Everything Is Fine.

“Fear is forgetting that everything is fine.” 
-5 Sayings That Will Keep You Grounded (Real Simple Magazine, January 2014)
photo credit: Tumblr / Flickr account Jane Grigoreva

I haven’t written lately, for any number of reasons. I’ve been tired or busy or my computer hasn’t been working properly. So today when I read this quote and felt compelled to write about it, I was actually excited.

Fear is forgetting that everything is fine.

Wow. What a monumental quote. I can’t help but feel like it was meant for me to find it, somehow. It’s such a mix of how I feel and how I WANT to feel these days, if that makes any sense.

I think that throughout my entire life, I’ve lived with a certain level of fear. It’s led me to episodes of anxiety and recluse, and who knows how many missed opportunities. And once in a while I will remember to live with this quote in mind, Fear is forgetting that everything is fine. When I do… my life is different, somehow.

The past 6 months have been more driven with purpose and clarity, in many ways, than any other time in my life. I credit that to my new job and the permissions it has given me to feel at home in my life. And, oh yes, there are a dozen or so things in my life that I would love to be different right now. But the way everything is managed at the moment has brought me such a level of calm that I can say I don’t remember what anxiety even felt like.

I used to be rushed to do things, afraid that I’d get in trouble for being late or screwing up on someone else's watch. I felt like I was under-appreciated and under-stimulated in most parts of my life. I didn’t really have deep discussions or connections with people because most of my social engagement happened online or through text messages. I finally realized this when I recently made a new friend whose ability to listen and inquire is mind-blowing to me. I don’t mean to say that none of my friends are good listeners, because they are. But I can’t count now how many things I’ve told this person and had him reiterate or ask about them days or weeks later. And it completely blows me away and inspires me… I want to be that person, too!

The level of stress in my daily life has diminished and my relationships have deepened with the people in my circle of friends. I feel at peace.

And more importantly, I WANT to feel at peace. I don’t want to be a person who has to have dramas or complications to spice up my life. I’m finally able to admit that I really AM a simple person, and I like it that way. I don’t require a lot of incentive to be happy or intrigued by life. And maybe that’s boring, but I like my life in a state of calm. I like Friday nights watching movies and spending time with friends on the weekends. I recently had someone tell me that I have a calming presence, which I'd never have guessed considering how anxious I used to feel all of the time. It was deeply flattering for me to feel that I am a person who relaxes other people, because that's the kind of person that I'm realizing- more and more- that I want to be.

When my life was more hectic, I would always have to remind myself of this quote- Fear is forgetting that everything is fine. My version was more along the lines of, “I’m always fine,” but its meaning remains the same. No matter what life throws at me- I’m always fine. If you read my last entry, you'll see this as a common thread in my mindset lately, and hey... that's alright with me. It’s only when we get distracted by dramas or complications that we forget that everything is going to be just fine, because it almost always is. Remember THAT, and life becomes easier.


Real Problems.

Today I woke up sick, as I was yesterday, with a gnarly cold. Not my favorite thing. I called in sick to work and cuddled up to my cat, reaching over every so often for a Kleenex and a sip of water. As I dozed off to sleep, I heard the single most fearsome noise of all time: the Street Sweeper. I jumped out of bed and ran to my car but it was too late- I'd gotten my first parking citation in years. $44. Seriously? Because today couldn't get any worse??

So I laid in bed with my laptop and looked up reasons I could fight the ticket, and how unfair they were, etc., etc. This was hours ago. And suddenly a thought occurred to me: I'm an asshole.

If a Parking Ticket is the biggest of my worries, I really have a LOT to be grateful for.

The ironic thing is that it was totally my fault. I left my car there, I could have taken notice of the street sign or gotten up or whatever. And I didn't, so I should pay the stupid ticket. It's not like Street Sweeping is a new thing around here. Even my cold isn't life-threatening. Last year I had Walking Pneumonia at the and of the year. A little cold isn't going to kill me. In fact- I was sort of relieved that I felt I should stay home (don't want to spread it to co-workers!) and lay back. This Thanksgiving we went to my niece's wedding in Utah and it was very much a go-go-go trip, followed by a 16-hour drive home in a minivan with my family and their dog. A day to spoil myself with peace and quiet and soup and movies is just what the doctor ordered, in more ways than one.

How many times do we (see: I) do this? We make mountains of our molehills and create these extravagant injustices of how shoddy of a deal we've been handed? "I'm Sick," "He hasn't called," "My favorite shirt got ruined." These are not real problems. And if I take my top five "problems" in my life right now- my bet is that I'll feel really, REALLY stupid for thinking they're a big deal. For some reason, my mind flashes to the cover of a Sia album, titled: Some People Have Real Problems.

Those some people are not me, or most likely YOU- for that matter.

I suppose this is an appropriate subject for the week after Thanksgiving, and I ought to have written something about what I'm grateful for last week. But I was too busy, or distracted, or just plain down in the dumps about whatever little dramas I have going on in my life. I know that most women tend to crave drama, and I'm the first to admit that I've probably hopped on that train more than once. But the point isn't to be perfect, it's to be aware. I want to be aware of all that I have, and aware of all the trials I don't have in my life. I want to be aware that I am really, really lucky, because some people have REAL problems, and I'm not one of them.

And now, a few mellow-time songs you've been missing (without even knowing it):

This girl can do no wrong:


The 5 Things You Learn.

Photo Cred: Quoteco.com
I believe that we are the sum of the people we surround ourselves with. This is also exactly why I am increasingly careful about who I surround myself with these days- because it's too easy to become something that you had never intended to be. 

I am the sum of these people, some still in my life and others not. My friends, my family, roommates and even fictional people that I watch on TV from time to time. These are the people who have impacted me. This list is for you.

1. Trying to be "perfect" is a never-ending battle that ends badly. I used to be so paranoid about impressing people that never even cared what I did in the first place. It's so important to know: No one is looking at you as much as you think they are. So dance wildly. Let your hair be out of place sometimes. Be prepared to argue your point even if you're the only one who believes in it. You matter, and you're allowed to be different than other people think you should be. People have much less stock in their opinions of you than you might think.

2. Sometimes, it isn't you. This goes in line with #1, but in a bit of a different way. Sometimes we think that, when a friend hasn't been available to us, we did something wrong. And maybe we did, and it's good to ask if that's the case. But so very often when we think we're the problem- we aren't. Sometimes there's drama at home. Honestly, and I know this sounds harsh, but honestly sometimes these people we allow into our lives are just really messed up. And you can choose to continue to be there for them or not- depending on the circumstances. But don't feel like you can control other people's problems because you will be wrong 100% of the time.

3. Belief makes you better. The most interesting and amazing people that I have met have believed in something big. Sometimes it's been a higher power, sometimes it's been dedicating themselves to hard work, sometimes it's been the power of music. But the most fascinating people I know are not sitting around believing in New Girl or the new bar down the street. They've got heads filled with ideas and hearts filled with passion. This is good.

4. Caring goes a long way. And sometimes we have to stop and recognize how amazing it is when somebody genuinely cares about who we are or what we have to say. I have a friend who is Johnny-On-The-Spot with questions about what's going on with me, or what happened with a story I told him days earlier. It's been one of those things where every time it happens I feel so humbled that such a simple gesture can make me feel so important. How easy is it to ask someone a question and listen to the answer? And in a world of fast-paced "Look At Me!"... it's so amazing to find someone who is saying "What about YOU?" Be that person for somebody else.

5. Honesty is the best policy. Sometimes you want someone to make you feel better, and you need them to tell you that you look great even though you have, like, 4 1/2 pimples and your pants are getting too tight from too much Panera. But when push comes to shove, the opinions that make a difference are the honest ones. If you want to know that you're latest project really DOES need some work- ask an honest person. This is probably not the person you want to ask if you want a cushy-cozy answer. But I have increasing respect for the opinions of bluntly honest people. I would not have done the following if it weren't for the truth-tellers: Gotten a REAL job, pushed myself back into painting and art, worked harder on this blog, gone to Europe, learned to be alone, started personal projects like learning to crochet and take decent photos, worked out instead of sleeping and watching TV all day, set standards for myself, excluded people from my life that were emotional vampires and developed the courage to stand up for myself against hurtful people. 

These are the people who believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. They're the ones who told me that I was more capable of things than I thought I was. Ironically, these are some of the most difficult people for me to talk to because they're like my Life Coaches and sometimes I don't wanna go to THAT gym. But the honest ones, the really honest people, are the most crucial people I could have ever asked for in my personal development.


How to Write.

Be open.

I don't just mean open in the sense that you would think. Yes, be honest. But more importantly: be open to write. When you close yourself off and live in this little fantasy world where you don't feel and you hardly think- you cannot write. You just can't. Great writing comes from inspiration and nothing less. And what inspires us? For some it will be travel. For some it will be heartache, loneliness, or a combination of the two. For some it might be an Earth-shattering connection to a higher power. For some it will be love. Find out where you're closing yourself off and open the door, or at least a window. 

Write what you know. 

I'm hardly the first person to say this. You'd sound a bit like an idiot if you went around talking about things you know little about, right? Sometimes... sometimes we don't know much of anything. These are my entries that I have posted here where I admit a blankness in my life. But there's a reason that I do that: I want you to know that quite often, I feel like I don't know much of anything. And that's actually normal. Even if what you know is that you know so little; if you want to be a writer, admit that your mind is silent.


The beauty about writing, to me, is that I can say anything. If I felt motivated to, I could confess my deepest feelings on life, family, or relationships. I choose not to expose myself TOO much here, but that's not to say that I don't come here to shed some layers. I'm a strange one, in case you haven't noticed. And I'm okay with that. As a kid I always felt too peculiar and alien to "the norm." I spent way too much time in my own head, trying to figure out how I felt about the world. It was when I started admitting my oddities and insecurities to people that I began to hear a soft chorus of peers whispering, "me, too."

Give life to your audience.

I'm not there with you, reading this. I don't know what you're feeling or thinking or how your day was (I'd love to, by the way. Drop me a line!) One of my most effective writing tools, in recent months especially, has been to envision that I am talking to you directly. How would I explain what I think about this topic? What advice do I so greatly want you to hear? It can be difficult to find my voice when I'm staring at a computer screen. My most effective motivation and inspiration is, as it should be, YOU.


My final tip is from a post on Thought Catalog. I tend to write better in the morning, and am changing it to night time. If there was one thing that I wish I could still do it would be to write in the morning again, but my job now has me doing ACTUAL JOB things. Nothing jolts my creative juices like a nice dose of Vitamin C. And by that, I mean Caffeine. Oh, and my friend Matt says showers make him feel inspired. So... looks like I'll be especially hygienic these days.



In unrelated news: Are you on Spotify? I'm obsessed with it. If you're on there, find me. I make new playlists every month!

A Little C&A

For your viewing pleasure (I dare you to not smile)

To start off somewhere besides the place where we discuss how I've been gone for two weeks, let's begin here... I was doing yoga tonight. I've missed it so much, and I always feel much better after I do a few poses. This week has been kind of a cheat week for me since I was hiking several times per week and not feeling very encouraged by the physical results. Yesterday was a major junk food day, spilling into today, and reminding me that my diet is a big part of the shape my body takes. So lettuce wraps and tomatoes for dinner, eh?

So my yoga gear came out and I got to my final pose which is something weird in Sanskrit but translates to Dead Man's Pose in English. I inhaled with no thought, exhaling and remembering to use this time to meditate in some form or another. What word would be best? Peace...too cheesy. Tranquility... reminds me too much of a Bath & Body Works lotion.

And then: Clarity. And for the exhale Acceptance.

And as I lay there, essentially talking to myself, I realized the power and importance of those words. I think that if there were ever two words that will define a feeling of the ultimate Zen experience, they'd be Clarity and Acceptance.

As a writer, clarity is essential. I'm learning more and more that if my mind isn't clear and focused, my writing will reflect that. I become jumbled and confusing and I probably talk more about cats than I should. Even just a self-talk reminder to seek out clarity in all things is an amazing tool to wade through the haze in my head and remember to see things with my heart and mind simultaneously. It's far too easy to become overwhelmed with the thoughts and words of others and forget to pay attention to yourself. I know it is for me, anyway.

Acceptance might be even more important than Clarity, to some degree. I had the word on my mind after reading Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor this morning. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. There are a few parts that get a little hokey for my tastes, but lots of gold in those pages overall. Pages 69-70 read:

"...For every problem, there are a multitude of solutions (...) Giving others the freedom to act in the way they feel is best without fear of harsh judgments honors the capacity for growth that all people possess. It is not wise to try to fix people or control situations. you may feel compelled to intervene when difficulties arise, but it is important only to offer guidance when asked (...) Giving others the liberty to blossom in their journeys grants you the freedom to take notice of your own."
Acceptance comes in a variety of forms, all of which are equally important. It is important to accept yourself, as well as others, "As Is." Always, always desire the best for others, and always strive for a better version of You- but also embrace the oddities and differences that exist without change.

I've experienced enough of life and been exposed to enough people (some of which I really, really wanted to change!) to know that you should never attempt to change another human being. And I know enough about myself to know that I need to love the person that I am at my own core of being. As I tend to say: You can't fit a square into a circle. But... I'm sure that isn't the best analogy. Oh well, I never claimed to be a philosphiziser.

It is also with Acceptance that life becomes easier. You don't push so hard against life when it goes differently than you anticipated. I don't think anyone has it the way that they expect or want on a daily basis, and I read somewhere very official and very undocumentable (see:I'm too lazy to look it up) that people who tend to bend with misfortune tend to enjoy themselves much more in the long run. Being so dead set on something that nothing else will do seems like a really good way to be disappointed all the time, in my opinion.

So, in short, find your words. Mine are Clarity and Acceptance. You can borrow them if you want. Mine are pretty awesome.


Who We Show.

My old roommates are moving to Spain. I know I've mentioned it.

When going through their checklist of things to do before they leave, they asked me my thoughts on them starting blogs. I told them that I thought it was not only important for them to document their trip, but to document all of the things leading up TO that trip. How they feel about it on a daily basis- fears and joys alike- the preparations they are putting in, tiny details and facts that they don't think are relevant... everything. My reasoning was that sometime in the near future, two girls are going to decide they want to teach English in a foreign country and have no clue where to start. Blogs are not only about you, but all of the people who you can reach out to and help in ways that you never imagined would come to pass.

I've been wondering how my blog helps anybody. Is there some girl out there who reads this and thinks, "Man, I'm really glad she said it because I had no idea where to start?" And on that wave... how real am I being to that person? How many details about my trip am I including for her to navigate the places she wants to go?

I realized today, in talking to my best friend, how much of myself I hold in. I always thought that, as a writer, I revealed myself to people pretty widely and honestly. And I know that I do, to some extent. I tell all of my embarrassing stories in full detail. I joke about my dating mishaps and the "losers" I've dated in my early 20's. I laugh a lot and disclose my strange conversations that I have with my cat where I talk to her like a human and expect that she understands. I tell all.

But today I was talking to my friend about an old relationship of mine, and what she saw from me when it ended. She laughed as she told me that she had never really known WHAT I was feeling or thinking because I was so candid and yet private during the breakup. One minute I would be sad and the next I would be completely level-headed and preaching about how it was for the best and I was much better off. Here was my own best friend, who I talked to almost daily during this point of my life, telling me she had no clue how I was doing at that time. Crazy.

I guess I hold a lot in.

I had a guy tell me, from notes that a girl friend of mine had given him, that he knew better than to bring me flowers. "I know you're not into all that romantic stuff."

I guess I hold a lot in.

I wonder how many of us do this same thing. The truth of the matter is: I feel things more deeply than anyone I know. I'm a writer- of COURSE there's poetry in my veins when my life happens for good or for bad. It kills me when things don't work out with someone that I genuinely care about. It kills me that I don't have the relationships with my family and friends that I wish I had. I point out the comedy in my life because it's the only way I can talk about it without dwelling on the crappy things that happen sometimes (and I'm sure happen in anyone's lives). I love romantic gestures from a boy. The reason I don't jump up and down when they happen is because I'm afraid that if I do, I'll jinx it.

"Play it cool. Play it cool..."

On top of that, and because I see/feel more than most people do, I look for the individual in people. I don't want the same conversations you've had with your other friends. I don't want the rehearsed routine you've put forward with every girl you've dated. I want you to see and hear me- really hear me- and be the person you find in yourself when you're around the person that I am. I want the inside jokes and the idle chatter with my best friends. I want the book you knew I would love or the nerdy Mario Brothers foam flower that you knew would never die. I don't want an aisle-checkout Gift Card friendship, I want preempted individualism.

The reason I bring this all up is that I feel like I've spent the better part of the past few years (in my ongoing self-discovery) looking for who I am, who I REALLY am, and how much I show to people and why.

When I turned 30... something changed in me. Maybe it was a combination of turning 30 and changing jobs. But I suddenly felt like this huge weight had lifted off of my shoulders. Where I used to care so much about doing things "just so..." suddenly I just...


I stopped trying to figure out who everyone else wanted me to be. I stopped caring if everything was perfect. I honestly think that I realized after trying SO hard for SO long, and things never quite lining up the way I tried to orchestrate them to, that my life was going to just be imperfect. And for the first time- that was okay. So I stopped trying to fit a circle into a square. I stopped stressing out that people might have wanted me to behave a certain way. I stopped chiming in on drama around me and instead just shrugged and said, "Man, that sucks." I stopped trying so hard to make people love me.

So this is me. Not caring. And telling you that it's okay to stop using the comedy to really feel your own life. It's okay to admit to your best friend that you're sad, or scared, or that you just don't have all the answers at that moment. It's okay to just sit with yourself and not stress out that your life is different than you thought it would be when you were five and wearing light-up plastic princess heels.

I have a quote on my mirror in my bedroom that's been there since just after my birthday: We either choose to make ourselves miserable or to make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

I like that.


Be You.

This past week has been filled with conversations that I really needed to have. I'd been lost on here for a while and that analytical side of me was MIA, which isn't terrible but not great when you're a writer.
I had a discussion today regarding writing, but from another person. My friend is a writer who has a sort of writer's block, which I can relate to. Sometimes we as writers lose our voice, and that can be incredibly frustrating. We were talking about how we have these "voices," or basically literary facades, that we use to present our stories to the world. Writers often do this for anonymity and self-preservation. I realized, though I already knew it, that I use this writing mask more often than not. I can't think of how many times I haven't been able to find the courage to tell someone my thoughts, only to write it down later. I have the words, but for some reason hiding behind a computer makes it easier for me to let down my guard and admit that I care, or that I'm afraid, or that I'm upset. Writing is the only way I think I can allow myself to be fully vulnerable.

I got to thinking about it this evening, this whole facade thing, and began to wonder why we do it. And it isn't just writers. It's Bloggers, Facebookers, Twitterers, even Instagrammers. We have this entire generation hiding behind our screens. We post updates, in our Voices, about the lives we want to be perceived to have. We post pictures of the amazing meals we're eating and the cute thing our boyfriend/girlfriend did for us. And then we hide and fumble over what to say when faced with actual people. We are an entire generation who has spent so much time reaching out to the world, looking for love and recognition in mediums we never thought possible, and yet more unable to find it than ever. And that's because we're not being REAL. It's easy to "like" someone when they're at their most edited selves. And we know that. So when things aren't filtered in Walden, it can become unnerving to open up and let people see your picture in a real-life hue. So we don't. We hide and we treat our world like a ventriloquist act, throwing our voices to a propped doll so people don't see that we're off stage in our tattered pajamas.

Being our real selves is one of the scariest things in the world. Mainly because if we give our all and present 100% authenticity, and people hate it, we have nothing to hide behind. Few things are more intimidating than saying "This is me," and having another person say, "You aren't enough." I think that's why I am so passionate about finding a place of clarity in myself. If I know who I am, and I can become the person that I know I am satisfied with at the end of the day, no one else's opinion really matters. You're never going to please everybody, and that is a fact. And even the people who love you the most in the world aren't always going to agree with or even like you. And that's okay. If you know yourself, and know the person you want to be, then you know that being the person SOMEONE ELSE wants you to be is silly and nonsensical.

Do we need to spill our deepest, darkest secrets to everybody? No. Keep a part of you for yourself, and spare hurt feelings if you have disagreeable emotions on a topic. But don't ever hide your plan for yourself, and don't ever stop trying to figure out who you want to be. That changes every day- every single day. It's emotional evolution and that's healthy. But allow people to see you. Be honest. Desire the best for not only the people in your world but for yourself, too. No manipulation, no games. No "this is who I want people to think I am." This is your life, not an audition for someone else's.

Be you.



(one of the good ones!)

I don't know about anybody else, but as a kid I seemed to have sought out unhealthy relationships with people. It extended further, well into my adulthood, and often comes up in my conversations with people. While some girls have these friends and boyfriends who are super supportive and loving, I did not. I wont go into details, only to say that when I talk about it it's embarrassing and usually reciprocated with a general response of "seriously? why?" I once had a boyfriend who broke things off, we decided to work it out, and then he broke things off again a week later. I told a friend about this and his response was, "Um, twice is a lot of times to break up with somebody." that simplistic reply really made me come to terms with the fact that this guy had been a jerk.

And it kind of IS an interesting scenario. Why did I do this to myself? Was it some form of self-loathing? Low self-esteem? I grew up in a pretty awesome and supportive family, so I know it's not a learned habit.

I think that women have this tendency to tell themselves terrible things. Ideas of not being worthwhile spew into our brains and take root. And of course, it's insane. We are worthwhile, amazing people. I know that I deserve people to treat me with kindness and love, but I seem to have a history of not really EXPECTING it from people. Or at least allowing them to fall completely short of the behavior I should accept.

I had a friend who was so similar to me in this sense. We would talk for hours about the people in her life who were consistently letting her down, and her responses to it. She had one guy, in particular, who she was completely enamored with, and he knew it, but kind of led her on about the whole thing. And she would tell me how she knew better, yet exposed herself to his rejection time and again, not knowing why. It actually got sort of hard to talk to her about it because she would always be giving chances when she knew better than to do it.

I think I understand why I allow people to be jerks sometimes, which is the first step. But the next, and more difficult, is figuring out how to navigate things from there. When someone messes up, do I axe them from my life right then and there? How many times do I allow myself to get hurt before I end that friendship? I don't know the rules.

What I DO know is this: I (and you!) am/are worth it. And I demand a better circle than the ones I have run in in the past. Maybe it's me being old and lazy, but I don't have the time for that crap. I don't have the energy to embrace crummy friendships and relationships, and I refuse to do it. I want to surround myself with people who encourage me to be my best self. I don't want to have friends who do stupid things to me or to themselves and don't expect me to get upset about it. I don't want friends who put me on the backburner, or who place minimal effort into our friendship. I'm worth effort, and so are you! If somebody makes you feel bad on a regular basis- why keep them in your life? You should have people who want to help you succeed and help bring you up, not make you sad. Surround yourself with the love you deserve. You are so worth it.


All You Need Is Love.

So I am in a bit of a fun blogger mood tonight. Partially because all of my responsibilities are away at summer (or, rather, fall) camp. Aside from work, which will now be taking the spotlight in my oh-so-thrilling social life, all of the things I've had on my agenda are checked off. I have zero obligations aside from hiking, yoga, cooking, cats, and ideally personal hygiene. Watch out, world!

It isn't that I don't like being busy. I actually prefer it. I have this over-analytical, writer-y side of me who needs to be constantly preoccupied lest she start wondering, like... what feelings mean or something. This is great once in a while, but trust me when I say I accomplish much more when this is not the case. I do plenty of soul-searching during my deep conversations with Newps.

So now it's September and the next thing on my agenda (aside from the 67 lbs. of family birthdays this month) is whether or not I want to tackle sewing my own Halloween costume.


At the risk of blabbing on about how lazy I anticipate being in the coming future, let's talk about something else.

My Best Friend got married this weekend. And I am SO not the girl who swoons at weddings, but this one was absolutely perfect. maybe I'm just getting old, but I totally cried at least 3 or 50 times. Sayum looked like a Bride Magazine model, complete with horse-drawn carriage. The thing that blew me away, on top of the physical beauty of the day, was the amount of love pouring out from every corner of the evening. The majority of her bridal party flew in from Michigan and rented an enormous mansion with a waterslide and a grotto. Every day was all about Sayum and how to make this the most special weekend of her life. I'd never seen an outpour of love the way these girls funneled it to Sayum. It was, and this is an understatement, inspirational. I'm not kidding, it really made me re-evaluate the level of friendship and love I give to the girls in my life who are important to me.

For being someone who loves spa nights and Bridesmaids... I guess I'm not a very girly girl. I'm more comfortable with fart jokes and movie quotes than late-night gossip and martinis (well... maybe martinis.) Or heaven forbid someone cry in front of me- I completely panic.

I am learning, though. I'm learning to be gentler, and to appreciate the female bonds I have in my life. It's been honestly tough at times, but I think there is a greatly undervalued emphasis on girl friends in my life- and I hope to nurture those friendships where they stand strong. I'd be lying if I said that I don't trace this back to some pretty crummy female friends I had as a kid, and I think that is why I hold Sayum on such a pedestal. She has been the absolute perfect friend to me, and if I am at all lucky I will figure out a way to do my best impression of that.

Friendships are so important, and it can sometimes be easy to get caught up in life and forget to make time for the people who make time for us. But if there is one thing I've learned in the past few years of knowing Sayum, and in the past week of witnessing the bonds that exist with her Michigan friends, it's that those relationships are worth every moment of effort.

Thank you, Sayum, for showing me the type of person that I want to be. I can't promise to come close to perfect, but I am that much closer to being the best friend that I can be.

I love your guts, Mrs. Boucher.



Photo Source: Unknown

Why? Why do we write? (not the royal We, I mean writers in general!)

I started this blog in a completely different place than I am now- in every way. Back in, what? '08? '09? I hid the posts that went as far back as this thing did, mainly out of comedic embarrassment. What a small, unimportant series of events my life was at the time. And of course- THEN- it was huge. Just like every "Now" is so consuming. It's quite encouraging, when you think about it.

I began as a way of getting myself on paper... one of the only places I've always felt comfortable. It started on a floppy disc, and meandered over to the blog-o-sphere. A kind of "here's what I think" spot. But who wants to read my diary? And why?

So do I write for my Followers? Maybe. I like feeling that there is someone out there who sees an entry that makes them feel something. But I don't get a lot of comments on here, only analytics telling me that some random Firefox or Safari-user cares. Not a bad thing. But it means, in a strange way, that I write for either myself, or for the silent audience out there. Maybe they're one and the same.

The reason I even ask all of this isn't because I feel like driving myself (or anyone else) crazy. Only to question what sorts of things are topics that are appropriate. I've felt torn lately, now knowing that more people and more business-affiliates are aware that I exist. I miss posting the silly little crude posts that I used to feel like no one noticed in the first place. I always knew, even when I felt like "totally- such and such is TOTALLY reading this!"... I knew they weren't. Only, now... the numbers don't lie. Someone is. And it's important for me to know how to speak to people in a way that is still Me, but for something more than just Me.

I know the ballsy writers out there will say to just write honestly and in the only voice I've ever used. But I'm a firm believer that we always, even subconsciously, cater the voice we use to the audience we seek to reach with that voice. What do I want Who to get out of the Things I have to say?

I guess... I guess it all just goes back to the beginning. Back in '08 or '09. When I started a blogspot called Life Is Sweet.

Do you know how this all began? My topic, back before I knew about having any kind of plan, was to discuss what parts of life were so great. The little things people forget. The bird I saw on my hike yesterday, or the fact that I get to play hacky sack at work tomorrow. How lucky I am to maintain close friendships with the people in my life. My Dad teaching me to shoot a gun. Having had the opportunity to spend the past 10 months living with the two most amazing roommates and friends I could have asked for, and them teaching me every single day how to be a better person.

And maybe that's why I write.

And maybe that's what this blog needs to get back to- it's Treehouse Roots.


Perchance to Dream.

"We wander, but in the end there is always a certain peace in being what one is- in being that completely..."
-Ugo Betti

For as long as I can remember, I've had difficulty sleeping. I think the last time I had a consistent run of "good nights" was when I was in high school.

I look back, wondering why this is the case. I'm not even kidding- I have gone through every non-prescription option in Walgreens. Tylenol PM, Unisom, Nyquil (This was during a very interesting Underworld time in my life. If you're going to take Nyquil, please watch that or Resident Evil. Falling peacefully asleep to those movies makes you feel like a hardcore M-er F-er)... I always needed something to help set my mind at ease in order to quiet the frantic pacing my brain did around bedtime. It was never a matter of a "to-do'" list or anything like that. It was always some stupid thought about what friend of mine needed my help, or what my boyfriend was/wasn't doing. Super (un)important stuff like that.

A girlfriend of mine comforted me during a rough patch a few years ago, during a time when my brain refused to shut up. I was exhausted from a string of sleepless nights, feeling on-edge and tweaked. She told me, in so many words, that when she had gone through a rough patch, she worked out at the gym to the brink of exhaustion. She said that if she focused on exhausting her body, her brain would have no choice but to follow suite during her bedtime hours. She basically knocked herself out with physical activity.

I'm not sure how clinical her study was, but she had a point. An exhausted body is a sleepy body (and brain!)

These days, sleep is SO happening. I can honestly say, at 30, that this is the first time since I was probably 15 that I am relatively stress-free. My brain is content. I just don't care about pretty much anything. And it got me thinking... Why?

Did you know that when you're a teenager, the recommended allotment of sleep is 10 hours. TEN HOURS. And do you know why? It's because your body is constantly working to grow, and you are expanding your mind with new information daily. Not just in school, either. Socially and emotionally, too. You are literally growing every part of yourself, inside and out. You are expanding your mind, and exhausting it in the process.

This is me, now.

I am thirty years old. I am single. I am working in a new job where I am being challenged and educated daily. When I get off work, I still- for the first time ever- am thinking about work. Brainstorming, watching tutorial videos, reading books on Marketing. Not in an obsessive way, but simply because I want to be up to par with where I should be at my job. I'm also writing for a few spots, and trying to catch up on my social media that I used to spend a substantial amount more time on at my old job. Sidebar: I have literally had friends message me on Facebook asking if I'm okay since I'm hardly on there anymore. HOW embarrassing.

Cut to my working hours: Between working on different projects I am making new friends, developing social skills in the workplace (since I haven't had any real "peers" at work in over 7 years so this is new territory), joining the fitness team with a handful of coworkers, and essentially navigating what it's like to have a completely different job than I've ever had before.

And it feels amazing.

I know I keep talking about work stuff, and ideally this will subside. But for now, this is what excites me. This is my life, for the moment. Which brings me to my point, sort of (and finally)...

Before this, my life was all about, "Oh, HE'S cute!" and "Oh no- she didn't!" And now that stuff all sort of seems... trivial. I am trying not to lose that girly part of me as much as possible, because I think a certain level of that is healthy for social bonding. But not having my focus be 100% social/emotional has really changed things for me. I'm no longer looking for any kind of drama, and when it comes up I'm too tired to even pay it mind anymore. I recently posted a roommate ad that basically said: I have two requirements, don't be a slob and don't be an asshole. Otherwise I don't care. Because I just don't care about a lot these days. I just want to work, be good at it, go hiking and come home and relax. I'm sorry that your sister's brother's cat sat on your fur-free couch. But I'm too tired to get worked up about it.

I guess I just feel what everyone else has been feeling all along... content. I am filling my brain with useful information, not searching for drama to fill it. I'm not really searching for anything. Not another person, not meaningless chatter just to occupy my time... Just Being.

And for the first time in a long time, I sleep.

Man, do I sleep.


Thoughts on the HB Riots.

A few weeks ago, my hometown hosted our annual surf competition, The Vans US Open of Surfing. Every summer, (hot!) surfers from all over the world compete to lay claim to the title at the HB pier- a spot so famous it's featured in video games and surf videos constantly. They shut down all of Main Street and the area around the pier, dedicating the beach to stands and tents for surf paraphernalia, food, and general industry goodies. We even have a concert series featuring some of the bigger names in music- this year there was a free Modest Mouse show, which is pretty cool if you ask me.
Well... this time things got a little out of control.
People flock in from all over Southern California to see the competition and the concert, and it's generally so crowded these days that locals avoid the area entirely. You see, Orange County has a bit of a bias against outsiders and we tend to sort of blanket everyone with a "certain look" as somebody from Riverside county, which is one of the next counties over. This stigma has gone on for years, and it's almost become a part of our local culture to point fingers at anybody with a bad attitude and dub them "Riversiders" or my personal favorite, "Nine Ballers." I've seen people waving flags down in Newport Beach with quotes like, "Close down the 91 Freeway!" (the route from Riverside County to OC.) I'd be lying if I said I didn't chuckle at this, because... come on man! THAT'S dedication.
The US Open started the same way it starts every other year, people stoked for the competition, shops pumped up for the revenue upgrade. Locals made Facebook posts about the potential line-ups for the concert series, boo-hooing what bands they disagreed with for this free event that was literally falling at their feet. Free is free, in my book, and music is almost always a good thing. But that's a personal standpoint.
By the last day, it was a really, really good thing that the event was closing up shop. I'd avoided downtown entirely so as to not deal with my slight case of crowd-claustrophobia. I'm sure there's another word for this- but I'm too lazy to look it up. The day Modest Mouse played, there wasn't a parking spot to be had, despite the fact that I live 16 blocks away. It was nuts.
Apparently everyone else had overloaded on excitement, too. The final Sunday creeped into the afternoon with a beachy heat and humidity that pushed overly wound up crowds onto Main Street and into the local shops, and tension built enough that- from what I'm reading online- some idiot kids started a fight with a liquor store owner. Drunk? Probably. I mean... it IS Main Street HB. This escalated to some other moron thinking, you know, "How badass would it be if i knocked over a porta potty?" Call me crazy, but who the hell thinks it's cool to knock over a barrel of fecal matter? Not a clue. Crowds matched point by knocking over a string of the bathrooms, punching strangers for no reason at all, and general mayhem. I sat in my house, listening to the helicopters fly down the street and refreshing local news pages to watch videos of what was happening to my city only minutes away.
So here comes some kid, all wild-eyed and probably 'roided up, carrying a stop sign that he had somehow hulked out and pulled OUT OF THE GROUND... throws it through a local bike shop window, and people start stealing 4-digit price tag bicycles from some Mom and Pop. Eventually a store employee manages to wrestle one of the bikes back and stand guard in the window (someone give that kid a HUGE raise), and it seems that the crowd moves on. Cops come, lining the street and eventually raining down rubber bullets to a riot that has gotten completely out of control. Welcome to Huntington Beach, girls and boys.

The thing about this, to me, that sucks, is that this is a surf city. This is a place where the lingo consists of "Dude," "Gnarly," and "Chill." We are the linguistic and attitude equivalent of the bong-tokers. The mellow ones. The surf-and-fish-taco-ers. We are not a bunch of shit-hungry brawlers.
Main street is like a breeding ground for thirsty Sunday Funday-crowds. I've long felt that it funneled in people from South County, LA County, and- yes- Riverside county. This is where the tattooed go for a good time. And we've incorporated that into our culture as well. I know plenty of people who refuse to go to DTHB because they don't want to deal with a bar fight. I'd love to sit here and trump the "It's never locals who fight," but it's become that way, these days.
The other thing that pisses me off about this... well, one of the things, has been the reaction I've seen from my people. "Lets close the freeway next year," says one Facebook post. "Go home to Riverside!" shouts another. No one wants to claim responsibility for what happened. The irony is that the kid who threw the stop sign into the bike store was wearing a Long Beach t-shirt. That proves nothing about where he parked his car that night, but it does point to an interesting stigma that people are quick to point to: It's Riverside's Fault.
It's not. It's a bunch of stupid people, from all over, with no sense of pride in a local city. Wherever they hail from is irrelevant. They're still most likely from Cali, and should respect any spot that opens its arms to them, saying, "Hey- want to see some really cool (free) stuff?" Who walks into someone else's house for a dinner party, or their own house even, and trashes the place because, like, it was just really hot that day? The whole thing embarrassed me to even be from Southern California. There was no catalyst. No cause. No underlying message of injustice and mistreatment or violation of rights. It was just a bunch of pointless aggression from a crowd of pricks who fight with their hands because their mouths had nothing purposeful to say."Why did you do that?"..."Because... Eff the Huntington Beach liquor store system?" 
I don't think so.
And maybe I'm just getting to be that old lady who waves my cane and shouts, "when I was a kid, we respected our elders!" or whatever, but in my book, there is a general idea that I'm learning to apply universally:
Don't be an asshole.
Just be cool. Be nice to people, for no reason other than that it's kind of rad to be a good person. Don't mess up other people's stuff. Don't degrade or demean strangers. Don't point fingers and place blame on people you think are "the bad guy," if you don't have specifics or facts. Don't make fun of people you know nothing about. We all have flaws, misconceptions, and issues. I'm the first one to admit that I am the least perfect person I know. BUT- I try. I try to be cool to people, and to be as normal as I'm capable of being. Sometimes... lots of times- I fail miserably. But I try. Even now, I might be coming across as a bit angry. But I'm not directing it at any ONE, only at a behavior that has passed its expiration date.
There is no reason for stupid teenage or adult angst. There is no reason to generally just suck as a person and direct it at a city, person, or object. This does not make you look "cool," bro.

Just don't be a menace to society, while drinking your juice in... well, Huntington Beach.


Balancing Success.

Well, look at me. Blogging at night! I don't know about you but I'm fairly impressed with myself right now.

So... life's been busy. But, you know, in a good way. Tonight was this surreal thing where I got home and realized that I had the time to do a spa night. I had almost forgotten all about those. And don't get me wrong, there are a million other things that I probably SHOULD be doing, which came to mind. And I immediately thought, "No. You need this. You need balance."

I talk about it all the time: Balance. It's probably the thing I have the most priority on in my life.


Credit: Remain Simple

I've gotten a lot of work thrown my way lately. It's sort of ironic (...don't you think?...GET IT?? Okayno.) I keep having these "when it rains, it pours" scenarios happen to me. My personal life got kind of crazy, in a good way, a few months ago. Then that sort of mellowed out and suddenly all of this work-related stuff started piling up. I've gotten about triple the 'likes' on my Facebook page for this blog in this past month alone. This deserves due credit to a great friend of mine who has been advertising the blog to magazines and online bloggers for me, which I never even asked for and am beyond grateful to him for. Then I started my new job, and on top of that have been asked by my old boss to come do some consulting for him. Top that off with a magazine that I've been trying to write for getting back to me with my first assignment and you've got one busy girl over here.

I'm not trying to rub anything in here. I'm pointing out that life is very, very busy. Oh! AND I'm in my best friend's wedding in a month, NBD. But my point is that I had forgotten to relax. I had forgotten what it even meant to relax.

I had a boyfriend whose work ethic has, to his own admittance, consistently interfered with his social life. But the money made him happy, and so he kept at it. And I thought, for so long, that THIS was what success looked like: Working really hard and making a ton of money for it. And maybe for him, that's what success is.

I started thinking about it while I did my spa night tonight (and yes, I had a totally awesome green face mask on, you so missed out)... what IS success? What is it to me?

Success is, in my opinion, a universally case-by-case definition. Meaning that each of us determines our own definition of the term. To some people, success is making a ton of money. To other people, being successful means being in incredible shape. To some people, being a success might be as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. Life has different challenges for different people and scenarios.

To me, success is Balance. My visualization of my most successful self doesn't make unfathomable quantities of money, but she works hard and makes enough to live comfortably. She doesn't have to always be dressed to the nines with perfect hair, but she takes care of herself and works hard to keep her body healthy by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. It's more important to me to feel good inside than to stress myself out trying to look perfect outside. I want a balance between who I present to the world and the way that I think & feel inside.

Could I have gone on a run tonight to catch up with my fitness? Probably. But I haven't REALLY gotten to write in a while, and I need that balance of my creative outlet. This is why I have books by the Dalai Lama on my bookshelf: I need spirituality in my life in some form or another. It's also why I prefer hiking to running on a treadmill. I need the balance of the beauty of nature or else my life becomes robotic and monotonous.

Our lives are made up of so many components that we tend to forget about: mental challenge, soul food, social bonding... trying too hard to focus on one thing pushes all of that other stuff out of our viewfinders. We need that balance in order to life more fully.

So stop working so hard and have a spa day. Or if you've been "spa day-ing" too much, get out there and work on a project of some kind. If you're stuck in an office alone all day, call on a friend to talk about nothing in particular. Put a part of your energy in every compartment of your life, and you'll feel more complete.

Don't tip those scales, find your Balance.


30 going on 13.

Wow, what an amazing week it's been. I almost don't know where to start.

For one thing, I turned 30 last week. I can't believe I'm a 30 year-old. So weird. I still feel like I'm 23... maybe just mentally? A few friends and I went to Catalina island for a two-day camping trip. It was amazing. It wasn't a big group, because money is tight this time of year, but it was such an amazing experience and I felt really, really special. My friends are some pretty incredible people, and I love the randomness that follows us wherever we go. I'm a big fan of outdoorsy stuff, so camping was the logical choice for what to do to ring in 30. We ate a TON of food, jumped off the floating dock at the beach, laid out, fed wild deer (which we may or may not have been supposed to do), and met a few new friends. Oh, and lets not forget the awkward dance-off we had in the middle of a nightclub. I am always looking for a reason to do The Robot.

This past week has consisted of starting my new job. I'm a Marketing Assistant for a company called Premier Mounts, and I love it. I'm so excited to start on this new adventure. I feel like every day has been sort of exhausting, but in the best possible way. I'm learning SO much, even in the first week. I know that this is going to be an ongoing project for me, but it makes me feel so happy and satisfied. I love being busy, and I love that I'm learning new things and really dedicating myself to my career. I also feel like it's sort of serendipitous because I'm starting this RIGHT when I turn 30, almost like this whole new leaf for me to turn over. I love it.

I apologize, in advance, for my lack of blogging. I am going to have to get used to writing from home, rather than work, and it will take some adjusting. For one thing, I'll need an office chair and a real desk, I suspect. But I'm up to try and make this work, and hopefully I'll be able to swap my inspired time from the morning to the evening when I can sit and write to you all. Challenge accepted.

So needless to say, there are a lot of new and exciting things on the horizon for me right now. It's borderline overwhelming and I can tell my brain is working hard to keep up with all of this new information, but it's a good thing. I'm sleeping better than I have in a LONG time. Reading books on Marketing Strategy and watching Lynda.com videos on design programs for work. It's amazing.

Stay with me, I promise that once I get in the swing of things, there will be much to say.


Final Episode.

One of the 5,000 selfies I've taken on slow days

So today is my last day at a job that I've had for over seven years. It's so surreal. I think that everyone kind of has this idea in their heads that when they leave a job, they're going to dance gleefully out of the office without looking back. I am both far too nostalgic and far too much of a writer for that kind of attitude.

I look back.

I look back on my first day. Because, yes, I remember my very first day here. I vividly remember driving on the 5 freeway and blaring my radio, singing along without even caring if anyone saw how into it I was. I had a legitimate office job now, and I didn't care about anything else that day.

I look back on my old boss taking me to lunch for my birthday one year. We went to some place in Fullerton and I felt like the most special person in the world because someone who wasn't my family or a close friend was treating me to lunch. I forget what I ordered, but I remember that it was delicious.

I look back on the days when I used to wear pajamas and no make-up to work, since I was alone a lot. Then, Brooke from my high school wandered into our unit by some freak chance- looking for a different building- and I was mortified that I looked like such a hobo. I never came to work like that again, because you just never know.

I look back on all of the run-ins with "The Homeless Guy" who my boss hired to come in and help clean around the office. I can't tell you how many people have told me I should write a book about him. This is a guy who, for example, once showed me the giant Grim Reaper tattoo on his chest and told me that if I got a huge tattoo like his, no one would notice my scar after my surgery. There are just too many ridiculous scenarios... maybe one day I'll write them all on here.

I look back on the day I figured out that my boss was a movie buff like me. Up until then, we never really talked. I had finally found something to relate to him on! Since then, we've started going to lunch fairly often and talking about Game of Thrones or the latest movie releases. Figuring out a common ground formulated a sort of friendship that I look back on with a smile.

This job has seen me through boyfriends, houses, cars, surgeries, and countless phone calls with news both good and bad. I can remember sitting in this office chair and finding out that my sister had gone into Cardiac Arrest. This is the chair I sat in when my tumor burst and I had to be taken to the ER. I found out about a few of my nieces and nephews while sitting here. I've laughed with my co-workers and I've cried over heartbreaks in this chair. I've been so bored that I've spun in circles, videotaping my feet, in this chair. I've done office yoga next to it. I've played with three puppies and one cat while sitting in this chair.

This job has been my longest relationship. It's taught me more about myself than any friend or boyfriend ever has. I came here as this naive little kid, really. I didn't feel very capable, or terribly smart, and I made some pretty dumb choices on the regular. I guess I just didn't think I COULD do or be more than I was.

Now I know that I can. It's been through this that I've learned that I am actually pretty smart. I'm better with people than I assumed. Things I previously would have been terrified to try at, now I know I am fully capable of accomplishing. I learned about confrontation here, and how to assert myself as someone worth listening to. This job has transformed me in so many ways that it seems strange to imagine my life without it.

And I guess... I guess there's a final lesson for it to teach me, now.


Leaving gracefully and looking back with appreciation and love. There have been a LOT of days when I wasn't sure I had it in me to stay here. But there have also been a lot of days when I was overcome with gratitude for this place and the people in it. Leaving something doesn't mean that you have to look back on it as a shadow of your past. Moving on with your life doesn't diminish where you've been. If anything, I think it kind of increases the value of the places you've been, the people you've experienced, and the changes you've made.

I look back with love.


Words With Friends.

Coffee makes for some pretty profound conversations.

Today's topics: The One That Got Away and Doing Something About Your Problems.

C:  I think that over time, I gained perspective about "the one that got away" but I don't think she is the one... she just came close to getting that title :)
 me:  Exactly.
I don't have any one that got away. If they're away, there's a reason. Nobody leaves your life who wants to stay, in my opinion.
And why would I miss someone who didn't want to be in my life, ya know?
 C:  that's profound
I read something a while ago about memory and missing someone...
 C:  it basically said that any two people who spend quality time together start depending on the other person for little things... like "you are good at making sandwiches, and I'm good at fixing the TV" or remembering details...
 C:  eventually both person have a collective memory, but when they break up, there is this empty left... and it is tough to pinpoint
like knowing something is missing, but not remembering what it is.
 me:  Well I read a lot of self-help books, and I read something like that as well. But the perspective was like, "Don't create a situation where you can't do things for yourself- don't trade off you do this and I'll do that..." which, I get. I think it's good to be self-sufficient. However, there's a beauty in being a team with somebody. I love cooking for a man, or having him drive and open doors for me. There's something perfect about caring about another person that much. Can I do it alone? Of course I can. I would never encourage anyone to abandon, like, being capable of driving a car and having their spouse do it to the point where you forget how- on anything. It's just learning to let life BE. Yeah, sometimes shit doesn't work out. And you can be sad about it. But be realistic, too. Sometimes things end. And you can't beat yourself up about it. Just look back, miss it if you must. Love it ABSOLUTELY. Be grateful. And then move on.
 me:  I think one of the biggest factors of heartbreak is the fact that people try to avoid it like the plague. It's okay to be disappointed and miss someone. People think it isn't. It's that part where you try to lie to yourself and say "That was the worst thing ever" that is tough. You're lying to yourself EVERY DAY. That hurts your heart more than any outside person ever could.
 C:  The most disappointing thing I learned about love, is that you can't kill it
 me:  Eh, but I don't think you should.
 C:  You can burn it in  heaps, hide it, shove it in the closet, run it over, bury it, but it's easier just to remember it kindly and move on
 me:  My most frustrating thing has been the in-between time. Where one minute you're with someone and you're allowed to love them, and then you're not with them and you're supposed to let go. And that time in between when you're SUPPOSED TO let go and when you DO... that part is a drag.


me: I can't sympathize with people who play the martyr card. "Why is my life so shitty??" but they're not willing to do anything to fix it.
Like- I didn't like my job. So what did I do? I got off my ass and found a new one. It is literally almost always THAT easy.


Spare Changes.

There have been a lot of changes going on for me in the past few months, which is... an interesting feeling.

To say the least.

I've mentioned it before, but I am a fairly predictable person. I can be spontaneous, but I don't move a lot. I don't change jobs often. When I'm dating somebody, I don't date other people. If I find something that works, I stick with it. I guess the nicest way to put it is: I'm consistent.

This month has been a completely different story.

For starters, I got a new job. This, to me, is surreal. I've had the same job for seven years, and before that was at the same spot for six years. For being (almost!) 30, that's wild in and of itself.

So I got a job that will transition myself over into Marketing, which I'm more than a little ecstatic about. I wont go into detail because it's not a wise thing to announce on a blog- but the details of the job are such that everyone I've talked to has said something along the lines of, "This is SO perfect for you." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my current job. However- moving forward into a place where I can really utilize my talents is something I have been sitting-in-traffic-dreaming about for a while now.

I also have both of my amazing, wonderful roommates moving out. Something I am not thrilled about but they are going together to teach English overseas and I couldn't be more excited for them. It's going to be an adventure that I'm more than slightly jealous, albeit totally supportive of. I will miss them like crazy, but I'm also intrigued by the prospect of two new people in my daily life. Scary, but exciting.

I feel like my mindset in the past few months has completely changed into this place I've really never quite experienced before. Where I used to be just kind of floating downstream, I'm now seeing things as a more driven, focused person. I think I'm letting go of old ideals of where my life would be by 30 and, instead, seeing where it is and finally accepting it. Hell, I'm more than accepting it- I'm reveling in it. Which is good. I am, for the first time in a long time, sublimely happy with where I'm at.

Not that I wasn't happy before... it's just that the happiness I held was so dependent on outside forces, and now I'm seeing it from within myself. Which sounds really hokey and lame, but it's true. Rather than trying so hard to be who everyone else wants me to be, I'm settling into who I want to be- and making things happen.

Maybe this is why a lot of people tell you that life starts at 30.

I know I'm being a bit boring and self-absorbed on here today, but it's an exciting time and I want to share that. I have no idea what is coming up next, and for once in my life, that makes me really happy. Anything could happen.

...So totally rad.



I keep having this writer's block, as of late. And it drives me nuts. I know that I should be writing on a daily basis, or at least as often as I can. But lately I just haven't had it in me, no matter how hard I try.

Luckily for me I have friends. And with those friends- I have conversations. Generally that leads me to at least SOME sort of inspirational/blog-worthy thought.

I talked to a friend of mine last night about Co-Dependency. If you don't know anything about it, it's a really fascinating behavior that is much more common than people realize. One of the most interesting things about it, to me, is that it cloaks itself with a lot of good.

Co-dependent people have a need to make people like them. I think there are cases where it's more of a need for people to react to them, but I'm more familiar with the people-pleasing aspect of the behavior. Mainly because I'm one of them.

I've discussed this on this blog before, and it may be more information than is "acceptable" to reveal, but yes- I have been to therapy. I find therapy to be an incredibly helpful tool for any range of unsettling emotions from "troubled" to "out of it." If you have insurance that covers it, I advocate checking it out.

I went a few years ago because I was feeling bummed out more often than I would have liked, and had approximately two sessions with a woman who told me, after a few minutes, that I was fine and did not need to see a therapist. Which... I think is kind of dumb. But whatever.

She did tell me that I displayed a lot of Co-Dependent behaviors, which I'd never heard before. I've always known that I wanted people to like me, but I guess it never occurred to me the lengths I was going to make that happen.

The thing about Co-Dependency is that, as I mentioned, it masks itself with these beaming qualities. Being nice to people, doing favors for people, putting one's self out in order to be someone else's rock. And those behaviors, on their own, are fantastic. But the problem with Co-Dependent people is that we do those things expecting a very specific response, and when we don't get it, we're anything ranging from disappointed to angry. We feel we are owed respect or positive reactions from people based on what WE gave THEM. The thing is: that's total crap.

People are entitled to their attitudes toward me, and how they choose to interact with me is not my behavior to dictate. Sometimes, I'm going to be really nice to someone, and they're not going to care. And I'm going to have to deal with that. Sometimes I'm going to listen to somebody and give them advice, and they're going to promptly ignore me when I ask for that to be reciprocated. Again: their choice.

Co-Dependent people manipulate in order to orchestrate their world according to what THEY believe to be the correct way. Which... is sort of arrogant. Who is to say that my way is the right way? Can't there be alternate ways to handle situations, and can't all of those ways have some validity to them?

This is something that I've struggled with for years, now that I've recognized it. I think that a big part of me will always want people to like me. But, honestly, I think that's human nature. I'm okay with that. My hurdle has been to take other people's reactions and accept them as THEIR reactions. If I want to do something nice for somebody else, I no longer do it to play a Martyr or to tweak the way they see me as a person. Truth be told, I try to avoid credit for as much of that stuff as much as possible these days. The most important person I have to impress is myself, because me trying to impose any type of opinion on someone else seems sort of manipulative.

And there are people who don't like me. And it's not really my job to make them like me, and I'm okay with that. I don't want or need to be needed, anymore. I don't want the people in my life to feel like they have to have me there, but that they want to have me there.

I guess there really isn't a point to all of this, aside to say that it fascinates me. I think we all have a little bit of this type of behavior in us, and that's alright. The most important thing is to know ourselves and accept ourselves. And, you know, maybe if we're lucky- other people will appreciate who we are, too.


What's Wrong.

I had the most interesting conversation/realization last night while talking to my roommate.

She was having a "situation" with a gentleman-caller, which of course I wont get into. And may or may not have been asking my advice (which is not generally recommended, in my opinion). Among other facts about all of my obviously hugely successful relationships, I came to a hard truth that I had been considering lately.

"I've been on the dating scene for like 15 years, now. And I was always this planner. I wanted to plot out who I should be by what point in my life, etc-etc-etc. I think that, as women, this is in our nature. And after 15 years of trying to plot things out and thinking that I knew what was best for me and what I wanted- something finally occurred to me: I have no idea what I'm doing. I have no idea what I want, and why I really want it (this I can get into another time). So I stopped planning for things that are impossible to see coming or going. My new plan is to be on the No Plan Plan."

And maybe... maybe that sounds scary, or depressing. But I think it's the most optimistic thing I could have imagined.

Coming to the realization that you've had it wrong all along is the best thing that could ever happen.

Let me explain why I believe this to be true: There are people who go through a great portion of their lives under totally incorrect assumptions. I, of all people and based on both my romantic as well as personal/family life, needed to come to terms with the fact that whatever I think my life is going to give me- there's no way in Hell I can predict. Both the good and bad in my life have never been anything I could have seen coming a mile away. Which is a major drag because I have the worst poker face of anyone I know, so when those surprises show up I have a tendency to look like a cartoon character scooping my jaw from the floor.

I love knowing that my life is incapable of cartography. I'll never be able to predict what's around the next bend, for better or for worse. No amount of stressing out about tomorrow is going to gain me any control over it. Which... is kind of nice.

It's also been really relieving to respond to people when they ask me about my future. Obviously, there are things I SHOULD and will plan; like career-type goals and aspirations in my writing. And it's important to know yourself so that you know when to say Yes/No in the cross-hairs. But in many personal aspects there have been a lot of, "Sooo, what are you going to do?" scenarios. And my response has generally been, "See what happens next." There's no pressure to try to orchestrate people or situations. My only job is to have faith that they'll work out, and if an obvious step is needed- to take it as it comes. No drama. No manipulation. No stress.

I've never been so happy to have gotten it wrong.


Here's Some Stuff.

The past week or so has somehow ended up filling itself with conversations about this blog. I have been fortunate to be surrounded with people who love and support me and perhaps because this site is becoming more relevant in my professional life- people are letting me know their ideas to improve it. I couldn't be happier about that.

Among the suggestions I've gotten lately have been to incorporate a bit more regularity. I have an opportunity in that I get to browse the internet and also peruse through some pretty neat musical talent, and I think it would be good to share that with people. Because I legitimately enjoy writing about the things I currently include here, I wont plot out a weekly situation at the moment, but I'd like to start posting lists of some fun things I've gotten to see this week/weekend. So today will be the start of that. I suspect I will find a clever moniker for these lists at some point, but today let's just say, "Here's some stuff."

This song makes me want to dance barefoot in a cabin somewhere.


This has been on my bookmarked list for a while.


I want this to be my future life.


I am so obsessed with her yoga videos it's not even funny.


I think most people have heard of THIS site, but it's really fun in cases of Wanderlust.

Have a great week!!



Today is moving day! My wonderful, amazing, brilliant Digital Producer over at Music In Press has decided that if I want to further my writing, I'm going to need to also move my blog over to Tumblr. I will still be posting here as well, but they'll also push over to my new site with them in order to broaden my audience. I literally do not know what I would do without some of these incredible people who seem to believe in me so much. You can find me here:

And now, something that seems like such an obvious. I have so many things that I still want to do with my life, and I guess I never really sat down and wrote it out. I hate to call it a Bucket List because... I don't know. That seems so generic and unoriginal. So I'll just call it my Dream List. It sounds prettier that way. Here's to copying Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman:

Photo credit: Warmythings on Tumblr.

1. Build/Sleep in/Design a Treehouse. Anyone who knows me understands how badly I want this to happen. I don't know what it is about Treehouses, but they seem sort of like the closest you can get to magic without actually involving fairy dust.

2. Visit the following places: Rome, Barcelona, Machu Picchu, Bali, Croatia, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Galapagos Islands, and several parks throughout the US. Not in that order, and more places are on my radar but not at the top of my list.

3. Get my pilot's license. This is a tall order, but I feel like it would be such an amazing experience.

4. Live in a log cabin in the woods. Even if it's only for a week.

5. Take a road trip to Zion National Park, camp, and hike The Narrows.

6. Learn to play the Ukulele.

7. Have something published on Thought Catalog and/or Think Simple Now.

8. Create an elaborate meal based on something from What Katie Ate. 

9. Decorate a house/apartment/cardboard box and include the following: mason jars for cups, birdhouses and a garden, trinkets from my travels, a giant bookshelf filled with goodness, a hammock, and rocking chairs on the porch. 

10. Stop feeling the need to wear make-up.

11. White Water Rafting.

12. Be more involved in humanitarian work.

13. Build a piece of furniture out of wood.

14. Take the following classes: photography, cooking, computer courses (for the programs I don't know very well!), and more art classes.

15. Learn to really live on less. 

My dreams are pretty simple, for the most part. Hopefully more will follow, soon!