I’ve spun around the sun another 365.25 blessed days, and something about this number feels magical. Feels important. Feels like I probably should be doing more than shacking up at my parents, funemployed, with dogs for best friends. But I’m going to go through with my annual birthday post. Because seeing growth in yourself is valuable. And makes you laugh. I highly recommend.
What are you doing exactly right now? When I started this particular, I was on an extremely turbulent plane back from spending a week in Virginia with my dad and his family. I had been delayed three times and was two glasses of wine in, but had two seats to myself and was enjoying some airplane grade chardonnay. At the moment, as I finish this up, my sister Jenna and my mom and I are in FresYES at an Indian res casino to see Richard Marx perform. No, really. I am SO excited. He defined a lot of my childhood soundtrack – swim team trips to Raging Waters, drives to my great grandma’s house (with a stop to see the mini horses along the way), and the maroon Dodge Caravan that picked me up from school.
What shoes and clothes are you wearing? Some tennis shoes that have seen better days . . . and my regular rotation of Birkenstocks, because what no one tells you is that those things STINK and you need more than one pair. And some trusty workout pants from Target, a scarf I stole from a cabin in Donner Lake (my bad), my yellow glasses from zenni (just waiting for them to ask me to be their rep), and my Brooks grey travel zip up that has known many countries and smelly situations with me. And my iPod classic. And my little brother’s deodorant.
What did you last eat? An airport turkey sad-wich. Really. It was so sad.
Where are you living? well for most of last year I was living in my condo in Rio with my new roommate, Racheal, whom I called “kale.” I had gotten an upgrade into a “big girl room,” which meant a double bed and my own bathroom attached. It was so liberating to walk around naked and to have sunlight that could reach my room. We had a great relationship – I cooked and she cleaned, and we were both loud and crazy liberals who believed in the power of a late night dance party and thought cream cheese on a cracker doused with hot sauce was an acceptable dinner. I spent a lot of time in my “offices” – the recliner and the hammock, watching the world burn in the election and the aftermath, nursing my fractured foot, exchanging texts and youtubes with Kale, just ten feet away in her bedroom. I walked to work, to church, to the beach, to the grocery store. Besides the part where I worked, and the epic cockroach battles, it was great.
Now I live with my mom, stepdad, and the two greatest dogs ever besides the other great dogs I have known. I have a nice walking trail, a great backyard, free room and board, and tons of family and friends close by. It’s good for my healing process. I am moving to Hong Kong at the end of July!
Where do you work? I am currently funemployed on my way to my next position as an Admissions Teacher at an international school in HK. It has a governing board, published budget, five year plan, a chain of command, a working website, job descriptions and everything! What a concept.
Where have you traveled this last year? Virginia, Yosemite, Santa Barbara/SLO, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Falkland Islands, Antarctica, Chile, Iguazu Falls, Atlanta, Savannah.
When did you last cry? The last really good one I remember was saying goodbye to my friends, my roomie, and then Candice at the airport and leaving Rio. That was a solid weeping. The guy next to me put a blanket over his head and didn’t remove it for the entire flight.
What was the last movie you watched? I FINALLY watched “Rogue One” and omg. I have so many feelings. I think I need to watch it again. There was so much beauty to behold that it was hard to take it all in. I’m so glad they made this movie though. The line it’s based off of I can see so clearly and have always thought about whenever I watched that episode – “Many rebels died to bring us this information.” I love seeing women kick ass and I love seeing ragtag teams come together to defeat evil and I loved the sidekick droid (the actor that plays him is a random fav of mine, too). Cassian is an actor I’ve enjoyed since his sexy debut in “Y Tú Mamá También” so that was a fun surprise.
Favorite TV show of the moment? Girls just ended, love that. Big Little Lies was tremendous and very faithful to the book. And I love This is Us. Currently binging on old Naked and Afraid episodes because that is a freaking epic show.
Favorite toy of the moment? Well I didn’t have a laptop because I had to turn my work one in and my personal one busted years ago (swallowing my photos with it, wipe away a tear) but my stepdad got me this new MacBook Air for my bday!
What book are you reading? The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. FAAAAAScinating.
How many books did you read in the last year? Highlights? 44 books. After the election, I wanted to read a lot of political books that documented the lives of the Clintons; as they wrote it and as others did, too. I wanted to try and understand the lens that people were seeing them through. I learned a lot. Watched a lot of Youtube videos in the follow up – interviews and the like. I ended up feeling sorry for Hillary and loving her even more. Females are strong as hell. And I am feeling more strongly about my own feminism and wanting to reach out to others about misconceptions and privilege and what and who we need to affect actual and positive change not only in this country but in this world.
I think having lived abroad and traveled so much, I can offer a unique perspective and voice, too. Sometimes I think about taking the blog that way. But I probably write about way too many embarrassing things to be taken seriously. Anyway, if you ever want to talk about it personally, via email or fb msg or face to face, let me know.
Another highlight was the Miss Peregrine series, rec’d by some good friends, and the Lumatere Chronicles. I love Tumblr for how many good books I learn about and am always looking for more recs.
When did you last laugh really hard? Probably dancing in the kitchen with my little brother, teaching him how to make tacos. Or when my other little brother and I kinda sorta set the neighbor’s tree on fire.
What are you most looking forward to right now? Seeing Richard Marx, then a family bday party. I haven’t done my bday party with family in the States in a while so that’s just going to be delightful.
What’s your favorite song at the moment?
The following will always define the last year for me
- “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison
- “Heavenly Father” by Bon Iver
- “This Feeling” by Alabama Shakes
- “Sorri, Sou Rei” by Natiruts
- “Middle” by DJ Snake
- “Solo Dance” by Martin Jensen
- “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
- “Don’t be so Hard on Yourself” by Jess Glyne
What’s the same about your life last year that you’re happy about? Still moving and shaking, I guess. I still have the same best friends (made some new ones).
What’s different about your life from last year? What surprised you about this last year or changed it for you? Well I hurt my foot during the Olympics really badly, but my work had cut off our insurance, so I didn’t go to the doctor for a long time. I ended up in a boot for a few months and couldn’t work out for a long time. I was used to walking or running 3-5 miles a day, so this really affected me in a lot of ways. I gained a lot of weight, I couldn’t walk or run or hike, and still can’t run comfortably.
I left a job for the first time in my life. I really stood up for Jesus for the first time in my life. I was in more leadership than I’d ever been but had to walk away. Last year was mountains and valleys, and I had walked into it thinking it would be this incredible revolution of spirit and mind on our campus. My belief in the mission has never wavered . . . it’s hard to write about this stuff because of different people I know could be reading it. I think that’s what has made my writing so stunted in the last seven months. I can’t be quite honest because I don’t want to hurt feelings, don’t want to get sued, don’t want to regret anything or leave anything out. I’ll just have to ghost write the Lifetime movie script and continue accepting invitations for happy hour to retell the dumpster fire that was this last year in Brasil.
When and what was your last vacation? I should say Virginia, because I went to visit my family, but the weather was so terrible that it was a very indoors week! I had a great time anyway – I was mostly going to be with the people I was with, so it didn’t matter. So I guess my last true vacation was Yosemite. Which is literally a wonder of the world. It makes me cry to enter the gates and it makes me cry to leave. Please marry and bury me there.
What are you proud of this year? Traveling alone again (Iguazu Falls). Doing things that I know are right and good. I think I was a supportive person to people at my last job. I’ve got an A average in my TESOL course. I’ve calmed down a little. I’ve reignited my political side and am just so excited to continue empowering women and girls in any way I can.
What’s your current favorite joke?
How many kids with ADD does it take to change a lightbul- WANNA RIDE A BIKE?! (as a teacher….oh man)
What would you like as a gift right now? I’d like my dentist bills paid for. My teeth problems just don’t seem to end (I have a genetic enamel condition). And American flag cowboy boots. And roll on essential oils. I’ve just been craving some rosemary lately.
An important relationship at the moment? Probably with my mom and my dogs. We’ve all really fell in love all over again these last few weeks. And my grandma – I think it can be really hard to spend a month straight with anyone under any circumstance, and to do it on a boat, traveling in crazy conditions, with a thousand strangers, is an even bigger test. And we still like each other and do puzzles every week. This is a good thing.
And with my little brothers. It was awesome to reconnect with them this week. We can have such cool conversations now that they’re older. I just love it.
What are your goals for the next year? I want to keep getting educated – I actually enrolled in and am almost done with the TESOL course that was my goal last year! I want to enroll in a Master’s program, lose some of this depression weight, learn to love running, and keep telling jokes. More travels. More blogs. More live music.
No hurries, no worries.