Saturday, January 24, 2015


i saw the movie "cake" earlier this evening.

{though by the time this posts, it would have been yesterday, but...}

i actually really liked it, but in ways that i hadn't expected.

i went into the movie not knowing that the main character, claire,
is a grieving mother.

there were moments that resonated with me and my own personal
experience with the grief of a mother.

i didn't think a whole lot of it.

and then i drove away.
and as i approached home, some old insecurities arose in me.

and before i knew it i was in tears, parked outside, with boyfriend
on the other line -- he was completely aware of why i was crying.

and god bless him for being a secure and encouraging and loving
enough man to deal with me -- especially when my emotions are
irrationally high.

but that was that.
today wasn't bad -- not even a little bit.

and the movie, well the movie is worth it if you have a quirky
sense of humor and are inclined to watch someone grieve in their
own peculiar way.

and remembering -- well, remembering isn't that bad, either.
it hardly ever brings tears.
but when it does, i am reminded that some friendships come and go --
though it must be permissible to hold onto moments and memories that make
you feel something that once significantly moved, inspired, grew or challenged you.

so that's what cake did this evening -- for me, anyway.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

a mirror moment

i overheard someone say something about me just a while ago.
it wasn't anything bad -- but it was the truth, so it stung a bit.

and there was no animosity behind it, i know that full well.
though i couldn't help but feel my eyes well up as the truth of the
words poured over and over in my mind and through my ears.

it was one of those mirror moments when you see yourself
reflected in someone else, in the way that they regard you.

and it totally sucks.
it makes you feel like a whole lot of shit,
and it makes you overanalyze everything about yourself -- which is both
good and bad {not the feeling like shit part, but the analyzing part}.

for my first two years of college i struggled with being alone in a room with myself
for more than an hour.
in oregon, i spent my money buying tea from multiple coffee shops
and make-up and snacks from walgreens just to waste the time.

in orange county i used to waste my gas taking long roads home,
or spend my time {multiple times a week} walking through malls and buying
clothing that i wouldn't even end up wearing.

i literally couldn't stand the thought of being alone in my room because
i couldn't bring myself to face the way i felt about myself.

i could blame it on a past relationship and how it left me feeling hollow in oregon.
i could even blame it on the ways that friends were either brutal with their words or absent
from the friendship.

but those excuses don't suffice because words are words and people are people, and you've just got to learn to replace the words and make more friends -- doing what needs to be done to get through happily.

last semester i had to face myself once again.
the first night here i couldn't stand the silence but i knew it could work itself out -- maybe.
i freaked out by morning and drove home.
it would take several meltdowns and refusals to return to school before i stopped
crying each time i left home.

i was so terrified of being alone.

and then, something amazing happened.
i slept well every single night i was here.
my anxiety plummeted,
and -- what's more -- i learned the art of being alone.
no tv noise. no music. no people -- just solidarity at it's purest.

and doing so was the biggest struggle.
i learned to see my single reflection in the windows when it was dark
and my roommate was gone for the night, and actually basked in my new found ability.

i no longer dreaded sleep.
i hadn't relied on sleeping aids to find that peace.
and i didn't feel like the rest of the world was having fun without me.


however, it's been a full week now of being back and something is up,
and the lonesomeness isn't knocking like it used to but there remains a tinge
of discomfort in the way i feel i'm in the way.

the way my acceptance of solitude seems to feel strange when i accept it in front of others:
my willingness to come home in the evenings and be content with staying in and not feeling like
i need to buy something, or drive somewhere, or find someone to make my discomforts ease for a limited time.

i'm kind of pissed about it.

but i'm also asking god if he's trying to teach me something else.

he once told me that he was getting me away for a while so that he could
draw nearer to me, and i to him.
i can recall feeling the pain of knowing that he was bringing me into a sort of isolation.

but now, it's as though he's pulling me out of that and into something far more uncomfortable -- and hearing someone call me for what i am, in such a brief amount of words, really hit me.

a mirror kind of hit.

i'm desperately trying to be the best version of myself.
more selfless, more flexible, more grateful, more filtered, more christ-like.
but it doesn't feel to be working.

and i'm kind of pissed about that, too.
but when am i not telling god that i'm pissed about what he's doing?

{for real, though, i only tell him sometimes and it's usually when i'm
being more dramatic than usual. but i do enjoy expressing even my ugliest
emotions to him because he's a big god, he can take it}

here's to change and growing up, and letting god stretch you.
he's so wonderful but stretching isn't! haha

happy tuesday!

Monday, January 19, 2015

life & love and the art of loving and leaving for self.

i had one of those blast-from-the-past moments last night
when a friend of mine from oregon contacted me to tell me
two things: one of which constituted as a past blast.

this post is a letter to all of the girls who read this blog --
on the importance of staying true to self, saying what you need to say, and knocking and shutting the doors when you please.

from, a girl who shut the door and did indeed find love eventually.


when i left oregon i left on what i always called "an award note" with a guy that i had liked for
a majority of the school year.

for two years i have never known what -- if anything -- he thought about the situation. but, eighteen months into a relationship and it's safe to say i haven't cared about the circumstance since boyfriend walked into my life.

but life is a funny thing.
and choices are funny, fickle little {HUGE} things.

when i left oregon i felt i had so many reasons to pack up and say goodbye.
there was only one thing that really made me question my then-impending transfer:

a boy.

i can recall the numerous times i told my mom and my friends:
if he'd ask, i'd stay. i'd live in oregon again.

i meant it -- at the time.
but he played games,
and, according to him, i played games that he
just couldn't play along to,
and i gave off signs that he just couldn't read.
and -- also -- i'm complicated
but i've always known this.

the truth is, sometimes someone will feel so right for you --
yes you, all single girls and taken girls.
sometimes he'll be smooth
or clever
or witty
or charming
or brainy
or funny
or musical
or athletic
or godly
or not,
and you'll fall for all of it.
i did.

every last bit of it --
bullshit and all,
sincerity and all.
it'll just happen.

and then, one day -- perhaps --, you'll come to a fork in the road
where neither decision seems wrong but you know that neither
will end up anything like the other -- and that, if they're not wrong,
then perhaps you're missing out on something a hell of a lot better than the next.

the truth?

you're not.

when i left oregon, i was at a fork.
not just with the guy who -- what felt like -- had my heart.
i was at a fork in the road with myself entirely, and he just happened
to be another type of choice that felt like my whole life depended upon it.
i severally questioned whether or not leaving oregon meant leaving someone,
not just him, that i was meant to marry.
i battled the questions:

does he like me?
does he not like me?
is he "the one"? -- as so many people ask at these christian universities.
is someone else "the one"?

i got my answer the day i left the state.
the day i wandered around outside, in between loading my car,
waiting to see if he'd see me leave, and whether or not he'd care.

i honestly can't remember whether i saw him that day or not.
it was one of those days that was significant only in that afternoon,
but never again afterwards.

i fell in love just months later and that was that.

so -- almost two years later and -- one of those friends i once vented to contacted me yesterday with
"a funny story" of how he had told her in the car that he and i left off on one of those
"awkward notes." in her words, he kind of laughed at the fact that he "lost a shot" with potentially dating me.

i laughed too, when she told me, because it reminded me at the humor of timing of life.
he missed nothing -- in fact, he gained a million shots by not having one with me.

i used to be so incredibly caught up in the idea of "the one" that i scrutinized and tested, even pushed away, so many guys that were/are great -- all because i didn't know whether they were "the one" or "right for me."

but do you know what?
i've come to believe that there are no soul mates, no "the one's," no "meant to be's."

and before you call me a pessimist, hear me out.
i believe that there exists what "is."
if something is, it is.

sure, decisions in life are crucial because they determine everything -- even the most minuscule of things. but, trust me when i say that leaving a state feeling like you're leaving behind the greatest guy ever has little to no validity in it.

because if he was so great for you then he would have told you so himself.
and if you were able to know that in full truth, then perhaps you never would have left.

there might be a million forks in the road in your life -- maybe there'll only ever be just one.

but believe me when i say that love and a best friendship exists with and beyond what might be before you.

life is funny for me because i've lived in two states,
gone to three universities,
and had three {four if you count what happened at home, prior to college}
opportunities to change my life and choose the other sides of the forks in the road.

but, with all apprehension, i kept choosing for me and not for the guys who either had it all or seemed to have it all.
and my life changed -- for the better.

i didn't miss out on "the one" --
i actually found someone who very well might be "my one"
and i love him for it.

it's scary to be in love or to want love, and to feel like your entire life depends on that one person and whether or not they reciprocate everything you're feeling.

the reality is that it's got to come from you -- mostly god -- but from you is good, too.
you've got to use your voice and talk your self through it
and say all the things that they say you're not suppose to say.

when i learned to get better at just accepting the way people acted towards me,
and when i learned to act on behalf of myself and not other people,
and when i started to lack the filter on my mouth,
i began to learn that my difficult choices weren't cutting up my life, they were crafting it.

oregon crafted me in so many ways.

when i left newberg on that sunny afternoon i hoped and looked and hoped that he would stop
me in my tracks {what, was i living in a move? haha}
and he didn't.

and as funny as it is to look back at yourself and think well isn't life funny when you know the other side of things?
i also see it all as a blessing.

saying no.
having no said to you.
feeling the pangs of heartache.
feeling uncomfortable, and irrational.
saying things that sound a little crazy.
and maybe feeling like love might not happen,
are all things that indicate that you're searching for it, and that you're
doing so in your way and in life's time.

when i went along with life's time, i found someone who wasn't up for games, either.
in fact, he wasn't even up for even allowing me to play games around him.
he still isn't.

and that's why i've stayed.
even when i haven't been sure if we're "meant to be"
i've learned to stay for me and for him.
i've learned to say everything that needs to be said for me,
and i've spoken up for myself at the forks in the road.

and sometimes you've got to shut some doors and walk out others.
and sometimes you don't have to knock at the door to find your best friend.
sometimes, he's already knocking.
you've just got to answer.

and, perhaps, it's love.
goodness, i hope it's love.
because it's wondrous when it's found.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

ten p.m. thoughts

tomorrow's the first day of class sessions and i thought that tonight i would come home to a new roommate {yikes} -- but, so far, no one {even though i know that someone should show up sometime this week}. i'm hoping that she doesn't arrive sometime within the hour because i'm exhausted and half awake and already in bed {because i'm super lame and love my granny-hours of sleep!}

the whole concept of roommates has always been weird for me.
the introvert in me immediately wants to crawl within my shell and i think of
the million and one ways i can be absent from my room, while also hoping that
whoever the girl is prefers to go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour.


the optimist in me is hoping that this particular situation will go as well as
last spring's situation -- because gina is still one of the dearest people to me.

i'm sure she's great and i look forward to a new friendship -- most especially since
i still feel pretty new at the university -- but, can i just be honest and say that i am beyond
over the whole college-dorm-on-campus-housing thing. i mean, i know that the school isn't
necessarily making me live here, but i'm over it, nonetheless. i live in a studio-setting {IN A HOTEL, i might add} and i'm about to share it with a total stranger.

god has a sense of humor, because this year i prayed that he would teach me grace --
not to say that i'm not one to give grace, but i feel that every area of my life probably needs
some improving, and grace seems like a good lesson to learn.

the funny thing about god is that he doesn't hand his children qualities or successes or over-comings
-- he builds a scenario that uses the desired quality as a challenge.

hence why he's placed a variety of individuals in my life.

the lessons and the grace and the love he gives always astound me.
but sometimes i have to roll my eyes as i say "okay, god, i'm giving this one to you."

here's to a new semester! and new friends! and resolutions! and a whole lot of god-given grace!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

him & her // he & i

him: true sushi lover
her: hates all fish {until he showed me california rolls}
both: lovers of macaroni & cheese

him: breaking bad & how i met your mother
her: a shameless reality tv binger {until he introduced her to the best of netflix}
both: can agree on just about any show

him: marvel movies
her: an education, tree of life, rabbit hole {anything dreary or drama}
both: can sit through a superhero movie at the theaters and a weird independent film on the couch

him: berkeley
her: three little schools
both: want to be doctors in their own way

him: science & numbers
her: writing & books
both: want to write a story together someday

him: athlete / football captain
her: asb president & theater lover
both: were entirely involved in school

him: two brothers, one sister
her: two sisters, one brother
both: love her triplet cousins

him: a human heater
her: hates to be hot
both: lovers of cool weather

him: loves breakfast burritos
her: loves pancakes {he hates pancakes}
both: love making breakfast together

him: tries to get her to dance
her: hates to dance
both: feel comfortable freestyle rapping together

him: loves rap music
her: loves indie and folk music
both: attended two indie concerts and one JT concert last year;)

him: lives in a big city
her: wishes she could live in a big city
both: want to live anywhere in the world with one another

him: dogs
her: cats & dogs
both: agree on a cat named wednesday and a dog named barkeley

him: wrote her three hundred and sixty-five love notes for christmas
her: bought him all marvel gifts
both: usually buy one another mike n ikes

him: invests in videogames
her: invests in clothing
both: he bought her dream madewell bag and she agrees to play him on super smash bros

him: night owl
her: early bird
both: wish they slept way more than they actually do during school

him: wears tons of flannels
her: boots & scarves
both: love converse

he & i -- our likes and dislikes make us that much better for one another.

good night


Thursday, January 1, 2015

a god-honest truth and a happy new year

two days ago i told boyfriend something that i had been thinking for a bit of time.
it's something that every body asks about when you've been dating for a while,
and it's a question that i typically answered with sarcasm and skepticism.

my words tend to contradict my heart.
somewhere along the lines in two thousand fourteen i mastered the
art of dishonesty yet again.

i learned how to be one person while portraying another --
and this usually came in the form of me acting much tougher and far
more brazen than i am inside.

i'm not trying to say that i've been living the life of a major liar,
all i mean is that i have deprived myself {even those around me}
of saying how i feel, in a way that is truest to who i am.

i know that if and when people do look at me intently, they see through
it all.

and i tend to warn people that i am entirely immature.

but still, all last year i know that i went further into a pattern of
just playing up my persona that didn't resemble the persona i wish for myself.

i'm far more softer, sensitive, broken, strong, naive, inexperienced, and concerned for others
than i oftentimes choose to exhibit.

i've been this way with boyfriend.
and with the answers to "that" question.

but between he and i--and between you and i {if you're at all catching on to what i'm saying}--
i was finally honest about that answer.
and i told him that i want to leave the past officially in the past, and no longer allow it to hinder
me in the relationship he and i have.

he and i agree that as great as it is to aim towards a future that is filled with intention, it is even more crucial to be in the present and to be concerned about how intentional, concerned and aware we are currently being.

we agreed that our plans can always change and that hurt is a possibility, but that leaping into hoping and praying and feeling the happiness that comes with the next step in our relationship is the best thing.

so, rather than protecting myself with sarcasm and doubt and "maybe's" and eye-rolls and the whole annoying-tough-girl-act, i'm just going to let the final wall{s} down, once and for all -- fingers crossed!

it is a god-honest truth that i am an honest person who just hasn't been entirely true and honoring to self about what she wants in life.

and the greatest part?
after being honest to boyfriend, i didn't hear alarms and warnings in my head like last time.
in fact, boyfriend happened to write be three hundred and sixty-five things {two of which i've already read...oops, sorry, boyfriend} that have confirmed and awed me and my decision to give him my heart fully.

today has been the simplest, happiest new years day i have ever had.

happy new year.


most of 2014 according to my vsco cam...

 two of my favorite people out by the!

 messing with an old jeep out by the lake
 seriously one of my favorite places in california
 there's something so wonderful about children's knobby knees and dirty feet in the summer time
 midnight, the cat, from some summer time nanny shenanigans...
 ...and the "love birds" she antagonized {but, i promise, could not/did not harm!}