Lessons and Highlights of 2013

Thoughts

Goodbye 2013, HELLO 2014!

What an unforgettable year 2013 was… it felt like so much was packed into those little 12 months. 2013 year was filled with risks and opportunities of a lifetime. Through all the experiences I had this year, nothing is more precious than the people around you who have proved that they support you 110% in life. I want to personally thank everyone who supported all my crazy life adventures in 2013. Whether you simply liked a Facebook Page, donated money to help get my to Malaysia for Miss Scuba International, sent a personal inspirational note to my inbox, or just verbally wished me luck on my ventures – I honestly couldn’t have gotten this far in life without you. Two words that sums up 2013: Thankful and Grateful.

I’d love to hear from you – please comment below: How was your 2013 year? What did you learn? What were some highlights?

LESSONS LEARNED:

I learned that taking risks has its advantages.
I learned that a good friend will always come back to you in the end.
I learned that being a vegetarian was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I learned that juicing is a delicious and an exciting new addition to my healthy/fit lifestyle.
I learned that life is short, and there’s no reason to not do something you want to do.
I learned that being confident in your own skin shines brighter than anything else.
I learned that being in a beauty pageant is exhausting work.
I learned that doing hand-stands passes the time real well.
I learned how fortunate I am to have a strong, stable, and fantastic group of individuals who have my back with any wild and crazy venture I choose to take.
I learned that there are more nice people in the world then there are bad.
I learned that the worse thing someone can say when you ask them something is ‘no’ – so don’t be afraid to ask for something you want.
I learned that finding a pair of heels you can actually walk in comfortably – is like finding a needle in a haystack!

HIGHLIGHTS:

Going For It

Photography, Science, Thoughts

Chanel03

In just 3 short weeks, I will be sitting on a plane traveling across the world to Malaysia.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I have never competed in a Beauty Pageant before. I have no idea what to expect. I have no idea what we will be doing for the 2 weeks I am there. My feet prefer flip flops over heels. I’m not a model. But – that’s not stopping me. The fear of the unknown is where excitement stems. 

I am passionate. I am strong. I am an environmentalist. I am a scuba diver. I am a marine conservationist. I am a photographer. I am a lover. I am positive. I am a blogger. I am an adventurer. I am a woman in science. I am a health nut. I am a fitness guru. I am competitive. I am ready. I am going for it.

Opportunities like these don’t come around too often. My passion is the ocean and protecting it, and that’s what I’m going to showcase in full force at the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I’m so ready to get my feet wet!

I decided to host a Silent Auction Fundraiser this weekend to help fund my expenses to compete in the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I am fiscally responsible for my airfare, as well as clothing/equipment. The funds are totaling over $3000 very quickly. As a single independent passionate woman, I am reaching out to others to help make my dreams come true.

I am so lucky to have amazing friends and family who believe in me and my dreams. Many of you have known me since I was a little girl, and understand this journey I have been on has led me here for a reason. I have incredible people donating and assisting in gathering items for the Silent Auction, which I couldn’t have done this all without them. SO THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Everyone is invited – please feel free to join if you are in the area 🙂
SilentAuctionFlyer

DONATE HERE: Scuba Miss USA PayPal Donation Page

VISIT: Scuba Miss USA Facebook Page

What Cards Were You Dealt?

Thoughts
(creedofnoah.blogspot.com)

(creedofnoah.blogspot.com)

“I can’t say that there’s anything that I can’t do,

I don’t know that there’s a whole lot in life period that I can’t do,

just things that I haven’t done yet.”

-Richie Parker

We are all dealt a different set of cards in life. It’s how you play the cards – no matter the suit or class – that shows your true talent.

Life is a series of unknown events. You can try to plan out your life, but that’s where you’ll always end up in disappointment. Trying to predict the future is a poor excuse for not living in the present.

To be honest, I couldn’t tell you where I’ll be a year from now. And as scary as that sounds, it’s also exhilarating and thrilling. I could be still living here in Pasadena, or I could be living on a tropical island running a nature program. Only time will tell…The beauty of life is that WE DON’T KNOW what will happen next (no matter how hard we try to control it).

You can’t allow people to influence you to live a life that THEY WANT you to have. You can’t allow people to tell you that NO, you will never be able to do that. Your life is in your hands, so make some magic happen! The magic tends to happen when someone tells you that you can’t/will never be able to do something, then you prove them completely and utterly WRONG.

What sparked today’s post is the inspirational video below. As you will see, Richie was dealt what many would call a bad set of cards in life, but the way he played them, is something to be admired.

The Flame.

Photography, Science, Thoughts
it's a sign

Thank you Nicole for sending this to me – too perfect.

I had written out a blog post yesterday, but I decided to delete it all and start fresh. My thoughts have completely changed. It’s amazing what a group of motivated & supportive people can do to your mind, body, and soul.

I didn’t make the Top 3 cut for the Best Jobs in the World Contest for Wildlife Caretaker. Unfortunately, that means that the WIN A FREE TRIP TO AUSTRALIA contest is no longer valid – I appreciate all those who entered though. Needless to say, I was devastated, confused and upset when I didn’t see my name on the list. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so diligently and hard in my life as I did on my campaign for Wildlife Caretaker. Sleep and food came second while I put my WHOLE SELF into being the best candidate for Wildlife Caretaker. My friends, family members, and even strangers, all stepped up to the plate and helped me achieve GREAT things. The day after I found out I wasn’t in the contest, I deemed it to be my sole day of ‘sulking’ and took a break from social media/interaction. Yes, I did my fair share of crying, but I also produced a number of smiles from comments/messages/texts my friends were delivering to me. Life has an incredible way of balancing everything out 😦 / 🙂

Throughout the past 3 weeks of campaigning, I have received numerous messages from people I haven’t talked to in years. Their kind and sincere words of appreciation/love/inspiration/hope hit me hard. Being flooded with messages like that changes a person : in the best way imaginable. Not only do YOU know that YOU can do what you put your heart into, but then you find out there’s a whole ARMY of people behind you supporting you?! It only helps fuel my flame to achieve amazing things in this life of mine.

I can’t even begin to describe everything I accomplished over the past 2 weeks. From feeding sea turtles behind the scenes at Sea World wearing my CocoRoo kangaroo costume, to volunteering with kids at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, to cleaning Compton Creek with Heal the Bay, to touring the Australian Consulate in Los Angeles, to getting a behind the scenes tour of the Wildlife sector of the Pasadena Humane Society…gosh this list could go on forever!!! Even though I didn’t win my dream job, I wouldn’t change this experience for the world.

This contest has allowed me immensely grow as a person, and has helped me understand what I am truly passionate about in this life. Various family members and close friends relayed to me that it was great seeing me in this contest, because my passions became so much more apparent to them. I am not meant to sit behind a desk 8 hours a day doing a job I’m not invested in – I am ready to take the reins and find something out there in this world that would benefit from my talents and passions. How I will find that job? Not entirely sure yet, but if you ever come across something that might be a good fit/connection PLEASE comment on my blog and let me know.

One of my fellow Shortlisted 150 Finalists created a Facebook Group to connect us all together today – Thanks Emily! Even though at times during the contest I felt some of the other Wildlife Caretaker finalists were my archnemesis (thanks to my competitve gene), they are actually amazing individuals whom I have no doubt we will become very close. Thank you Tourism Australia for connected 150 passionate individuals from across the globe, who share the same love of travel and adventure! A couple other Finalists and I are hoping to plan a trip to Vegas soon (and my blow-up kangaroo will definitely be packed in my suitcase)!

THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!

I can’t move forward without giving recognition to these individuals who helped make this campaign phenomenally amazing: My Mother, My Aunt Brenda, and my Aunt Linda. These three women worked day in and day out, just as hard as I did, to try and make this dream of mine come true. I don’t know how I will ever thank you enough for everything you selflessly donated for this cause. I already had ‘tokens’ of appreciation picked out for each one of you that I could have purchased with the prize money if I had won. You all mean the world to me, and I am so grateful to have such fantastic female role models in my life. I appreciate you.

I want to express my gratitude of thanks to the 1,000’s of friends/family members who helped out on this campaign as well. For each person who shared my contest Facebook page, highlighted my journey on your blog, donated your talents (music/drawing/etc) towards the campaign, Tweeted/ReTweeted me, gave me a shout out on Instagram, took a picture with one of my posters, wrote a letter of support, sent me encouraging words, and I could go on and on… I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL! You never really know who has your back until you need their help. My heart grew 100x bigger with the overwhelming amount of love I received from each and every one of you. Even during the campaign some of your messages would bring me to tears of happiness. I honestly am surrounded by the most wonderful people on the planet – thank you for believing in me.

After the Top 3 were announced, my inbox filled with messages from my companions. Everyone alludes that even though I didn’t win, they know I would only amount to great things in the future. They see the passion, the dedication, and the strong will to succeed. For people to have faith in me to achieve amazing things in this life is a remarkable feeling. If you are one of those people who sent me a message of hope, please know that I am so humbled and honored to have you in my life. 

In conclusion (if you’ve made it this far thank you for continuing to read this beast of a post), many people are asking me “WHAT’S NEXT?! WHAT GREAT ADVENTURE DO YOU HAVE PLANNED NOW?!” To be honest, this contest helped ignite the flame inside me that’s been dormant for quite some time. This flame represents the determination to pursue my passions in life. But, sometimes life creates what you call ‘roadblocks’ – placing your dreams just out of reach for the time being. Well, I am ready to demolish those roadblocks. I’m in the drivers seat of a hover craft (I know very high-tech), and I’m ready to fly over those roadblocks in pursuit of my dreams while I explore new opportunities just waiting to be discovered! Stay tuned…because the journey I’m about to take will definitely be something you won’t want to miss out on. 

I Made It – Best Jobs TOP 25 !

Photography, Science, Thoughts

Wow, I can’t even begin to explain how non-stop the past 36 hours have been.

AN INSANE WHIRLWIND OF EMOTIONS, NO SLEEP, PASSION, EXCITEMENT, AND UTTER DETERMINATION!

I posted a couple weeks ago my submission videos for Australia’s Best Job in the World contest. And yesterday was the big announcement forwhich applicants made the Top 25 qualifiers for each of the 6 available jobs. I had received and email the week prior from the Best Jobs people asking if they could use my Wildlife Caretaker video for media purposes, and I screamed when I read the email and quickly replied YES! They made sure to point out that this doesn’t mean I’ve made it to the next round, but I sure as heck felt like I did!

They announcement was to be posted on the Best Jobs website at 2pm PST – so I was anxiously awaiting on my computer when I arrived at work at 1pm. I refreshed my email on my phone at 1:36pm and saw an email from the Best Jobs starting with “Congratulations…” and I squealed and ran outside on the sidewalk and screamed and started crying all in one sort of huge fluid emotion haha. It must have been a sight to see for all the people that drove past me. I had officially made it the TOP 25 out of 600,000 applications from over 122 countries to become a Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia.

WOW. IS THIS REAL LIFE? CAN THIS BE HAPPENING? AHHHH?! 

BJITW Photo

Now for the next 2 weeks, I have to throw the biggest social media campaign of my life. Sleepless nights – attached to my computer – bursting with ideas – setting up meetings – writing letters – it will be a week of non-stop PUSH PUSH PUSH!

Luckily I have a strong group of family and friends that helping me get the word out across the globe. After less than 30 hours of creating my Contest Facebook Page – I am already at around 400 likes! I AM OVER THE MOON!

What can you do to help my chances of winning you ask?? REBLOG this post would be a great one to start 🙂 and these as well:

1) Like / Share / Comment on my FACEBOOK PAGE
2) ReTweet me or Tweet @Australia and @TourismAus to pick me for Wildlife Caretaker – @PSChanel and hashtag #BestJobs and #ChanelWC
3) Follow me on Instagram – @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker and add #ChanelWC tags to your pics of support
4) If you have any connections with Media, Celebrities, people who work in the Wildlife Profession – please email me CAHason@gmail.com
5) Write a letter of support addressed to the address below stating why you are supporting me on the journey to win my Dream Job! And then email me the letter so I can turn it in as one big package on May 7th.
Tourism Australia 
GPO Box 2721,
Sydney NSW 1006
Tel: +61 2 9360 1111

The overflowing support, kind words, positivity, messages from people I don’t know, and just all the LOVE I’m feeling right now is keeping this engine running strong. If I make it to the Top 3 Finalists – announced on May 15 – I will be flown to Australia for a week in June to interview in person with the Tourism Australia staff. I’m SO CLOSE I CAN TASTE IT!

What Makes You Itch? (In a good way)

Thoughts

There are a couple of videos I want you to watch today. The first video is pitches the concept to do whatever makes you ‘itch’. What if money was not an option? What would you do? Would you be doing the job you have currently? Or would you be training lions, or hiking the tallest mountains on the globe, or be a SCUBA instructor on a tropical island?

Now that you feel inspired to do whatever your heart tells you – watch this video. It’s a compilation of amazing footage/adventures/funny moments in 2012. My uncle shared this video with me because he thought “it follows your philosophy to do everything in your Bucket List“. Each time I chat with him on Facebook, my uncle does nothing but encourages the pursuit of my dreams and relays how much of an inspiration I am to him and the rest of the world. He might be biased as my family member, but it’s truly such a good feeling to think that I have a positive effect on him and others. Enjoy 🙂

Travel Bug

Photography, Thoughts

travelricher

The travel bug has bitten…

Every time I go for a walk,
I see people and things around me
that remind me of a country or place I have never explored.

I want adventure.

I yearn for knowledge of other cultures.

I want to explore the unexplored.

I’m ready.

Where are you going to next?

It’s Your Life, Make It Amazing

Photography, Thoughts

If you want your dream job- go for it.
If you are in love with someone- go tell them.
If you want to move somewhere new- make it happen.
If you want to get in shape- be your own inspiration to do so.

I’ve learned that in order to do or get what you want in life, you have to take chances and jump on opportunities when they open up. Risks are what make life exciting and unpredictable!

Life is too short to wonder “What If???” 

I was talking to my neighbor last night, and he mentioned how he had so many opportunities in his youth that he just didn’t take the initiative to do. Thus, he pushed me to do as many things as I can while I’m young and free. This whole concept has been on the top of my agenda specifically at the start of this year, and I’ve tried to jump on as many opportunities as I could so far. I mean, I’ve jumped out of a plane, ran 2 5K’s, started doing yoga, made new friends, went on multiple calls with the fire department, and the list continues…

With all this inspiration, I edited one of my images from when I studied abroad in Australia with one of my favorite quotes (as seen above) that I think really hits home on this topic.

I don’t want to grow up and feel like I missed out on life, and neither should you. Even if you consider yourself older, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities you can still fulfill. You never know what tomorrow holds, so that’s why you live today like it’s the only one you have left. Smile, love, laugh, and enjoy it all!

YOUR DESTINY IS DETERMINED BY ONE PERSON, AND THAT’S YOU.

EARTH: In the highest-resolution EVER

Photography, Science, Thoughts

Earth- in the highest definition than ever before! It’s beautiful and amazing.

Also, today my boss showed me this little saying and said it’d be perfect for my blog- and he’s correct. André is a photographer himself, and so here it is:

PERFECTLY SAID! I think we all really should truly focus on who and what makes us happy in life and stick with it. The negatives do happen, and that’s how we learn and grow in this life of ours. With ups, there must be downs.

Happy Friday everyone 🙂 Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy yourself!