Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Don't Grow Up-- it's a trap!

The real betrayal is forgetting yourself.

I've always been very independent and in need of time alone. My mother reminds me often of a time when my Grandma was visiting us in California and somewhere between playing ponies or dress-up in my bedroom, I declared it was time to go out to the living room. As she exited first, I can only imagine the look on her face as I shut the door behind her, giving myself time alone in my room. Give me a break, I was five. 

I'm no longer as  socially inept and don't always close that door as much as five year old me begs me too. 

To say I enjoy hanging out with myself sounds odd, but I guess I do forget how awesome I am and how much I enjoy it. But friends are a blast, roomies are a joy, my boyfriend being a constant- I'm not good at closing the door and saying maybe later. Perhaps its some FOMO but I could really channell some Hodor to get my shit together. 

I guess where I'm going with this is when I do miss me, I find myself rereading previous posts I've written. Or editing pictures from my nikon and latest adventures. But since my laptop is still under repair and I can't edit pictures as effectively on my phone, tonight I found myself reading my blog. 

That may sound quite absurd or get old real quick- but its funny how soon I forget what I've said and done, thought and felt, from the experiences I document. So by rereading my posts, I truly am hanging out with younger version me- sometimes whiney, sometimes too much information haha-- but nonetheless reminding me, of me.

A couple days ago, I reread the post from four years ago when my dad and I put our dog Ernie down. It was vaguely titled Decisions (curse creative me!!) and it took me to a more somber place than I had planned. Reminded me of last year when we had to put Zucca down on Father's day and that same day I had to drive back to Portland, stuck in the car with my miserable self and heavy heart. And now with my cat Roxi and pup Cooper, I found myself thinking, "dear lord, what pain have I set myself up for in the next ten plus years?!" Haha of course, dramatic me there because I know its worth it and wouldn't have if any other way. 

"The price of love is loss. 
But we still pay, we love anyway." -N2N

And there it is- inspired reflection hits and I must give an ode to the animals I've rescued and adopted-- for the hell they put me through and the lessons I've learned from them. 

Although Roxi is the sweetest unpredictable monster I will never understand, she sure didn't start out that way. Her first day with me, she found solace in the empty washer machine, hiding. At the age of three and us being her forever home, she was definitely taking in her surroundings and only by room to room did she become confident in ruling the apartment. But as she hid in the bathroom, the closet, and then under the bed-- I would look at her and say hey, me too. Somedays living in the city, having me and Ian's car broken into, all I wanted to do was hide in my apartment. But slowly and surely, I ventured out around the area, determined my spots around NW 23rd and now find pleasure in being a little lost walking to my next destination. Our first apartment in Portland was perfect for feeling safe- on the second story, a code to get in the building, and a brewery just downstairs and around the corner so I didnt have to go too far. Very similar to Roxi's safe haven washer machine. As we moved into our house that we are renting, she didn't regress into my bedroom, under my bed, instead she blossomed. Now only one story, she perches up in the window on the back of the couch watching the birds fly by. I'm good at keeping the bird feeder full which gives her prime entertainment, sometimes going to far and latching on to the screen with her claws in hunting mode. She still greets us at the door, the way she did at our old apartment, but now we hear her meowing through the window as we walk up our stoop. She's sometimes a flight risk, sneaking out the door if your hands are full, thinking she's ready to take on the outside world. Now living between Hawthorne and Division, I'm not ready for her to do that... So we're experimenting with a cat harness. Haha, we'll see how that goes.

When I was considering adopting Cooper Douglas, I remember being very anxious (as I'm sure first moms are usually) and one of my guilty worries was Roxi. Is it unfair to her? Will she regress? Will she be an even bigger monster? 

While onboarding Cooper had its ups and downs, Roxi surprised me the most. After a week or so of constant hot lava, jumping from couch to counter to avoid the eager puppy, she pretty much wanted to be involved in everything Cooper was involved in. Each routine, each activity, every stoop night on our patio, she made it very clear she has FOMO. Whenever we bring him back in from peeing outside, she too runs up to the door waiting for a treat for good behavior. Dinner time is interesting since she'd dead set on eating the puppy chow as well and sometimes trying to get at his bowl. Whenever we go to feed him, shes quick to appear from wherever shes been lounging to also be fed even if her dry food is always full during the day. She's not afraid to tell Cooper whats up, exert her dominance, and kind of taunt him from the foot of our bed as he sleeps in the kennel at night. All in all, she's taught me strength for adapting to change and being resilent. 

Cooper was completely opposite. He ran the house the moment he realized it was his home. He taught me to trust my gut and that even though this is my first go at puppy parenting, that I intrinsically know what's best. And hey, if I don't- I'll figure it out. The biggest shift with Cooper in my life is the culture of getting to know other people through their dogs. Theres Vego on the corner, Bubaloo across the street, Roxy and her sweater on our way to Hawthorne, and Karma our landlords lab. People will stop by and ask how Cooper is doing or say hi if he's in the yard, but they don't know my name. And I don't know theirs. And we're all perfectly okay with that. We just love our dogs.

My favorite thing about watching Cooper grow up is seeing everything anew with him. The way he cocks his head to the side as you howl at him, how he chomped at the sky when he first saw rain, the way he rolls and scoots in the grass with his hindquarters dragging behind him. Life is so exciting for him and with him, I find happiness in the littlest things. 

This last trek to Idaho was an emotional one for me. To hear Cooper's paws against my parents hardwood floor, to see him squirm in the grass the way Ernie always had (those labs!), to see my dad play fetch with him around the house and ultimately follow my dad around because he was so enamored. Sounds about right. My dad even brought up snow wondering is Cooper will love diving and sliding in the white abiss as much as Ernie did. 

Between one thing or another, Cooper ended up meeting our neighbor Joy. Having his middle name named after her husband who just passed, who was also my PE elementary school teacher and dads best friend, Cooper Douglas cutely rolled in the grass at her feet and she told me about her nephew who coincidently was named Cooper Douglas.  

"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." -Albert Einstein

When Coach Fisher passed away this last spring he too, like Ernie had, took a piece of my childhood with him. Square dancing, our Indianna Jones courses at school, or trying to teach me how to do a carthweel in my backyard... He was always there. I couldn't make it up to Moscow for the memorial but found peace in writing a card to Joy, even if I was a hot mess writing to her in the first place. I knew it was the right card when I couldn't keep my cool together in PaperSource.


 
 
Cheers and more beers to my 26th year, and all thats yet to come. 

"The best is yet to come." -Frank Sinatra

Friday, January 29, 2016

Stone, for one.

Having closed late last night I'm pretty sure I growled at Ian when he woke me up this morning. I blocked out the sound of him vacuuming, clanking dishes, packing his clothes into his duffle back until he resulted to hopping on the bed forcing me to get up.
"Ian!!"
"It's almost eleven..."
"If I had a super power, it'd be my ability to sleep for long periods at a time" continuing to cover my face with my pillow.
"Haha, yes, you've told me this before..." as he removed the pillow and blankets; one of the meanest things you can do to someone who just wants to burrow in bed all day.

I rolled out of bed, washed up and threw on whatever comfy clothes I could find and helped him load his stuff into my car. After I dropped him off at the train station, I guiltily GPSed my way over to the brunch spot one of my peers from work always talks about. It has been over a year since I first met him and I swear our first conversation was a strong handshake and something like,
"Hi, I'm Matt!! Have you eaten at the Screendoor?!?"
(Okay, maybe not that direct, haha. But he still talks about this place all the time and their frittatas.)
The line outside was tolerable and even more so knowing I was a party of one. It gave me a quick bump to cut in line on the waiting list.

If you've never gone out to eat by yourself, I strongly recommend it. Over the past several years I found myself doing this more; not because I never had anyone to accompany me or friends to call to invite but because I simply don't want to miss an opportunity to go somewhere and do something. I like to be on my own time and if people have their obligations I don't let it hold me back from experiences. I am also independent to a fault so I most times don't realize how awkward the host is asking, "Table for two?" and I correct them and say, "Nope just me!"
This summer I bought a last minute ticket for a BrewCycle bike tour by myself when my lame friends weren't answering their phones. Although it was true they had gone rafting together and lost their phones to the river, I still rub this experience in as they still haven't done the tour and want to. I guess I'm not good at waiting! And quite frankly, my schedule and Ian's only match up two days out of the month so for one, if we didn't live together I'd never see him and secondly, if I waited to do something so he could join me... I wouldn't be doing anything. Hardly at all.

The host called for Stone as they sat me at the bar. Soon after as I contemplated how productive my day would be if I had a mimosa before noon, the host also sat the stool beside me. Now I can be that wonderfully silent passenger who has the seat next to you on a crowded plane and I can also be the pleasant conversationalist on a bus to nowhere who you tell all your life stories too. It just depends. On this day in particular I brought my notebook, which I had already pulled out with a pen, and had intended on finishing my letter to my brother. I wanted a silent bar stool brunch mate.

As I resisted the temptation to text Matt and ask what he recommends (brutal since he is currently doing Whole30 and can't eat any goodness) the lady to my left asks the same question I was deliberating.
"Where do you even start with this menu?!"
She too pulled out a notebook, slightly smaller than mine, as her writing was perpendicular to what the lines on the paper indicated to write. Perhaps this is the adult version of coloring outside the line.
She was a brunette with light brown eyes, a soft tee with a knitted salmon cardigan, and a flair for word choices that made me feel like I had a small vocabulary or a redundant way of speaking. At first our conversation was light, trivial we claimed it to be later, but somewhere during our brunch we were finishing each others sentences and I found myself asking questions for my own development, my own wisdom.

As we ate and laughed about being from small towns, the south, moving to city areas and actually being a fan of the rain, we ended up literally sharing a meal as she put a part of her biscuits and gravy on a side plate pushing it in my direction claiming she could not eat it all herself. Without divulging too much of the conversation since it's more valuable to keep to myself anyway, at one point she turned to me and said, "Do you still consider Idaho home? Or moving back there?"

After I first moved out here I would joke about how I could never move back home because there's just not enough good beer to get me to stay. Within a year of leaving the Palouse, a couple breweries have sprouted up and even a Tap House that had Cyclops IPA on Nitro. She laughed at how my go-to excuse is now void and really I told her how Idaho was more of a nostalgic place for me because when I do return to visit my parents or my friends that still live there, nothing is really the same. It has all changed. And I have changed. And even if the beer continues to evolve there, me moving back home would be pretending that I could return to place in time that's in my past. I guess I didn't know that until she asked.

As I finished my banana French toast and chugged the rest of my coffee, she showed me pictures of Leo her adorable dog and we laughed as if we'd known each other for years. The waiter was probably really confused since he swore we sat down at least ten minutes apart. Maybe it's because I looked extra homelessly grungy today; no makeup, oversized flannel, workout sweats, and my Team Bride tank from this summer's wedding... but she grabbed my bill for me. She even tipped the waiter a solid $20 bucks. I got uncomfortable, people doing something nice for me that I didn't merit it or like receiving compliments, and tried to offer to pay my own. She was gracious, generous and ended our goodbye with "I hope you find your outlet for musical theater..."

If you've never eaten out alone, I strongly recommend it. You never know who you're going to meet.

Pay it forward.





Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sleepless Milk Wonders

I haven't written in awhile because every time I even think about going to write I envision all the frustrations I'll have with word choice, putting my thoughts into words, and remembering how much energy it takes to right it perfectly.

Screw perfect.

I have a kajillion moments I have recorded in my journal, lots of drafts that are never seen by another eye, and unfinished business with beginning pieces.

I'm over it. And so exhausted.
When I finally feel like I've got a grip on adult life post college with my big kid job something comes flying out of left field and all I want to do is drink good beer pretending the world has stopped spinning for five minutes.

But I'm pretty thankful it doesn't.
All in all, adulting is go-go-go and my to-do list seems to be a never ending battle as I keep pushing some items off for a week and spontaneously going home for a weekend. Visiting home is always relaxing in and of itself but the travel and wear and tear from my copious drinking besties can have me start the work week with a bitter mindset.

With all that being said, the purpose of this blurb is to officially announce that I am slowly but surely turning into my parents.

This last week was a big week in my store as we prepared for a visit from some of our senior management and big wigs from headquarters. Not only is that kiiiiind of a big deal and a great time to learn, network, and show off the store-- its an incredible amount of work since everything has to be perfect.

There is that annoying word again.

Going into the work week our leadership team was on point with communicating and prioritizing to make sure all we needed to do was dot our i's and cross the t's on the big day. Our execution was close to flawless as you could get but it didn't come without some commitment on my day off. All my peers and I rearranged our schedule to prep and still manage work life balance- and on the eve before my normal day off but the day I was going in to support the store, I found myself so excited I had to take melatonin to shut off my brain and sleep. However, when my boyfriend came to bed at 2:08 in the morning he accidently woke my brain back up. I laid there for awhile trying to seep back into dreamland only to find my brain eager to assess my tasks for the day and role play conversations I wanted to have that day. Fed up, I dragged myself out of bed only to find myself snapping back to reality as I put the milk back in the fridge. My consciousness stirred. Did I really just get out of bed and intrinsic bee line it to the milk?

When did I turn into my mom?????!

My mom is notorious for getting up in the middle night, wander downstairs, drink a glass of milk and go back to bed. Zombie status. I don't even know when I started craving milk in the middle of the night but I never could comprehend why MILK was the beverage she craved in the wee hours of the morning but here I was...

Genetics, man!

After I came to my post milk revelation I had another disturbing realization.

The fact that I can't sleep? I'm becoming more like my dad, too.

My dad constantly has issues falling back to sleep once awoken. When I visit home and stay out late he will be able to tell me the next morning the exact time I locked the doors behind me because he was already trying to fall back asleep due to something else keeping him up. Once we wake up. our minds remain in unstoppable go model and sheep sound like a mythological creature.

So the second I got off work about five that following afternoon, I couldn't help but call my dad and proclaim, "When did I turn into you guys?!!"

Welcome to adulthood, yo.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

That's my car, yo!

I've been meaning to write these last couple of months.
I literally have a half written blog post unpublished titled "Life After College." Perhaps the incomplete and lack of postedness is an indication ... I'm still getting my life together.

But for those of you who follow, who care, and are curious... I'm so incredibly happy. The last year of college I felt stuck, partially due to a long distance relationship and also because I took a victory lap in college hahha, and I just kept waiting for my life to begin.

And so it has.
The transition has been immensely challenging for me don't misunderstand. For the first week I would break down in tears over essentially nothing but change emerging around me and I was also not sleeping because I had this paranoid stigma that my car would get broken into or stolen. So when I wasn't crying I was sleeping and since I wasn't sleeping very much... well you get the picture. And now my anxiety about my car seems justified since my car being compromised became real on Thursday. But truth be told... I'm over it. I know everyone deep down inside thinks there shit don't stink but honestly, I'm proud of myself. I remember one of the first pitstops Ian and I took to Seattle from PDX (for the superbowl) we stopped in the sketchy gas station in Yakima and I was not having it. He has been great by the way- completely patient and understanding of my 'bubble' and unreasonable uncontrollable fears- reading my mood before I can. He turns to me, "I think sometimes you're genuinely scared of the general public." Not only was he spot-on, I begged him to find a McDonalds somewhere to use the restroom just because our chances of being shot there are less likely. And so, he obliged and since then I've used his phrase.

I think when I get anxious about my situation I can instantly see a scary movie unfold, very ironic since I don't like scary movies, but that is exactly where my mind goes. Perhaps that is the director/theatre critic in me, but when we were in that gas station I saw faces reflected on the mirrors hanging from the ceiling at their creepy angles. I found myself remembering I left my cell in the car so I was definitely going to be stranded and then panicked when I realized there wasn't even good coverage to duck and take cover. I sped through the scene within a second all while waiting for the restroom to clear up. I know, Leonard Hoffstadter... it is hell inside my head. 

But what I'm getting at is how easily I can envision these over the top moments for a scary movie and freak myself out. And that's exactly what happened on Thursday. Walking up to my car on the street felt like a scary movie....early morning and it was still dark, the street lamp only illuminated parts of the street, I saw glass shattered in the road, saw a familiar beanie by my tire... I was just waiting for the perpetrator to hop out of my backseat with his crowbar and beat me to death. But once I took a breather, made a couple phone calls (which no one answered btw lol), I just said F it, got in my car, and went to work. That's usually not how the scary movie ends.

And now, I'm grateful.

Yes, I really did mean that. Believe me- that surprised me too.
I was proud how quickly I moved to the "sunk cost" stage. I didn't even call the cops- I submitted a report online before I went to bed that night. I even thought through the suspect's stream of consciousness and didn't take pity but yet forgave them. Whoever it was legitimately stole coats from my car. These coats I had washed for our backroom team at work (hadn't been washed in ages) and they were specifically freezer jackets to keep people warm while working in cold areas. All I could think was-- welp, there sure are some cozy warm hobos in downtown Portland now! Since I was two minutes late to work I instantly apologized to the team and told them was happened and the best respond that I keep replaying in my head was, "Well, they probably needed them more than we did..."

On Easter, Ian and I went to a church here in PDX and the Pastor was not only relatable, his sermon was talking about how we lock ourselves in. Why do we lock doors? What are we trying to keep out? What are we protecting? I struggled with this message because ever since I've moved down here I keep thinking about my car, my things, my apartment getting broken into... I'm SO anxious and I've lived in this fear of what is mine I don't want taken from me... But this isn't the way to live. I thought I've accepted the things that I cannot change but perhaps I still can't identify the difference for I've found peace in letting go. Now that my car has been broken into-- one of my worst fears has happened and I am that much stronger and ready for the next struggle I have yet to endure. I don't necessarily want to leave my door wide open saying "take our TV while your at it" but what I own and my things aren't everything to me in this world. My car still runs and I got to work just fine. There are people with less who are also doing just fine.

There's this questionably homeless person on the exit I take to my apartment. One day (ironically coming back from washing the freezer jackets at a laundry mat on Mississippi) I saw the same woman again with his sign saying, "I only need $8 to get yadda yadda yadda" and I pulled out a ten and rolled down my window. Since that day, I've now seen her almost every day, same spot, same time, same sign. Not going to lie, I felt idiotic and kind of wanted to point honk my horn and say LIAR! but I didn't, because there's more important things to focus on. Now, after my car was broken into, I had the uneasiness of what if she was wearing one of my freezer jackets from my car. Or if I ran into anyone on the street where I live wearing one of those jackets! I felt the anxiousness seep in but it quickly surpassed as I realized how I would intrinsically act. I would pull out another ten, roll down my window again, and tell her that I recognize that jacket but I forgive her.

Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behaviors. Forgiveness keeps them from destroying your heart.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And most importantly, don't do drugs. I've got this running suspicion that a good chunk of this demographic are where they were because of addictions. Maybe I'm wrong- but I haven't found a research paper on it yet.

 
 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Puyallup, Portland, Pocatello

While I sat in the backseat of her Volvo, a very beautiful wise woman once said, "I still haven't told my mom we're going to the Katy Perry concert in Las Vegas. She'll lecture me about how I should be saving up to buy a new car. But I'd rater spend my money going places with my friends doing things, making memories-- than driving around in a nicer car." 
This is the same lady who made me feel up her Michael Korrs purse so I'd know the true meaning of real leather. She still likes her nice things but she definitely has her priorities in order. 


Along the lines of what Malyssa said, I had the greatest three weekends in a row where I was doing just that. Driving 5+ hours in every direction to see friends from high school, friends from college, and my boyfriend's family for social gatherings we all had a common interest in. The gas money was incomparable to the times I spent with these people who remind me of who I was at a different time in my life and gave me guidance with choices I have today. 
The irony in all of this is that I did not plan it, because the dates of a concert and wedding were predetermined for me, but yet having these weekends back to back gave me insight. 
I am so blessed. 
The people I have always strove to surround myself with are phenomenal people who consistently blow me away. We all pick up right where we left off and know each other off of subtleties that bring us closer. Its the sweet epiphanies I had when talking with Tracy about her Trader Joe's beets that I soon remember all her overwhelming knowledge of health and fitness activities and how she shyly covers up how much she knows. Or your little who throws her head back and laughs and you quickly remember how cute her face always has scrunched up when the jokes are super funny. It's the sweet exchange of banter watching them make breakfast for each other and the cute banter when Sophie claims she's never making Annalise food again because apparently she's too demanding. And it's having a deep conversation about God in a bar. A topic I keep private and can only confide in few about. And finding yourself laughing til four in the morning catching up on all the dirt that has been sitting under the rug for the last couple of months. Even the moments that surprise you as your friend changes the radio to a classical station and you begin discussing the true talent of musicians like Beethoven and the complexity of sonata form... an event I would never have imagined occurring since I was always the music geek in high school and he was prominently known as one of the jocks who knew how to throw a good temper tantrum. And the hilarious change of events when Nicole hops in the car and immediately reaches for the radio, "What the hell are you listening to?!" It's also Malyssa yelling at random gives off the street, "Hey can I get a ride?" because she didn't want to walk to eFresh. And then Ian giving her a piggy back ride since her feet did legitimately hurt. Perhaps its a car bar that literally takes me back to our first years in college. 
It's all these moments that make me smile until my face hurts, talk until I have no voice, and keep talking pictures until I've annoyed the crap out of them that makes me so incredibly blessed to have these people and memories a part of my life. 

PUYALLUP

Sansburn siblings

PTX!








PORTLANDIA























my friends should be models, yeah?








waiting for the max


trying to get on Nic's level. 


going on Hayden's hike...



he's always really thrived when three of his closet girl-friends come over and completely take over his apartment










Walking to the Barrel Room 


Pabst! 



The Baker Wedding!
Kappa Sigma + Alpha Xi Delta





He officially has seen Idaho State! :)


Cute married couple 


during the vows.



PC 09!





my little <3 p="">

I met Roots!



at least four different pledge classes :)




she missed me sooooo much!

never a dull moment, this one

love keekeyookee









At Les Miz at Mystique! Seeing Lakota kill it.