Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm Going on an Adventure!

One of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving is to go to a movie with the girls in my family. For the last 2 Thanksgiving, that means we have been at the first showing Thanksgiving morning for the last 2 movies in the Breaking Dawn series. I won't lie, I find them utterly entertaining. They are good enough to keep my attention, and bad enough to keep me laughing. I think it's a great time.  But that isn't really what I want to talk about.

Before the movie there was a preview for The Hobbit. At one point in the preview Bilbo Baggins is running away from his home, apparently trying to catch up with the rest of his traveling group. Some little hobbit neighbors ask where he is off to and he just yells over his shoulder, "I'm going on an adventure!"

That is exactly how I feel. The last couple of weeks have flown by so quickly and I feel like I just ran away from home, shouting back to all who would listen that I am going on an adventure!

Tuesday morning I finished cramming everything I own into my Mazda 3 and headed west.

Thanks Mazda for making a tiny car that can fit so much stuff! And thanks Milla for reminding me that "I've got this."

 Highlight of the trip. Restroom's what? Thanks Elko! 
Sunset leaving Nevada

The last few days have been a blur. They have included a LOT of driving and a LOT of cleaning.

I am just finally starting to feel like things are coming together and that all of this might just work out after all. When I first arrived, the house that I am staying in was entirely empty. There was supposed to be a bed, but there wasn't. There wasn't much of anything. I don't know how long it has been since the house was lived in, but I can tell you that things hadn't been cleaned in a LONG time. I thanked heaven that I had tossed my sleeping bag in the car at the last minute before I left, I laid the sleeping bag out on the ground in an empty bedroom and tried not to wonder what I had gotten myself into.

I totally experienced that moment of panic where I started asking, "What on EARTH was I thinking packing up my life and moving 600 miles away from home, friends, and family?!" I thought about the fact that it would be totally possible for me to just put everything back in the car and sleep in my own bed again before the week was out.

The next day I cleaned, cleaned some more, went to Costco for food, and went to Target for an air mattress.
Thanks Mom!

Thanks Target!
Now that things are a little cleaner, my stuff is all starting to find a place in the house, and after getting a good night's sleep...and maybe not getting up until 10:30 this morning, I am feeling much better about the world and the adventure that is before me. Even when I thought about the possibility of going back home, I knew that I wouldn't do it. I am going on a adventure. No one said that all of the adventure would be wildly exciting adventure, adventure is a package deal, and it comes with a fair amount of crazy. So, it all started out a little more adventurously than I had planned, but this is what I signed up for and I know that it will get better and continue to keep getting better.

To leave you with the hope that I am not entirely tragic right now, I will say that I have already connected with some friends of friends in the area and I am going to a Sound of Music Sing-a-long in San Francisco tomorrow! Boosh! Let the fun adventure begin!

For now I am safe, and still happy thinking of all of the people who love me back at home and who were so kind and instrumental in supporting me in this grand new adventure. I left with some handmade Christmas decorations, a box of life (and sanity) saving supplies, money for my first Costco visit, and with the memories of lots of good pizza with wonderful friends, more parties, trips for ice cream, zombie killing video games, an awesome new journal, good talks, and lots of hugs. I love all of you, and you had all better get out here to visit me soon!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The adventure continues!

Well, the job interview went well yesterday (I think, it is always so hard to tell), and apparently the next step is...yet another interview. I wasn't sure when I was going to hear back, so I decided to make the most of my day instead of just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. First, I drove up to Oakland and spent some time at the LDS temple there. It was beautiful. I love to go to the temple when I need to get away from the busyness of the world and just spend some time thinking and praying. 

Next, I headed to Costco to get gas. THANK HEAVEN for Costco and for cheaper gas. Just before I pulled into Costco, I got a phone call...

I have another interview tomorrow.

Phone interview. 11:00am.

I am hoping that the fact that all of this is happening so quickly is a good thing.

With the interview scheduled, and my gas tank full, I headed out to Half Moon Bay. The beach is another great place to go to get away from the world and find a little clarity :) I think it has something to do with the water. I also think that those of us who were born in California are connected to the coast. I feel so at home on the beach. I feel so much like myself there. Oh, and BONUS, while I was there I saw dolphins jumping! DOLPHINS! In the wild! I consider that one step close to seeing a whale. That is my one true dream.

After the beach I stopped by Redwood City to check out the house I would most likely be staying in if I get the job out here. Isn't it great? It used to be my grandma's house and I hadn't been there at all for almost 20 years. It is funny how easy it can be to feel 10 years old again.

Speaking of feeling tiny, I ended the evening by going out to dinner with my best friend from the good old San Jose days. We went out with her parents and her boyfriend and laughed about how we used to dance to Paula Abdul in her backyard and about how we miss watching Jem after school. No matter what happens with the job, this trip has been really great. It is incredible to have an opportunity to reconnect with people who were such an important part of your life for so long, and then, even after all these years, they still feel like family. 

Today, I am grateful for Kristin! Thanks for being an incredible friend. You are a beautiful person, and I am proud to know you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Running 13.1 miles vs Driving 13.1 hours

As I drove for hours and hours and hours yesterday, I thought about how running long distances has made it easier for me to handle anything in life that takes a great deal of stamina.  And I came up with this -

 How running 13 miles and driving 13 hours are similar:

Mile/Hour 1 - I am ready to go! I have my playlist, am rocking out to my first song and I feel like I am on top of the world!

Mile/Hour 4 - I am still feeling good. Surprisingly good, actually. I am proud of myself for pacing myself well and feel like I could go for days.

Mil/Houre 6 - I need a snack. Drink more water.

Mile/Hour 7 - I have gone more than halfway! YAY! But I still have about halfway to go! BAH!

Mile/Hour 9 - I am a rockstar. I have done something amazing. This race is MINE!

Mile/Hour 10 - I hurt. My legs hurt (or in the car, I can't feel my bum anymore). Why? Why do I do this? What ever made me think I could do this?! Why am I doing this?!

Mile/Hour 11- Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going.

Mile/Hour 13 - Almost done! Don't think, just go! Surge to the finish!

Finish line! - Oh, that wasn't bad at all! When are we doing it again?

It was a little scary how similar these two experience were for me. But it was nice, because I felt like I knew what to expect. So much of running is mental. You just settle in and go, and eventually you make it to the end. But you have to pace yourself, you have to plan, and you have to be patient. This is also great advice for driving. :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nevada is boring...

I drove through Nevada for a really long time today...and with zero cell service. There is not much to see in northern Nevada.  (see photo) In good news, tonight I am sleeping in the home that I used to always go to slumber parties at as a kid. The parents of my best friend (from about age 2, you'll we were ten) were kind enough to put me up while I am out here in Cali.

The drive out here was good. I'll post soon about how long distance running has made long road trips more bearable. But right now I an going to sleep. I traveled for 13 hours today, am one hour back for time zone, and another for daylight savings. I'm fried.

Oh, and today I am grateful for friends who support you even if they only see you once every 3-5 years.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

More gratitude - family style.

Today I am grateful for these nerds (and the other two siblings who were too young to swim at the time).  I am also grateful for a mom who bought swim team buttons with our pictures on them. Who could ask for more?

PS My California adventure starts bright and early tomorrow morning! Put good things out in the universe for me, will ya?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Matt and Lou

It's Saturday, so you don't get much of a post :)

On this 3rd day of November, I just wanted to say that I am grateful for my baby sister and brother-in-law. I dropped by their place tonight to pick up a tent for my trip next week and on my way out the door Matt stopped me and said, "If you need anything, just call Emily and we will come and rescue you." And he meant it. No matter where I was, they would come to save the day. It was the sweetest thing ever. I sure love these two kids.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I went back!



I wasn't kidding last time when I said that I felt all kind of crazy shame for bailing out of class early on Monday. I am notorious for trying something once, sucking at it, and running away, but this time I went back! What a brave thing I did. Yay me.

In other news, today I am grateful for people who treat me incredibly well even though they don't really know me. Specifically, I am grateful for Monte, who works at the Mazda dealership in Orem, and Julie, who owns a studio called Bouffant in Springville, and is the only person on the planet who I trust to cut my hair.

These people see me maybe once every 2 months and they always greet me like I am an old friend. Monte recognizes my car on the road because he knows the stickers that I have on the back of my car.  Julie always remembers to ask about the silly little details of my life that we talked about last time I was in to get my hair done.

It means a lot. They could just smile and say thanks, and their job would be done, but they truly invest in me as a person, not just as a customer. I hope that I am like that to others. I hope that I don't save my kindness only for those who earn it, but that I treat everyone well - like they deserve to be treated. I am so grateful for people who care even though they honestly don't have to. They make this world a better place.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Wow. It's November. That means that 2013 is like, tomorrow. You know how the end of the year goes. Once November hits, it's all over. 

But I do love November. Since the rise of social media, there has been a trend this time of year to make daily posts throughout November of something that you are grateful for. It is a great opportunity to take stock of your blessings and maybe regain some healthy perspective on just how good we all have it in this life. 

Today  my December issue of Runner's World came. The cover article is one on "Real Runners." You know, those of us who aren't pretend - like those robot professional runners out there in the world. The article highlights everyday people who get out and pound the pavement. Some have been running for a year, and some have been running their entire lives. This got me thinking about my own journey.

I just ran my fourth half marathon (this year and, in fact, ever)  about 3 weeks ago. I have never been much of an athlete, and had actually convinced myself that I "just wasn't like that."  My body just didn't work like that. It wasn't good at working out, and it certainly wasn't good at running. 

Now, I haven't become an amazing runner who wins lots of races; I struggle to keep up a good routine, and I am certainly a middle-of-the-pack, if not a back-of-the-middle-of-the-pack runner. But I love it. I love knowing that my body is capable of so much more than I ever thought it was. I love the feeling that comes when you run one more mile further than you ever have before. I love the powerful lesson of just putting one foot in front of the other, even when it seems like you can't take another step. I love having a new view of myself, knowing that I can do hard things.

So, for day one of being grateful, I am grateful for running.  I am grateful for what it has taught me, and grateful that it has made both my body and my soul stronger.