This blog has moved to a new home with a new name. Please visit Fall Bloomer.

Are people that knew their passion at a young age more entitled? That’s the tone I always hear when they say it. “I always knew I wanted to act” “I was singing when I was 3”

Things haven’t changed a ton in the past year. Items of interest include a trip to Europe, training toward a half marathon in September, and a recent iPhone purchase.

Things are going wonderfully at home. We just finished painting the computer room and now it’s my space to decorate, hurray!

Otherwise, I’m still looking for my passion. And a new name for this blog, how silly!

I’m not sure whether I’ll ever become a vegetarian, but I keep hearing that it’s single best thing you can do for environment. And for those that can’t: SmartFitter (Less Meat Doesn’t Mean Meatless) and Lifehacker (Change your Cooking Style to Cut Back on Meat) give some tips on doing something rather than nothing.

J.D. starts doing 100 push ups. I wish I could, I don’t think I’m tough enough.

Chris Guillebeau via Zen Habits offers 3 truths to create a life of gratitude.

This week’s tastiest cupcake is Mocha. YUM!

For the first 21 years of my life I did everything that was expected of me. I could picture each next step that I would take up until college. After that I spent even more time in college because I loved learning. I am still unmarried because twice I refused to settle.

A few years ago I had a snowflake tattooed in a place not so easy to hide. The snowflake signifies that my life is different and should be different and that it is maybe even beautiful. The location was chosen so that I cannot hide it or escape from it. I’m not sure that I can live a nonconformist life, but I’m sure I want to. I have marked my body permanently to remind myself of it.

Since then two things have happened. 1. I have found myself in a professional slump, and 2. I have chosen an extraordinary mate. The first one I increasingly feel must be remedied, I am tired of spending my day with making money for someone else as the focus. The second will be with me as I follow my life’s dreams, whatever they may be.

I read Chris Guillebeau to be inspired. I am in awe of the way that he lives his life. He has done amazing things (volunteered in Africa for 4 years) and been amazing places (81 different countries) at such a young age (30).

Chris published his eagerly anticipated (by me at least) Brief Guide to World Domination yesterday. Read it here.

One of the exercises in Chris’ manifesto is to answer two questions, the first of which is What do you really want to get out of life?

I think I can break it down into 3 basic things for me:
1. Create
2. Help
3. Learn

A little more detail:
1. I feel driven to create something. Over time I’ve struggled with what, but I’ll get there.
2. I want to help people. I love the feeling that volunteering brings. I want to lead a compassionate life.
3. I want to keep learning. This is a huge part of why librarianship draws me in.

Of course I also want things like financial security, but Chris says this can come with achieving our goals. It doesn’t need to be the goal itself. I am also fascinated by the environmental movement, and I’m not sure how this will fit in. I suppose that’s what this exercise is for.

To flesh it out with a post in the near future, I’ll define my ideal day. And read through the Ideal World exercise posted on Chris’ site.

My net worth generally goes up about $1000 each month. Between investment deposits and debt repayment I make a sizable gain in just 30 days. It feels great! Except for lately, as investments drop faster than my paycheck puts money in my 401K, the money seems to just disappear. In my May 16th post, “In the green,” I reported that I had a positive net worth of $250. Just over a month later, after my monthly $1000 in debt repayment and investment deposits, I’m back down to negative $750. I have managed to completely curb my shopping habits and yet down and down I go through no fault of my own. Stupid recession! I know I shouldn’t be looking at my long term investments because the balance does not matter with retirement some 20+ years out. But I can’t help it!

The neatest thing happened to me today. First, background:

I recently listened to the Introduction to Meditation Zencast podshows. First they teach you to label your thoughts during meditation, and in a later class, to notice emotions. To not get involved in them, but just to recognize them and see how they felt.

This afternoon I was in the throws of iPhone lust, when I suddenly and unintentionally noticed the emotion of “want”. As soon as I recognized it, it just dissolved completely. I’m sure not permanently, but wow, it was such a great feeling to notice it and let it go. I simply stopped identifying with it. Now if I can only do this with worry and anxiety.

I’m not the only one hawking stuff, J.D. from Get Rich Slowly is on guard against stuff too.

Tips from Leo of Zen Habits for anyone else that might be combining finances with relationships as I soon shall be.

Sustainablog offers some suggestions for chemical-free green cleaners that I’m sure to try out once I’ve moved in.

Whoooo can resist some adorable, crafty owls?

And lastly, here is this week’s prettiest cupcake.

I’ve talked lately about how I’m going through and giving up many of my things. I hope that letting go of many of my possessions will make my life simpler and easier and cheaper. While considering how having things affects my life, I thought of an intangible that I cling to: ego.

I think I’m only about as self-centered as an average person should be, it’s not that I think I’m especially great or anything. It’s more in the context of Buddhism that I refer to ego. In order to be enlightened or to eliminate suffering, according to Buddhism, you have to let go of self. To be honest, that scares the crap out of me.

This blog is one of the most obvious outward manifestations of my ego. It doesn’t have to be. If I stop looking to see how many people notice me, and concentrate instead on writing and goals, it can be a tool for personal growth rather than a competition of sorts to see how many people I can get to subscribe (an abysmal number at best). If I stop writing to an imaginary audience, I wonder what I’ll write about.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to lose my ego, but the least I can do is be more aware of when it motivates and influences me.

In just under two weeks I’ll be moving in with Jay. His place is completely furnished and decorated, and my clutter isn’t needed (nor wanted by me). I’ve been spending every waking moment at home going through my worldly belongings, some of which have been stashed away and following me around for years. Last night I threw away my postcard collection (correspondence with no real “worth”) and tonight I’ll give away my bouncy-ball collection to my niece. It’s been difficult for me to let many things go, but I know removing clutter from my life will help me with my financial goals. There are so many things that I’ve bought or been given that I haven’t used at all. It’s forced me to face those things, cut my losses, and look at how I can avoid it in the future.

The few things I’ll keep are very thought out, and we’ll find some way to incorporate them into his style so completely different from mine.

Sunday is supposed to be my day to get things done at home, but generally ends up being lazy. Enter procrastination via blogging! Here, enjoy my first link love post!

Heavy Petal reviewed ladybugs. Yeah, actual ladybugs and their effectiveness in fighting off evil aphids.

Sewing Stars shows off some adorable sewn veggies.

Forget the impact on your waistline, No Credit Needed looks at the cost benefit to dropping pop from your grocery budget. (But calls it “soda”, which is clearly wrong;)

And my nomination for yummiest sounding cupcakes of the week: Snickerdoodle cupcakes.