Let’s Go on an Adventure

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Lao-Tzu

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Hello my name is Jacklyn and I’m an Arranger. Well, as of tomorrow, a recovering Arranger.

So I have taken the StrengthsFinder test multiple times.  Once while in college, once at the publishing house, and most recently, here at the law firm.  Apparently, “Arranger” must have been just hanging out there at number 6 just waiting to show its face.  It obviously picked the perfect time…after law school.

I cannot avoid it.  I’m a perpetual planner and a habitual arranger.  There should be a group for people like me.

And as much as I love my job, I cannot avoid the fact that it revolves around deadlines, constantly tracking the progress of cases or legislation, and recording my time in six minute increments.

Each of us has that element to what we do.  We have checklists, deadlines, and to-do lists.  It keeps us organized, keeps us upright, and on track.  However, I am convinced that we also yearn for adventure, pine for the unexpected, and crave the beauty that a new experience brings.

My recent checklist has been one of my favorites.  It has consisted of: get hiking boots, figure out what a spork is, learn to pack for two weeks in a foreign country in a single bag, and try to learn as much Spanish as you can.

Tomorrow I am going to give in to the yearning and give up the arranger and planner in me. I am ecstatic…and nervous as hell.

Tomorrow I board a plane, with my husband’s mom, bound for Madrid and then on Friday we hop on a train to Ponferada. In Ponferada we start our trip along the Camino de Santiago. We’ll meet our guys who have been on the trail for almost three weeks now and head to Santiago de Compestela.
 

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I have no itinerary and no plans except to soak up every second of every minute. From what the guys have told us already, it has been an incredible and life changing experience. Of which the best part is who you meet along the way.

I simply cannot wait.

The guy have been posting pictures and updates from their travels and I’m sure we will do the same at Buen Camino.

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Old Haunts and New Favorites

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” ~ Lin Yutang

To be honest, I’m not really sure where my old, familiar pillow is at this point in time.  Recently, I feel like my bags are constantly packed and ready by the door.   However, I have realized the beauty in not only traveling and finding new places, but also seeing old places, with new eyes.

The Boy and I have been having a blast together exploring his hometown here in Cinci and seeking out new favorites when I’m in Nashville amidst visiting our go-to’s.  This past weekend in Nashville was no different.

After a morning run and taking Caesar to his yearly vet appointment (always an adventure) we decided to head to The Flying Saucer, one of our favorite spots, to try a new Dogfish Head they had in.

Then it was off to East Nashville.  I was really excited to head across the river to try some new spots and hopefully visit one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Nashville.

One of the places on our list to try was Cooper’s on Porter, a place we heard about at the East Nashville Beer Festival this Spring.  We ended up getting there a little earlier than the 4pm open time which was fine by me because that meant there was time for a late lunch at Rosepepper.  Perfect planning in my book!

After a steamed vegetable quesadilla and one of the best margs in town, we ended up walking around my old stomping ground for a bit and then headed back to Porter to check out Cooper’s.

We heard about Cooper’s as it relates to beer but it turns out as we learned from the bartender, owner and chef Cooper Brunk, places much of the emphasis on food.  However, since we had already taken care of the food side of things, we just decided to check out the beer.  They have 25 rotating taps and plenty more in bottles and cans.  Although you won’t find anything crazy on tap at Cooper’s, what they do offer is a killer line up of solid craft brews including Schlafly, Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and of course, local favorites like Blackstone and Yazoo.  The best part, at least in this law student’s book, is that every Tuesday-Saturday from 4-7pm, all drafts are only $3.

After that we decided to check out another new kid on the block, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.  This just might be one of my new favorite places. This should not surprise you since I’m pretty sure ice cream was my first solid food as a child.

But this is like no other ice cream you’ve ever tasted before.  I mean, come on.  Check out this flavor list.  Cherry Lambic Sorbet, Queen City Cayenne, Brown Butter Almond Brittle and what I ended up going with: Salty Caramel.  Salty and Sweet.  Again, this should not surprise you seeing as I probably single handedly bought out all of Starbucks Salted Hot Chocolate drinks while they were available this past winter.  The Starbucks that I consumed during finals was just downright frightening.

Anyway, the Boy tried the Cherry Lambic Sorbet and although I tend to be very skeptical when it comes to sorbet…that too was delicious!  We decided to get two pints to-go and I’m sure they will not be our last this summer.

The great thing is that although they only have shops in Northern Ohio and now Nashville, you don’t have to go there to get Jeni’s truly splendid ice cream.  Luckily, you can find them in Whole Foods, Jungle Jims and other markets across the US.  You have to try this stuff.  I promise, you’ll thank me later.

Even though, like all other weekend trips, my time in Nashville seemed too short…it was a blast.  It was the first trip where I felt like I had shaken off law school for the summer and didn’t have to worry about deadlines, briefs, or homework to be done when I got back.  I enjoyed and loved every minute of it.  After a jam packed 1L year, the summer is a welcome break and the relaxation it brings is intoxicating.

To me, there’s just something about summer that whispers adventure.  It’s time to go see things you’ve been wanting to all winter long, it’s reading those books that your friends can’t stop talking about while lounging on the porch enjoying a warm summer night.  It’s catching up with old friends over delicious food and relaxing with family.  It’s indulging in your old favorites while finding the time to seek out new ones.

So here’s to ice cream, a cheap pint of beer, good company, lazy summer nights, and adventures, both new and old.

What will you be doing this summer?  What’s your adventure? Where are some places you want to go and are they old favorites or new?

Find Your Adventure

I recently finished a project at work where I interviewed a handful of human resource professionals and hiring managers about the recession’s impact on young adults.

For almost two years the economy has paralyzed recent graduates. Many have been forced to rethink their futures and alter their expectations. Some have found new interests; others won’t give up their dreams. Almost all are following an unexpected path down an uncertain road. Seeing this fallout, experts considered what they might tell teens preparing to enter college.

Their advice: Get a degree of value.
My advice: Follow your passion.

Don’t get me wrong; their advice makes sense. In a time of devastating unemployment, when so many college graduates are without jobs, an accounting or nursing degree appears more likely to lead to a stable job than a degree in history or sociology.

 That said, I can’t overlook my own experiences.

Yes, I graduated in a better economic time. But I don’t think it was the soaring Dow or the booming real estate business that landed me my dream job. I think it was my genuine enthusiasm for the degree I chose to pursue and the profession that I hoped to become a part of – journalism.

For as long as I can remember passion is what my parents preached. Both are professionals with advanced degrees (one is a biomedical engineer with a master’s, the other is a physical therapist with a PhD).

Still, as I prepared to head off for college and tried to decide on a major, my parents didn’t focus on a future of touting intellect or chasing wealth. Their consistent message was to pursue something I loved. If I loved what I did, they said, there would never be any question of my success. My passion would propel me to learn, and grow, and excel.

At the time, only some of their message resonated; part of me just heard another in a litany of parental lectures. But if I had one passion it was writing, and with my parents’ support I chose to pursue the creative, low paying, some may say now-dying profession of journalism.

It was the right choice.

People fascinate me. Everyone has a story to tell and uncovering the intricacies of their lives is like opening a new book every day. Journalism offered me the opportunity to use my words to share those people’s experiences with others, while perhaps also offering some insight, education or entertainment.

My enthusiasm for that opportunity came through in my studies, my internship performance, and my job interviews. There is no doubt in my mind that passion is what secured the job offer I received almost eight years ago at The Tennessean.

Now, I work with words for a living. I paint images with nouns and verbs. I impart smells and sounds through similes and metaphors. I capture facts and feelings and put them on paper. And I LOVE it.

It is rare that I wake up on a Monday morning not looking forward to the work week. Every day is a new adventure. So I say to you, find your adventure. Embrace your passion.

 — JESSICA BLISS

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Last summer when JBliss and I did the Muddy Buddy. This is the Before.

JBliss went to Greendale High School in Greendale, Wisconsin (a southern suburb of Milwaukee).  Past that, J didn’t send me a bio which means I get to write hers. 

A former sports writer for The Tennessean, J now finds herself in the lifestyle section.  Let me just say this, as a journalism major myself, I was drawn to J and her writing style.  So much so that I decided to get a subscription to The Tennessean.  I always wanted to be one of those people who woke up in the morning, started the coffee and headed out to get the paper at the end of the walk.  I have so enjoyed reading J’s stories.  She knows a good story. She knows how to connect with people to bring it out.  To read some of her amazing writing, start here

And the After...

Beyond just writing, J loves everything outdoor and constantly gives back.  I met J through Girls on the Run Nashville a fantastic organization made up of an inspring group of people.  J heads up the thing and I have never seen such drive and passion.  She walks the talk and as someone who’s parents also preached passion, it’s invigorating to see that following yours actually works! J excells at everything she loves, running, friendships, writing and volunteering.  She is a great friend of mine, makes me laugh and someone I deeply respect and admire.  She was one of the first people I told about law school and has been one of my greatest supporters since.  Everytime I get nervous she is there cheering me on reminding me to follow my passion. 

There is also a  Baby Bliss on the way which I couldn’t be happier about! She is going to be such a great mother.  I’ve lost my morning running buddy for now but I know we will be running together soon with the stroller in tow when I come back into town. 

About this series: This is one of  a series of guest posts in May that will run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.