life

There’s this person inside my head. She’s brilliant, capable. She’s me, only so much better. And I’m afraid I’ll never become that person.

Life is going a million miles an hour. I feel like I haven’t even had time to breathe and just be present. Honestly, I feel like a robot, a machine rather. I am aware that I have inflicted this fate upon myself. Being myself, a pleaser and so afraid of not wanting to disappoint anyone in my life, I struggle to say no. I tell you and myself all the time that it’s okay to say no to things. There is a limit. There is a point where you just can’t…anymore. I luckily haven’t hit that point yet, but it’s coming. Every day, I wake up optimistic like “I can do this, this isn’t so bad, things could be much worse…I could be bored and not working, not making any money, not making any progress with my life path…” but then the end of the day hits and I’m beyond exhausted that my eyes can barely stay open. This is going to be the first time in my life where I work over a two week stretch without a single day off. Between working for Linfield, because I don’t want them to drown and I’m sort of afraid to leave, beginning my newest job at Soter vineyards; learning the ropes and how everyone does their own thing, and continuing nannying when I can, because I love that family. I’ve always been a busy bee, but this reaches an entirely NEW level. This isn’t meant to complain or “woe as me…my life is so hard,” just being honest by saying that I underestimated how tired I would be. I am incredibly THANKFUL for this life I live.

The thought that keeps sticking in the back of my head is that you are paid by the hour, you are paid for your time. Time is valuable, there aren’t enough hours in the day. There is only so much time one has. Time away from everything else that consumes your busy life. To-do lists are a must in this crazy world of mine. This life I live, I am very thankful for two amazing jobs with amazing co-workers. And I really am enjoying post-grad life. I have always really enjoyed being busy and constantly go-go-going.

I know that I say that I give myself grace all the time, but I’ve become really bad at saying no to things again. I’m so afraid of disappointing people and letting them down that I just DO.

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You likely have seen a post about me feeling super guilty for working so much. And I’m feeling guilty about not caring for Maizie the way I should, the way I need, the way she needs to thrive. I’d been so disciplined during the summer and even found joy in taking morning walks in solitude with her. I know she needs to burn energy. Over the last week and a half, I’ve walked her maybe four times. And that’s BAD. I know she’s probably going stir crazy. And she is spending time with other dogs at one of my colleague’s houses. And by no means, do I think she is being abused by me not taking her out on a walk every day. I’m just not doing what I wish I could do, because (and I say this all the time)…there aren’t enough hours in the day. Honestly, I’m just talking about a dog. I don’t know how young parents go through this…going to work, full-time and barely spending any time with their kid, because they get so caught up in the demands of their life in other capacities. Parent guilt is real…and I totally get it now. I’ll be looking into doggy daycare when I get around to it, hopefully sooner, rather than later. I don’t want Maizie to be kept inside ALL day, by herself. And come summertime, I will be moving and likely (without a miracle) will be living by myself. I don’t mind the idea of living by myself, living with people can be difficult. And now with this new job, I can afford to live by myself, but it’s not ideal. It’s nice to have extra hands caring for Maizie when I just can’t.

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I had my first day at Soter on Friday. Everyone was super happy to see me and have me a part of the time. It’s definitely a whirlwind. I came in on Friday afternoon for a half-day of training just to mentally prepare myself for the craziness that happens Saturday and Sunday. It’s amazing how many reservations this small winery does. I can’t even begin to imagine the large wineries…since, I consider this a small-scale one. The view is absolutely spectacular. Its tucked out in the country and absolutely breathtaking. My immediate supervisor has made it super clear that I am free to get up and walk around and get off the computer from time to time. I was super concerned that I would just be in front of a computer all day. Based on this weekend, I have a very hard time believing that that’s all I’ll ever be doing. This job, much like EMS at Linfield is multifaceted. You have to switch gears within a second. These people seem much more organized and definitive in their decisions which is helpful. Everyone knows what they’re doing, where their duties end, what they need to do. And they’re very sweet with me, letting me ask questions and letting me catch up. It’s definitely helpful that I know the lay of the land really well already, since I’ve been doing events with them for a couple years. This is an entirely different beast. However, come mid-March, it’ll feel like I am in my comfort zone once again, that’s right, a big event! Granted, one of my co-workers that I have worked with multiple times told me that I’ll likely be doing something different than I am used to. I’m glad I am doing a transition, even though it’s going to be crazy-balls for about a month. I know that I will survive. Definitely overwhelmingly thankful that Linfield and Soter are willing to share me for a brief period. 🙂

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I made it to round two of my admission for the MAT program. Honestly, I kind of freaked myself out last week. Since, I was so content with the idea of working another year and then doing my Masters program. But I got that email of making it to the next round that I am sort of afraid that if I apply again, they won’t let me in, because I didn’t do it the first time. Totally irrational thought process, but that’s fine, I’m fine, it’s great! 😉 Anyone who knows me, knows that I am going to get back to school. The group interviews went well and I will hear of an admission decision by next week. Unfortunately, I only have two weeks to make a decision about doing the Masters program, but I may ask for some grace time just because my schedule has been so crazy and I need to figure out the financial stuff. Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to teach. I spent years going to my dad’s school with him on “take your kid to work day” and it was a blast. And I knew that I wanted to have my own classroom and work with kids. When I was younger, I thought my only option was to teach elementary. However, as I have grown up and learned I can teach just ONE subject. The director of the program last night told us that getting teaching jobs having to do with language arts and social studies are more difficult and far more competitive than the math and science positions. This shouldn’t have surprised me really, but it worried me that I won’t be able to find a job after thousands of dollars and time put into this Masters program. I know I’m probably irrationally stressing. I’m curious what my people think I’d enjoy/be better at: Teaching language arts at the high school level or teaching 4th or 5th grade?

I just put these photos here as a little reminder to myself and you to slow down every once and awhile.

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life

This life is a constant journey of growing and redefining who we are

January flew by and now it’s February already. It’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least. Work has been pretty low-key, just training the students to switch gears on how we’re going to run things within my department. The last week, I’ve been in charge of the library during the break between Jan term and spring semester. It’s been a nice change of pace from the craziness of events that happened last semester. However, I better get over that because the break is coming to a very rapid close. The middle of February to the middle of March is going to be an absolute whirlwind. And at the moment, it’s not looking extremely daunting, but once it actually happens, it’ll be absolutely crazy. Basically an entire month of events non-stop.

In other news, a couple weeks ago I was offered a job, completely out of the blue and I originally thought there were other candidates to interview, but to my knowledge, they were going to offer it to me and if I rejected, find someone else? However, after some careful consideration, I have decided to take the position at Soter Vineyards. The position is tasting room administrator, however, being part of EMS has opened my eyes that I like the crazy moments and the quiet ones. I like the mixture. I’m a bit worried that I will go a little too-much-screen-crazy…but I feel like my co-workers and supervisor won’t mind if I take a little break. I didn’t want to leave Linfield EMS hanging out to dry, so I’ll be “on-call” and returning for major events. There are only a few following mid-March, which is good for Linfield and for me. I never thought I’d be getting myself into the wine industry, but this is the winery that I have been working big events for the past two years, maybe a little longer. It’s familiar territory, I know the people, they obviously have enjoyed my presence during the major events. I’m delighted that they have offered me this position and I am grateful and excited to start a new chapter. The Linfield position was only going to be a temporary venture for me anyway and in general, the position is temporary and isn’t going to change. I may have found someone else to fill that position for the next academic year, we’ll see. I know the library has survived this long with a lack luster amount of full-time staff and I am certain they will survive. I am so thankful to Linfield for giving me the opportunity and allowing me to transition from college student to post-grad life so seamlessly.

 

I still plan on doing my Masters of Arts in Teaching program in the near future, but it’s been nice to not be a student this academic year so far. It’s been nice to go to work and leave my work at work and come home and relax at home. Hopefully that makes sense. It’ll be nice to save some money for living expenses in particular for my Masters program, since I won’t be able to work during it. I briefly considered doing the part-time program, but honestly, the thought of that program dragging on…sounds daunting and I haven’t even bothered to look at the type of schedule. And to be totally honest, I’d much rather just suffer through the ten months and get it over with and be able to focus SOLELY on that. I’m only 22 and it’s quite normal for people to take some time off between undergrad and grad school. The Linfield people that know me are worried that I won’t go back, but the people that know me really well have full confidence that I will return to get my graduate degree. I’m not worried about losing steam. I am fully aware that I want to go back to school to do what I have dreamt of doing since I was four years old: teach.

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This month, Maizie turns 1. How crazy. I can’t believe I have had her as long as I have. It’s amazing how much she’s grown. She’s still quite wild and she still has puppy in her, but she’s really good at entertaining herself and loves everyone. She’s SO playful with people and other dogs. I am so lucky to be her mama.

The past few weeks, it’s been difficult to not pay attention to the Larry Nassar case that has been occurring. Three different trials with essentially the same result that is going to occur. He won’t see outside of a prison for the remainder of his life. I just cannot believe that he got away with it for so long. Those coaches and administrators that decided to sweep it under the rug and invalidate those young girls coming forward. They were terrified and confused as it was, but to be shut down the way they were with no action taken and no investigation is absolutely heart wrenching. I’m not even one of his victims, not even close, but I am so frustrated and disappointed in the sport and athletics superiors. These coaches and doctors and administrators and organizations should be held accountable and should be punished for what they’ve put these girls through. There were obviously enablers that allowed Nassar to get away with this. The father of three girls that decided to charge at Nassar, I am positive he is not the only one that thought about doing that. Obviously, he knew it was wrong, but you ask any parent of a victim of sexual abuse, I am sure they would take you up on that offer to be in a room with Nassar for sixty seconds…I guarantee they wouldn’t say no. I respect the judges that have handed down sentences to Nassar. His complaints about his mental state not being able to handle it is absolute BS. And the judge served him right by saying that his number of hours of pleasure do not even make it CLOSE to even to listening to several hours of victim impact statements. People that I have been discussing it with keep referring back to the Penn State case, but this is so much bigger. I had one person say that these girls were lying. Why in the world would over 200 girls band together and lie about a doctor mistreating them?! I feel so badly for the victims that have had to go through this and endure the heartache and pain.

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I hope I get to a point where I can feel this^

I’ve been reconnecting with people of my past, not very many, but just a few. Enough for me to think about things I might have done wrong and things I might have changed. However in doing this, I have come to this (maybe arrogant) realization that I have grown in the last couple years. I have always been strong-willed and independent. I’ve always felt like the weird one in that respect; taking on more responsibility, being independent, doing things differently, etc. It’s definitely an uncomfortable feeling at times, but I am thankful for the life I lead and for who I have become. For some reason, it feels like I have changed so much and grown that these people that I am reconnecting may be going through a different season of change, but they seem more or less the same. I’m not trying to invalidate them, but I am finally noticing how I have changed and grown. Perhaps I am not making any sense at all. That’s all for now!

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life

Lessons I’ve learned

Instead of resolutions, I decided I would reflect on my 22.5 years. Some would say that’s not a lot of life experience, but I think I have been through enough to reflect at least a little.

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Likely, these will overlap.

  1. I am more determined and disciplined than I give myself credit for. The days that I didn’t want to face the day and didn’t think I’d be able to get through my anxiety-ridden days, I know I am stronger for them now. I thought my resilience was tested back during high school during the dark struggles with my dad, but the first four months of 2017 reached an entirely NEW level. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to bad days, but I hope the good days outweigh the bad at the end of the day.
  2. Having anxiety has forced me to learn that it’s okay to not be 100% okay all the time. I have the ability to function on 0 hours of sleep, but I don’t particularly enjoy it. Even worse, my body can withstand thinking that 7 almonds is a meal. Thank god those days are over. I love food too much. Having no appetite sucks. I still haven’t gained my appetite back fully and honestly, I don’t think I will, but I have finally stopped losing weight dangerously fast, so that’s a huge relief. There are definitely still times that I don’t have an appetite hardly at all, but for the most part, I feel like I’ve gotten really good at letting the clock tell me to eat something. However, I keep in mind that I need to listen to my body and what it’s saying too. It’s a tough balance to maintain and it hasn’t been easy to manage.
  3. My friends are seriously the best. They put up with my strong personality and my strong opinions. I’ve been hearing more and more from people (specifically my mom) that I was a very strong willed child. She’s grateful that I am strong willed now, but I acknowledge that I was a tough kid when I was younger. My friend Eryn reassured her that it would do me a service when I was out on my own. And I’m pretty sure she’s right. My friends also tolerate my uncontrollable and undeniable amount of sass and sarcasm.
  4. Being an independent person is not a bad thing. I have learned through my short-lived relationship I had toward the end of the summer that I need someone compatible. And even though he met my expectations, our personalities weren’t compatible and you can’t force something to work when you aren’t compatible. I still hold out hope that there is someone out there for me, but I must keep in mind that I am only 22 and have plenty of time to settle down. I am young and as much as I want to settle down and have my own family, it will all come together with time if it is meant to be. I haven’t totally decided or convinced myself that I am better off single.
  5. I feel like children grow up thinking that the place in which we live is free of hatred and the world isn’t bad. However, through the different acts of violence and our nation’s leader, that is proving to be extremely wrong and I’m slowly losing faith in our “great” nation. There’s only so much we can do as humans. However, I think within the bubble of humans that I interact with, we have managed to agree to disagree and come to a compromise. Life truly is unfair and our nation at the present moment is unjust in more ways than one. There was a candidate for a position at Linfield talking and acknowledged that this fall season has been a crazy one for sure. They mentioned the natural disasters, wildfires, shootings, violence, etc. Needless to say, this year has stretched a lot of people more than they could have ever imagined.
  6. I have learned to appreciate my capabilities and love the individual that I have become. Certain experiences have shaped me, mostly positively and some negatively. We carry our experiences with us and even though, I don’t love my past, it’s what has shaped me and no one can take who I have become away from me. I know I can rub people the wrong way with my powerful, direct way of communication, but I won’t apologize for being honest. I have stopped thinking of the shortcomings that I have and have learned to embrace the strong characteristics that make me, me.
  7. I am incredibly thankful and grateful for the life I live. I complain about the little things quite often, but I am happy that I have been a very healthy person for my 22 years. I am thankful that my family is somewhat nearby and I have a mom that has been nothing but supportive and strong throughout my entire life. Now that I’m older, I love listening to stories about my brothers and me growing up together. As well as, stories about us individually. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without my family.
  8. I didn’t use to handle unexpected things getting thrown at me very well, but I have realized that I have grown from those experiences. I have reacted poorly to past situations. I have learned that it’s okay to have that moment of weakness, but come back/stand up on your two feet again and come back stronger than you were before. I have overcome my defensiveness to disagreeing with people. I don’t love that being defensive was a strong characteristic about myself as a teenager, but I have grown from that. Things happen and we may not see the reasoning for them at the moment and it may take awhile to fully understand why things happen, but you can’t change them.
  9. This goes along with the previous one and likely others. Don’t dwell on things. It’s tough to relive those hard moments in your life. It’s hard to play those back through your mind and put yourself back there. I know a lot of people, including myself have struggled to get to a position to be able to talk about those things with a therapist. And it is a vulnerable place to be. Ultimately, it is in your best interest to release that tension and those heavy feelings you are carrying with you.
  10. There are peers that are in different phases of their lives. Through the years, I’ve thought to myself that “maybe I’m the one doing the wrong thing.” There are girls my age that have a child or maybe two. There are many friends and classmates that are already married. And I’m not even close to either. But then I have to remind myself that I am only 22 years old and I have focused on my education more than anything. I’m not saying I did the wrong thing, nor did anyone else. Each individual has their own path and that’s totally fine. 🙂
  11. I am proud of the life I am leading for myself. I may be the weird one, the wrong one to some people. However, I’ve come far in my 22 years and I am happy where I am.
  12. I am a do-er. I love to be occupied and do everything. This year has taught me to slow down and allow myself to rest. Allowing myself to say “no” to things. Acknowledging that I can only do and take so much. Knowing that I only have so much energy; a friend told me about the spoons concept, about introverts having the same amount of spoons, but each action takes more spoons away than from another person. My body has told me that I need to slow down and remember to take time for myself. I’ve always been a person on-the-go and constantly busy. This year has shown me that I can’t do it ALL.
  13. Quality over quantity. I used to be the person with a bunch of friends and I thought the bigger the circle, the better. My family is a small circle and so is my friend group. I have my core group of people and I am completely content with my small circles. They mean the absolute world to me!
  14. In any type of relationship, friendship or relationship, it has to be a two-way street. That being said, there has to be an equal amount of effort or effort that shows. I have lost friends in the past, because I have given up and they haven’t reached out. I just decided that it wasn’t worth the hurt or disappointment. Same goes for my father, if he wanted to reach out, he has the capability. However, I have given up on that. It’s not worth my time or energy anymore. I will make the effort and time for the people that want to talk to me and spend time with me.
  15. My personality differs from a lot of people. I have blunt, opinionated, passionate, strong-willed and outgoing. I am different and often get told that I am too direct. And I have learned that I offend people without meaning to, just because of how blunt and direct I come off. I know I rub people the wrong way, but unless people tell me, I have no idea. I am also very sassy and sarcastic. It’s just MY humor. It takes awhile for people to get it.

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life

Top 10 of 2017!

With only a few days remaining in 2017, I thought I’d post this early 🙂

  1. I graduated with a badass in literature degree from Linfield College in May 2017!! I minored in sociology, but that’s small oreos! I have just finished applying for grad school and turned in all my transcripts and everything! Next step is the waiting game!
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  2. I got my very FIRST dog! Not just a dog, a puppy! Puppies take a lot of work! And honestly, it didn’t seem like that much work, but because I was SO willing to walk her and do everything a puppy parent is supposed to, it just felt normal and it became part of my routine. I have grown up with dogs for as long as I can remember, so it’s definitely a blessing to have my OWN dog. I never thought I’d be able to handle having a puppy the first time around, but I could not have picked a more perfect breed and dog for myself! MAIZIE MAE. 🙂
  3. I got my first BIG girl, ADULT job! It honestly fell onto my lap, but I could not be more thankful! I love where I work and the people I work with and for. They’re wonderful people! As well as nannying for a friend from high school, it’s been so great to reconnect and watch her son grow! And Soter Vineyards every now and then! They have accepted me into their cool-kids elective working club with open arms and I feel so loved there!IMG_1716
  4. My brother got married to his longtime girlfriend, now wife! One of the best special occasions I have ever been a part of! And bonus, I got to see my oldest [better ;)] brother who doesn’t live in the state, so we don’t get to see each other very often. It’s always so nice to have the three of us together, even if it is for a short time! It manages to bring tears to my mother’s eyes whenever the three of us are all together again. HI MOM! Also, seeing old friends and family members that I hadn’t seen in probably at least a decade was so amazing!IMG_1506
  5. I conquered my last semester of undergrad with anxiety and essentially 0 sleep. It wasn’t even the work load that made it so difficult. And I didn’t even struggle with even an ounce of senioritis. Those of you that are seniors and those graduated from undergrad already will agree with me when I say that senior year in high school was basically cruise control and laid-back and lazy! Senior year in college is NOTHING like that! You cannot be lazy! You have to push through, end strong! However, anxiety takes a LOT out of you. If you don’t have anxiety, you are ONE blessed individual.  5
  6. I got my very FIRST apartment! And I am LOVIN’ being on my own out in the world! I guess, it’s my independence that’s become SO prevalent. I have realized that because of my parents’ divorce, that change forced me to grow up and be okay on my own and be independent of other people.
  7. This isn’t very noteworthy, but it’s a success all the same! I didn’t lose weight the way I intended or wanted to, because by no means was it the healthiest way, but I finally am back to my pre-college weight and I could not feel any BETTER about myself. And I have gotten so many comments about how good I look!
  8. My two best friends in the entire world studied abroad, separately (THANK JESUS, otherwise, I surely would not have survived this year…) and it’s so amazing to hear about their experiences and see how much they have changed in just a short amount of time! SO so so blessed by them.IMG_0085

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  1. I did 23&ME and knew a lot about myself already, but learned even MORE. I thought I was 100% Korean, but no! I am essentially 100% East Asian though 😉 Surprise, surprise.
  2. Eclipse was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I didn’t exactly appreciate all the hype (and talk about the biggest traffic jam in Oregon’s history…), but considering I just had to step out into my backyard, it was definitely an amazing experience!!2
life

Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing

This will likely be short and sweet, since I will be posting my reflections on my life. I am furiously working on that, but there are never enough hours in the day!

I have survived my first semester as a Linfield staff member. It’s definitely a different perspective to have. From being a student and transitioning to a staff member. Though, I should mention, you would not believe how many times I get asked how my semester is going or something to that effect. This semester was furiously busy and go, go, go. We’re in the process of filling new positions in the coming academic years. And the interview process has been long and taxing for other staff and faculty, I’m certain. From the tech side of things, it’s been fairly demanding as well. I had the opportunity to listen to the candidates. And though I do have my opinions, it’ll definitely be interesting who will be chosen, if any. The Linfield community should know within the coming months. Likely, I won’t be sticking around for very long, since I should move on and do my grad program and get my career going. I forget that I am only 22 and have plenty of time. And I do worry about the age gap not being great enough to be taken seriously in a high school setting and a high school teacher.

Tis the season for making blankets! The one on the left was for a lifelong (what seems like) friend that just had a baby a couple months ago! And the one on the right is for ME cuz #treatyoself and it’s been super chilly (but no snow, what kind of joke is this?). This is the third or fourth blanket that I have made for myself. I hadn’t made one in such a long time for me and Jo-Anns Fabrics has “luxe” super soft fabric now! It’s heavier and MUCH softer! It’s so nice! And I don’t know why, but Jo-Anns always does 40-60% off the fleece prints and solids during this time of year, which I find so strange, since they could make SO much money, but I’m not gonna complain! My pocket book appreciates the cheap fabric! And it’s also weirdly therapeutic for me to sit and just blanket stitch and make blankets for hours.

I have applied for my Masters program, whether or not I go through with it this upcoming academic year or next year, we’ll see. I have to get in first, HA. I just want to keep my options open. I’ve thought about subbing for a year in the school district I want to end up in, since school districts are in desperate need of subs. This brings a whole other possible obstacle of where to live next year. Hmmmmm.

Worked at Soter last weekend for the staff holiday party, oh my gosh, they pulled out all the bells and whistles. I thought I’d seen a bunch of wine, this party was even more than I could ever imagine. The food was AMAZING. They had salmon cakes and weird names of food that I couldn’t even remember or tell you about now, but it was insanely good. They did a 100 layer lasagna and I’m not even that crazy about lasagna, but it was killer. It was definitely a low-key event, something I’m not used to when I’m there. It’s always SO fast paced and I have to be so quick and on my toes. This time I actually got a chance to eat some food and socialize a little. Weirdly, something crazy happened. I thought a guy was flirting with me during Black Friday weekend, but I thought I was overanalyzing (surprise, surprise) and I knew by this party, I definitely wasn’t imagining things. I just keep thinking to myself, enjoying being young.

This past week was finals week and I brought Maizie a couple evenings for therapy for the students. They seemed to appreciate that. She was sorta over it on the second night, since it was the same people in the library, go figure…students studying endlessly in the library. And I took her to the dog park prior on both days, so she was reasonably pooped. The students really loved petting her though. There was a strange incident where a person was lurking around a table that was between me and Maizie and the person. Maizie went around the table and walked back to where I was and started growling. It was almost like she was defending me. Everyone that I have told has said “dogs know, trust your dogs instincts.” It’s so interesting that Maizie felt an uncomfortable vibe. Anyone that knows Maizie knows that she is the sweetest dog. She’s always SO happy to see anyone that is near her. It was so off-putting and shocking in the moment.

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She looks very miniature in this photo, weirdly.

I’ve been enjoying Christmas movies and music for the month of December, since it is such a short span of time that it’s socially acceptable to watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music! I have my favorites of course. The Grinch with Jim Carrey is a classic for me! It dawned on me that the actors in that movie are likely wearing eyelash extensions…which makes me think that I could easily pass for a Who in Whoville, HAHAH. Just kidding. I have always absolutely loved that movie though. I end up quoting it all the time with my bestie now. We have #noshame and we are #unashamed and obsessed enough with The Grinch that we bought Grinch shirts and can recite The Grinch’s schedule word for word in the same tone. It’s quite obnoxious for anyone who is near us, but we think we’re hilarious. We’ve watched that movie too many times already, no joke. Christmas Vacation was definitely an every year tradition when I was little! I’d watch it every year on either Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve with my cousins, aunt, parents and brothers as a tradition. The Polar Express is another classic! It’s definitely underrated, but it’s such a cute movie. Holidays in Handcuffs is just hilarious, all around.

I’ll stop rambling at you now. I’d like to be more excited about the holidays, but honestly, they’re SO low-key and calm that it just feels like a normal day, but with presents.

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With the new year upon us and this crazy whirlwind of a year coming to a close, I have just learned to endure that things don’t automatically always fall into place. And I have to just let it be and ride the wave.

life

The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure

It’s December already, say what? I’m so excited, it’s definitely been a whirlwind of a year, but I love the end of the year. I love winter, mostly because I love snow. I keep joking with people that it may not snow this year. They all look at me like “yeah, right, Sara. It’s definitely gonna snow.” It’s been a busy month or so. I got back from Disneyland and immediately bounced right back into the work week! Thanksgiving week was quiet, thank goodness! I worked Monday and Tuesday, it was definitely weird to be there during a break, which is odd, because I did that as a student all the time! And then off Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving! I worked at the winery that I help out at for high traffic events, which is always a blast. The staff there make me feel SO at home and they’re such kind, genuine people. Even the guests are really friendly and grateful for the service that we do. It’s always really awkward for me when they ask questions, because I don’t actually work there.

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Surprise, surprise, I’ve already began stressing about what I’m going to do next year. Am I going to continue at Linfield? Am I going to sub for school districts for the year? I know that school districts are in demand for subs and subs make decent money. However, I was going to do that this academic year, but the Linfield job fell onto my lap and it sounded like a huge hassle to get the emergency licensure. I know it’s probably not, but living in Mac wasn’t ideal, since it’s tucked away from where I want to be! I started looking at houses, since rent is so expensive for an apartment. And obviously, for Maizie it would be ideal to have a small yard! I got a notice a few weeks ago, since she jumped on a resident ONCE. And she reported me to the landlord. Understandable obviously, but so unnecessary! Maizie is so sweet and wouldn’t hurt any human, cats are a different story! Anyway, I’m balancing options and deciding where I want to live. Most of my friends still consider home, their home. For me, it’s different. I want to be out on my own and even if I did consider my parents’ house, home, I wouldn’t want to live there, because I like living on my own and being independent. Plus, they live in a community now where I wouldn’t be able to live there. So there’s that. It’s definitely a weird thing to my friends that I don’t consider home, home. My apartment is my home, I don’t really have a home to go to. It’s my parents house. And that’s the way it is as an adult. It’s not necessarily a criticism, but my generation seems more dependent on their families. It’s understandable as a college student to not pay for everything, but I started paying some of my own bills when I was just a teenager, still in high school. Granted, I had a job and worked full time during the summer. I guess I learned early that once the money is gone, it’s gone. I got allowance from the time I can remember. I had jobs I had to do every Saturday, mostly doing my own laundry, vacuuming, dusting, etc. Me as a child loved the ice cream truck and once my $1 was gone, it was gone. If we went to the grocery store, I got a pack of gum, that $1 was gone. I learned the hard way that once it’s gone, I had to wait until my next “payday” to have money again. Nowadays, understandably, living is expensive, so young people can’t afford everything and having some spending money. Granted, once you get into your mid-20’s, you’re gonna have to pay for things. Everything is SO expensive. I remember buying a pair of boots that were $35 and they have worn out, so Cyber week did me dirty…and I bought a new pair of boots! They were a million percent off, but still WAY more expensive than $35. This is why I hate inflation. Literally, EVERYTHING is so expensive. Groceries. Clothing. Household items. Gosh, the list goes on and on.

On having my place, my roommate and I briefly talked about getting a Christmas tree! Not sure how Maizie will react or if she will bother it, but I like the idea of having a tree! Our apartment is not season-ish looking. I was looking at garlands all week online. I did some Cyber week shopping! I got most of the Christmas presents that I needed to get! I just have my oldest brother and his girlfriend left. I thought about buying a new TV and they actually had good deals on TV’s, but didn’t really need it.

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I love this time of year. However, I was with a few family members a week before Thanksgiving and it just reminded me that the holidays are so different now that I am older. It’s nice to have my brother and his wife nearby, as well as my mom and stepdad. My dad decided to move to Eastern Washington and even so, I hadn’t seen him before the wedding (back in September) for at least 2.5 years…but I’d lost count of how long it had actually been. The holidays are always hard for split-up families. When the kids are young, one parent always misses out. And the kids feel a different vibe than before. I love the season, the beautiful decor, the beautiful lights, the colors, the Christmas sweaters, the weather (snow specifically)…but holidays just aren’t the same anymore. My holidays have always been fairly low key. I don’t have a big family and I’m essentially the youngest of the family. My grandparents have all passed away. I don’t speak to one of my aunts. My uncle and aunt live out of state. I just reconnected with my cousins back in September and it was SO good to see them. We’re just all grown up now, we have our own lives. Holidays are just different.

MAIZIE. I’ve been walking her in the morning and she has never really appreciated the statues in peoples yards, but now that there are Christmas decorations, she is not a fan of the light-up reindeer or blow-up figures. She scoffs and growls at them whenever we pass by. She’s ten months already! I think she’s topped out on size, so much for being 50 pounds. She’s definitely an early riser. People say that she has calmed down quite a bit. She has a little perch looking out my window during the day that she has made her own.

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I read a blog post earlier and I connected with it on a deeper level than I thought. I feel like I’m such a different person from everyone else my age. Yeah, sure I’m more mature than my peers. Yeah, sure, I look different from everyone else. Yeah, sure, my story is different from someone else. But it’s my story. My adoption has been a part of my identity and I have made it an important facet in my life. I get asked questions and I know I am fortunate enough to know a lot more information than everyone else. There’s a student now doing a research piece on international adoptees and being raised in their non-like culture. I’ve always accepted being unique is good and it’s okay to embrace different. It’s something new for people, it can be scary for people. I’ve encountered peoples’ ignorance to my differences from them. I have learned to not take it personally. I have learned to choose to not be offended. I don’t get offended easily. However, I have corrected many people on how to talk about my differences to me in a respectful manner. And they have thanked me for it. I know it’s okay to be different, it doesn’t have to be a flaw. However, sometimes when people describe me, I know they’re not trying to insult me, but I am different and my personality is different than the ordinary woman. I have a big personality. Not everyone is going to like me. I have learned that not everyone is going to like me and that’s okay. Back to what I was going to say about the blog post, it was a vulnerable thought to even write down and at times, I am afraid to say it out loud. I’m the bubbly, outgoing girl that always has a smile on her face. Over the course of this year, I have learned through my anxiety that crowds of people overwhelm me and the extroverted part of me was confused for a long time. I am supposed to be an extrovert, why am I all of a sudden scared of being around people? I would think to myself. I would get frustrated with myself. “This isn’t me. What’s wrong with me?” And at the same time, I would enjoy the time I had to myself. But I do cope with loneliness sometimes. I can be in a room with a full of people that I know love and care for me, but I can still feel as lonely as can be. I still don’t know what will alleviate my feelings of loneliness. Sometimes, I need to get out of my own way. These are the moments when having another being in my apartment is helpful for me. During school breaks, I have encountered that I experience this huge empty void in the space that I live (my apartment) and I feel like there’s not enough of me to fill in the space. And the empty space overwhelms me and makes it even worse. Sometimes going on a walk helps, but it’s strange…outside is a bigger space than my apartment. It doesn’t make sense rationally. What I have learned is that anxiety isn’t rational. Most of the time, I feel okay. There are moments, though.

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If there is anything I have learned in 2017, it is feeling the feelings and knowing those feelings are not going to last forever. I will make it through.

 

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I hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse

After one of the craziest, anxiety-built weekends work-wise, I planned on taking myself on my first post-grad vacay! It was short and sweet, but wouldn’t have changed a thing to be honest! First time flying totally solo last weekend and it actually went seamlessly. AMEN. Work is going well. It’s crazy as usual, this upcoming week will not be any different, surprise, surprise!. And fall semester is quiet compared to spring semester, so it’ll be a bit of a doozy next semester I’m thinkin’. I’m discovering that my supervisor is more like me than I thought. He’s the one that all the student workers really like and to be totally honest, he really intimidates/d me when I started working for him this year. They don’t know how and why I’m intimidated by him, but I don’t understand how they’re not. I didn’t interact with him a whole last as a student last year, but this year I see him all the time. It’s taken some getting used to. They’re intimidated by the other supervisor, which I find hilarious. I feel like I’ve been going non-stop throughout the month of October and November has been no different. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down a whole lot either. It’s almost the middle of November, which is crazy to me. This is the first weekend where I’ve literally been the least bit productive and I feel like I’m catching up on sleep, since daylight savings always throws me off. The next couple weekends are going to be hectic, so I’m enjoying the downtime while I can. Thanksgiving is so soon, which is strange. 2017 has flown by for me. There have been a lot of highs and lows. Halloween came and went. Elizabeth and me were working at the library so it was a quiet Halloween. We were both minions from Despicable Me. Maizie came with to the library as well. I’m seriously debating getting her a Christmas sweater or some silly get-up. She didn’t take her raincoat very well, but it kept her dry on her walk, so I don’t feel that bad about it. There was a Minnie Mouse dress that I could have gotten her at Disneyland, but no. It was $$$.

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Daylight Savings did a number on me. I think Sunday morning, I woke up at 6. And went to sleep at 8:30. And meanwhile, a friend of mine was watching Maizie while I was gone. She woke her up at 6. So daylight savings was a mystery to her as well. She’s been waking me up at seven, but that’s more acceptable than 6. I actually slept in until 7:30.

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Disneyland was so much fun! I walked over ten miles each day. Left on Monday and came back on Thursday. Three straight days, all day at Disneyland and California Adventures. Likely, I ate my weight in mint juleps, beignets, and ice cream. It’s such a dangerous place for me. On Wednesday, I got to the park early and there were so many people waiting in line to go through security and then to get into the park. I jumped on the train immediately when I got in and grabbed a mint julep. I told my stepdad that we would meet up at Cars Land and get a fast pass for Radiator Springs for the evening. However, I saw the lines were still long getting into Disneyland and getting into California Adventure. This is non-peak season, mind you. Granted, that is coming to an end, since it’s the holiday season. It’s funny, when I left I wasn’t ready for Thanksgiving or Christmas or Christmas music or movies and now that I’m back, I feel like it’s slightly less frowned upon and more socially acceptable. The holiday season is always so low-key for me and it’s just so different from when I was little. I feel like the holidays are much more special when you’re young. Everything is still magical. Anyway, Disneyland and California Adventure were half Halloween and half Christmas decorations, which was confusing for me, HA. I got to ride all the Fantasyland rides later at night, since all the little kids (and their parents) usually vacate the park. Disneyland is SO pretty at nighttime. It was sort of a bummer that there wasn’t a parade or fireworks, like the last couple years, there has been an amazing program at the end of the night. And the holiday parade is always really neat too. There was one point throughout each day that my legs were just so tired, so I finally sat down and just people watched for a little while. It was so nice just sitting on Main Street or in Adventureland and just relaxing and enjoying myself.

For those of you that have not gone to Disneyland before and need some assistance in what the “cool” stuff is. If you’re not a fan of food, just ignore this paragraph. I am a huge fan of mint juleps and dole whips. I typically wake early and get Starbucks (either in Downtown Disney, Disneyland or in this case, right next door to the hotel!) and then get on the ART (Anaheim Resort Transportation) bus that drops you off 50 feet from the entrance. I highly recommend using Get Away Today to get your park tickets and definitely get a park hopper. I say the 3-day-hopper is your best bet! Also, download the Disneyland app on your smartphone! It’s seriously a lifesaver! It’ll show you where the characters are, how long the wait is for any given ride, what food is where, the menu’s for restaurants and food carts, etc. If you have small children, I would start in Fantasyland. It has all the little kid rides. My personal favorite is the Dumbo ride! They’re all very simple, but great for little kids! Definitely Toontown as well, that’s where a lot of the characters hang out too! Mint Juleps and Beignets are at the Mint Julep Bar right by French Market in New Orleans Square. The line is really, painfully long at nighttime, since it’s a dessert type thing! But tbh, I go almost any time during the day! It’s never too early or late for a dole whip/beignets! They hit the spot. My favorite rides at Disneyland are Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Matterhorn (pretty jerky and hard on your body, so be careful), and Haunted Mansion.

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California Adventure is more scenic for me than anything. I just appreciate the views. Paradise Pier will be converted into Pixar Pier in the Summer 2018, not really sure how to feel about that one yet, but we’ll see how they do it. I’ve always been pleased with all their changes. I absolutely love Cars Land. It’s stunning and Radiator Spring Racers is my absolute favorite ride. Grizzly River Run is always super fun too! You do not come off that ride dry. My stepdad got drenched BOTH times he went. Quite hilarious, actually. However, my weakness in this park is definitely the Ghiradelli shop; essentially chocolate heaven.

Especially going during the holiday season or near the holiday season, it’s a bit more crowded than I would have liked, but nothing compared to coming to a dead halt last year after the evening fireworks show. Don’t go in January or February, since that’s when they close at least 5-6 rides to refurbish them and perform maintenance. Summer is always insane, as well as weekends. Locals come in the evenings, so it definitely feels more crowded. Beware of strollers, you can get bruised really nicely if you’re not careful. Also, prepare to WALK your booty off. I didn’t even have to worry about eating my weight for the three days, since I was walking over ten miles a day.

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Watching families experience the parks was so cute this week. I’ve never seen so many sleeping children in strollers. I joke all the time that at Disneyland that strollers are out to get me and will run me over so me being small will squeeze through the crevices to avoid the strollers. I just love looking at their faces when they are experiencing the characters and getting autographs. They were impatient to get on rides and get to the next thing. Then there were meltdowns and parents were like “we’re gonna go home if you don’t stop.” Gosh, I can’t imagine being a parent at Disneyland. If they’re little, I’d be afraid of losing a kid. One thing I don’t really understand is bringing a 3-5 year old and a baby who really can’t experience anything. Even better, I remember overhearing multiple conversations of moms and dads talking about how their kids woke them up “every hour” or “at 4:30am” and asked “Can we go to Disney yet?” The parents looked like zombies at 7am. I just thought to myself “it’s gonna be a long day for them.” Also, spending a ton of money on food for their kids. I wanted a hot dog and that was $7.50. It’s crazy. Bottled water was $4 + tax. Also, sales tax is the worst. I’ve had this Disneyland sweatshirt since 2009 and I finally got myself a new one. Every year we go, it looks different. There was a spirit jersey that was super popular, but it was more expensive than my sweatshirt, so I decided against that. Also, I think I’m gonna ask for a Disney backpack for Christmas. I should’ve bought it myself, but I saw it late at night and it jumped out at me and I didn’t to make an impulsive decision. It took me over 3 days to decide on buying a sweatshirt that I rightfully deserved to buy, HA. Nonetheless, it was a blast and wish I could have stayed longer. I had a moment of realization that when I was in the air, I left the airport in California and it was very warm and sunny. And then we started our descend and I knew I was back in Oregon, since it was gray and gloomy. Also, note to self, I need to sit in an aisle seat from now on, because that two hour flight, I had to pee three times. Gosh darn you coffee, water, sprite, more water, more coffee.

Tigger did a variety of poses for me

I really enjoyed the fact that there were characters that were taking photos and signing autographs. As well as, just walking around! When they were done taking photos, they would grab a little kid and hold their hand and walk with them. I’m starting to think about the next few years. Do I continue working? Do I embark on my Masters program? I keep being told I am young and I don’t need to rush into my career. However, I’ve thought more and more about settling down. Where do I want to live? Where do I want to work? Will I be able to find someone to settle down with? Will I have a family? These are the questions that are beginning to get me thinking at night. The thoughts begin racing and I can’t stop my mind from going down the rabbit hole. I know, I know, I’m only 22.

Also, I’d been posting Disney photos non-stop on Instagram and Snapchat during the duration of my vacay. Thanks all for watching my stories, it’s sort of a nice break from Maizie overload all the time, right?! She contrasts nicely with the leaves huh? She is over 10 months old already! Whoa. I think she’s pretty much done growing and she was 36 pounds the last time we went to the vet. This photo was a couple weeks ago and her eyes were really gross and goopy, so I got her some eyedrops and she’s as good as new now.

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I decided that I’m going to do a post on what I have learned in my 22 years, instead of doing the cliche New Years Resolutions. I’ll probably mesh some reflection in there too, inevitably. So stay tuned for that.

CHEERS.