Monday, November 30, 2009
Manolos to Asolos
People have been asking me about the name of my blog... "Manolos to Asolos." How did I come up with it? And what are Manolos and Asolos anyway?
Well to answer, Manolos are my black strappy Manolo Blahniks that took me through years of rushing down the sidewalks of New York and as for the Asolos... they are my hiking boots that carried me through the Himalayas.
A little bit about me...
Before I started my freshman year of college I started spending summers in New York interning at various magazines. This continued through college and though I never particularly liked living in New York, I moved there after college anyway. That is what I was supposed to do, right?
After trying to fall in love with New York, it just wasn't working. It was like being in one of those relationships... the ones in which you try to convince yourself to like the person, because you know you should... they like you... they might look good on paper, but for some reason no matter what you do you just can't whichever way you spin it fall in love with them... it was like that. Frustrating.
Something wasn't right. Something didn't fit. I am from the South... perhaps that was part of it. I went to school in Colorado... I was used to things being a bit slower and having a little bit more space. I missed having space.
In February of this year, 2009... I woke up one day and signed up for a backpacking trip. My whole life- all 23 years I had listened to my dad talk about his time on NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in Africa. He always said it was the best thing he had ever done. I knew I wanted to do something like NOLS I just wasn't sure when or where since at the time I thought it was more valuable to run around in New York like a chicken with my head cut off than do a trip like NOLS. Finally though I was ready. After 5 summers and half a year I was sick of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I was done. And in Mid-May I found myself deep in the Western Himalayas with 2 sports bras, 2 pairs of underwear, my Asolo hiking boots and 14 strangers who I would swear I had met before.
I didn't do this trip for anything else- for anyone else.
I took 5 1/2 weeks...
5 1/2 weeks- Me and the Mountains.
Some people say NOLS changes their life... I wouldn't say NOLS changed mine, it just allowed me to become more of myself. It opened me up a little bit more... and that is exactly what I needed...
I kept waiting for my moment on the mountain when I was suddenly changed or different in some way, but it actually just made me more of who I already am.
I realized that who you love is what matters and to appreciate the people who love you. I realized that one bar of soap- Dr. Bronners to be specific is a lifesaver. And that yes... You can live without your cell phone and many other things quite well when it comes down to it.
I missed my family, the people I love, beer, cheese burgers and a few other things... everything else faded away and what seemed so unimportant then, have remained unimportant now... (that is exactly what my dad said would happen)
And never again will I take for granted a warm shower... I think warm showers, toilet paper, and clean water are probably some of the best luxuries in life.