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!!



flippy through the years

i wasn’t going to post a 2009 wrap-up (because i’m an original, yo), but then i read phampants post from yesterday, and i figured i’d give it a whirl.

so here she is, flippy 2000-2009*:

2000: a junior in high school, and a bit of a disaster. i smashed my first car into a million pieces, got grounded for the first and only time (circumstances? not important — but it started with adult beverages and culminated with a list that my father forced me to write detailing everything bad i’d ever done. EVER.), hated my brother a little less, loved an impossible and unavailable boy a little more and visited a therapist who made me feel like a spoiled little princess who shouldn’t have felt as awful as she did.

2001: graduated high school and moved on to college. originally intended to move to california for school, but chickened out last minute and stayed in state. regretted the decision almost immediately. thank god for a kickass roommate and a bestie from home. i went from an outgoing honor student to a shy, uncomfortable freshman who napped all the time. (god, i miss napping all the time.)

2002: i met who i thought was the “love of my life” — and proceeded to cut everyone else out of it. five months later, he dumped me. then came crawling back. i took him back and began the cycle again. moved off campus with kickass roomie and bestie from home. worst experience ever. alienated both of them and rarely went home. got my groove back with school, but only because i took a bunch of classes with the boyfriend. (i was clearly a winner.)

2003: continued an abusive pattern of clinging to my boyfriend even as he was breaking my heart. moved into an apartment with kickass roomie even though i was still an asshole. got a job at the mall and slowly started making friends who lived in a world outside of my boyfriend’s. discovered the journalism program. hated it and many of the people in it. created an amazing idea as to how to get my BA in journalism with the least amount of effort possible.

2004: promptly crushed my amazing cheat-the-journa-system idea by joining the school paper’s editorial staff. loved the soul-crushing thrill of spending 50 hours a week in a dirty, cramped newsroom. stayed in a rapidly deteriorating relationship with a boy who continued to prove he wasn’t good enough for me. may or may not have fallen in love with someone else. realized something had to give and finally broke off the longest relationship of my life. the someone else moved away and the love that could’ve been never was. hated commitment and turned my back on it forever. turned 21 and drowned sorrows in too many vodka tonics. took too many classes and pushed myself to the limit in an effort to be my own person.

2005:  interned with a local nonprofit. finished college a quarter early. hopped a flight to europe and discovered the not-so-cheap thrill of living out of a backpack and speaking broken italian. quit my mall job and tried to stay abroad as long as possible. ran out of money after a month. begged mall job to take me back. let journa-friend convince me to apply for better job. received an offer for promotion at mall job and position at better job on the same day. went with better job, became a grown-up and began a crazy night-shift schedule that would continue for much longer than anticipated.

2006: continued living in college town. college friends moved on. rain, gloom and night surrounded my world and tempted me back into the arms of depression. considered options. decided to move to san diego on a whim. better job offered me a promotion and relocation package. moving somewhere new with a job appealed to me more than moving somewhere new without one. visited the d.c. area to make the final decision.

2007: made final decision. accepted promotion and moved 3,000 miles away. went through strange growing pains within new position, which ultimately led to a better position within the same company. pined and missed certain people more than i expected. adopted a cat. fell in love with the cat. became crazy cat lady. kept my distance from making new friends and invited old friends to visit whenever possible.

2008: moved into a new home with new people and began feeling comfortable for the first time. went out A LOT and discovered, “wow, i’m not 21 anymore.” went out anyway. continued to miss certain people and made several trips home. filled the void of missing by joining a gym. began running again. liked it. kept doing it. cat needed surgery. did not like that.

2009: a rough year. dealt with several issues that i left off this blog for a reason — hence my mid-year blogging hiatus. as the year comes to a close, i can’t think of any significant events to differentiate it from years past. at least, not yet. i’ve learned many things about myself through these hardships, though, and i’ve learned that i need to start looking out for myself first. and most of all, i’m realizing that my love of certain people, friends and family is more important than status or money. i just want to be happy.

*this post is so emo. my apologies.



apparently this is my 200th post…

i started this blog more than two years ago. the fact that this is only my 200th post in that length of time makes me really super sad. however, if my calculations are correct, that works out to one post every 4 days, which means i’m a lot less flaky than i originally thought. (p.s. pithy, don’t even try the math.)

well, i’ve got nothing special to offer for this monumental occasion. no contests, no wacky vlogs — not even a horribly drawn, last-minute Microsoft Paint picture.

instead, i’ve got a bulleted list of things that are different now than when i started in 2007.

1. i actually have friends in d.c.: ok, to be honest, i was buddies with a lot of coworkers when i started this here journal of my life. i even confided in a few of them from time to time. but now? i feel like i’ve got a core group of people who i would miss more than life itself if i picked up and moved away. (to clarify, this includes many of those coworkers.) and i was definitely not at that point when i started. pretty sure the only core friend was the cat i adopted to keep me company.

2. i’m addicted to kristen bell, one tree hill and a shit ton of other things i should’ve already adored in 2007: not really much to add to this one. i’m in love with a bunch of teenybopper tv shows that i should’ve probably loved when they debuted five or so years ago.

3. i rediscovered the gym and lost all that i-hate-my-life-so-i’m-gonna-move-across-the-country weight: sure, i’ve rediscovered cookies for lunch and i’m slowly starting to gain it back. but at one point, i lost it and i will hold onto that FOREVER.

4. i got my nose pierced — at a rock concert no less. sorry, mommy. i guess i’m just a 26-year-old rebel child at heart.

5. i found out it IS possible to find cheap rent in the d.c. area. but when you live in a house with a bunch of party girls, you will still drain your wallet. at least it’s way more fun than paying pet rent.

6. i’m not a good dancer. i’ve always thought this might be the case, but i now know for certain that i’m not. it doesn’t stop me from trying, though.

7. flying cross-country makes me sick. but it won’t stop me from squeezing in a long weekend from home (or california) and taking the red-eye back before work on monday.

8. i miss learning and kinda want to go back to school. two years ago, i just wanted to take italian classes. now, i want my masters’ degree. i just need to decide which master’s degree. did you know there are literally thousands to choose from? well, there are. i also need to fall into a pile of money to pay for said masters’ degree.

9. i’ve quadrupled the amount of weddings i’ve attended. and weddings are a lot more fun than they used to be, now that the newlyweds are almost always people i know really well. plus, an excuse to buy a new dress , an open bar and free food don’t hurt…

10. i’m still indecisive, stubborn and passive aggressive — the difference is, i no longer deny it. love me or hate me, some things may never change. also, i’m still obsessed with my cat. deal with it.



i’m not going to write about snow…

… but i will write about what a pain it’s going to be to get anything done in d.c. over the weekend.

i haven’t done any x-mas shopping. none. zilch.

this isn’t out of the ordinary. i’ve been perfecting procrastination since the early 90s, and buying things for other people is just one of those tasks i put off. not because i don’t like giving gifts — i LOVE giving gifts when i know someone will actually like them. no, i put it off because i get completely panicky and anxious that someone will hate something i put way too much effort into buying just for them. (i’m not great with rejection.)

so here i am, tummy churning, head spinning with too many not-so-great ideas — and i (supposedly) won’t be able to leave my house this weekend. so the shopping will be delayed yet again. and once again, santa flippy’s sleigh of goodies will arrive too late for christmas. and this just makes me even more panicky and anxious-y and scatterbrained-y — not only will i end up buying something my friends and family members will hate, but i’ll also disappoint them with my perpetual tardiness.

also, i’m out of kitty litter. which means my cat’s going to hate me this christmas, too.