So a little back story that I know quite a few of you know. On the morning of September 17th, 2002 I was assaulted. Well, aggravated assault is what law enforcement called it. I was young (a week before my 21st birthday) and getting familiar with this new city and apartment complex I was living in. Long story short, there was a knock at my door and I answered it without giving it a second thought. I was not home alone and it was in the morning hours, my guard was completely down. I tried helping this guy and ended up being hit on the head with a rock he had in a pillow case leaving me with having to get stitches. Prior to being hit on the head something about the situation didn’t seem right, but I decided to ignore my intuition.
Since then I’ve been a big advocate on trusting your gut, instinct, intuition, whatever you may call it. If I’m in a situation that makes me uncomfortable, I do the best I can to remove myself from the situation. I believe society and our peers have a huge affect on our reactions. When society or a friend tells you that you’re being “paranoid”, you do what you can to not be that way because it’s perceived as something negative. We are teaching each other to go against our feelings and possibly allowing ourselves to be placed in a horrific situation when we do this. I would rather be overly alert than be harmed and wouldn’t you want that for a loved one? I understand the want of easing someone’s mind when they are worried, but saying something to get them to ignore their instinct can potentially put them in a rough situation. It also promotes the idea that their feelings are invalid. Something to consider — Every 29 seconds an assault happens and approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. Maybe if we stop teaching others to go against that uneasy feeling they get, we can prevent people from getting hurt.
Although I feel that my experience has been a blessing in disguise and I have gotten SO much out of it, I wouldn’t wish the struggle and pain on anyone. I haven’t lost my ability to trust, I live my life the best I can, and feel so extremely lucky to have the amazing life that I do. Nothing was taken from me due to this event, in fact I gained more than I can possibly put into words, but that doesn’t mean that the outcome couldn’t have been different. As a woman who struggled with what happened to her and lacked coping skills, suicide seemed so very enticing. I was tired, emotionally exhausted, mentally disturbed, and I didn’t think I had the energy in me to put myself back together. It took 3 years of therapy, unsuccessful ways to end my life (THANKFULLY), and a whole lot of pain to realize that “paranoid” was a-okay. I hope those of you that took the time to read this will think about that next time you try to convince someone that they’re:
- overthinking the situation
- being dramatic
- being hyper vigilant
It has been a while since I’ve actually written! One of my favorite things to do towards the end of December is to reflect on the things that happened through the year and sometimes those memories trigger memories created from prior years.
This year has brought me a handful of experiences. I experienced a loved one passing away in a way I never had before. I have created new relationships with people, strengthened the relationships I’ve already had, and reconciled old ones. My heart and my world is full of love. I have so much to be thankful for. I continue to work on my goal getting one step closer each semester. I have managed to keep my determination. I got to experience seeing Drew Holcomb, Matt Nathanson, and Ari Hest live this year with someone who gets it. I threw together a last minute birthday brunch and nearly everyone I invited came out to celebrate. I’m surrounded by thoughtful people. I have friends that have fallen in love and are SO happy with their lives which warms my heart. Every time I reflect back I’m reminded of just how good my life is. My heart is content and I can only imagine it continuing into 2014. Be safe everyone!
Happy new year friends!! I hope you all have an amazing year! As we start this new beginning, here’s a little something to remember and hopefully carry with us throughout the year: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
"Laughter is the only thing that will keep you sane. And this world is crying more and more everyday. Don’t let evil get you down in this madness spinning round and round. I want you to live forever underneath the sky so blue."
Guess who has the writing bug? After watching two movies with authors in them I figured it was time for me to blog away. What better timing than the last Sunday of 2012? This year has been an interesting one. I started off by meeting a couple of amazing people who I feel like I have a really deep connection with. I lost one of my inspirations, he was a good man. People have come and people have gone. Some of my amazing friends had beautiful babies. Friends got married. Took some inspirational trips out to the beach. Caught a number of concerts. It quite honestly was a year filled with celebrations and joy.
I have reached a point where life just continually gets better and better. I am surrounded by such great people and am slowly and surely carving my path, a path that I am proud of. I’m living a life that is true to myself and I cannot be more grateful. I shifted my thoughts and my thoughts have become my reality. Life is so magical and I am so lucky to experience that magic. I was telling a friend of mine that I am actually at a point where I just want to enjoy where I am. I am ok being “alone” or “single” because I’m happy with my life. I’m protective of the environment I have created and I told him it would have to take someone pretty special for me to bring into my world. Whoever he turns out to be, prepare to be amazed! When I turned 30, it was as if I woke up with a backbone. As the days go by I feel as though I am coming into my own more and more. It is such an amazing feeling and I have to say quite empowering. Ladies, for those of you scared about turning 30, don’t be! Your 30’s will out-do your 20’s immediately! Be confident and love yourself and you will without a doubt enjoy yourself completely.
I’ve been tuning into my environment lately and I can feel a lot of life lessons being thrown my way, little tests if you will. Some of the lessons I’m not sure of what they’re about, I just know that there is going to be a lesson behind them. One lesson I am VERY aware of and I know the test is coming…I’m ready to ace it with flying colors! Regardless of my little tests and challenges, I’m really excited about 2013. The year promises to be more magical than 2012, I’m welcoming it with open arms. I love that I am able to reflect on a purely amazing year and look forward to change and optimism of a greater new year. I hope you all have the best year yet and may it keep progressing as the years pass. Let’s all be good to each other, build each other up instead of tearing each other down, k?
Title lyrics: “Live Forever”-Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
In November of 2010 my friends and I had a “Friendsgiving” dinner. We were all so excited to get together and hang out because we always have the best time. We were also excited because our friend Monica who happened to be living in the bay area at the time was coming…and she was bringing a date! The moment Stephen walked in he had this warm smile on his face and this energy that just kind of puts you at ease. I didn’t know a thing about him, but that night I found out that: he was in school for psychology, he is a drummer, he was friendly, sincere, and that he cared about my friend and it was clear that Monica cared about Stephen. On New Years for 2011 we had our annual big New Year’s bash and Monica and Stephen made it into town to celebrate with us! It was apparent that this was the man that Monica was going to marry. I had a feeling the first time we met Stephen that would be the case, but New Year’s sealed the deal. This wasn’t just infatuation or lust, this was true love complete with a foundation set where they build each other up, truly respect each other and those that are around them, and they protect their love with all that they have. They don’t make it look like work, they are one of those couples that are going to make it last.
On Halloween night of 2011 Stephen started discussing with a few men in our group that he was going to propose to Monica, he even had the ring picked out. The guys were outside and everyone started getting curious about what they were talking about. One by one the ladies walked outside to find out what the discussion was about and each came back saying the guys were talking about fedoras. I was asked to go outside and find out what was going on and to report back. I walked out and asked the guys what they were talking about and of course they responded with “fedoras”. I told them to cut the crap, that they couldn’t possibly be talking about fedoras for that long. The guys admitted they were talking about something else before, but insisted that they were really talking about fedoras when I came out. I looked at Stephen and said (with an inquisitive look) “oh, I thought you guys were talking about the 4 c’s” and with that I was in on the conversation. Stephen showed me the ring he decided on and I was extremely excited for the actual proposal to happen. Every time I would see Monica I’d check for a ring on her finger, I wasn’t quite sure how they would tell everyone once it happened.
Stephen proposed to Monica at the end of February. February 26th I received a text from Monica telling me they were engaged. I couldn’t wait to get together to hear the story on how Stephen proposed because knowing Stephen he must have made it a “classy” moment. The three of us met up a few days later to celebrate and so I could hear about their engagement story. I was SO excited for the wedding. These two are just so inspirational to be around. They love not just each other, but those that are in their lives. They are always so supportive of each other and build each other up, never do they bring each other down. They respect those around them, themselves, and the two of them as a unit. They are in that category of couples that scream the epitome of love. I am so blessed to have these two in my life.
Celebrating the love that these two shared and what defined them as a couple on November 17th was something I looked forward to. Celebrating love is one of my favorite things, but celebrating what Monica and Stephen share, well that was a real special moment for all those that were there. Thank you Monica and Stephen for being so darn amazing and for having me there. I love you both and am so lucky to call you friends. I cannot wait to watch as you settle into married life and grow in each aspect of your lives. Congratulations!
Having my weekends so packed for the last few weeks, I don’t remember the last time I got to actually sit in a nice warm tub with lit candles while listening to my soothing music. I must say, my bath times are definitely moments where I can concentrate on my breathing and actually get back to feeling balanced.
Over a week ago I did something that I haven’t really done before. At first I felt fine about it, no big deal because I tend to talk a lot about my feelings and emotions. But then I started to feel vulnerable. I had NO idea where that feeling came from and truth be told, it had been quite some time since I had felt that way. Not my favorite feeling, I must say. Being able to have this weekend to myself and focus on things going on in my life allowed me to think a bit and get back to how I originally felt, I guess you can say I own my true feelings.
I already know that I’ve been conditioned by the women in my life to act a certain way and trust me, I have been trying my BEST to break away from that. Not that the women in my life have anything wrong with them, it’s just not a way I would like to react to certain situations. We are all individuals and we need to look within ourselves and think about how something makes us feel and how we want to react, not by how those around us would react and feel. Working on breaking away from this conditioning is tough. I have gotten better at recognizing it pretty quickly, but getting that thinking out of my head definitely has its moments. The part that makes it extremely tricky is society and media. Society and media portray women to act a certain way to certain situations. I realized this a little bit ago and it kinda made me a little sick. Where do we learn to act the way we do? From those we surround ourselves with and those we mimic on TV. I never thought I would be a parent who overly controlled what their children watched on TV, but that has definitely changed. When it comes to females, if I have a daughter then I think it is my responsibility to bring her up with the most stable frame of mind that I possibly can and not let society or the media pollute her mind. Think about it, where else do little 4 year old girls learn to suck in their “gut” and obsess about numbers on a scale?
Here’s the deal, no matter how busy my day is, I NEVER go a year without remembering the events of September 17, 2002. There’s a number of things about that day that I just cannot forget. I had lunch with a friend of mine and I was telling him specific details about that day. He asked me for details about something that wasn’t related and I couldn’t recall…he had asked how I manged to remember the events from something that happened 10 years ago, but couldn’t remember details from a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t really clue him in on how that was possible because even I’m not 100% sure as to why. I can only imagine that it’s because when you go through a traumatic experience your brain holds on to snap shots of that day. The morning I was assaulted in my apartment, I wasn’t supposed to be home. I was supposed to be in class at Sac State. I got to school, walked to my history class to only turn around and go back home. Class had been canceled for the day and I had no other reason to stay on campus since that was my only Tuesday/Thursday class in the morning.
On my way home I decided to make a quick stop at Target that was down the street from where I lived. My best friend’s birthday was coming up so I wanted to send her a card and I grabbed a couple of other cards for some of my friends that weren’t having a such great time in life. I got home and my roommate was getting ready to head to class and her boyfriend was in her room fixing her computer. Factors created a false sense of security for me that day…in a way it really has caused me to think about my surroundings. It was daytime and I wasn’t home alone and well, assaults only happen on TV, or so I thought.
That single day has given me the MOST growth in my life. I drew so much from that experience and I actually consider what I have gone through as a blessing. I read something that said: “At the end of my life I want everything important to be documented with either a scar or a photograph” and I can relate to that. The scar on my head from this assault is my daily reminder to live a life that is true to myself. I consider myself so lucky in so many ways.
My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court
I’ve been sending out some impertinent tweets about Progressive Insurance lately, but I haven’t explained how they pissed me off. So I will do that here as succinctly as possible. There’s a general understanding that says, “insurance companies— oh they’re awful,” but since Progressive turned their shit hose on my late sister and my parents, I’ve learned some things that really surprised me.
I’ll try to cleave to the facts. On June 19, 2010, my sister was driving in Baltimore when her car was struck by another car and she was killed. The other driver had run a red light and hit my sister as she crossed the intersection on the green light.
On Tuesday I drove out to this waterfront in Benicia. I discovered this spot when a friend of mine had a show at the First Street Cafe. There’s a picnic table and a couple of benches facing the Carquinez Bridge and it’s just so calming. I decided I was going to take Tuesday to analyze things in my life. I have been pretty happy with my life lately. Every now and then I like to check in with myself to make sure I am happy with the situations in my life and with the people in my life. I like to make sure that I take care of the the things I have control over and I know if I want to maintain a happy life then I should manage the things that I can. I started my day off at Orphan for breakfast and then made a little stop in Fairfield to see old coworkers. I got to Benicia and immediately upon sitting on this nice big bench I was greeted by a wild turkey, geese, crows, morning dove, and a hawk. It was great being able to listen to some Amos Lee tunes, take in the amazing scenery, breathe in the nice clean air, smell the ocean water, and be surrounded by nature. 2 hours later, it was time to head home. Simply put, Tuesday was quite the amazing/relaxing day.
Title Lyrics: “Nothing For Granted”-Brendan James
The truth about me is I am a pretty happy person. I cannot tell you how many times people say I’m “too happy” and ask if I ever get upset or down. The answer is, of course! After all, I am human. I’m just like everyone else, I have my own struggles and not so amazing times in life, but I choose to try to make the best of my situations.
You can allow your situation to define you or help strengthen who you are. Everyone has unpleasant moments, you and I are not the only ones. It takes just as much to dwell on the negative things as it does to throw a positive spin on things but my belief is that if I have a positive attitude and put that out into the world I help make this sometimes miserable world a little brighter and I attract that into my life. A lot of my friends know that about a week before I turned 21 I was assaulted in the apartment I lived in, the place where you should feel safe. It was my first reality of just what people were capable of outside of my little bubble. It was one of my “ah-ha” moments in life. The gist of what happened was a man that was my age at the time came to my door and had a rock in a pillow case and hit me on the head with it. I was thankfully not alone and he was scared out of my apartment, they never did catch the guy. What I’m about to discuss is something that Indian people do NOT talk about. Immediately after my assault, I dealt with anxiety, acute depression, and I had a TON of post traumatic stress. It was near impossible for me to sleep and not have nightmares. I didn’t feel safe anywhere. Through medication and an amazing therapist, I was able to process all of these things I was dealing with.
Prior to my assault I never pushed the envelope on doing things that made me happy. In fact, I hardly knew who I was and what interested me. I was such an easy kid for my parents when I was in high school. After my assault I was told by the doctor (I had refused medical attention when the paramedics came out and figured I would just heal on my own, but my parents made the drive out to where I was and insisted I go to the doctor) that I’m lucky I didn’t die and that I would have lost a significant amount of blood if I hadn’t come in to get stitched up. At this point I had already drenched a towel with blood. After hearing that from the doc I decided to do things that made me happy so if I were to ever be taken from this world, that at least I would have done things I enjoyed and would have enjoyed the life I was given. It took a bit of therapy for me to realize that the reason why I couldn’t get my parents to accept the changes I was making in my life was because they come from a time where you just do as you’re told and that was something I was straying from.
From the start I refused to be a victim, I hated the thought of being a victim and I hated myself for crying over what I had been through. Later down the road I realized that just because I was crying over what I had been through didn’t make me a victim, it just made me human. While this moment was a huge attribute to me being the woman I am today, it doesn’t define me. I made it strengthen me, I worked through what I needed to work through and came out better for it. My outcome was given the opportunity to change things back then, I would not hesitate to make the same choice I did that lead to that moment, because of all of the growing I did from that one specific event.
You can dwell on the bad and have a “poor me” attitude or you can just move on, grow from experiences, and have an amazing life that you were intended to have. How can life not be great for me when I’m doing the things that make me happy, right? Simple as that and that my friends, is the truth about me.
Day 4: someone who makes you happy. @mattnathanson (although he made me tear up tonight before starting #littlevictories) #aprilphotoaday #photoadayapril (Taken with instagram)
I love that Matt Nathanson still rocks my sweatbands, even after 8 or 9 years!
"Daylight savings lover, how ‘bout one more kiss? Just to get me started, just to get me through this."
It’s almost that time again…daylight savings time! It will be SO nice to actually get to the park for a jog in the daylight and drive home with my sunroof open, definitely looking forward to it! I cannot wait to have a free day and go for a hike…a day trip to Muir Woods and a little trip to Big Sur…and hopefully Russian Gulch near Fort Bragg!
An update on life…January and February were pretty intense! Definitely had a lot of hurdles thrown my way…but I think I handled things fairly well. Yay, I’m growing! I tend to make sure I have “reflection” moments to think about what I’ve been through and how I’ve grown and it allows me to appreciate what my current situation is. I think with all the stressful things I had to deal with over those few weeks, I definitely made sure to focus on the bigger picture and tried (and succeeded) not to let things get me down. Can’t fully appreciate the good without having a little bit(or a lot) of the bad, right?
Let’s see, events that I’ve been to and news that I’ve been informed of:
-Ari performed at a house concert in Feb. It was pretty amazing…although there were times I was afraid he was going to smack me in the face with the neck of his guitar. That show will get its own update. :) Harper Blynn performed at Red Devil Lounge again…the new album is sure to be amazing.
-My friends are getting married, falling in love, having babies, and buying houses. I cannot even express how excited I am for each of them. My heart is just filled with love, absolute love. I am such a lucky woman to be surrounded by amazing people that choose to share their good news with me and it’s just great watching them on their journey!
-Baby sister is graduating from Davis! SO proud of her. She works SO hard. Genius, that one!
-We had the Getty Owl Run/Walk and it was a complete success! Cannot wait for the next one! Every event that has been organized by this foundation has run pretty darn smoothly!
-Upcoming shows: Matt Nathanson!, Brendan James!, and Jay Nash!
Life is just so much sweeter when you surround yourself with good people and good music. To sum it up, I appreciate all the things life has to throw my way…the good and bad. I do my best growing from the bad and it allows me to appreciate all that is good in my life. I think we eventually face moments in life that test us and leave us with appreciation for all the little things in life, I learned this in my early 20’s and I’m so thankful for the lesson!
Title Lyrics: “Sun”-Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
Sweet pea, apple of my eye, don’t know when and I don’t know why, you’re the only reason I keep on coming home.”
For those of you that know me, you know that I am very dedicated to the Getty Owl Foundation. I came across the foundation through Alex Dezen who is part of this band I listen to called The Damnwells. He and Angela Dezen recorded and released an album of lullabies affectionately titled “Lullabies For Getty” of which 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Getty Owl Foundation and towards finding the cure for SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). I did some research on the disease and learned that SMA is the #1 genetic killer of infants, 1 in 40 people are SMA carriers. Babies are born without the gene that produces survival motor neuron proteins which help build muscles. Eventually the child loses the ability to swallow and breathe. I researched the foundation and discovered that the foundation was based out of Sacramento. I connected with Kate, Getty’s mom, and told her I would like to help with whatever I could. Getty’s story moved me and I will tell you that this almost 2 year old amazing girl motivates so many people in so many ways. She is an inspiration. I connected with the foundation a little under a year ago and I count myself extremely fortunate to be part of such an amazing cause and associate with such amazing people.
There was so much work that was done behind the scenes, even parts that I don’t know about. These people have worked so hard and making sure this run was going to be a success and organized. The foundation met with the same people that put on the Run To Feed The Hungry race in Sacramento. The date was set for February 26th and the planning had commenced. In January we had a small meeting to go over details such as who felt comfortable in overseeing which area for the run, with my merch experience it was suggested (and I absolutely agreed) that registration would be best. We decided on design details on the hats that were produced for the run and it was nice to make a suggestion that was taken into consideration and used. After that, the promoting started. My days consisted of a bit of facebook and twitter posting, flyering, and talking to local businesses in helping with donations.
With all that work came the big day of the run. I got up at about 3am that morning to get ready and head out to Sacramento. I got to Sacramento at about 5am and shortly after my toes and fingers were frozen. Man, it was chilly outside. I need to make a note for my future self that I pack a nice heavy jacket, layer socks, and gloves with me! The early morning hours (5-7am) consisted of setting up, from 7-8:30am we were busy registering people. I was a lead watching over to make sure things were running smoothly and to answer questions that a runner may have had. It was an eyeopening experience in the sociological sense, for sure. I think it reminded me just how business minded I am, naturally. I suppose it really is in my blood. In fact, I was talking to a friend about her starting her business on Sunday, hopefully we can get that started. Seeing all my friends at the registration booths picking up their runner’s packet warmed my heart. The support was unbelievable. My friends got out of bed early on a Sunday morning and drove out from parts of Sacramento, Lincoln, Vacaville, and Antioch! I am just floored. At 8:05am it was time to start the kid’s 1/4 mile run. Watching these little kids run on their little legs was the cutest thing to watch, by far! After the kid’s run came time for the 5k and 10k runners to gather by the starting line. I cannot tell you how emotional I got, on the verge of tears, watching this sea of people out in the cold morning to run for this worthy cause. It melted my heart in a big way. Back in August Kate had mentioned that SMA messed with the wrong family and that awareness was being spread one person at a time. This run showed 800+ people that were registered + family and friends supporting runners + volunteers that are aware and the numbers can only double, triple, quadruple in time for next year’s race! This day was success, this day was full of support, it showed that there are some amazing people in society and that, well, that is always a great reminder. As if I didn’t think the day could have gotten any better, I received a text stating that two of my amazing and dear friends got engaged! Sunday was pure amazingness wrapped up in one day. My heart was filled to the brim with joy!
Title Lyrics: Sweet Pea-Amos Lee
Here’s a quick entry straight from my phone. People can’t believe I lay myself out there through this blog. That I can post things about myself that open me up to being judged a certain way. I honestly have nothing to hide about myself. I know I’m not perfect and I understand that we as humans are going to constantly go through change. My goal is to be the best person I can be. I don’t get jealous of others, I’m genuinely happy for people when they are going through good times, and I genuinely get sad if they’re going through bad times. I realize this isn’t a normal reaction people have, but I am thankful that I can be genuine when someone has something amazing to report! With all that being said, I realized that I need to create a new rule for myself. I need to designate a day for myself in which I turn my phone completely off.
I have had close to a month of straight stress floating around me. My friends are losing key people on their lives, I lost someone who inspired me, people getting sick. I have the ability to look at the whole picture and remember that life is amazing. Dealing with the stress of that along with stress thrown my way by people whom I’m sure don’t realize it with their catty bitching just got to me this weekend. It started last weekend when I got sick. It was my body’s way of telling me that it was weak. I stressed my body out so bad that ended up causing my body to full on hemmorhage. So bad. Saturday I fell asleep and woke up deciding that I needed a day without my phone. No more stress, no more hearing about people’s stress. I needed to take care of myself. I try to be strong and try to be there for everyone, but that does me no good if I make myself physically ill. Today was amazing. It was nice and stress free and it reminded me they MY life in general is fantastic and I can’t get away from being able to see that and feel that on a daily basis.
Title lyrics: “Aftermath”-The Alternate Routes
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my amazingly wonderful family and friends! Also, happy 5th birthday to my nephew, Daven! Can’t believe he’s so grown up!
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