Snowed-In Das Fort

Someone close recently reminded me, "Inspiration doesn't come from your surroundings (although it helps), true inspiration comes from within."

This is something I needed to remember. Snow is something I can live without, and after returning from Asia, I had no intention of spending any time longer than necessary in the MidWest. Indiana for my first 21 years was enough, I'd always thought.

Life often, has other plans. After a tumultuous period of transition, it seems I've settled for the moment in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the second largest city in the state. Not my first choice, but as it turns out, circumstantially perfect in the potential for true happiness.

Doing what I love has been a tricky endeavor whilst hunting for a job in the "traditional job market." I prefer to move beyond boundaries, and have been able to land a multi media position that I am in control of, the supreme commander.

Remembering Albert Camus's ephipany, "in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer," I too remembered the fire that once burned so brightly. Sometimes turning 30, along with the mental anguish associated with selling yourself in the job market, a Polar Vortex filled winter, and dimming down your surrounding city hubbub from 20 million (Beijing) to 254,000 (Fort Wayne) ... can be a bit of a buzzkill.

Sometimes it's best not to be a Debbie Downer. On the bright side, I'm holed up in das Fort, working on some projects, and getting things done. Everyone who works for themselves should read Tim Ferris's "4-Hour Work Week." Truly amazing. He also suggests the free app "Lift" which I am currently loving. It helps you set and keep new habits, whatever they may be (mine includes drinking more water, working on my poetry; pushups too). Uplift.

Things could always be worse. Focus on the happy, it's simple enough. Yesterday I covered a flashmob in the city center square for the One Billion Rising movement. According to a UN statistic, one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. I've been very fortunate (with only one night in Bangkok I block out), and I've met many amazing women who manage to forget far worse travesties.

Tomorrow, I cover an indoor putt putt event with the mayor. Fort Wayne is my home for now, and although I can't say I ever wanted to live here, it's special in it's own way. Snow is one of my top ten things I'd like to never see again, yet freshly fallen, it can be beautiful. Johnny Appleseed is buried here, inspiration isn't.

David and Peter Turnley, world renowned photo journalists, were born in Fort Wayne and documented their first portfolio of pictures from life on one city street. At times, when "small town" life seems too slow to stir any real excitement, I try and remember the 3 hour bus rides home across Beijing during rush hour traffic. Parking my car in my garage in suburbia doesn't seem quite as bad. Just different.

Life's about stopping to smell the roses, and what you make of it, how you look at it; perspective. I'm just happy I'm not in China anymore. Don't worry, be Happy. So, here I am, biding my time, scheming on taking over the world, one fort at a time.

Truth be told, it doesn't matter where in the world I am, my reach is global with the all encompassing power of the internets. I'm digging deeper digitally a little more every day. Creating my own multi-media, and hopefully, spreading some kind of wellness and good cheer. A zen media guru? Who knows. Just breathe.

Live in the moment, enjoy the now. If you smile, life has a way of smiling back at you. I've always seemed to have a little star shining on my shoulder, keeping me safe. I was unbelievable lucky that night in Bangkok, and I learned a lesson. Beware of buckets and always travel with a buddy. Adventurous women out there, be careful, but be bold. Don't let anything hold you back.

Especially not babies. I was appalled at the lack of sex education in Taiwan. Living with three of my Taiwanese girlfriends, I soon began lecturing them on safe sex, the basics. The statistics are scary, at an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 abortions per year, Taiwan has one of the highest per-capita abortion rates in the world. Awareness and a little sex education can go a long way in preventing this.

I was sitting at dinner one night with my old boss, the director of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Shanghai office (previously of Taipei), and some visiting politician (also ex army) from Indiana, not long before I was scheduled to return. "Well, just be careful, the next thing you know you'll be married with kids and driving a truck," he laughed and I was shocked at his impertinence and stereotyping of rural MidWest women.

Not likely. I'm too busy bouncing.

Breaking a sweat.