I’m Looking for a Bit of Inspiration

Millennium Park in Chicago

Do you have those days when you are looking for a bit of inspiration?

I was at a get together with some people I mostly didn’t know a few nights ago and I was telling a fellow attendee about a trip I’m taking in September. I’m going on the trip with a tour instead of going solo. It’s been a while since I’ve done that but I’m looking forward to it.

After I finished my comment, the fellow attendee said to me “So you’re not comfortable being alone then?”

I’m not going to lie – I was a little taken aback by that reply. His question didn’t make any sense to me. My response back to him was “I’ve lived alone for almost 15 years. I’m by myself many hours each day and I travel solo quite often as well. Trust me, I’m comfortable being alone.”

I can’t help but wonder why I can’t stop thinking about that comment and worse, why I’m letting it bother me? But before we judge, the guy was actually very nice and friendly. He and his wife are lovely. I think he just said something I wasn’t expecting.

Of course I WISH I wasn’t alone so much. If you had asked me 20 years ago what my life would be like right now, my current situation wouldn’t have been my answer.

However, it is what it is.

Overall, I’m doing pretty well. I have a job that’s steady and pays the bills. I’m blessed with amazing friends all over the world and I’m close to my family. I live in a great city and bought a small but perfect-for-me townhome a couple of years ago. I’ve managed to keep my dog alive for almost eight years now. I also get to do lots of fun things and travel often too.

But I know what’s missing, or at least what people think I’m missing. The truth is – I’m really bad at dating. I get bored or frustrated and lose interest really quickly. I end things so I don’t “waste my time.” And honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve met a guy who has a good job and is motivated with some hobbies who doesn’t live at home with his parents. True story.

My sister used to tell me all the time that I’m “too picky” but I’ve been privy to enough bad relationships to know I don’t want one of those. I also don’t want to have a baby on my own. So in the meantime, I’m just doing the solo life thing and trying to make the most of my alone time. Some days, I enjoy it more than others.

While I was home alone most of this past weekend, I worked on a blog post about Hawaii that I was going to publish today. It’s a decent post but it’s uninspiring to me right now, which is something I’ve struggled with a lot when it comes to this blog recently.

So I’ve decided to turn to you, my amazing readers. I am looking for a bit of inspiration. What kinds of things would you like me to write about? It can be anything – not just travel. What about me or my life intrigues you that you’d like to learn more about? Don’t be shy, anything is on the table. Leave a comment below or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.

Subjects I’ve considered include…

  • Single life in the city and maybe even dating stories.
  • My never ending quest to find non toxic sunscreen that works well and skincare products that are gentle but effective (especially for my rosacea)
  • Tips for hosting and cooking for a party (many of which are from my mom who really is the hostess with the mostest)
  • What it’s like to be on the board of a nonprofit
  • How to find nonprofits that match your passions
  • Stories from my book club and/or cookbook club – and why you should have these in your life too!
  • My favorite books
  • What it was like to grow up on a farm

Of course I’ll still post lots of travel things too. I love telling those stories and hopefully, inspiring you to get out and travel on your own.

In the meantime, tell me what you want to read and know! Also, for all of you who are wondering, I’m heading to Croatia and Slovenia with Trafalgar in September. While most of the trip will be pretty structured with not a lot of free time, I’d love to hear your suggestions if you’ve been there and have them. I’d love to have excuses to sneak away and be comfortable on my own when I can.

Finally, while I haven’t been posting a lot lately, I am having a great summer. Check out a few of the highlights in the photos below.

My brother and his family (including the little cutie above) came to visit a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time they’ve brought their kids to Chicago and we had a great time going to the Shedd Aquarium and the beach!!

Stella has taken a lot of uncomfortable looking naps this summer.

I had my eyebrows colored. I thought they were too dark and that I looked like a freak as a result. But my friends disagreed so I kept them…and yes I know I’m about 20 years behind on this one. I should have been having them done all along.

I went to a really fun concert at Millennium Park. The Grant Park Orchestra did their “Envelope, Please” show that night.

I spent Memorial Day with a friend and this beauty and her husband at their lake house outside of Houston. We had a great time!

Want to read more? Check out my posts from my trip to Greece here and here.

8 Comments

  1. July 30, 2019 / 11:50 am

    Hi Carmen! Blogging burnout is a frequent state of mine and may be that’s why I don’t really mention how long I’ve blogged for (over 10 years) because half of them were just me dilly-dally-ing and wondering what to write about that’s good. What I have learned is that I create crappy content for my blog when I write about things that don’t come naturally to me. Some months that includes, baking, other months is clothes, still other, it’s housework. I have made my peace with that. But being a traveler like you, I always have a post relating to travel once a month or so, which keeps the overall theme of my site in check. So yes, you can talk about all those topics you listed in addition to your travels! But sticking to just one will eventually make you a little frustrated in my opinion. I love to read blogs that add a little bit of cheer and wit in my daily life. I love beautiful pictures. I don’t like reading too many advice related posts. I like seeing people strive to live well and happily without having the best things or situations. That to me is real and relatable at all times. That comment about being alone/solo was still a good check for all the things that you have going for yourself. Few people can claim that, including the comment maker I am sure. So just do what you do and write about it and sprinkle it with beautiful pictures of you and we the readers will be golden! 🙂

    • Carmen
      Author
      August 18, 2019 / 12:00 pm

      This is great advice! Thank you! Posting about real life is key. I get so weary of perfectly curated photos and posts. It is not real life and it sets this unattainable expectation. I have been trying to move away from that – spend less time on my phone, more time reading real books and enjoying the outdoors. I am not a big fan of advice related posts either – I don’t like anyone telling me what to do, much less a stranger. Ha! 🙂 Thank you for all of your unending support. It means the world to me!

  2. Nancy
    July 30, 2019 / 10:01 pm

    I vote for anything on the non-profit organizational end and I love hearing and seeing where you have been!! You aren’t being picky. You are being YOU and that’s what’s most important in a real relationship. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Carmen
      Author
      August 18, 2019 / 12:08 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Nancy. I have lots to say about nonprofit stuff so I will definitely get a post up on that soon.

  3. Kelly Gustafson
    July 30, 2019 / 10:05 pm

    I’d love to see a day in a life story,Carmen, if you’re willing to share! I enjoy seeing what big city life is like for you! I enjoy your posts?

    • Carmen
      Author
      August 18, 2019 / 12:11 pm

      I would love to share that! Expect a post soon. Thank you!

  4. Olivia
    July 31, 2019 / 3:08 am

    All. Of. It.

    • Carmen
      Author
      August 18, 2019 / 12:09 pm

      Not picky – the best kind of comment. Thank you! 🙂

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