Flipflops in the Rain


and then she wrote

i journal a lot now. (and by a lot, i mean way more than i blog.) nearly every entry references how much “i just love to write, but i never do it!” or how “awesome it feels to just free write!”

i don’t want to do that now.

let’s talk about the future of innovation.

(just kidding. no one wants to read about that.)

let’s talk about teenage girls.

(not so much with the kidding, although that came across super creepy.)

i have a beautiful, smart and talented 14-year-old niece. (I also have beautiful, smart and talented 12- and 9-year-old nieces, but their stories are for another time.) she, since the day she was born, has been a little emotional. she cries at the drop of a hat, and she cares about everyone’s feelings a little more than she should. she also is only truly happy and confident in herself when she’s running up and down the soccer field, cheering and kicking butt alongside her teammates.

she tried out for her high school freshman soccer team today… and she did not make the cut.

about 13-some-odd years ago, i knew another little emotional girl who went through the exact same rejection period. and she was a wreck for weeks, and her self-esteem dropped for years. today, she’s fine. she’s accepted that minor setback and moved so far on from it that no one would guess that scar was still faintly intact on her ego.

teenage me is alive and well, buried under this calm, cool and very cynical exterior of mine. she comes out to play when we’re alone in my car and alanis morrisette comes on the radio. she stares cruelly and critically every morning in the mirror. and she particularly seeps into my writing after a beer or two and tells me i should be upset about the past. but honestly, i just don’t care what teenage me has to say anymore. i’ve grown past those insecurities, and i genuinely believe that i’m better off because of my failures.

but how do i tell today’s little girl that it will all work out in the end? how do i put into simple terms, with current pop cultural references, that she won’t always be the best at what she thinks she should be the best? and that she will learn to be happy and confident in ways she doesn’t even realize yet? and that, although screaming girl-power anthems can be a fun way to pass the time in your car, she will not always hate the people who try to hold her back?

i guess the moral of the story is, the only way we can truly understand today’s youth is by remembering our own painful and not-so-pretty pasts.



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.



pimp my eventual home

i’m not dead, folks. i’ve just been living in limbo at my parents’ house, waiting for some down time to find an apartment and move myself into the big emerald city that i said i was moving to three months ago.

well, i’m halfway there. come july 4, i’ll be living it up in seattle. feel free to send me housewarming presents. or just really good tips on how to decorate on a budget. i’m becoming increasing obsessed with design blogs like design*sponge and young house love (seriously, read their wedding post. they’re amazing. and they live in richmond, va!). i want my personal space to be super pretty and super awesome, but i tend to get overwhelmed when i have to make too many decisions on my own. also, i suck at using craigslist. WHO are these people who can find amazing deals on craigslist and WHY am i not one of them?

i will probably just learn to survive without furniture. thank god for the papason chair i bought in college. nothing says super pretty and super awesome like a dingy and weathered wicker chair.

so yeah. send me presents.



hai.

in case you were worried, i landed. my flight went perfectly — including the drugging-of-my-cat part.

so hai. i’m still here. it’s grey outside. my parents are driving me mildly crazy. i’m home. and i have been for a month already.

yowza.



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.