4 Years

(I wrote this yesterday, 3/6/18, I didn’t realize it didn’t post after I finished..)

Yesterday was 4 years since my mom died, it was also a Monday. Why does it matter that yesterday was a Monday? Because of office symbiosis and what happens on Monday.

“How was your weekend?”

“How are you doing? Anything new?”

These are innocuous and polite questions..but on a day like yesterday they feel painful. I am not close enough to my co-workers to tell them what the day is. Some, I actually am close enough to but then how will they respond? What can they say that will make it any better?

There’s something that Brene Brown talks about called, “Smash and Grab”, to paraphrase, it’s basically when simple conversation is happening and someone throws something super heavy in the mix to get attention. “I got a flat tire this weekend.” “Well, my dog died this weekend, so yeah.” Even though I wouldn’t personally phrase it like that…I would still feel like that was exactly what I was doing. “How are you?” “I’m sad because my mom passed away 4 years ago today.” It just doesn’t seem like the thing to throw on someone Monday morning.

So I didn’t say a word about it, to anyone all day long. It doesn’t have that I sub-consciously push it down into oblivion without even trying. I had fooled myself into thinking that I was handling the day very well, I was getting BETTER at it. Look at me laughing and smiling…I can do this.

You know when you’re hung over and you can feel your stomach is upset? The next day you’re no longer drunk but your stomach is still turning and you do everything to stop it…but eventually you have to barf your brains out in order to feel better? I do that with my emotions.

The second I came home and laid in bed…I could feel it creeping up. First it came out as anger. I picked a fight with my boyfriend cause he wouldn’t get off his phone. I walked out and slammed the door. Then I went into the other room, laid down in the dark and began to bawl my eyes out. Fetal positon, ugly crying uncontrollably.

Eventually he found me and realized that the issue went far deeper then his tech obsession. Even with him I didn’t want to remind him what day it was. What can he say to make it better? He remembered without me telling him though.

I have made huge strides in my life in the last 4 years, in some areas. But without a moment of pause I would rewind everything positive in my life to go back to my life 4 years and a few months ago. I would give it all up to have my mom and sister back. I would work a job I hate, live at home, all of it.

Death is a film that covers your entire life, forever. It’s the lens from which you see the world after you lose people you love. Or maybe, that’s just me. Even the most beautiful things in my life are covered in a thin, barely visible film of loss and regret. I just want a time machine, is that too much to ask?

But, I walk through the film coated world anyway. I keep trudging along trying to find myself, new or old. My spirit and heart still feel so severed and my joy always feels so slippery. I am so desperate to keep it, I tend to chase it away.

I’m sad and depressed at the moment. I’m glad I can at least say that here because I can hardly say that to anyone else. But, this is a hard moment…they come and go. I push myself towards joy as much as I can anyway. And overall I will say that I have way more good days then bad.

In a way, writing this is just another way to throw up. It’s not only getting this out…but just writing in general has been calling me. All my creative outlets call to me and I never answer. I have I lot of excuses why I don’t. I want to change that. Something in me says that’s the path to true healing…who knows.

But today, I am sad and heartbroken. I miss my mom so much…

The thing they don’t tell you about “Change”

I am a self confessed self help junkie. I live for Super Soul Sunday and Brene Brown and Liz Gilbert, et al. I want to improve, change, be different, grow, etc.

I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. I fight it, hate it, avoid it. Guess where growth comes from? *eye roll* I know this because everyone knows this. Everyone knows that to be in a different place you have to do different things. “Take the leap of faith…” and the second statement always goes something like this:

“It may take some adjustment…”

“Things may be challenging at first but…”

“You will face difficulties but..”

And eventually your change will lead you to the new life you want. Blah, blah, blah.

THIS IS WHAT THEY NEVER SAY. Even an awesome change can be HARD AND MISERABLE at first. Maybe I am an isolated case of weirdness. Maybe I’m just extra resistant to things changing. The reason why I am even bringing this up is because yesterday was a year since I left my old job and consequently started my current job a few days later.

I wrote about this a bit before, but to tell you the truth I sugarcoated it a bit. I was FUCKING MISERABLE at my old job. It was thankless, you worked your ass off and it was hardly appreciated, we were on production and it was like a factory job in an office setting. Only your mistakes were pointed out to you. They never gave you the vacation you wanted without a fight, them trying to take away my vacation was literally what led me to my current job. (Thanks guys!) HOWEVER, my supervisor and friends there were always a bright side. It was the company culture and management that made it terrible.

The only reason why I mention all that is to emphasize how miserable I was in that job. 

So, I get my new job. The hours are better, days off are better, environment is better, vacation approval is so easy I could cry, I don’t even have to CALL to call in sick, I am treated like an adult and trusted to be there and do my job without every minute of my day being watched and calculated. HEAVEN RIGHT? Nope, not at first.

I had been at my old job for 8 years. And even though I hated it and was absolutely miserable, it was what I was used to. I knew what I had to do, what my drive was like, I knew it. So I threw myself into something I didn’t know and went into an emotional tailspin. Even though it was 1000% better. And this is what the books never tell you. Even if you leave something bad, for something totally better just being IN SOMETHING NEW is enough to make you feel lost and yearning for comfort.

Those first few months, I just wanted the safety of my old terrible job. I was a boss at my old job, now I was a novice. I knew exactly what was expected of me, now I was lost. I went from banking to NPR Radio….I WAS SCARED. Terrified that I had made a horrible mistake and threw my life upside down.

CHANGE IS FUCKING HARD, EVEN AFTER YOU MAKE IT.

Having said that however, you still need to do it, BECAUSE IT IS WORTH IT. Just don’t be fooled into believing that the leap is the only hard part. The leap is just the beginning to your new trials. I wish I had known that, because when things felt SO HARD in the beginning my mind processed that as, “YOU made a terrible mistake!!!!!” Not, “This is hard now but one day it will get better…it may take months but it will get better”

I was so close so many days, in the beginning, to asking for my old job back. I’d cry all the time because it was just so new and scary. But I kept with it and now I realize going back would have been the “terrible mistake”.

It’s funny, because now a year later I am on the cusp of yet another massive change.  One that will undoubtedly throw my life upside down again for awhile. I’m, once again, scared out of my mind. But just like my current job, I know this is something I have to do for the greater good of myself. I know this will push me to grow and hopefully flourish. It’s yet another case of me entering a situation that’s probably better for me, but just brand new. (And no, I’m not changing jobs again…)

When you make a change, give it time to level out in your life. Give it time to really settle and give yourself time to adjust. If things are rough are first DO NOT take that as a sign that you made a mistake. Take that as a sign that you just did something massively different and the universe is realigning to make it fit into your world.

Please reference me to this post when I have terrified in a few months…

Oh how I missed you DLR!

We returned from Walt Disney world October 5th. It was amazing, it was awesome and YES I will write about it. Currently it’s a logistics issue, I need to get all the pics Adam took on his iphone, he took the bulk of the “regular” pics and I have all the photopass pics.

Anyway, every since we got back I’ve been wanting to go to Disneyland/California Adventure. As I told Adam, it felt like I cheated on my home park. *mentally hugs DLR tight*. Now, WDW is freakin’ AWESOME but Disneyland/Cali Adventure will always be my fave.

I got a terrible cold my last few days in Florida, then Adam caught it. With other engagements we hadn’t been able to make it to the parks. So early last week I told him we HAD to go before Halloween was over. I have a feeling the weekend before Halloween was going to be very crowded so we decided on this weekend.

We renewed our passes shortly after we returned from WDW. I decided to upgrade and went for the “Signature” pass. I really think it will be worth the extra money. We previously had the Southern California passport. But, since I’ve switch to a job with regular days off (sat-sun) we’ve found it to be a lot more challenging to go. PLUS, being blocked all summer SUCKS!!! I wanted the parking, photopass pics and the higher discounts. I tend to spend more money on “stuff” including photo pass pics for races. (Even though there won’t be any more races in 2018, due to construction BOOO!)

So I went for the “signature” and convinced Adam to go for the “deluxe”. You don’t get that many more days with the signature, deluxe passports can still go in summer too! We both don’t need parking and higher discounts…so I think it’s going to work out really well! This upgrade is why we were able to go on SATURDAY for once. *Toy Story alien style, “oooooh”* Hey, when you’ve been So. Cal Select and So. Cal for 3 years, it feels like a real treat to go on Saturday. =p

We got to DLR around 3pm. One thing I will say about WDW is it has made me appreciate how easy it is to navigate DLR! One tiny little tram ride and your there, one quick walk and you can park hop. There is no such thing as “quick” in WDW! It’s cool because you feel like you truly are in a Disney WORLD though.

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Obligatory tram selfie

Unlike most Disney trips, I had two agendas. 1. See Cars land “Haul-o-ween” and 2. Go to Cove bar and have a “Sea Witch” cocktail. But first things first, we were both STARVING. Adam wanted to go to Rancho del zocalo in Disneyland (his favorite place to eat)…but I told him all my objectives for the day were in DCA. After a quick magic shot with the headless horseman we were on our way to find lunch.

First we thought about having lunch at Cove Bar, but that was quickly squashed when I saw the line. We were way too hungry to wait. So then I compromised and said we could have the mexican food at Cocina Cucamonga. The food is really similar with a few key differences.

  • Cocina Cucamonga does NOT have free drink refills like Rancho del zocalo
  • It also doesn’t have enchiladas OR chips
  • The beans are better at Cocina Cucamonga though, imo

I also noticed they installed the same readers they have in WDW for the magic bands. I hope they bring magic bands to DLR!!!

Adam had to go vape after he ate so I took that time to go to The Little Mermaid store, of course I found a pin to buy. I also was ogling all the new TLM housewares! Soon maybe…

Then it was off to cars land. OMG it was so cute. And though the Cozy Cone had already sold out of the macaroon I wanted *sniff* we still thoroughly enjoyed it. My favorite thing was the day of the dead car and altar for Doc Hudson…love seeing my culture represented in such a cute manner! I made Adam wait forever for the “Haul-o-ween” photopass pic because it was going to be our only chance to take it!

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This thing was actually scary and made terrifying noises!

After our little cars land adventure we decided it was time to go to Cove Bar. Knowing that we were going to have to wait Adam went to the Karl Strauss truck and got a beer. I got one too…but I don’t like beer. I probably drank 1/4th of it and Adam finished the rest.

We waited about 40min at Cove Bar which wasn’t bad at all. By the time we  got to the front however the line was MASSIVE, I think because it was dinnertime(??) Either way we timed it perfectly.

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My favorite ride in DCA..

We got in and our server was a little slow to begin with. After our first drink came out she was on top of everything though. Either that or we stopped noticing. I tried a “Zombie” which was a lot of rums with a 151 floater. It was good but the winner was definitely “The sea witch”. We drank those for the rest of our time there and ended up ordering tri-tip nachos and fajita rolls. (That ended up being our dinner as it was already 7pm.)

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One of the biggest perks of being a passholder is being able to spend 2 hours of your day at Cove Bar and not even feeling slightly guilty about wasting time. It’s my favorite place to sit and relax! I wish we could have done that at WDW but we had to keep it moving to see as much as possible.

After Cove Bar we went on The Little Mermaid Ride then headed back to cars land to see it at night!!! I love the way they have the Cadillac range lit up and also the eyes on the firehouse.

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After Cars land we headed to Hollywood and got some moonlight margaritas. Yay, more glow cubes! lol We could have a dinner party with glow cubes!

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I did some shopping before we left DCA at Elias & Co. I had to get the new 90’s Mickey Mouse stuff! I will post my purchases later though.

We park-hopped to Disneyland right at 11pm, apparently with everyone else that was in DCA. We only had time to get on one ride, but it was a good one, Thunder Mountain. We stopped at the pin store in Frontierland and I bought some more pins…then the park was closed.

I’m so glad we got to see Haul-o-ween!! If you can make it to the parks before they get rid of it, do it!

Escape to Trader Sam’s

Saturday August 5th

All week I had been seeing posts for the “Who’s its and Whats it’s” pop-up shop at the Anaheim Gardenwalk. I love supporting “small shops” that make their own Disney merch so I was really excited to go check it out.

I’ve been to the Gardenwalk several times, usually to eat dinner at P.F. Chang’s. We did exactly that first and foremost. I was hungry from doing that dreaded Saturday cleaning. P.F. Chang’s was delicious as usual. While their I asked Adam if he’d be down to go to Trader Sam’s/Downtown Disney to kill some more time, he said sure.

After dinner we made a beeline to the pop-up shop which was only a few doors down from P.F. Chang’s. They had SO MANY cute things. Unfortunately for me a lot of people went the opening day (Friday the 4th) and snagged most of the stuff in my size. 😦 It was probably all for the best because I would have spent WAY too much money in there!

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I did manage to snag this cute Little Mermaid Shirt


We walked around a bit more…

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Then it was off to Downtown Disney!

We made a another beeline for Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel. If you have never been there, YOU MUST. It’s probably my favorite bar, ever! The atmosphere is a Disney-infused Jungle Cruise themed Tiki Bar and the drinks are amazing!

 

Trader Sam’s is always jampacked with people, especially on a Saturday. We were trying to find a place to stand near the bar when I felt a tap on my hand. I turned around and this young couple asked if we wanted to sit at their table with them. I jumped at the chance for a seat!

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Trader Sam’s is covered in fun decor

They actually turned out to be super nice. The guy was originally from Cali but they were both located in Orlando now and both worked for the theme parks. (He worked for Universal and she worked for Disney.) They were major Disney fans like Adam and I so we had a blast trading “insider” tips to the parks. They really helped point us to some “can’t miss” places at Walt Disney World and I was so grateful! WDW is VERY overwhelming when you’re trying to plan and you’ve never been before. 

I should have really got their full names or at least added them on a social media site. Too many drinks and too much fun and I wasn’t thinking straight. I hope, somehow, we run into them when we go to WDW.

After 3 drinks we threw in the towel at Sam’s (mostly because we were getting close to our free parking limit..) and walked around Downtown Disney. Amazingly I managed to only buy one thing!

Adam went to use the restroom and I gingerly wandered into Marceline’s Confectionary. (a place with so much delicious stuff I try to avoid it at all cost). But my drinks had me in a, “treat yo self” mode so off i went. 

I ended up getting a s’mores on a stick which is funny because today is National S’mores Day! I just celebrated a few days early. 😉 After I devoured the chocolatey-marshmallowy goodness we headed back to my place. 

 

This week they announced changes to the Downtown Disney parking. Though we rarely go to Downtown Disney and not eat at a sit-down place, so it won’t affect us too much. I think it’s pretty easy to spend $20 there but it still sucks that it’s not “free” anymore. Glad we got to take advantage of the free parking one last time!

It calls me….

Have you ever been able to do something but had the inability to show others you could in fact do that something?  So much so that you actually start doubting you can really do it? “No”? “Yes”? “What the hell are you talking about”?

I’ve mentioned before how I have two voices in my head that constantly battle each other. One says, “We got this!” the other says, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?! STOP IT!” Guess who always wins. But when I’m alone, the loud voice shuts up and I sing freely.

I grew up on Disney songs, my first CD was The Little Mermaid soundtrack, then Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Pocahontas..you get the picture. And I practiced singing them non-stop. No one ever said I was good though. i thought I sounded alright… but no one ever said it. Then bullies, adolescence fast forward and my singing became this thing I only did in my car, an empty house or a hotel room shower.

I’ve taken vocal lessons slightly over a year now. And I’ve tried to learn several different songs with varying degrees of sort of success. I could never walk in there and “strut my stuff”. I started to believe I lacked stuff TO strut.

Do you know HOW MANY TIMES I told myself, “I’m going to ask to sing, “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. Literally I’d think about this all week, be driving to class and freak the fuck out and not say a word about it. The thing is I could sing “A Whole New World” damn good even as a kid when the movie came out. Once my ex best friend accused me of lip-syncing when I completely wasn’t (I was 10…). Out of all the Disney songs I love that one and Mulan’s, “Reflection” (movie version) are probably the ones I do best.

But I never had the balls to step into class and attempt these songs. Because HELLO these are Disney songs. That’s not just singing Taylor Swift that SINGING. If I couldn’t even do a Taylor song what business did I have walking in there attempting a Disney song? BTW, this is my internal monologue you are now viewing. Brutal huh?

I hadn’t seen Moana because when it came out I had JUST started my new job and Adam was in Europe and I was too stressed out to do anything. I am obsessed with the water I knew I would instantly love it, I don’t know why I avoided it so long.

A week before I saw the movie (Which was about 2 weeks ago), so 3 weeks ago, something made me listen to the title track, “How far I’ll go”. I had heard clips of it but never actually listened. I was OBSESSED instantly. It hit me like, “Part of your world” had hit me so so many years ago. I listened to it over and over and sang it over and over. Literally that day I first heard it I sang it the entire way home. And I thought I was doing a pretty good job. But of course my brain would not allow for such thoughts to stay in my head long. “You sound good because no one can hear you, you suck”.

I saw the movie the new week, instantly obsessed again. The story just hit me like those old school Disney movies had. (TLM, BATB…). Shortly after I ended up alone in my house. A big struggle for me has been stage fright and letting people hear me. Even videoing myself is super hard for me. I get nervous even with THAT. But I kept trying to get comfortable with it. I took one that sounded ok..and sent it to my BF Adam, the only person I really trust with this…somewhat. lol

Then I did something insane, insane to me, I posted that video on instagram. It wasn’t my best, but it was almost like I had to face that fear. Of letting people hear me and NOT being perfect. Just letting myself heard, period. That was my only goal with it. The world did not end, I did not fall apart. And even though 2 weeks later my knee-jerk reaction is to “Delete that!” I wont let myself based on principal. If I can’t show this side of myself I will never be happy.

So as I said, countless, endless, pretty much every time I went to class I thought about trying one of those Disney classics…and backed down. But yesterday I decided I was going to try it. Well not a classic but, “How far I’ll go”. My regular teacher isn’t there but her sub is super nice too. I even printed out the words. The funny thing is the first thing my teacher told me when I walked in, “Maybe we should work on two songs, do another one too.” Oh universe, you are HILARIOUS. So I suggested, “How far I’ll go” and busted out the lyrics I already had printed out.

Then I did it, I was nervous as hell and wasn’t my best, but I wasn’t my worst either. I navigated that song way better then any other song I had attempted in the last year. So we kept working on different elements and I tried it again and again. The final time she was genuinely surprised and said I had done so well. That I had all of the notes I just had to work on my projection. But that I did awesome and that I ,”Kept surprising her”.

Do you know how long I have waited for someone to tell me I really could do this? That it wasn’t so made up thing I could only do in my head. No, I really can sing that song and I can probably sing all the other ones well too. But just that moment of validation, unaided validation. I cried on the way home. I have waited over 20 years for that moment. For someone to say, “You CAN do this.” Honestly, words can’t even describe it.

“One day I’ll know
How far I’ll go”

My problem with self discipline

This week I was determined to A. go the the gym 3x (M,W,F) and B. actually SING at my voice lesson. Ever since I got sick my classes have sucked, I don’t know if it’s my throat or my brain…but my last few lessons were really bad imo.

Sunday night I didn’t sleep good. I work at an NPR station and we are having a pledge drive this week, which is when I’m at my busiest! So I went to work tired, worked my ass off and STILL went to the gym.

Sounds great until you hear that I went to this YUMMY hot dog place in Pasadena called Dog Haus for lunch with my co-worker/buddy Crystal. I ate so BAD but it was so good. So with my workout I’d be lucky if I broke even. :/ #fail

Tuesday was another bad eating day with my BF but I did go to class and sang much better then the previous weeks. So that was a half-win.

Wednesday I had FULL intention of going to the gym. My work is in-between my bf’s and the gym. I park near the gym and take the Metro 10min to work because parking in Pasadena is HORRIBLE. So, when we go places my bf usually picks me up from work. ANYWAY, so he picks me up from work, drops me off at my car, we drive to the gym I get out of my car and pop open my trunk….no gym clothes.

The bag is still sitting on the floor of my room. I completely forgot the grab them in the morning. #fail We had dinner and I went home and did some pilates but it was not the cardio I wanted to do.

I’m really bad when it comes to eating healthy, working out AND practicing my guitar/voice. I get so lazy after work or when I get home. And eating, oh lordy (haha #comeyday..), I eat terrible. I love everything bad for me. WINGS and MARGARITAS especially. Take me to BWW and give me both and I’m in heaven.

But I really want to get back into shape, for a couple reasons. 1. I have a 5k & 10k in September at Disneyland. 2. I BOOKED A DISNEY WORLD VACATION FOR MY BIRTHDAY! Sorry for the bold, all caps, but I’m beyond excited to go. It’s my FIRST time EVER! And I’m going the day before my birthday!!! I’m going to Disney world for the first time on my birthday guys?! How amazing is that?

Oh and I forgot shopping! I’m a Disney-holic/t-shirt holic so now trying to save money for Disney World and not spend money for the trip to Disney world (like shirts and ears..) is another thing I must discipline myself on.

Telling myself “No” and not saying, “Fuck it” are really hard. But I’m trying guys, this also falls in with my last post about becoming the person I want to be. Getting in shape, working on my music and spending money on things that really matter to me (instead of random crap) are all things I need to be doing to be that person…but they’re hard! *whiney voice*

I’d love to end this post with a wisdom filled nugget but meh. I’m just here trying to do my best. Trying to walk a little more towards my goals so when I take those few steps back it doesn’t feel so bad.

Are you good at self discipline? Have you become better at it as time goes on? Tips? Tricks? They’re Always welcome.

It’s more then just a concert: My thoughts on Manchester

I just returned from a vacation in New Orleans but writing about that just doesn’t feel right at the moment. Since the tragedy in Manchester happened it hasn’t left my mind.

I love going to concerts, so much so I’d probably list it as a hobby. I love music and there is NOTHING like seeing it performed live. It’s not even just about being in close proximity to the artists, or admiring their talent. Music is expression and going to a concert is the ultimate expression of joy and solidarity.

Once when I saw Beyonce at the Rose Bowl I posted on facebook that it felt like I was going to church. You’re in a building with people filled with pure joy and excitement . No one is worrying about how they are going to be perceived. I dance my ass off and sing my heart out, smile, cry, the songs COME TO LIFE.

Music in itself ALREADY has an element of life and spirit to me. Songs and albums speak my soul, good or bad, they give me an outlet to express everything. Music is EVERYTHING to me. So a concert is the ultimate expression of it. And guess what? You’re with 100’s or 10,000+ people that feel THE EXACT way you do. They’re there to be in a place where you all share this commonality…the joy of the artists, the music and all the life it brings.

EVERY concert I have ever attended has been one of the happiest moments of my life for this exact reason. And it’s why I keep going back, why I go alone to them most times. Because nothing is going to stop me from experiencing that oneness. I never feel more like I belong then in those moments. I am with people that understand just HOW much this means to me, and its a gift.

Which is why I find what happened extra horrifying. A moment of peace and pure joy completely shattered and destroyed and turned into something so ugly I can’t even comprehend it. The media focuses on the teen girls and young people in the place and yes that does make up the majority of her audiences. But I assure you, there were all kinds of people there who were just as happy and joyous to be there. People like me, parents, boys, men…the joy is infectious.

I saw Ariana when she was here last month. My boyfriend happened to go with me to that show. But do you know every other concert I’ve been to in the last 5 or so years has been ALONE. I’ve seen Taylor 3x, Ariana 1x and Beyonce all alone. I’m supposed to see Katy Perry in October…alone. And I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t scared. Scared of what could have happened, or what could happen. Worried that my moment of peace has been forever shattered along with many other fans out there.

My heart breaks for everyone that had to experience that night and everyone that didn’t make it. I can’t even begin to imagine. It makes me want to help, but I feel helpless and it makes me scared.

But isn’t that the point? To terrorize us into changing who we are and abandon what we love out of fear? They discount the human spirit, they underestimate US. It may not be immediate but they can’t stop our joy and our freedom of expression.

“Be Alright”

Midnight shadows
When finding love is a battle
But daylight is so close
So don’t you worry ’bout a thing

We’re gonna be alright [3x]

Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
That every little thing is gonna be alright
Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
We decide it

We’re gonna be alright [3x]

In slow motion
Can’t seem to get where we’re going
But the hard times are golden
Cause they all lead to better days

We’re gonna be alright [3x]

– Ariana Grande