Tuesday, February 21, 2012

California Dreamin'

Today marks the first day in my SoCal adventure, and the second stop on my long journey. I started out at home in Stockton for a few days where I maxed out on family time, good food, and the Newsboys in concert. Now I find myself in sunny Santa Barbara with my little sis. She goes to Westmont College in Montecito and I am visiting her for the first time since she started back in August! The drive to get here reminded me just how beautiful the California landscape is. Most of our 6 hour drive was spent on the 5, but as soon as we got on the 126 and 101 my breath left me as I was surrounded by hills, lush greenery, and soon, the incredible ocean view. Passing through Ventura and Ojai is one of the prettiest sights you'll ever see, and the way the sun was shining through the clouds and hitting the fog on the ocean made it look like an early sunset. (These photos were taken with the Retro Camera app on my cellular.)

 Driving to SB on the 101 North

I am so excited to get out there tomorrow and take some pictures of the gorgeous scenery that surrounds this hidden gem of a campus. A bikeventure is calling my name, and my camera can't wait to be taken along!

Although I've traveled some other countries and seen a reasonable amount of sites, I still cannot forgo my appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us right here at home. We are blessed with snow and surf all in one happy place, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Always look around you and appreciate what is in front of you. And if you can't, find someone who isn't from there and bring them for a visit, they will undoubtedly point out a bit of beauty somewhere that you might have overlooked.

Today' Quote: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases, it will never pass into nothingness." -John Keats

Monday, February 20, 2012

Phase Craze

Everyone in their life goes through many different phases. Depending on where you are living at the time, what grade you are in, what friends you have, or if there is something going on in your life, you can be found in any sort of phase. The number and types of phases that are out there to be experienced are countless, but I daresay that the average number of phases a person goes through in their life is at least three. Upon saying this, I would absolutely love it if you would leave a comment with the phases that you have gone through in your life so I can verify/justify my estimation. The following are the phases that I have had the pleasure of passing through in my almost 23-years:

1. BOSSY Phase- I was an incredibly bossy young child. I struggled with making and keeping friends when I was in K-2nd grades not only because girls at that age are cruel, heartless little brats, but because I was constantly telling people what to do and thinking I had the big[ger] girl pants on than everyone else. Thankfully this phase didn't last too long, or I would undoubtedly be all alone in this life.
2. HYPER-ACTIVE Phase- up until my parents took my to the correct specialists who diagnosed me with A.D.D. I was INSANE. One bite of red licorice would send me bouncing off the walls, jumping on the beds, and have me making snow angels on the floor of the FoodMaxx on a trip with my best friend and her mom (true story). Luckily I was placed on medication before starting 3rd grade, and things got better from there.  
3. FOLLOWER Phase- I switched from the neighborhood public school to a private, Christian school for 3rd-8th grade which only heightened the fact that I was a total follower. I never made up my mind for myself, but instead would wait and see what my bff's decided, and then go with that. My favorite color, choice of clothes, style of shoe, accessories, and activity choice was never my own. The only thing I remember deciding about on my own was who I was crushing on. I wanted so desperately to fit in that I would just like what everyone else did in order to fit in with them. But then I came into my....
4. GOTHIC Phase- that's right. If only I had a picture to depict the horrific splendor that I was in eight grade. All black, all the time. Black eye liner, 10's upon 10's of those stupid, plastic, skinny, sparkly/black/multicolor bracelets stacked upon themselves all the way up my arms, spiky bracelets and belts, those elastic, black choker necklaces that were made to look like a neck tattoo, Converse shoes that were decorated with checkerboards, song lyrics, and other emo designs of my choice, pinstripes drawn on my pink Jansport backpack, covered with pins and patches, and the icing on the cake? The pants from Hot Topic that were more bell-bottomed than in the 70's, zippers that went up from the bottom to reveal red fabric with black hearts, and we all know one can't be goth unless their pants also have those horrendous straps clipped on and dangling around by your knees. Luckily I was in private school and we had a strict dress code, but outside of the school, oh man..I was there to make a statement. One that said, "Eff you world! I hate you, I hate me, and I hate everything." But then Nike's came into my life and I entered my mini-...
5. "GHETTO" Phase- I know I'm from Stockton and infused with a little hood by default, but I really thought I was tough shit for a little while there. I rocked my Nike's and walked around like I could fight, but then I decided I was sick and tired of private schools and opted to go to the public high school. Where I came to realize what I was doing, didn't even scratch the surface of "ghetto." This realization forced me into the...
6. EVERYTHINGMIXEDTOGETHER Phase- Like I said, I opted to go to the public high school in my district, and when I got there I had no sense of who I was. My 8th grade class had about 20 students in it, and I was the only one to go to the high school I did. I knew a few kids from back in my public school days before and reconnected with them through water polo, but I had a lost sense of identity for the first couple months. I didn't have a set style, but instead wore all the clothes I'd been wearing through my other phases. Too bad my parents didn't take pictures of my daily attire. I could have given Joan Rivers a heart attack.
7. PREPPY Phase- I came to realize that I was "a preppy kid" during high school. I was solidly classified as an athlete, but when I wasn't wearing a swimming or water polo tee-shirt, I was wearing Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle, and Old Navy. THANK THE LORD I grew out of that phase just like the rest!

And now, I consider myself to be a blend of everything. I've got a little punk in me, a little prep, but mostly I classify myself as a whole lot hippie, and a little bit hood. Sometimes a fashionista, other times a bum. I am what I am, when I am. :) Be yourself, there's something that you can do that no one else can!

Today's Quote: "Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress." Bruce Barton

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Perhaps Poetry

I love life more than most people can say they do, but I am very nervous and excited to see what my future holds. I always find myself wondering what else is out there, and wanting to constantly be on the move. It will be interesting to see in the future where I end up, and for how long. I've always seen myself as the kind of person who would live and love a travelers kind of life. Living in a new place each year and never settling down too much in one place. I would see it all and do everything, making the most out of each day. I've gotten a taste of what's out there through studying abroad, and can't imagine that I'll stop going till I'm full to capacity with all the culture, language, art, and knowledge that I possibly can get from experiencing other places. The world is a very large place that is often not traveled enough. It needs to be taken advantage of, and I think I am the sort of person to do just that. Going to places not many people have seen before, somehow leaving my mark and trying to make a positive impact on those I encounter along the journey. I'm always thinking, knowing, and wondering what else is out there and what unknown lands are waiting to be explored and discovered.

There's too much ground to cover, 
And I fear not enough time, 
But I fully intend to make the world mine. 

There's so much to see 
And too much to do, 
But time is of the essence for me and for you.

There's age to be consider for we grow tired and weak. 
And ideas and desires may remain vivid,
But our abilities and outlook become somewhat bleak.

But for now I am young, alive, thriving, and strong, 
And I know if I put my mind to it, 
There's nothing that can't be done.

But the world can't wait forever,
And neither can we,
There's adventures to be had, so let's set ourselves free!

Happy Sunday my friends! :) Now go out into the world and make your mark! Make it your goal this week or month to do something out of character. To push yourself to the limit, experience something new, do something that scares the hell out of you!

Today's Quote: "Believe you can and you're halfway there." -Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Coincidentally Connected

I know it is completely out of character for me to write two posts in one day, let alone one week, but I cannot resist writing a short one. One of my closest friends, more like my brother, had left a link on my Facebook page before I started to write my most recent post...

To which I responded with text and another link for him to look at...

He then told me to go look at the video he had posted to our other friend, and when I did, this is what I got...

I about died, and not because Lin Yu Chun gives me goosebumps with his beautiful voice, but because of the sheer coincidence of the situation. This is so typical of my life. My friends and I are beyond meant to be in one another's lives, and it continues to grow more apparent as the time passes. I just had to do another post and share this funny story with you all. (Which you will only really understand if you read my last post.;) And no, he did not share the video after reading my post, it was just another sign from the universe that we're meant to be friends.

Enjoy whatever time of day you're in, and I'll post you tomorrow!

Mash Me Up

I, like every other person I've ever known, LOVE MUSIC! It is one of the things I can honestly say my life would be lacking, boring, and empty without. Music keeps me alive just as much as food and water, and in most cases, gives me a much bigger dose of energy than any espresso. There is a song for any day, any emotion, any situation, and EVERY moment of your crazy life, and can take you to places you've never gone before. "My Heart Will Go On" takes me back to eighth grade in an instant. It was the year my life improved ten-fold and I finally saw Titanic. When I think about or hear that song I see myself standing in the shower belting out the words thinking I was Celine Dion herself. "Peaches & Cream" takes me back to eighth grade also, but in a very different way. It, on the other, more inappropriate hand, takes me back to winter Church camp with my best friend at the time. I see myself walking around the snow covered camp grounds with my hot pink compact disc player in hand, foam ear piece headphones on blast, Adidas sweatpants and doodled Converse shoes on, rapping to myself and playing the song on repeat so I could memorize every last line. (And yes, if you put it or "Fantasy" by Ludacris on, I will still bust out every word.:) When Benny Benassi's "Come Fly Away" catches my ear, I am suddenly in my best friend's Volvo our sophomore year of college. We're driving around Chico playing the music at an annoyingly high level, and letting our voices soar as we have an all-out car dance session. And now, whenever I hear that dirty, filthy, nasty, and delicious Bassnectar, I am taken back to the football field of the community college in South Shore, Lake Tahoe, during SnowGlobe. I see myself gigging harder than I ever have before, feeling the music course through every ounce of my body, making me move to it, feeling every vibration from the bass and drop of the beat thinking, "I hope I don't break my neck from whipping my head around so hard," and being caught up in the intimate experience he and I were sharing (never mind the thousands of others around).

Yes, music is quite an interesting thing. They say a picture's worth a thousand words, but I think that a song is worth much more. A string of memories, an instant rush of feelings, phrases, dance moves, or conversations shared, yup, music is the key to life my friends. And since I have been blessed with such a strong case of A.D.D., it makes sense that one of my favorite genres is mash-ups. They fit who I am and what I am quite perfectly. They're rarely staying the same for very long, but they're always a blend. Taking songs that are from genres as different as water and absinthe, but putting them together to make something incredible and brilliant. Mash-ups are a great way to describe any life. Different pieces of different people, places, things, ideas, cultures, and styles, that all play an important part in the finished product. Hardly ever boring, and generally unexpected, just like my life. :)

So here's a playlist my roomie and I recently discovered on 8tracks.com. It has some of the best mash-ups I've heard in a while, and is sure to put you in a good mood, and take you down memory lane!

Today's Quote: "All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it." Jean Cocteau

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is In The Air

Welp it's that time of year again folks. The day that generates an absurd amount of revenue for the floral, candy, jewelry, card, and all other things romantic, industries. The day when shades of red and pink cover every surface in every supermarket, convenience store, or shop, and you can't escape the cheesy and horrible commercials on TV. Anyone in a relationship will flaunt it to the max, and all those lonely singles out there will wallow and hide, trying to escape the constant reminder that they don't have a lover sending them bouquets of roses and boxes of chocolates. And then there are the select few of us singles, who don't mind at all and are surprisingly content in our solo state.

Sure I say that Valentine's Day is a completely over commercialized crock like everyone else, but let's face it...if I were in a relationship, I would be going all out for the day just like anyone else. Now don't twist my words, this isn't to say that I wish I had that opportunity, I'm just being honest about how all of us singles feel, but are reluctant to say. We say we hate the day, but we know deep down if we had someone to share it with, we wouldn't feel that way. (See what I mean? The V-day spirit has taken over my body and I'm now spitting out rhymes! My gosh they're sneaky!)

I think that the reason I love Valentine's Day so much is because of how great it is when you're growing up. I realize that for some it may not have been a box of warm fuzzies, but in all my classes growing up, everyone had one. It was always so exciting to go to the market with my mom and pick out the Valentine's Day cards that I would be passing out to each of my classmates on the special day. There was always the really big one to give to your special crush, and those that you didn't care for too much to give to those kids you weren't so crazy about. The candy flowed like waterfalls and the buzz in the air was one of excitement and fun. And it was always so great when you realized that no one else had passed out the same cards you did! Ah yes, Valentine's Day is such a grand holiday when we're young, and then we stop showing love to EVERYONE around us, and stop enjoying the day as much. Interesting coincidence, don't you think? I think that for the majority of people, at least in the United States, we will always have some fond memories of this lover's day, and we can try to deny our passion for it as much as we want. But the bottom line is, everyone likes to feel loved, and make others feel loved as well. Enjoy your V-day people, and remember to live each day like it's your last!

Today's Quote: "A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge." -Thomas Carlyle

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Pop Song Kinda Life

I never, ever, ever, ever, ever thought that I would be saying something like this, but....
Britney Spears had it right. 

Phew. Just give me a moment to cope with the fact I just thought that for the thousandth time since I graduated before I continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ok, I think I'm ready now...

But seriously, I really never could have imagined that the pop songs I grew up listening to and loving would come back and actually have some relevance in my later years; let alone be on repeat in my jumbled mind day after day! But since I am at this Crossroads in my life, I have found myself thinking that "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" over and over again. It really is the perfect way to describe where I am.

To emphasize this, here are some facts:
WOMAN: I am now a college grad, which means the next logical step is to begin a career and start the next "adult" chapter of my life.
I cannot hide in the college bubble and just pass off any questions about what I'm doing with my life with the response, "I'm a student." It is no longer a feasible occupation.
Because of this new development in my life (graduating) I am now supposed to be financially responsible for myself and be able to take care of myself.
Before when I would come home for a visit people would ask me how school was going, which turned into questions about if I knew what I wanted to do next, and now, they will be asking what jobs I applied to.

The only problem with all of this is the flip-side...
GIRL: My fingernails are painted three different, neon colors, and my fingers are always decorated with at least 3 or 4 rings.
I still have on my SnowGlobe wristband from new year's weekend, as well as other "hippie" bracelets.
It is impossible for me to make a decision and stick to it, so how the heck am I supposed to settle on a career FOR LIFE!?!
I recently bought some collared, button-up shirts. Step in the right direction? Hah, you would think so! One is covered in skulls, the other is almost a crop-top.
I live in skinny jeans, and up until today I only had one pair of work pants to my name.

See what I mean? I am so NOT prepared for this thing I am deciding to call "the after life."

I know that technically that is the phase I need to enter, and I know I'm not the only one out there to go through this, but I just don't feel like that's what I am supposed to do with my life yet. The biggest struggle I have been facing is that I need to just get over my ideas and dreams about how my life should be (aka what I want it to be), and GET REAL. The only problem there is that while I have always been a very realistic person, I have also always been a very big dreamer. I believe that I can make a difference in the world and help make people realize that world peace is the only option, and that I can just live my life day to day and let things sort themselves out. But I have got to make myself see that a lot of things, I have to sort out on my own.

The time has come for me to just suck it up and deal with the fact that I can only release my young soul on the weekends, while I use the weeks to bring home the bacon and become the young professional I am possibly destined to become. Big changes are coming my way and all I can do is hope and pray that with each stepping stone I reach, my stiletto doesn't slip off the edge! ;)

Today's Quote: "I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." -John Burroughs

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sign Me Up

You know how everyone has their own little things that they're "obsessed" with? Ok, well even if you don't (not sure how...), you're about to. For some it's boats, others it's shoes, for a few it's feet, and others might prefer pasta, wildlife, the ocean, birds, or houses. Everyone has something that they are drawn to and interested in for seemingly no reason, and to be honest, all of the aforementioned are little obsessions of mine (minus the foot thing, sorry if you love em, but that shiz is nastttt). But in this particular case, I'm talking about what people are obsessed with taking pictures of.

Today I went on a walk in the sun to snap some shots, and came to realize that there was a pattern in the objects I was shooting. It made me think about how each person that is known for photography seems to have their niche or certain subject matter that makes them famous or who they are. For me, there is one thing that I have always been fairly fascinated by and desired...signs.

I've always been the kind of person to want a big stop sign in my house, envy my friends who have them or other acquired signs, and spend an odd amount of time photographing/noticing them wherever I go. I'm really not sure what it is about them, but I think it has something to do with all the different colors, symbols, shapes, styles, and meanings that they can be or represent. The one in the picture above caught my eye because it is pretty decrepit looking. I love that a couple of the letters are missing and that the paint is chipped off. (Just ignore the tagging on the back, as I mentioned, these photos were taken during my walk today...in Stockton.) Speaking of my walk, here are more photos that I took while traveling the levy walking path that is near my parents' house, and you'll never guess what they're of ;)

See? They're pretty interesting, right? Ok, maybe not to you, but I enjoy looking at them. :) There are so many variations of signs, and especially fascinating to look at while traveling around different places, at least to me. Everyone has their something, signs just happen to be one of mine. Just another little glimpse into the oddities of my life for ya! And now I retire to bed, I've been fighting this damn cold for a week now and am determined to win! So have a great night, day, or afternoon, and think about it.. what are the strange things you tend to be drawn to in life?

Today's Quote: "A picture is a poem without words." -Horace