Friday, May 12, 2017

Well Red Woman.

"A well read woman is a dangerous creature."

What happens if you're well read and well red though? Double the danger?

If so, then I was one dangerous woman today.

See, one blessed thing about this break is my reconnection with reading. We haven't been in touch in awhile and it has been too long since I last visited the library and exited with a stack-full of books. Reading has been a part of my life since way back in the day and if you ask anyone from my grade school years, they'll remember an animated girl who read out loud, book inches from her face, and legs shaking up and down in excitement.

That being said, there is currently one book that I'm quite invested in by Rebecca Traister titled: All The Single Ladies.

It's educational, it's engaging, and it is all about girl power.

Thoroughly well-researched, this book delves into the history and trends of unmarried women and the rise of an independent nation. As a single woman myself, I was most intrigued, not out of hatred towards men (as most people assume feminists to be), nor out of my desire to stay single as a cat lady (although I am single and have been reading this to cats...), but out of curiosity.

And what I've gotten out of it so far, besides the horrendous treatment of women throughout the ages (did you know that one Harvard professor argued that "the female brain, if engaged in the same course of study as the male, would become overburdened and that wombs and ovaries would atrophy?") is that women simply want choice. With or without a husband, women desire freedom of choice in their career paths and they're continually breaking the mold of how a traditional woman should live (married at nineteen, and caregiver for the rest of their lives).

Now if that's how you want to live, then by all means! It's your choice, and not that of a man's.

Anyhow, it's well worth a read, as it is exceedingly eye-opening and inspiring.

So whether you're well read or well dressed in red, remember there's power to both. Hats off to whichever you choose...










Sunday, May 7, 2017

Stumped.

It was an innocent enough day. There I was, twirling just feet from the edge of the bluff, when all of a sudden, a crackling was heard.

Panicked, I immediately retracted my steps from the edge, thinking my zealous spinning had in fact disrupted the bluff. I thought to myself I'm going down!

Turns out, a tree to my left, one that so treacherously hung out over the edge of the bluff, had finally fallen prey to gravity, and cracked, roots and all falling below to the ocean's edge.

I don't often have the opportunity of being present when a tree falls, and I have to say, it left me quite stumped.

Get it?

The timing, the setting, the witness to such a majestic tree succumbing to the natural erosion of the bluff... I couldn't be-leaf that I was lucky enough to see it go down!

Nature never ceases to awe me and humble me with its pure majesty. Not only have we seen many seasonal changes these past few weeks, but we've also been present for more than a few earthquakes that shook the house and reminded us of our place here on earth.

It's all very unpredictable and keeps us on our toes. Kind of like life: you think it's going steady and strong one moment, and then the next, a tree falls and it leaves you feeling stumped!

So even though the trees are falling and the earth is shaking, I'll keep on twirling on the bluff's edge... 







Monday, May 1, 2017

Don't Hiss Me Off.

Lately, I've been receiving a lot of pressure about finding a job.

Whether that's external, or internal (probably mostly internal), I can't help but feel rebellious towards this expected step in life.

It's all part of the "plan". You graduate high school, you go to college, and then you find a job and voila. It's the traditional move up the ladder.

Well if you've learned anything by now, I'm not the traditional sort of gal.

Yes, I graduated high school and I went to college, but I sure as hell am not about to jump into a job for the sake of "having a job." And while I was not looking forward to this return home a few months ago, I now feel incredibly... rested.

My dad likes to call it "living the life of leisure", which of course there's some truth to (naps, naps, and more naps), but I prefer to look at this transition as an opportunity to take the time I need to figure out what I want to do next, without pressure.

Now I know I'm lucky to be able to live at home (for the time being) with supportive parents in regards to this break. And I know that not everyone can have the leisure of taking some time to figure things out.

What I'm getting at is that there shouldn't be this compulsion to do what the rest of society deems as the conventional way of life. Circumstances are different for everyone, I'm sure, but I'm a big believer in pursuing what makes your heart sing and if you have the opportunity to take a job immediately, or if you're like me and have the shot at taking that break for the sake of recouping, then do you!

Your life is your own.

And while I know it's not personal when people make snide comments about "moving out, finding that job that pays the rent, and being an adult", I nonetheless feel a little... hissed off at the expectation of living this way.

I'm young, and I love to be young. I'm free, and I love to be free. To live the life the way I want, to say and do whatever I please.

Lesley Gore sings it best.

I'm twenty-one years old and I have my whole book ahead of me. Taking a few months to decide what my next chapter will be won't do anything but make me more assured and confident going forward.

So the next time someone chides you for "living at home", or looks at you with that condescending look when you've returned to work at the local coffee shop, smile sweetly and don't let it hiss you off.







Saturday, April 29, 2017

Back to the Grind.

I've bean hooked on it since the wee age of two.

Baby hands grasping for that Starbucks cup, my signature line of request: "Some! Some!"

And from that sip of tan mocha, I was mad about coffee.

So it would only seem fitting that I work in a coffee shop, right? Coffeeholic who feels that her days aren't complete without that heavenly cup of joe definitely belongs in a coffee shop.

So at fifteen, I was hired at Kaladi Brothers Coffee, an Alaskan based coffee roasting company. I've worked on and off for the company for the past six years now and every time I step behind bar, things just come rushing back to me.

How I am able to remember a regular's sixteen ounce quad shot white mocha breve with natural caramel and vanilla with whip is beyond me, but it's ingrained in me somehow!

It's been my third week back and boy am I pleased to be working again. I've never gone this long without working since I was first hired, and I never thought I would say it, but I enjoy working.

There's something about the relationships you form with customers and the sharing of stories over cups of lovely lattes. I don't even consider it "work" because I genuinely adore the creation of espresso beverages. 

Honestly, when I graduated, I never thought I would be back here, but circumstances changed and I'm happy to have a home that welcomes me back with open arms. 

I still don't know where I'll be in a couple of months, which is still rather exciting, as well as scary. 

In the beantime though, I'm back to the grind and sharing my passion for coffee with my fellow Alaskans. 







Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy (B)EarthDay.

Growing up in Alaska has undoubtedly exposed me to some of Earth's finest assets.

I live within a paradise relatively untouched by man. Of a wild, remote, and rugged land that never ceases to awe me.

Our timber frame home sits on the bank of the Kenai River, which is home to world record king salmon. I live within miles of glaciers, of oceans filled with halibut, whales, otters, and more. Eagles fly past my window every day, and just yesterday, our neighborhood moose came to pay us a visit.

I go to sleep to the sound of silence and wake to the chirping of birds. Pretty soon, we'll have a garden filled to the brim with fresh produce, berries will be plump to the touch, and we'll be living exclusively off the land.

I could go on and on about how special Alaska is to me, but it really won't do a darn thing unless you come and visit!

Anyhow, today is Earth Day, and I was so excited for it to be so.

You see, I haven't experienced an Alaskan spring for the past couple of years, and so I've been quite immersed in this change of the seasons. Thinking of ways to celebrate Mother Earth's day, I decided to pick up trash.

With the meltdown of the snow comes the unearthing of what's been hidden all these wintry months, and most of it.... is trash.

It's quite pitiful. And sad. Frankly, it just doesn't belong on Earth's surface. Following the lead of others who had the same genius idea, I was just beginning my trash pickup, when I realized I had to work.

Sooooo that didn't last long.

But there's always tomorrow and it's the thought that counts!

Anyhow, I can't thank Earth enough for her bountiful gifts she has bestowed upon me during my life. I'm especially grateful to be living in such a pristine part of the world, where the lifestyle is complimentary to Earth's aesthetic. (and where the common Alaskan hobbies include fishing, hunting, hiking, etc.)

Cheers to you, and Happy (B)EarthDay.





Monday, April 17, 2017

Wonder Woman.

It was the most fitting way to end a date.

I was driven home and was so kindly waited upon as the gentleman made sure I made it to the front door safely, flashlight illuminating my path.

Unfortunately, it wasn't my date who exemplified these courteous gentlemanly qualities, but my Uber driver.

And it was after the date I instigated and the NBA tickets I purchased (though he offered), that I was let off a half hour away from home that I realized that this was not the guy for me.

Those weren't the only signals I received that led me to this conclusive decision.

Throughout the evening, I was constantly given mixed vibes.

Aside from being greeted with a hug and the signature "Wow, you are tall" comment (like it's a flaw on my part), I was given some very deterring advice on the subject of moving to the city.

From that, I was suggested to be more of a hustler, that I should try dating apps (wait, were we not on a date?!), and at the very end, a hug and a "Next time you're in the city, I'll introduce you to some friends."

Annnnnnnnnd friend-zoned.

Granted, I do not know the circumstances of his feelings. While there was a wee bit of an age difference, I was attracted to him and unfortunately, he didn't feel the same.

Which is fine.

But the rejection sucks. It leaves you disappointed, hurt, susceptible to bouts of tearful outbursts, and has you wondering "Why? What's wrong with me?"

For a brief period, you wish his name would disappear from your mind, which actually further cements it, and then that stage turns into anger.

After anger comes the hopeful reconciliation thought process and finally, the "Boi, Bye" phase that has you pulling on your Beyoncé pants and moving on.

If you're like me, you experience them in the course of mere minutes. And being the sensitive and emotional young woman I am, I'm left over-thinking and at a crossroads as to how to go forward next. Do I text him? Why hasn't he texted me? Should I convey hurt, disappointment, rage, or should I pretend that that didn't just happen?

In my experience though, I've found that when I'm in a situation such as this: hurt, lost, and in a topsy-turvy state, I simply let things simmer.

I allow a few days to pass, I take a walk, talk to those closest to me (you know who you are), and eventually, I'm comfortable, clear-minded, and ready to communicate or simply move on.

I've found that in any of the above stages, my mind is muddled and that when I act upon my initial reaction, things never go well.

In the instance/case of being patient, I either communicate back with clarity with the proper thing to say, or I move forward, a more experienced and confident woman.

As much as I hurt at the time of rejection, I always appreciate the experience and what it has taught me about myself and men. I'm new to the dating scene (no surprise there), entering the stage and learning my lines. It's foreign to me, but so exciting! And all these dates have taught me what I do/don't like, and how I should be treated as the brilliant woman I am. With that, my girl jams playlist continues to grow with each and every experience.

I'm learning to live my life and start my fairytale when I meet the right guy, as opposed to attempting to squeeze a guy into my pre-conceived notion as to how my fairytale should be.

Until that, I'll let those tears dry and I'll continue to take these escapades in stride. Embrace them for what they are: experiences, and lessons learned.

Who knows? Maybe someday it'll be my date and not my Uber driver that takes care of me on the way home.

In the meantime, I'll embrace my inner Wonder Woman and be the superhero I know I am.






Sunday, April 16, 2017

Where the Weed Blows..

I don't say this often, if ever. But yesterday, I smelled weed and for once in my life, I agreed that it fit the scene.

I was one of the many who had flocked to the de Young Museum to check out their new groovy exhibition: The Summer of Love Experience.

Although I signed up for it via FIDM's Alum Event, I had seen advertisements for it before, in London out of all places! I remember fondly looking at the posters and wishing I could attend and some months later, I was one of the many cats coming to see it.

With focus on art, fashion, and rock & roll, I was taken back in time and transported to a city rich in rebellion and thirsty for change.

Psychedelically engaging, it completely hooked me. Whether it was the brilliantly colored posters, the Grateful Dead playing in the background, or complete immersion in the sensations of LSD (but not literally), I felt captured and my heart was once again stolen by San Francisco's rich history.

Looking about, the patronage of the exhibition was mostly older, and one of my most memorable parts of the experience was talking with an older gentleman about the connotation of the hippies.

I think he may have lived in San Francisco during the fab Summer of Love in 1967, for he was reminiscing about his friend "Danny Buttons" who was known for his denim jacket smothered in buttons and pins, and how these hippies were really on the forefront of change during the late sixties, but were instead remembered as being loose, laid back, free, flowy dressed, "free the nipple" types of people, detached from being a traditional citizen. 

But being a hippie wasn't about dressing a certain way, it was about having a certain attitude. They came together through their passion for change: artistically, politically, and culturally. And during the Summer of Love, these like-minded individuals came from all over the country to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, which would become one of the most iconic spots during the 1960's counterculture movement.

I don't think it could've come at a more opportune moment, this revolutionary exhibition. Fifty years later, I think these issues are just as prevalent and that another generation of young people will come forth to take action on concerns that matter most: social justice, awareness of the natural world, inclusiveness, and an attitude of participation.

And with weed now legal in some states...

When I finished, my perception and interpretation of the hippie was greatly smooshed and I was left feeling appreciative for those individuals back then, and still out there, that behave in the greater good of spreading awareness and promoting distinctive individuality.

It was definitely an experience in itself, and I can't help but wonder when the next revolution will come, for without a doubt, the times they are a-changing...



do your own thing: hippie is more than a way of dressing. it's a spirit which fills young people.
- Yves Saint Laurent, July 1978





the poster shop: freaky, funny, and fashionable, these are the signs of our times.
-Herbert Gold, Satruday Evening Post, 1968





put you in the mood: the Deadhead is that person (who) wherever they turn up in society... is looking for an adventure in America, you know, something to do that is not like (what) everyone else does, and the chance to get out and scare themselves a little.
-Jerry Garcia, early 1970's


what are we fighting for? every time I hear revolution, I hear evolution alongside it.
-Lenore Kandel, Voices From the Love Generation, 1968






Just remember: