To Have and to Pee

I have to admit that when I started this blog I came up with the name “All Dina Does” because it sounded fun. And let’s face it, everyone loves alliteration. But to be completely honest, there is not really much that I “do”. I have been living in a vacuum seal of work, school, work that I hadn’t much time to do anything else but the two. But this past month I filled my calendar with numerous social events (gasp!) and ended with a trip home for nothing other than my best friend’s wedding.

I will say that the two shows I did attend undeniably deserve their own posts as they were the incredible “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” and “Hamilton.” Which I did not believe I was seeing until I was actually in my seat and the theater lights dimmed.  I rode the wave of theatrical emotion until I boarded the plane home to attend Chelsea’s wedding.

I have reached the point in my relationship with Los Angeles where I appreciate the small amounts of time we get to spend apart. Flying to visit my hometown is always a welcome vacation. If this vacation lasts a maximum of 7 days, does not take place between to the months of November-March due to weather and you have an understanding that there is always something to do and someone to see. If you understand all of this then you’re good.

Everything felt like a flurried rush until the wedding on Friday night that I found myself crouching next to the toilet holding Chelsea’s dress up as she peed before the ceremony started.

Chelsea and I met in Girl Scouts when we were seven and have created a friendship that has withstood time, distance and her sometimes nauseating around the clock happiness. And as I did my best friend duty by holding her dress and  checking for deodorant I wondered if I could ever allow myself to be this happy.

 

Of course women are happy on their wedding day but like happy everyday? That seems like it requires so much work. And of course I am happy… I think, or I am consciously working toward being happy. I mean I am happy with various parts of my life, my relationship, my job, friendships. But like consistently happy? Is that a thing?

At least it was never a thing for me, if I had a therapist, which I keep telling myself I will get one, they would probably tell me that I have inherent issues about happiness and regret and some other things that have bogged me since childhood.

So what to do with all of this happiness? How do you process fears of not being able to be happy? Who the hell has the answers to all of this? I found my answer on a nonstop flight back from Buffalo to LAX.

A couple, who may or may not have been an official couple. Or may or may not have been an official couple to only one involved. Anyway, they argued the entire way from takeoff to landing. I’m not joking, they literally argued about everything from Instagram, to Darien Lake, to the gentleman finally saying “We’re just friends. We’re friends who fuck. We’re just friends.” Eric and I needless to say were thoroughly entertained. We sat like school children and passed notes back and forth tying to figure out what they were actually fighting about, or if they were on vacation and if so why were they on vacation with each other at all. And sitting there listening to a non-couple couple fight while simultaneously being a couple with someone that made me happy. I decided on happiness.

I decided that we are in charge of our own happiness. And I was in charge of mine. Sometimes its doesn’t happen often and sometimes it’s hard to find, but controlling the amount of energy we spend on creating happiness is up to no one but myself. And that is all the energy I can muster right now.

Because this post is about happiness it is only right to share happy moments from my happiest friend’s wedding.

 

 

The New Taylor

I have spent the last few months looking for what myself and my friends referred to as, a grownup job. This is obviously not a very nice thing to say around my coworkers as they are all much older than me and are in their preferred grownup job. But in my eyes, my current career of waiting tables and serving food is not my ideal professional path. I was so focused on finding a professional job that I had my morning routine down to a science:

  1. Wake up & make coffee.
  2. Fix myself a cup of coffee and proceed to the couch.
  3. Open laptop and open various career finding engine websites that are extremely overwhelming.
  4. Drink coffee while filtering through terrible jobs and redundant internships.
  5. Send out first resume to a reasonable* job posting.
  6. Continue to sift through the trash that you are now convinced is Indeed.com.
  7. Take a bathroom break.
  8. Drink glass of wine
  9. Apply to a reach** job.
  10. Continue to search through the filtered results of job postings until you are convinced maybe it would just be easier to get another internship.
  11. Apply to a shit*** job.
  12. Give up and collect the various pieces of you dignity that have scattered onto your laptop keyboard.

*What makes a reasonable job:

  1. It is NOT an Internship
  2. The commute to said job is less than 40 minutes.
  3. The pay is less than what you currently make but you're willing to make the sacrifice for professionalism.
  4. You have the skill set required for this job.

**What makes a reach job:

  1. It is NOT an Internship.
  2. You have the required skill set for this job.
  3. It is for a company that you know will not hire you because they have their own set of internships that are following the internal corporate ladder. You apply anyway.
  4. The commute is so close that it is the Los Angeles equivalent of  next door.

***What makes a shit job:

  1. It MAY or MAY NOT be an Internship.
  2. This is most likely the last submitted resume sent for the day.
  3. You have the required skill set for this job.
  4. This job may or may not pay depending on the internship status.
  5. The commute is 40+ minutes away.
  6. You've only applied to this job because you want to hit your submitted resume quota for the day.

You then spend the rest of your day going on about your business but constantly checking your email for a response to your five (maybe more) submitted resumes. You rarely hear back from any of them.

I had in fact heard from about four companies that I had applied to. Two reasonable jobs and two shit jobs, because of course. I brushed off my interview blazer, opened Google Maps and went on the subsequent job interviews, all of them. After my last interview hadn't contacted me for over a week, I resigned to the fact that I would die in my waitress uniform. This feeling continued even as I started every morning with the same resume submitting ritual; until, I began playing phone tag with one of the women I had interviewed with for a trade magazine.

My noticeably lacking confidence seeped into the good news that this game of phone tag was indicating.So Eric, forever my support system gave this advice, "There is no way she keeps trying to reach you if you didn't get the job." He was right, and I had been offered a position at a reasonable job and I finally felt worthy of it. I could finally, if not in my mind alone tell Indeed.com to go fuck itself.

After going out to purchase "professional" clothes, because apparently yoga pants are not considered "professional" I started my first day my new job.

It is a publication that is part of a larger parent company with hallways full of small windowless offices for both editorial and production of various publications. I was walked down a hallway and politely told that I would be taking over Taylor's old office. I could barely hide my excitement that I was receiving an office at all. To sit in front of a computer editing and writing copy all day was a thing my dreams were made of. I DID NOT want to serve food anymore.

On my first day I left my office door open. Throughout the day various friendly faces from throughout the office popped in my doorway to introduce themselves and say hello. I honestly remember about four of them, but they were all very nice.

So here I am, about two months in. (And if I can just say this whole bi-weekly paycheck thing is something that I am going to have to get use to. It gives me anxiety as obviously this changes my bill pay schedule but I guess this is all part of the "grownup job"). And I have just started to make this little, windowless office my own. I've taken to throwing out most of things, I mean I know it is sacrilegious to throw away old Vogues but do I need every issue from 2013? Probably not. But what I really need, is a new desk.

Taylor's old desk has two broken drawers, which I would like to use as Taylor's file cabinet is also broken. So I mention this to my new boss and when I come in the next morning, there is a new desk. Not Taylor's desk but Dina's desk. After this new desk's arrival more and more things started to fall into "office space." I am starting to find my own voice when writing for the magazine, I am people that I can eat lunch with and have enjoyable conversation, some of them even like Drags Queens, so it is the ultimate win.

And it is a little weird sitting here thinking about how long, or maybe not that long at all, it took me to get here. And I take that back, it took a long time. And a lot of studying, and crying and taking the bus to class and taking the bus to work. And as I sit at my new big desk, in an office with no windows, where I am not an intern anymore but an actual employee with a byline (A BYLINE!), and I am so busy that I can only relish in what I've done once I get home because there isn't enough hours in the work day. I decide that I do not want to be the new Taylor. I would instead like to think that I am the new Dina.

May Showers, Mercury in Retrograde, and the Santa Ana Winds

It’s Spring. Growing up I couldn’t wait for Spring. You had spent the better part (depending on the year and our dear old and tired, Mother Earth) of 4-6 months covered in Western New York white snow and by the time May came around you were pretty certain that there would not be another freak snowstorm. But even though there was no call for snow, there was a pretty solid chance that it would rain. That whole “April showers bring May flowers” stuff was delayed by a month or so sometimes up in the Greater Niagara region. And even though you didn’t have to scrape your car when you tried to go to the grocery store, it would be pouring rain; and who, after five months of ice and snow who would be happy to see any other kind of precipitation at all? The nonstop complaining of hating the weather outside carried on until it was officially Summer, because you can never be too happy.

So when I was old enough to think I was capable of uprooting my life I choose a place to live where it didn’t snow. Little did I know that it would barely rain either. And after a few years of being surrounded by yoga, kale and Sunny SoCal Liberalism I started to drink the kool-aid and become more aware of my energy what kind of energy I was admitting into the mix of Carbon Monoxide and Methane gas. And although I was skeptical at first, and it honestly took a lot of time to become  fully conscious of what reactions I should expect from my own energy, I was starting to be able to manipulate my own aura. I should also point out that during my time of growing self-realization, the rainy season in Los Angeles became pretty nonexistent and the Summers became hotter and drier. About four years ago, I became fully acquainted with a SoCal Spring… and developed allergies.

With the increasing effects of the drought, the Santa Ana winds have now started to resembled a menopausal woman: increasingly hot, unapologetic, and dry as a bone. And since you can develop allergies at any point in your life (which I did not know until I actually developed allergies) I learned all about Santa Ana and her winds. I also learned when to watch for Zyrtec to be on sale; and so the seasonal weather complaining continued.  But I was a different person now right? I mean at least wasn’t I like, trying to be? How would the new Dina react to this seasonal weather pattern? Two things that I started with were acceptance and preparation. The winds started around the same time every year (Fall and early Spring) and all I had to do was make sure I had allergy medicine on hand so I didn’t suffer.No need to complain, no point in relishing in the agony of it all, because after 20 years of complaining about snow and rain you just have to come to terms with Mother Nature and the fact that she gives zero fucks about how you feel about her weather patterns.

I came into Spring this year after a shitstorm that was Winter and decided there was no way to go but up, and since we’re all about nature in this post lets keep it going and say, there’s nothing to do after a storm other than grow. See what I did there? So I was extra conscious about my energy as I stocked up on Zyrtec and braced myself for high, hot winds. But this year was extra special, this year just in time for Spring, Mercury decided to be in retrograde.

Now, what the fuck does that mean?

Although it is common to understand that Mercury in retrograde means that the planet Mercury starts to orbit around the sun backwards, this is false. Mercury in retrograde simply means that Mercury has changed its orbital speed compared to orbital speed of Earth. And even though I would love to sit here and talk about Astrology for 700 words, I don’t, and you’re all adults that can Google. As it pertains to this post however, Mercury in retrograde does normally affect communication of any kind. This includes how we communicate with each other and our normal types of everyday communication i.e. your phone or computer. So even though I have decided that I am able to survive and conquer anything that life has to throw at me, because after the first few months of the year nothing could get worse, I now have to accept the fact that communication will be hard to navigate and my phone may or may not glitch at anytime. This is of course, if you believe in this kind of stuff, and I do so there’s that. Haven’t you ever had a chunk of time where everything is like “What the fuck is happening in the universe right now?!” Maybe you should check your astrological calendar that’s all I’m saying.

So here I am in the middle of my growth with another season to complain about. But if we are being honest, isn’t there always something to complain about? I’ve spent to much time being annoyed with the way I think things should be instead of being okay with the way things are. The only advice you will find on ways to prepare for Mercury in retrograde is to have the knowledge of accepting that you can’t stop Mercury and to adjust your reactions to the effects this time will have. So I have one more thing to become adjusted to. But seasons change and if I have to adjust to six inches of snow in March or my phone just dying because it feels like it, there’s always something to complain about. And what do they say, “When it rains it pours?” How about “When it winds it blows?” there’s still the SoCal sun so I can grow.

🌱

Be

I am, or actually we are, 45 days into 2017. And I would just like it be over already. Within the scope of 45 days I have felt pretty much every emotion, it’s been a heavy year thus far. Most of theses emotions are self-inflicted , and I am still trying to figure out exactly how to navigate what I want to do with each of them. But instead of processing anything that I know I should be,  I sit here and I don’t feel like doing anything, just nothing. No reading, no yoga, no thinking, just being. And for me right now, a week after my 29th birthday, being is all I can be accountable for. I have thrown everything in the air and it has landed upside down around me and all I need to figure out is how to be. To be myself, to be strong, to be stable, to be stupid, to be something.

I thought that I had a pretty clear picture of what it was I wanted to be, until one day I didn’t. I woke up and saw everything for what it wasn’t, what I wanted it to be and how it didn’t turn out that way so I threw it all like caution to the wind. I thought that after I had thrown my life into turmoil that I would be able to breathe, and now that I am surrounded by the aftermath of my decisions I still cannot breathe. Sure I am breathing because I am living, I am here and I am aware. But I’m not here and I am only semi aware.

Maybe me trying to be requires that I take the steps to become aware. Or maybe I fly home and hide on my parents couch in 20 degree Western New York weather, maybe I need a distraction, maybe I don’t. Is figuring out how to be yourself a journey through maybes? Is that what I have done, entered myself into this self created labyrinth of maybes? I had spent so much of my time creating a place where I was sure, where I felt safe and secure. Until I didn’t. And instead of living in a world of what ifs I traded it all for maybes.

So what do I do with these maybes? What do I do with all of these emotions? I’m not exactly sure yet. But sitting here on my couch by myself wrapped in a blanket can only last for so long, until I decide to go back to yoga. When everything around me was created by the chaos within me then the only way to fix it is to go inside. Root down and rise up, lean on the strength of other souls so they can show you how strong your own soul is. Sweat out every tear that you think you have inside and try your hardest not to cry when you release the emotions that have settled in your hips (it is kind of embarrassing to cry in a crowded yoga class on a Monday afternoon I’ve learned). It’s 2017 and I am really, really over it, but it’s not done, and neither am I.

The World Turned Upside Down

Last week I had walked into a Big Lots for the first time in a long time. I was in need of some paper plates and dog poop bags. As soon as I entered the store, Christmas smacked me in my whole face. It was everywhere, from candy to decorations, to Christmas kitchen items to dog costumes. I immediately felt bad for Thanksgiving. It just gets the shaft, rushed over and forgotten.Agreed that Thanksgiving has transformed into a holiday that is buried in commercialism; stores don’t even close anymore, forcing  employees to miss the entire weekend with their families not just a Friday. And yes, Thanksgiving is a holiday with somewhat of a contentious history, but then again, what part of the United States history isn’t contentious. But I still felt bad, Thanksgiving had been reduced to a distant clearance corner inside Big Lots and it hadn’t even happened yet. With everything that has happened already this November, I can’t imagine rushing to the end of the year, freely falling into the unstable and unknown.

My fear of falling into the unknown followed me all the way to my yoga practice and has been taunting me for some time. In order to conquer this fear, I took the day off of work and participated in a yoga workshop given by a teacher that I take on a regular basis. During the opening sequences of our practice, the class focused on opening our chests and strengthening our spine; breathing intentions and focusing on our fears. The world is becoming unbalanced enough, my teacher had explained which is a vibe that has been a haunting theme in the everyday. He then mentioned the recent attention to this unbalance when the cast of Hamilton called out Vice-President Elect Mike Pence during a curtain call following a performance.It was the only political comment of the class, and it was taken with a passing laugh. In order to overcome that fear of being unbalanced, we had to adjust our “sunskaras” which is a sanskrit word for mental impression or habit, the order in which  you automatically cross your arms for example.In order to do that, we had to become aware of when our fear took over and adjust our reaction to that fear. Physically, this meant that as soon as we felt we were pass center we should bend our knees and land on the balls of our feet essentially in a wheel position.

When we focused back on finding balance while upside down,he went on to tell us that our spine has to be strong enough to find this balance; but subtle enough to adjust to the shock of falling. Our spine is the center of everything that is happening while trying to achieve an inversion. We spent a better chunk of the class flipping upside down and trying to hold various inversions including headstand, handstand and forearm balance. The ultimate goal, my teacher explained, is to not be afraid of falling out of an inversion, but to get frustrated that you did so. The goal, is to stay upside down, balance and be strong, getting over the fear of falling is just the first step.

By the time the class got to savassana I was exhausted. My arms were sore, my quads were screaming and I could not wait to lay down. Our savassana was extra long since our class was both extra long and hard on the nervous system. Once I had opened my eyes after giving gratitude for being able to practice that day, I felt light but grounded. I felt open and ready to be strong and stable in an unstable world.

A Sexual Potato

Well it’s finally here, the end of the presidential election season. And yes, even though the president will be picked and the majority of America’s sad political understanding will die down; complaining and misinterpretations will continue to allow people to speak on things that they just don’t understand (there is always Facebook for that, and we thank you, Mark Zuckerberg). But one of the most disturbing issues in this election, a topic that I believe will out-live inauguration day, the first 100 days and perhaps continue its life well into the 2020 elections, is the issue raised about gender and more narrowly, sexual harassment.

Unfortunately, I have in some context or another been sexually harassed since puberty. Cat called while walking down the street is probably the oldest form of this that I can remember. There is always someone trying to grab my ass when I go to a bar. There is almost always a man that doesn’t want to believe that you would like nothing to do with him, and then tells you that you are the problem. Since I am not a huge bar scene kind of gal, this type of harassment is far and few between but I will bet a dollar that it happens every time.Most recently however the most sexual harassment I encounter on a consistent basis is at my job serving food. This is a constant in my life and honestly I don’t think it is unfortunate. I take these comments and use my reaction to make myself a stronger person, a stronger woman actually. And although while some men have “locker room talk” with the misconception that women have the same kind of conversations, we don’t, I recently, while at my job walked into the very kind of conversations women do have about men.

I had been serving a table of six women who were celebrating a birthday. We had just sang “Happy Birthday” and the woman was opening her gifts, I approached the table to serve coffee.  These women, who were celebrating their friend’s 80th birthday, were discussing recent comments made by our Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, to which he refers to sexually harassing women as “locker room banter“.  As I approached the table with the tray of coffee I heard one of them say, “It really is disgusting but they talk about women that way”, to which her friend replied, “well of course they do. Men talk like that all the time.” These are the moments when I would love to know a.) What my face actually looks when I approach a table and b.) How to change the expression on my face because I have an issue where I am terrible at hiding the emotion that sits on my forehead. I didn’t say anything, then one of the women looked at me and said, “I bet no one sexually harasses you in that outfit.” Now my work  uniform is no way flattering. It is a potato sack, not a literal potato sack but it does nothing for me and I don’t love it, so. It is a potato sack. I smiled at her in spite of myself.”Actually Ma’am it happens all the time.” And that is both the truth and sad, because the majority of the people I work with are women and if it isn’t happening to me it’s happening to one of them.

These are a few of the examples we hear:

“I would like to eat a (side dish) off of your tits.”

“Happy Birthday too you.” “Now strip!”

“You should work in Texas all the servers have big boobs in Texas.”

Dressed as a potato.

And of course you tell a superior maybe they kick them out, maybe they change servers depending on the comment, but most of the time no one says anything. It doesn’t really get any better after someone says something like that to you.Especially in a business where you depend on that jerk to give you money after all of it. If I choose to complain and lose the tip or the table its money out of my pocket.

Although it doesn’t bother me, and I may be immune to comments of that nature, they are still hanging above me in a form of control when I am in the workplace. It is the kind of environment that women face everyday no matter what they have on. And yes, it may be said that men talk like this because they always have. But maybe it is time that we stop allowing them to.

 

Happy Anniversary to You, Los Angeles, with Hard Earned Love, Me

Recently October 1st to be exact, was my anniversary of moving to Los Angeles. 8 years, all of the 8 years found within my twenties. In which case you could call these “formidable” years. I grew up in a small town and then grew up again in a huge metropolitan city. Ironically I spent my anniversary with Los Angeles in my hometown of Niagara Falls; and while I reflected on the days leading up to moving,(in all thanks to that friendly Facebook Memories feature) and what has happened since I moved for good, I began to figure out whom I’ve become from memory, circling back to where it began.

I was 20 years old when I moved to Los Angeles from Niagara Falls, New York. In hindsight it was an impulsive move. Not very enthused to attend the local junior college, when my two years were up at Niagara County Community College I jumped at the chance to escape and to be somewhere, anywhere, other than there. This rush impulsion was the first step into me trying to be someone I am not. I applied to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Downtown Los Angeles and wanted to do my very best Lauren Conrad impression of life. I mean fashion school,really? I literally wore sweatpants and a ponytail everywhere I went and suddenly I found myself surrounded by rich blonde girls who wore 4 inch heels to pump gas. I was way out of my league, I was way out of myself. But I was determined to finish and figure it out, I was determined to make it work. I graduated from FIDM with a school made friend, a boyfriend and an internship at Nordstrom so maybe I could make it work.

I began working at Nordstrom and felt very comfortable there, I was a sales girl working off commission and with years upon eons of retail experience fit directly into the flow. Of course there were many things that I had to get used too, like moms spending thousands of dollars for their preschooler to go back to school. But these were just examples of the differences between where I grew up and where I was.

After a year or so working at Nordstrom I was promoted to Assistant Dept. Manager, I also moved into an apartment with the friend I had made at school and my boyfriend. I would like to label this the “dramatic years”, and lets be honest I was 22 and everything was dramatic, but really I was perfectly placed within my role as a 22 year old. I was recently graduated and trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do while being stubborn enough to continue on. I struggled with the fact that my roommate was younger than I was and still wanted to party while I had to wake up at 7 am to get to work for an 8 hour shift. My boyfriend and I were continuously learning about each other while simultaneously learning about ourselves. But within that year while I was trying so hard to continue this facade of being someone I wasn’t, I finally started to see myself as who I was.

A little after I had been promoted Eric and I moved into our own apartment. It was our first apartment. We had nothing but a saucepan and $20, that we had to pay back. We spent our first Christmas in that apartment with a tree and lights to compensate for the lack of furniture and food, but we continued working and continued to build our little home with each other. It was around this time, while I was an Assistant at Nordstrom that my depression started to seep into every aspect of my life. My managers at work were constantly reminding me that I was and never would fit into the fashion world here in Los Angeles, and my lack of funds constantly reminded me what living paycheck to paycheck felt like. I no longer felt strong, I no longer felt empowered or ambitious. I felt like I was on autopilot going through the motions with no emotion attached to anything. I tried latching on to Eric for support but there was only so much support he could give me. I had gotten lost in this dream that was my life in Los Angeles and I had forgotten who I wanted to become. I look back on my years at Norstrom now and tell myself that if I was who I am now it never would have gotten that far, it never would have affected me that much. But then again don’t we all say that? Aren’t we all stronger retrospectively?

After 3 years of trying to fit into the world of Fashion I had had enough. I was done, I was over it and I was ready to figure it all out again. I was ready to be different, I was ready to figure out who the fuck I actually wanted to be. To do that though, I needed some time and because time isn’t cheap I needed money. I got a job at a restaurant and applied to the local community college. If my time in Los Angeles had a theme song it would be irony playing constantly in the background of every decision I made. It was however during this time working at a restaurant that I started to actually like the people around me. I found my coworkers to be relatable and as genuine as a bunch of non working actors in Los Angeles could be. And for once since moving to L.A. I was not only good at my job, but recognized as such. I could be myself while paying my bills and show my personality.

School on the other hand was a totally different experience, and I wanted it to be. I had such a rushed and negative perception of my first go at college that I really wanted to be involved during this second chance. Although I was excited about this new start, the universe still wanted to remind me that nothing I ever did was easy. At the end of my first semester at Santa Monica College I learned that none of the classes I had taken back at Niagara County would transfer and that my new college experience would be a full four years. When I learned this I sat in the counselor’s office and cried. Why exactly was I doing this to myself all over again? What the fuck was I thinking that this would be a good idea? Or that it would be different for that matter? That everything would just work because I had a shitty college experience as well as a shitty post college experience so the universe owed me a better one. The universe owed me nothing. Mostly because I expected it to owe me something and I wasn’t willing to change my attitude/energy. So I made the decision that if I wanted a better outcome from the universe I had to change my relationship with my own energy. I also had to figure out how to defeat my depression. I started going to yoga to figure out exactly what I needed to change. Yoga transitioned into a constant practice through the changing of jobs, seasons, and transferring to a major university. My first major, four year university; and just like my headstand pose, my energy slowing started to change and take shape.

Once I began my first semester at Cal State Northridge the desire to become immersed in the full college experience was back in full force. I wanted to join clubs, get straight As, sit in the front. There was nothing stopping me now. Not everything was an obstacle it seemed, or if I did meet an obstacle I was just better at adapting and adjusting; and that in itself was an accomplishment. My school spirit however last about two weeks. Although I did get straight As and sit in the front, I did not join any clubs. I did however privately worry about the future of America. College kids annoyed me to no end. If anything watching various younger versions of myself and my friends walk around campus wearing slippers, not doing basic homework tasks and complaining that life is too hard made me only want to figure out my own life even more. Even though I was only 26 while attending CSUN I felt old as hell, I now know what my parents feel like when they say “back when I was kid” and that is sad. As my two years at CSUN came to a close I wanted to be over but to never end. I found a great love for school, and maybe it was that I was finally engaged in a subject matter that never felt like school work or maybe it was because during this time I had finally embraced my introverted, nerdy self. I wasn’t constantly worrying about fitting in with the blondes and their high heels, I wasn’t worried about making friends or going to clubs on the weekends. I was happy to be at home writing papers. And while everyone around me thought that I was a little weird for liking a 10 page term paper on Friday night, I for the first time was fine with the fact that I didn’t care what they thought. I was finally becoming who I wanted to be, I was finally comfortable with what I was doing. And I really enjoyed not giving a shit.

And now here I am, post college grad and still waiting tables. But that is okay, because I am okay with where I am and what I’ve done so far. I’m not trying to be anything other than what I want and what I want takes time, it takes energy. Headstand is a level three pose and I am okay with working through level two. Eric and I still live in our apartment that we both grew up in, and maybe it’s because we are not done growing up.

Coming back to my hometown is always a great break from life in La La Land, but La La Land has made me who I am just as much as Niagara Falls has and who knows I may not stay with Los Angeles forever and that’s okay but after everything that Los Angeles has taught me, I can’t wait to see where else I have in store for myself.