Month: June 2017

Dear Noisy Neighbor

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Dear Noisy Neighbor,

Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for this day? The first day not waking up to you? Over a year. Feels like it has been an eternity. The past 13 months at home have been some of the most challenging, frustrating, angst-ridden days and nights of my life…because of you. I will never know what you were doing upstairs ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. Do you ever sit down?? I’m convinced you don’t. You consistently woke me up multiple times beginning at 5am every weekday AND weekend. You woke me up almost every night after I had somehow fallen asleep in the middle of the night. You never seemed to be away from your apartment and it drove me mad.

I turned into an angry woman while I was home. You ignored me when I talked to you those few times about the noise. “Please be mindful that you have a neighbor below you,” I said. 5 minutes later, you were back at it, stomping around, dropping things, and God knows what. You ignored the conversation and letter from our landlord reminding you of quiet hours. And all those times you were building things in the middle of the night (at least I think that’s what you were doing?), I would bang on my ceiling to give you a message that you are keeping me up at 3am. You ignored those, too. You still kept making noise and never respected that there was someone below you.

A couple weeks after you moved in last year, I remember thinking that it would get better. I told myself that you were still taking the time to move in and move your furniture around, so I shrugged it off. I didn’t know at the time that the incessant noise you were making back then would last for an entire year, every single day.

When we arrived at Fall, I was losing my mind. Curse words that should never be uttered were coming out of my mouth any time we were both home. Which was all the damn time. Do you ever leave? Whenever I’d pull into my parking spot and see your VW Golf, I would scream in my car to attempt to get the anger out of my system before I walked into my place. I didn’t like who I was when you were home. I was angry all the time and I hated what it did to me.

Several nights, I’d shout out to God and ask why this was happening to me. “What lesson are you teaching me?? Are you trying to send a message that I need to get out of the Eileen? Do I really have to deal with this for a year?? What did I do to deserve this?!?!”

It may not seem like a big deal, but losing sleep was not good for my health, mentally and physically. I stayed home from work a couple days just so I could try to catch up on sleep and get back to my senses. Even on those days, you were still home and prevented me from napping. In February, while my best friend was out of town for a month, I walked to her house at my bedtime almost every night just so I could sleep in her bed. I was basically paying rent for an apartment I was never in.

When the days began getting colder, I remember panicking. At least in the warmer, lighter days, I could leave and spend all my time outside. When it was cold, I felt trapped. I didn’t have anywhere to go for hours to get away from your noise.

So I told myself that this was all happening so I would appreciate a good night’s sleep when I was no longer your neighbor. “This will make me appreciate sleep so much more when I can finally get it.”

I had a lot of hate and anger toward you for making me lose sleep. The worst was losing my dreams. I used to write in my dream journal every morning – interpreting my dreams is a hobby of mine. Because of you, I stopped dreaming and that crushed me. Since May 2016, I have written less than 10 dreams in my journal… One of them was of me speaking to a man with bricks for feet. I was so upset that you even found a way into my dreams.

But you know what?

Thank you.

Thank you for making so much noise every waking moment.

It nearly drove me insane, but I’m better now because of you and your noise. To escape you, I was in the park any day it was warm enough. I probably read a dozen extra books this year in the park because of you. I also attended dozens of yoga classes that I likely wouldn’t have because of you. I went on so many walks because of you. Any time you were home, I would leave to do something that would better me.

Thank you for making so much noise that you made my decision easier to move out. When I heard you were renewing your lease, there was no question. It was my (super noisy) sign that I needed to leave the Eileen. And to top it off, your girlfriend was moving in, doubling the noise. I immediately turned in my notice to vacate – no way was I going to survive another year.

And that thought I had last Fall about having the best sleep of my life once I was finally away from you? It happened last night. I fell asleep to complete stillness, not a sound. Also, my dreams returned.

It’s true. I value and appreciate sleep so much more now because of you. Sleep is so good for the soul – you should give it a try.

Thank you, former noisy neighbor. It was a year of hell, but my life is better because of it.

Sweet dreams,
Mo

Yesterday, I wrote that when one door closes, another opens. This is a pretty beautiful door that’s opening…

Door

Bird Set Free

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

I walked out of my apartment of 5 years for the last time this morning.

So many memories are held within those walls. 5 years ago, I was beyond nervous to live alone. I debated whether I should move in or not; I didn’t think I was ready to live without a roommate – a safety net. I’m so glad I challenged myself and moved in to the Eileen. I grew so much while I lived in the little one-bedroom near the lake.

When I moved in, it was such a perfect spot for me that I distinctly recall saying multiple times, “The only reason I’d move out is to move in with a boy.” Well, that didn’t quite happen, but it still was the perfect place for me to spend the last years of my twenties. And to be frank, I’m moving out for a better reason that to “move in with a boy.” I’m moving out to start a new life, completely on my own.

This doesn’t really feel like a new chapter in my life – it feels like a new book.

Closing the door for the last time this morning, knowing I’d never walk back into apartment #102 again, was very bittersweet. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

And the song that just started playing as I write? “Bird Set Free” by Sia. Hmmmm…








6 trips to Goodwill, furniture donated, 4 boxes of items sold, countless garbage cans full – every thing that matters now fits in my car.


Thank you, Eileen, for 5 incredible years.


When one door closes, another opens. I believe it. Here we go…

DECIDING

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Turns out sleeping on the floor of my apartment isn’t the greatest for my back. Feeling a bit sluggish and achy today, but I only have two more nights left! The light at the end of the tunnel is lookin’ pretty bright right now!

Yesterday, I did another huge Goodwill run; plus, dropped off more books to the Free Little Library, cleaned my blinds (oh man were they dirty!!) and sorted out a few more to-do items.

The best was canceling internet at Comcast. As I was at Comcast, the clerk asked me why I needed to cancel. Other than the fact that I was paying an arm and a leg for internet and Comcast is the devil (I left that part out), I told him I was moving. A conversation began about my adventure to Bali and he asked if I was nervous. I immediately said, “Not at all.”

To me, it’s somewhat shocking that I don’t have an ounce of nervousness or worry. Who am I?!?! I used to be nervous arriving at a bar earlier than my friends because I’d have to sit all by myself and wait. Sad, but true.

I told the Comcast guy that I’m going into this new chapter with a blind faith. I can’t predict or expect anything to go a particular way, so I can only go with the flow. Anything can happen and I’m ready for it all. Canceling Comcast and going to a foreign country with no agenda? Now that’s freedom.

This morning, I came across an excerpt from a book I read over a year ago: How to Be an Adult by David Richo. It’s amazing to see the progress I’ve made since a year ago – finally following my intuition. It’s fascinating paying attention to how your body physiologically responds to decisions, interactions, and thoughts. When it comes to me leaving work to travel, it just feels right. No doubt, no worry, no ping at the heart.

It seems so simple, but it took me a long time and a lot of work to start paying attention to my heart, rather than my head. Start noticing – I promise good things will come from it.

Deciding

 

Stars Aligning

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Less than 50 days until I’m on a plane to Bali…

Taking advantage of every. single. moment.

My biggest project at work is the Make-A-Wish Mileage Drive we hold every year. I have grown a deep love for Make-A-Wish and all that they do for kiddos with critical illnesses. We partner with MAW every year and raise miles for kids’ wishes. I’m sure I’ll write about MAW more as we get closer to the big day: August 3rd.

It was kind of ironic how everything lined up in regards to this drive and my big life change. When I was originally looking into one-way tickets to Bali, I had the month of August in my mind. The cheapest flight during the entire month happened to be a week after the mileage drive. All the stars aligned. I’d move out of my apartment, spend a good amount of time wrapping everything up, and my big “finale” would be “Wishes in Flight.” Meant to be.

Today was our promo shoot for the campaign – we had our main anchor fronting it with a little wish kid named Cataleya. Now this girl had some personality! She has a neurological brain disorder and has had a brain tumor since she was two-years old. She will eventually go blind, so she walks around with a mini walking cane to get familiar with it.


That cane did not slow this little girl down! She was running throughout Seattle Center and having us chase her every which way. She was hilarious and I loved spending the afternoon with her (plus sharing cotton candy with her!). The promo shoot was a success – after several bloopers, of course. Gotta love kids. She was a big fan of rolling her eyes and saying, “Ohhhhh brudder!!” I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

More importantly, I can’t wait for my last event at work to be one that grants so many wishes for other kids like Cataleya.

Wishes sure are about to be in flight!

Better Late Than Never

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

And the final weekend at my Greenlake apartment has come to a close.

Bittersweet.

My apartment is down to the bare bones. Almost all of my furniture is out, nothing is in my closets or cabinets, and anything that once adorned my walls is now packed away in boxes. This weekend was full of cleaning, more packing, organizing, and getting things into storage. I truly don’t know what I’d do without the help of the incredible people in my life. I wish I had a million dollars I could give to the Landin’s for helping me today and letting me store my life at their home. It was slightly comical that the big day to move all of my belongings also happened to be the hottest day of the year. While all of Seattle was out enjoying the well-deserved heat wave, the Landin’s and I were loading up the cars and hauling my bed on top of their 4-Runner.

And now here I am, in a sleeping bag in my living room where my TV once was. To my left are piles of stuff I’ll be donating to Goodwill. I’m eating pizza, listening to some tunes, and looking at my nearly-bare home. Hoping my back won’t hate me tomorrow after sleeping on my hard-wood floor, but I’m just pretending I’m “glamping” and it somehow makes me feel better. And I don’t know how he does it, by noisy neighbor is still managing to make noise directly above me. I’m in the corner of my living room and usually at this time his noise is in the bedroom area. It’s as if he knows I’m not sleeping in my room and has decided to do his clog dance in my little corner. Usually I’d be aggrivated and muttering curse words, but I’m not going to let him take the excitement out of this transitional period.

Regardless of the noise and sleeping on a wood floor, I’m oddly loving it. It feels a bit like a sleepover. There’s so much space and only what I need. In this case: pizza and my sleeping bag.

Sometimes you have to shed and let go in order to experience something you’ve never experienced before. I’ve never let go of so much stuff in my life and it feels incredible. I never knew how much physical things can weigh you down. I truly believe I’ve donated more than I’ve kept. Freeing.

With a clean slate, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with everything in front of you.


There was a lot of progress with moving, but there was also a lot of adventure and fun. Always need to have a good balance, right?

I’ve lived in Seattle for 12 years and specifically in Greenlake for 5 years. My entire time in Seattle, I had always heard, “Don’t swim in Greenlake, it’s dangerous.” The word was that Greenlake was not safe to swim in and had this sort of taboo. For as long as I could remember, I repelled at the thought of swimming in the lake – it’s toxic and I could die. It’s just what the majority of people here said.

A couple years ago, Matt suggested we go swimming in the lake and I immediately nixed that idea. I could not be convinced and we never did swim in it. I remember him saying, “You can swim in Greenlake…it’s a lake. It’s meant to be swam in.”

Well, I finally came to my senses… Along with getting rid of all my items from my materialistic past, I’m also shedding the silly preconceived notions I once held. Recently, I was in my spot at the lake and I saw a kid jump in. This kid wasn’t afraid of the algae blooms that the news reported on. I laughed and thought back to what Matt had once said. I knew I had to swim in the lake before I moved away.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of going along with what the majority says. It was liberating to stop listening to the fear of the majority and simply do what I want. I’m going to hike alone, I’m going to walk on ice, I’m going to go on a walk in the middle of the night to enjoy the snow…and I’m going to swim in Greenlake. As long as you’re smart about it, taking risks brings some of the most joyful moments. Ha, “risks.”




For my maiden swim, I wanted to do it with Matt since he was the one who suggested it years ago. We waded into the water and cooled off from the 90 degree weather. Why did I wait so long?? The water was perfect and guess what? We didn’t die! In fact, I felt more alive than ever. You couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face if you tried. Swimming to Duck Island and coming across a hidden swing was the cherry on top.

Again, why did I wait so long??

All these years, I could have done one of my favorite things at my favorite place while it was only a couple blocks away.

Better late than never.

So tonight, I went back to the lake with the intention of swimming again. This time, I went to the Greenlake Aquatheater and dived off the dock. I floated and watched the clouds roll by, enjoying the last few hours of the weekend. Not a worry in the world while floating in my ‘backyard.’


Even though I only have a few more nights here, I will not take a single moment for granted.

On Saturday, as I walked the lake during the most serene sunset, I stopped in a spot that was very familiar to me. During this year’s Winter, it was so cold that the lake was frozen over. It was simply magical. I remember in early January driving home from work and being in awe with the stillness. No movement at all. Not just the outer edges, it was the entire lake – completely frozen. It didn’t look real.

So I pulled over and walked down to the lake to soak it all in. I wasn’t sure how long the ice would last, so I didn’t want to put it off until the next day. I found a spot with the perfect view of Duck Island  – when I walked to the ice and looked down, there was a rose right in front of me. It was certainly a breathtaking moment. I didn’t think it could get any better…but it did. As the sunset became more colorful, the Greenlake Heron flew out of the Island – he was the only movement all around me. It was one of the most unforgettable sunsets I’d ever experienced.


Here I was now, two seasons later. Same spot, new sunset. Soaking it up like usual.

This Saturday night reminded me of earlier this year, but a bit warmer. Then I looked over to my left and there he was. The Heron. He was standing among the shrubs, hidden from the main path. I couldn’t really believe it. Actually, that’s a lie. I could believe it. I always seem to be drawn to that bird. And we always seem to be drawn to beautiful views.

We stood there until the show was over – frozen in time. Another unforgettable sunset.

Sweet dreams…

Marry Your Field

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

I want to share an excerpt from a book that was like candy for the mind. Every chapter was a fun twist on life and while I was reading it, every day started out feeling like I was waking up in a new, giant playground. The book is called Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronocity in Everyday Life by Robert Moss. It’s the type of book that frequently makes you stop and ask, “Was this book written specifically for me?”

I think about this particular excerpt daily. I don’t want to say too much about it because I think everyone will interpret it in their own unique way. All I can say is that even today, I made sure to gather some “bouquets.”

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Twelve Rules of Kairomancy (the art of divination through special moments)

Rule #10: Marry Your Field

‘The poet marries the language, and out of this marriage the poem is born.’ This beautiful, passionate statement was made by W. H. Auden, and it takes us right inside the crucible in which all creative action is born. It’s sexy, it’s spiritual, it makes your heart beat faster, it puts a champagne fizz of excitement into the air. It suffuses everything around with incredible light, so you feel you are seeing the curve of a flower stem or the bubbles in a glass for the very first time.

Such depth, such passion, such focused rapture is not only the province of poets, though we may need poetic speech to suggest what and how it is. Are you with me now? I am talking about you, and me, and the creative leap we can and will make as the year turns. The essence of the creative act is to bring something new into the world. You may have no earthly idea, at this moment, about how exactly you can do that.

So let me offer some eminently practical guidance, based on what Augean said about the roots of creation: start by marrying your field.

What is your field? It’s no work in the ordinary sense, or what your diplomas say you are certified to do, or how you describe yourself in a job resume – although it can encompass all of those things. Your field is where you ache to be. Your field is what you will do, day or night, for the sheer joy of the doing, without counting the cost or the consequences. Your field is the territory within which you can do the Work that your deeper life is calling you to do. Your field is not limitless. You can’t bring anything into creative manifestation without accepting a certain form or channel, which requires you to set limits and boundaries. So your field is also the place within which the creative force that is in you will develop a form.

If you are going to bring something new into your world, find the field you will marry, as the poet marries language, as the artist marries color and texture, as the chef marries taste and aroma, as the swimmer marries the water.

Let’s say that you have a notion that your creative act may involve writing. Maybe you even think you have a book, or a story or a screenplay, in you. For you, marrying the field will require you to marry words and be their constant lover. You’ll engage in orgies of reading, have tantric sex with a first (or third) draft. You’ll kiss your lover in the morning by writing before you go out into the world, and when you go out, you’ll gather bouquets for your sweetheart by collecting fresh material from the call of a bird, the rattle of a streetcar, the odd accent of that guy on the cell phone, that unexpected phrase in the ad in the subway car.

You’ll work at all this, because marriages aren’t always sweet. Some days, you may hardly be on speaking terms. Some days, you feel your partner hates you or is cheating on you with someone else, maybe the fellow who just got a piece in the New Yorker or is merely in front of the mike in the neighborhood poetry slam. But you carry on. You fetch the groceries. You tuck your partner into bed at night and promise to dream together.

And out of this constancy – through tantrums and all – will come that blaze of creation when the sun shines at midnight, when time will stop or speed up for you, as you will when you are so deep in the Zone that no move can be wrong. Depending on your choice of theme and direction, you may find you are joined by other creative intelligences, reaching to you from across time and dimensions in that blessed union that another poet, Yeats, defined as the ‘mingling of minds.’

When the sun no longer shines at midnight, when you are back on clock time, you won’t waste yourself regretting that today you’re not in the Zone. You are still married. You’ll do the work that now belongs to the Work.



I hope you had a beautiful Summer Solstice.

Balance

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Progress! Chugging along with packing and I made several steps this weekend, but I give all credit to my Mom and step-dad. They came into town and we were able to get the large pieces of furniture out of my place. I wasn’t sure how I was going to donate my furniture and that was the main source of my stress. My little Subaru can handle all the other Goodwill trips, but I was going to need help for the big stuff.

At this point, I feel really good about where I am with the moving aspect of this crazy change coming up. I’ve always been somewhat of a procrastinator, so getting things done before the last couple days in my apartment means more than anyone realizes. Helping future Mo and slowly changing a bad habit.

Thank you, Mom and Jay!

I was shocked at how quickly we got the stressful stuff done this weekend. That left a lot of time to visit the Pacific Science Center, make some delicious food (I still can’t stop thinking about the avocado toast topped with caramelized onions), and even take a gander through the Magnolia Farmer’s Market. While we were at the Pacific Science Center, we visited the butterfly garden and that may have been the highlight. Being surrounded by thousands of fluttery, colorful butterflies made all of us so happy.


Oddly enough, as I’m writing this now, “Dragonfly” by Ziggy Marley has started playing. When I was standing in the butterfly garden, I thought of this specific song. I secretly wanted a butterfly to land on me – but I don’t think I was alone in that. Kids everywhere were holding out their hands, hoping they’d be the chosen one. Moments later, a beautiful butterfly landed on my hand. Yes! He hung out there for several minutes and I couldn’t help but wonder what brought him to my hand and why he wasn’t flying away. We walked around for a while and it was as if we were buddies for a few minutes. Ziggy Marley’s song came to mind while my temporary pet was hitching a ride on my hand:

“Hey Miss Butterfly I see you look at me with your beautiful eyes
You must be wondering what type of creature am I
You must be wondering what type of creature am I

Everybody’s worried about time
But I just keep that shit off my mind
People living on 24-hour clocks
But we’re on a ride, yes we’re on a ride,
we’re on a ride that never stops.”


Speaking of time… As I go through all of my boxes, sorting out what should stay and what should go, I come across a lot of items that bring back vivid memories. I also come across many things that help me learn even more about myself.

I went through another box of cards – I really do save every single card – and I found a little note written by my Dad. He sent me a care package at the end of my freshman year at University of Washington. He’s always been creative with words – he used to draw my name in clever ways on my lunch bags all throughout school. I no longer needed lunch bags in college, but he still found a way to send inspiring notes. I was happy I saved this one; it reminds me that my Dad and I are the same.

This year, my New Year’s Resolution was to set an intention at the start of every single day. It would always be one word; something I would focus on throughout my day and see what it brings to me and others. Words like Hope, Change, Matter, Listen, the list goes on. Each morning at work, I’d write it on my white board (I was secretly hoping it would subconsciously make others think about the intention each day…). On February 22nd, 10 years after my Dad wrote me the inspiring message before I took my finals, I set my intention: Balance. I love that our minds are similar and we have the same creative streak.

I am the way I am because of the people who raised me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!!


I didn’t pick an intention this weekend. Truth be told, the last intention I set was the day I left for my Bali vacation: Bliss. For some reason, I haven’t had the heart to erase the word from my white board. Since I’ve returned from Bali, I’ve been finding Bliss each day.

This weekend’s intention was a combination of Bliss and, of course, Balance.