Part of the Process

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…

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.

Back to Basics

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017


Time to tackle the beauty drawers. Years of accumulated makeup, hair product, and various accessories.

Notables:

  • The green foundation stick I bought (yes, green) because a magazine said it covered zits better (it did, but instead of seeing a zit, you only saw green. Hmmm).
  • Multiple products with glitter – lotion, bronzer, even mascara.
  • Headbands with bows and flowers I bought back when I worked at Weldon Barber…ELEVEN YEARS AGO.
  • Peanut butter flavored chapstick. Tested it again, didn’t taste like peanut butter anymore…or maybe it never really did.
  • About 100 bobby pins. Anyone need any bobby pins??
  • Bright pink lipstick that Lindsay Lohan used to wear. I used to want to look like Lindsay Lohan. Fact. I am ashamed, but it’s the truth.
  • 50 shades of grey eye shadow.

I couldn’t believe how much shit I’ve held onto. And WHY? Moving out of my apartment sure is stressful, but it’s probably the best thing for me, in more ways than one. Feeling cleaner, lighter, and more…..me.

As I threw out bags of makeup and products I stopped using years ago, I was thinking about the vivid dream I had while in Bali. I was with a girl who had long hair extensions, fake nails, an unnatural tan, and a looot of makeup on. I’m not sure who the girl was, but it may have been the old me. She looked at me with a concerned look in her eyes and asked, “Is all this too much??” In my dream, I replied after a short pause, “We don’t put bows in trees.”

I woke up right after this moment and the dream stuck with me while I was in Bali. I thought it was kind of silly, but also somewhat profound. Nature is beautiful just the way it is. No frills; all natural.

On the third night of my trip in Bali, I wrote my very first poem, inspired by this dream.

She asked me, “Is it too much?”
I saw extensions of her natural beauty.
Additions to what was already perfect.
Cover-ups to what she thought were flaws.
I replied, “We don’t put bows in trees.”

Feels good to do some more shedding. Getting back to basics. Back to me.

New Beginning

Thursday, May 18, 2017

This one’s a two-fer.

1. “Shedding the Shit.”


When I first started going through all my stuff a couple weeks ago, I came up with a campaign for myself: Shedding the Shit! I feel like a dog, shedding all of it’s hair at the first signs of Spring. Getting rid of what’s no longer needed.

So tonight, I tackled my closet. Not all of it, just what’s on my hangers. I’m surprised that the wooden pole never collapsed under all the weight of my sequins, zippers, and heavy memories.

At first, I channeled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I’d hold each item of clothing and ask my intuition to respond to the question: “Does this bring me joy?” It worked for the most part, but my mind kept getting distracted each time I’d grab the next dress. My mind would wander to the last time I wore whatever I was holding. Memories were flooding back. I found it interesting that I look at my clothes every morning, yet I completely avoid half of what is right in front of me. I decided to switch up my technique of shedding my shit. I’d ask myself (1) if I have worn this in the past year, (2) if I’ve ever worn the item in the first place (I was surprised to see a large pile of clothes I’ve never actually worn), and lastly (3) am I holding onto a memory that I should let go of?

-Sequin dress: The only time I wore this dress was to the wedding of a couple that has recently celebrated their 4 year anniversary and now have a newborn. Let the dress go, Mo…

-Green blouse: The sole reason for keeping this top is for St. Patrick’s Day.

+T-shirt dress: After going to so many yoga classes, my mind and my body have become much healthier. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been, so when I wear my t-shirt dress, I rock it.

-White, lace dress: Never worn. I don’t attend many fancy events that warrant a white, lacy dress, aside from weddings. And the last thing I’ll wear to a wedding is the bride’s color.

+Pink and red sweater: My Mom saw me try it on in the Denver Target. I didn’t buy it, but she ended up mailing it to me when I got back to Seattle.

-Black and white striped dress (and 4 other sweaters): I always feel like a prisoner when I wear black and white stripes.

+Tie-die tank top: I held a baby alligator in a swamp in New Orleans while wearing this top. His name was Cash Money.

-Red sweater: The last time I wore this sweater was when I was extremely depressed. It was one of the darkest times of my life. I wore it to our holiday party that was held on a boat on Lake Union. There were a lot of people in a small space, and I made the poor decision of choosing red wine to drink. Someone accidentally knocked the wine on my sweater and I still have a tiny remnant of that stain, a year and a half later. After the spill, I ran to the bathroom to clean myself off and I ended up retreating for a while. I drank what was left of my wine in a bathroom stall, feeling trapped on the boat. That’s a whole different story, but this sweater reminds me of a very dark time. I’m so happy I’m no longer in that mental space. I’m so happy to finally discard that stained sweater.

+Patterned dress: I wore this dress during my first Make-A-Wish mileage drive. I was the lead during the event and I had no idea how much Make-A-Wish would end up impacting my life. We raised over 6 million airline miles for kids with life-threatening illnesses on this day.

-Blue halter top: Worn at my 22nd birthday party at Dante’s. Enough said.

-White blouse: I wore this sweater when I was really uncomfortable with my body. It was extra-large and it was my way of hiding.

+Turqoise blouse: It’s my favorite color and I wore it on my one-day trip to Culver City for the Wheel of Fortune taping. As I sat in Vanna White’s dressing room and looked at her closet full of dresses, I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream.

The list goes on…

I kept a lot of great clothes and now my closet is (half-way) full of clothes I will actually wear and memories that make me happy. Shedding the shit. Keeping the good.


2. “For Whitney.”

I called my friend Heather to catch up and give her the update on my one-way ticket. She’s one of my rocks. Always there for me – always supportive – and just gets me.

As soon as I told her the news, she was so so happy. I could hear her smile through the phone.

She asked me, “So when are you leaving? Wait…no…when does your next chapter start?”

I told her, “August 14.”

She was quiet and then starting tearing up. She mentioned she was going to cry and I could tell she was fighting it back.

“Don’t cry! There’s still plenty of time!” I thought maybe she was crying because the date was coming up relatively soon.

Then she said, “Do you remember me telling you about my best friend growing up who was killed in an accident?”

I definitely remember; that death has shaken Heather. They were best friends and she died too young. Heather still thinks about her frequently and I’ve heard her talk about her several times. Even after all these years, she is still very much in Heather’s life.

“August 14 is Whitney’s birthday.”

We both started crying. I never met Whitney, but I feel like in some way she’ll be an Angel for me on this leap of faith. August 14 will be a special day in more ways than one.


P.s. Heather, the song that just came on as I was selecting this photo is “Secrets (Cellar Door).” I’ll never forget that road trip up to Bellingham. You introduced me to that song and I’ll always associate it with you and this trip to Taylor Dock. If this song were hanging in my closet, it’d be one of my favoritest, cuddliest sweaters that fits perfectly… and most importantly, brings me joy.

Love of the Unknown

Sunday, May 14, 2017


3 months from today, I will be on a plane back to Bali. In some ways, 3 months feels like it’s coming up way too quickly, yet in other ways, it feels like an eternity.

3 months isn’t much time logistically. I have to move out of my apartment, manage 8 work events before my last day, dogsit for a couple of weeks, and complete what feels like a million little tasks. All while trying to enjoy the Summer that us Seattleites have waited so many rainy months for. I’ve got my work cut out for me. Part of me feels guilty right now sitting at a coffee shop reading and writing and not going through more of my belongings, sorting out what is important enough to keep. It’s an emotional, exhausting project and takes all of my energy.

Yesterday I threw away my Iced White Mocha Halloween costume and I’ll admit, I teared up a bit. It’s been one of my favorite costumes (aside from my Chipotle burrito costume, of course), and I was proud I created it with items from around my apartment. But what was I holding onto it for? I’m not going to wear it again and it’s not like I’m going to pull it out every few months to admire. It was just taking up space in my time capsule full of things that could be considered vintage at this point. As I continue to go through items, I need to remember that sometimes I don’t need the object associated with a memory. I’ll never forget that Halloween with or without my paper towel roll headband covered in green duct tape.


On the other hand, 3 months feels extremely far away. In 3 months, so much can happen. I’ve already gone through a gammut of emotions, and it’s only been a week since I made it official. I’d like to think that I’ll remain completely unfaltered in my decision. There have certainly been moments when I’ve had mini-freak outs, but they usually come after conversations with people who give me the vibe that it’s not a smart idea.

“Are you independently wealthy or something??”

Ha! No, definitely not. Bali is very cheap and I’ve been putting some money aside for a while now. Do I wish I had more money to assure that I can stay longer and not worry about immediately looking for a job when I return? Definitely. But again, if not now, when? I could stay at my job and keep saving, even though it’s nearly impossible to save with my salary and the costs of living in Seattle now. Or I could get a new job that pays more, but I’d be stuck yet again.

The time is now, whether I’m “independently wealthy” or not.

Obviously, traveling to a foreign country with no set plan is likely to be a main topic in conversations these days. And through these conversations, it feels like I’m seeing a unique side to everyone I talk to. What they would do if they quit their job and did something totally out there. My favorite is noticing how others perceive time. When I tell people I’m leaving mid-August, half of the people say, “Whoa! That’s soon!” And the other half say, “Oh so you’ve got plenty of time.” I find it fascinating what time means to others.

I’ve also had a few people open up to me about really personal matters. That they’re going through a similar situation where they feel stuck and they want to get unstuck. I used to love giving advice to my friends, usually about listening to our intuition. But every time I did, I always felt like somewhat of a fraud. I listen to my intuition all the time, but it hasn’t really been until now that I’ve followed it. No one should take advice from me if I’m not following my own beliefs. It’s like someone who has been divorced three times giving advice on marriage. I want to receive advice from people who are a living example of what they’re saying. To my friends who have really opened up to me, I hope I can inspire you by being a sort of guinea pig for taking a ridiculous leap of faith. I’m finally following my own advice.

As I go along this new path, I hope to keep writing and sharing experiences. It’s a very unique time in my life and this blog is a great way to keep my head on straight. But I have been struggling with it’s intention. Sort of like my vision board that I mentioned in my previous post, it’s important for me to have a vision and always have it in the back of my mind while I write.

Quite a few people have mentioned that maybe this blog could eventually become a way to make an income. A “travel writer.” I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about that idea. Knowing I’m going to be unemployed means I’ll grasp at anything that could potentially bring in money. Some people have suggested trying to find sponsors, writing freelance for my station, or gain a following through social media to bring in advertising dollars. I noticed when that little seed was planted, I subtly changed the style of my writing…and I didn’t like it. My post about my new sandals used to say, “I couldn’t decide between Tevas or Chacos, and I’m really happy I went with Tevas! Best $80 I’ve spent!” It wasn’t authentic; it wasn’t me. I have since changed the post to reflect what those sandals actually mean to me.

As I looked back and read through more of my posts, I felt like I was writing too much and rambling. I thought in order to keep a clean blog and hold readers’ attention, I should keep my posts short and concise. That makes for a successful blog, according to articles on how to become a professional blogger. But you know what? I write a lot. My mind goes every which way and it’s hard to keep up with it. But this is just who I am. So I’m going to write as long as my meandering mind wants me to.

So what’s my intention with this blog?

It’s simply to share my view of the world via words, pictures, and sounds…and learning from it. Simple as that. If you know me, you know I love reading and writing. I especially love learning. My view of the world has morphed quite a bit in the past few years, and I know this because I have so many journals documenting what mattered to me at the time. By keeping track of these different phases of life on paper, I’ve been able to see my growth and when important transitions have occurred. Now I can notice triggers for particular emotions and certain patterns I tend to get myself into. So this ‘journal’ is a new beginning. A time in my life when I finally feel unstuck. A time when the fear of the unknown is also the greatest excitement. I can’t wait to see what lessons will be gained.

So if you’re reading this, it means you’re important to me. And it means I can be myself around you. Thank you for taking the time to follow along on this crazy ass chapter of my life. I couldn’t do this without the support of YOU.

3 months…I’ve got all the time in the world.

p.s. Happy Mother’s Day – I love you, Momma!

Love of the Unknown

Vision Board

Saturday, May 13, 2017
Last Spring, I joined a group of women in a workshop called, “BeingSelf Love.” My friend’s sister and her best friend wanted to lead a monthly class that discussed chakras, self care, and spirituality. We all read 7 books over the course of 7 months and got together each of these months. The theme of the class would be whichever chakra we were studying in that month, starting with the root chakra ascending to the crown chakra. The first half of the workshop each Sunday was a lesson and the second half was when we ‘processed’. It was definitely an “out there” kind of workshop for me to join – we meditated and dug very deep into the core of our feelings. During the process portion, we would talk out what was going on in the depths of our mind and it would become very emotional. Sometimes releasing all that energy is helpful, especially when you’re around supportive friends. I loved the workshop and I learned so much about myself. My favorite book we read was “Wheels of Life.” It had chapters on each of the 7 chakras and it was while I was reading this book that I started shifting my perspective on life.

Being open-minded toward this new way of thinking was how I got to where I am now. I would still be stuck if it weren’t for these women, classes, and books. On our last class, we were asked to make a vision board for ourselves. It was such a perfect project for me to do because it forced me to think about how I want my life to play out. When was the last time you envisioned what you hope your life to be? I grew up thinking that by the time I’d turn 30, I’d be married and have a kid. Pretty standard for the American dream. And I’m nowhere close to it right now. But with this project, it showed me that there isn’t a timeline. I have a few key goals and am trusting that I will reach them at some point in my life, no number about it. Adventure, Love, and Family.

As I’m going through my apartment in the beginning steps of moving, I’m digging deep again, like I would during each of those classes. I’m opening drawers full of items from my ‘prior life.’ Each drawer is like a different phase of my twenty-something years. Two Cosmopolitan magazines. Can’t believe I used to buy that shit. 4 bottles of tanning lotion. 10 bottles of perfume. 14 purses. 1 pair of fake Prada sunglasses. The things I did to attempt to fit in…

So. Much. STUFF. So. Not. ME.

Above my desk in my bedroom is my vision board. I typically get ready for work every morning at my desk, but I rarely take the time to look up at it and think about it. A few days before my Bali vacation, I took this picture. I finally did take a moment to look at it again and at the time, I felt that my “Wild at Heart” adventure was about to begin. I look at it now and I smile – it is beginning!

I appreciate the vision board because envisioning how I hope my future to be, it’s been subconsciously on my mind. It seems so simple, but even those little photos are like seeds being planted in this blooming journey. Whether I notice it or not, my mind will have these goals as a focus and everything I do will be in the direction of these hopes and dreams. Who knew a DIY vision board could be so powerful?!