My name is Meredith.
My friends and fam call me Mere (pronounced like "Mare" :) ) or like "Mayor" with a southern accent (both pronounced with only one syllable).
I grew up in Alabama. We moved from northern Alabama (Trussville/Pinson area) to southern Alabama (Daphne) when I was 14. Daphne is a beautiful town located right across the bay from Mobile (known as the eastern shore):
It seems I have always been drawn to live in a "Bay Area." Here's a photo from the beautiful Daphne:
Picture of Daphne by Vicki Mitchell. Source
My family still lives in southern Alabama, splitting their time between Daphne and Orange beach (about 45 miles down on the coast).
I went to college at Birmingham Southern, a small (but awesome) liberal arts school in Birmingham, Alabama. After college, I moved to Chile on a Rotary scholarship and studied literatura hispanica.
A few months before I moved to Chile, I visited my friend Kara in San Francisco over Thanksgiving. She invited her downstairs neighbors up to join us, and that is how I met my fiance husband Viet:
That was November. I liked him. He asked me to Prom (a party he and his roomies were having in February), but I had to say no thank you because in January I was moving to Chile. and that was that (or so I thought). . .
To keep up with my family friends, I started a little blog called una aurora y los mismos cielos (~loosely translated by me as a new dawn and the same skies).
I started the blog for my family and friends, so that they could follow along with my chilean adventures. I wrote in it as though it was an online diary (read=long and narrative heavy posts).
In May, Viet and his friend Steve were traveling in South America. We all met up in Santiago:
There were Shenanigans.
We also went on like an 8 hour Santiago Pub Crawl. Insanity. Viet and I were just still barely friends then:
But then Viet and Steve went back to the states, and I went back to Concepcion and continued my studies (and adventures).
Chile was life changing and, as you can see, breathtakingly beautiful. I didn't see Viet again until the following January (2008).
Many karaoke nights, beautiful hikes, melon tunas, and literary essays later, I went home to visit my family over the January break.
While back in the states, I took a trip out to San Fran to visit my friend Kara. While I was there I got to spend some more time with Viet and Kara's other friends. It was nice (but nothing romantical happened), and then I went back to Alabama.
A few days later, Viet and I were chatting online, and he invited me to come to Las Vegas for his birthday (I had never been to Vegas). And just like that, I went. My mother said to me, "I just have a feeling. I think something is going to happen to you on this trip that will make you not to want to go back to Chile.":
And after that trip, we knew.
Viet came to visit me in Chile. When I moved back to the states, I flew straight to San Francisco. All of my possessions were backed into two suitcases, and Viet was there to welcome me with open arms.
Fast forward three wonderful years living in the city of my dreams. . . and I decided it was time for me to start blogging again.
I started writing this blog for my At The Crossroads (ATC) I Think I Can Campaign. ATC is an amazing non-profit organization in San Francisco whose mission is “to reach out to homeless youth and young adults at their point of need, and work with them to build healthy and fulfilling lives.” Their annual I Think I Can Campaign challenges friends and supporters to tackle a personal challenge in their life while raising money for their life-changing work. My challenge was to dive back into blogging because I knew it would make me happy.
So, I bet you're wondering why Not Merely Living (aside from the name play)?
Imagine if you surrounded yourself with everything and anything that inspired you . . .
Surrounded yourself with everything and anything that made you sit up and say:
I want to dream and live and breathe THAT.
To sparkle and sing and yell at the tops of my lungs.
That's what Not Merely Living is about-Living the Dream.
And I'm still learning how to do that. But I believe strongly that you don't need to live perfectly, but instead it is more important to live purposefully. So that's what I'm working on, and that's what this blog helps me to do.
I started this blog on February 13, 2011 (Viet's birthday by chance). Two weeks later, Viet and I were celebrating our third anniversary.
Viet gave me a card said that said,
and he got down on one knee and asked me to be his person. You know. And he would be mine.
February 2012 marked our one year engagiversary and the blog's first birthday! On June 2nd, 2012, we got hitched. :)
Thank you for stopping by and spending a moment with me. Please reach out and connect with me if you would like. I'm always interested in making new friends.