A Taste of Summer

“I left home but there’s one thing that I still know,
It’s always summer in my heart and in my soul.”

— Yellowcard, “Always Summer”

We stood at the top of the hill on Shoreline Drive and I started to remember all of the people I’ve seen skate down it.  I once saw some guy walk up from the beach and ride down the hill on a skateboard with a surfboard in hand.  If he could do that, it’d be easy-peasy for me.  Or, at least, that’s what I tried to think.

I thought we were just gonna go for an easy ride through the park.  It was dusk on a Monday evening and we had followed my parents to the park on their evening walk.

The cruise through the park was nice – there was a little hill I managed to skate through (after stopping and telling everyone I was scared).  Now, we were standing at the crest of a larger hill at the edge of Shoreline Park.

Lex went first.  He was always the brave one even when we were younger.  He pushed off the ground and rode his tiny skateboard down the hill, weaving back and forth between bike lanes in a wave motion.

Eugene followed.  I saw him bail out about half-way down.  That was always an option.

Then Niko and I stood at the hill’s crest.

I put my board on the ground and Niko muttered to himself, “I can do this,” while he put Freelines on the ground and pushed off.

We rushed down the hill.  The pavement was really rocky and made loud scraping sounds as the plastic wheels on my board turned.  I jumped off of my board half-way down and chased it for a little bit as gravity took it further towards the flat part before the hill.

Niko and I kept getting back on and then jumping off when we felt like we were losing control until we reached the place where Lex and Eugene were waiting.

As I walked back up the hill with Niko and Lex and Eugene, I felt excited that I actually tried going down the hill.

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That evening felt like the beginning of summer.  Not because of the longer day or the fact that it’s June. I was spending time with good people, enjoying the everlasting sunshine, and having a sort-of adventure down the hill.

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An Anniversary Poem

"anniversary"

the road runs underneath us
and orange lights pass
through the windows of our car
as we drive home

you sleep in the 
passenger seat

and i drive and drive 
and think about that day

we wore our best -
a tux and a white dress

and we stood before 
a crowd of people

i told you that 
i'd love you
for better or worse

i told you that i'd love you
for all the days
of your life

and you held your 
left hand out to me

and i slipped a golden ring
around your fourth finger

you smiled 

(i think the whole world 
lights up when 
you smile
by the way)

and as we drive down 
this road

i think about that smile
and all the smiles 
and tears and laughter and anger
i've seen since then

i will drive and drive and 
i will wait eagerly

to see that whatever comes
when you wake

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for my parents, who have taught me that love requires dedication, patience and sacrifice, and that there are no limitations to what love can do. happy anniversary!

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The Year in Transition

“Will I be something?
Am I something?

And the answer comes:
I already am.
I always was.
And I still have time to be.”

— Anis Mojgani, “Here Am I”

 

Things can get a little crazy during graduation time...

Things can get a little crazy during graduation time…

I’ve been seeing a lot of news coverage of graduation commencement speeches.  Sandra Bullock surprised a senior class at a New Orleans high school with a short address and Charlie Day yelled at the Class of 2014 at Merrimack College.  They gave certain advice to graduates such as:

  • Bet on yourself
  • Don’t pick your nose in public
  • Make your own opportunities
  • Leave the house with a skip in your step
  • Don’t give a shit about what people think

Of course, seeing all of these commencement videos reminds me of my own graduation, which took place a year ago.

We didn’t have a super famous person come to our school.  I kind of remember that he was a pretty successful entrepreneur and that he talked about Hurricane Sandy.  But I don’t remember really what his advice to us was.

I do remember being scared and sad for a lot of weeks after graduation.  Scared that I was back at home to no job prospects or graduate school prospects.  Sad that I left the happy, comfortable home I made in San Diego with my friends.  Life had just become fifty times more confusing than it was before I got a diploma.

Despite all the wisdom and advice that people tried to pass on to me, I did not take chances or do something crazy.  I didn’t move across the country to start a new life.  I didn’t join the Peace Corp.  I played it safe.

My life is pretty simple as of now because of this.  I have two part-time jobs now, meaning that I make my own money and am able to slowly pay off my student loans.  I live in my childhood home.  I am surrounded by the love and support of my family and friends.  I live in a town that just declared a stage two drought condition and I live with two dogs.

I have career and life goals, but you don’t need to hear more about them.

I’ve realized that I can talk about my goals over and over again, but the thing that really matters is what I’m doing right now to make them happen.

When I graduated, I thought that I had to be doing something amazing right now, one year after graduating.  I actually know some people from my class who are doing the extraordinary.  Some of my classmates are in the Peace Corp and some have moved or plan to move far away from their homes to start a new career.  But I’m not them.

So what am I doing right now?  What am I going to do after I finish this blog post?  Will I keep marathon-ing television shows that I’ve watched before on Netflix?  Will I ever finish that story I’ve been working on?  Will I go take pictures of those purple trees that I saw yesterday?

Probably neither of these things.  I will probably put on my shoes, do my make-up, and go to work, where I will be picking up half-eaten string cheese from the ground and getting tear stains on my jeans.

While it’s not glamourous (I don’t think taking care of children will ever be anything close to it), I have the job for a reason, and until further notice, it’s what I’m doing now.  And I can’t really picture myself doing anything else at this moment.

It doesn’t really matter if what I’m doing right now is amazing or not.  Because there are a lot of amazing things ahead for me that I’m building towards.

And all I have to do is concentrate on what I’m doing now.

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Peaceful Hotel Hangout

Poolside hangout with the bestie.  

Poolside hangout with the bestie.

There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned stay-cation to get shake up my routine.

This week, I had the opportunity to take myself on a little road trip to Los Angeles to reunite with friends and my boyfriend.

I love road trips.  I love just jumping in the car and actively propelling myself towards a destination.

The drive to LA is nice because it’s a short drive, only an hour and a half and it’s usually sunny and warm so I can roll the windows down and open up the sun/moon roof.  Yes, the traffic is terrible in the area, but it’s not too bad if I leave at the right time.

While I stayed in Glendale, I spent most of the day driving around the city and meeting up with my friends at different places.

They were attending a concert on Tuesday night, so we spent the whole day at their hotel downtown, the JW Marriot Los Angeles LA Live.  I was worried about parking, but it was actually an ok time for me – it was a weekday morning, so I probably should not have worried so much.

We spent the morning poolside.  It was bright and then cool, but it was peaceful.  It was nice to do nothing and to talk about random things with trusted friends.

Plenty of clouds floated through the sky on Tuesday. 

Plenty of clouds floated through the sky on Tuesday.

Why does she have to live 2,000 miles away?

Why does she have to live 2,000 miles away?

I also creepily took pictures as they got ready for their concert.  I loved the light in the room…

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After I left them to do their thing at their concert, I drove back to Glendale to spend time with my boyfriend.

As I drove around by myself, I found myself wanting to go to Griffith Park just to stare at the Los Angeles skyline or having the desire to go to a Dodgers game the next time I had the opportunity.

There is definitely something about Los Angeles.  I’d love to live in a big city like this someday, but we will see what happens.

With all this and nostalgia for times when I was surrounded by friends, my head has definitely been filled with plenty of thoughts.  For now, however, I’m still trying to soak up all the peace and quiet of doing no work before my spring break ends.

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