Thanks Rusty Screws

Thanks Rusty Screws

I’m gonna be honest. It has been a stressful week for me. Anxiety is real and sometimes I need time to be a potato, think about life or not think about life, and not punish myself for not accomplishing my long list of weekly goals (like an extensive post about Taiwan).

Someday I will write about my anxiety and such. It is a thing that many experience and I want this blog to be an open space. A space where I can share my stories and talk to others who have stories to share.

Today’s story is going to be part of a series that I want to call “Becca’s California Adventure…” *insert glowing letters and a echoing booming voice* Which will be a series of adventures I have while exploring life in Southern California.

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If you do not know, I am a person who feels like she gets herself in strange and sometimes painfully funny situations. Whether they be self inflicted or just the universe gifting her more stories to tell . I feel that I am a character on a comedic sitcom. Just imagine Jess from New Girl and you’ve got it (or so I’m told.) I may share some older ones from my life pre-blog, but today will be one that happened just this week.

As part of the “things to do when you move” list, enduring the DMV is one that I wanted to check off as soon as possible. My goal was to take the written drivers test, receive a new license, and register my car – all in one go.

*WARNING* Government websites tend to give conflicting information. So after four hours and $300 lighter, I found myself with a new license but one signature and smog check short. Although they (the lovely DMV employees) did assure me that my next visit would be much shorter.

*WARNING* Government employees tend to give conflicting information. I showed up a few days later with more papers in hand and the idea that I would only be there for maybe an hour…

During DMV Round 1, I was told to come back and drive up to “Lane 1” where they would take the rest of my papers. I did not need to come inside…

I pulled up to “Lane 1” and sat there for about 10 min watching teenagers in the cars next to me practicing their hand turn signals and nervously watching the door waiting for the next test instructor to emerge. I rolled down the window and turned off my car. Another 10 minutes pass and I decide to go inside.

I wait in line to check in with the DMV Greeter, as I like to call them. He immediately hands me a number. I try to squeeze in an explanation of what I need. He tells me to wait for my number.

I will say though that majority of the DMV Greeters and Employees were generally pleasant.

I go out despite the number to sit in “Lane 1,” again watching anxious teenagers with their anxious parents. My car is turned off, I have the window down, and I read a good 20 pages of my book. Which I don’t mind in all reality. The DMV employee finally emerges after about 45 minutes of waiting, inspects my car, just gathering information that is on every other sheet of paper and she tells me to go inside.

I sit inside again reading my book for two hours. I watch the numbers climb slowly to mine. I hear a loud conversation that a woman has on speaker phone. I watch a teenager walk back and forth studying the drivers handbook. I reach the last 20 pages of my book as I get the text that my number is 15 min away. I start reading faster and faster, feeling the pressure of the clock. That anxiety kicks in. I finish the book I started in that very same room a few days before.

There is less than a hour before the DMV closes when my number is called. It’s the same man that was my “greeter” during Round 1. He looks through every piece of paper carefully as I explain the situation. He slowly takes out the staple. He starts typing on the computer. It truly felt like that scene from Zootopia. He asks for my license and hands me a heavy envelop with a screwdriver.

I walk outside as quickly as possible to replace my license plates with the beautiful, white, California plates. I go to the back and notice that the screws securing my Utah plate are a dark brown coloring. I hope for the best and start spinning the screwdriver. Dark dust begins to fall but it turns easily.

I move to the last screw and I try to spin. Using all of my strength as I had with the last one to get it to move. Instead it felt like butter. Every attempted spin would result in the screwdriver scooping out more metal, slowly changing the shape of the screw. Yet it wouldn’t move. I call my Dad in a panic, mostly just to vent and express how ridiculous I felt. I break off the plastic frame in hopes that I can unscrew it from behind the head of the screw. There is 20 minutes before the DMV closes… I feel sweaty, panicked and I can’t help at laughing at each stare I get from cars driving by.

I run inside with the rusty screw in hand. My Round 1 DMV greeter friend is working with someone else and I stand there awkwardly. He assumes I’m done and hands me my license back. “Do you have pliers? My plate is stuck…” and I hand him the first rusty screw. The lady he is helping, her eyes get wide and she says, “Oh noooo…” He doesn’t even look at me and pulls out pliers from his desk drawer.

I run back outside. Call my Dad again. Sweat is pouring off my face. The pliers simply peel off the outer layer of the screw, sprinkling more rust dust. I banter back and forth with Dad. There is one minute until the the DMV officially closes. I see the jolly police officer (if Santa was an officer he would this guy) start to close the door and I run. He simply smiles. I appreciate happy people.

I stand again awkwardly waiting for Round 1 DMV greeter friend. He looks at me and I simply shrug holding one Utah Plate, one California plate, one envelope, two screwdrivers, one pair of pliers, one rusty screw, and a stack of papers. The “Oh no” lady from before looks at me with empathetic eyes and a bit of a grin.

Round 2 DMV greeter appears and is asked to help me. He looked at my stack and sweaty face and simply said, “Go home honey. Do what you can to get it off.” He hands me my license and I leave. Grateful for happy, jolly, DMV employees who are willing to break policies for poor people such as myself who simply can’t function normally.

It is a few days later. I have since visited Ace Hardware, spent more time in a sunny parking lot, spoke with multiple kind people who probably just felt bad, and found my new car mechanic. I have one beat up Utah plate (which I will surrender to the DMV, don’t worry law abiders), two California plates properly attached with special screws that will not rust, and a story that seemed worthy enough to put on the blog.

I will also say I have gained an appreciation (again) for kind and jolly people. As well as an observation that at government facilities we are all in the same boat. We are all just people trying to accomplish what the government requires of us, without sacrificing our whole day and sanity.

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So…

Thanks for the Adventure Rusty Screws. And Utah weather for causing said screws to rust. And California weather for simply adding to the comedy that was already happening.

 

Top 5 Reasons Why I Travel

Top 5 Reasons Why I Travel

Myself and Mr. Jasper have been feeling a bit under the weather today…which means no long post that I have been planning but haven’t finished yet. That is my reality this week. But I am getting quite a bit of doggie cuddles so I won’t complain too much…

I want to share my top 5 reasons why I LOVE to travel. I used to experience quite a lot of fear and anxiety when planning and traveling for trips. But after a few mishaps and fantastic adventures that fear has turned into a constant itch to explore.  I do not consider myself well traveled, which I intend on changing soon, but I have learned quite a bit and have enjoyed my few meager experiences exploring this world we live in.

  1. It gives you a break from “real life.” Our everyday lives are important, beautiful, and should be full of joy but they can also be stressful and boring in some instances. As humans, for the most part, we thrive off of routines. Our jobs are important. I mean they help fund fun experiences…Our friends and family are a support system that is necessary for life. Everyone’s “real life” is different and wonderful. But having a break to go and experience something totally out of the norm is incredible. Getting out of the daily routine for a week or two (or more…), for me, helps me get out of the rut that I feel after doing the same sort of things.
  2. You can travel alone. Traveling, to me, is simply exploring someplace new with a bit of uncomfortableness added to it. I personally hate doing anything alone so forcing myself to explore a nearby city alone for an afternoon is huge for me. It brings me out of my comfort zone which in return forces me to interact with the world as well as get to know myself.
  3. You can travel with others. You can share these really cool experiences with the people you care about. You become bonded over something that you will never experience in the same way again. Traveling with friends is a dream. You instantly become closer and bonded. They laughs increase and the inside jokes multiply. Up to this point, my favorite way of exploring is with friends.
  4. You learn about yourself. I have learned my limits, both small and large, by traveling. I know what kind of things I like to invest my time and energy on. (I love walking aimlessly for hours and museums and bookstores are my cup of tea.) I know what kind of things I should and shouldn’t spend my money on. (Who likes unpacking from a trip and finding that you really don’t care about that certain souvenir…But food. Food is worth the money.) I have learned how long I am capable of walking and being on my feet. I have learned to recognize my crabby qualities that I appear when I am hungry or tired and how to fix them before I disrupt the group’s flow. I have learned, that for the most part, I am willing to try every food and I will typically like it. I have learned that I actually do like traveling, despite the fears that I still experience when traveling.
  5. Travel shows you that this world is a lot smaller than we think. Humans are all alike, despite our obvious differences in culture and language. We are all simply trying to find joy in our lives. We all need food, shelter, water, and comfort. I love that connection you feel with strangers as you explore a tiny part of their life or trying to order food in their language. Traveling teaches so much respect to those who are willing to try and see the world. This world is seemingly large with all of its differences, dangers, and misunderstandings but in reality it is insanely beautiful. There is so much history we can learn from, so much food to try and love, so much to see, and so many new people to meet. And it is all plane ride away.

So here you go. These are my top 5 reasons why I love to travel, at least in this moment.  Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and experiences on this crazy little space I’ve created for myself. I’m excited to start sharing my stories, pictures, and videos of some of the places I have fallen in love with.

Comment some of your reasons! I want to start a conversation and get to know people!

And…

Thanks for the Adventure World.

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Thanks…Waitress the Musical: an Essay

Thanks…Waitress the Musical: an Essay

In honor of my favorite Broadway show Waitress, which announced its closing date this morning, I thought I would share my experience with it New York, 3 years ago. Like for so many others, this show changed my life. Thank you Sara Bareilles and the entire production team, actors, singers, musicians, etc. who were all involved in creating this incredible show. Here’s a bit of me to share my appreciation.

*This is a portion of an essay that was originally written in 2017*

JUNE 8, 2016

NEW YORK CITY

It was our third day in the city. I wake up to the sun shining on the next-door apartment buildings in the middle of SoHo, with a view of the bridge in the distance. Our hotel room is unbelievably small but still comfortable for three people. Three small beds fill the room decorated with silver and purple hues, leaving just enough space to walk to the bathroom. The bathroom is white and bright and it somehow felt like the largest space. There is a window over the bathtub that swings open overlooking the same apartments, giving a view into the city life.

My Mom knew that today is important to me and she was already up, to allow herself theUntitled design-8 time to get ready. Diana, my college roommate and best friend, joined us for our NYC adventure after we spent a week in Boston with her. Over the course of the trip we had amazing food and fantastic shopping in used bookstores and street markets. We had already had had some adventures with attempting to push my mother’s wheelchair over the cobblestone sidewalks and the pot-hole filled streets of New York, but I wasn’t tired yet.

I created a time schedule for out day, including the time it would take to travel on the subways. I knew exactly how long we could spend in the 9/11 museum and precisely how long we would have for meals. This day was not going to be stressful, but magical, I assured myself.

The morning was spent in sunny weather and with a sense of somber reflection at the memorial. Despite my urgency to stay on time, I found myself alone getting lost in the photos and videos, the artifacts, and displays. After finishing looking through a set of photographs I found Diana looking at a display of papers. We turn to find my Mom, front wheels up and scooting through the exhibit, managing to not hurt any other observers. I check the time.

“Oh no. We need to go now to catch that train…” Diana agrees and we herd my Mom towards the exit. After a few wrong turns up ramps and into other exhibits we were finally directed to an exit elevator. The panic started to pulse, but was easily checked by my self reassurances.

The elevator “bings,” and as it opens a large crowd of children in matching blue t-shirts begin pushing each other into the small hallway. They are yelling and laughing at each other as they shake their hair and squeeze their wet clothing. Chaperones are wearing plastic rain ponchos and create more noise as they try to organize the groups. All I could think amongst the commotion was, Not on the one day we didn’t bring jackets or umbrellas… Diana and I look at each other and I push my Mom onto the elevator.

As we reach the exit my Mom pulls out a small umbrella and opens it. “Here Becca, you use the umbrella since you’re pushing me.”

“Mom, I can’t hold the umbrella if I’m pushing you.”

“Oh. Diana?”

“No, you can use it. Stay dry,” she replied with a smile.

Other patrons comment on the rain as they pull out ponchos and hide phones in pockets. The security guard opens the door and we begin running into the now dark and windy city. So here we are: Diana running ahead while navigating on Google Maps to find the nearest subway entrance. My Mom is sitting in the chair clutching her purse and the bag of souvenirs and books while holding the small umbrella. Then there was me, bent in half as I tried to navigate the chair over potholes, curbs, and crowds of business men. My eyes are squinting against the rain. About every half block I feel a stream of water traveling up the sleeves of my cardigan as the umbrella would slowly tip back.

“Mom, could you hold up the umbrella straighter.” I don’t even try to hide my frustration. “You’re dumping water all over me.”

“Oh I’m sorry! I’m sorry you’ve had to push all around on this trip. I feel so-” she stops mid-sentence.

“It’s fine. Let’s just focus on getting there.” I begin to feel bad, but I try not to dwell on it as we find a small staircase leading underground.

A steady stream of people are traveling down as we awkwardly help my Mom out of the chair and attempt to fold the chair as flat as possible. We disrupt the flow of traffic as Diana leads my Mother down the stairs and I awkwardly hold bags and carry the chair, hitting the fronts of my ankles every step. We receive stares and comments but I force myself to ignore them.

Untitled design-6Make up is smeared across our faces, our curls and pins so purposefully done that morning for pictures are out of place and gone. My cardigan is hanging off my body and water squishes in my shoes. We turn a corner and find ourselves on 47th Street and Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The small theatre entrance is lit up with a flashing blue and pink sign. Waitress stares back at me. I had been waiting months to see this show.

I had first heard about the show over a Playbill.com announcement stating that Sara Barielles’ new show had opened in London and was set to open on Broadway. A quick Google search led me to Spotify and her original album with the same title. I listened to the album countless times, memorizing all the words and the nuances of her voice. I watched the movie, again with the same title, and fell in love with the story. I watched every press release and every video released during their workshops. The feeling of I need to see this occupied me. As well as the feeling of I need to sing this music.

I look up and think, I’m here. I was about to see my first Broadway show. I was about to see and hear one of my idols, Jessie Mueller. I didn’t care that I was wet and cold.

We reached the door and the usher pushed us inside the crowded entrance full of older couples. I suddenly realized the small lobby was ill suited for Mom’s cumbersome wheelchair, and I started guiding mom gently through the crowds, careful to make sure I didn’t bang into anyone’s ankles. I’d maneuvered nearly to the front of the line when a woman stepped back abruptly, crunching her leg right into the metal foot rests.

“Watch where you’re going!” she yelled out, turning to face mom.  “You ran into me!” Then she looked directly into my eyes and pointed, “You need watch where you’re pushing that thing.” She wheeled around and stormed away.

I stood there speechless, my hands gripping the wheelchair handles hard.

“Becca?” my mom’s soft voice broke the trance. She was looking up at me, concern in her eyes. I bit my lip and pushed her up to the ticket window, angry tears beginning to burn the edges of my eyes.

We enter the theatre and the smell of warm sugar overcomes us. Pie. The theatre smelled like pie. I steer us to our seats in silence, dripping and cold. The pages of the programs were gumming up and sticking to our wet hands.

I didn’t care. All I could think was, Why would someone say something like that to a woman in a wheelchair?

We sit down. I don’t even notice that I’m crying or the little jars of pie my Mom bought. I wish we were just back in the warm hotel room, away from these people, I thought for a moment—and at that precise second, as if on cue, the lights began to dim and the theater was transformed.

The space surrounding the stage lights up. Towers of pies are spinning and a diner appears. The familiar, but different, music started. The curtain was raised and I was in another world. I didn’t care that some old woman’s phone started going off. I didn’t care that I could feel my toes squishing in the bottom of my wet shoes. I didn’t care that the air conditioner was making the skin on the back of my hands and neck chill, or that my tears hadn’t stopped. I was in the world of Jenna at Joe’s Pie Diner.

By the time we reached Act II, and Jenna’s husband has thrown his guitar at her, she has lost her last chance of ever escaping a life she didn’t want or deserve. She is also about to give birth. The entire theatre is entranced and the F# major chord fills the room. She starts singing:

It’s not simple to say. That most days I don’t recognize me…

In the seat next to me, mom gasps. In the dark of the theater, I don’t see the tears, but I can hear her sobs and sniffles. The rest of the theatre is sniffling, too and I am hypnotized by Jessie Mueller’s voice and storytelling.

She is lonely, but most of the time

She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie

She is gone but she used to be mine!

“That’s me!” Mom whispers, and I try not to think about it, try not to let the emotions overwhelm me, because I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop from breaking down.

My Mother lived through the childhood that you see in movies and books: childhoods that had nasty divorces and lack of love, with moments of joy and family. Filled with events that affected my Mom so deeply mentally and physically that I have never really been able to fully understand her. We have our things that we connect with, music especially but nothing deep. All I could see was the unfulfilled promises, the days where she couldn’t leave her bed because of chronic and mental illness, and the occasional fights we would get in when she tried to become involved in my life and threaten my independence.

In Act 3, Jenna sings of her realization that she is a completely different person than the one she was before, the one she liked to be. But she knows she can’t go back. I realized it in the same moment that Jenna did on stage: that I have felt that way too. We are alike: Jenna, my Mom, and I—and this sense made me feel closer to Mom than I’ve felt in a long time.

As the show ends we all stand and cheer. It was so surreal to see the human beings who changed my life and me in a moment. As the lights come back up Diana, my Mom, and I all look at each other. We are all disheveled from the wind and rain. Our hair is still dripping and our eyes are puffy from the crying.

“Becca I hope you are happy, despite everything we went through to get here.”

“Oh Mom I loved it. I really did love it. I don’t care about anything that happened before.”

“I’m sorry that I was crying through all of that. I just couldn’t help relating. That’s exactly how I felt when I had you. All I wanted was to the best I could for you. I hope I gave you what you wanted”

“You did Mom. You did.”

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JULY 2019

 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

I left that theatre changed. The rest of the trip wasn’t magical or full of ease. More adventures happened, including a stolen wheelchair from that very theatre… But I was changed from it all.

Waitress changed my life. I have seen it twice since that day in NYC and I would see it 10 more times. That song has had different meanings for me since that day. I have turned to it, cried to it, and jumped for joy because of it. I discovered my voice and myself singing it and I couldn’t be more grateful. Don’t worry… I’ll write about all that someday soon. But…

Thank you Sara B. Thank you New York. Thank you Broadway. 

Thanks for the adventure Waitress the Musical…

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Thanks for the Bucketlist #2

Thanks for the Bucketlist #2

Next Item on the list…

Item #2

To read 52 books in one year

It seems like a lot. Which it is. But I want something difficult, and almost unachievable. If I don’t make it, there is always next year. Now for an explanation. There is meaning behind every dream…

I LOVE reading. Always have. I don’t remember when reading clicked for me. I’ve always been able to recognize words. I remember sitting in my booster seat in the back of my parent’s red Saturn, driving down the street and seeing signs. I would challenge myself to see if I could recognize every word. I remember reading my book out loud to an older kid on my school bus and not recognizing the word “island.” But then feeling so proud of myself, knowing the word every time after. It fascinated me, words. Then stories. I would start a book and get engrossed in the stories and characters. The books I was choosing got longer and longer and the challenge to see how fast I could get through a book began. It was exciting.

I remember when “Chapter Books” became my biggest accomplishment. My favorites were the Junie B. Jones series and Magic Treehouse or the American Girl Doll book series. Then I started figuring out genres I enjoyed. Mostly Fiction, especially Historical Fiction, and of course Fantasy. (What kid in the early 2000s didn’t like Fantasy? Harry Potter ruled the world.) As I got older more genres were added to that list. Romance and Literary Classics were at the top. Now it is memoirs and Non-fiction with dashes of the original favorites.

My required reading assignments never were homework to me (even the papers in college).  I would always read ahead and have to remind myself constantly to stop to answer the worksheets that went alongside. I would win awards for reading the most pages, or gaining the most “points” from the computerized book tests we took.

My favorite time in elementary school was when the teacher would read aloud to the class after lunch. I will always remember The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo and sitting in my 4th Grade class with Mrs. Helvy.

In high school I spent two whole summers searching every discount book shelf for books on the AP Literature list. My Mom would carry the many pages of listed books in her purse. Then I read as many as I could to “get ahead.”

Books and stories saved me. Many times. They saved me from boredom. They saved me from feeling inadequate or not cool (surprisingly…) They gave me a way to connect to people, even adults, by being able to share common interests or a love for a classic children’s novel. They also saved me from loneliness.

When I was 13 my family made a sudden move from California to Utah. It was the middle of the school year with no warning. I remember the day we left our home in CA we stopped at a Barnes & Noble on the way to the expansive freeway. My Mom had promised to buy me a book, which was rare as libraries are a thing and books are expensive, as a reward for helping pack and not fighting too much against the move. I chose Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Admittally I loved it. I read probably the first 100 pages on the drive, completely taken away from my current situation that I despised. The main character also was moving, in the middle of a school year, to a new place with no friends. There was not much more comparisons after that, but I loved the book. I loved the world. It also gave me something to talk about with other girls that I was meeting at my new school.

Summer came and I had found very little friends in my month and a half at my new Utah school. I had church acquaintances but no one I felt close enough to consistently make plans with outside of weekly youth activities. I was also the only girl my age…Boys were gross at 13. But I did find the library. Weekly, my Mom would drag us kids out of the house, or I would ride my bike in the 100 degree heat to the library. I would scour the YA section, usually picking random books from the “Newly Released” section based off of their covers. I loved long series because they would take longer to get through, and you got more time with the characters. I would usually check out 3-7 books at a time and drag them home in the plastic trash bag the librarian would stack them in.

That entire summer in my small, air-conditioned room with the radio on to the local pop station I sat on the navy blue, corduroy, pull-out couch that was placed under the front window. I read so many books that summer. I also listened to quite bit of Linkin Park and Katy Perry. But those books saved me for ultimately a very lonely 3 months.

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Books and stories have saved me from anxiety. I feel those panicked feelings bubbling and I listen to the speeding thoughts going through my head. When I pick up a book and allow myself to dive in completely I feel calmer. I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time, as I do when I watch Netflix or browse Facebook. I am discovering a story, a world, and people.

In my opinion some of the most admirable people, specifically women, are authors. Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Louisa May Alcott, J.K. Rowling to name a few. They all challenged the world by creating stories. Not only are their books a joy to read and the characters important to me and so many others around the world, but their own personal lives are inspiring and relatable. Do you know anything about Louisa May Alcott’s life and her personal views? Rowling’s struggle to find herself? You should. It doesn’t matter when they lived, what genre of literature they wrote, or even why they decided to write. We are all human, and words are one of the best ways to share our personal humanity to others. Thankfully authors are brave enough to share those words.

Stories are the reason I was driven to performing. I like to think that books started that. The amount of individual stories are innumerable when looking at plays, musical theater pieces, operas, art songs, and song cycles. Themes cross over multiple genres and over  centuries. As a performer, I can find myself in almost every character I have encountered. There is a thrill when discovering a story that is paired with incredible music, or some beautifully written dialogue. Then to share it using every skill set imaginable is a whirlwind.

Stories can show us that there is a way to survive and live. Through the good and bad. Our entire lives are compiled of our own individual stories. Which is why I think they are worth sharing. You never know who you can have a connection with. And somehow seeing moments in our lives especially difficult ones as stories they seem smaller, simpler, but significant.

After I finished college, dealing with mental health and a slew of changes in my life I could feel myself wanting to go back. To bring back a simplicity into my life. Books came back. They have allowed me to slow down. I have found the feelings of being engrossed in a world that is not the one that I am sitting in, which I have missed. There are moments where I feel as if I am the same girl who sat on that pull-our couch 10 years ago. I have the same insecurities and fear of being lonely.

I want to discover more books, stories, and authors. I want to finally read those novels that have been sitting on my bookshelf for years. I want to share these stories with you.

So here’s to the next item of my Bucketlist. I don’t think it will ever stop. I will always have some sort of reading goal. I technically started in May, but have procrastinated sharing because it is scary to share…

Join my challenge, see what books I am reading, and what I think of them at my Goodreads!

Thanks for the Adventure books!

Thanks SLC. Hello LA.

Thanks SLC. Hello LA.

A quick little update after a quick little vacation from the blog…

I have started the “next chapter.” The chapter that I have been wanting to start since I was in high school. Moving back to California.

I have always felt a deep connection to sunny California. Majority of my childhood was spent there. It is where a majority of holidays and vacations were spent. It has always been associated with happy memories, fun adventures, and have been wanting to move back since I was a teen. I was feeling anxious to take the next step. End the chapter of college and move to bigger things. Bigger opportunities and bigger cities. New people and new adventures.

Untitled designThat being said, I love and miss Salt Lake City. I love that city with a large part of my heart. I will miss all the familiarity that I felt from its streets and sights. I will miss the constant memories, both good and bad. It was the city where I discovered a big part of myself. I grew up there. I will miss the people. So much. My closest lifelong friends and loves are there.

 

What a strange experience to feel drawn to one place. Drawn to the excitement and the overall feeling of it being right. But then also feeling pulled to the old place. Parts of my heart was left in Salt Lake City, Utah. I feel that I am “from” there. It will always feel like home and I intend to visit as much as possible.

So here I am in sunny Los Angeles. I have got the same insecurities, anxieties, and fears but also excitement, hope, and determination. Also this blog 🙂

Thanks for the adventure SLC. Here’s to the next LA.

Thanks for the Bucketlist #1

Thanks for the Bucketlist #1

I think Bucketlists are important. Not only is it a list of goals, but it is a list of goals that can be as unrealistic as possible. I believe having goals are an integral part of life. Yes, having goals to reach success financially, emotionally, spiritually are all important. But a Bucketlist is a list of goals, well actually dreams. Lots of mini and big dreams that simply bring you joy. It is a list of anything. A list of things you want to see. A list of seemingly unachievable accomplishments. Some are simply reckless with no reasoning behind it. But at the end of it all, if you don’t achieve them that’s ok. If you do, it is worth celebrating. It is worth celebrating having a list of things for you.

When I “graduated” college (more on that later…) the commencement speaker was Ben Nemtin, best-selling author and creator of the show The Buried Life. He spoke of finding success, of course, but also doing the things we want to in life despite feeling “buried” by the day-to-day parts of life. He spoke about having dreams and sharing those dreams with those around you. Them most importantly, persisting… All the inspiration required in a speech to thousands of college graduates that somehow still has resonated with me a year later.

Read his full speech here. (Highly recommend!)

So here on this little website I will start sharing my Bucketlist and hopefully sharing my celebrations as I start ticking off each of these new goals and dreams.

Item #1 is:

Consistently post on my crazy little blog once a week for a year

It’s going to happen. I promise to not talk down to myself if it’s not the same day every week. I will share the good and the bad. I will do my best not to worry about what others think. I will not compare myself to other “bloggers.” I will aim to share positivity and joy. I will share every adventure. I will simply do my best.

Join me in starting a Bucketlist!

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Thanks for the Adventure Bucketlist…Here we gooooo!

 

An Introduction…

An Introduction…

I want a add an introduction for Mister Jasper the Dog.

Jasper has saved me in too many ways. Too many to count and too many to list. But here is a part of his story and some of those ways that he has saved me.

Jasper is small, energetic and loving Chihuahua/Jack-Russel Terrier mix. (JACKCHI!) He was born somewhere in California in December of 2016. He was probably adorable and small with all the love that he currently has now to share. At some point he was abandoned at a park where he was probably afraid and untrusting. Luckily some rescuers came along and chased him around for a couple of hours. (Mister is FAST and he knows it…)

Then comes the next human in this story, Grandma. My Grandmother had recently lost another rescue Chihuahua named Pepe. She saved him and he saved her. She wanted another little guy to give her love and that she could drown in love as well. She found Jasper, who at the time was named Owen. She picked him for his coloring and overall demeanor of a shy, loving, and attention seeking lap dog. She knew that she needed to save him. She told me that the name Jasper just came to her, that it wasn’t after anyone or anything in particular. Just that his name was supposed to be Jasper. Which was strange, seeing that she likes to recycle the name Pepe.

That summer I was in Germany. My Dad and siblings were in California. Jasper was 7 months old. He was terrified of my Dad. Would bark, growl, and hide but he loved my sister.

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That first picture…

My Grandma admitted that he was too much for her. The example she used to me was, “He would pull all the bathmats out of every bathroom!” Yep. That’s accurate. My Dad offered to take him back to Utah as my parents had just gotten another dog, Chewy, who was the same age. He sent me a text with Jasper’s picture and I fell in love. I jokingly texted back, “I want him!” And then it began…

For awhile my doctor and I had discussed the possibility of getting a pet for my anxiety. I grew up with a dog, Brenna, who entered our life right when I was struggling with extreme anxiety as an 8 year old. She saved me too. My roommate/best friend had just gotten married just before I left for Europe and the possibility of living alone terrified me. It was perfect timing.

I got home and visited my parents. Our first meeting wasn’t full of sparks or fireworks. He was nervous but definitely gave me kisses. Over the course of the next few days he opened up more and would cry and anxiously paw in excitement when I would walk by the dog pen.

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Chewy and Jasper during my first visit

I left for Salt Lake City with a doctor’s note in hand to give my apartment management and admittedly a fear that it wasn’t going to work. I didn’t feel the overwhelming love like I had for Brenna. I was even worried that I wasn’t going to miss him.

The next couple weeks were agony as I waited for my application to get approved. I did miss him and the excitement of being a Dog Mom exploded. I told everyone and anyone and showed off the few pictures I had of him.

My Dad arrived to my apartment less than a week before the semester began. Jasper showed up nervous and with drool dangling from his mouth. We brought him inside to my large and lonely apartment, closed the door and put him on the floor…and he exploded. His personality shot out of his body. He began running around the entire living room, bounding on top of couches, the futon, and multiple bodies. He began kissing everyone. He started playing with his toys. His tail even twitched a few times.

My Dad exclaimed, “I have never seen this. He is a completely different dog.”

I don’t know how many times I have heard that since. Or how many times I’ve heard, “You two were meant to be.”

As cheesy and romantic as that sounds, to talk about a small dog that way, it is true.

It was meant to be. The next week after starting our adventure together some events happened in my personal life. My mental health spiraled out of control. I lost friends. I lost myself. But Mister Jasper rose to the occasion. I would not have survived those moments without him. He got me out of bed. He got me to smile. He simply showed me that love and joy were possible in his own unique and innocent way.

The rest is history. It took a couple of months for that special and unbreakable bond to form. I am still learning all of his unique traits, needs, likes, dislikes etc. But he is now my constant companion. He comes to work with me, to the store, to school, on road trips, hikes or any other sort of adventure I try to find. Everyone falls in love with him instantly. He gives an unlimited amount of kisses and has too many quirks to list here. His tail wags, or more accurately twitches in strange directions, constantly. People call him a “light” or “lightbulb.” He makes people smile. But more importantly I have him. I have a purpose with him. He makes me laugh and smile and gives me cuddles when I cry or just because. Yes I am talking about just a dog but he’s my dog.

I will share about him more. So just you wait…

So Thanks for the Adventure Mister Jasper….

***Check him out on Instagram @misterjasperthedog!

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Update…Update…

Update…Update…

What a crazy thing to have this little website for years in my back pocket. What a crazy idea, to want to record my thoughts and feelings for the world on this thing called the internet. Yet, I find myself constantly seeking out the people who are doing the same.

I have experienced quite a bit of fear and anxiety concerning this little blog. I have started and restarted it multiple times on multiple platforms. Here I am again…

Life has changed quite a bit since the first, and only post, was published.

I finished my Undergraduate degree by dragging myself to the finish line. I experienced some heartaches, pain and fear. I experienced mental illness. I experienced incredible trips around the world. I experienced an immense amount of joy and love.

I am starting a new chapter…I am moving from Utah back to the land of the sun: California. I am planning more and more trips. I am probably going to meet some new people. I am probably going to experience some more crazy things. I am probably going to experience more fear and pain. But I am ready.

So you get ready for some thoughts of mine. Get ready for some stories. Current and past. Get ready for some quirks, some love, and some joy. Get ready for some adventures.

I am not going to guarantee a perfect product in this crazy little blog. Just me. Or more accurately, me in that very moment. So take it or leave it. Share it to others, relate to it, enjoy it, or simply forget about it.

So here’s to the adventure. Again. Starting today May 16, 2019.

*photo by As You Like It Photography