Flipflops in the Rain


one year

one year ago, i moved back to the west coast.
i lived with my parents.
i started a new job.
i turned a long-distance relationship into a very short one.
i turned short-distance friendships into very long ones.
i rekindled long-term traditions with my childhood best friends.
i had big expectations.

today, i’m not moving anywhere.
i live alone in the city with my loyal fluffball.
i love my job.
i have moved on from the relationship i thought was meant to be forever.
i miss my east coast friends every minute of every day.
i love my west coast friends even more every minute of every day.
i have no more expectations.

in one year, i have learned to take risks.
i will go back to europe in five weeks.
i will run a half-marathon in three months.
i will probably adopt another fluffball in six months.
i will graduate with a master’s degree in 18 months.
i will learn to create a decent meal in 24 months. maybe.
i will take each day one step at a time.



the part about my cross-country move that i didn’t tell you.

i moved away from D.C. because it was the financially responsible thing to do.

that may not be the whole truth, but it was definitely a big part of my decision to move. when i moved from bellingham, wash., to alexandria, va., in 2007, I went from paying $330/month for rent to $1,200/month. that’s practically four times what i was used to paying for living expenses, and neither of these figures includes the utilities i was paying.

you’d think such a drastic change would curb my spending habits. well, you’d think wrong. why don’t you run along and catch up on my history with money…. did you catch that? i’m a credit card company’s DREAM.

i don’t know when i decided that i needed to spend money so erratically, but i’m gonna go ahead and blame my parents. before i was old enough to earn my own salary, my dad would give me 20 bucks whenever i asked. 20 bucks that i learned at a much later age he didn’t necessarily have to give me. my mom used to joke about winning the lottery and planting a money tree in the backyard. she never won the lottery, but she planted a $20,000 swimming pool in our backyard and solidified my belief that money buys pretty, fancy and awesome things.

to buy these pretty, fancy and awesome things, i’ve been working consistently since i was 12 (if you call baby-sitting “work,” which i have ever since the brats across the street dragged their cat around by its tail and made me cry. but i’m pretty sure that’s another story.). although my parents taught me how to have fun with money, they also taught me the importance of earning my OWN money, and i’m proud to say i’ve bought almost everything i’ve owned in the past 15-some-odd years. well, me, and my good friend, visa.

i succumbed to the allure of my credit card in 2003 when i started working at american eagle. and then again in 2005 when i went to italy for a month. and then again when i realized how much easier it was to bring my credit card to the bar than a wad of cash. and then again when i realized how much fun it was to always buy the first round of shots. and then again when i moved to d.c. where not only was housing pricier, but rounds of shots were pricier.

even as i was struggling, i still just kept buying. i’d grown far too accustomed to living outside of my means. i’d grown far too accustomed to going out with my wealthier friends whenever i was bored (which was often).

but then i moved. and somehow i’ve paid off two credit cards and my car. in a matter of three months. i even took a pay cut (albeit, a small one), and i was still able to significantly pay down my debt. i’ve still got a ways to go (with a score of 65 on the charles schwab financial fitness quiz, i’m apparently middle of the road), but at the very least, i’ve learned that west coast flippy is more financially responsible than east coast flippy.

or maybe west coast flippy is just super boring. until that last visa card is paid off, though, i’m ok with a little more boredom in my life.

Disclaimer: This post is part of the 20SB Blog Carnival: Friends & Money, sponsored by Charles Schwab. Prizes may be awarded to selected posts. The information and opinions expressed in this post do not reflect the views or opinions of Charles Schwab. Details on the event, eligibility, and a complete list of participating bloggers can be found here.



i avoided the cliche postal service reference here — you’re welcome.

the movers are here. they’re packing up my stuff, and i’m blogging and watching step 2 and trying not to cry.

i’ve been able to keep my emotions in check a lot better than i ever would’ve expected during the past few weeks (minus the incident where i threw my jack down and fled the room at my birthday party this weekend, but that’s beside the point). i attribute this to the fact that i’m incredibly excited to begin a new adventure and that i’m confident that moving back west is the best decision for me at the moment. i also attribute it to the fact that i have the most amazing, wonderful, awesome friends in d.c., and they’ve held my hand every step of the way.

but now, it’s just me and my cat and some anonymous movers and lots of cardboard boxes in a house that’s echoing from the emptiness on the walls. the move is finally real. and i’m really, really sad.

d.c., i’ll miss you and the cherry blossoms and the thunderstorms and the brunches and the dance parties and even the super-annoying tourists. but because some of the best people in the world still live here, i know i’ll be back to visit soon. and for that, i’m really, really happy.

/end emoliciousness. (and pithy/coffeeonwheels, i didn’t cry while writing this. fyi.)



a conversation i’ve had with almost everyone in the past few weeks

so, i hear you’re leaving?
yup, i’m headed out at the beginning of april.

wow, where are you going?
oh, i’m heading back to the seattle area.

well, we’ll miss you. aren’t you going to miss ____________?
don’t be stupid. i’ve lived here for three years — of course i’m going to miss everyone and everything here! i’m really excited to get back to the northwest though.

what will you do for work? is your company moving you back or are you just going to wing it?
actually, neither. i’ve found an awesome new opportunity through some college friends, and i can’t wait to start on a new adventure.

oh, ok. so where will you be living?
ummmmmmmmm, with my parents for a few weeks/months. should be… fun?

and are you bringing your cat?
is this a real question? of course i’m bringing my cat! we’re shipping my car and household goods, then bizzi and i are flying across the country together.

wait, you’re taking your cat on the plane? will she even FIT on the plane?
as always, the fat jokes are unnecessary. yes, she’ll fit on the plane — she’ll even fit in my carry-on bag, underneath the seat in front of me.

you’d better drug her. that’s a long flight.
thank you for your concern. i’m well aware of the flight times between seattle and d.c.

so, wow. seattle. doesn’t it rain a lot there?
it has its moments, which i’m dreading, but i’m just stoked to be near my family and other loved ones again.

no, but seriously. don’t you get super depressed when it’s grey and wet and rainy?
*nods sheepishly*

that’s gonna suck.
yup. but at least i’m moving in the spring, which generally leads to a beautiful, less rainy summer.

so, are you gonna miss __________________?
don’t be stupid. i’ve lived here for three years — of course i’m going to miss everyone and everything here! i’m really excited to get back to the northwest though.

/rinse annnnnnnnnnnnd repeat.



home is where my family is…

… and that is in the Northwest.

i moved to the d.c. area on a whim three years ago. ok, that’s a lie. i moved here for my job, but that sounds a lot more boring.

while i loved the change in pace, the rush of adventure i got from moving 3,000 miles from everything i knew and loved, it took me a solid year to get my feet on the ground and build a foundation here. if you read through some of my first posts,  you’ll see that i was on a never-ending roller coaster. so much has changed since then. i’ve met so many wonderful, fantastic, amazingly awesome people who mean the world to me. but i was never meant to permanently live here.

so i’m doing something about it, and as the cherry blossoms bloom this april, i’ll be flying across the country on a one-way ticket home.



oh my gaw, it’s june…

ok. just seeing if you’re paying attention. it’s actually february. (you’re welcome.) and yes, i realize this is the second post in a month where i started off talking about the date. but seriously — where the heck is time going?!

in my head, though, it’s already june. i’ve already outlined a list of events that are going to get me to summer. sure, most of them are tentative, but they’re reminding me that the random five-feet-tall snow piles lining the d.c. streets will NOT be here forever. thank god.

so what’s coming up?

lots of housewarming/going-away parties.
an 8K race (which i should sign up for…).
a third annual kickass st. patty’s day party.
a 27th annual kickass b-day extravaganza (27?! bloody hell.).
a trip to vegas (no — not that one. sad face.)
road trips to and from north carolina —
and maybe up to new york.
many, many trips to the gym! (you had to have seen that one coming.)

that might not seem like a lot, but PEOPLE! it’s practically june already. 100 days till bikini/bbq/beer-drinking season. are you ready?



maybe now i’ll make it to the front page of google for ‘awesome short person in flip flops’

i had big important plans to post about my awesomely awesome weekend in san fran, but then my awesomely awesome travel partner pointed out that i’m the sixth result in google for “stupid short person in flip flops.”

my pride is wounded.

*update: now i’m the first result. SEO FAIL.
**update 2.0: BUT now i’m also the first result for “awesome short person in flip flops.” SEO SUCCESS!!