt like I was in complete alignment with everything around me. Even the animals were feeling my vibe. Squirrels wouldn’t run away but instead stood in their place observing me. Birds did not fly away, instead, they sat there because deep down inside their intuition said to them, “She’s here to enjoy her day just like you.”

It wasn’t all great. The moment I went from one town into the city, the difference was immediate. The upkeep and cleanliness of the boardwalk, its benches, plants, retail shops, etc declined tremendously. More people were walking around, but these people weren’t as warm and welcoming, more pained, stressed, and sad. This is a reminder that life is balanced and where there is beauty, within steps, there is also an ugly truth.

In the end, I walked a total of 8 miles. I stopped for a well-earned beer and wrote about it all. The extended “me” time was a personal success and made me realize how much I love connecting and playing with the world. I realized how long it had been since I had, and how I wouldn’t let that happen again. Just as the air I breath, the food I ingest, the moments of meditation I escape into…. connecting with the Universe is equally a need for me.

Can I Call It Lazy?

I am a writing machine. Actually no, not at all. I am currently a person sitting at a machine, writing. A true “writing machine” in human form and essence is what I used to be. I don’t really know what happened. I used to just sit and write all the time, for hours. As I sat concocting short stories or poems, scribbles of random thoughts, or inspired lyrics to a moment’s song, I’d also be thinking about, “if gifted the time, I’m publishing a book.” It’s what every young writer equates to being an “actual” writer to. Yet, “a writer” is what I used to go around saying I was. I mean, affirmations IS one of the best tools for manifesting.

Like I said, I don’t exactly know what happened. At some point, it was as though my life was flipped upside down like a pepper shaker. A big beardly giant, swooped me up with his hairy hungry fists, flipped me upside down, and shook the shit out of me. It’s been years now of me saying, “Uff this year was a doozey, looking forward to the New Year!” you’d think the dust would have settled by now, but no. And I am NOT complaining, not by any means. I have loved every single twist, turn, dip, climb my life has taken. It’s just as I sit here writing this, I am shocked at the level of laziness(?) I mean, COVID happened. Talk about time being gifted to me to write- but yet I didn’t write. I wrote nothing more than journal entries and lists of all kinds. Much more has happened post COVID, giving more inspiration to the story I could have written. But really that just an excuse to make me feel like less of a slacker because truth be told, as long as your life on Earth continues, there will always be new inspirations, and therefore always new stories to tell.

In the last few months, the lack of creation has been really poking at me. I feel I am in a really good place to begin to create once again. With the latest purge life has currently put me through as well as environmental changes, it’s as though I have been gifted tools to allow for more creation, and so I shall.

So for those of you who may have actually noticed, here is my great “come back” Let’s see what I make of it.

Senior “Pup”izens

The amount of time I begged for a pet seemed like forever. My infatuation for having a pet, a dog specifically, began when my parents still lived together. We lived in this quaint little white house, perfect for the family of 3 with another little one on the way. We had a decent sized backyard and tucked away and the far back corner was an old dog house left there by the previous owners. It had been built to look like a human home, yet this doggy house looked like it hadn’t been lived in ages. As I would play in the backyard, I would day dream of filling that little house with a happy puppy. Back then it was all I could do, was dream. It wouldn’t be until 15 years later that my dream would come true.

Melita came into my life at a perfect time.  I was in my final year of high school and and really had no other true responsibilities. At that time I hadn’t really known what I wanted to do after I graduated so being gifted her her was a blessing in disguise. Not only did she keep me anchored but also provided a bond that I had with no one else. She had become more than my best friend and more than just my road dog.

I have now lived with her long longer than I have without her. She is now a senior pup and has gone through an entire life span in front of my eyes. She is no longer the energized little being she once was. Her body snd mind have given way to time. Although I am constantly reminded of how old she is, I still, at first, never really see it. In my eyes she is still the little fluffy dog that came bouncing through the airport to greet me when I first picked her up. She is still the one to steal your Big Mac or pepperoni slice right from out under you if you’re not paying attention. She is still the one to go peeing on the boyfriend(s) that just don’t treat you all that well. She is still the one to take the lead when you’re out for walks and will defend you against any rabbit, bird, or even snail.

I realize that it is only in short due time time that she will no longer be physically here with me. However I also understand that after 20 years, she now needs a little rest. So until the day comes I will treasure every second like I am right now…

…as she sits here next to me inspiring me; gifting me the rush of emotions that swim around my chest. One of those being love draped in gratitude.

Community Connections

Moving away from home has its ups as well as it downs. New setting, fresh faces, newly discovered routines are all reasons for excitement, but what happens once the dust settles? Your sense of newness has now been accustomed to what is now your daily life. What do you miss? At times, it’s the very thing you wanted to move away from, your community.

When I decided to move back home this last time around, one of the things I was most excited for was once again having that sense of familiarity around me. Not only did I yearn to be around familiar relationships, but I was excited to get involved. As a kid I had always seen myself giving to the community that raised me, so once I got back, I made sure that it had been on the top of my list of goals. I wanted to make sure that I got involved in a way that was through some sort of passion of mine. Whether it would be through the arts, working with children or the elderly, handing out food the homeless, or cleaning up our streets. My mind was set to find a way to volunteer my time and services to making the city a little bit better than it was yesterday. Had anyone told me that a pandemic was going to hit and that it would take that to spark the change that was needed in order to begin, I would have laughed in your face and told you that maybe you’d been watching one too many sci-fi thrillers.

COVID came by and with one swoop, pulled the cloth out from under us. Some of us were tipped over by it, crashing to the floor, left confused and unable to pick up the pieces, while others remained relatively unscathed, still standing in the same spot as if nothing ever happened. Yet, every single one of us walked away with change in one form of it or another. Being locked away for months all we had was time. Time to do all the things we had been craving to do, the time to think, the time to reevaluate life. It’s of no surprise that once we were let back out into the world, I didn’t last very long working the job I had prior to everything happening. I had spent so long enjoying my days and being constantly reminded about how short life was and how unexpected death could come, that I was no longer satisfied doing what I was doing. I was miserable. I felt over worked due to the shortages in staffing and supplies, and underappreciated. After a long and crazy shift, I walked away and never went back, vowing to myself to find a way to produce enough income to sustain myself and that would make me happy.

Quitting that job opened up a whole new set of opportunities. I once again had the time to do what I wanted to do, and what I wanted was to make time work for me. I took the last little bit of cash I had left and invested it into an idea I thought would work. I created a product to sell and to my surprise, it took off fairly quickly. I wasn’t too shocked that it was doing well, I was more shocked at the fact that it had been relatively easy. All I had to do was let go of what no longer was working for me to make room for what I wanted. The Universe works is magical ways, and I say this because it was through this newly founded business of mine that I ended up meeting someone who would later end up being key to my integration into the community.

It was my very first showing as a vendor and after a few hours, and many successful exchanges, I began taking apart my area in order to get ready to leave. It was then that I met this wonderful human being and after a bit of interaction I decided to gift her one of my products and told her that if she ever needed where that came from, she knew where to call. And she did. Not only had she become one of my regular clients, but it was through an invitation of hers that I discovered my love for yoga. It was through her that I was asked to volunteer at a local art exhibition in the city, and it was again, through her, that I was invited to be on the committee in regard to our city clean-up as well as to help feed the homeless.

Connecting with my community has been something that I have been striving to do for years. I feel that since moving back, the pieces to many of my life’s adventurous puzzle pieces have been falling right into place. I am at the start of this new journey and the excitement is high. I can’t help but imagine all the treasurable moments that are going to come from this new direction I have taken in. I can’t wait to meet people that are riding that wave that I’m on right now, those that are on my life frequency, who little by little will help change our community with me.

Thrifty Messages

There is something nostalgic and slightly romantic about buying used books from a thrift store. I can only imagine if those books could tell a story beyond the one it holds within its pages what it would tell. Details of its journey, and the hands it has been held in. Had it ever been forgotten by its owner and picked up by someone random? Had it been treasured and adored, until the day that was no longer the case, or had it been ignored, left to collect dust in the back of someone’s shelf?

No matter how the tale went, these books have made their way to the donation shelves and into my hands. In the beginning I always leaf through the pages and look for the dedications, scribbled notes, or highlighted sections. It is almost like getting a glimpse into a phase of a stranger’s life. A stranger whose book made its way into my life, a confirmation that there is someone out there who had these pages in common with me. I read the messages they leave to their loved ones, always uplifting, empowering, full of love and best wishes. I try to imagine the sender taking a second to jot it down, and its receiver reading, holding it to their hearts with excitement and comfort. Scrawled messages, questions, moments of enlightenment fill in the margins, allowing me access to their thoughts, thoughts now frozen in time.

I don’t always make it out to the thrift stores as much as I used to, which saddens me since it is half of the fun when selecting these little gems. When I discovered that became a game changer. For the most part, if I’m looking for something in particular, I will usually find it on there. Prices are very similar to those you’ll encounter at your typical thrift store. However, the newer the book (you will find new books sold on here) and depending on whether or not it’s in demand, you can find yourself paying full price for certain reads. With every purchase you make you get points that allow for free book purchases later on.

My latest purchase included 5 books, two on Yoga and the other three are self-help books on Leadership and Business management. I’ve been having trouble with my work team lately and so I decided to purchase a couple of books to see what I can learn and in turn, improve on. As I opened up the first book, “Leadership and The One Minuet Man” there written in black ink, barely legible, was a message:

Dear Malcolm,

Thanks for everything you have done for me, more than you will ever know. Keep inspiring others. Keep inspiring yourself. Have a great year!


It was a wonderful message and maybe even more inspiring than what the author of the book had to share with me. So, as to not let it die, I did what any other person would do. I stole it for myself for it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Time Taken

Hyattis. It’s what my writing took for what has now seemed to be like an insurmountable amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have continued to journal. I couldn’t imagine not being able to purge all these thoughts and experiences on to paper. I’d burst. The break I took was more from sharing.

So much has gone on that I just couldn’t keep up so I didn’t. At a moment’s notice, I began feeling that my cup was running low and when that happens, I am of no use to anyone, not even to myself. Thoughts of life and what was going on in the world around me began to jumble up. One day, moment, second I would be feeling one way. The next day, moment, second I was feeling the complete opposite. I felt myself begin to get carried away with the crowd. That’s when I recognized that changes had to be made.

The thing with change is that although, yes, change does not happen overnight, once the ball gets rolling, it gets rolling rather quickly. Once you begin to address the thought of, “a change should be made”, it isn’t long before the nagging sensation begins to follow you. Those little words will dance around your mind creating a new dynamic between you and life. You will slowly start to pick up on small instances of unease in stitutions that before you wouldn’t have even thought twice about.

Change is what began speaking to me a few months back. I noticed a few aspects of my life that I wanted to make better. There were habits that needed breaking and plans to be laid out, and so that’s what I did. Without making it seem like a rigid gameplan, and, as to not shock my system, I began making small changes in how I went on with my days here in there.

I started off with breaking the habit of watching the news every morning while I had my coffee. It’s funny because growing up I always hated the news. It was something I found depressing, stuffy, and at times comedically dark and dramatic. As I got older I wanted to become more informed on what was going on around me me, and now being an adult it just seemed like the adult thing to do. Now I realize the havoc believing in what the media is telling us is creating within our society. No thank you. So I turned off the news and instead began my mornings with a quick chapter from that book that “I never have time to read”. During the warmer months I would sit outside taking in those very few moments of my day. Currently, I give myself an extra moment in bed under my covers manifesting the day ahead of me while other times I take advantage and journal a bit extra.

Yoga soon incorporated itself into my life. A new friend that I made over the summer extended an invite to attend the studio she practiced in. I had just begun a new mantra of saying “yes” to things more and so I accepted the invitation. From the moment I took my 1st class I was hooked. I found what my body and soul needed and I now go to practice about 3 to 4 times a week. I’m at the point in my practice that if I don’t go… The guilt eats me alive.

Anyone that works out or has some sort of active lifestyle will tell you that once you begin to move and actively workout your body, you’ll soon begin to actively care about what you put into it. If you would have told me 6 months ago that I’d be making the nutritional choices that I’m making today, I would have looked at you as if you’d gone mad. In all actuality I was never one to go off the deep end when eating but I also didn’t restrain myself much either. I am a fiend for anything sweet. Pizza and pasta are my favorite dinners. No, I won’t turn away fruit or salad but I usually turn to those out of guilt. With yoga, as my body grew stronger and became more active I instinctively turned to healthier foods. It wasn’t long before I actually felt the difference that living actively and eating healthy we’re leading me to feel.

As of recent I have decided to take a month off of drinking. Apparently “dry January” is actually a thing but this isn’t some sort of fad or trend train that I’m hopping on to. It’s been an idea that’s been floating around my mind for quite some time now. So why now? Well, I’m going to answer honestly when I say that it’s not something that I am strong enough to do on my own. I’ve got a couple of other people in my immediate circle there are also going for it. To have their support and the knowledge that I am not having to struggle alone is great. Out of all the new changes to come about in my life, this one has been by far the most challenging. I have come to realize how often I’d make an excuse to have a drink. I was drinking on a day-to-day basis. There were multiple instances that I’d even have a drink because everyone else was drinking, not because I wanted to. Or maybe I’d find myself having a drink because the clock ticked that it was just about that time.

Without making it feel like a chore I took control of my life. I took some time and with that time change came with it. If I had to state what my end goal is, it would obviously be to ultimately feel better. Yet the end goal isn’t what I’m focusing on. What I am fixated on is the Now, the Process, the immediate obstacle I’m trying to overcome right now. How do I make today great? By making conscious choices to feel happy and live healthy in the right now. The world of change has opened up a whole new feeling of freedom and it’s brought me back here. It’s brought me back to that feeling of wanting to share again . My cup is full and I once again am ready to share what’s in it.

Your Buddy, Crocker

Visiting my first farmer’s market, which didn’t take place until way after I moved to FL, was magical. Ever since then I have always wanted to work my own show booth and this past weekend, 10 years after visiting my one, I actually got to. The spectacular part? Not only was it my first trade show, but it was AC’s very first ganja fair, and I got to be a part of it. Holy shite, right?!? The kicker? I had less than a week to mass produce product to sell, order packaging and labels, and gather materials to somewhat decorate my space to better attract buyers. Good thing I am always down for a challenge.

When I began making edibles, I knew that the idea was a solid one but what I didn’t know was how I would fair when there were others in the area doing the same thing. It was an idea that popped up when I was totally fed up with serving. After more than 15 years in the restaurant game, I needed an out. Having no real plan, and genuinely over the work related bullshit, I, one day, cashed out my last tables and walked out. It hadn’t been an easy day and so I spent the day fuming, going over in my mind what had happened at work to get me to the point of quitting. I spent the following day on Indeed going over the listings in hopes of finding work. Due to the pandemic, I was already behind on bills so this last minute decision to quit my was pretty bad timing. Everything that popped up on the site seemed to be restaurant related and although I knew there was money to be made there, instant money, I reminded myself that it was again a restaurant job. They were all the same, therefore why continue down the same path that would produce the same unhappy results? I needed to do something different. I began applying for other types of work, but no matter. Every application I sent in, didn’t make me feel excited one bit. Instead of feeling hopeful and excited, I felt dread and almost would wish for no one to call me. I began picking up odd jobs here and there. A little bit of puppy sitting here, a little bit of babysitting there. A little bit of selling ganja here, a little bit of delivering Mary jane there. It was one day, sitting in the backyard of a client’s house trying smoke a bowl without the neighbors seeing (or smelling) that I thought to myself, “I wish I had an edible instead…it would make this a lot easier…” and that’s when the bulb turned on. Why not make and sell edibles? The clientele was out there. I knew I had some talent in the kitchen. All I needed were the supplies and equipment.

My next move was risky. I guess that entire week I was full of risky moves. I took my last couple hundred dollars and spent it on everything I needed to get started. I had no real plan (seems to be a running theme) other than to bake and sell, “Let’s see where this takes me.. I’ve got nothing to lose.” That was back in July, now 11 months later, after much trial and error, I am elated to see this risk turn into great reward.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still so much more to do to get this little baby of mine fully up and running. I spend my days working towards taking the steps to do MORE, then spend my night’s dreaming of all that will be. Last weekend’s ganja fair allowed me to get a glimpse of what things for me could look like in the future. Selling my product to people, watching their expressions when trying my homemade edibles, and recognizing the look of satisfaction, made me feel so proud. To watch the first product sell out, then the second, my heart was elated.

Although I’ve winged much of this, I now have plans, solid plans, to grow this business. With the support of those around me, and trusting in the Universe, I’m excited for the future of Buddy Crocker Co.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — Goethe