Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In case you needed visuals.. :)

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." - Churchill

I'm so busy I've become a slacker

It's ironic that the whole reason I started to write was to fill people in on my busy life.. then I got to busy to fill people in. The past few months have been packed with opportunity, adventure, meditation, questions, and so much that I've wanted to write about.. so better late(r) then never. So here is my recap of the summer and fall in case you were wondering where I disappeared to for the last few months..

Back in May Drewbear introduced me to recreational activity known as trad climbing. Yes for the first time in a very long time I was in love.. with rock climbing! I signed up to take a rock climbing class and thought, "hey why not?"

But what I was not expecting was that this activity has become a big part of my life. Not just for the activity itself but what it has come to represent in my life journey. Rock climbing, for me, means trusting not only your own ability but the tools you have been handed to handle the risk of scaling 800 vertical feet. Well it's possible, and it's a lot of fun! When I began climbing I was so unsure of my own ability to climb and I did not like that all I had to rely on for backup should my own strength fail is a rope and some pro. Now, a few months later, my favorite spot to be is 800 feet up tied into an anchor that over looks the valleys and mountains, and hang on the cliff in the sun. Climbing was a mental strength I had to build before it was a physical strength for me. And with that, I have learned that that mentality used for climbing can be reused for almost everything in life. As I continue to pursue dreams I must continue to strengthen my mind and heart and body The tools I've been given and the abilities I have developed will get me to my destination. I just have to trust and push through. I've found that the time I'm the most filled with life, energy, and joy are the times that I'm being pushed beyond any limits set on myself either by me or others. It's truly a wonderful feelings of relief and power when you summit the top of the rock, three pitches later, and realize that you've just accomplished what most people wouldn't dare let alone dream of attempting. Much like an unbeaten path of life. Besides, trad is just rad!

Speaking of climbing out of comfort zones, I am officially half way through my first semester as a professor and I tell you.. there is nothing better then being an educator! I just absolutely LOVE teaching production and watching my students develop a passion for it. I get so pumped every Wednesday to talk for four hours about production and see them become inspired. They’re all so talented and unique and for that I am thankful for a great first semester with awesome students. Next semester I will teaching more classes including documentary film production and I am beyond excited! Is this a life long career path? Possibly. I'm not sure.

Speaking of more adventure.. a goal I had set for myself in June was to summit 15 14ers in three months. For you non-coloradians,14ers are mountains that are 14,000 ft or more. I especially wanted to tackle Longs Peak which is known to be one of the more challenging 14ers to summit in Colorado

Well mission accomplished! I officially hit the 16 fourteener mark for myself in September as my friend Hans and I took on Kelso Ridge. Most of the climbs we did were over night backpacking in and summating at sun rise. And yes, on my birthday I summited Longs Peak and beat everyone else's time by more then half ;) Each mountain was beautiful and challenging in it's own way, and the view at the summit stopped my heart every time, and forever will! And yes I even ran into some wild animals along the way, i.e. the goat! And I'm glad I lived through that attack and am now able to look back, laugh, and continue on in my plans to take on higher peaks and more technical climbs. But more importantly then just climbing up mountains, I think what I enjoyed the most of these adventures and still enjoy are the friends I've made along the way and have joined me all the way to the top. Some of the world's most wonderful young men and women have walked with me for miles and sat with me to inhale the views of the beautiful creation given to us.

Hmm.. what else can I fill you in on? Oh.. that's right my races! I began to run a lot more last spring when I was unemployed and well.. bored. But this summer I took running to the next level and ran my first 10 mile race then shortly after ran my first half marathon! (13 miles)

Well to wrap this up with my updates, although I could probably go on all day long.. and you'd be bored I am sure of it :) The last bit of news I'd like to share is that I moved into my first apartment a month or so ago with a wonderful roomie! Alison and I live in a town called Broomfield which is great, and has a wonderful mountain view :) So come out and visit, I have a place for you to stay.. and we'll go have adventures in the mountains because it's snowboarding season!

So that's my update, hope you feel better informed and have enjoyed reading of my ever moving, kind of exhausting, very fun and fulfilling life! I love that you're apart of it and each and every day I am so blessed to have your support and love! I promise to keep updating especially to tell you all about my current project to backpack through Nepal, trek 120 miles in the mountains and end in Thailand where I will be deep water soloing (rock climbing in the ocean!) Next May with my hiking buddy Elise. It's going to be the trip and experience of a life time and I'm going to document the life of sherpas I believe all the while breathing in the beauty of the Himalayas. My love for mountains doesn't stop in Colorado, I want to see them all! And be the first woman to summit K2 :) Oh it'll happen.. trust :) much love, AcB

Monday, April 19, 2010

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans by Jen Jones

It truly is amazing how technology brings people together who are hundreds of miles apart..

Recently I received an email from a distant cousin who lives in Alaska. To set the stage, this is how I came to hear about Jen and her amazing struggle.

As you know I ran away to Colorado in June and began having a wild adventure of not only learning who I was but also learning who God was and what he wanted for my life. He really revealed in me an adventurous spirit. The cousins (or God sent angels) that I'm currently living with told me I had distant family in Alaska that I needed to connect with. Thank you Facebook! I found my cousin Lori on FB and began conversations with her about someday visiting and playing in the Alaskan mountains.

Around Christmas Lori contacted me and offered me a wonderful opportunity to move to Alaska and become a nanny, if you will, for her friends Jen and Jeremy. Jen is currently battling cancer while being a mom to two little ones. Her husband is working hard to not only provide for his wife financially but also in sickness and health..

After much consideration, prayer, and back and forth decision making, I decided to not move to Alaska. It was a hard decision and although it was a good offer, I just didn't feel it was the best. Which to this day I'm still convinced that Colorado is my place to rest my head.. for now.

But just because I've never met Jen doesn't mean she hasn't touched my life and that's what I have decided to share a recent email from her to you. Jen is a strong beautiful woman who is truly living through life's hardest struggle and is doing it with optimism, courage, and hope. In the email you are about to read, I almost sensed a joy for her life and a passion to continue to persevere even when the pain is unbearable. I wonder how many of us can say the same when we struggle with our life situations.

I feel like her words will do enough to speak to you, I don't really need to keep adding my two cents but I do want to say this.. Dear Jen, I am so thankful to know your story and you are my in thoughts and prayers daily. Although I wasn't able to make it out to Alaska this time I do hope to someday and I can't wait to meet you when I do. God has you and your family tightly in his hands and if you keep pursuing his love and strength for your life, he will provide every step of the way. These verses are my prayer for you and your healing.

2 Corinthians 1:2-5 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Jen's email:

Want to make God laugh? Just tell him your plans! Once again, thank you for all of your prayers. Your prayers and God's mercy & grace are the only explanation for why I'm still able to write to you in the first place!
Quick summary: the infection cleared up with the antibiotics, just in time for me to catch a chest cold - and then another bacterial infection a couple of weeks ago! I also had radiation again, this time to my entire brain, as there was a 1 cm tumor on my right front lobe. It took a while to recover from that treatment - some complications - and sadly my hair will probably not grow back - but I've got three different wigs to hang out with now!
I had another CT scan the other day and the results were mixed. Unfortunately, the cancer has metastasized to my lower backbone, so I will be headed back for more radiation starting Monday. In addition, it's difficult to tell what is going on in my lower left lobe (lungs) where the infection is recurrent - If an airway is being blocked by the tumor and the lack of oxygen is causing the infection to recur (and the mass showing of mucous) or if it is all metastatic mass. A pulmonary specialist is looking into that issue. I also have three more tumors growing near my left collarbone, and there are now two tumors instead of one in my liver. The good news is that the tumor in my lungs mid-sternum has not grown!!! - which is really excellent because it was starting to make it difficult for me to swallow. The great news is I'm still here! (after being told that mid-March would be the longest I'd live)
John & Wendy Baumeister very generously gave me use of their sauna and literally within a few days of use it relieved a large amount of pain & coughing - so much that my lovely little hubby went off and bought & installed our very own!
The bottom line - God's awesome gracefulness! It is only by your prayers and His grace that I'm still here. I've come to learn more about God's purposed involvement in my life - I have so much to live for, and have been very blessed in so many ways throughout my life. I'm only 32 and I feel I have so much more to do on this earth - besides growing old with my dear hubby of nearly 11 years and raising our nearly-4-year-old and nearly-6-year-old. And so I humbly ask you to continue to pray for FULL healing for me- please forward this email so that others may be praying for me, too - please forward this email to your church's prayer chain. If you don't attend a church, then I humbly ask you to print this email out and drop it off at one near you at your earliest convenience. Honestly, I would LOVE to know that this cry for healing would be heard by Jesus from people and churches across the nation - if not the world!!!
If you can do this, please accept my heartfelt thanks and appreciation - for your future prayers and to those of you who have been praying for me all along - your prayers have made a difference and continue to do so! Only by the grace of God I am able to write this to you - with blessings & prayers upon you and yours in the name of Jesus Christ - with hugs & smiles - Jen Jones :0)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A view from the top

I wish I could be more timely with my posts but better late then never

So two Saturdays ago I was invited to join my dearly beloved Drewbear on a climb up Quandary Peak up in Breckenridge, CO. It was a spectacular day! The weather was warm, bright blue skies, and the snow was deep but not so hard to trudge through. It was a 14er and probably one of the most beautiful mountains I've been on so
far. Also joining us was my lovely friend Hilary who also tackled the mountain like a champ.

This hike was different then what I was use to. I had snowshoes on the whole way up which added a bit of challenge to endurance because when my legs got tired the shoes would catch on each other. I've been training at Red Rock Amphitheater for a couple weeks now running stairs and eating lots of protein so my and my endurance were both in tip top shape to reach the top. I also discovered a way of climbing mediation while on this climb. At one point I became tired and was getting frustrated with having snowshoes on. I simply closed my eyes and began to pray and reflect and zone out of the pressure being put on my body and concentrate solely on connecting with the mountain I was on. When I opened my eyes I had gone so far it was incredible. It sounds crazy, but totally true and honestly enlightening. A friend asked me recently if I was religious and I answered no, I'm spiritual. I believe of course greatly in a Creator God who put those mountains there and gave me the ability to climb it. But I believe in energy and spirits of nature and climbing Quandary gave me an opportunity to really let go of my own mind, relax, and connect with good energys on the mountain. It was a really beautiful experience to free your soul, let your body do the mechanical work of putting one foot in front of the other but allowing yourself to connect with all that is around you. I love this quote I heard once, "I am a part of all that I have met" and I believe that means the natural world as well as the human race. Anyways I definitely kept my eyes open at the top as I looked at the miles and miles of blue and white peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

There are really three main reasons why I like to climb so much..
1. The view is amazing the whole way up and best at the tippy top
2. The challenge of pushing your body is the best way to free your soul
3. The people you meet along the way

As I was hiking up this 14er I went off by myself to take in the experience and really focus on being on the mountain. One point I ran into two guys who stopped to chat with me. I just liked the one man's comment to me.. "keep on smiling and having a good time because it's all up from here" I think that's a good motto for life in general. Smile.. have a good time.. it's all up from here.Hiking really does free my soul, recharge my batteries so to speak, and reminds me that reaching the top is only a bonus.. it's the journey that's most important.
It was about a five hour round trip for the day. We started out slow in the morning because we were a large group but soon my friend Hilary and I broke apart and reached the top on our own. Drew, who we started out the climb with, stuck with the group like a good leader. I had such a great time being on the mountain with them and have just been so excited since for the weather to start clearing up so I can start hiking on the weekends again. I've been doing some indoor climbing recently and hope to begin starting to attend a Wednesday night climbing group that goes out around Golden to climb outdoors, it sounds like so much fun! I've noticed that since I've moved to CO the thought of sitting around kills me. If I'm not climbing I'm running miles and stairs and if I'm not doing that I'm snowboarding or hiking mountains. I love being out and I'm so glad I went up Quandary. It just my blood flowing.. literally.. but most importantly for doing Longs Peak this summer. Longs is probably the hardest climb in Colorado from what I hear but is definitely on my goals for this summer.

So other then conquering mountains I've also started my new job. I'm very blessed for this opportunity and I'm really praying hard that God would give me the heart for the work. I'm a production coordinator for a corporate video company. I love the people I work with but I am struggling with the work itself. All my life I've been very outreach focused and my video production background has always been focused on humanitarian efforts, politics, social justice, and grassroots outreach. My new job requires me to think money, marketing, business, ROI, target audiences, lead generation........ what a headache! I feel so exhausted by the end of the day from sitting in an office and trying to push myself to think like a business person. The guys I work with hired me for a reason but I have to keep reminding myself what that reason is. I know I deserve this position and I truly believe that this is going to really mature my abilities and help me along my own pursuit of owning my own company, but until I reach that point I need to keep coaching myself a long and pushing myself to find a passion for what I do. But I won't give up on my ideas and beliefs that's for sure. I believe I am going to start teaching at Red Rocks Community College in the fall. Who would have thought I would be teaching at the college level one year out of college.. I guess it was the inevitable since I taught while I was a student. Well I'm going in on Friday to discuss specific classes but I hope to teach documentary production and/or video 101. I believe this opportunity will enable me to do my own productions with resources and networking I can acquire from working with a college.

So hopefully next time I write I can be more specific on becoming Professor Anne. I'm also started to look into moving out on me own.. dun dun dun! Except I have no furniture or kitchen stuff or bathroom stuff.. so if you come to visit bring a mat or sleeping bag, I hope you don't mind eating food that doesn't need to be cooked.. and bring your own towel :) Either that or craigslist's free section is going to be my new bff and nothing in my place will match. Either way I'm really starting to feel that I need a place of my own. I love love love my family for allowing me to move in with them but I like the idea of having a place of my own. With that being said.. I'll leave you with this to ponder..

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet" - William Blake

It doesn't mean mountains literally (to me) but upward challenges that require us to train our minds, bodies, and spirits, prepare for anything that'll come our way, concentrate on the here and now, be determined when the going gets tough, set goals because if you don't you're bound to give up, and taking the time to enjoy the view the whole way to the top!

love love love

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Living The Dream

One of my favorite quotes is: Where ever you go, go with all your heart - Confucius

A friend of my father wrote this to me a few days before I left for Haiti, and it became the theme to my journey to Colorado. When I moved here in June I really didn't know what to expect. As a little girl I can remember always thinking, I can't wait to move out on my own and find my own adventure in life.

This past week has been such an exciting week for me. Let me tell you how my adventure is continuing to grow. Last week I interviewed for an editor position with a new reality show being shot here in Colorado. The producer is working with Tom Hanks production company out of LA to produce this show here.. and I got an interview for it. Who would have thought I would score an interview, but I did. Man I was nervous! SO I interviewed to be the editor for this show which is still working on the pilot episode. During the interview they told me I was one of 15 interviewees and I would hear in a week if I made it in the top three. The opportunity would be amazing.. I would have connections and resources at my disposal for my own productions. It is the opportunity I've been waiting for.. The LA scene in Colorado. So let's jump forward a week..

I was running in the morning with some friends at Red Rocks when I got a voicemail.. it was the production company. I made the top three! OH WAIT.. actually I am the ONLY one they chose! The producer told me he loved me so much and just enjoyed my interview more then anyone else's they didn't know who to pair against me. AHH! How exciting.. I seriously started sprinting around those steps. The possibilities if I get this job are endless.. experience, credentials, and resources to pitch and produce my own production. So now I wait to hear back about the next steps.

Well after I received this good news I had a meeting at the LightGroup Media, a corporate video company I have been doing contract work for since August, project based. I went here thinking I was going to be brought on as an editor or transcriber for a new project so I didn't think much of it. Well it turned out to be an interview/invitation to come along side as a consultant to be their production coordinator for video case studies they're going to begin producing. Again big big news! It would be part time so I can continue freelancing and pursuing my film dreams but these case studies are going to be in a storytelling format.. just my speciality! Can I tell you how overwhelmed with good news I was Wednesday. I was heading to meet up with some friends after this meeting and it was at sunset.. and there is nothing more beautiful then a Colorado sunset over the rocky mountains. I took one look at it and began crying because I am just so pumped that it is ok to chase dreams and have goals. I've always feared having do live the routine life of: high school, college, 9-5 job, husband, kids, bills, once a year vacation, retirement, death... Don't get me wrong that is great for some people, but ugh I would rather run into a brick wall for fun then live my life according to that process.

Someone told me the other day I was way too motivated and I laughed. This person continued to tell me there's no reason to be so driven in life. I sat back and looked at everything I've done since I moved here, and he was right. I am a go-getter on crack. But in my interview at the LightGroup they said that's why they love me. And it's why I've learned to love myself.

I don't settle, I dream big, and I have joy in what I do. There are song lyrics that say "Don't be scared of what you cannot see, your only fear is possibility" I have no idea what these new opportunities will bring but I am open to whatever comes my way. If you don't take chances then you won't know what's out there for you. There are two things that make me come alive in life.. one is the view from the top of a mountain, and the second is storytelling through video production. Where ever you go.. go with all your heart. I definitely came to Colorado and have lived every day with all of my heart. I finally feel like this is where I'm suppose to be.

Well I'm going to end this with I'm climbing Quandary Peak next Saturday which is a 14er in CO. yay! I'll post pictures when I get back down from the mountain. I can't wait to build my home at the top of a 14er someday :)

Peace out homies, thanks for reading, annd always dream big!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Let's Review

Ok ready for another novel by AnneC. Banister? Here we go,

I volunteered a couple weekends ago at the Boulder International Film Festival. And let's just say now more then ever I cannot wait to start making movies. I really enjoyed the energy of the film festival and the audience. I also super loved (of course) the productions. Between the stories, the creativity in telling stories, and the visual presentation, I was totally in love with the film world. Two products I want to talk about are two documentaries I recommend seeing.

The Most Dangerous Man in America -- Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
This documentary was a first person account of Daniel Ellsberg involvement in the government during Vietnam and his story leading up to his decision to release the Pentagon papers into the NY Times and ultimately most of the major newspapers in the United States.

This documentary, in true "history channel" fashion really breaks down the Vietnam war, the anti-war movements in the 60's and 70's and the political atmosphere at the time. It really showed Nixon and even Kennedy for what they really were.. monsters. Truly heartless leaders who didn't care about destroying a country, dropping bombs, and killing thousands of innocent people. They were power hungry, resource hungry, war hungry etc. Mr. Ellsberg's decision to release top secret government documents was an heroic act that I believe is important today to talk about, seeing that the Iraq war is just as ridiculous and disastrous as the Vietnam war. Now I don't really want to get heavy into the purpose of war, mainly because war is wrong the end. So there's no other side to be had.. :) BUT in all honesty I felt really inspired watching footage of protesters back during Vietnam who took risks, were arrested, and even beaten for standing up for what they believed in. And they were standing up for the lives of our fellow Americans who were risking their life to fight. Today thousands of men and women are risking their lives over in the Middle East and I hope that we as Americans will stand up and voice our opinions and our disagreements with this war. That's patriotic.

Ok back to the production, the film was really well done and I really enjoyed the interviews telling the story over narration. It even included recorded audio of Nixon being super pissed off and admitting he was killing thousands for ridiculous reasons. I recommend watching this if you're interested in the Vietnam War, the truth behind the Pentagon papers, or an inside look at the crookedness of our government.

Ok Film number two : Climate Refugees

This film is truly about a movement. Do you believe that global climate change is a natural process or a result of man's consumption and waste? The purpose of Climate Refugees is to bring a new perspective to the topic of climate change, and that perspective being; it doesn't really matter what's causing it, global climate change is destroying our natural world leading to thousands of people all over the world losing their livelihood, their resources, and ultimately their homes due to natural disasters and well climate changes. This film puts a human face to a very political discussion and simply says "hey, if we would step out of our office for a moment and stop arguing we'd see that whether or not we agree with what's causing our climate's odd behavior it's still happening and it's killing our land and our people" Many African countries are suffering from droughts and are forced to migrate to neighboring countries to seek food. Many farm lands around the world are no longer capable of producing crops, such as rice, which we in the US consume a lot of. So what do we do? Well at first as I was watching this film I thought, well let's open our borders and welcome everyone with open arms! This is a beautiful idea, but a very unrealistic one I know. So plan B... 1. consume less 2. waste less. 3. save and recycle. Turn off lights, car pool, composite waste, recycle plastic.. seriously. I can throw out statistics of how much we in this country waste a day and what that does to the rest of the world, but I'm sure you already have an idea. Going green should not be a trendy thing and should not be laughed at. It's very necessary for our survival and the survival of others.. others being those who farm and grow the food you consume daily. Those who produce the clothes and the materials for the clothes that you wear. If they're out of the picture, then your life is going to drastically change for the worse.

I really really appreciate this film maker's way of putting a human face to a political battle. Hey you on the left and you on the right, can you please meet me in the middle so I can show you that while you're arguing, people are dying, and you're basically wasting all of our time. Seriously, I'm so frustrated with the way the government is divided and how childish they all are. They're like a bunch of five year olds who can't play well with each other. Yes its very good to have different opinions and ideas on situations but when you can't come to a decision because of pride, selfishness, and just plain stubbornness, well then our democracy isn't so accomplished after all. Does it matter what's causing Global Climate Change, no! But it does matter that there are steps we can take to make sure our land and the human race continues to thrive. Our population is increasing so much and we need to adjust our lifestyles. It's really an awesome discussion and an excellent interruption into the debate. Go out and rent this or look it up.. "Climate Refugees" honestly you will want to go green and you will understand more about the issue then those who are in office.

I didn't mean to be such a hater on the government.... but I guess I really am! Well those two documentaries are well worth seeing. I suggest watching them with someone or a group of people so you can discuss them afterwards because truly that's the purpose of documentary film production.

When I make my first film, I hope it is something that stirs people's emotions, knowledge, and discussions. While you're at it, rent Touching the Void and God Grew Tired of Us. Touching the Void is about this crazy hiking story of these two British guys, seriously a crazy adventure. And God Grew Tired of Us is the story of lost boys from Sudan who were brought to America to be educated. It takes place in Pittsburgh, PA which is really cool! But a very serious story of the war in Uganda and the many lives being effected by it.

So after that I'll end with a quick update on my life.

I've been running a lot lately to reteach myself how much I love to run and I have found it is the best way to start the day. I hope it also keeps me in shape for hiking season. I wish I had a friend like HOLLY who wanted to hike daily but people around here don't do much winter hiking. I guess I'll take up snowshoeing. I've also been really busy doing my own contract productions which you can view at www.youtube.com/user/anacbproduction

I've been doing networking lately and research as I'm on a journey to start my own film. I'm feeling really good energy with this idea and from everyone I meet. I believe so much in the power of a good story and therefore instead of calling myself a producer, I'm pitching myself as a story teller. I love that idea.
I've also been doing some fundraising projects for Haiti with some friends and that went super well! The American Red Cross has a site that lists the names of people missing in Haiti, over 200,000 names. So my friends and I made beaded bracelets with names of missing persons in Haiti and collected donations for the bracelets. People who bought a bracelet were to wear them, pray about the missing people,think about the missing people, and check the website for any updates. We believe these bracelets built a bridge between Haiti's communities and ours.

I'm currently editing a concert I shot and produced as well as transcribing a DVD series for a new educational movement. Maybe the next time I blog I'll let you know how I feel about the education system. In short.. if you want to teach a child to take a test, then you might as well give up as an educator. Education is about encouraging, exploring, and experiencing.. not taking tests!

Someday when Anne rules the world.. there will be puppies and flowers and sunshine.. and common sense.
I'm going to try to start updating this more. I do things during the day and think I need to blog about this, but of course I never do.

Hopefully my rambling made sense, if it didn't contact me and I'll clear it up. As my late cousin Bryan always said, "Stay Gold" love love love and whatever you choose to do in life, realize your actions affect everything and your kindness goes a long way.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Well if nothing else people I know I don't want to move back to Pennsylvania because it's never 60 degrees and sunny in the middle of January.. but in CO that's the norm I suppose :)

These past few weeks have been some of the hardest since I've moved to CO. For the first time since June I haven't had any "real" work to do. It's been really difficult for me to wake up knowing I don't have a contract job to go to today. For the first time I even almost regretted not taking the managers position at the television station in PA.. almost regretted is key. Sometimes in life, especially for me, I forget to look at the bigger picture and instead I look at other people's lives. It's silly really. I know I would never be happy in small town PA and that any job I took there would be out of the need of security rather then passion and drive to do the job. I've spent the last week crying and feeling sorry for myself.. what a loser you are Anne!

A few days ago I helped my friend Sarah paint her office. Up until the day I spent with Sarah I was furiously applying for jobs, researching grants and funding for independent filmmakers, and crying myself to sleep. Man.. who would have ever thought I was an emotional girl? :) Sarah is an amazing woman with amazing dreams. She had this dream when she was in school of using nutrition to help people health from illnesses. However, this isn't an easy profession to
bust into, You basically have to start your own practice and acquire your own clients. With this dream in mind Sarah set out meeting nutritionists taking steps to build her career. She had no luck. When she finally hit a wall of serious doubt about her dreams she walked away from them. But, with all things, God works for the good of those who love him. He opened an opportunity for her to meet another nutritionist who was a professional in the exact career Sarah wanted to pursue. Now, after two years, she is starting her own practice and attending grad school. Her journey really opened my heart and mind that my biggest dreams cannot be accomplished over night. And that I really have no reason to be upset that I'm not doing exactly what I think I should be doing. After all.. If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans. It's so true!

I met a producer/author/public speaker the other day who is starting a tv station in 36 states and it will run online. The purpose of the station is showcase work of female producers and highlight non-profit organizations. The station is also a partner with Samsung in releasing this new technology that can turn any youtube.com quality video into HD! Well I sent her my resume for a job.. that of course was already being filled.. but the good news is she contacted me and told me how much she loved my work and wanted to keep in touch with me for future work opportunities. After some chatting I asked her if I could put my Nueva Esperanza documentary on her channel.. and she said yes! For the next six months my production will be shown and she has allowed me to tag contact information at the end. This is free awesome publicity. God is doing something great, I trust so much in his promise. There's gotta be someone out there who believes in funding and supporting social justice documentary productions! I believe.

The other day I saw a bald eagle in my backyard.. holy smokes! I was so thrilled and inspired. I know its just a bird.. but its so rare and beautiful it truly lifted my spirits. It also reminded me of my little brother Christopher Joel because his favorite animal was a bald eagle. It just gave me so much hope to see this bird and know that Christopher is in a better place and that I too will be ok.
So I went and volunteered at World Vision so I could know I was doing something to help those in Haiti. I took my girl Alyssa and we packed a lot of shoes for 8 hours.. and it was good! Poor Haiti. I was also able to hold a donation drive to buy medicine for the country and was thrilled when theMILL pulled through and raised a coupe hundred dollars. I am so pumped when people care. I love my generation because I really see that we want to volunteer and help other people. I get really ticked when I hear older people say we're lazy.. I mean there's a fair share but I believe people my age are looking for causes and reasons to get their hands dirty, work in community, and help make better the lives of those who are poor and hopeless. I read a facebook status tonight that said.. quote.. why should we help Haiti when they didn't come to our rescue during Katrina. Wow.. ignorance at its finest. But I'm glad for everyone else I hear that is praying, donating, and loving on Haiti right now. I hope someday you'll be able to go to that country and realize the beauty of it. The Haitian people are the most genuine loving people I have ever met. They have nothing.. seriously nothing.. and they are SO happy and caring. When I was there I learned so much about living, needing, and serving. I went there to help and instead they changed my life. Haiti has nothing and this restoration of their country won't be easy but this is truly what life is about. Community looking after community. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, a medical clinic in Port-au-Prince said.. " It should be enough to humbly serve the poor" and dude believe me it truly is! Mountains Beyond Mountains is a fabulous story of Paul Farmer's journey in Haiti and the history of Haiti if you're looking for a good read. Talk about pursuing dreams and believing that life is about using talents to better other's lives. He's a big inspiration to me.

I don't believe that all these natural disasters that have taken place in the last ten years are just coincidence. I really believe mother nature.. or my LORD Jesus.. [which ever you prefer] is telling us its time to end the B.S. going on in this world and help a brother out. Haiti has been a complete mess for years.. seriously more hopeless then you can imagine.. and it takes a 7.0 earthquake for people and governments to lend a helping hand. Maybe all of these disasters are to show us we really need each other.. we really don't need a lot of money, fancy cars, or material things.. we need only a few things : 1. love 2. community 3. Peace 4. Faith
I don't know about you.. but it seems the world is being rocked and if we don't change we're never going to make it out alive.

With that being said I spent a wonderful weekend in the mountains, loved it. Ran a whole lot. Again.. loved it!

I write novels with these blogs.. well I just want to make sure Karina has enough to read and hopefully she'll enjoy what I have to say more then fuss over my wrong punctuation and grammar. :) So with that being said.. go donate a dollar to Friends of Ft. Liberte or Partners in Health. A dollar goes so much further then you realize.

"We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers"-MLK

Monday, January 4, 2010

Joie de Vivre

I really don't write as much as I like .. why did I even start a blog?

I spent Christmas in the mountains with my brother and his girlfriends family. I sat by the fire, drank wine, listened to carols, and read the entire twilight series. I must have been a little dizzy from the high altitude that I actually read Twilight (because silly vampire romance doesn't do i
t for me) well not usually but I have to admit I fell in love with the books. So my apologies for laughing at everyone else I know that has read them... It really was a beautiful story of life, love, and struggle. I really enjoyed spending time with this family for the holidays although I was sad to not see my own family. I can't begin to explain the beauty of the snow covered mountains on Christmas day. I was born to see sights like that.

As for adventure, I'm learning how to snowboard! It has been a wild time and I've already dislocated my shoulder.. my new dear friend Nate has been generous enough to give me all the gear I need to look legit.. now if only I could master my mad skill! However, I am going to give myself the credit that I never thought I'd be able to snowboard down a mountain and actually be ok enough to do it a second or third time. I've even made it down the entire mountain without falling. Joie de Vivre was a term recently introduced to me by a distant cousin I have in Alaska. Its about loving and enjoying life, even the times when you fall face first into the snow. I may not be the best snowboarder and the little four year olds may pass me but I truly enjoy being able to participate in the activity. Besides being on top of a mountain in the snow is so worth the occasional fall.. it's a beautiful sight!

2009 was about healing from my little brother's death, celebrating my college graduation, learning about community and life in Haiti, Relationship building with my friends and my God at Covenant Heights Camp, and exploring this wonderful state of Colorado. I grew up a lot in 2009, learned a lot about myself and learned a lot about life. I realized what I cherished the most and what I truly wanted out of life. I learned how to relax, have fun, explore, love, and have peace of mind. Now in 2010 I really want to know what it is I've been made to do. Although video production is my passion.. helping others and traveling also has my heart and attention. I know I want to combine both and perhaps someday I will.. but for now if I'm going to figure out what it is God has for me. I have some opportunities coming up for job possibilities and I fear if I write about them then they won't happen :) but I am hopeful that God does have a plan and purpose for me.. why else would I ditch all my securities and move across the country? I'm starting to feel more at home in Colorado and at the same time I'm becoming kind of restless here. I often think about moving to Alaska.. I don't know why but I feel that I need some new adventure in my life. I recently read "When God Writes Your Love Story" and have since felt that I need to continue to embrace my singleness and my passions to continue to move around and share life with others. I know I'm not here to stay, at least I don't feel that way and I'm trying not to become attached to anyone so if I do leave it'll be easier. However I do cherish everyone in my life and everyone who has encouraged me to chase my dreams. I know 2010 will be a big year. And I want to glorify Christ for all he has done for me. So Happy New Year and I wish you the best in all that you pursue. And I urge you to chase your dreams and live for the moments that make you feel alive.