I will admit that I am a geek and a nerd at heart. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, but rather quite proud of because I believe that geeks and nerds are always learning and appreciate things on a completely different level than most. While some people spend their time watching reality TV, I try to surround myself with reality. I listen to podcasts about space and science. I watch shows about how the mind works and what new discoveries have been documented. I get the biggest kick out of learning something new each day. What really fascinates me is when I can be watching a show or listening to a new or never-before-heard episode of one of my podcasts and something is said that completely blows my mind. When that happens, it usually gets my brain going in a thousand directions and causes me to rethink that which I previously believed to be fact. I’ve had this happen several times recently, and it made me feel a bit inspired.

One of my favorite quotes is, “The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.” Now I know I can think of some pretty freaky stuff, but this is saying the universe is even freakier than that. Every time scientists think they’ve figured something out, the universe sends them a big piece of humble pie and proceeds to show them what they never imagined possible. I love that!

It is common geek/nerd knowledge that it takes light time to travel from one object to another. This is extremely fast, but nevertheless, it means that everything we observe is in the past. Even the light from my laptop screen takes time to travel from my computer to my eyes. This means that we are constantly observing our surroundings as they were, not are. Even my own reflection is a vision of my past self. I guess this gives new meaning to living in the past.

Speaking of the speed of light, it is said that no object can go as fast as the speed of light, but rather it can only approach the speed of light as time slows down the closer you get the target. Having stated that, there is one thing that can travel faster than the speed of light and that is the expansion of the universe. It would have to be able to do so. If that is the case, then at what speed is the expansion traveling? Ludicrous speed?! Infinity speed? Into what is it expanding? Maybe we just think it’s expanding when in fact there is something else going on out there.

Finally, I would like to propose a question to you which I also posed to a very well-known astrophysicist. Dark matter has fascinated me for quite some time. I think it’s because no one knows what it is and it appears to be everywhere. Here was my question – “If at some time in the future we discover what dark matter is, and we are able to control it, and it is dark matter that separates us from the Andromeda galaxy, would we then be able to prevent the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies from colliding?”

Welcome to my brain where geeks and nerds rule the world!

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In recent days, I’ve spoken with friends and several times the phrase, “Hindsight’s always 20/20,” has come up. It really is interesting when you gain perspective after some time has passed that you can finally see things clearly. We often find ourselves reflecting on what has happened to us only to realize how much we’ve changed or learned. Today, while on my way to work, I had one of those moments and what was reflected back made my heart smile.

What came to mind as I was driving was something I’d read not that long ago. It was a quote from, I believe, Lao Tsu. The saying goes:

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

The ironic image that made me think of these words was the view from my rearview mirror. I’ve looked to the past before for answers, and today what was reflected back was a beautiful sunrise. Of course I think about the future, and am rather excited by what it holds, but excitement in my case is not anxiety. My past no longer makes me depressed but rather who I am today. Someone recently said that their past was the best worst thing that’s happened to them, and I could totally identify with that description.

As for me, I couldn’t think of a better image to represent my life right now than an incredible sunrise. How perfectly that reflected my present, and what a peaceful present it is.

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Lacking Inspiration

In the past when I was going through something rather difficult or challenging, I would find that writing would help clear my mind. Sleep would evade me until I could get my thoughts transcribed onto my latest blog, and it was only then that I would drift off to a sound sleep. Now I find myself in a different dilemma. Right now life is good. My family and friends are amazing. My new job is going really well. I’m overall happy in my personal life despite the fact that I’m currently unattached. What I’m realizing is that this makes for little inspiration for writing. After all, the most stressful part of my day is my commute to and from work, and now that I’m using that time to listen to various podcasts, it’s rather enjoyable.

Think about every movie you’ve ever seen. Do you really think anyone would want to pay money to watch a story about a person who lacks drama in their life and who is overall happy? BORRRRRING!!! So where does that leave me? I guess I’m going to ride this wave of positivity as long as it’ll last. I’m very blessed to be where I am in my life and I don’t take it for granted.

I’m sure these podcasts will give me something inspiring to write about, but for now I’m laughing at a question pondered on one of them yesterday. While listening to StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson, he brought up an interesting theory regarding Superman. The question was – If Superman’s farts are as powerful as his breath, and if he could use the lasers from his eyes and somehow aim them in the direction of said farts, would he then be able to turn himself into a flamethrower? Now that would definitely make for a much more interesting movie!

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The Good Bye

Change is inevitable. We’ve all heard that saying, but even more importantly, we’ve all experienced it. Sometimes change is met with open arms, but many times we find ourselves reluctant to move ahead because of the hurt or the unknowns. This week is bringing about a lot of change in my world. While it will result in some tears shed and many goodbyes, it is met by me with open arms as the opportunities that await are scary but exciting.

As the cat is out of the bag already, so to speak, I’m happy to announce that I’ve been offered a job with an amazing company here in Austin and will begin my new role with them on the 16th. This week, however, will be filled with a myriad of emotions. I’m leaving one job where I’ve been working for almost two years. I’ve come to really enjoy the people I work with. I laugh daily and am surrounded by a very supportive team. I will miss each and every person I’ve come into contact with during my time there and look forward to staying in touch.

What is going to be a bit more taxing on me emotionally is saying goodbye to my Zumba peeps this Thursday evening. This amazing group of people has been in my life for the last six years. The class I’m leaving is near and dear to my heart because it is the first Zumba class I stepped foot into back in 2010. At the time I was quite a bit heavier but determined to make a positive change in my life. What I didn’t expect was just how much my life would be changed by the people who were there to change their own lives.

Never in a million years would the Robyn of 2010 think she would be regularly taking a fitness class, let alone teaching it. I’ve learned so much from my time there that I wanted to share some of it with you.

  • Laughing at yourself is not only a good thing, but it teaches that perfection isn’t necessary to be successful.
  • Just because you can put your shoes on the correct feet doesn’t mean you know which way is left and which way is right. Usually my right is wrong and I’m left laughing at myself.
  • My goal teaching was never to show them that I can dance. My goal was to help them feel successful so they’ll want to continue and not give up on their goals.
  • Being prepared puts others at ease.
  • Even the most unlikely of people can surprise you and leave you speechless. (For example, when asked by a male member before my Halloween class if I’d be stripping for them.) :-O That’s a negative, Ghost Rider.
  • When times get tough and downright unbearable, having something you have to focus on can be an absolute blessing.
  • The right song or the right move can not only change your mood but make you feel like a super star!
  • Those who were once strangers with a common interest can turn out to be some of your very best friends.

Thank you to all those I’ve worked and danced with over the last few years. I am a better person for knowing you and am forever grateful to have crossed your path, if even for a short while. I have always believed you should leave things in better shape than you found them. In working to do so, I can honestly say that all those I’ve come into contact with have done just that for me. Here’s to embracing the inevitability of change and welcoming a new challenge.

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I’ve been a fan of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation for a long time. I love the original series which takes place in Las Vegas and have probably seen every episode more than once. One of my favorite parts is always the opening scene for one main reason – the zinger at the end. It’ll be some line like, “There’s always a first for everything,” or “Looks like he lost his head.” I always get a kick out of it, and I wonder who will get to say “the line.” So as I’m watching yet another episode tonight, I realized it would be pretty funny to write a series of blogs with the title being the zinger from each episode. I’m not saying I’m going to do that for sure, but it did inspire me to at least start the series. I guess now I have yet another reason to brush up on my crime drama.

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Definition, please

Sitting on my desk at work is a daily calendar that is filled with facts about left-handers. Being a southpaw, I find it very interesting how differently I view the world around me because there are many things we lefties have to adapt to in order to go on with our day-to-day activities. It actually made me giggle one day when a co-worker commented how cool it was that I could write something down and use the mouse at the same time since I used a different hand for each task. I never really thought much about that, but I guess it can come in handy for sure. Maybe that makes me just a fraction more efficient. (Hey, a girl can dream!) Lately, I’ve been wondering what else in my life has helped define who I am.

First and foremost, what would I be without a name? From the minute we’re born, and in many cases even before we’re born, we are defined by our parents and the sum of their experiences. There are many reasons why a certain name is chosen. In my case, I was named Robyn because of a beloved uncle Bob (Robert) on my mom’s side of the family. Now the choice could have been made to spell my name with an “i” instead of a “y,” but the latter was decided upon and here I am. I rarely meet another person with the same spelling I was given, but when it does happen, it is an instant bonding moment. Yes, I’m weird like that. I am also used to spelling my name for people. It’s what I’ve always done. Sadly enough, I am so used to spelling my name for people, that I once did that for none other than my own mother when giving her my email address. I guess it was just a friendly reminder to her in case she forgot how she spelled my name…when she…ummm…named me.

As many of my friends know, I am originally from a different state in which I currently live. Now keep in mind, I’ve been here since I was six years old, but being that I am currently in Texas, I am constantly referred to as a Yankee by those native to these borders. I don’t have an accent so it makes it difficult for people to place where I’m from. I was even told once that I have a “generic newscaster’s voice.” Uh…thanks? What’s funny is when I travel outside of the state and am asked where I’m from (meaning where I currently live), I usually get a response such as, “Oh really?!” It’s as if I’ve given them a bit of trivia or something. It was funny, several years ago at a wedding up north, I told some family members that it would take me about three hours to get home after I flew back. You see, I had driven to my parents’ house so we could all take the same flight out and only have to rent one car. Their jaws dropped at the thought of a drive that, to them, would take them through several states. Those of us in Texas know that a three-hour drive is no big deal and have probably made such a trip a plethora of times.

Now I want you to pretend for a minute that each of us is our own mix of spices. My ingredients would read something like: Contains left-handed Yankee with a “y” who lives in Texas and missed her calling as a journalist but doesn’t mind a road trip. Come on…who wouldn’t buy THAT?!?! I’d probably name my spice something like Perspectiva de Primavera. It sounds great but simply means Robyn’s perspective. (Sidebar – my Spanish teacher used to call me Primavera since robins come out in the Spring…although that’s only the “i” kind of robins, but close enough I guess.) Now as far as I’m concerned, my P de P spice is the perfect complement for EVERYTHING! Each and every person feels the same way whether they realize it or not. As you could imagine though, my mix doesn’t always go with everyone else’s, but after all, when it comes to life, it’s all about variety. Here’s to us all learning to embrace our “ingredients” and appreciate the subtle and awe-inspiring assortments out there.

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Remembering my friend

I’m sitting here on my couch after a wonderful weekend with amazing friends and am in a bit of shock. For those of us on Facebook, we all get the reminders of memories from our past. It shows what we did, who we received messages from, and who we sent messages to in years past. Tonight, the memory of a sweet friend of mine came up, and since I hadn’t spoken with her in several years, I decided to look her up to see what she was doing and say hi. As I perused her wall to see if she had traveled anywhere interesting or had something funny to say, I found myself a bit confused by the scarcity of posts. None were from her but rather from friends of hers. I scanned through them and then quickly realized that she had passed away several years ago unexpectedly. I’m still trying to process it all and have sent private messages to several of her friends who have recently posted to her wall in hopes of finding out what happened. Now, through a flood of tears, I am remembering the fun we used to have together.

Growing up where I did, I was very blessed to have a normal childhood on a street where everyone knew everyone. I really thought that kind of neighborly connection was gone until I moved into my home in Round Rock in 2001. We were immediately welcomed by our new next door neighbor while removing a box from our Uhaul truck. From that point on we got to know everyone on our street and, to this day, I consider them family.

It wasn’t long until we got invited to a block party at a house “up around the bend” of our street. We decided to bring with us a game called “Goofy Golf,” as we knew it was a good outdoor activity that could be enjoyed by people of all ages. The game is played by throwing two golf balls connected together by rope running through each ball and knotted on the end onto a three-tiered pvc pipe rack. You got points depending on which tier the balls landed. Yes, the ball jokes were aplenty while playing which is what made it that much more fun. It wasn’t long until I got paired up with a newly introduced neighbor to see who could throw their balls better. I knew I’d like her when her first attempt ended up with the balls stuck up in the oak tree above our heads. We laughed ourselves silly!

From that point on, she and I would get together for visits at her house or mine. She was a voice of comfort many times for me. I remember when she painted her sitting room a deep red and then recovered a couch with gold fabric. When she told me about the colors I thought it would be a bit much, but I had to hand it to her…it was stunning!

We’d often play poker with the guys, usually being the only two women playing. We could both hold our own, so it was always a lot of fun. I remember one game in particular at her house. There were five of us playing and two of the guys decided to go out back for a smoke break. While they were out there, she and I decided to deal the cards and made sure the two of them had a pair of aces each. We then sat back, folded our hands due to their betting, and watched the shenanigans ensue. It was so worth it!

It wasn’t until she got divorced and moved to the Dallas area that we slowly grew apart. Of course, she was always the kind of friend who could just pick up right where we left off which was apparent during our phone calls or visits. Her smile was contagious as was her laugh. I’m feeling a bit angry at myself that I let the distance in location distance our relationship, but at least now I can talk with her anytime I want.

Thank you for your unconditional love and friendship, Tracy. You are so very missed!

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