bathroom quirks

Monday, April 29, 2013

When I was little I walked into what I thought was the women's restroom at Wal-Mart, I immediately came out greeted by a crowd of people laughing, and my mind ruffled by the image of a man standing at a urinal. Ever since that event, I have been conscious not to make the same mistake again.

Maybe my paranoid-ness is a little extreme but I can't help the flicker of my heart panicking and my eyes taking a double glance, searching for the outline of a girl on a sign. It's almost the same reaction you get when you see an attractive fella.
It doesn't matter if I am a "regular" at a particular bathroom (yes you can become a regular at a bathroom)  I will still double check the sign.
It is like I am afraid someone has switched the signs, like somehow it'
s protocol to swap signs every couple months.

I don't even know what would be so awful if I did walk into the mens bathroom... I would most likely turn the color of a stop sign and then I would pull the corners of my mouth straight back giving a "whoops" face, and then life would continue on.
A little embarrassment never hurt anyone, as far as I know.

Just the other day I went into a familiar Starbucks and I went to the bathroom. I was reaching out to turn the knob, when my glance caught the sign...

I couldn't believe it.
I almost felt like celebrating for my "paranoid-ness" paying off.

We all have quirks and for a reason, not always a good reason but it is still a reason.

Sometimes I try to consciously stop myself from checking the bathroom signs.
I have been thinking about how this second of stress is unnecessary.
Then my thoughts continue to how these little stressors add up and how it has the potential to create a larger amount of stress.
Like how you go to the store with the intention of buying some cheap items but when you get to the cash register it all adds up to a much larger amount than you ever intended to pay.
And stress shortens your life...not sure how they measure it, but thats what people say.

But then I just find myself stressing about not stressing for a split second every time I walk into the bathroom.... Endless cycle.

So rather than changing my ways, I am just going to embrace this quirky fact about me and look for the quirks in others. It makes things more interesting.
It's like when I mess up on a craft, I always say, "It adds character."

Be Kind to Yourself. That's it.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Thursday, April 25, 2013

I have been wrestling with this question... "tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"- Mary Oliver.

Sometimes I find myself entangled, held back by questions like these. I feel like I need some out of this world answer that sets me apart.

The other day I was riding my bike to class, open road all to myself, which doesn't happen very often here in SoCal. A song was placed in my head, like a valued piece of gold locked away in a jewelry box. I soon found myself with my arms outstretched like I was ready to take flight cruising down the open road. The sun hit my face making me feel like I was marinating in its potent rays while the wind blew through my short ruffled hair. Then the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis lyrics started to creep out of my brain, slipping down to meet the edge of my lips. I can't sing that well, I usually just perform for my Subaru, but the lyrics were ready to leap out to meet the open road and go wild.

"I can't change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to"

While repeating these lines over and over like a broken record player, something moving caught the corner of my eye... There were two students with half smirks on their faces just enjoying my free open road concert. I had a decision to make in the split second, do I stop singing or do I keep singing? I felt it was too awkward to stop, it would let them know I hadn't intended for anyone to hear me and that I was ashamed. When really I felt fully alive and myself just riding my bike singing.
So I smiled and gave a shoulder shrug, looked forward at the open road and kept on singing.

Besides the message the song is trying to convey, the lyrics I think apply to a lot of people.
There is this haunting thought that can linger in our decisions and the way we conduct our selves. These things are often subtly said or expressed with no harm intended. It's like the telephone game where it starts out meaning one way but somewhere in the transfer it gets all f-ed up and it comes out all wrong. Somewhere in this life the message about who we are and what we are supposed to do got all skewed.
We are told to conform, to be extreme, to be unique, to control your madness, don't show emotion, be vulnerable, to tone yourself down, to please others, to stand up for yourself, go on adventure, to be yourself but only if it fits.

The answer to that question is becoming more simple to me....
I just am going to keep doing the things that make me feel alive and just be me. No matter how big or simple it is.
And that people, will be one wild and very precious life.

Wild and Precious moments 

Birthday  Color Run

Casey and Ash's Ginger bread House

Pam and I

 Readings in the Yard
Morning Yellow Mellow Breakfast

Scavenger hunt! BDAY
Ash, Em and Jet
Coffee Shop Faces
Bella Roo
Biking the green path
Talented Kinne's

Bringing 90's Back
Kinz, I and our jean shirts
Roller Coaster
Olive coffee dates

Roof Camping

Tea, hiking and sunsets

We h.OT Softball Team

Days at the Coffee Shop

Sunday, April 21, 2013

When the pressure of school is heavier than the books I carry in my backpack, I start to tune out to whats around me.

I stumble into the coffee shop with my wallet gripped between two fingers, keys hanging from my pinky, my water bottle dangling from my pointer finger, and my phone pressing/slipping down my chest by the palm of my hand.
I lean over the table releasing everything to fall down. Creating a hubbub that fills the coffee shop.
Grabbing my wallet I head to meet the barista, the only person I intend and have time to make eye contact with.
After settling into my seat with my drink at arms lengths distance, I start into the zone.
I tune out everything around me only to focus on the pages in front of me, with what seems to be a perpetual amount of memorizing.
A man hunched over his crutches moves my way, striking up my curiosity as to why he has crutches, I look up.
He moves past me and gives a quiet "excuse me miss."
I deviate from my plane and make eye contact and smile.
It's like sending out an invitation for a tea party.
He looks at my notebook and asks me what I am studying.
My posture is closed and I think to myself "I don't have time to talk, old man."
He can tell that I am stressed and says "oh you're probably very busy studying."
I instantly feel guilty for the thoughts I had. Am I really too busy to connect with people...? I think to myself, lame. So I set down my pen, turn to sit sideways in my seat facing him and try to open up my posture as much as I can. I respond by saying "No I need a study break, I am studying Pathology."
He smiles and takes his reading glasses from off his nose and places them on the table, the start of a meaningful conversation. I am sad to report that we talked for a long time and we never even exchanged names, but we did exchange some interesting stories and facts.
I explained to him that I was in occupational therapy school and like usual I had to explain to him what it was. After I was done explaining he said "I need an OT!" He went on to explain that he is only 54 years old and has already had two hip replacements and one rotary cuff replacement. He had the privilege of becoming what he had always wanted to be as a boy, a cop. At age 25 he had an accident which put him out of work for a while and that started the decline of his body. He was later diagnosed with acute lymphoma, which required him to take a medication that he described as "turns your bones into dust."
He explained how he feels a lack of purpose in his life. The exciting event of his day is going to the coffee shop for a couple of hours. He lives in a "old person home" with four other men who have dementia. He chuckled as he said"the conversations are lacking if you know what I mean."

I started to feel this excitement building in me as I listened. I couldn't hold it in anymore, I started to explain to him all (which is actually a little amount) of the knowledge I have of OT.
I explained how he could find activities that bring meaning into his life again. He was intrigued and started to ask more questions of things he could do to be more independent and activities that he might be able to participate in. We decided volunteering was something that would give him purpose and could help keep his mind sharp. I felt that the excitement was mutual between us.
After a while we thanked one another for talking and we each got back to our reading.

Sitting there I couldn't help but think of how excited I am to become an OT. How I am starting a profession that is going to bring me so much satisfaction. I was barely able to study after that and spent a good portion of the time talking with people in the coffee shop.

My goal had been to avoid eye contact with everyone and then it took a U-turn to attempting to make eye contact with everyone. Maybe it's a bit creepy that I was trying so hard but it relieved the pressure and helped me to tune into whats important...connecting.

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment." - Brene Brown 

Mochi ice cream study break with great classmates!

"Inside all of us is HOPE, Inside all of us is ADVENTURE, inside all of us is a WILD THING." -Maurice Sendak

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I want adventure. It's more of a crave. The type of crave that you day dream about in class, the type you wake up thinking about. 
I have been getting by with just small daily adventures that get my heart pulsing, beating forcibly like a horses hooves pounding the ground racing around a track. 
The hairs on my arms raise up doing the wave in excitement.
But then the heart tires from racing and the crowd of hairs sits back down.

Tonight my crave for adventure was taken to a whole new level.
A level that would probably send my body into shock due to all the excitement. 
or maybe it would just release something even more wild from within. 

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patients and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. . -Gertrude Jekyll

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This morning I woke up to meet my garden for tea and reading. It is a date that I have been planning since the day I saw the vision for this little garden. The birds and owl were already up with the morning twirping and whoo-ing to their own jams. I quickly threw on my favorite sweater of the month, gathered my books, because I can't seem to just stick to one and grabbed the largest cup of mint tea I could hold, knowing I would probably have to go back for a refill. I stumbled out around the corner to be greeted by my thrift store lawn chair. It sat their patiently waiting for its bright colored fabric and sturdy metal legs to be reclined in.
But first, I jump from stepping stone to stepping stone inspecting each row observing the exponential amount of growth that took place the night before.
The seeds are starting to strain their green leaves through the dirt. They look as if they are trying to catch a glimpse of the sun that trickily resembles a marine layer or fog coming off a river.
When they are seeds it's harder to recognize what they are going to be. The earth pushes against them and they push back. Despite that, it's inevitable what the seeds will become. You can't plant a carrot seed and get a tomato, although that could be fun, like a pack of mystery skittles.
They are what they are, there is no changing that.

I sit down in my lawn chair feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the knowledge and skill that comes with gardening, and I want to acquire it all. I want to know the in-and-outs of gardening now! Then I remember what my dad keeps telling me, it takes experience, making mistakes, success and patience to be a gardener. I hope the mornings spent in my garden will teach me these things.

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