Wednesday, May 26, 2010

adventures and missing

(this video just made my heart sing)

I was thinking today how great adventures are.

Adventures can be incredible experiences. But sometimes they involve people leaving who we don't want to part ways with. Part of me wants to be selfish and keep that person/those people here, bottle them up and keep them beside me always. But I know thats not how life works, and it would be selfish of me to ask them to stay behind instead of explore the world.

Someone very wise once told me:

"you're not leaving anyone. it feels like abandonment? it's not. you're gathering life experiences to bring back to them."

But there is something about missing someone that digs a part out of your heart. It aches and it can't be filled with someone else. So all you can do is know that you are doing something good while they are gone. Do something positive, become better, stronger. They will do the same.

I was also told that one of the most important things in life is to learn how to be alone. You learn to be comfortable by yourself and you get to know all the corners and attics of your soul. I'm still working on it.

Also, on blogs to look at, please check this out: if you don't already read hers, you should. (

Monday, May 24, 2010

Grant news brings cheescake

None of the grants we applied for went through.

Including National Geographic.

I got an email the other day saying that we didn't get it. Ok, I was bummed out; I cried. It wasn't that I was incredibly disappointed that it didn't happen, it was more that something that has been a huge part of my life for the past 8 months isn't really a part of it anymore.

When we made it past the first level of competition for this grant, I got myself a cheesecake. Yes, an entire cheesecake. It took about two and a half weeks to eat it all but I did that because I love the stuff and I was proud that we made it that far.

Now after finding out that we didn't make it, I am buying myself a smaller cheesecake. I'm celebrating that at 19 years old, I wrote a grant, I took a risk and I knew the amount of work it took to put into it. I was part of the planning process for an expedition and I worked so, so, so hard on this. I'm proud of myself.

I am applying again, and doing another project in the meantime. We are back to square one, and it's good to be positive about the failures. Patience, patience, patience..

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I found what I was looking for.

Let's start from the beginning.

I bought a plane ticket to visit Yosemite, a place that I loved when I visited almost four years ago. I remember specific things about this place, like the smell of my Uncle's small cabin and reading Spanish climbing magazines. I remember the tall granite walls that made me feel so weak in the knees.

I remember loving this place, and all of a sudden, it wasn't a place I loved. It was a place I feared, I didn't want to talk about, I never wanted to visit again and it remained in my memory as a terrible place because of what I felt it took away from me.

So I made the jump. I leaped, without knowing if anything would catch me. It turned out to be better than I expected, more wholesome and full of soul than I would have ever imagined.

When I look back on the trip, it was a whirlwind of beautiful moments all strung together. I met some really incredible people including two photographers that taught me so much about shooting and capturing moments.

It was one of those moments that I knew I was supposed to be right there, right here, right now and being with someone that means so much to me.

I saw old friends, made new ones, and listened to fantastic stories. I also ate really, really good food.
The last day we were there, I had some time to myself and I ran around taking photos, because I knew thats what made me happiest.

It's incredible, finding little pieces of your soul in places you never thought you would.

Do something that scares you. Just do it. Tell someone you love them everyday. Love to the brim of your heart and even more. Forgive somebody.
I'm realizing life is way too short to not do something you love.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

CA Trip Update

So I wake up every morning to eat a bowl of Organic vanilla yogurt, raisin bran granola with fresh raspberries on top. I can sit outside and let my feet bask in the sun and I think about life and love and happiness and missing people.

I'm missing some people right now. It's odd to be around these people for so long and then have them immediately go on separate adventures in different places around the world for a couple months. I know we are all doing good things but I can't seem but to miss their presence.

I guess more than most, right now I'm missing my uncle. This is the whole reason I took this trip. I wanted to find little pieces of my soul and I guess I have. The more I've tried to look I've found I've just gotten frustrated with not finding what I expected. So I dropped the expectations, I sat back, and experiences just fell into my lap.

So far:
1. I have flown in an airplane, and out of panic because of turbulence, I passed out. I am able to laugh at myself now, but at the time, it wasn't funny at all.
2. I went to the beach and let my soul spin in circles with the waves. Parts of my hair turned into curls and I dug my feet in the sand.
3. I went to the North Face headquarters and I talked about sustainability with fantastic people who are making a difference.
4. I went sailing under the Golden Gate bridge while the sky turned into a shiny gold and brought out the layers of the hills in the distance. I also shook in my boots while the boat turned sideways and the captain assured me that the sailboat wouldn't flip. And then we sailed sideways for awhile. We shared homemade guacamole and chips while gazing at the San Fransisco skyline, sailed to a restraunt for dinner and then sailed home, while one by one the lights of the city started to shine.
5. I bought a new Patagonia dress and got my toenails painted the orange color in the flowers of the print, I sat and ate a dark chocolate raspberry bar with a cream soda by a river and next to giant redwood trees that made me feel like I was so tiny.
6. I saw a houseboat village, kayaked in the Bay and saw how a seal gets up on a dock (for being ridiculously fat, it wiggles it's way up without hands! it's crazy!)
7. I met and talked to a professional photographer, geeked out to old cameras and lenses and watched bees fly around for an hour, trying to freeze them in time.

I am astounded by the magic that I am feeling constantly in this place. I wish I could share it with you, and hopefully my photographs will help with that a little bit more. I am loving so fully each day, and I am constantly amazed at the people I am meeting. Each one has such an incredible story.

Even though I passed out on the plane, I did enjoy the airport. I'm always so intrigued that the people you cross paths with there, those are people you probably would never meet anywhere else. I talked with a guy who was on a business trip from Germany, I heard a heavy conversation of a couple next to me who fought at the beginning of the plane ride and then made up at the end. I watched parents adore their children and a couple that just come back from a honeymoon that were so caught up in each other it made my heart grin.

I know this post hasn't been organized at all, but I like it like that. I think that this entire trip has been good so far and I have been having such an incredible time. Tomorrow we are headed to San Fransisco and then the next day to Yosemite. I'm starting to gather all the parts of me that are brave. I'm trying.

In the mean time, I miss you and hope you are out on an adventure of your own.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's a funny thing.

How a sliver of hope, so small, can hold so much power over you.

It grabs you back when you are doubting and says "wait, look at me, I'm important. Hold on to me."

And it is incredible that even though that hope is just a sliver and a fraction of a piece of something, it can hold you for so long.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

it's may!

this song makes me want to love uncontrollably. It makes me want to curl up and read a dusty book that speaks to your soul and it makes me understand what is good in the world.

Things have been rapidly changing here. For one, the weather has been very bipolar and hasn't made up it's mind whether it wants to cry, or to freeze your toes off, or occasionally, if it wants you to have decent t-shirt weather.

I guess summer will come soon enough. In speaking of summer, it reminds me of how things have been going lately. Summer means school is almost over, I'm moving houses, and I'm loving as much as my heart can take.

All this means so much change. This house that I am in right now has held me together for a year of ups and downs. Living here with 4 other girls has provided so many memories in this orange box of a room. And now, moving onto a new chapter, I am trying to adjust to the new place. It's a basement, which means little sunlight, and I apologize in advance if I complain about that too much. But it is a change.

I guess I feel like I am scrambling to hold on to anything consistent right now. With all the change, everything is new and I am searching high and low to find something comfortable. So far, it has been my puppy and my camera. Those are the only two things that I know will not leave my side.

Cleaning out my room has also brought up so many more questions like, "how did this get here??", "where on earth am I going to place this in the new house?" and, "how long has this spoon been behind this bookshelf...?" so until I answer those questions here are some photos:

keep looking forward.

I keep waiting for you to come home.

remember what I did for lent? your name is in this jar.

all that is left of my room.

I got a rose the other day.
this made me grin so big.

the last days.