Are you scared of being in open water?

Taking this question literally, no, I am not afraid of being in open water. I have been on a boat before and I was in the ocean swimming and snorkeling before. Taking this question in a different direction and having the open water be an unsure place, then yes, I am scared. I am not fond of being away from my comfort zone. That’s why it’s called a comfort zone. A place where you know everything is going to be okay. Now, I have expanded that comfort zone from Connecticut to New York to California. I have lived in these places and I have lived with a variety of people and have done things I was not comfortable with, but realized that everything was going to be okay. You have to have a positive, open-minded, “go-with-the-flow” mind to be able to pick up and just move your life from one place to another. I was definitely scared to do this, to travel to this unknown place, where I did not know anyone and did not know where I was going to live or what I was going to do. But I was confident in myself and I had family and friends that backed me up. I did the best I could and worked hard at finding an apartment and a job. I did it without knowing much and I was successful at it. I do not think I would be the person I am today if I did not take that first step out of my comfort zone and into “open water”

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in the water?

I would not call it strange, since these animals belong in water, but it was strange seeing dolphins so close to home. The first time I was at Baker Beach in San Francisco, I was looking out and saw dolphins swimming in the water. They were even somewhat close to shore. I tried to take some pictures, but kept missing them. :( There were other people who saw them though. It was interesting to me since I had lived in Florida for a short time and my roommates then had gone out on a boat and saw them in the Gulf, but I wasn’t even on a boat. Just sitting in the sand enjoying the sunshine and warmth. So, it wasn’t strange to see them in the water, but strange to see them in the setting I was in. I know that San Francisco is sorta famous for the seals that hang out at the piers near Fisherman’s Wharf, and I’ve heard there are parrots that live in the Palm trees that are along the Embarccadero (yet I have not seen those) so I know that there’s some creatures that lurk around these parts (as well as some interesting characters) so when I tell this story, people seem surprised, yet seem to believe it. It was pretty cool to see dolphins without leaving home, but now I just want to see them again. And get some pictures. But for now, here’s a cute dolphin (and cat) video (because what else is YouTube good for?):

And that has made all the difference.

That is the last line of one of my favorite poems. I took this prompt from the February NaBloPoMo: “ Look up a favorite poem, then take the last line and use it as the first line of today’s post.” This is the last sentence of the poem, which will give the title of the poem away:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, it is Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.

I like the poem because it shows that you have to make choices in life and sometimes the choice involves one path that everyone takes and one path that is, well, less traveled. For example, there’s the graduate high school-go to college-get a job, typical path. There’s also the graduate from high school-take a year off-go to college-get a job path. There are also several other variations of these paths that others have taken. I think that it depends on a lot of things which of those paths you take and which is right for you. There are some people who follow the first, and probably most traveled path because of how they grew up. It’s the thing to do. It’s the right thing. I took that path. I sometimes think about what life would be like if I took the latter and taken that “leap year”. What would I have done? Would I have done the “typical” travel through Europe thing? Where would I be today? What would I be doing? Would my life be (mostly) the same? Of course, no one could answer those questions, but it is fun to think about. I do think that I would not have met the same people I met because of moving to San Francisco when I did. I would not have had the same first apartment and I would not have had the same first job. It would’ve been different if I chose the “road not taken”. That last line of the poem could never be truer.

Was there a typical path that you took? Or was there a “road less traveled by” that you did take? What were the results?

By the way, here’s the full poem:

The Road Not Taken; by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

What does the word HOME mean to you?

I think the word home could have a lot of meanings. I grew up in the same house for the first 18 years of my life. I never moved, was never away from home except for family vacations. That house was my home for a long time. It felt weird the first time I was in college and called my dorm room home. Was it really my home? I suppose it was. I lived there. I had friends there. But then again, I called going back to Connecticut going home. I still called going back there “going home” after I moved to San Francisco. I was once on a plane back “home”, to Connecticut, and the person asked if I was going home or just for a visit. I almost didn’t know how to answer. I was going for a visit back home. But San Francisco was my home now. Even when I was traveling to Israel, everyone was calling that the “homeland”, which I understood only as the “home” of the Jewish people. However, once we landed, our American tour guides said to me, “welcome home”. I guess you could say that “home” is where you feel safe. It’s the base place where you live or once lived. A lot of people say “home is where the heart is”. I even knew someone who had a tattoo of a house with a heart on the inside and said that is what it meant to her. I can believe that. Home is where the heart is if you love being there. I can say that the place I lived in while in Florida for 18 weeks was my home, but I did not love it, so my heart was not there. I think that was the only time I did not really like where I was living. I even liked that I could go to my dad’s apartment on the weekends I was supposed to be there after my parents split. It was a second home. I guess you could say I have called a lot of places home over the years and I think that means a lot. It takes a lot to turn a house into a home. It takes living in it for a long time and putting care into it and really loving it before being able to call a place a home. I am happy to call San Francisco home and I think I will be calling it home for a very long time.

Where would you like to go swimming? (NaBloPoMo July: Post 1)

I have decided to take the challenge again, and take part in NaBloPoMo for the month of July. This month’s theme is SWIM. While I do not have to stick to the theme, which might be done by writing based on the prompts given on their website, I do have to write something everyday for the month of July. I did it in June, and I had fun writing about things that inspire me and I hope to inspire others.

Today’s question/prompt is, as the title of the post says, “where would you like to go swimming?”. I would love to swim in the ocean. The Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii would be nice since I’ve never been there. I liked swimming/floating in the Dead Sea and I would love to do that especially since it would mean I was back in Israel. I would like to swim in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. ¬† These are just some of the places I would like to swim in though I know there are more. I would go swimming in a pool in my backyard, if both of those existed, but since they do not, I go to the YMCA and swim there. I am not a strong swimmer, but I like it as a break from the usual gym routine. If I could, I would swim in these places, and I hope that some day I will have the chance to do so.