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URGENT: Read This Before Going To Asheville

A lot of my readers are from North Carolina, however, many are not. When I told my co-workers I was headed to Asheville for Halloween weekend, I got the mandatory Carolinian response:

“Awww, Asheville? Have you ever been? YOU’LL LOVE IT THERE.”

With the exception of Smoopsie (Lane), no one from outside the state knew where I was referring to. To be fair, I only told my Mom, but she’s reason enough to write an informative blog post.

Love you, Joan!

We had a luxurious stay on some of Asheville’s most comfortable futons and in some of their most popular guest rooms (we Airbnbed it). I walked away with a lifetime of knowledge about Asheville I feel compelled to share. It’s basically everything you need to know about what Asheville has to offer prior to visiting for the first time.

During your visit, you’ll find:

Places To Eat With Hip Names

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I don’t care what your name is, as long as you taste like foods.

Food That Doesn’t Belong In Food

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Chips with drizzled honey? Burgers with corn bread quesadilla buns? My head couldn’t stop spinning. Madness.

Concert Selfies

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If ya’ll wait in a line for a concert for seven hours, you better take a selfie! Hey, I don’t make the rules. Actually, now that I think about it, you should probably take selfies at any winery you stop at during your drive home.

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Coffee

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If you don’t like coffee, you can’t come to Asheville! Sorry, again – I don’t make the rules.

Things Made of Wood

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Things made of wood are Asheville’s favorite things.

Tasteful Floral Arrangements

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If you don’t like nature, get out. Just get out of Asheville. They reinforce this with the lovely flowers atop every table.

Condensation

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 It’s wet. It’s everywhere.

Views from Buildings

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The tops of parking garages are lovely this time of year.

Dogs Dressed As Something Else

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Things are not always as they seem.

Avetts Dressed As Something Else

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 The cowardly lion plays a mean fiddle.

Please, please please get what you want

Last week, I was on a run when I encountered a genuine stranger. The man was about 80, with a frizzy, grey beard, thin as a rail. I was alone, it was getting dark outside, and I was coming off a really stressful day.

I opted to smile at him as I shuffled by. We were both crossing over Boylan bridge. It’s pretty tight sidewalk, and we both slightly shifted to let the other by.

As we crossed each other, he looked at me, with a warm and genuine expression. He said, without pause, “You’re doing a good job,” as I passed by.

It was unexpected and sweet. Some days, a comment like that might have meant less. On that day, it meant a lot.

It’s strange how sometimes, we need just one person to pat us on the back. It’s surprising how something so little, and seemingly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, can turn everything around.

It seemed to be a really rough week for a lot of people. Regardless of the source, stress seemed to consume a lot of people I care about. On the surface, we were all fine – shiny, positive and eager.

Under the surface was doubt, exhaustion and a lot of frustration.

I’ve been curating my thoughts for this post for a few days. A few people have asked me how I get ideas for posts, and to be honest, they just kind of pop into my head.

Most of the posts I write are because the subject matter is interesting, fun or informative. But for a select few, I feel physically and emotionally compelled to write them.

Those are the ones I feel really good about. This post, is one of them.

Some of you are friends and family. Some are strangers.  Despite your status or familiarity to me, I respect your struggle and believe in your dreams. Even if you aren’t quite sure what those dreams are.

Even if you’re not going through a rough time, I want to pat you on the back. I want to encounter you, on whatever bridge you’re trying to cross, and give you whatever encouragement you need. Red faced, out of breath, and feeling as if you’re hitting a concrete wall, I want to face you, and express that you’re powerful and in control.

If you’ve got a roof over your head, food in your belly, and at least one decent, good person who loves you, you’re doing OK. You will be fine. This will pass.

Once you accept that, and allow peace and comfort to flow through you, I want you to examine the source of your stress. I want you to weigh whether or not it’s worth carrying.

Then, I want you to act. Optimistically, well-informed, and well-rested, I want you to boldly act.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign – to change the course of your career, to change your zip code, or just to change what time you go to sleep at night, this is it. This is your sign. It’s time for change.

I think you know I’m right.

Give yourself the opportunity to deeply examine your path, and ask the right questions:

  • Are you doing work that makes you feel fulfilled, or do you feel like you’re wasting precious time?
  • Are you surrounding yourself with people who love, respect and inspire you, or do you find yourself around people that bring you down?
  • Do you take care of yourself, emotionally, spiritually, and physically? Are you getting outside and enjoying nature? Are you taking time for long baths, sweet smelling candles, and cozy naps?
  • Here’s the most important question of them all – when’s the last time you did something that filled you with joy?

I’m talking absolute bliss here, people.

What’s the last thing that inspired, or moved you?

Got something? Good. Zero in on that. Let that be your holy grail.

Assign value and priority to your happiness. If it’s a pumpkin spice latte, go get it. If it’s a different career, find a way to pursue it. Whatever “it is”, please, please, please get what you want.

You deserve joy.

I’m here for you. No matter who you are, I’m here for you. After reading this, if you still feel a little lost and want to talk, email me. We’ll figure this out together.

If not, I just wish you the best of luck, and good timing. Whenever you are on your bridge, I’m running there right beside you. I’m there to remind you, even on the worst of days, you’re doing a good job.

Keep running.

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“You’re actually going to write and record hundreds of songs.”

A few weeks ago, I came across this quote.

“You’re actually going to write and record hundreds of songs.”

It was a part of an interview with Frank Ocean, made into an inspirational kind of image, from Pinterest. Or something.

Here’s the original picture.

Essentially, a fan asked Frank Ocean to explain his current situation to his five-years-ago self. Ocean recaps his last five years, complete with disappointments and failures, to get to his current self. Of course, his current self is hanging out with Jay Z.

I was intrigued by this, so I decided to follow the same exercise.

Continue reading…

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You are not a renewable resource.

I was reading a Reddit thread today with an incredible quote from a Redditor:

“You are a precious resource.”

The word “resource” sums up, so perfectly, all the energy, passion and time we have on this planet. That line inspired this post and this slight rephrasing: You are not a renewable resource.

Continue reading…