NY State of Mind

So I’m officially a New York State resident again. It’s kind of funny. I’ve always associated myself with being from NY and it will always be home. But this is the first time in my adult life that I’m actually living in NY.  I went to college in Florida when I was still 17 and haven’t been back other than visits since. Go figure! Granted,  I live in upstate NY now,  but it still feels more home than my previous digs have.  There’s just something about being close to mountains and having seasons and just the charm that is the greatest state that I can’t explain with words alone.  It’s that feeling of truly being somewhere you love.  You don’t need to DO anything to have that vibe. It’s sheer contentment sitting on your stoop or driving to nowhere and reveling in the beauty and magnificence of where you are. The feels are just there.  It’s simple and wonderful tied up in a bow and BAM! Home. 

I went home home (yes,  Brooklyn) for Easter weekend. It was nice. I didn’t tell all that many people I was returning. It was pretty sad to go home and not have the Ice puppy there.  Empty. 😦  There’s no words that can make that go away. Maybe time helps. I don’t know yet.   The other day was the anniversary of my good friend who took his life. I’ve written about him before (re: Sandman) and I guess it is a true testament to time since it was the first year that I didn’t completely lose it thinking about everything.  I still miss him. I still wish he was with us and nothing will change that he wasn’t here for long enough.   But I think I’m finally accepting things and coming to peace with it. It’s a strange feeling. Part of me thinks that’s a betrayal of him – that somehow that makes me miss him less or not care. But the other part recognizes you can’t dwell on the what ifs or should haves. What’s done is done.  There’s still an empty void that will probably never be filled.

But back from that tangent, home was otherwise nice. Had some meals at my favorite restaurants with family,  got breakfast – I would call it brunch but apparently if you meet before 10AM the absolute earliest,  you’re out of your mind and it’s definitely breakfast – with some high school friends (we’ve known each other for over a decade!!! How crazy is that?!??!!), and, of course,  an amazing dinner for Easter at my aunt and uncle’s – with more family! Om nom. So much food and goodness!  Anyway. Life is good. 

Hakuna Matata!

Thankfulness

Whelp.  It’s almost the end of November.  I’ve been writing this post in my head since the 1st.  But here we are.  Time freaking flies.  It’s amazing.  Here I am sitting on a plane on my way home for the holiday and no update to mention.  Yeah, I know.  I’m a terrible blogger.  2016 has been a pretty crazy year.  There are quite a few of my facebook friends who insist we don’t even acknowledge this year in the future.  But I have to admit, it’s been a pretty memorable one for me.  I’ve moved from Hawaii to San Diego to South Carolina.  I’ve explored Iceland and Denmark and Estonia and the outer skirts of Germany, and visited Russia and Sweden and Finland.  I’ve driven across the United States on an epic road trip and visited famous landmarks and national parks.  I’ve crossed the Pacific Ocean and I’ve gotten to visit friends and family across the country.  So can I really complain?  These are the things that matter.  I am so blessed to have the people I do in my life. Regardless of how they got there.  I’ve revisited our nation’s Capitol and returned to the greatest city in the world twice (yes, I’m referring to New York).  And I still have this weekend and Christmas to enjoy before the year is out.

I’ve been fortunate enough to join my dive family in Florida for an annual Thanksgiving celebration, not to mention surprise my family for my dad and uncle’s birthdays.  I’ve reunited with my college roommate and made new friends at my latest job.  Of course there has also been failure and total feeling of loss and despair.  But mostly joy.  At least the stuff I choose to dwell on.  And that’s what I think is the key.  Why focus on the bad?  There’s so much good.  Moving for the third time this year was a struggle. Leaving the people I grew to care for and accept was challenging.  Returning to academia was a lot harder than I imagined it would be.  But there have been a multitude of people who have helped me get where I am.  And I am more than grateful for their input.  From the 5:30AM wake up calls to wish me well on an exam or just to say hi, to the random texts and messages just that say people are thinking of me and are hoping I am well.  Those mean the world to me.  Even if I’m not the greatest at conveying that in the moment.

I’m thankful for more than I can ever write about in a blog post.  My family plays a huge part in that.  As crazy as they drive me at times, they are the best.  I don’t care who you are.  You don’t beat the genuineness and love that is experienced in my family.  I have the best friends.  We can not talk for months.  And when I pick up the phone in a moment of despair or boredom, they are there for me.  I’m a pretty crappy friend.  My job takes up a lot of my time.  And when I’m not working, I’m kind of burnt out.  And a loner.  Not in the creepy or bad way.  I just like me time.  So I screen my calls and texts and eventually, I will get back to you.  But aside from the fact that I’m usually asleep before 9PM and I talk to about 2 people on a regular basis (and yes, one of those humans is my mom), my people are still there for me in spite of that.  I don’t get invites to go to the opera 500 miles away.  But I get videos of my friends being awesome and killing it in their chosen profession.  And updates on so and so and what I’ve missed.  Like nothing has changed since I left New York.  And I’d like to think that as anti-social as I can be, my people do know that I would be there for them in a heartbeat if they truly needed me.  It’s funny how that works.  But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy Thanksgiving, Blog World.  Always remember.  Even when things don’t seem to be going right, there’s always SOMETHING to be thankful for. Hakuna Matata!

Good Riddance New Year’s Resolutions

As the year closes out and my facebook news feed is plastered with reminiscings of  2015, everyone seems to also include their well wishes and hopes for 2016.  Which is all nice and wonderful, but my issue with this is that shouldn’t we be well wishing and thankful for what we have year round and not just for one or two weeks at the end/beginning of a new year?  The notion that a new year should mean we better ourselves isn’t a bad one, but why wait for the new year?  Fix the issues you have when you realize you have them!

There’s a quote I’ve always found amusing: “Don’t wait – procrastinate now!”  It’s the same concept even though it’s opposing what I’m encouraging if that makes sense.  Along the same lines, people always try to stay in touch around the holidays. As if Christmas and New Year are the only times we think of these people we care about. How absurd!  I admit, my lifestyle does pose some issues with how frequently I keep in contact with the people I love.  But I still attempt to talk to them year round. And by talk, I really mean text,  facebook stalk/message/post, or emails mostly. But just a simple text that says ‘hey’ usually gives a person those warm fuzzies that makes the extra seconds you took out of your day (and not just on a holiday) seem all worth it.

It’s been a good year. And of course I want the next year to be even better. But how much better would our lives be if we reflect on the awesomeness that is life and people and what we have on a regular basis?   Just sayin!

Hakuna Matata!

The Most Difficult Thing

Technology is becoming smarter than us.  Well, at least me.  It took me 15 minutes of trying to figure out how to add a new post on a different computer than the one I normally use since I don’t have the ‘New Post’ tab bookmarked like I do on my laptop.  Anyway, like I promised, an increased effort in the blogging world.  Whoo!

This past weekend I went to Vegas to visit some family.  Yeah!  Go family!  These cousins have lived on the opposite side of the country for all of my life and so I don’t know them as well as some of the other family I’ve gone to visit, but I’m slowly getting to know them better.  They are also the ones who have graciously and wonderfully opened their arms to my dog, Wess.  I honestly can’t remember if I’ve told you about my little guy, but in October of 2013, this little, pathetic looking, flea covered, starved creature bounded after my car in the rain in the middle of nowhere. 2014100395215831 I had no choice but to allow him into my vehicle, where he quickly jumped over my passenger, onto my lap, and started kissing me.  In the search the weeks after, noone claimed him and he had grown into a cruicial part of my family.  But being in the Navy doesn’t exactly allow for dogs – we’re gone too much and move too much to provide a stable home.  When I was in training, my parents were awesome enough to care for him, but I knew it couldn’t go on.  Thus, the cousins.

Leaving him there the first time was the most heart wrenching, awfulest thing I ever had to do.20150208_112002  It wasn’t that my cousins weren’t good people or that they wouldn’t be great providers for him.  But in the short time that I had him, he was MY fur child.  He was 12 weeks old when I found him.  Leaving him was terrible.  I knew he would be well taken care of, but I didn’t want to leave him.  I felt that I had failed.  But in leaving him with my family, I knew it was the best thing I could have done for him.  A stable, loving home where he has a little girl to play with, a backyard, other dogs.  And he’s with family.  So I can always go to see him (and of course, them).  This, of course, has also brought me closer to these cousins.  While I miss him dearly, I know he’s in good hands.

I don’t know how parents who lose a child in whatever way deal with it.  You hear so many cases of neglect and abuse of people towards their children and pets and I cannot phathom how.  The love I developed for this little guy in less than a few months, let alone as time preogressed, is immeasurable.  Leaving him this time was not as hard as I thought it would be.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still terrible.  But seeing him in his new home, comfortable and with loving people (even if I knew he was safe before), was extremely reassuring.  He’s happy with them.  He has a great life with them.  And he will always have a special place in my heart.

Running around in his new backyard, playing fetch

Running around in his new backyard, playing fetch

Lobsta

This weekend has proven to be an awesome one.  And it’s only Saturday night!  Yesterday after work, I met up with a group of friends for dinner and to see Frozen (again).  It was phenomenal.  They were friends I do not get to simply hang out with since we mostly are doing work, but last night was a time for celebration!  WE ARE DONE WITH CLASSES!!!  Some of them still have finals, but others, including myself, were completely done!  It was nice to hang out in a non studying session.  And of course Frozen was AWESOME!  Go see it if you haven’t.  It’s amazing!

Today I went diving in the Big Blue.  Although I didn’t get much sleep from the night before and we left at 4AM, I had an amazing time.  The sun was shining and it was 87 degrees according to my dive computer.  In December.  Wrong, but nice for the diving.  I tried out my early graduation present, a Go Pro, from my aunt and uncle and hoped to catch some lobster!  The first dive was unsuccessful on the lobster catching, but my buddy caught one and a fish, so good times.  And we saw eels!  The second dive was more productive.  My buddy and I worked together to get us two lobsters for the dive.  Om nom nom.

The lobsters were eaten for dinner this evening and I see popcorn in the near future.  I reviewed the footage from the GoPro and while it is clear and pretty awesome, I learned I need to angle the camera better to get the stuff I actually want to see.  Still awesome!  Thank you, family!!!  Tomorrow morning, I will be setting out early again, although not quite as bad as 4AM, to dive the springs – I don’t have to rinse my gear from the sea!!!!  My brother and his girlfriend are getting certified and it is their last day of check out dives!  I’m excited!  So it’s been an awesome weekend.  I don’t have  a much deeper message to this post other than I’m happy and life is good! 😀