Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Little Shop with Heart - and Tequila!

Wandering down Calle Corazon just off 5th Avenue one night after dinner in Playa del Carmen, my sister and I walked to the end of the little street, and crossed over calle 14 to Maya Notes. I think it may have been the beautiful handmade journals that first grabbed my attention, and I knew that one would make the perfect gift to take home to my daughter.

What i loved about this cute little store was that everything inside had been lovingly handmade by members of one family. The woman who greeted us, ARI, pointed out the various gifts her family had made, such as the bottle cap necklaces crafted by her 14 year old son.

Everything heart-shaped was made by her grandfather (I thought there must be a story there), including the glass-blown heart mobiles.

I'm not usually a fan of things heart shaped, but perhaps because I was feeling a little sad with a broken heart myself, there was something about being surrounded by all those happy hearts that felt good. I purchased a beautiful heart bracelet with upcoming Valentines day in mind, and I have worn it many times (pictured below, next to the journal I also purchased).

Maya Notes made me think of my family and how all of us are creative in our own way - my mother is a talented watercolour artist, my brother paints in oils, I make soap, my daughter is experimenting with painting, sketching and sewing and her Nana is an amazing cook and seamstress. I dreamed a little bit about how cool it would be to have a store filled with each family member's creations. ARI has turned her dreams into reality.

I chose a journal for my daughter, handmade by ARI herself using mostly recycled papers. The cover was embellished with a wooden Mayan symbol that she told me represented love and family. So fitting.

After looking around some more and chit-chatting with ARI, she pulled out a bottle from behind the counter and offered us some tequila, a big smile on her face (when's the last time you've been offered a shot of tequila while shopping?). My sister hesitated, but thank god she had me there to say "yes please!" And together the three of us shared some cheer.

You can see more of ARI and Maya Notes here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A New Chapter

Today was the day. On the train into work this morning my tummy was in knots, because today was going to be the day I would tell my boss that I was resigning, after seven years of being with the company.

The conversation was difficult, but it had to be done, and now it's over and this is all become so much more real! No more keeping this secret, the whole world can know now that I am leaving!

The past seven years have been a rollercoaster ride - on both a personal and professional level. Such highs and a few lows, with lots of learning in between.

The day came when I knew it was time to leave, to jump ship, to move on. I figured out a plan, and now the plan is unfolding before my eyes. A friend recently said to me, "Wow, you just decide you're going to do something and then you do it!" Yup.

Next week I will list my house for sale, over the next month or so I will be looking for a condo to rent, and on May 6th I will become a full-time student at university.  At the end of December I will finally have my communications degree.

Following that, who knows? I'm comfortable in the uncertainty of it all. I'm a little scared but a lot excited. I plan to attend one, maybe two, travel blogging conferences throughout the summer, and I've been thinking that I may want to finish up my life coach training too. I'm not sure how it's all going to work out, but I do know that I will be doing things that are meaningful to me.

The possibilities are endless!