Happy New Year!

2014

Enjoy!

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To 2014

“The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming.” //Frederick Buechner

2013 wasn’t easy. I graduated from college, made difficult decisions, (warily) stepped out of my shell, and admittedly lost a lot. I  got my first post-grad gig, turned 22, fell in love with New York, and left my collegiate life. There were many endings. There was a lot of bad, to be honest, but I keep reminding myself that there was also so much good. I spent the year with my ever-amazing family and friends and gained a beautiful niece.

The best way to describe 2013 would be challenging. Change is hard, and letting things go is even more difficult. I welcome 2014 as a fresh start and a new beginning. I absolutely believe that we should all treat each day as the new start that it is, but sometimes we just need the New Year as an extra push to leave things behind and move forward. I learned a lot in 2013, but I’m looking forward to a new kind of change in 2014 – beginnings, rather than endings.

NYE

And New Year’s Eve is a whole different story. There are high expectations and a lot of pressure to end the year perfectly, welcome the new one gracefully, and celebrate with some elaborate, glittery plans. I’ve never done the huge party thing; I think the complicated planning, big crowds, and chances of the night turning out badly make me hesitant. Hellooo, anxiety. But tonight I’ll be in the city with my best friends celebrating as a 22-year-old should. Yeah, it could be a disaster, but I tend to think most things have the potential to become disastrous. This gives me a good head start (and a nice transition) for my resolutions and goals.

In 2014 I will:

Say yes: I say no far too often, even to things that seem fun or exciting. I just get all clammy and hesitant and get convinced that my little ball of safety is the best place to be. What a dummy. More than anything this year, I’m going to start saying yes more often, because I think that has the potential to take me to a lot of new places.

Move: 2014 will be the year I move. I’m not sure where yet, (New York, please) but I’m ready to get out there. My best friend and I have been planning this, and I think it’s really going to be an important part of moving forward and accomplishing my goals.

Travel: I’ve never been out of the country, and I am DYING TO GET OUT OF THE COUNTRY. This is high up on my list, and I’d be ecstatic to go just about anywhere. I’ve been waiting for my international adventures for too long.

Explore

Explore: The Bay Area is an amazing place to live, but sometimes I get stuck in a bubble – going to the same places, to and from, all the time. There are so many places I haven’t been and things I haven’t done, even just nearby in San Francisco or Oakland. Weekend day trips to forests, beaches, mountains aplenty in 2014.

Cook: I don’t know how to cook. Anything. Nothing. Ramen, anyone? Cereal? I make sandwiches sometimes. But really, this is a problem I need to deal with. Cooking seems kinda fun and even sorta easy depending on what you’re making, but I’ve just never been one to bust out an apron. Hopefully I’ll at least learn some basics this year.

Breathe: Chill out. Stop letting things get to me. Take a minute just to breathe – both to calm down when stressed and to acknowledge and bask in the good moments.

Nourish: I need to focus on drinking more water and eating healthy. Someday I’ll wean myself off of macaroni and cheese….(but not in 2014).

Run

Run: I ran my first half-marathon in 2013, and I’d like to ambitiously say 2014 will be the year for a full, but I think I’m going to aim for another half and maybe some 10ks sprinkled in. 2013 was a great running year for me, and I’d like to keep that going. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to run at least once a week. I never regret it.

Awaken: It would probably be more appropriate to title this one WAKE UP. I have never been a morning person, but it seems like it could be a pretty nice time if you somehow manage to get enough sleep, which I never do. I’d really like to start enjoying my mornings – giving myself enough time to sit with coffee and the news, get my run out of the way, or maybe, just maybe, catch a sunrise.

Write: More, more, more! I can always write more. I work at a magazine and still have trouble finding time to write. I’d like to dedicate more time to freelance work, updating this blog, and writing to blow off steam.

Appreciate: I have a pretty great life. I need to keep this in mind and know that while I’m working toward the life I want to have, mine is currently awesome. I have an amazing family and great friends, I have a job that teaches me things, I get to spend a lot of time having fun, and I am ultimately happy. Taking time to appreciate the things you have right now really helps you get you to where you want to be.

I’m ready, 2014.

A weekend among giants

I live in Northern California, but it’s hard to realize just how big that stretch of the state is until you get in the car and drive. It’s about three hours up to Chico and another three still to the California-Oregon border. And that’s just going straight up on I-5.

This weekend I took a trip to Arcata, California, with my brother so he could see the Humboldt State campus. He just applied to transfer to a few schools, and we’re planning on visiting each of them before he makes a decision on where he wants to spend the next two years. Arcata is on the north coast, five hours from the Bay Area, and Highway 101, or the Redwood Highway, is what gets you to and from.

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This photo was taken on a stretch of 299, which runs from Redding to Arcata. We stopped in Chico for a night (which wasn’t actually on the way) so I could see my friends. I had such a good time, and it definitely made me wonder how I went so long without seeing those people.

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My favorite thing about Humboldt State and Arcata in general was the enormous forest that begins on the border of the campus. That, along with the thick layer of fog that hovers over the town almost year-round, makes for a pretty beautiful view.

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California snow day

Snow and California don’t go together very often–and absolutely never in the Bay Area, so I went up to Truckee this weekend with my best friend and her family.

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Before that the last time I went to see snow was in Tahoe two years ago when the winter was so mild that all of the resorts (and patrons) had to settle for manmade snow. This means it wasn’t nearly as cold as it usually is during winter, so before this past weekend, I hadn’t felt real, live, harsh winter in probably about a decade.

I just want to make something clear: snow is cold. It was a bitter 11 degrees out and actively snowing the whole time we were there, but it was gorgeous. I don’t know how to ski or snowboard, so we spent a lot of time inside with coffee, watching the snow fall on the other side of the window. Trees are my favorite in the fall, but I have a new appreciation for seeing them covered in snow. They look so perfect with each branch and leaf precisely blanketed.

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Favorite finds

Links of the WeekCheck out the share-worthy stuff I found in the abyss that is the Internet this week.

1. The National Geographic Photo Contest has drawn more than 4,000 entries. Sift through the stunning pictures of people, places, and nature here.

2. The story my boss just wrote for The Bold Italic explaining how and why she donated a kidney to a perfect stranger is pretty amazing.

3. Time-lapse videos are popping up everywhere lately, and this incredible one featuring Joshua Tree National Park’s namesake is a must-see.

4.  Conde Nast is offering a free tablet download of the most recent issue of WIRED this weekend! You can also pick up free copies of 17 other Conde Nast titles like Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

5. I’m so excited to check out Sierra Nevada’s brand new Torpedo Room on Fourth Street in Berkeley. I love that a small slice of Chico has found a home in the bay and that I can now find some of Sierra’s more rare brews nearby.