Anna: Christmas Spirit


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I love Christmas…. can you tell? Why do I love Christmas? It is an opportunity to let people know that I love them and that they matter. I do a lot of charitable work during  the Christmas season. Gifts for seniors, kids, families, and homeless people. I’ve also had elementary school kids make over 300 cards for low income seniors who didn’t have friends or families visit them. ♡

Deb: Have You Ever…?


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I asked him if he’d ever felt like he gave it easily to others, but others couldn’t give the same to him. It was in reference to the concept of empathy. His response was an inspiring one…

“I think what everyone wants is to be understood, including and especially empathic types like us. I actively work to understand others and assume good intentions. Others are typically incapable of doing the same. So I must create my own understanding. I must understand myself.

As I understand more, I love more. As I love more, it eventually overflows. As it overflows, others witness how I love myself, which can help them understand how to love me and, by extension, themselves. As it overflows more, it manifests as creation, turning my internal love and understanding into external love and understanding. It amplifies my presence in space and time, which increases my chances of being understood by others, which then feeds back into them through the relationships we’ve created.

It’s not about what we deserve or what anyone owes us. It’s about what we won’t deny to ourselves. As long as we keep ourselves open, then we can attract what we need by creating what we need for ourselves first and foremost.

And if we don’t attract what we need, that’s okay. We’ll be okay, because we won’t deny ourselves understanding by only seeking it from unreliable sources.”

Delilah: What Do I Do Every Day?


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From 8:30am – 5:00pm, I am busy managing my dad’s stock account. I partner with him to execute trades and get mentoring. Logging and journaling about the psychology of trades is part of the day.

I am studying the day and swing trading material, and watching and being with the live trading community. I am watching their trades, live and in action. It feels like a game at times. This week, I watched President Trump and his live speech on what’s next.

It feels like a normal full time job in a sense, and I appreciate the routine very much. I make sure to be productive and set goals, and do not get tempted by unplanned  breaks.

It feels like I still report to someone, which is funny.  Except, that someone is me. 

Valentina: Graduation Day


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Ladies and gentlemen, After 6 years of hard work and sleepless nights, I have finally graduated. I now have an Associate’s, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Accounting. I even managed to be nominated for Valedictorian for the Associate’s Degree, but opened the letter too late. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️
I can’t even describe how happy and proud I am! During these past six years, the worst and the best happened.
Thanks to all my friends who were there for me, and understood when I wasn’t able to see them or go out because of studying, or because I was working like crazy – 6/7 days a week.

It’s Gonna be Cakes


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“He flew to New York to visit his aunt on a Saturday morning. He was carrying a “funky looking grandma cake” – as he described it.  “Nothing special, not presentable, not finished.” Without a cake box to store it in, he covered it with blue plastic wrap. It looked quite ugly, frankly. But as he walked through the airport and held it in his lap on the plane, everyone had a friendly comment. The cake excited them. They invoked the birthdays of their lovers as reasons for him to give them the cake. He arrived at Kennedy and was sitting outside baggage claim, as he was overtaken with a clearheaded revelation: Cakes got people excited, even ugly grandma cakes. Cakes meant good times. Cakes were part of the celebration of life. People love to talk about cakes. The most time-consuming step in cake-making was putting a smooth finish on frosting, but this cake proved that a cake could look homemade and still trigger the drool reflex. He smelled opportunity.

That afternoon, sitting on a boat, he told his aunt, “It’s going to be cakes. Just cakes.”

 

– Excerpt from “What Should I do with My Life?” by Po Bronson

Nathan: I Married My Best Friend…


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I married my best friend. We were married for 13 years. The discussion to separate was the darkest months of our lives. We were both scared. Our world shifted. We couldn’t stop crying. We needed each other to get through this, but how?

When we separated, I chose not to abandon her. She agreed. Just as couples need time to fall in love, we needed time to fall out of love. In increments of 6 months, we lived in separate rooms, then to separate homes, then we split the finances. When we started to date others, we helped each other with our dating profiles. When we found each other on dating apps, we would laugh. The first overnight dates were strange and nerve-racking. We let the other know where we were for safety. Sometimes we had drinks together after our dates because there was so much we were learning about ourselves. Those conversations were rich, like when we were dating for the first time. Meeting each others dating partner is still surreal. Not unpleasant. Just new. The new is gradually welcomed because it brings out the new in me. As we both evolve, our times together feel more familiar, more nostalgic, and a lot like Christmas. Our reunions are more of a holiday than actual holidays. We still check in with the other like family and support each other during the highs and lows. It took us 3 years before we were officially divorced. By then, we were proud. When our dearest and truest pug in the entire universe passed away that same year, a love that lasted our marriage, that’s when we felt a certain adiue to our marriage chapter. We grieved Sir Winston Churchill who is still alive when we get together. The magic of our marriage years are not gone or dead either. They are alive whenever we hang, talk, or text, and they continue in this post-marriage Judd Apatow sitcom-like form. We didn’t lose our relationship. We didn’t lose each other. It simply changed. So we changed with it. By staying committed to the person than the relationship, I found a more genuine spacious relationship grounded in love than a rigid narrow relationship defined by expectations. (Note: Divorce is not required to learn this.)

I am proud of our separation just as I was proud of our union. It took work, intention, time, and love. We went through marriage and divorce TOGETHER and we are still OURSELVES on the other side. Hallelujah! 🙏🙌🏽 💃🏻🕺🏻❤️

This isn’t an old photo. This was last night. ☺️

Bianca: On Love


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A useful message that is sure to help you live a more fulling life: Love as if you’re going to be in love forever.
Every marriage does not have a happy ending. All love stories are not magical. All couples don’t end up being together til eternity and all lovers don’t end up being soulmates. But love is still the essence of all beautiful relationships. No matter what the future holds for you, love as soulfully as you can, as beautifully as you can, and for as long as you can. Pour your heart out and share everything with your partner each day. Spend quality time with each other and travel to the depths of each others’ souls. Life changes in a blink and you may not be together forever but the breathless moments spent together will remain in your heart forever.

Fata Morgana: Strange Mirages at Sea


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“Jesuit Priests aren’t especially known for their heavy drug u/se, but it we’re to believe the account of Father Domenico Giardina, he was tripping pretty hard. Looking out over the sea from Messina, Sicily, Giardina saw “a city all floating in the air, and so measureless and so splendid, so adorned with magnificent buildings, all of which was found on a base of a luminous crystal.” The metropolis suddenly transformed into a garden, and next a forest. And then in a flash it all descended into chaos. Huge armies sprang forth, as did the towns they had laid waste to, before the whole mess disappeared.

Father Giardina, you see, was high on life. (Though scholars believe he actually borrowed his “sighting” from another observer.)1 The “great and marvelous theater” he claimed to have witnessed was the mysterious fata morgana, an incredibly complex mirage that has historically both fascinated and scared the hell out of sailors and landlubbers alike. Whether it be the work of necromancers or fairies or a god, few phenomena have captivated humankind quite so thoroughly as fata morgana.

In the case of a fata morgana mirage, light reflecting from a distant object such as a ship is bent downward as it passes through the colder, denser air near the surface of the ocean (or sometimes cold land, particularly ice). But your brain places the object where it would be if the light came to you in a straight path—higher than it actually is. This bending effect can even work with the curvature of the Earth if conditions are just right, which is why some fata morgana images can actually be refracted cities and ships from beyond the horizon.

The legends of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere include tales of the sorceress Morgan le Fay, a powerful fairy known to live in the sea who cast spells to lure sailors to their deaths. La Fata Morgana, “the fairy Morgan,” is her Italian name.”

-Wired, The Anchorage News

Frank: Laundry


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Doing laundry with my big girl Skyler while mommy goes to the gym…Our conversation went a little like this. “Hey Sky, make sure you do a good job folding.” Her answer: “Come on, Daddy – I’ve been folding since I was 5. Don’t you know me?” She just turned 6 in July.  Lol.

Gen: My Vision


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I am a passionate, honest, and committed woman.

My vision for the world is one where everyone gets to put their passion into action, do what they love, and have the life they dreamed wasn’t possible. Race, religion or political views will no longer be relevant when everyone taps into their authentic self.

My definition of leadership is living that vision and taking everyone along with me.