20 SOMETHING

Small Girl | Big Dreams | San Francisco, CA

Be picky with who you invest your time in. Wasted time is worse than wasted money.

Expectation of No Expectations

This past weekend, a guy that I know gave out some free “advice”. He told us on a drunken walk home that in our twenties, we can’t expect much from relationships and that unless a guy is either 30 or very mature for his age, we should assume that all relationships are open relationships… aka that most guys cheat on their girlfriends. He said this very matter of fact-ly, and then generously added at the end that his wisdom should serve us girls as advice in guiding out dating lives. This really wasn’t surprisingly coming from him since the night before he essentially told me that if I wasn’t going to sleep with him I could “get the fuck out” of his apartment, despite the fact that he has a girlfriend. Clearly, he is an asshole, and I did not hesitate before walking straight out his front door. However, his little piece of advice did get me to start thinking about the guys in and out of relationships that I know and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was right. Are most guys in their 20’s just a bunch of cheating assholes? Am I seriously doomed to stay single for the next five years because I’m stubborn and don’t want to date someone exponentially older than me? Has the hook up culture evolved to include relationships or have guys always been this way and I was just too naïve to see it?

I know that I can’t generalize that all guys in their twenties are the same because they are not. I have a wealth of close guy friends who are all in different places on the douche scale: some of them are cheating scumbags when it comes to girls and the others are loyal, loving boyfriends (as far as I know). For example, my best friend Gabby’s current boyfriend seems to be quite a gem because he adores her way too much to be cheating on her. So I guess he serves as a ray of hope. And then there is my friend Lucas, who has allowed his world to revolve around his girlfriend Mackenzie. I look at these guys and I want to argue that clearly monogamous and honest relationships can exist in our early twenties, but are these guys the exception?

If I continue looking at the guys I know, I have to think about the group of guys we hung out with this weekend, including the one who dished out that lovely piece of dating wisdom. They are all about two or three years older than myself and have girlfriends whom they cheat on regularly. One of them sleeps around so often that I had no idea he had a girlfriend until she appeared the other weekend and someone introduced her to me. There is my friend who found major success after high school working in finance, who managed to score himself what most guys consider to be the unicorn of the dating world: a smart, beautiful, classy girl with a clean track record and an easy going demeanor. Low and behold, even a unicorn couldn’t make a guy faithful because he hooked up with another friend of mine right before becoming serious with the unicorn girl and has drunkenly made out with other girls while out at the bars. Then I think about my friend and neighbor, Trevor, who was dating this girl he met in college but got away with going on Tinder dates every night of the week because his girlfriend was living 30 minutes away. I remember when she caught him talking to other girls during the holidays and how it caused a huge fight, but then later that day she happily sat down to a romantic home cooked dinner with him as if all was forgiven. I would like to say that this was uncommon and indicative of her character more so than anything else, but it’s not. She’s a smart, gorgeous girl who would not have a problem finding a new guy to date, so why did she stick around after she caught him dicking around?

I have a friend Melissa, who had a similar situation with a guy she had been living with. It’s the same old story: get comfortable, have some arguments, go through his phone and find out that he’s been talking to people he shouldn’t be talking to. Melissa is beautiful, ambitious, smart and caring – the kind of person I strive to be – and yet she found herself dealing with this bullshit even after the guy had committed to living together. They were not doing long distance, nor were they casually dating. Not to mention, Melissa and this guy are a few years older than the rest of my friends, which just goes to show that things may not necessarily get better with the passage of time. I would like to say that Melissa gave this guy the boot; that she stood up for herself and went on to search for someone that would treat her with the respect she deserved, but this is not the case. That guy is still part of her life today. Which begs the question: what is the fucking deal? Has the expectation of no expectations made it okay for people to cheat and so easily be forgiven? Are our standards so low that we are willing to overlook the lack of trust and betrayal that comes with cheating because we would rather suffer endlessly trying to fix a relationship that is broken instead of being alone? How did we get here?

I recently hooked up with someone who (shockingly) turns out had a serious girlfriend. When I first found out, I was furious. I’ve been cheated on before and I would never intentionally do that to another person. So I asked the guy pretty blatantly about his girlfriend and why he was cheating on her, which he couldn’t answer. After doing some emotional digging, it was clear that he just wasn’t happy in his relationship at the time but wasn’t willing to throw in the towel and be single yet. I liked this guy, so I wanted to come from a place of understanding and feel sorry for him, but I couldn’t. That is not how the world works; you don’t get to look like a model if you are not willing to give up junk food, and just generally you don’t get to reap the rewards of something if you are not putting in the hard work that is required. Guys – and girls – do not get to reap the rewards of a relationship if they can’t be monogamous and honest with the person they are with. Unless you are a sociopath (TREVOR), eventually the guilt will catch up to you and destroy your relationship from the inside out anyway, or your guilty conscious will result in behavior that tips off your significant other that something is awry and will bring on the trust issues.

The dysfunction that comes from young relationships is not a new concept; we’ve all seen Sex and the City. But have the shows and books and movies in today’s culture made the problem worse by encouraging this behavior? Every single season of the Real World show has someone in the house who cheats on a loved one that is back at home and drama ensues. You can’t stand in line at Safeway without seeing a magazine cover about some reality TV Star being cheated on. Gabby and I were watching Sex and the City the other night and had the typical conversation of who-is-who, where we try to guess which of our friends are most like Samantha, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte. I told her that she would be the Carrie of the group, with the gorgeous Manhattan decorated apartment and the designer shoes, to which she replied, “Jesus, I hope not. I hope I don’t end up with Mr. Big.”

I had to think about her response for a second because who wouldn’t want a gorgeous apartment in Manhattan filled with designer shoes and clothes? Oh wait, my incredibly smart friend Gabby wouldn’t! Because in this version of hell, it would mean that she settled for Mr. Big after ten years of being jerked around and heartbreak when he marries the thinner, taller model first. And then, when he finally does decide he wants to marry Carrie, he leaves her at the alter because he has such bad commitment issues. On what planet does that make for a healthy marriage when those two finally get together? Come on HBO, I love the show, but why couldn’t she have ended up with Aidan, the nice guy who did right by her and wasn’t afraid to recognize what a good thing he had and tried to put a ring on it?

I have some friends who would respond to that by saying, “because Carrie loves Big! You can’t explain love and you can’t choose who you love.” I want to say right now that this is WRONG. Being jerked around for ten years is not love, and you can choose who you love because you can choose to love yourself. I wish more girls loved themselves enough to realize that they don’t have to settle for the Trevors and the cheaters of the world. This idea that a painful relationship is so romantic and eventually will be worth it is an idea that needs to die. I wish guys out there could man up and just be single if they have a wandering eye. Spoiler alert: if you can’t help but hit on girls when you are drunk, you are not ready to be in a relationship. Let’s educate ourselves as empowered women that the guy who cheats on you and leads you on for years despite his underwhelming commitment issues is not the right choice, and it is better to be alone than to deal with this guy.

I am denouncing this idea that there is an expectation for us to have no expectations. My standards will not go so low as to accept that I have to participate in the hook up culture with armor on – I am human and I have feelings and I am okay with those feelings getting hurt. If I am in a relationship with someone, I do expect them to act like an adult instead of a frat boy and not cheat on me (okay, Zack Kaplan?). If I’m not in a relationship with someone, I still expect respect. Don’t ignore the friendly texts we send you a week after we hook up; you are not cute enough for us to be instantaneously into you and what are you so afraid of? God forbid you respond like a normal person and we end up thinking you are a decent human being. Do not ignore us when we end up at the same bar two weeks later. That makes you an asshole, Andrew. If we choose to pay you a compliment that does not automatically mean we want to sleep with you or that we want to sit on your face and that it’s okay for you to send us sleazy messages. I’m looking at you, Joey. And if we do choose to exercise self-respect – which guys are always complaining that girls don’t do enough these days – and decide not to drunkenly hook up with you, don’t tell us to get the f*ck out of your apartment because that makes you, Sean, a total dick.

It’s the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. And if you need motivation to follow this rule, my friend Lucas said it best when he reminded me just a few weeks ago that what comes around, goes around. Karma is a real thing, people, and the universe always finds a way of balancing itself out. 

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

—Ann Lamott

Enjoy Every Sandwich

             It’s almost 2 am and I just finished the book Enjoy Every Sandwich by Dr. Lee Lipsenthal. Dr. Lipsenthal was the father of one of my high school classmates. His son, Will, had gone to the same elementary school and middle school as me as well, so really he was more like a family friend that had clearly inspired a lot of people during his time here on earth. I did not know this man personally, but his words spoke to a truth that I had discovered during this past year of my own life: that gratitude could change everything. For Dr. Lipsenthal, gratitude seemed to ease the pain of cancer and the inherent fear of death. Dr. Lipsenthal passed away a few years ago from esophageal cancer. I remember when my mom came home from his memorial service and how she seemed different. She had tried to explain to me that it had been a different kind of memorial service and that it had really affected her, but my nineteen year old self couldn’t quite understand back then. Now I get it. What a man he must have been. I wish I could have known him.

            In his book, Enjoy Every Sandwich, I read so many truths that resonated in what I can only describe as my soul. I was inspired by what this man had done, which was to leave a legacy behind through writing and the simple action of living his life well. Even though it is late and I am suffering from a nasty head cold, I felt a rush of combined adrenaline and love. The adrenaline from yet another reminder that life is not guaranteed and the love for the people who have made me feel the same gratitude that Dr. Lipsenthal felt for the people in his life. I rushed to my computer tonight with the urgency to document the love in my heart for the many, many people who have touched my life. When I close my eyes and picture the many faces of people that I love and have loved, I realize it could take a lifetime to profess my love for these people. My former self might have been exhausted by this daunting task; to put into words the warmth I feel from mere memories of friends and family members and to share these words with the world, but my present self feels like there is nothing out there that could possibly be more rewarding than finishing such a task.

            This last year for me has been pivotal. I’ve written about it several times, twice having published tid-bits of what I’ve written on my blog so that it could float out into cyberspace and maybe fall into the hands of someone in need of reflection. In the last few years there has been death and life and love, and the death of love, and finally the birth of a much kinder, alive version of myself. As a young adult and especially in high school, I knew who I wanted to be, but I couldn’t always be that person. I feel that, even though I may not have arrived, I am well on my way to finally becoming the person I have always known I was capable of being. I have learned to start letting go of past events that once made me so angry I could cry in frustration if I allowed myself to think about it. I have learned to start forgiving – others and myself – which was once impossible for me. I have learned how to channel my love for others into the most freeing kind of love: where you expect nothing in return. This above all else, was something my adolescent self had a hard time understanding.

            At 22, my life is a lot different than I thought it would be. I thought that I would have graduated college already, ideally with a business or marketing degree, and not still be floating through my last semesters at San Francisco State to get a B.A. in Communications, a subject in which someone recently reminded me is one that I have always been adept at. I thought that maybe by now I would have my eating habits under control and would have run off those freshman thirty pounds. But I’m glad that my life isn’t what I thought it would be, because it has turned out so much better than I could have imagined.

            I struggled with my relationship with my mom for as long as I can remember. I have always told myself that our styles of showing love are just not the same, and that I would have to life with a parent who didn’t love me the way that I wanted her to. In the last two years, we have found a new kind of relationship that I have personally found to be incredibly rewarding. This new relationship was not born out of thin air, but out of difficult conversations that could have only happened with my growing up. I am in a much better place with my mother than I ever thought I would be and there is perhaps no relationship in my life that I am more grateful for.

              As the days pass and I start my life in a beautiful apartment in San Francisco with one of my best friends, I notice every day that I am more and more like my mother. When people irritate me the way that I must have irritated her as a stubborn, entitled teenager, I find myself dealing with them the same way that my mother dealt with me. I could not be happier to have come out on the other side of maturity as part of the clichéd group of people who once claimed to hate their mothers but now see them as their best friend. My mom is without a doubt my biggest supporter in life and is one of the biggest factors in all of my decisions. I constantly ask myself, will this choice make her proud? Will it make me a better person and more like my mother? 

              My brother Matt is not yet in a place where he can deal with his pain and anger and see my mother for the person that she is. It’s hard for me to watch him waste years of his life so angry, but I understand because I was angry too. Knowing that I have come out of the other side with a much better grasp of reality and inner peace, I have to cross my fingers and believe that my brother will get to the same place that I am in on his own time. Until then, I will love my mom for both of us because I know he’s not in a place where he can truly love himself, let alone show our mom the love that she deserves. Matt, it gets better. We love you.

              Throughout my life, my friends have been a powerful force of happiness and love for me when I wasn’t able to experience this at home due to my own short sightedness and inability to come to terms with my parents’ divorce and its’ consequences. I found joy in surrounding myself with friends whenever I could, even at the expense of the well being of my little brother. I recognize now that my behavior came from survival instincts to find shelter and love elsewhere when I couldn’t find it at home, but to my younger brother I will always be sorry that I can’t rewind the clock and be the sister that I am today back then. I hope one day you can forgive me and move forward with me.

             One of the friends I surrounded myself with was Lucas Doucet. I have known Lucas since kindergarten, my first year of school in Marin County after my parents moved us to Northern California from Los Angeles (thank god). I have vague memories of Lucas wearing a red plastic bucket on his head and marching around the playground pretending to be a soldier. These memories could have also been formed from seeing pictures of Lucas like this as a five year old, but regardless his love of guns, soldiers and respect for the army was a continued theme with him until we were much older. I should have known it back then, but as a kid I didn’t realize that Lucas would grow to be the most consistent, caring friend I would ever have. Lucas’s mom, Debbie, always sent him to school with my favorite thing: Nissin cup noodles. She sent it with a hot thermos of water that he could pour into the cup noodles and a few minutes later he would be chowing away at my favorite guilty pleasure. It started with just begging Lucas to trade lunches with me and over the years transformed into Lucas charging me a few dollars for his lunch once we started receiving allowances. He was a smart kid; I was just really jealous of his lunch.

              Somehow this lunch exchange turned into a friendship. I don’t remember how or when, or if maybe simply after years of knowing each other we felt super comfortable with each other. I don’t know. I do know that as a teenager, Lucas was my rock. He still is today. I can tell him anything in the world and I know if I needed him to, he would take my words with him to his grave. I know for certain that it was me who opened up to him first, but over the years our relationship has balanced out to include pretty uncensored confessions of the mind from both parties about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Lucas has rightfully earned the title of the older brother that I never had. I have been blessed with four beautiful little brothers and am familiar with the caretaking role, but Lucas has always served as a quiet protector in my life by encouraging me to do the right thing and stepping back when he knew I was doing the wrong thing. He did not judge me or selfishly create an opinion when I chose to change high schools during our sophomore year together at Drake High School. I was incredibly unhappy and lost at fifteen, so I changed schools to try my luck with a different crowd of people that I felt might understand me better at the time. I later hailed this to be one of my smartest moves as a teenager since Redwood High School did turn out to be a place that felt like home to me. But regardless of what high school and what college town I moved to over the next several years, there was always Lucas waiting for me in the wings when I felt lost. Feeling like I have a much better grip on who I am at 22, it has been my pleasure trying to return the favor of friendship to him whenever I can.

Rose Colored Glasses

As a twenty-something female, I realize that I have a lot of life left to live. I have yet to travel to all seven continents or learn how to cook steak, and I’m not even close to finishing – or starting – the book I’ve dreamed of writing since I was a little girl. However, I have managed to pack a nice chunk of life experience into the last 10 years or so and there is one life lesson that has stood out to me quite a bit this past year, which is that an attitude of gratitude can change your life.

Recently, I experienced the bittersweet farewell to my first ‘adult’ relationship. Don’t worry, this article is not about your run of the mill break up and how being single can be super empowering for women (even though I do totally feel that way). This mature relationship of mine coincided with that magical time I like to call “the flipping of the maturity switch”. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that period of time when one of your friends starts to casually consider marriage as a viable option for her current boyfriend and another one of your gal pals is constantly talking about the seriousness of her career. It is that morning at brunch when you and your friends stop referring to thirty years old as ancient because – GASP – it’s no longer that far away. It’s that time in your twenties when you understand that you are supposed to be maturing while simultaneously trying to answer a slew of new questions about yourself and the real world. I personally had a million questions that needed answers, like when the hell did we get so old? Was I really supposed to know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life? Now that my teenage dream of being an overnight success for no real reason was obviously not going to happen, what was my next move? Which dream was the right one to pursue? I think somewhere along the way between looking for answers to these questions and trying to be in a mature relationship, I got a little lost.

It was September of 2012 when I realized I had developed an immense unhappiness within myself. It was like the San Francisco fog had silently rolled right into my mind while I was distracted with my relationship and despite my best efforts to see past it, I could not seem to find the bright light that I knew was waiting for me behind the clouds. I remember noticing in the fall that my behaviors had changed. I hadn’t written or sketched anything in months and I was just barely making an effort to see my friends. Music really wasn’t doing it for me the way it usually did and I was eating to bury my feelings. I picked fights with my boyfriend and blamed what was at the time a failing relationship for the emptiness that I was feeling inside.

After several months of acting like a real P.O.S. and at the height of my personal misery, three incredibly tragic deaths took place. Two young men from my hometown passed away in two separate accidents and the third young man who passed was my best friend’s ex boyfriend from college. I was not fortunate enough to have had a close relationship with any of the three young men, however the way that their passing took a toll on my community and my close friends was heartbreaking for me, even just as an outsider looking in. I remember hugging my friend as she cried after receiving the news of her former boyfriend’s passing and how I, the biggest chatterbox of all, had no response when she told me that it was unimaginable to her that their last goodbye had been forever. The pain from the loss of these boys was immeasurable and the sentiment was the same – the love that my community had for them was staggering and would not be diminished by their absence. For me, these losses served as excruciating reminders that everything we hold near and dear could be gone tomorrow. 

During the weeks following each of these tragedies, something inside me changed. I remember waking up every day and thanking a higher power that I didn’t know I believed in that I was still alive. I remember the urgency I felt to tell my friends and family how much they meant to me. I remember making the conscious decision to be grateful for what I have because other people are happier with much, much less. There’s a quote on Pinterest that says, “What if you only woke up today with the things that you were grateful for yesterday?” Well, I wanted to wake up everyday with all of the same things from the day before because I realized (sorry it took so long Mom) that I led a truly charmed life. After the second and third deaths, my feelings of gratitude were amplified even more. If the sun was out that day, I would take a minute to be thankful for the beautiful weather and would spend ten seconds appreciating the warmth of the sun on my face. If I had to drive somewhere, I found myself saying thank you to the universe for getting me to my destination safely. For the first time in my life I was able to see that the relationship I had spent so much time on was not right for me and I ended it feeling overwhelmingly grateful, instead of sad, for everything that it had taught me about myself. I started noticing beauty in the world again, like the mix of colors in the sky over the Golden Gate Bridge during my commute home. It took some time but eventually with consistent positive thoughts, the fog that had clouded my mind for so long had cleared and I could see the light.

Here I am, six months later, and I am pleased to report that I am still walking around with this unrelenting sense of appreciation towards the woman upstairs or the universe or whatever is out there. I have made the choice to stay this way and to wear these rose-colored glasses of gratitude as often as I can. The change has been drastic for me; my energy level is through the roof and I don’t remember a time before this where I laughed as often as I do now. It even elicited a “what is wrong with you?” from my best friend when a killer Sunday morning hangover couldn’t stop me from waking up with a positive attitude and a huge smile on my face. Being grateful allowed me to feel optimistic about being single and to feel wholly secure about who I am. I am writing again, going to the gym when I feel like it and it is entirely possible that this is the happiest I have ever been in my life.

I guess I should apologize for lying earlier when I told you this was not a story about a break up because in the end it was. This was the story about how I broke up with my former self and chose happiness instead of darkness. I’m not crazy enough to believe that I don’t still have negative moments and my life is no where near perfect, however the negative moments are fleeting and I am well aware now that things can always be worse than they are. I did two really important things for myself in the last six months that enabled me to feel the way I do today and they hold true for accomplishing any goal: I made gratitude a priority and I remained consistent in working towards my goal of being grateful for what I have. My new positive attitude has made it easy to meet difficulties in my personal life with a healthy perspective and to take on tasks with a gusto that I simply didn’t have before.

Perhaps most importantly though, was the fact I have adopted the mindset that everything in life is a mind game, which means we are in full control of how we choose to play. For me, choosing to play with a positive attitude has made all the difference. In order to stay positive, I have written myself an inner dialogue that can now defeat even the most negative of thoughts. Whenever an ugly thought slips into my mind, I purposefully counter it with something undeniably positive. Next time you hear yourself thinking ‘I look fat, I really need to hit the gym’, remind yourself that you are beautiful no matter how much you weigh. Sure, you should go to the gym to be healthy, but go to the gym knowing that even if you didn’t you would still be a gorgeous human being. When you feel exhausted or overwhelmed at work, remind yourself that there are unemployed people out there who would kill to be making money, and at least you have weekends to relax! The next time a family member is driving you up the wall, take a second to remember that you are lucky to have a family to fight with in the first place (this was actually able to end an argument for me). Being grateful has truly changed my world in the most unexpected, wonderful way. If you are ever feeling lost the way that I did, remind yourself that happiness is a choice, and it starts with choosing to wear the rose-colored glasses of gratitude.

Rest in Paradise

Lately there have been a number of tragedies that haven’t directly effected my life but have touched me emotionally. A close friend of my boyfriend’s from high school went missing on Christmas eve and drowned in a creek close to where I go to college. While I hadn’t had a relationship with him personally, I had gone to school with his younger brother and sister and their step dad had coached my high school softball team. I attended his service in support of his family and my boyfriend the week after his body was discovered in the creek. I saw many familiar faces, and among them were people experiencing a heart breaking amount of regret for not staying in touch with their lost friend. I will say that hearing the cries of a mother who had lost her child was the single most horrifyingly painful sound I have ever heard in my life. His close friends celebrated what would have been his 24th birthday the week after his service with a party in his honor, and even though my boyfriend couldn’t attend, I know that he remembers and honors his fallen friend every day.

Today one of my good friend’s former boyfriend passed away. While I know little about his circumstances, I do know that he was young, a year or two out of college maybe, and that he had his entire life ahead of him. My friend hadn’t kept in touch with him after they broke off their relationship, but his passing is extremely hard for her. These deaths were so unexpected that it makes me wonder when I will get my first phone call telling me that I’ve lost someone I love just as suddenly as my friends have lost theirs.

When I think of my old friends and the tragic way that they lost their older brother, it immediately brings me to tears. When I think about the way that his death leaves behind so many unanswered questions and how we never get a fair warning before someone is taken from us, I realize that the only thing we can do to remedy that is to live our own lives well and tell our friends that we love them. To not take those in our lives for granted is the only way to minimize our regret when we lose them. 

I was just discussing earlier today how tragedies bring people together and how they are able to put things into perspective for us. Like how the passing of an old friend can make you remember how much you care for people that you haven’t spoken to in months or even years, and how the sudden death of someone can make us cherish our own lives and time on this planet a little bit more. The shame is that most of the time it does take these heart wrenching losses for us to reconnect with people we still care about or to think about the choices that we’ve made. I have always strived to be open with my heart and tell the people that I love that I do so as to not have any regrets later on, but these tragedies always make me wonder if that’s enough. 

May all lost souls rest eternally in paradise.

The internet diaries/City-split

This blog used to have a bunch of different reasons to exist, but I think the real reason I created it in the first place was to have somewhere to put all of my thoughts (good and bad) when they start to take up too much space in my head… and that happens a lot more than I like to admit. So prepare yourselves to hear what I really think about anything and everything that happens in my weird and sometimes so-suburban life. Welcome to my internet diary :)

Right now I live in Los Angeles just a few miles from Santa Monica, where I was born, and I could not be more excited about moving back to what I consider my real home of San Francisco where my mom lives and where I grew up. Don’t get me wrong - I think LA is a fabulous place to live, but only if you have the right people to live in it with you. As one of my old frenemies used to say “It’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.” Even though she was kind of a major pain in the ass with her unrelenting philosophical crap, she was spot on about this one. You can live in any of the most amazing cities in the world, but if the people that you love aren’t close enough to you, then even places like the sunny city of LA will feel cold.

Thankfully, I’ve learned something important about myself in the past year. I’ve always felt that my little suburbia bubble just north of San Francisco was the only place I could ever truly feel at home. At home the food is expensive but unbeatable (I could eat a Sol Food bistec sandwich everyday of my fat short life), the people are friendlier (excluding all high school girls), and the streets are safer (if you don’t count all of the bored, drug-crazed kids who spend their allowance on anything they can smoke or sniff and might break into your house so they can sell your Forever21 fake jewelry and Christmas presents for more drug money… yeah that happened to me).

But then something happened: I had to live alone in Los Angeles for a solid year with all of my close friends having moved out of the immediate area. Yeah yeah I did have my dad, my step mom, and my three half brothers 20 minutes away. But trust me when I tell you that 2 video game obsessed munchkins, a moody teenage boy and two workaholic parents do not make for an entertained girl. But somehow this lonely, cement city filled with Hollywood-wannabes and terrible drivers has grown on me in the past few months, and I have finally realized that since home is where the heart is, my heart belongs in two very different California cities. Thank god its only an hour long plane ride from SFO to LAX.

Even though my heart is city-split, my head has never faltered in knowing that San Francisco is the best city in the world. There is so much love, pride and acceptance that comes with being from the Bay Area, and having grown up just 15 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, naturally I spent this past Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of San Francisco’s most famous landmark. Would it be wrong to tell you that I might have been teary eyed watching these fireworks go off over the bridge? I’m still not sure if it was because I love San Fran so much or because my friend’s boat was so close to the bridge that the ashes from the fireworks were actually getting in my eyes but either way it was incredible!

Here’s to hoping that everyone is able to find some of that San Francisco magic in their lives. Sweet Dreams!