Tag Archives: adventure

Lesson #356: They say bad things happen in 10’s… and 20’s… and 30’s.

7/11/15.

You know when one bad thing happens? And then another? And another? Then so many bad things start happening that you begin to wonder if you’ll ever see the sunlight again through the heap of horrible things piling up on you?

Okay, that was a little bit dramatic.

No tears, but today was definitely rough day.

My external hard drive crashed in the middle of editing a good friend’s wedding video, I had to drop a ton of money on a new drive without even knowing if I would be able to get all the files back, I came across something that I didn’t even know would still hurt, and I was behind on my blog posts, amongst a list of other things. Add in one little thing here and one little thing there, and soon my entire day was a hot mess. About the only good part of it was a phone call with my dad and a huge chocolate chip cookie.

I went to a coffee shop around the corner that I had never been to and did some work alone, and it turns out that my day got a lot better with just that small action. It was just distracting enough, but it also gave me the space to think.

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I typed up a little list of some things that I learned.

1. Be gentle. With the things you handle, and with yourself.

2. Outlines work on everything and anything. It’s the best way to get organized. Seriously. If you learned nothing else from middle school English class, remember this.

3. Schedule time at least once a week to be alone. And I don’t mean “alone” as in coming home to an empty house or sitting in your living room while your friends or roommates or significant other is out. I mean “alone” as in out doing something alone. Alone, as in surrounded by people. Being purposefully alone. Re-centering yourself in the presense of other bodies is a very powerful, refreshing, and empowering thing. You’re not tucked away in the usual comfort of your own mind as you sit on the couch; you’re just ever so slightly aware of what’s happening around you, and you’re forced to be in tune with yourself. You’re out, and you’re doing your own thing. You’re spending time with you.

4. I’ve come to a resolution about a certain thing, and the resolution is that it’s just not going to hurt any less. I don’t mean it’s going to hurt forever—because it can’t. But I know that right now, and for a very long time, it’s not going to hurt any less without action. I need to seriously separate myself for a while, or it will never get better. T-swift said that bandaids don’t fix bullet holes, and that’s the truth. But what she didn’t tell us (until next single) is that you can’t keep putting bandaids over open wounds. I need to accept that it hurts and work to get past it by creating space. As I’ve said in a previous lesson, realizing something is a completely different lesson than actually executing what you’ve learned. But at least I’ve gotten as far as the first one. Wish me luck.

5. When I spoke to my dad today, he reminded me of the most true and fundamental thing we need to remember. Bad things that happen to us—and even the bad things that we bring on ourselves—will only make us stronger and better. You can’t afford to get all frustrated over it. You have to take it as it is, learn from it, and know what to do next time. It’s as simple as that.

I’ve learned so much about myself today. How I become hesitant and introverted when I go into crisis mode; how tough I can be, but how fragile I am too. I realized that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I realized that I am confident and independent, but I sometimes rely on others for answers that I need to find myself. I realized that it’s okay to rely on others for a push sometimes, but NEVER for validation. I learned I am meek and shy when it comes to being wrong, but regardless, I always admit when I am. I learned that I am most discombobulated and frantic and not myself, not when I’m stressed, but when I’m nervous. And all of these are things I want to work on.

As we get closer and closer to Day 365, I’ve realized that the good times teach us something wonderful, but the hard times aren’t just hard—they teach us something as well. There is no good feeling that comes with mess-ups, mishaps, or moments gone wrong. But the greatest feeling that rises from it all, is the feeling of a lesson learned; of a little piece of betterment for ourselves.

Use it to carry on.

Day 356.

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Lesson #342: The city is the cure.

6/27/15.

After taking on a day’s worth of beautiful places—I’m pretty sure I found the cure-all to bouncing back from a stress-filled week and refreshing a cloudy mind.

The city.

Today we hopped on the metro bright and early (half of us weren’t awake) and headed towards Hollywood. We started out with the usual tourist attractions—the Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood stars and handprints—and made our way across town. We passed incredible street art, walked through the Walt Disney Concert Hall, took a coffee break and an impromptu tour of the Biltmore Hotel where a 1940s Oscars ceremony was held, dropped by Perishing Square, visited Union Station, went to a few famous film locations (500 Days of Summer, anyone?), and had incredible and authentic tacos, beans, and rice at Grand Central Market. The ice-cream we treated ourselves to for desert was the cherry on top of the day thus far.

Our last stop was a quaint but lively area called El Pueblo, a hispanic corner in the city. Live upbeat music filled the streets and colorful flags were strung from lamp to lamp. Little shops and stands with food, clothing, and trinkets lined a crowded alleyway. I had a lovely time finding teeny presents for my loved ones back home, and learning about the culture behind the items from the stand owners. I even found a cute little wishing well, and #blessed my tiny coin as it made its way to the blue bottom of the fountain.

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Taken by the wonderful LA roomie, Alejandra Buitrago.

People were everywhere.

Of course, as soon as we got there, I immediately made my way towards the dancing and music. I pulled my friends Lexie and Christine into the commotion, and we began to salsa—horribly. A small, adorable older man in a red shirt approached us and started dancing with me. We shimmied together and shook our hips and danced and laughed as the crowd surrounding us got larger and larger and pulled out their cameras.

Today was literally the happiest I’ve been all week.

It’s funny and strange to think that I almost didn’t come, because I have so many things to do.

This week, I’ve felt a little out of my element.

Obviously I’m in a completely different city across the country.

But in addition to being in new surroundings and new situations, I’ve felt more than stressed out trying to find a balance between getting things done (this blog, my youtube documentary series, homework, and a freelance project) and having the time of my life in LA.

I couldn’t quite pinpoint why I’ve felt so strange, but I now realize that it’s because I let the weight of my tasks weigh me down.

While I still didn’t end up getting much done at all, I learned a lesson that was well worth it.

It’s the moments that we lose ourselves in the things we don’t know, and re-lose ourselves in the things we already know, that we find little pieces of ourselves again.

We find happiness.

The city isn’t the only option. Maybe a trip to the woods, or to the top of the mountains, or a day sprawled out across a field, or on a beach.

But every once in a while, we do need to get outside of ourselves and be around people who are walking the same earth as us.

We need to live.

Today reminded me of one of my favorite lessons I’ve ever written, and I was happy to revisit it in a new light, and in a new place.

Get lost in what’s around you.

Sometimes a day on the town is exactly what we need.

Day 342.

Lesson #311: I came for a short time, but a sweet time.

5/29/15.

I’ve only had about two and a half weeks at home.

At first, I was a little upset.

How was that supposed to be enough time to see my family and friends and get ready before I leave for an entire summer?

But now that I’ve reached the end of my time and get ready board my flight in three hours,

I’ve realized that this was actually the perfect amount of time.

It wasn’t too long, and it wasn’t too short.

It was sweet.

I’ve probably done more in two and a half weeks then I would have done here over an entire summer.

I shot and went to a wedding, saw and met Andy Grammer, reunited with all of my family for my grandma’s 70th birthday, beached it, spent a few nights out on the town, met a few new people, saw all my friends instead of putting it off and never doing it, got a tattoo, and a ton more.

Every moment became precious.

It’s not like i’m going off forever—at least not yet—but I think it’s just the whole concept of leaving what you know behind and saying goodbye, even if just for a little bit, that makes everything so valued and adored and cherished.

A shorter time means a sweeter time.

Of course, not everything gets done.

In fact, there’s a list of things I still haven’t done and a list of people I still haven’t seen—and now won’t now until August.

But what in life is ever completely done, or finished?

No amount of time will ever truly feel like enough when we’re spending it with the people we love.

But we have to go off.

We have to leap.

All I know is, I’ve had a heck of a good time.

And I can’t wait to see what this LA adventure and these last 54 days bring.

See you on the west coast ;)

Day 311.

Lesson #307: Leap.

5/24/15.

Take a leap of faith.

In fact, keep taking leaps of faith.

One right after the other.

Go out on a limb. Step over the edge.

Say it. Be it. Overcome it.

Do it afraid.

And never stop.

I promise you,

9 times out of 10, you won’t regret it.

Instead, you will be proud of yourself for doing what you were most afraid of—no matter how it turns out.

That’s what I’ve learned time after time.

And I guess now I have proof.

It’s my first tattoo.

Take a leap of faith.

You’d be surprised where it lands you.

Day 306.

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Lesson #295: Oh brother.

5/12/15.

Before the day escapes me,

I have to tell you about the conversation my brother and I had in the car the other day.

Now, my little brother is the definition of a wild child.

He was crazy in high school. Smoking, drinking, partying—all that teenage stuff.

Me? Eh. Not so much. You could catch me hanging out after school in the Student Council clubhouse or on stage with the Drama Club—and if you were lucky—getting tipsy after Prom.

When we were little, I didn’t like him very much. He used to tug on my ponytails and fart in my face.

It’s safe to say we’ve gotten past that point now.

After him being away in Florida for some time, and me being away at school, my little-not-so-little brother and I have developed a much deeper relationship than we’ve had in the past. From sharing funny vines through text messages, to hanging out when we’re both at home on breaks, to getting Taco Bell at Happy Hour—I’ve actually talked to him, and figured out that he’s not half bad.

He’s actually a pretty cool guy.

In the past, discussing our differences usually involved a lot of yelling and being misunderstood. But for the first time in our lives, we can actually discuss and reflect on our differences civilly—and even find similarities.

On the car ride, we talked about growing up, where we are in our lives now, and about making moves for our future.

About half-way through the conversation, I turned to him and asked, almost rhetorically: “Will I regret it?”

“What?” He said.

“Like, I don’t know. Not going crazy? Not being all wild, and getting plastered every weekend, and sleeping around?”

I know. These actually words came out of my mouth. But I continued.

“Will I regret not taking advantage of it while I can? Before I have responsibilities and a family and bills and kids?”

I’ve always been labeled as the “good” and “innocent” and “responsible” one.

But it’s safe to say I have my fun.

I’ve had my nights over the toilet. I’ve danced on tables. I’ve kissed a few frogs (though—surprise—they never turn out to be princes). But honestly, I’d much rather spend my Saturday night sitting at home with my face in a book, or my eyes glued to Netflix, or hanging out with friends. It’s funny, because I’m the farthest thing from shy or quiet. But I’d much rather be laying in my bed or out with friends than to be sweating at some frat house.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sweating and touching random people at a frat house can be fun—if you’re into that kind of thing.

But my version of fun is adventure. I’m not talking about sailing across the ocean or climbing a mountain. But just trying new things. Reading a new book. Exploring the city with friends. Going somewhere I’ve never been, or taking a spontaneous road trip. I like finding fields and looking up at the stars, or getting lost somewhere and just going with it.

I’ve never gone what one might call… crazy. I’ve never had that period in my life where I just went absolutely bananas. Who knows—maybe I’m speaking too soon. But I’ve just always been this way. Sometimes, it concerns me. Am I missing out? I don’t know. That’s why I asked my brother, the expert on it all.

Will I regret it?

Who knew the guy could be so wise.

He didn’t hit me with a “YES! DO IT! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!” or a “No. Why fuck up now?”

He hit me with this.

“Here’s my thing. If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. If it does, do. Regret doesn’t matter.”

And maybe that’s what it’s all about.

“Living it up” doesn’t equate to “Going crazy while you can.”

It never has.

Living it up means doing what makes you happy with your time on this earth, no matter what that may be. No matter where you’re at in your life.

Who cares what you think you’re missing out on? Who cares what you think you’ll regret?

If it makes you happy, do it.

If it doesn’t, don’t.

Honestly, I often feel a little bit out of place sometimes. But that’s okay. Because what makes me not like most people makes me happy. And that’s all that matters.

It’s funny how distance can bring you closer.

Little brother might just know best.

Day 295.

Lesson #268: What are you doing today?

4/15/15.

A few days ago my dad texted me this:

“Good afternoon my BEAUTIFULLLLLL Princess. What are u going to do today to make it a wonderful day? I love you.”

Isn’t he the cutest?

I know it happened a couple of days ago, and I promised to write a lesson each and every day about something that inspired me or encouraged me or made me think that very day—but this is different.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

How wonderful is this?

We wish people a good day, or a better day. We say good morning, or good afternoon, or good night.

But how often is it that we are actively encouraging? Not just wishing greatness upon people, but encouraging them to create greatness for themselves? Saying to them—”You can do this, and I’m right here beside you”?

I just have to take a moment to acknowledge how absolutely lucky I am to have such an incredible father in my life. He doesn’t just love me, but encourages me and believes in me too.

Can you be that for someone today?

Can you be that for yourself?

As my dad would say:

“What are you doing to make today wonderful?”

Day 268.

Lesson #267: What I learned from actually thinking I was invincible from rain

4/14/15.

1. Check the weather

2. Note the rain

3. Actually listen

4. Wear the appropriate shoes

5. Avoid regret

Lesson 267.