Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reflecting on the Positive

This year has been challenging to say the least. I could list everything that has happened but

1) That would be pointless.
2) Everyone goes through things.
3) I'm still standing.

The outpouring of support through this last week has been overwhelming. I am not one who is accustomed to taking or asking for help so I am have been speechless for the most part. My brother and I both have some wonderful and caring people in our lives.

Earlier this year, I decided that despite the changes that were going to happen and the decisions that had to be made (relating mostly to job and moving), I was going to focus on the positive in my life. So, I went old school and kept a journal of something, ANYTHING that was good that happened each day. Some things are big (interview, phone date with a best friend, travel) and some are little (naps, iced coffee, avocado toasts) but I thought it might be fun to share a few of my highs thus far this year.

JANUARY 11: Clementines are delicious. 

JANUARY 25: New season of Project Runway. Made hummus quinoa cakes. Met with one of my ACE referral students to make sure he was getting back on track.

FEBRUARY 23: (At First Year Experience Conference in Orlando) Caught up with grad school friend while sitting by the pool in the sunshine. Lunch with O-Teamers--Wonderful! 

MARCH 15: Charleston! Just what I needed. Caught up with Avanti, too.

MARCH 20: Got great deals at EarthFare and two free pineapples! Listened to the Imagine Dragons CD. Found a parking spot. Started Homeland.

APRIL 19: New leaser/tenant as long as application is good and taking most of my furniture AND paying me for it. Megan made the best peanut butter cupcakes I've ever had. Janice sent me a birthday box with chocolate and a sweet, sweet note AND I got an email for a phone interview next week. Also got an excited email from Sarah and updated me on her life.

MAY 1: Delicious lunch and great women's leadership session on managing conflict. Epic nap. Mailed two more boxes home.

MAY 12: Amazing body scrub at Urban Nirvana! It felt so great to be pampered and then feel fresh and clean. Grabbed pita chips and pimento cheese before heading home to pack, clean, and donate to Goodwill. Made great progress!

JUNE 9: Mom made delicious spaghetti and garlic bread.

JUNE 23: Nice day with family on Hawthorne--ate at Whiffies' Fried Pies and window shopped.

JULY 11: Donated blood successfully. Did Urban Run with friends. Appointment for second interview at XXX college and Mom & I got huge milkshakes from Burgerville.

JULY 17: Mom did well with her first radiation treatment and we got milkshakes afterwards.

JULY 26: 90's Night at Holocene---so much fun!

AUGUST 4: Trek in the Park performance and picnic with friends. Very Portland thing to do! Jazz club with the boy later, which was great.

AUGUST 14: Hike with Brittney's crew to Gillette Lake. 5.8 miles and felt great afterwards!

AUGUST 22: Mom found peace and was no longer in pain.

What is one good thing that happened to you today?

Monday, August 26, 2013

In Memory: My Mom

 Last week, my mom passed away.

I wanted to write things down mostly for myself, but also to share an experience that, unfortunately, a lot of people have gone through or will go through. In the last year alone, four of my friends have lost their mothers and two have lost their fathers. Despite the relationship at the time, a parent is still a parent and losing one is an unreal feeling.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Free Will Astrology: Getting Crazed with Joy

Aries Horoscope for week of August 8, 2013
Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
"You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings," says author Elizabeth Gilbert. I recommend that you experiment with this subversive idea, Aries. Just for a week, see what happens if you devote yourself to making yourself feel really good. I mean risk going to extremes as you pursue happiness with focused zeal. Try this: Draw up a list of experiences that you know will give you intense pleasure, and indulge in them all without apology. And please don't fret about the possible consequences of getting crazed with joy. Be assured that the cosmos is providing you with more slack than usual.

Watch out! Once Friday happens, there will be intense joy happening in my world! 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Life Path Number via Dr. Oz

I was randomly watching some daytime television with my mom and the wonderful Dr. Oz had a show on about birth numbers. It all sounds a bit ridiculous that our birth date determines our path in life (aka "Life Path") however, I found some truth to it all.

How to find your Life Path Number

Take your full date of birth and reduce it to one digit.

Let’s look at someone born on 4/27/1977:
  • 4+2+7+1+9+7+7=37                                                                                      
  • 3+7=10
  • 1+0=1
The person born on 3/27/1977 is a 1 Life Path.

So for me, my birth number ended up being 9. And 9s:

The 9 Life Path

"The 9 Life Path is a very responsible Vibration, and they have a hard time asking for help, even when they really need it. They often believe that “If you loved me, you’d know what I need from you,” which is so often not the case. The other problem the 9 has is releasing the past. If their childhood was difficult, they often hang onto the pain, and that can lead to unhappiness. So the 9 Life Path must learn how to stay in the moment, and embrace today.

They must learn to ask for help when they need it. They tend to hold their stress in their shoulders and neck; I see this as symbolic because they carry “the weight of the world” on their shoulders. The 9 should regularly get a head and neck message if at all possible. That release will help them feel so much better. To save money, the 9 could invest in a head and neck massager they can operate by themselves. This will do wonders for the 9 Life Path."

To check out more information and what your Life Path number says about you, head to the Dr. Oz show website. 

Did you find out anything interesting? What is your Life Path number?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

East to West: Day Eight & Nine Recap (Also known as "The End")

Day One Recap
Day Two Recap
Day Three Recap
Day Four Recap
Days Five & Six Recap
Day Seven Recap

Here's a little story:
The next morning, I woke up and got ready to leave LA and head north to Sacramento. I was up, bright and early, even grabbing a few breakfast items for the road. I roll my luggage out to where I had parked my car the previous night and funny enough, my car wasn't there. There was no broken glass so I assumed it hadn't been stolen. I slowly roll back to the front office of the hotel and politely ask "So, if my car isn't where I left it, do you have any idea where it might have gone?" and they quickly say "Oh yeah, that happens all the time, let me call the place" like it was just no big deal. I quelled the panic. They called the tow place, told me how much it was going to cost, and then called a cab to come and get me. I give them credit for knowing what to do since this was my first (and only *knock on wood*) time that I have ever been given a ticket and/or been towed. I was flustered but so proud of myself for not getting really upset. I rolled up to the tow place, paid my ridiculous bill, and then took a little golf cart with some very excited attendant up to where my car was parked. He was absolutely in shock that 1) I was alone 2) driving across the country 3) rollin' in a Honda Civic that was 4) over 10 years old. He was really just perplexed by me which I found a little too much for 8 am. I slowly took my car out of the parking lot and immediately headed north.

I love you, LA, but your parking signs are hella confusing. 

And moving on...

My plans this day were to drive from LA to Chico, where I have family, see them and stay the night there then get up early the next morning to finish the drive. Nothing terribly exciting (besides seeing my family that I haven't seen in forever) and things went pretty much according to plan. I had to take a nap along the way because I was so tired I couldn't focus well and then instead of staying the night with family, I got a cheap hotel about 1.5 hours north of the city since I couldn't mentally handle another 9 hour driving day up to Portland, Oregon.

Some cows.
Driving right on through Sacramento.
I didn't take a whole lot of pictures on this route but once I got up through Shasta, the views were gorgeous. These were all taken out the window of my car because I didn't feel like stopping to get out but I would love to come back and visit (and hike/camp) here in the future. So pretty!

The rest of the drive from Shasta in Southern Oregon to Portland, Oregon was pretty uneventful. It felt strange to be back in the NW and back to the place that I swore I would never come back to. I believe that things happen for a reason, even if that reason takes a while to present itself, and although it has been a bit of a bumpy adjustment, it feels right being back here.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

East to West: Day Seven Recap

Day One Recap
Day Two Recap
Day Three Recap
Day Four Recap
Days Five & Six Recap

Initially, I was nervous getting into Los Angeles. There was the traffic, the people, the tourists, and the sights to see. There was just SO.MUCH.TO.SEE. but if you know me at all, you know I make the most of my time and I definitely got to relax but also see the most important things in LA.

My day was like this:
8:30 AM Drive in traffic, on purpose, so I can slowly drive through the city, see the sights but not necessarily stop at everything. Worked perfectly.
9:00 AM Santa Monica Pier, farmer's market, breakfast at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, walk along beach and pier
2:00 PM Eat at the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck (so exciting!)
2:30 PM Drove to The Grove shopping complex, which was amazing and full of the best shops and a little original farmer's market. I indulged this day to the extreme, for sure.
5:00 PM Head up to the Griffith Observatory which was one of most anticipated things I had planned on the entire trip. Saw the Hollywood Sign!
9:00 PM Finally head back to hotel, exhausted, and decide to pass on drinks with friend and instead grab some take out and get to bed early.

The morning...
Farmer's Market

 And the afternoon and evening...

Even a fancy bathroom! LA, you're so classy.
Sprinkles cupcakes!

 Gorgeous night to be at the observatory, too.

If I could recommend anything to see here in LA, it would be the observatory. It had the most amazing views of the city and, if you have the time, there are hiking trails all over the place. I wish I had a whole week to really explore the area and take advantage of the beautiful weather and outdoor activities. Perhaps my next road trip?

Just give me time.

Up Next: The End! (dun. dun. dun)

Friday, August 2, 2013

East to West: Days Five & Six

Day One Recap
Day Two Recap
Day Three Recap
Day Four Recap

I feel like this is dragging on forever (because it truly is) so this will be a quick and dirty representation of days five and six.

Day Five:
Spent the morning with the kiddos and then went to La Casita Restaurant with the family. Had ridiculously good fish tacos and then headed to Tucson for the night. I found a cheap little hotel so that I could make some progress westward and also grabbed some Tucson Tamale Company tamales because I heard they were ridiculously tasty (which they were).

Beautiful cemetery at dusk

One vegan & one vegetarian
Day Six:
Early the next morning, I mentally prepared for the long drive ahead to Los Angeles. It was a beautiful drive through Arizona and into California and once I arrived in Los Angeles, I was sweaty, tired, and ready to party!

Upon arriving in LA, I went straight to the Jimmy Kimmel Show where I was lucky enough to secure tickets to the taping, which started at 4pm. The guests were Ethan Hawke and "The Bachelorette" chick.The staff at the show were incredibly nice and funny and I don't think I have ever been told to laugh or clap so hard in my life (my hands actually hurt afterwards). Jimmy Kimmel is a very slim, handsome man in person!

After the show, I headed to my hotel, The Hotel Hollywood, unpacked, cleaned myself up, and then drove around town for a bit while I waited to hear back from my friend. Around 11pm, my friend, Kevin, came to pick me up and we went downtown for a drink. Downtown was pretty empty but still beautiful. We drank at a bar, talking and catching up, until closing and even had a celebrity sighting of Skrillex.

I crashed into bed, so happy to get some proper rest and ready to start the next day bright and early.

Next up: Santa Monica, crazy lady, and beautiful sights. I almost didn't want to leave LA!