1 yr l8tr


A year ago today, I returned to the blogging world. What a literary adventure!We are here. First, some housekeeping. As of today, chindeepinlife have been viewed 912 times. I blogged 24 times.There are 29 comments. Not too shabby. Roll on next year. The freedom of self expression continues. Please know your views and comments are welcomed. And encouraged. Always. Furthermore, do you have a topic/issue you would like me to address? Want to write a guest post? In box me at jstarr2600@aol.co.uk. Come along for the ride.

So, here is my year. In a paragraph. Since March, I travelled back to the USA. Returned to my homeland (SVG), after more than a decade. Visited New York, Boston, Ireland, Italy,Tenerife, and other parts of the UK for the first time. I filed for and received USA permanent residency for my mother. I visited the birthplace of JFK. I was awarded my MSc in Psychology degree. Published my first anthology of poems. You can read a sample, purchase, or win a free copy here Bookbuzzr. One of my pieces,”Too Little Too Late was selected and included in Outskirtspress Fandemoniun Volume 1. For the first time in my life, I lost my wallet. Fortunately, everything was returned. I marched in a worldwide event to celebrate International Women’s Day. I was humbled to write a piece in celebration of it, aptly titled Meet Us on the Bridge. Received my UK residency permit. And oh yeah, I dated. After more than 8 yrs. One day it will happen for me. This mysterious, and elusive enigma. Called love.

Back to finding my voice.I started this blog to keep in touch with friends and family.It has evolved.Taken on a life of its own.Really.Being able to share some of my experiences, has enabled me to see the bigger picture.I am eternally grateful. I wish to thank those who return faithfully. Time after time. The ones following by email. The kind comments. The friends who mentioned me in their blogs. I appreciate every contribution. Every acknowledgement. Word of encouragement. Act of kindness. Help. And thought.

For my next post, I will share something of a very personal nature. A lifetime burden. One I can no longer carry. I have to get rid of it. If I hope to be truly free. To find any real happiness in this life. It’s the beginning of a healing process, that is decades late. A revelation which will surprise those who know me best. I am ready. Of course I could give a hint.But I prefer you to conjure up your own ideas. Some will never guess. However, I can no longer hide behind smiles. Or the stiff upper lip. Not when it comes to this.

Until the next post, let me finish with the quote from my first post: “Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth”

Best,

Juan

So…


It’s been a while. Understatement of the year! Let’s get caught up. Passed all my course modules. No retakes. Yes! A trip to Italy was my reward. Attended a singles convention in Manchester. Another in Watford. Met amazing people. Master’s dissertation handed in. Moved out of university accommodation. Job hunting atm. We are here.

Almost a year ago, I packed up the most of the contents of my life. Shipped them in my car to Boston. Goodwill received the rest. Boarded a plane to the UK. And embarked on this amazing journey. Time has literally whizzed by. What a journey it has been! What would prompt someone to seek education in another country? New culture? Entirely different rules of education? Unpredictable weather patterns? Can’t speak for anyone else. Cannot explain it all here. Perhaps a few ideas would help. Experience. Learning. Great education. Money saver. The challenge. Excitement. I am sure you follow?

Today, I wish to share a few observations I have made this past year. First, we need to get out of our comfort zones. It is different for everyone. We all know our limitations. Boundaries. Fears. Insecurities. Worries. The voice in our heads. Limitations we have established for ourselves. Mindless thoughts. Worse case scenarios that never happen. Comfort zones are warm. Soothing. Always inviting. Never criticizes. A fallback when we fail. Our own personal world. We are loved there. We are understood. No need for explanations.

The past year has taught me more than I ever thought possible. Relying on the Lord. The power of prayer. Fasting. Waiting on the Lord. Patience in suffering. The meaning of sacrifice. Being prepared. Working hard. Learning to ask for help. Who your true friends are. Overcoming loneliness. Being satisfied. Family will always be important. Surviving my first blizzard. Huh. I fought. This time I won. I can do it. Anyone can do what they want to. Obstacles abound. Naysayers will foam at the mouth. Quitting never looked so good. But, what is it worth to you? Do you want to? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it an uncomfortable experience? You bet. Think about it, if you stayed where you are now, where would you be in ten years? Only you can answer that.

Second, I realize different strokes for different folks is not just a folklore. I like it here! Not everyone drives in a rage. Drivers actually stop to allow pedestrians to cross. People are friendly. Sometimes overwhelmingly so. They say Please. Thank you. You are welcome. What else can I get for you? The sweet part? They actually mean it. They are sincere. They have absolutely nothing to gain. People want your business. Spending 1 pound or 100 pounds? Doesn’t matter. People are not afraid of others. Or their motives. Do not misunderstand this observation. Exceptions exist. However, 8 out of 10 people fit this profile. At least in my experience. I am not anxious to leave. Not until I’ve had my fill. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise. Many have questioned my sanity for remaining. So be it.

Third, people will always disappoint you. Obey your intuition. Do not ignore it. People will lie. Cheat. Steal. Surprise you. Maybe they won’t. It’s just the next shoe dropping. It finally did. The truth always reveals itself. In the same breath, remain close to those who love you. People who support ALL your efforts. Encourage you. Restore your faith in humanity. In friendship. In life. In good things. In happy endings. I am very grateful for all these good things. And more.

More observations exist. They will manifest in future posts. A year has gone by. I am free. In a sense. No more books. At least for two years. The brain cells are on strike. Apologies to those who follow my blog and found nothing. Well…thank goodness for second chances :).

Until the next post.
Best,
Juan

Help Wanted…


Friends,

My dream of becoming a published author has taken another step towards completion. You are invited to be a part of it. Several competing poetry book titles have surfaced. Alas, the problem is choosing one. So, I would like to enlist your help. The poems are based on real-life experiences and observations on topics ranging from life, love,friendship,self-image,gratitude,perspective, and heartbreak, to name a few.Simply click on the link below,cast your vote, and the title with the most votes will be chosen. It takes seconds to do so! One person will receive a free,autographed copy. The book should be available late September.Polling will close on July 15th. Thanks for your help! Live. Your. Best. Life!

Hello World!


After many years away from the blogging world, I decided the time was right to make  a second attempt at it. I am not one to update on every daily, minute aspect of my life. Some things are better left unsaid, besides my family and close friends know most of what is happening in my life, so there is no need to broadcast it here. However, I realize that I have many,many friends, some of whom I do not get to talk to very often. It is my hope that this blog will lessen the divide which exists between us.

So why another attempt? First of all, I am not good at keeping up with daily diary/journal entries, as a matter-of-fact, I totally suck at it!. A blog is a good way to keep a record,albeit a partial one, of life’s events and moments. I figure that between this blog and my feeble attempt at keeping a journal, I should have something to share with my kids and grand kids when they do come along. A few entries per week should suffice.

Secondly, I like to write. I still remember the first time I discovered this interest. Many moons ago, I was sitting in a fifth form English class at Marriaqua Secondary School (it has been renamed to St.Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua), and my English teacher chose my story among others, to read to the class. Needless to say it was a proud moment and monster was created! During the adolescent-young adult years, I dabbled in writing off and on, but sadly,because my family moved around so much, my original writings got lost. A few years ago I began to write again, and this time things are different.

Last,but not least, I am having one of the most interesting and best years of my life, and I want to keep track of it all! It certainly took a long time, but it came none too soon. The past few months have been filled with one adventure after another. I know there is more to come. Dreams have been fulfilled, the blessings have been many. Doors have been opened that no one else but God can close. More to come.

I look forward to hearing from my followers, reading your candid comments, but more importantly continuing my friendships with you, regardless of it’s nature, from here into the eternities. I truly hope that my words will help you in a small way. Enjoy life. Live. Love. Laugh. Be Happy. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. In the words of Martin H. Fischer:”Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth”

Best,

Juan