Finding Joy On The Road (November 2016)

Time flies by like roadside details when you’re gazing out of a moving car.

It’s currently the week of exams – people focused, up early, at the library, and absorbing loads of meticulous information. Soon we’ll all be heading home for the holidays and the last fall quarter of our senior years will be complete. I’m not quite sure how that all went by so fast, and I can’t anticipate how fast these next two quarters will fly by as well.

The days are breezy, the skies blue, Isla Vista is as beautiful and perfect as it always is.

It’s difficult imagining not having this place to call home next year – to not live with the ocean as our backyard, with friends a few seconds walk away, with the hustle and bustle of motivated, dedicated students and the mellow, loving culture of bright-minded, balance-skilled surfers and kids-at-heart.

I love our school. I’ve been studying on campus a lot more, spending more time around IV and the actual buildings and facilities at UCSB, 1) because this place is phenomenal and 2) because with the approaching nostalgia that will set in after graduation, everything you’re used to begins to seem new again.

The featured photo is a photo I took while studying abroad, one of the most phenomenal years of my life that found its way into my thoughts this past month. I am filled with joy every day living here in Isla Vista, attending UCSB. But I also have an eager exuberance to live abroad again – to live in a big city like New York or San Francisco – to pursue avenues and ideas that aren’t limited to the academic world. Though that world is important, and I am still grinding accordingly (no worries old-fashioners).

I’ve been studying a lot for my Diffuse Neurocellular Systems course – learning a great deal about the new breakthrough developments in neuroscience and emerging frameworks for molecular systems. It’s fascinating, and I’m glad I got the chance to study this field. It’s not what I want to be doing 24/7 in the future, but I’m grateful to have had the academic opportunities to live a part of that life solely through dedicating my time to the research, information, and applications as a student.

A lot of the courses we take at the university, the in depth and rigorous work, research, and lessons involved, it all connects dots in our brains and expands our cognitive horizons. Whether it is exactly what we are interested in pursuing for a future career, or completely unrelated, it is a growing and stimulating experience for our brains.

I continue to be astounded by my friends, my family, and the joy that flourishes off of each and every interaction with them. The new layers of personality and thought you find through conversation and shared experiences – even with people you’ve known for a long time. The inspirations sparked by your peers that motivate you to pursue everything you aspire to, and to live every day in confidence knowing that they’ll be pursuing dreams of their own right alongside you.

It’s a phenomenal experience, the university. A phenomenal place.

I guess everything is kind of phenomenal, looking at it after living it.

Christmas is in less than 30 days and, well, that’s awesome. I’ll also be going to Japan for an ambassador program in a little less than a week (and fully paid!).

Cheers to the chilly weather and warm holiday vibes.


Nov e m b e r 🗣

🙂

  • Talking to Mika after class about life stuff, telling her I’m leaving H&W… Biking to Goleta library and realizing I don’t like spending my time biking to a place with non-college students… Getting home & playing music & hanging up photos from abroad
  • Studying with Olive & Han at the library… Getting home to drunk Drew & up Loy
  • Having a good productive day at school & work, telling Jo that I am deciding to leave Health & Wellness, all the support from the best team in the world to take care of myself & prioritize what I care about… Hannah sending savage Halloween texts to the abroad group… Meeting w/ Dr. Kim and feeling good, supported, appreciated… Going to the beach with Mika before H&W meeting… Meeting full of great people… Going to Olivia’s and chilling in the fam room with her friends, Jack, and Jackie, talking about life and science and how crazy this world is, how crazy families and kids are, how crazy life is 🙂
  • Having an awesome morning doing work and listening to music, readying for H&W with Lillian and helpful staff, going to the beach with Maia and walking into the shallow ocean, seeing all the sand sharks swim around… Seeing the sunset with house fam, AMAZING sunset, seeing Sam! Poke for dinner… Hanging with Drew & Meg/doing work/watching New Girl 🙂 having good talks with Drew about life, dedicating yourself to your passions, putting yourself out there, confirmation of what I’ve been thinking about this past month, motivation to pursue my dreams & attend to myself… IV Outreach… Savage Henry concert & running into so many friends (David, Aaron…)
  • Waking up & biking around (forgetting the Rec Cen opens at 9 not 8), getting back home and doing some work, sending off the house to the library… Going to Java Station w/ Paul, Sam, & Mai, studying… Hiking the wind caves with Paul, Sam, Mai, & Connor and staying for sunset… Watching New Girl with Nug… Going with Sam & Shau to Mellowgrass concert… Meeting up with Mika & going to Julian’s birthday party, eating cake, going back to Mellowgrass
  • Biking with Sam around campus… Going with Ash to the library and grinding, Shauna finding us + Collin + Mals… Sunset painting with Ash at Knapps Castle, absolutely beautiful, city lights on the way back, meeting new peeps through Excursion… Getting home, calling home, watching New Girl & doing some stuff
  • Waking up and going to the gym… Making bomb egg & sausage & quesadilla breakfast, good morning!… Easy work shift at the SRB Wellness Center, spread joy… Going shopping and then sending in Princeton in Asia materials at the UPS office, where I last sent in my study abroad materials for Sweden, seeing the same lady and her being friendly and excited about the fellowship program, driving off listening to Goobledigook, a song I might be listening to in Africa or Asia next year! Seeing birds flock above the trees on the way back to IV… Seeing Paul driving in IV and waving hello… Happy happy happy day :)… Sunset hot tubbing with Kat, Sean, and Loy… Starting to learn Apple Motion… SAUSAGE PARTY MOVIE NIGHT
  • Happy days… Voting for Hillary in the first presidential election I can vote in… Studying with Mika… Grabbing a Co-op sandwich and meeting Jack, Han, & Olive at Freebs, then going to Woodstocks for the election coverage, beer and beer and beer + cinnabread… Depression and mania, going to Olive’s to finish the election coverage, drinking beers and watching it on the projector… Sad, sad, sad, but everyone is together, everyone is unified by this tragic time known as Donald Trump’s fucking presidential election… The whole world is watching… Getting home, staying up, writing
  • What happened yesterday? Jesus… Attending the rally at Storke tower, hearing students speak… Organizing meeting spaces for Students Organize 4 Syria… Walking with Meg around IV and to the beach, playing with dogs, seeing old friend from Freshman year (Natalie) painting, IV is magical, IV is ours, America is ours… Sorting out my thoughts, realizing that this is an opportunity for intense involvement in the history we are making and the world we are living in… Meeting up with Katie and watching the sunset with beer on the deck, all the way to moonrise, beautiful place we live in, beautiful friends I have, beautiful life I have that I will always, ALWAYS fight for
  • Saying bye to house fam before the road trip, sleeping over at shauna’s, making really nasty chili soup
  • Waking up at 4 in the morning, diving through four states, nothing Nevada, stopping in Las Vegas and being amazed and then having terrible Bloody Mary’s… Stopping at a store for water (in Utah!) and seeing an Amish person (maybe?)… Reaching Zion and walking around the river walk, stoked off nature… Driving at night to an empty area, setting up camp, waiting for Kev… KEVIN! Meeting Emily, everything being the same, planning our day in Zion… Falling asleep while Kev & Em grabbed pizza for dinner, waking up to a slice of pizza
  • Waking up at 5 in the morning to go on a sunset hike, seeing the bright and visible stars, driving around Zion and seeing the mountains go from dark to light… AMAZING HIKES and views… Saying bye to Ke & Em… Walking through the narrows barefoot lawl… Driving to Bryce, eggplant + bread + chips + chocolate + wine for dinner, camping in the freezing cold
  • BRYCE CANYON so dope, ANTELOPE CANYON with a hilarious tour guide girl… Driving to Moab in fear of the deer, Denny’s, wine & a dope Motel 6 experience
  • Arches hike 👍… Bomb Thai food in dope Flagstaff, AZ, finding other places in the U.S. to explore, subpar Days Inn experience and becoming the motel people that others judge lawl
  • Getting back home after the Utah road trip, what a wonderful house!
  • Pint night at Woodstocks with Olive & Jack & Jackie & friends, seeing Paul & Connor
  • Getting home after a day at school and napping!… Waking up to Meg and Drew chilling in the fam room… Hanging out & putting on a Christmas movie, walking on the beach with Meg & Jack, painting… Going to the premiere of FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, AMAZING!!!
  • “Running” to the beach and among the cliffs, walking by the golf course plains… Grocery shopping at TJ’s with Rebecca for Hannah’s friendsgiving, making quesadillas while Becs watches New Girl… Ben stopping by and Jeremy coming after, heading over to friendsgiving together… FRIENDSGIVING SO MANY FRIENDS SO MUCH GIVING Hannah did an amazing job, awesome people and so many mutual great faces :)… Squad back together, going to Sven’s and then Katie’s ABBA party… Quality time together with Alex & Ben & Jerms & everyone
  • Hanging out with Hannah & watching a terrible Christmas movie and then stand up, eating pie… 🙂
  • GREAT NIGHT OF SLEEP, going to the gym and seeing Kira… Doing work in the cold house with IV feeling like Christmas… Making brownies and painting with Grace
  • Heading out to Pasadena before going home for thanksgiving, saying by to Loy & Drew… Watching the waves break beneath our balcony before the drive! :)… Going to the Getty museum with Tenaya, driving through TOPANGA to get to the observatory, watching the sun set and the night lights rise above LA… Having dinner with Mary & Tenaya… Meeting Tenaya’s friend from college and driving in his amazing car (BMW X3), hanging out at his brother’s new, ridiculously nice apartment and playing arcade games/watching movies
  • Breakfast with Mary & Tenaya, stopping at Pacheco State Park and taking pictures on the way to Ah-mah’s… Dinner with Ah-mah, Suzie, & Pearl before driving home… Getting home to Dad, Aaron, and Mom, Mom watching “This is Us” in bed
  • Morning gym at ARC… Haircut from Sun… Prepping and marinating the turkey and pork with Ah-mah… Rachel, Kev, and Kian coming over for a sunset hot tub session but the hot tub being cold hahaha, sitting and talking for an hour with our feet in the tub, Kev staying a bit and hanging out in my room like old times… Going out to Ian’s with EVERYONE, pregaming before downtown, seeing Alex & Kylie & Chris &a Lee, etc., Ian’s mom giving us scones, running to Joe’s house and Joe’s dad awkwardly giving us a ride to downtown Davis… Seeing Michael Chen, and literally everyone from high school, catching Nate into the way into the bar… Fun times but wow also weird, definitely at the point where HS is the past (and isn’t necessary to be relived)
  • Waking up to Ah-mah & Dad watching the Thanksgiving parade, talking, and Mom cooking and prepping for the big dinner… I love our family… Running with Shauna around the roads and into the walnut tree fields, playing funk music while running, going to Ian’s to grab my car… Being home in my room doing work, so quiet and calm… Thanksgiving with the family! Amazing dinner and seeing Marissa after a year of living in Australia, Miles who is still living in L.A., and Auntie Sharon and Uncle Alan (Alan talking about jazz as usual haha, and all the records he collects, everyone is into using their phones for pictures now!)
  • Waking up to a foggy cold Davis morning, doing some work and sorting things out… Spa + wine :)… Fam call (Alex, Han, Olive, Rebecca)… Hanging out at home
  • Revising goals and lifestyle, getting back into meditation… Being with Ah-mah and having dinner with her, using the massage chair
  • Breakfast with Ah-mah, I love my grandma and family… Sunset on balcony after the long drive back to IV… Library with Jack and Hannah, seeing Olive and Jackie, watching funny dog videos
  • Morning with the whole house fam up… Studying with Mika & her friends for Diffuse Neurocellular Systems… Walking on the beach at sunset and meeting Jack… Talking to grandma and sending off the house for the LAX Christmas party… Seeing Halley, Sunna, and HENRIK!!! Hanging out at my house, catching up, smiling 🙂 I love friends from all around the world, best friends, great friends… Nug, Drew, and Sean watching TV before going to bed
  • Waking up and lifting for the first time in a while… Walking through sunny, blue IV and grabbing Bagel Cafe for breakfast with Halley & Henrik, so stoked they are here! And so excited for the weekend! :)… Studying, having a good interview with the ONDAS center… Studying at the music lib… Getting groceries w/ Rebecca… Studying at the lib with Han and Olive
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Moments made of people and places, brilliant and ordinary. ↹ Planet Earth, Milky Way

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