Grind (September 2016)

Given that it’s mid-October, I’m a bit overdue with the recap of the past month. But since my audience consists of the entire world minus the entire world plus my mom, maybe my dad, and the occasional random passerby on the internet, I’ll cut myself some slack.

And if all of you fans weren’t aware, or sorry, Mom if I forgot to tell you over the phone, I’ll be reflecting on each month in a separate post. Simply because I don’t think my brain next year, let a lone in 70 years, has the capacity to store every experience I find special. And because there is so much that is special.

I’ve been writing down notes of the things I’ve been doing every day that make me wake up and go to bed with a smile – and all of those minuscule details will be included at the end of each “month reflection” post.

Well, to start, September was awesome, silly, a big wake-up call to how much I love living in Isla Vista, going to school at UCSB, and calling California home – things I didn’t think about too much when I was abroad.

After getting back from my last trip – a week and a half in Hawaii with my grandma and brother, the finale to a slew of activities and excursions that started as soon as I landed back in the U.S., I spent a solid week at home. Packing, sleeping, catching up with the few friends that were home, and loving every minute with my whacky but well-rounded family.

Then I made the drive down to Isla Vista.

Home. Life. What I had been waiting for for so long without even realizing it.

And it felt amazing to be back. It feels amazing to be back.

The last weeks of summer were spent with my two great friends Meghan and Jack, and then the rest of the community trickled back in for the start of the school year.

Including my friendly, funny, happy house full of delightful people. People I’m glad I can call my friends, as well as my housemates. A house I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave. June 2017 what is that? Heard it was a myth.

P.S. We have a SpongeBob couch bed.

I really can’t express how much gratitude I feel to be able to live in this golden treasure of a community. Our school is outstanding – the classes are interesting, challenging, thought-provoking. Our student body is awesome – friendly, open, bright-minded, energetic, driven. Our streets filled with houses full of college students is a world wonder – full of social butterflies, red cups, and the motion and life of a party or sober dance session every morning, day, and night.

The beach rolls in a few steps away from our window.

The skies run blue 80-90% of the time.

The smiles extend from one block to the other, all the way down Del Playa and all across IV.

And I don’t mean to be overkill, this is just how it feels to be back. How things look now. There’s less than a year left in this paradise and I hope to milk every last second of it.

I’ve been seeing the sunset almost every day – spending time outside every day – getting into the routine of things with enjoyment and fulfillment as a priority.

There is a lot going on back at UCSB – work, school, service projects, personal projects, making sure I never ignore the fact that we live in paradise. But it’s the perfect blend of busy and happy.

To sum it up, life is great back at home. I’m lucky and hope to never forget that.

Sept e m b e r 🗣


  • Returning to IV to Meghan & Jack & Shauna… Popping champagne with Meg… Drinking & unpacking with Meg
  • Forcing Meghan, Jack, and Ash to drink and light sparklers with me…
  • Going to beach & merry-go-round & happy hour with M&J
  • Hiking the gaviota wind caves with Ash, Meg, & Jack… Cooking cauliflower rice dinner with Jack & Meg, going to the beach, going to Costco with Meg & making smoothies… Hahaha going downtown on Bill’s Bus & getting lit by ourselves, making it to two places tops
  • Catching up with Ben on his dope balcony
  • “Studying” with Jack & Meghan @ PMH… Short Goleta beach stop
  • House full of good people
  • Andrew returns!… Pho with Andrew & friend Brandon… Trivia night with Andrew, Grace, Shauna, Connor, & friends
  • HEALTH AND WELLNESS TRAINING THIS ORGANIZATION IS DOPE, prompted to think of everyone I can confide in and wow, it’s a lot of people, I’m very lucky
  • Lily’s tacos with Andrew & Meg… Seeing Paul & Monica & Evan & Connor & Denley at Paul’s place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So much love
  • I love H&W – the values for positive body image, living in balance, connection and so forth are extremely relevant
  • Walking with Gra to campus, talking with Grace, running into friendly faces (Imani)… RUNNING INTO CLOUGHESY!… PMH with the swedes and Sweden crew (WELCOME REBECCA!), brownies on deck with Rebecca and fam
  • Going out to Monica’s party after pregaming with H&W + Katie
  • Talks with Katie while moving out old furniture 🙂
  • Grace visiting – conversation & time with G, S, & M… Volleyball with Grace & Ben + friends… Going out to Connor’s place & stopping by Ben’s with everyone
  • Watching Kimmy Schmidt for hours with G, S, M… Seal preserve with Maia & Grace… J chilling & talking then introducing smoker Grace to Hannah & Freddy
  • Working out @ Shauna’s gym hahahaha; making Shauna’s fucking IKEA bed for me
  • Taco Tuesday @ El Paseo with Hannah & Freddy & Ben & Rebecca… Talking to grace on the phone about her ridiculous work life @ Tobacco prevention, about life in general
  • H&W student life PEN training (diversity, issues on campus, freedom of speech, all campus services)… Movie night at Julian’s (H&W), Get Smart
  • Hiking wind caves with Katie… Going out with the Swedes & Katie downtown; Bill’s Bus, buying wine and beer for the Swedes to chug, dancing alllllll night
  • Being in IV… In college.. Youth. Driving with the windows down and music blasting. Driving in the town that we call home
  • CAMPING WITH HEALTH AND WELLNESS; beach time in Carpinteria, volleyball games, campfire with life stories and Maka playing guitar in the background… I work with amazing people, who share themselves and their thoughts, experiences, and vulnerabilities in the most loving and human ways… Beach time past midnight, sitting on the inflatable couch and playing coin toss, 10 fingers, sharing stories. These people are great
  • Waking up in a tent, underneath the trees & sun – excited to go back to IV; great, fun, best friends who make a family; life is good
  • HELPING DOM MOVE IN good to see him
  • I love Isla Vista. I love this place, I love this school… Life friends joy youth being ridiculous and loving everything
  • Walking around campus with Lillian for H&W work and running into different peeps (international friends I just met, Austin, Dom)… Meeting Aaron for the first time, helping him move in with Andrew… Seeing Olive & Alex… Going to Shauna’s friends’ place & then to her old house on Pasado… Heading home and hanging with Jack, Katie, Aaron, Ferg, Meg… Ferg playing goodnight beats. Goodnight!
  • Hiking with Andrew, Brandon, and Jack to the playgrounds… Seeing all the rocks, climbing all the rocks, jumping over sketchy spots and getting through them with teamwork, walking through the tight crevices, watching the sunset, making it back at dark… Drinking beer with Olive and Andrew, seeing Mals and Gabby outside my house! Going to Courtney’s place and seeing Justin, Sunna, & Courtney… Random parties with Ashley and good conversations walking on DP about each year at UCSB… Taking care of dead Meg with Drew until 4AM lolol
  • “Trail running” but then just Thai food with Shauna, driving past the sunset, around and around, lawl
  • Morning mimosa sunrise with a huge turnout! Seeing old friends, house bonding, Sweden crew, Eliana… Long first day of school & work… Coming home after a 12 hour day to Zootopia & everyone in Aaron’s room, going out to the Mediterranean place and playing 3 man… Walking to the beach at night, going into the caves 🙃
  • Tenaya visiting!!! Showing her all around IV & campus… Realizing how LUCKY I am to live this, and to be at UCSB… Going downtown & having lunch at Savoy Deli, going to the beach, being with the cuz… Hanging out at home with everyone & pregaming with Sean’s speakers… Going to Olive’s with the whole Sweden crew, watching all the helpless & idiot freshmen walk around, going to Ben’s and meeting peeps/cuz stealth puking after Snakeyes during 7-11… Going back home and enjoying so many snacks & fried rice & dumplings made by the bday boy Andrew himself… Playing 4 square before going to bed
  • Making the LandShark happen, pretending to have work in the morning, Ashley driving me and cuz to take care of keg and stuff beforehand, LANDSHARK, shenanigans with Maia & Tenaya running around downtown trying to get my phone, leaving a long ass voice message from Tenaya’s phone to the LandShark people (“I will tell all of UCSB your company sucks”) tripping and scraping my leg, going into CVS or something & getting band aids & antibiotic ointment, going back home… Waking up at 10pm, going to Ben’s, coming home & making veggies for all of us with Jeremy & Justine & Jocelyn
  • Being dead with Tenaya all day… Going to sands and walking up to the cliffs for sunset, seeing SO MANY friends on the walk to and from the beach… Nilesh & Ian… Getting Thai food for dinner and reminiscing about our childhood – the four of us (Tenaya, Sierra, Aaron, & me) sleeping in Aaron’s room, making music videos, making movies, being young & happy & ridiculous – thinking of being that young just makes me bellow
  • House fam, awesome vibes and goofing around… Fergie ferg
  • Shauna’s birthday dinner, cake and dessert, time with Shauna, Miranda, and everyone
  • Awesome H&W meeting with Mika and everyone on Thursday, finally ending an exhausting 12 hour day
  • Going out for Dom’s bday! Bill’s bus, clubs clubs clubs, Shauna and friends… Buffalo chicken fries with Mallory hahaha not sharing and going back to her place to eat lawl
  • Being productive the day after with the house, playing spike ball with fam (Aaron, Sean, Kat; Bridget & Sara joining)… Going on a sunset run then getting back and drinking with the fam + Jack

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Moments made of people and places, brilliant and ordinary. ↹ Planet Earth, Milky Way

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