Baby Steps into Irish Culture & Dancing

In my corner of Ohio, you’ll find a lot of Americans of Irish descent. There are many Irish pubs, bars, and even Irish dancing groups. So, naturally we would have a yearly Celtic Festival in July for an entire weekend. Here you’ll find everything related to the Celts, most notably Ireland (and Scotland, though its usually tagged on as an afterthought here, no idea why) which includes fish and chips, drinking, little booths with Irish/Celtic related souvenirs, and the main theme: music. 

I’ve only been a couple times and that’s been several years ago. But this year, I went with a friend and we spent several hours watching different bands perform and even went to a keili where a real Irish man taught us a few steps of Irish dance. I couldn’t quite get the steps to a couple of sets, but it was fun to participate in anyway.

And the highlight of my night was dancing with a band member from one of the bands I watched earlier for two minutes. In this dance set you switched partners as they swung you around before handing you off to your original partner. I was lucky enough to switch partners with this guy for a couple minutes. He came up to me and grabed my waist and swung me around confidently. I laughed and said I didn’t quite know what I was doing. He said “You’re doing just fine, just fine” before swinging me back to my original partner. 

Later I thought that I was a bit of an idiot to blurt out something like that. Why not say something flirtatiously, get him to notice me? But by then it was too late. I’m lucky to have talked and danced with him at all: after all, that’s the closest I’ve come to any band member, let alone a band member of a small semi-famous group in an Irish-American sub culture. But then again, I’m a romantic: a connection across the dance floor that renders in drinks and dates and dinners at a later time wouldn’t be too far fetched in my mind…in theory. In reality, awkward comments always blunders my chances in something deeper. 

At any rate, I have a good story to tell people over dinner about my amateur dances with an attractive Irish man with whom I may never see again. Perhaps there’ll be a next time where I’ll be less awkward in my intentions.

 

Relationship Choices: The Importance of Respect

For the past few months or so, I’ve been reading a man’s blog about dating, relationships, and modern chivalry. There have been many posts in which I felt empathetic towards. Things like how men and women should behave towards each other, especially when dating or thinking about becoming serious. It made me like the blog enough to follow it (obviously).

But today I read something from his blog that made me step back a little. He said that the “I don’t need no man” philosophy is killing relationships and making men feel low. He also made the statement that men know women don’t need us, but want us to want them. 

While this is a true statement and I’m not undermining relationships or men, I feel like it’s a blanket stereotype over women who choose to remain single. I’m sure there’s women who say they don’t need or want a man because they’re bitter about what life’s given them. I know because I used to be one of those people. But now that I’ve allowed myself to grow, heal and explore myself as a single woman, I’ve discovered how happy I am as being single.

I don’t hate men, but neither do I want to be in a relationship. I like being who I am without being attached to someone else. I don’t want to have to ask my boyfriend about his plans before making my own. I want to make my own decisions and take off when I need and want to without having to compromise. I want to be free with no strings attached. 

I think there should be some respect involved when it comes to whether or not a person wants to be in a relationship or stay single. Some of us are perfectly happy to be where we are without a partner in our lives. If a woman says she doesn’t want to be in a relationship, respect her decision to be single. You don’t know her story as to why she is where she is in her life. Don’t make her feel guilty about her choices in the dating world by saying she’s killing relationships by her choice in being single. Just support her in her choices and encourage her to be who she is and grow to be an even better person that she is without impeding her in her journey. 

That’s all I and other women ask.

 

Disconnect Here

To deserve the world sometimes means that we need to disconnect from what society says we need to connect to. We rush around, to and fro until we fall into our beds, exhausted. We haven’t stopped to actually look around us and enjoy the moment. My lowest points in my life have been when I’ve made myself so connected to people and expectations that I’m mentally exhausted let alone physical.

In order to re-connect from the world, I sometimes find a place that’s restful to my eyes. mind, body and soul. A lot of times I go to my favorite hiking parks, put my bag, phone, and electronics into the trunk my car and just let myself be immersed in nature. It’s so refreshing to see nature in its natural element. Technology is great, but it removes us, disconnects us from everything else. Getting back to the basics often helps me re-enter society with a clean slate and a happy disposition.

Other times I’ll sit out on the back porch in the mornings and read a book or write in my journal as the sun steadily climbs into the sky. Watching the world wake up is so peaceful to me and it makes me feel so happy to be where I am in life. 

Inspired by 3 words a day.

In the Clouds

I can’t say I pay much attention to what’s in the sky. Unless of course it’s raining or I hear a loud plane or something in the sky’s going to affect my living in any sort of way, negative or positive. But since our one night of torrential rain last week, we’ve been having an unusual mild week here in Ohio weather wise, especially considering we’ve had had an upwards of 80-90 degrees this time last year. The past couple of days the weather’s been so nice that even the clouds have been big, white, and fluffy, so very picturesque. Because I take the back roads to work every day, it’s been especially picturesque and I’ve wished that I had my camera for some of the mornings this week. 

Today I decided to take a walk and try to capture the beauty of the clouds since they were just as beautiful as they were the past couple of days. I don’t think they’re as beautiful as they were out in the country over the farmers’ fields, but they seem decent enough. 

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This and That

I decided to add my Twitter account to my blog. After reading several posts about how you should connect your accounts to your blog in order to gain a wider audience, I finally gave in and figured out how to connect the two entities together. 

I’m not a big Twitter user. I created my first account in 2006/7 era and only recently deleted it because I was afraid of it being hacked. I re-launched a couple months ago and have discovered that I like the new layout of Twitter. It’s come far since its humble beginnings and I have to say I might more use out of it in the near future (thus why I connected it to my blog, etc). 

Anyway.

Today I went hiking in a new place. Well, new to me, anyway. I rarely go out in that general direction, so it’s no surprise that I’ve never been there before. But I have to say that I enjoyed the experience greatly, loved the views of the woods and the prairies. I think the place is dedicated to Ash Trees because there was a lot of signs about them and their attempt to regrow them in the area. My name’s origins say “From the Ash tree meadow” so it was kind of nice to see these trees where my name came from. I wish I could say I had a lot of pictures, but because I haven’t gone through my camera and taken off the pics I really don’t want and the ones I want to print out, I only had about ten pictures altogether. I might share them at another time when I can properly dedicate a post to the place. 

That’s all for now. What ordinary travels have you been on recently?

Taking the Moment, Because I’m Going to Miss This

Sometimes your dreams come true, even when you think it’s impossible. This week, two of my dreams came true and it’s hard to believe that they actually occurred. Let me tell you about them. 

Everybody has a bucket list, even if they’re never officially organized in any way. I’m no different. On my bucket list I had two wishes (or dreams): 1. Go fishing and catch a fish, and 2. ride on a motorcycle. 

I didn’t think either one of these two would ever happen. Number one, I didn’t want to go fishing without a guy because I don’t like putting the bate on the hook and I didn’t want to hold the fish and take it off the hook. But last Sunday I went fishing with a boy and he was so sweet. He set the fishing pole up for me and when a fish bit the hook, he set it and let me reel it in. When we brought it in, it was a good size catfish. He said it was probably one or two pounds. It certainly didn’t feel like one or two pounds: it felt much, much bigger. But I was so proud of myself that I actually caught a fish (mostly) by myself. I’m glad I finally had the opportunity to catch a fish, even if I’ll never do it again. 

But was even better was the fact that I got to ride a motorcycle. My family’s told me the woes and dangers of motorcycles, but in spite of all that, I still dreamed the Dream. And my Dream persisted until became a reality Thursday night. After work, I went over to a co-workers house and her husband plopped me onto the back of his big Harley and off we went. We drove on every road possible. We went on backroads, we went on the highways. We went on curvy roads, straight roads, everything. I loved everything about it. I love how open everything was, that you could smell every smell, feel every feeling, the vibrations in your feet as the motor runs, the smells of nature, the panoramic, scenic views. The sunset in the distance, the large moon off to the side. There were no words to describe the feeling. Only a person whose rode a bike can understand how you’re feeling. I wish I had pictures of everything I was seeing and feeling, but sometimes you just gotta be in the moment and enjoy everything as they were happening.

As pulled into the gas station, Trace Adkins’ song was playing on the radio. The driver stopped at just the right moment, when the line “You’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast” were playing. I wasn’t thinking about the song, or any song in particular, but as I heard those lines, I knew instantly that this was how I was feeling. I wanted to live in the moment, every moment, and I didn’t want it to end. I knew that I would miss it and want it back, so I consciously made myself relax and just enjoy every moment, committing everything to my memory. 

Sometimes we rush through our lives, barely glancing to see what’s going on around us, that we don’t stop and truly see what’s going on around us. Just slow down, smell the roses, feel the love of your friends and family, enjoy the movies and the hikes and drives of life because you’re gonna miss this. You’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. These are some good times, so take a good look around. It might just be the best thing of your life.

The Things that Make Me Happy

We humans always seem to focus in on the negative. On the news there’s stories of wars, rapes, murders, and many other horrible things that bring us down. Among family and friends, we talk about who hurt our feelings, who broke our hearts, and the events that just bring us down in general. We tend to forget to look at the good things in life. Not everything is terrible. If only we stopped to think about all the things that are going right, the things that make us happy, then we’d be less stressed out than what we allow ourselves to be. 

With that being said, here are some things that make ME happy:

Chocolate
Mashed potatoes
Soaking my feet after standing on my feet all day
Blogging
Photography
Reading
Holding hands
Snuggling
Hugs
Daniel Craig
Cold Mountain (the book AND the movie)
Country music
Love songs
Waterfalls
Covered bridges
Mountains and woods
Harry Potter
“Take me home, country roads” by John Denver
“When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban
Ghost Adventures
Bookstores (Barnes and Noble in particular)
Reading
Looking at tintype pictures
House, M.D.
Stand up comedy
Lazy days
Water for Elephants

There are many and more things that make me happy. Maybe I’ll do some more happy lists in the future. What are some things that make YOU happy?