Taking A Breath.

If you know me, you know I have the attention span resembling that of a 5-year-old, meaning that I like to be spontaneous and constantly on the move. I love adventure and to have something always occupying my time. My laugh could be described as unique, but most would probably just say loud. Every day I try to live life to the fullest by squeezing out as much as it has to offer. 

This was meant to be posted yesterday. My apologies. Good day readers, it’s Saturday, June 1st, National World Reef Awareness Day, welcome to the blog. 

I always like to promote environmental awareness because it is something I believe everyone has a part in remedying. Living near the coast my entire life, I have unfortunately witnessed the degradation of our local reefs throughout my life. With that being said, one of the easiest things to start doing is looking at one’s water and energy usage. Being in Europe has opened my eyes to an entirely new treatment for water and energy use. From having to insert a key into a slot to get the thermostat and lights to work, to having low flow nozzles and limiters on showers, faucets, and toilets, we should try to H2sl0w down our usage of these resources. 

Cinque Terre (translated “Five Lands”) is a coastal city in Italy that is composed of five separate towns nestled in the coastline. We stayed in Riomaggiore, the blue-collar fishing district. When it was announced that we would be staying in the least touristy town out of the five, it took me by surprise. I thought, “Why wouldn’t we want to stay in a town where all the action is? Why wouldn’t we want to be in the center and see why Cinque Terra is so popular?” 

The realization to my question came in the form of taking a breath, and for y’all to understand this completely, you have to first understand a little about me. 

Now you can make sense of the first paragraph in this blog. 

As you can see, I like to be doing things.

It was the second day of being in Cinque Terra where this breath took place. After poor weather soiled our plans for a beautiful 9 mile hike, we were given the afternoon to venture to other cities in Cinque Terra and explore them. A group of us decided to buy a ticket to Venazzo. Venazzo is a larger town with an economy more reliant on tourism. It is home to a famous harbor and small beach to resemble what tourists think of when they hear a “coastal vacation”. In short, the walk from the train station to the coast was hectic. Hundreds of people pushed and walked through that city, making it hard for one to truly see the true beauty present in the city built within the Italian cliffs. I made my way through the crowd over to the rocky break wall and sat down with the group I arrived with. They engaged in conversation while I… fell asleep. 

Here’s another thing you should know about me. I don’t nap. I refuse to fall asleep during the day as I believe there is always something more important going on that I can be a part of. 

The breath that took me into my nap was more meaningful than meets the eye(lids). This breath made my take a step back and made me reflect on my intentions with my personal growth. It allowed me to begin understanding the importance of observance and living in the present. Often, I find myself continually looking for my next adventure before the last one even ended, which is something that nap began to change for me. The reason the town of Riomaggiore was chosen was because it is NOT flocked to by hundreds of tourists, but because there is seclusion and serenity that needs to be taken advantage of. I found myself later that day just sitting alone on the shore, listening to the rhythmic sound of ocean water crashing against the rocks. 

So, in the end, I want to say thank you to Riomaggiore for letting me discover my ability to mature and relax, because sometimes the best moments in life are found only in the small things. 

Here’s another person who helped me delve into myself a little bit: Cooper Gollier.

Cooper is simply something else. Her selflessness is palpable, as she puts everything and everybody above herself. Coop has no problem sharing a laugh with you or talking you through a difficult time, which is something I think is remarkable. I am continually humbled by her ability to pour into others. She will drop whatever she is doing to sit down with you and make you feel valued and special. Her smile is as big as her heart and can be seen overflowing with joy from miles away. Her vivacious personality is infectious to those around her and her eagerness to learn is contagious. If you have ever been able to interact with Coops you would see her distinct intentionality and care, and that’s something I think we can all learn from.


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