Big Magic

My mom passed away the week before her birthday, so, today is her birthday. It is never as bad as the day she passed away, but I’m still sad. It makes me wish I could still celebrate her birthday with her…the things you take for granted when you don’t know any better.

I’ve been feeling very disconnected and jaded. I couldn’t even finish books when I was devouring them before, because I was so indifferent. You just feel like you’ve heard the same thing 200 times. Especially with self help books… I couldn’t even finish one. I had 5 audible credits to use I and I kept returning every book I bought. Even if I started out liking it…eventually I just couldn’t stand it anymore.

One book had been nagging at me to hear it. Oddly enough it was a book I had already read when it first came out, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Even with that book I was hard set on not buying it…because it obviously didn’t work the first time. (Say that in a sarcastic tone to mimic the voice in my mind.)

But, all week last week it persisted. So finally I was like, “FINE, you win brain…I’ll use a credit on the book I already read and OWN.” (It is currently in a box like half my shit…which is really annoying but that’s a tale for another time.)

So I listened, and instantly I remembered why I loved it so much the first time. It was just everything I needed to hear, again. Maybe even more so now. I’m not going to sit here and review the book point by point, what really matters is that it got me to write again. My last post was a product of reading that book, and realizing that my creative self is dying to get out. So, I promised myself I’d work on being creative more. Using that long dormant part of my brain.

A few things happened, including today. (I got recognized, twice, at work for my efforts.) That give me the sense that I am on the right path. So I’m going to follow that curiosity. I don’t really know what that means, because there are several creative things I love doing…but I just need to do something to feed my soul…it’s starving.

4 Years

(I wrote this yesterday, 3/6/18, I didn’t realize it didn’t post after I finished..)

Yesterday was 4 years since my mom died, it was also a Monday. Why does it matter that yesterday was a Monday? Because of office symbiosis and what happens on Monday.

“How was your weekend?”

“How are you doing? Anything new?”

These are innocuous and polite questions..but on a day like yesterday they feel painful. I am not close enough to my co-workers to tell them what the day is. Some, I actually am close enough to but then how will they respond? What can they say that will make it any better?

There’s something that Brene Brown talks about called, “Smash and Grab”, to paraphrase, it’s basically when simple conversation is happening and someone throws something super heavy in the mix to get attention. “I got a flat tire this weekend.” “Well, my dog died this weekend, so yeah.” Even though I wouldn’t personally phrase it like that…I would still feel like that was exactly what I was doing. “How are you?” “I’m sad because my mom passed away 4 years ago today.” It just doesn’t seem like the thing to throw on someone Monday morning.

So I didn’t say a word about it, to anyone all day long. It doesn’t have that I sub-consciously push it down into oblivion without even trying. I had fooled myself into thinking that I was handling the day very well, I was getting BETTER at it. Look at me laughing and smiling…I can do this.

You know when you’re hung over and you can feel your stomach is upset? The next day you’re no longer drunk but your stomach is still turning and you do everything to stop it…but eventually you have to barf your brains out in order to feel better? I do that with my emotions.

The second I came home and laid in bed…I could feel it creeping up. First it came out as anger. I picked a fight with my boyfriend cause he wouldn’t get off his phone. I walked out and slammed the door. Then I went into the other room, laid down in the dark and began to bawl my eyes out. Fetal positon, ugly crying uncontrollably.

Eventually he found me and realized that the issue went far deeper then his tech obsession. Even with him I didn’t want to remind him what day it was. What can he say to make it better? He remembered without me telling him though.

I have made huge strides in my life in the last 4 years, in some areas. But without a moment of pause I would rewind everything positive in my life to go back to my life 4 years and a few months ago. I would give it all up to have my mom and sister back. I would work a job I hate, live at home, all of it.

Death is a film that covers your entire life, forever. It’s the lens from which you see the world after you lose people you love. Or maybe, that’s just me. Even the most beautiful things in my life are covered in a thin, barely visible film of loss and regret. I just want a time machine, is that too much to ask?

But, I walk through the film coated world anyway. I keep trudging along trying to find myself, new or old. My spirit and heart still feel so severed and my joy always feels so slippery. I am so desperate to keep it, I tend to chase it away.

I’m sad and depressed at the moment. I’m glad I can at least say that here because I can hardly say that to anyone else. But, this is a hard moment…they come and go. I push myself towards joy as much as I can anyway. And overall I will say that I have way more good days then bad.

In a way, writing this is just another way to throw up. It’s not only getting this out…but just writing in general has been calling me. All my creative outlets call to me and I never answer. I have I lot of excuses why I don’t. I want to change that. Something in me says that’s the path to true healing…who knows.

But today, I am sad and heartbroken. I miss my mom so much…

The thing they don’t tell you about “Change”

I am a self confessed self help junkie. I live for Super Soul Sunday and Brene Brown and Liz Gilbert, et al. I want to improve, change, be different, grow, etc.

I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. I fight it, hate it, avoid it. Guess where growth comes from? *eye roll* I know this because everyone knows this. Everyone knows that to be in a different place you have to do different things. “Take the leap of faith…” and the second statement always goes something like this:

“It may take some adjustment…”

“Things may be challenging at first but…”

“You will face difficulties but..”

And eventually your change will lead you to the new life you want. Blah, blah, blah.

THIS IS WHAT THEY NEVER SAY. Even an awesome change can be HARD AND MISERABLE at first. Maybe I am an isolated case of weirdness. Maybe I’m just extra resistant to things changing. The reason why I am even bringing this up is because yesterday was a year since I left my old job and consequently started my current job a few days later.

I wrote about this a bit before, but to tell you the truth I sugarcoated it a bit. I was FUCKING MISERABLE at my old job. It was thankless, you worked your ass off and it was hardly appreciated, we were on production and it was like a factory job in an office setting. Only your mistakes were pointed out to you. They never gave you the vacation you wanted without a fight, them trying to take away my vacation was literally what led me to my current job. (Thanks guys!) HOWEVER, my supervisor and friends there were always a bright side. It was the company culture and management that made it terrible.

The only reason why I mention all that is to emphasize how miserable I was in that job. 

So, I get my new job. The hours are better, days off are better, environment is better, vacation approval is so easy I could cry, I don’t even have to CALL to call in sick, I am treated like an adult and trusted to be there and do my job without every minute of my day being watched and calculated. HEAVEN RIGHT? Nope, not at first.

I had been at my old job for 8 years. And even though I hated it and was absolutely miserable, it was what I was used to. I knew what I had to do, what my drive was like, I knew it. So I threw myself into something I didn’t know and went into an emotional tailspin. Even though it was 1000% better. And this is what the books never tell you. Even if you leave something bad, for something totally better just being IN SOMETHING NEW is enough to make you feel lost and yearning for comfort.

Those first few months, I just wanted the safety of my old terrible job. I was a boss at my old job, now I was a novice. I knew exactly what was expected of me, now I was lost. I went from banking to NPR Radio….I WAS SCARED. Terrified that I had made a horrible mistake and threw my life upside down.


Having said that however, you still need to do it, BECAUSE IT IS WORTH IT. Just don’t be fooled into believing that the leap is the only hard part. The leap is just the beginning to your new trials. I wish I had known that, because when things felt SO HARD in the beginning my mind processed that as, “YOU made a terrible mistake!!!!!” Not, “This is hard now but one day it will get better…it may take months but it will get better”

I was so close so many days, in the beginning, to asking for my old job back. I’d cry all the time because it was just so new and scary. But I kept with it and now I realize going back would have been the “terrible mistake”.

It’s funny, because now a year later I am on the cusp of yet another massive change.  One that will undoubtedly throw my life upside down again for awhile. I’m, once again, scared out of my mind. But just like my current job, I know this is something I have to do for the greater good of myself. I know this will push me to grow and hopefully flourish. It’s yet another case of me entering a situation that’s probably better for me, but just brand new. (And no, I’m not changing jobs again…)

When you make a change, give it time to level out in your life. Give it time to really settle and give yourself time to adjust. If things are rough are first DO NOT take that as a sign that you made a mistake. Take that as a sign that you just did something massively different and the universe is realigning to make it fit into your world.

Please reference me to this post when I have terrified in a few months…

Oh how I missed you DLR!

Oh how I missed you DLR!

We returned from Walt Disney world October 5th. It was amazing, it was awesome and YES I will write about it. Currently it’s a logistics issue, I need to get all the pics Adam took on his iphone, he took the bulk of the “regular” pics and I have all the photopass pics.

Anyway, every since we got back I’ve been wanting to go to Disneyland/California Adventure. As I told Adam, it felt like I cheated on my home park. *mentally hugs DLR tight*. Now, WDW is freakin’ AWESOME but Disneyland/Cali Adventure will always be my fave.

I got a terrible cold my last few days in Florida, then Adam caught it. With other engagements we hadn’t been able to make it to the parks. So early last week I told him we HAD to go before Halloween was over. I have a feeling the weekend before Halloween was going to be very crowded so we decided on this weekend.

We renewed our passes shortly after we returned from WDW. I decided to upgrade and went for the “Signature” pass. I really think it will be worth the extra money. We previously had the Southern California passport. But, since I’ve switch to a job with regular days off (sat-sun) we’ve found it to be a lot more challenging to go. PLUS, being blocked all summer SUCKS!!! I wanted the parking, photopass pics and the higher discounts. I tend to spend more money on “stuff” including photo pass pics for races. (Even though there won’t be any more races in 2018, due to construction BOOO!)

So I went for the “signature” and convinced Adam to go for the “deluxe”. You don’t get that many more days with the signature, deluxe passports can still go in summer too! We both don’t need parking and higher discounts…so I think it’s going to work out really well! This upgrade is why we were able to go on SATURDAY for once. *Toy Story alien style, “oooooh”* Hey, when you’ve been So. Cal Select and So. Cal for 3 years, it feels like a real treat to go on Saturday. =p

We got to DLR around 3pm. One thing I will say about WDW is it has made me appreciate how easy it is to navigate DLR! One tiny little tram ride and your there, one quick walk and you can park hop. There is no such thing as “quick” in WDW! It’s cool because you feel like you truly are in a Disney WORLD though.

Obligatory tram selfie

Unlike most Disney trips, I had two agendas. 1. See Cars land “Haul-o-ween” and 2. Go to Cove bar and have a “Sea Witch” cocktail. But first things first, we were both STARVING. Adam wanted to go to Rancho del zocalo in Disneyland (his favorite place to eat)…but I told him all my objectives for the day were in DCA. After a quick magic shot with the headless horseman we were on our way to find lunch.

First we thought about having lunch at Cove Bar, but that was quickly squashed when I saw the line. We were way too hungry to wait. So then I compromised and said we could have the mexican food at Cocina Cucamonga. The food is really similar with a few key differences.

  • Cocina Cucamonga does NOT have free drink refills like Rancho del zocalo
  • It also doesn’t have enchiladas OR chips
  • The beans are better at Cocina Cucamonga though, imo

I also noticed they installed the same readers they have in WDW for the magic bands. I hope they bring magic bands to DLR!!!

Adam had to go vape after he ate so I took that time to go to The Little Mermaid store, of course I found a pin to buy. I also was ogling all the new TLM housewares! Soon maybe…

Then it was off to cars land. OMG it was so cute. And though the Cozy Cone had already sold out of the macaroon I wanted *sniff* we still thoroughly enjoyed it. My favorite thing was the day of the dead car and altar for Doc Hudson…love seeing my culture represented in such a cute manner! I made Adam wait forever for the “Haul-o-ween” photopass pic because it was going to be our only chance to take it!






This thing was actually scary and made terrifying noises!

After our little cars land adventure we decided it was time to go to Cove Bar. Knowing that we were going to have to wait Adam went to the Karl Strauss truck and got a beer. I got one too…but I don’t like beer. I probably drank 1/4th of it and Adam finished the rest.

We waited about 40min at Cove Bar which wasn’t bad at all. By the time we  got to the front however the line was MASSIVE, I think because it was dinnertime(??) Either way we timed it perfectly.

My favorite ride in DCA..

We got in and our server was a little slow to begin with. After our first drink came out she was on top of everything though. Either that or we stopped noticing. I tried a “Zombie” which was a lot of rums with a 151 floater. It was good but the winner was definitely “The sea witch”. We drank those for the rest of our time there and ended up ordering tri-tip nachos and fajita rolls. (That ended up being our dinner as it was already 7pm.)


One of the biggest perks of being a passholder is being able to spend 2 hours of your day at Cove Bar and not even feeling slightly guilty about wasting time. It’s my favorite place to sit and relax! I wish we could have done that at WDW but we had to keep it moving to see as much as possible.

After Cove Bar we went on The Little Mermaid Ride then headed back to cars land to see it at night!!! I love the way they have the Cadillac range lit up and also the eyes on the firehouse.


After Cars land we headed to Hollywood and got some moonlight margaritas. Yay, more glow cubes! lol We could have a dinner party with glow cubes!


I did some shopping before we left DCA at Elias & Co. I had to get the new 90’s Mickey Mouse stuff! I will post my purchases later though.

We park-hopped to Disneyland right at 11pm, apparently with everyone else that was in DCA. We only had time to get on one ride, but it was a good one, Thunder Mountain. We stopped at the pin store in Frontierland and I bought some more pins…then the park was closed.

I’m so glad we got to see Haul-o-ween!! If you can make it to the parks before they get rid of it, do it!

Escape to Trader Sam’s

Escape to Trader Sam’s

Saturday August 5th

All week I had been seeing posts for the “Who’s its and Whats it’s” pop-up shop at the Anaheim Gardenwalk. I love supporting “small shops” that make their own Disney merch so I was really excited to go check it out.

I’ve been to the Gardenwalk several times, usually to eat dinner at P.F. Chang’s. We did exactly that first and foremost. I was hungry from doing that dreaded Saturday cleaning. P.F. Chang’s was delicious as usual. While their I asked Adam if he’d be down to go to Trader Sam’s/Downtown Disney to kill some more time, he said sure.

After dinner we made a beeline to the pop-up shop which was only a few doors down from P.F. Chang’s. They had SO MANY cute things. Unfortunately for me a lot of people went the opening day (Friday the 4th) and snagged most of the stuff in my size. 😦 It was probably all for the best because I would have spent WAY too much money in there!

I did manage to snag this cute Little Mermaid Shirt

We walked around a bit more…


Then it was off to Downtown Disney!

We made a another beeline for Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel. If you have never been there, YOU MUST. It’s probably my favorite bar, ever! The atmosphere is a Disney-infused Jungle Cruise themed Tiki Bar and the drinks are amazing!


Trader Sam’s is always jampacked with people, especially on a Saturday. We were trying to find a place to stand near the bar when I felt a tap on my hand. I turned around and this young couple asked if we wanted to sit at their table with them. I jumped at the chance for a seat!

Trader Sam’s is covered in fun decor

They actually turned out to be super nice. The guy was originally from Cali but they were both located in Orlando now and both worked for the theme parks. (He worked for Universal and she worked for Disney.) They were major Disney fans like Adam and I so we had a blast trading “insider” tips to the parks. They really helped point us to some “can’t miss” places at Walt Disney World and I was so grateful! WDW is VERY overwhelming when you’re trying to plan and you’ve never been before. 

I should have really got their full names or at least added them on a social media site. Too many drinks and too much fun and I wasn’t thinking straight. I hope, somehow, we run into them when we go to WDW.

After 3 drinks we threw in the towel at Sam’s (mostly because we were getting close to our free parking limit..) and walked around Downtown Disney. Amazingly I managed to only buy one thing!

Adam went to use the restroom and I gingerly wandered into Marceline’s Confectionary. (a place with so much delicious stuff I try to avoid it at all cost). But my drinks had me in a, “treat yo self” mode so off i went. 

I ended up getting a s’mores on a stick which is funny because today is National S’mores Day! I just celebrated a few days early. 😉 After I devoured the chocolatey-marshmallowy goodness we headed back to my place. 


This week they announced changes to the Downtown Disney parking. Though we rarely go to Downtown Disney and not eat at a sit-down place, so it won’t affect us too much. I think it’s pretty easy to spend $20 there but it still sucks that it’s not “free” anymore. Glad we got to take advantage of the free parking one last time!

Michelle Branch at the El Rey

Michelle Branch at the El Rey

As I’ve mentioned I’m a huge music fan. One of my favorite hobbies is seeing my favorite artists live. I touched upon that in my post, “My thoughts on Manchester”. Music means A LOT to me.

Michelle Branch at the El Rey 7/25/17

Michelle was probably the first artist I was ever completely obsessed with. I know she wasn’t the first singer-songwriter but she was the first one that really caught my attention. I’d never seen a female, my own age, write their own songs, sing and play guitar.

I remember being in high school and wanting to buy a guitar SO BAD after Michelle came on the scene. But I never did, not until over 10 years later. She was also the first artist I ever saw live. I remember I was just in awe of her. I saw her at the House of Blues on Sunset when she was touring for “Hotel Paper”. Everything about that experience was a novelty. “I’m going to HOLLYWOOD to a CLUB to SEE my favorite artist!!! Wow!” This was long before the smart phone, so the memory just lives in my brain.

When I saw her at the EL Rey in Los Angeles she was still super talented, amazing and had me in awe. I was such a different person when I last saw her on so many levels. I couldn’t have even imagined all the twist and turns I’d be in for in life. So the juxtapositon of those two versions of myself (old and current) was really eye opening for me.

In my own musical pursuits I have been trying to get back to the mental space of my youth (i.e. grade school). Before all the major hurts and doubts that gave me my, “art scars”. But the strange thing is that seeing her live REMINDED me why I fell in love with all of it in the first place. WHY I wanted to do it so bad so long ago. The clarity in that got really lost and muddled in adulthood. But seeing her again transported me back to my young 20-something self and it all became a little clearer.

Seeing her took me back into that same place I was at the House of Blues. It was like I remembered the primary reason why I wanted to create. I love how she can express her innermost feelings through song. That’s what I love about music as a whole. But this was the first person I saw, that I really admired, do it live and I think that’s why it was so powerful for me, then and now. As I wrote on Instagram it was a complete, “Simba, remember who you are..” moment. Except the voice was telling me, “Remember….!”


I’ve never truly pursued music because of fear. My anxieties are endless but my desire to express this part of me is endless as well. My inclination to follow this path doesn’t go away.  It’s been with me as long as I can remember and no matter how much I try to ignore it, it persists. Maybe this reminder will finally help me get my ass in gear.

It calls me….

It calls me….

Have you ever been able to do something but had the inability to show others you could in fact do that something?  So much so that you actually start doubting you can really do it? “No”? “Yes”? “What the hell are you talking about”?

I’ve mentioned before how I have two voices in my head that constantly battle each other. One says, “We got this!” the other says, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?! STOP IT!” Guess who always wins. But when I’m alone, the loud voice shuts up and I sing freely.

I grew up on Disney songs, my first CD was The Little Mermaid soundtrack, then Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, get the picture. And I practiced singing them non-stop. No one ever said I was good though. i thought I sounded alright… but no one ever said it. Then bullies, adolescence fast forward and my singing became this thing I only did in my car, an empty house or a hotel room shower.

I’ve taken vocal lessons slightly over a year now. And I’ve tried to learn several different songs with varying degrees of sort of success. I could never walk in there and “strut my stuff”. I started to believe I lacked stuff TO strut.

Do you know HOW MANY TIMES I told myself, “I’m going to ask to sing, “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. Literally I’d think about this all week, be driving to class and freak the fuck out and not say a word about it. The thing is I could sing “A Whole New World” damn good even as a kid when the movie came out. Once my ex best friend accused me of lip-syncing when I completely wasn’t (I was 10…). Out of all the Disney songs I love that one and Mulan’s, “Reflection” (movie version) are probably the ones I do best.

But I never had the balls to step into class and attempt these songs. Because HELLO these are Disney songs. That’s not just singing Taylor Swift that SINGING. If I couldn’t even do a Taylor song what business did I have walking in there attempting a Disney song? BTW, this is my internal monologue you are now viewing. Brutal huh?

I hadn’t seen Moana because when it came out I had JUST started my new job and Adam was in Europe and I was too stressed out to do anything. I am obsessed with the water I knew I would instantly love it, I don’t know why I avoided it so long.

A week before I saw the movie (Which was about 2 weeks ago), so 3 weeks ago, something made me listen to the title track, “How far I’ll go”. I had heard clips of it but never actually listened. I was OBSESSED instantly. It hit me like, “Part of your world” had hit me so so many years ago. I listened to it over and over and sang it over and over. Literally that day I first heard it I sang it the entire way home. And I thought I was doing a pretty good job. But of course my brain would not allow for such thoughts to stay in my head long. “You sound good because no one can hear you, you suck”.

I saw the movie the new week, instantly obsessed again. The story just hit me like those old school Disney movies had. (TLM, BATB…). Shortly after I ended up alone in my house. A big struggle for me has been stage fright and letting people hear me. Even videoing myself is super hard for me. I get nervous even with THAT. But I kept trying to get comfortable with it. I took one that sounded ok..and sent it to my BF Adam, the only person I really trust with this…somewhat. lol

Then I did something insane, insane to me, I posted that video on instagram. It wasn’t my best, but it was almost like I had to face that fear. Of letting people hear me and NOT being perfect. Just letting myself heard, period. That was my only goal with it. The world did not end, I did not fall apart. And even though 2 weeks later my knee-jerk reaction is to “Delete that!” I wont let myself based on principal. If I can’t show this side of myself I will never be happy.

So as I said, countless, endless, pretty much every time I went to class I thought about trying one of those Disney classics…and backed down. But yesterday I decided I was going to try it. Well not a classic but, “How far I’ll go”. My regular teacher isn’t there but her sub is super nice too. I even printed out the words. The funny thing is the first thing my teacher told me when I walked in, “Maybe we should work on two songs, do another one too.” Oh universe, you are HILARIOUS. So I suggested, “How far I’ll go” and busted out the lyrics I already had printed out.

Then I did it, I was nervous as hell and wasn’t my best, but I wasn’t my worst either. I navigated that song way better then any other song I had attempted in the last year. So we kept working on different elements and I tried it again and again. The final time she was genuinely surprised and said I had done so well. That I had all of the notes I just had to work on my projection. But that I did awesome and that I ,”Kept surprising her”.

Do you know how long I have waited for someone to tell me I really could do this? That it wasn’t so made up thing I could only do in my head. No, I really can sing that song and I can probably sing all the other ones well too. But just that moment of validation, unaided validation. I cried on the way home. I have waited over 20 years for that moment. For someone to say, “You CAN do this.” Honestly, words can’t even describe it.

“One day I’ll know
How far I’ll go”