Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pray for Paris

I'm a Facebook junkie. I'll freely admit it. And if you are anything like me, you'll often come across something on your newsfeed that you disagree with. Facebook and all social media platforms are full of controversy. They thrive on it. It's how they survive. I have perfected the art of ignoring and scrolling down whenever I see something that contradicts my own beliefs. I try not to get involved in comment wars over differences in opinion. We're all human. We're all allowed to have different opinions, and we're all allowed to share those opinions on whatever platform we choose. Today is different. This morning I saw something that made me stop short. On this, I cannot remain silent.

We are all mourning for the lives lost in the attacks throughout Paris. I know because my Facebook has exploded with pictures and posts and hashtags of support for our allies. Every person has their own way of expressing their love to Paris. I was feeling nothing but love and unity and support while I was scrolling, until I ran across this picture.

I'm not offended easily. I always try to take a step back and think about where a person is coming from. I don't always succeed at being open-minded, but I try. This is easily the most offensive thing I have ever seen on Facebook. Regardless of how you feel about prayer or religion or God, you should not tell other people how to deal with this tragedy. Especially not one day after the events. That is not tactful. That is not compassionate. And if I'm being honest, that is not ok.

For who knows what reason, I decided to look at the comments on this picture. I suppose I was looking for someone to say what I was feeling so I could like it, and move on. No one did. In fact, because the picture wasn't bad enough, I found this:

I pulled this from the Eagles of Death Metal FB page under the comments section stating the band and crew were safe, couldn't agree more:

"Until we eradicate ALL religion from our lives, our species will NEVER be truly free, and we will continue to enjoy human beings slaughtering their fellow human beings over nothing more than whose intellectually and morally offensive, primitive, fear-based fairy tales are the only "true" fairy tales (and which therefore allegedly justify such subhuman behavior). Condolences to all involved; hopefully our species will soon realize that here in the 21st Century, we no longer need religion -- and the type of knuckle-dragging bigotry and barbarism it promotes and justifies -- any more. "

Guys. I have nothing against atheists. I have many atheist friends including some of the people I love the most in this world. We respect each others beliefs and opinions and we discuss them openly. So, please correct me if I am wrong here. I get why many atheists hate religion. There is a lot of hypocrisy, bigotry, and violence in the name of God(s). From what I understand many atheists have problems with religion because of their intolerance on a myriad of issues. 

To me, that comment is intolerant of those of us who are religious. Religious people do not hold a monopoly on hypocrisy, bigotry, violence, or intolerance. In my opinion whoever wrote that comment is not being very open-minded. They may not need religion, but that doesn't mean that no one does. Every person on this planet is an individual and it is their right to decide how to live their life. We need to stop generalizing and grouping people together based on one category of their lives. We are all guilty of it, including me, and it needs to stop. 

What I am coming to understand is that just like there are religious extremists who give all religions a bad name, there are atheistic extremists who give atheism a bad name. I would never tell one of my non-religious friends exactly how to deal (or not deal) with this tragedy. They are allowed to grieve in their own way. Please allow me to grieve in mine. So regardless of how anyone else feels about it, I will pray that the violence and intolerance of this world will one day come to an end. I will pray that one day we will all be able to live together in harmony. I will pray for Paris.

I apologize if this post offends anyone. I tried to keep it as open-minded and non-biased as I could. If you want to discuss it with me, I am happy to have a conversation with you about it. I do ask that we try to avoid negativity and talk about things rationally and respectfully. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


I went to work the other day and two of my friends were talking about their upcoming backpacking trip in Zion National Park. One friend invited me to come along a while back but I declined because I knew I was visiting my friend Laney in Vegas already this month and couldn't afford to lose more work. He offered again and I said I couldn't because I have work. He jokingly told me to call out.

Instantly my mind started listing all the reasons I shouldn't do it. I need the money. I don't want more points for calling out. I don't have half the camping gear I need. I'm in bad shape and won't be able to keep up. I can't leave my cat again. It's a long drive and gas prices are ridiculous. While all these thoughts were rolling around in my brain, my heart was quietly whispering, "...but...I want to go..."

I started to shift my thinking into figuring out if I could actually make this work. Here's what I realized: I don't want to be one of those people who won't do things because they need to save their money. I realized that my life will be a much happier one if it is full of rich experiences instead of having a full savings account. Yes there are legitimate reasons I shouldn't go on the trip, but one reasons trumps all those. It will make me happy.

My happiness is the most I could ask for in this life I am living. While I believe in an afterlife, I want to live my life here on Earth to the fullest. I want to go on spontaneous trips with my friends. I want to buy and read a lot of books. I want to binge watch a TV show for a week straight. I want to eat ice cream every day. I want to do what makes me happy and I want to do it without feeling regret or shame.

It's silly, but even by setting goals for the things that make me happy, end up destroying my happiness...For example I always set a reading goal every year and when I get behind I get discouraged. Why should I be discouraged!? If I feel like picking up a book and reading, then that's awesome! If I'd rather watch TV or play a video game instead, that's cool too.

And I don't know if you know this, but I LOVE ice cream. Like seriously...if ice cream were a man then I would marry him and have little ice cream babies of delicious creamy goodness. Wait...where was I? Oh yeah. So I love ice cream and I probably have some form or other of frozen dairy treat every day. And every time I do, I feel ashamed because I know it's not good for me. WHO CARES!? Ice cream is freaking delicious and I just want to enjoy it and not hate myself afterward.

Life's too short for regret and shame. I plan on moving forward and pursuing my happiness. Obviously I need to be financially aware and responsible, but that doesn't mean I can't dip into the savings account every once in a while. I have a really amazing life and I'm young and have all kinds of adventures ahead of me. I can't wait to see what happens in my future.

Do what makes you happy and do what you can to make others happy. And that's my new philosophy!

*bonus points if you knew the musical right away

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Must Be Crazy

Guys. I love lists. They are like my favorite thing. I love planning and organizing and making sure everything is perfect. I have been planning a backpacking trip to Europe in 2020 for like two years. It started out as a three month trip, and now it's up to five months - and I'm not even done planning yet! But I must be crazy because logical, organized, and list-loving me, is considering throwing all those plans out the window, grabbing my backpack, and heading to Europe for a year with no plans but to have the adventure of a lifetime.

The thought is equally exhilarating and terrifying. But why not!? People do that sort of thing all the time! Why can't I!? There is plenty of information out there on how much it costs to travel through Europe. If I budget high, I see no reason I couldn't do it. And hey if I run out of money before the year is up, I'll just go home.

I really want to talk myself into doing this. The reason I wanted to travel through Europe without a travel group was because I didn't want anyone telling me where to go or how long to stay. I wanted to make my own itinerary and have some wiggle room for spontaneity. By making my own itinerary and planning things down to the hour, I am doing to myself what the travel group would have done anyway!

What would happen if I just showed up and had no plans? It might be stupid. It might be the most amazing experience in my life. In fact I think it would. I'm probably crazy, but I'm so excited by the idea, I don't even care. Only five more years Europe. See you soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

She's Baaaaaaack!

Wow. Finally had a spare moment today to pop on over here and see that my last post was over 6 months ago. I couldn't believe it! Well, actually I could because my life got totally crazy. As you may recall from a previous post, I was suffering from a bout of depression after my move to California, but since then, I am happy to report, things have improved dramatically. I'll try and catch you up on all the craziness you've missed the last 6 months. Here's a visual interpretation:

1. Jenna came to visit me in August. We ate cronuts, went to Six Flags, and chilled on the beach.
2. Went to an Angels game with co-workers.
3. Had drinks after the game. Including Irish Car Bombs:
4. Which were disgusting.
5. Went to Disneyland with my family.
6. Went whale watching with Randy and Anthony in Dana Point.
7. Hung out at the beach with friends.
8. Went home for a visit in September and saw these lovely ladies.
9. Went to a book signing in Oceanside. Saw Stephanie Perkins, Kiersten White, & Natalie Whipple.
10. Went ice skating with D-Wade.
11. Went to Mad T Party and saw the Halloween fireworks with Sheila.
12. Got dressed up for a Halloween Time Travel Party. I was sexy Hermione with a time turner.
13. Jenna came back for a visit in October. We found Perry at Disneyland.
14. Went to the Rise of the Jack-o-Lanterns which had some seriously awesome pumpkin art.
15. Learned to drive a boom lift for:
16. Small World Holiday Exterior.
17. Moved into my very own 1 bedroom apartment! Thanks Mom and Dad!
18. They also brought my cat Strider who lives with me now. We're so happy to be back together!
19. Went to the TSO concert. Duh.
20. Went to see The Nutcracker in Long Beach.
21. Bought a bunch of decorations for my new place including a full sized Christmas Tree.
22. Went to the Newport Beach Parade of Lights with Sheila.
23. Rode a mechanical bull shark in Newport Beach.
24. Elisa and I got our rain gear on for another day of work at #wocrehab.
25. Working in the nasty muck under the tables at #wocrehab.

So there you have it! A lot has been happening and most of it has been really great! I loved spending time with friends old and new and exploring new places and finding fun things to do here. It's been a whirlwind adventure moving to California and working for Disney. I can't wait to see what surprises 2015 has in store!