They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


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I was never ready

I wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet so I decided to go through my journal and coincidentally came across my last entry before they sent me to Binghamton. In that entry I wrote about how sad I am to leave. Mind you, this was when I thought I was only going to be in Binghamton temporarily for 6 months.

Anyway, I wrote specifically about a text message I received from a friend who told me she was sad I was leaving for 6 months. I quickly closed my journal after reading that sentence. I’m not even sure why. I just suddenly felt sad because in my present state of happiness and just in general how happy I’ve been since being here, I had forgotten how hard it actually was for me to leave. Both times.

The first time I left I was sad because it seemed I had just gotten into the groove of things with my new apartment, best guy friend as my roommate, and new gym. I had just gotten into routine, just started to hang out with new friends, basically just started settling in. And then I got the news of the “opportunity on the east coast,” which I had asked for the previous year. I know it was what I wanted but it didn’t make it any easier. I wasn’t ready, but I had to go.

Then, when they pulled me out of the assignment in Binghamton, I also felt really torn because it seemed sudden, even though I ended up being in Binghamton for a year when it was only supposed to be 6 months. I found a new group of friends, started traveling to different cities on the east coast, and learned to enjoy the slower pace of life. Just in time for me to leave. I wasn’t ready, but I had to go.

Then 4 months after living in L.A. I finally decided to take a job back in Binghamton because I just couldn’t see myself being happy in L.A. anymore. At that point I had rekindled my friendships and got back into the groove with my old gym and gym friends, and of course as the universe would have it, just started talking to a guy who really interested me in a way I haven’t felt in a very long time. Again, I wasn’t ready, but I had to go.

I had forgotten all that. I had forgotten how hard it was to leave people and certain routines behind and how sad I was. But one thing I wrote still resonates with me:

“I’m not ready, but the thing is, when opportunity comes, you take it then or not. I can’t wait, expecting it to come again.”

Wow. Go 27 year old me!

I just wonder when I will stop chasing opportunities and…settle. Not saying I’m ready for that because the thought still frightens me but maybe I’m closer to that than I used to be?

Not sure but the walk down memory lane has gotten me feeling a little sad. Oh nostalgia…

 

 


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A Whirlwind of Motion

It’s only mid-March and I’ve already done a lot of things, some for the first time and others because it’s a known favorite.

First, an old favorite: Snowboarding.

These were taken at Gore Mountain, which is part of the Andirondacks. It’s a pretty large mountain (none of which I explored because I’m a scaredy-cat and did the same run over and over) and I was fortunate enough to go on a weekend when it was actually warm and the sun was shining. It was a little too warm for me on day 1 but the snow was still great. I also finally invested in a helmet. Not because I’m looking to be the next Shaun White…more as a precaution like if I fell while getting off the ski lift and got hit on the back of the head (which happened to me while I was in the beginning stages of dating this guy…reason number 455 why I’ll never be the female equivalent of Hitch #noGame).

I’ve also been going at night locally (Greek Peak) since lift tickets are only $20 during the week and it’s only 45 minutes away! One night I went when it was 10 degrees… it’s a good thing I finally learned to put on my ski mask properly after years of owning it…

Then I switched gears and went all fancy that one weekend in February when it was 65 degrees! I went with friends to the Liberty Ball in Philadelphia, a formal, black tie event sponsored by the Four Diamonds Foundation in support of pediatric cancer research.

The nice weather didn’t last long (of course). The Northeast likes to tease around this time of year. So back to indoor activities, this time, indoor rock climbing at the Lindseth Climbing Center at Cornell!

And since we were at Cornell, my friend suggested we visit the “Harry Potter library.”

This library is easily the coolest one I’ve been to! If I had gone to school here I definitely would’ve been at the library a lot.

Even though I’ve been out and about, don’t think I’m not spending time enjoying my new home! When I bought the house it was a fishbowl (I.e. no window treatments) and now it’s a fishbowl with cool looking shades!

And last night I did my most favorite thing ever…I sat on the couch with my two kitties while watching a movie in my lion onesie! I’ve lived here for three months and I just now got to this! For shame!
What’s next in store for can’t-sit-still me? More snowboarding, this time at Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts, then meeting my Cali friends in Denver. Then possibly visiting my friends in Boston. Or perhaps the introvert side of me will put her foot down and insist on another onesie weekend, who knows. One thing I know for sure is 2017 has been amazing thus far and I can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Life has been so much better since I’ve let this little girl come out.


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It was the best of days, it was the worst of days

A few weeks ago some friends and I spent the weekend at the Charles Dickens Christmas-themed Skaneateles. We spent the time enjoying the costumed carolers,

walking the decorated streets of downtown Skaneateles,

and relaxing at the luxurious Mirbeau spa, complete with our own fluffy robe.

‘Twas indeed the best of times. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a relaxing weekend with some amazing ladies whilst enjoying a glass or two (or three or four) of wine and indulging in some freshly baked donuts.

I had been to Skaneateles in the summer and also had a wonderful time, but I must say seeing it in the winter with all the costumed carolers and decorations made it a lot more fun. That and I indulged in shopping this time. 😀

Until next time, Skaneateles! I heard there is a boat tour in the summer so I’ll to come back for that!


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A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Anger. Happiness. Guilt. Nervousness. Stressed. Excited. Joyful. Pride. Peace.

I went through all of these emotions the past couple of months in an almost cyclical pattern. You see, I had this idea to sell my condo in California, which was tenant-occupied at the time, and also buy a house in New York at the same time. I had this notion that because this was my second time around with the home buying process, I would be much calmer about the whole situation…I was wrong. By nature, the whole transaction involves people and things that are out of my control so when things went wrong, it got very stressful. It doesn’t matter how mature I’ve gotten or that I had been through this before. Oh well, it all worked out in any case and that’s really what matters.

And now?

I’m mostly happy. Life has been good. A few hiccups here and there but overall, I am very happy.

Especially, especially because lately it has become very clear to me how precious and good the people in my life are. Those who offered an ear when I was stressing out. Those who offered to help without me even asking. Those who send me cards and small gifts just because. Those who are genuinely excited for me with the things happening in my life right now, even though they also have exciting things going on in their own lives. Those who go on adventures with me. Those who make me laugh, even when I’m extremely upset. Those who listen, truly listen. And you. I am especially grateful for you, whatever role you may end up playing in my life. You make me want to be a better person. You’re showing me what I actually want…or more accurately, what I didn’t know I wanted…And more importantly, you’re serving as a spotlight, shining light on the shit that I was letting into my life simply by being you. You might just be the kindest person I have ever met and thank you for showing me that I’m worth someone like you. I wasn’t sure what it was going to take for me to really, truly let go of that one, but I guess it just took getting to know you. Screw that guy, and the other who is suddenly interested in me again now that I’m very clearly moving on.

bye


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Star-Crossed Lovers

One weekend I finally got to hang out with my brother’s fiancee, now wife, for a girls’ weekend. What this means is I finally got the details of how she met my brother. I had asked my brother a couple years back but in typical guy fashion, he did not give me much. The conversation basically went like this:

“So, how did you ask her out?” I asked my brother after a few drinks in.

“I didn’t. She asked ME out,” my brother replied, followed by a smirk.

Aaaand that was the end of the conversation. Typical guy. No juicy details whatsoever lol. However, as I suspected, it was not quite so simple. For starters, my brother’s wife was his apartment manager. In addition, my brother was never the type to pay much attention to the ladies, even back when he was in high school when all the girls would come up to me and say, “omg! You’re his little sister?? Your brother is SO cute!” and I would tell him. His reaction back then was to laugh and smirk, much like when I asked how he had met his wife. Then to make things even more interesting, his wife at the time barely spoke any English. So how then? How did this even start, let alone work out?

It all started with a knock on his door. When he opened the door, there she was, looking nervous but beautiful and asking him in broken English if he wanted to take a walk around the block. And then…magic.

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My brother must have seen something in her that made him just know. I normally tend to roll my eyes at the cliche cheesy love stuff especially because I thought I knew twice before and I was wrong both times, but given this is my brother, who I had never seen this way with anyone before, it made me pay attention. It especially made me pay attention when they decided to continue seeing each other even after my brother moved to New York while she stayed in southern California.

“He’s moving to New York, right?” I asked my mom.

“Right,” my mom said.

“So…are they still staying together?” I asked.

“Of course!” my mom said.

My bad…there was nothing ‘of course’ about it to me…

I thought that was hard enough, but apparently, it was even more complicated than that. Timing really did a number on them. For one thing, she was planning to move back home to Mexico, which was what had given her the courage to knock on his door to begin with. Not to mention she had a work engagement the whole week immediately after their first walk together. And then, four months into dating, my brother got a job in New York and had to move. More and then, her student visa was expiring soon so she had to move back to Mexico.

So there she was, still living in southern California while my brother was across the country in New York and her friends and family were back in Mexico, with a soon expiring student visa. She had a good job lined up for her in Mexico that she had been planning to take before she met my brother. But she decided to stay.

I don’t understand. I really don’t, not going to lie.

Here was this young, independent woman, who had dreams of her own that did not involve anyone else…and yet she stayed. She is not that different from me. She’s very career-driven. There were SO many factors against them and logically it just did not make any sense. When I asked her about it she told me that her mind was telling her the same thing. The way they met wasn’t the best given the property manager/client relationship, my brother moved shortly after, she had to move to a different country not long after that, and yet it just somehow felt right to be with him, she told me.

Wow. I mean, that really amazes me. What does it feel like to meet someone that makes you realize life makes more sense with them than without them? What is it like to feel that being with someone is more important and will make you happier than following your own dreams that you’ve worked so hard for?

And then I went home (California) for their wedding and reconnected with someone at the last minute, as in literally an hour before I had to go to the airport to fly back to New York. Ah. So that’s what it’s like…and now moving back home doesn’t seem like such a bad thing after all… 😛

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Hiking is my therapy

“Hey, it’s supposed to be beautiful out this weekend. Care to join us for a hike?”

“I’m in town today! Free for dinner?”

“I have dinner plans in the evening so I can’t go hiking with you guys during the day…because, you know, timing…” …That doesn’t even sound convincing to ME…

“Errr…I would go but…I already made plans with my cats.” No, that’s not an acceptable answer.

“I’ll have to pass, but next time for sure!” There! Vague, but polite. Just make sure not to post pictures from my solo hike on the same day they went hiking and no ‘solo dinner, finally!’ type of posts either…

It’s still a struggle for me sometimes to say no to people I usually love spending time with without feeling guilty. I know it’s a cliche but really…

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The things is, I’m known for my need for alone time, my preference for doing things alone, and my love of staying at home in my lion onesie while hanging out with my cats. And yet…I still feel bad for saying no, especially when I intend to do the same activity I’m being invited to. Perhaps with time I will learn not to feel guilty for doing what I need to in order to recharge but for now…vague responses and setting a separate time to hang out it is!

Guilty or not I did end up pretty much not talking to anyone I know that weekend and it was exactly what I needed. First of all, it was an incredibly beautiful weekend due to the unusual occurrence of gorgeous autumn colors coupled with summer weather. Think fall foliage with 70 to 80 degrees F temperature. YES.

Thank you, Google Photos for this awesome stylized photo! (original wasn’t this cool)

Second, with the election going on and people commenting on the election on social media in ways that I feel are not conducive to intellectual and meaningful discussions, my social capacity bucket has been near empty pretty much everyday. Did someone poke a hole in it when I wasn’t looking? Because lately my inner grumpy cat has come out and I’m annoyed with everyone. Well, not everyone per se. Just certain types of people.

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This is not like me. I do enjoy being alone and I particularly love going on hikes by myself but spending time with those I consider my good friends usually makes me happy. But, unlike me or not it was clear to me that I needed to clear my head and so I pushed the guilt aside and went hiking. The day before I went to Sugar Hill State Park  in Watkins Glen, NY and this time I decided to check out Salt Springs State Park in Montrose, PA. I didn’t realize the food connection until just now lol! I guess I decided to go somewhere sweet since I was feeling salty. Pa dum ching! 😄

Salt Springs State Park is not actually maintained by the state contrary to what the name implies. It is, however maintained. What that means is there are marked trails and maps and everything!

Ooooh…

Aaaaahhh…

Even though the trails were marked, the path itself wasn’t as well maintained as state maintained parks, which means it looks really pretty with all the leaves on the ground!

It also means you have no idea what you’re possibly stepping on, as I came to find out when something jumped out from under my feet.

I’m very glad I stayed true to myself and went in anti-social mode this weekend because at the end of the weekend I felt more like myself again. Nature tends to have that effect on me. How could it not?

I was happy, my mind was quiet, and I felt excited about life again, even though Monday was fast approaching.

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Hiking is my therapy and I am very grateful to live in an area full of beautiful trails.


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Releasing my inner #basic

It’s fall season! That means it’s time for sugar and pumpkin spice and everything nice! Leggings and sweaters and fuggs (fake uggs) and pumpkin spice latte and my favorite…the fall foliage!

Yaaas! Look at ALL the trees!

Take all the pictures!

Even if you know the pictures will end up looking the same, take more pictures anyway!

Being from LA I had no idea what a true fall looked like. I mean, the leaves back home changed color too but they mostly just turned brown before dying. We did not have this explosion of colors that look almost fake in its brilliance.

I mean, just look at that! Doesn’t it look fake? Heavily filtered? Something out of a fantasy video game?

Pardon my excessive enthusiasm but I just can’t help it. Fall seems to get me every time.

Tired of looking at trees yet? Come on, just one more.

Oh come on. One more won’t hurt. Just the tip (of the tree, that is. Stop that dirty mind!).

Oh but right. Details. Where was I? I was in Sugar Hill State Forest Park in Watkins Glen, NY, a park that along with hiking trails also has horse trails and a cool fire tower. 

I thought you would be able to go all the way to the top where that enclosed shed looking thing is in the picture. Unfortunately, there was a locked shut trapdoor (that I almost walked into) on the last flight of stairs. Oh well. Maybe next time it’ll be open. 

This is the first state park that didn’t have any paper maps available. It’s also the first state park I’ve been to where I didn’t have to pay for parking so I’ll take it! But they did have this cool map:

I made sure to take this picture prior to my hike so I could follow the right trail (I didn’t follow the right trail) and so that I didn’t get lost this time (I got lost).

It was a very short hike (because I went the wrong way) but it was still exactly what I needed. It was such a beautiful day. Perfect for just being in the moment and getting away from everything else. I ended my day with a cup of hot mulled cider, and by cup I mean ginormous mug.

Just kidding. My day didn’t actually end there. It was a friend’s birthday party so I went out afterwards.

I know, I know. My face looks really different when I actually do something to it, right? 😀 

Today was actually a very good day. It was a great combination of enjoying my solitude on a beautiful day and having a blast at night with some good company. My favorite kind of day. 

Balance is key.