3-Month Wrap Up: Getting Rich In Vegas, White Water Rafting, & Committing One Act of Kindness Every Day

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I miss this place. This blog makes me feel the most me. Whenever I’ve just finished writing a post, I feel like I’m floating on a current of energy, like I’m leaning into what makes me tick.

So I’ve been looking forward to making a return to write this for a while now. I’m sitting here on the calmest afternoon I’ve experienced in a month, sipping hours-old french press coffee (and it’s important that I tell you it’s french press because I have been a lazy, trashy Keurig coffee drinker for a while now and I’m very impressed at this new development in my life), and admiring all the summer-in-Denver that is happening just outside the window.

Today feels deeply good. Life feels deeply good.

And I can’t wait to tell you all about why.

These past few months, I…

1. Left Las Vegas richer than I arrived. (#47, long-term list)

Las Vegas was not a planned thing. One day I was not going to Las Vegas and had no reason to even think about going to Las Vegas, and the next day I had a plane ticket booked up for the weekend.

So Las Vegas happened. More specifically, Las Vegas happened to me.

I knew that leaving Las Vegas richer than I arrived was on my long-term bucket list, and I really, really wanted to cross that puppy off. So amidst all the eating, Lyfting, swimming in the pool, oggling at elaborate buildings and people, and *cough* drinking *cough* that went on, I made a point to hit up a casino.

Here’s the thing. I knew I would never win big. There’s no freakin’ way. Have you seen me? I trip up stairs. I’m not someone with the kind of luck to cash out with major bucks.

My game plan was this: put in a small amount of money, play a few rounds, and the very second I came out even a little bit ahead, I was getting out of there.Β 

So I threw in five bucks. A few rounds of blackjack later, I was up 75 cents.

And I freakin. Cashed. Out.

Never mind that I lost 50 cents of that 75 playing the slot machines. I LEFT LAS VEGAS RICHER THAN I ARRIVED, MOTHA TRUCKAAAAS.

By 25 cents. Someone try and stop me. Maybe I’ll go buy a gum ball. Maybe I won’t. I’m limitless.

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My playground for the night. πŸ˜‰

2. Headed to the rapids for some white water rafting. (#3, short-term list)

It’s not often you get the chance to throw your mortal body into some waves crashing into rocks and creating whirlpools of death just beneath the surface with only an inflatable raft (which is really just a glorified balloon, if you think about it) to protect you.

So when a group of almost 20 friends invites you along on a white water rafting trip they’ve been planning for the past year, you take the opportunity.

We drove up to Aspen and hooked up with a few guides who took us out for the ride of a lifetime. Not going to lie, there were a few times I looked at what we were about to traverse and thought there was no way I’d make it out alive.

But I did. And with nothing but pretty trees around you, a big sky above you, and good people beside you, it was a trip for the books. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.Β 

I’ve never felt more Colorado-ian than I did that day. I’m glad that places like this exist.

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The guides said we were their favorite group that summer.

3. Went camping (#6, short-term list) and soaked in some hot springs. (#7, short-term list)

For my birthday, my friend Amber took me to Strawberry Park Hot Springs.Β Everyone had been telling us that these were the best hot springs the state had to offer, so we knew we had to try it out.

It was nighttime when we arrived, so when we first got out of the car we couldn’t see a thing. But after our eyes adjusted to the darkness, the moonlight was just enough to help us guide our way into the water.

Each pool at Strawberry Park Hot Springs was a different temperature, so you could start off piping hot and move down into lukewarm waters by the end of your time there. It was so relaxing and I can see how people use it as a kind of therapy.

Afterwards, we set up camp nearby and passed out cold in our tent for the night. It wasn’t our first time camping that summer and it wasn’t even our first time camping together – Amber and I had done another trip in July that was super fun too, and I also went camping another time with a good group of folks. There’s something about waking up in the mountains that feels pretty dang cool.

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What a birthday view.

 

4. Started doing one act of kindness every day for a year. (#12, short-term list; #18, long-term list)

Since I’d finally finished on my endeavor to take a 1 second video every day for a year, I knew I was ready to start up a new daily task. This time I set out to commit one act of kindness every day for a year.

To be honest, this challenge is going to be hard for me. I started it on my birthday but then forgot to do an act of kindness a few days later, so I had to start over. It’s also been hard for me to parse out what I’m doing for the sake of the goal and what I’m just doing in my every day life that I’m attributing to the goal. Let me explain.

For example, the other day I did something I thought was nice, and I said to myself afterwards, “Hey! That will be my random act of kindness for the day.” But is that the point? Is the point to pick out what I’m already doing that’s kind? Or is it to add more kindness to my life?

I think it’s supposed to be the latter. So on days when I’m feeling lazy and I want to attribute something I did that day to the goal when in actuality I would’ve done it anyway, I need to like, not do that.

Hold me accountable, friends.

5. Started creating a community here in Denver. (#9, short-term list)

Anyone who has moved to a new city where they didn’t know anybody can probably relate to the worries that come with making a new network of friends. I’m lucky to be in a city where it feels like nearly everyone is a transplant, and everyone is looking for a new pal to add to their gang – so I feel like I’m not lacking in social contact at all. It’s also been nice to move into a house with a bunch of girls who are super sweet, funny, and real about life. That’s giving me a lot of hope for what’s ahead. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, and I didn’t expect myself to have community by now. But the people around me these days are nice and friendly and filling me up with great things, and that makes me excited.

6. Did lots of other stuff!

In addition to what’s above, I also ate at Casa Bonita (#4, short-term list), took in the gorgeous views at Rocky Mountain National Park (#5, short-term list), and visited Garden of the Gods (#10, short-term list). But this post is already super long, so I’ll cut it off here. Ask me about those adventures sometime!

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Garden of the Gods was gorgeous.

What have you been doing lately to check items off your bucket list? What’s next on the agenda? Any advice for building community in a new place?

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I Filmed 1 Second Of My Life Every Day. Here’s What Happened.

 

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In May of 2015, I started taking a 1 second video of my life every day in the hopes that I’d do it for the whole year. It was one of my long-term bucket list goals, something I’d wanted to take on for a while after hearing about the app 1 Second Everyday and learning the founder’s story.

The biggest reason I had my heart set on doing something like this was to commemorate all the adventures I had during the year in a way that didn’t involve me taking 23423408 photos of my friends in the middle of us trying to break it down on the dance floor at our favorite spot to show off our Β sickΒ Β mediocre moves, The Fat Baby.

Honestly, I just wanted a way to quickly capture some of my favorite moments while not taking myself away from the life I was enjoying. Nobody likes the person glued to their camera when we’re all creating memories together.

And thus, my journey through 1 Second Everyday began.Β  Continue reading “I Filmed 1 Second Of My Life Every Day. Here’s What Happened.”

How To Make Friends: My Post-Grad Thoughts On Relationships That Count

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I used to have 8234839234 million “friends.” And I put quotation marks around the word “friends” because I use that term so lightly.

College was a dream for me. While the school I went to wasn’t perfect, I was too enamored with it to notice it’s flaws while I was there, so I danced through those four years with a big fat smile on my face. Sure, I had plenty of tough times in college, namely some difficulty adjusting to the academic rigor of the school I went to and a couple of ugly relationships, but otherwise I was the girl who’d hijack the high schoolΒ guests at your dinner party to convince them to think about applying to the place I loved so much.

And one of the things that made my college experience so spectacular were all the friends I had. Don’t get me wrong – that makes me sound really popular or something, and we all know that I’m a huge dork and a really big ball of anxiety who sometimes cares way too much about what other people think. Not really a picture of “cool.”

But in college, it was way easier to make friends and maintain them. That is, if you have the definition of friendship that I did.Β  Continue reading “How To Make Friends: My Post-Grad Thoughts On Relationships That Count”

How To Make Your Dreams Come True: Making Vague Goals A Reality

How Writing A Gratitude Journal Helped Me Savor My Life | Making a gratitude journal is an awesome way to appreciate the little things in life. Here's how I got started and how you can, too!

So you’ve done the work.

You’ve made your bucket list full of your wildest dreams. You’ve cut out the 3 worst habits that get in the way of reaching our goals.You’ve set yourΒ priorities and made room in your life for pursuing purpose.

And you’ve even gone through my practical guide to achieving “impossible” goals.

But now you’re staring at your computer screen, blinking at phrases like “Travel to every country in the world” and “Find true love,” and you’re not sure where to start.

All these crazy aspirations you’ve thought up, the picture of this amazing life you’ve dreamt about since forever – all of this feels elusive. There are too many invisible steps from where you are now to where you want to go.

And you’ve begun to wonder if the life you want is even in the cards. Continue reading “How To Make Your Dreams Come True: Making Vague Goals A Reality”

Get To Know Yourself: 3 Steps Towards Understanding Who You Are

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The thing I love most about being a therapist is getting to know someone in a way they may not have ever been known before. Then I get to help them understand who they are.

I cherish this part of therapy more than all else because I believe that understanding ourselves is the key component towards self-love, healing, and freedom. Continue reading “Get To Know Yourself: 3 Steps Towards Understanding Who You Are”

Vulnerability Scares Me To Death & Here’s Why I Choose It Anyway [+4 Free Lock Screens!]

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I was sitting across from an incredible human being over salads and coffee in a local lunch spot and I was scared to death.

It wasn’t this human’s fault. She was becoming a person Β I trusted. You know those people you meet at random times in life who make you feel like God cut you from the same cloth? Like your souls share the same threaded design? This was how I felt with her, a person slowly becoming a friend as we decided to share small swatches of our hearts with one another, bit by bit, testing the waters to see if they felt safe.

And they had so far. But things were getting scary for me. Because I did feel safe, and that meant I had to wade a little deeper. I had to share a little more. If I wanted to take this acquaintance-becoming-friend to full-fledged-partnership, I knew I neededΒ to make my way to the deep end, revealing more vulnerable realities I carried around inside clenched fists so nobody could see them.

I had to get real. Continue reading “Vulnerability Scares Me To Death & Here’s Why I Choose It Anyway [+4 Free Lock Screens!]”

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here to Help. #newyears #resolution #city #newyear #2017 #2016

Happy 2017, friends! Last year was such a ride, and I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store.

And of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have goals for the year. If you’ve been following this blog, you’re probably like, duh Amanda. Goals are like, who you are. You are made of goals. Goals basically fall out of your ears.Β 

Um, thanks? I’m not really sure if that was a compliment or an insult, but if I say thanks maybe that means it’s a compliment. Ahem. Continue reading “Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.”

A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]

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Jump right to the worksheet by clicking here!

As a therapist, it’s my job to help people achieve their goals. Many of the people I see come into the therapy room with visions for their lives, but they feel stuck or unable to get there. Their dreams seem impossible, so far out of reach that they’ll never be actualized.

My role is to inspire hope. When my clients are leaving our last therapy session together, one of my biggest desires is that they’ve walked away with a sense of self-efficacy, or the confidence that they have everything they need to get started on the road towards seeing their dreams become reality.Β  Continue reading “A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]”

Why I Almost Took Down This Site & Why I Didn’t

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There was a moment in these past few monthsΒ when I almost killed The Next Seven.

October had just rolled in and life was simultaneously feeling too full and yet not full enough. My days were packed with activities.

Between running almost every day in training for a half marathon, writing and submitting poetry to journals, stuffing my weekends and nights with New York City adventures, attending and studying for school, spending quality time building up my personal relationships, and working at the hospital, there was barely any time for blogging.

And it started to feel kind of pointless to blog. I didn’t feel like I was really creating a platform thatΒ drew others to read and respond. And keeping this site up and running was taking up a bit of my time that I could have been using toΒ work towards other items on my bucket list. Continue reading “Why I Almost Took Down This Site & Why I Didn’t”

Guest Post: Simply Us Blog

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I don’t really remember how Emily of Simply Us Blog and I met, but I remember immediately being struck by her interest in living life well.Β She was overjoyed to hear about my desire to fully live out my 20s because sheΒ did just that. She told me she was so intentional about making the most of those yearsΒ that she graduated to her 30s without a single regret.Β After hearing a bit of her story, I was so inspired that I asked her to write a guest post to share some tips on how she leans into life every single day. Give her a warm welcome!

I don’t think that I started out wanting to do things so differently from everyone else. Β I wanted to fit in! Β However, as the years passed and the more I found that my strange lifestyle choices bothered people, the more I wanted to be unique. Continue reading “Guest Post: Simply Us Blog”