Travel More, Worry Less (February 2017)

Well it’s officially March and I still have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve been drinking a lot with friends (but with friends it’s not a problem right?), traveling a lot, attempting to figure out what I’m doing for the future (whether I should get a cardboard box or build my street shelter out of wooden planks), and wallowing over the fact that our educational system is kind of ridiculous. lol lawl crying smiling rolling on the floor

Well it’s officially March and life is wonderful! Well it’s wonderful and confusing (see above), frustrating but not frustrating at all when keeping in mind the privilege, the opportunity, and the freedoms and joys myself and my friends are all able to share.

The university is still as wonderful as ever – I rarely find myself upset here, mostly just in awe of how Isla Vista is literally, genuinely the happiest place on earth (okay that’s a cheesy claim that I usually cringe at but, come on, have you seen this place?).

Ocean, friends, being young, being in class and hating it, contemplating the future, etc. etc. has been this past month at UCSB. Shoutout to all of my incredible friends for being incredible.

It’s funny because once you’re a senior, all of the conversations shift from varying topics in conversation to talking about life and the future. And I’m talking about every conversation ever – sitting and talking, drinking and talking, partying and talking (when you aren’t busy dancing).

It’s kind of amazing, just to talk about life with your friends. Because we’re that old now (hah a ha ha hahahhahHAHA… oh fuck). But really, it’s hilarious and weird and crazy to think that we’re going through “that” time – the young adult-crisis-what-is-going-on time after you graduate college.

But I wouldn’t call it a “crisis”, that’s really an over exaggeration. It’s more like when your friends surprise you for your birthday and you don’t know what’s happening, so you start hyperventilating because you’re excited but still not really sure what’s going on. And then either they throw you the most amazing surprise party in the world or drop you off blindfolded at Applebee’s and drive away, leaving you, forever (that never happened to me I promise I’m just kind of on a creative roll here).

You see, of course it’s scary, but there’s more to it than just that – it’s also exciting. I’d say a good 30-70 ratio.

Maybe 70-30 if I start thinking about the possibility of me moving home with no job and only my old stuffed animals to talk to……. But we won’t go there. If you want scary then go see that new movie “Get Up”. Or was it “Get In”? Oh GET OUT of here and stop pestering me you can google it yourself.

^^^ See what I did there? No? That’s okay that’s like half of the jokes I make to my friends.

Anyways, what was I talking about? Right: How they should stop making tons of small chicken nuggets and start making single huge chicken nuggets that can be eaten like pizza pockets. Oh wait sorry different person.

RIGHT this past month, it was great. I drove home during the week earlier in the month to visit Davis & the fam, and then my grandma in San Jose. Family is special, what can I say, every time I’m with them I feel 100% entitled to do nothing productive and just enjoy myself. That is amazing. In fact, that is why I am going to have kids (if not for other reasons), so that I can spend 18 years doing a lot and then the 40-50 years after that doing nothing.

“Dad can you get the door? The Simone’s are here and we still have to finish the turkey and marinate the salmon, and then organize the table. Can someone put on music? Can you tell someone to grab plates from the garage?”

“Raven Symone? Haven’t heard from her in ages. Sorry, I’m contemplating the double-meaning behind Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. They found what they were searching for, but did they find themselves? I think I’m almost at the answer.”

“F**K Teresa take the lighter away from your grandpa.”

Anyways, later in the month I also took ~2 weeks off to spend time with my cousin and experience the incredible, bucket-list festival (Mardi Gras) in a bucket-list place (New Orleans, Louisiana).

Short summary: Warm weather, lots of culture, really interesting houses and urban life, great people (shoutout to Olivia & her friends), lots of drinks, amazing southern food, lots of parades and beads thrown everywhere, lots of inside jokes with Tenaya, Olivia, Zach, and others, straight-up just fun.

And lots of uncontrollable laughter. Lots of walking to and from the parade, bouncing to Chance on Ari’s speakers. Lots of laughing at ourselves for being trash people and sustaining the hype for 5 days at all hours. Highlight: Having the sun begin to set as a parade marched through for ~15 straight minutes with boxes on boxes on boxes of wine. And drinking that wine.

Tenaya and I somehow managed to survive, with the help of Mardi Gras pro Olivia (who so-amazingly let us stay at her place). After suffering through the aftermath at the airport, we managed to make it home to California, spent a day resting at Tenaya’s house in Pasadena, and then got back on the road to San Diego.

San Diego was awesome, especially Ballast Point brewery.

After visiting San Diego we returned to Pasadena for Sharon (our cousin’s) baby shower, equating to seeing family, eating great food, and playing with adorable younger cousins.

Needless to say, I was gone from UCSB for a long time given I’m still a student. That’s the luxury of being down for pretty much anything, having no self control when it comes to travel, and having only one real class (the rest of my units are for honors research – a lot of work, but not necessarily on campus).

What did I learn this month? Well, that life is confusing when you are about to graduate. That having fun can feel guilty even if you are 100% on top of everything, and that you can always feel like you should be doing more.

Also, I might get my first B in college ever, which I am honestly really stoked for. I’ve held onto my 3.94 for so long, fought for it, spent long endless nights over it, when in reality “all A’s” means nothing. Nothing. It does not reflect intelligence or professional capability. I always knew this from the beginning, but I originally planned to go to graduate school for neuroscience, whereby a higher G.P.A. is golden. Well, now I would rather die (not really but you get the point) than go to graduate school for psychology or neuroscience. So why should I continue to put my energy into things I no longer believe in?

In my point of view, G.P.A. hardly reflects anything aside for the strong work ethic, which can be reflected by a million other things as well. I always found it funny when people would flaunt their G.P.A.’s and expect others to pay their admirations – yes, it is something to be proud of, but not everyone values academic success. I honestly don’t. I value creative success far more than academic success, because that’s what I believe moves our world in the most influential directions.

And don’t get me started on the educational system itself, that values students SOLELY on academic success (which is not realistic at all). I could rant on for hours about this – for kids to go straight from high school to deciding what they want to study for four years, to institutions expecting students to care about what they decided to study four years back. That’s ridiculous.

There is not enough creative room for students to breathe at universities in the United States – first of all, majors should not be a thing for most students. An emphasis of study? Sure, but to require certain classes that are more often than not, completely irrelevant to student interests or career plans due to a single decision you made as an 18 year old? That’s absurd. I think the statistics showing that most people do not end up pursuing careers in their field of study supports this.

But, we won’t continue with that. Let me just say that and say that for everyone to hear: I am not a big fan of our educational institutions.

However, I still appreciate them, and the fact that I am able to receive an education in the first place. Above all, these are all privileged complaints I am able to make. There are much larger and more important fights to fight, just food for thought that a creative reform of our educational institutions would do us some good.

Anywho – life is good. Life is great. Just a bit confusing.

If only Google had legitimate problem-solving answers to:

How do I figure out my life? How do I get a job? How do I get a career? How do I get a job I’ll be happy in? How do I make a difference? How do I fight for social causes and still make money? How do I follow my passion and still make money? How do I do anything? Who am I? What is that? What are those (what are thooooooose)?

Happy living and question-asking everyone.

At least we have the brilliant fact that we all live and ask these questions together.

That brilliance will never let anything get too dark, no matter how confusing!

Love,

T


Feb r u a r y  🗣

Week 1

  • Ashley bringing me a smoothie the second day of being sick, walking to Dogshit and finding Alex & Olivia on a weekday, laying down and talking, laying till sunrise
  • Waking up at 4AM because I couldn’t sleep, watching Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, studying with Jack at the Music Lib & talking about my self concerns about activism, taking a 3 hour nap hahaha, making dinner with Mon, Maya, & Ben… Hanging out with the house after they got back from PMH, love them all so much
  • Doing work with Aaron on the couch… Visiting Shauna at Java before she gets her tattoo, picking up Hannah to drive to Monterey & then driving back to go with Jack’s car instead lawl… Driving to Monterey with Jack, Ben, & Han :), the whole squad being back together!!! Katie! Brooke! Jeremy! Alex! Everyone! Partying and having a cuddle Orgy… Loving life and falling asleep in a King sized bed w/ Ben & Brooke
  • Waking up early and going downstairs and waking up Jack, taking edibles with Jack, getting way too high while watching Finding Dory, trying to give Katie her breakfast eggs and just being too high, hiking at Point Lobos (7 mile loop) and sobering up along the way, otters!!! 🙂 so so so beautiful… Going back home and taking a group nap for 2 hours… Waking up and going to Thai for dinner :))) Wong Kee deja vu (back in Kiruna, Sweden)… Partying and playing TRUE AMERICAN! Human highway, doggy door, everyone being together, I love love love everyone, falling asleep in a bed with Han & Jack like in Way Out West
  • Going to Monterey Bay Aquarium, just like traveling abroad again altogether! Eating lunch on the beach… Long long rainy drive home with Jeremy, Han, & Sunna 🙂 stopping at McDonalds and elsewhere, so peaceful and with the peeps I love, could drive forever

Week 2

  • Meeting Jack at the music library, sitting next to Sunna for our midterm and chatting before, killing the Psych midterm (or so I think), talking to Halley, watching Parenthood
  • Driving home on a whim to Davis, seeing the fam and spending time with Mom before she goes to Hawaii, sweets + TV + unwinding
  • Thai food with Aaron & Dad, hanging out with Dad, going over to Halley’s and seeing her and her friend + beer + wine, going downtown in Davis and sneaking into a bar to avoid the cover charge… Davis ain’t lit I’m so blessed to go to UCSB and live in IV
  • Driving down to see Ah-mah, grabbing lunch with Susie and Ah-mah, dinner with Adrienne and Leslie
  • Visiting the Buddhist temple in San Jose with Ah-mah and then enjoying a lunch of Chinese tea cakes at home… driving back down to UCSB and meeting friends @ the firestone brewery on the way
  • Studying with Olive & talking about our futures, life, how you even get a career, etc., sun shining with blue skies, seeing Shau shortly and getting a Polaroid with Meg

Week 3

  • Walking with Hannah, grabbing Rebecca and walking down sands stopping by Olive’s, going back home and talking about the future and how life was abroad… Watching the sunset with Hannah & Ashley, seeing Loy & Nug, seeing Meg’s V day set up for Drew! So cute :)… Getting tacos at On the Shore(?) with Shauna, Mals, Gabs, and others… Going to Monica’s VDAY party and seeing all the friends, talks with Paul, drinks with peeps, loving life
  • *I’ve been blessed with so many amazing people & could not be happier to be alive right now
  • Going on a run with Shau, ending up at the cliffs and talking and doing yoga, cartwheels, enjoying the amazing weather, the ocean is SO BEAUTIFUL… Listening to the Millennial podcast with Shau, picking up Ashley from school & going to Lizard’s Mouth for sunset, getting dinner at Kyle’s Kitchen… Going over to Hannah’s to study, making pancakes and laughing a lot :)… Getting home, watching TV & talking with Aaron about our IV video project, talking with Nug about friendships & the house, and about how we are all privileged with parents who support us and that we have opportunities to take risks and achieve high rewards (going for our careers), hanging out with Nug & Aaron and forming the 30+ things group (doing 30 things consecutively that put yourself out there/are fun and crazy), staying up till 2 watching Game of Thrones
  • *Nug helped me out today, discussing how to get started with a competitive career – go to businesses and offer them deals they can’t turn down. I’m so blessed to have such awesome friends that make me laugh, keep me inspired, and give me joy. Met Nug & Loy this year and I’m so happy I did
  • Drinking coffee and feeling SO GOOD hahaha, going to Whethan… such a good concert, debauchery with getting a parking ticket and alcohol for Shauna with Maia and then Shauna just not meeting up with us, going on bills bus and finding Mals/Gabs, bus breaking down, ubering with random peeps and listening to “All you ever talk about” on the way, dancing  CRAZY at EOS, holding up Connor, seeing Steve and lee and mike and everyone, seeing friends from Psych class (except for Duncan f me), walking Connor home / running in the rain with Connor and Collin
  • Going to the co op and then TJ’s with Shauna, drinking at Shauna’s and painting with Lee, Collin, Syd, going to PMH and seeing so many peeps (Alise, etc. + HILAY), going to Woodstocks & spending time with Jack & Ashley
  • Studying with Ash/Mai, taking a snack break with Ashley and feeling better after an episode of mindlessness “fuck college what have I been doing the past 4 years”… Walking down to sands with Ashley in the cold wind (but awesome sun and blue skies!), dancing/skipping to music, looking at the gnarly waves… Going over and seeing Shauna… Cooking dinner for Grace and j chilling, pregaming with Jack & Grace and talking (about life, jobs, movies) while listening to jazz, going to Olive’s party, spending time with good and great friends… Getting home & talking to Nug about friendships, life, real living (which we f**ing rock at)
  • Studying with Jack for a bit, going to Whole Foods & treating ourselves (F Whole Foods though way too expensive), hot tubbing with Maia and running into the ocean and back again… Going over to Olive’s and enjoying high alcohol kombucha, talking for days until 2:00AM about life and everything

Week 4

  • Studying for a bit then watching Steve Aoki’s documentary and being PUMPED for life, going wine tasting on the pier with Nug & Jack, grabbing beers, talking about life and pursuing what we want… Nug convincing me to take risks and live the life we were given (I think I’m moving to Copenhagen wow)… Making the group presentation for Psych 120L with Duncan 🙂 Hannah, David, and Kelly, talking about life and the future… Staying up till 3:00AM helping Duncan with his paper… Ahh
  • Killing the Psych presentation & being weird in class, going to yoga with Shauna
  • Driving to Pasadena & chilling with Tenaya before leaving for MARDI GRAS the next day
  • Getting into New Orleans and driving to Olivia’s, being Astounded at the beauty of New Orleans, going straight to the parades and getting turnt with FREE SOUTHERN FOOD AND ALL THE ALCOHOL / KEG provided by the band… getting so turnt.. taking care of Tenaya on the way home, eating amazing Rally’s / seeing the two men with dogs in their house chilling and talking to them wow attractive people
  • Waking up and then going to grab poi boy’s (sandwiches) because Tenaya was destroyed, spending time at the park on the Mississippi River and j chillin’ with music and yoga, going back and heading to the parade at night, being dead and eating crepes with Tenaya and spending time in dual misery… Honestly this is amazing and I’m so thankful to experience this even if my friends are the best and these aren’t really my peeps (except for some)… Suffering through loud sex what the actual fuck, laughing my ass off with Tenaya / her playing music while they bang 😂😂😂
  • Waking up to mimosas and going to the parade, drinking beers on the way / taking to ARI about architecture, drinking more and LOVING LIFE wow MARDIS Gras in the day is awesome, getting turnt with Tenaya and dancing our asses off, getting Rally’s and then ubering to a different location, wandering into a house for jello shots/to use he bathroom… Seeing the most handsome and knee trembling dude with brown hair & facial hair & a girl with white hair who looked like Luna Lovegood… dancing and just looking them in the eye laughing, holding their hands while saying goodbye I AM IN LOVE AND WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR THEM wow… and then going to eat dinner and eating DANK vegetarian nachos, playing chance the rapper beats to myself on our walk home
  • Waking up and going to the parade, getting a lil turnt / getting more turnt / getting lunch (Zach is hilarious, so savage with the drinking just like me & my friends), THE WINE PARADE WOW…… drinking so much wine second after second and getting turnt, hanging out with Tenaya (ball to the eye LOL it’s funny now, then going to the bathroom).. Going back to the bathroom spot to get Ari’s hat that I threw thinking it was a THOTH hat 😂💩… Grabbing dank Halal Guy’s food and nomming down so hard
  • Waking up and starting the HYPE, but everyone being dead so the hype equating to playing a couple beer games then going to the French Quarter, grime & people & life, reminds me of traveling in Europe (walking around seeing things), grabbing a mufaletta sandwich and nomming down in the park, grabbing Hurricanes at the bar and starting the hype, walking around the quarter, grabbing beers/beignets/Jimmy John’s sandwiches and heading to the parade with our feet pretty much falling off, delusional, our bodies destroyed… But rally, making a black pact + grabbing wine + more beer at Rite Aid and turning up with the NOLA fam (Zach, Olivia, Jessie, Blue, Kaitlyn, etc.), talking to Tenaya about how savage we are with our college friends, etc, etc
  • *SUCH an amazing trip, but it did make me miss being with my friends at UCSB – at the same time though, it was another reminder about how easily you can befriend almost anyone after a couple of days, even if they aren’t your “people”
  • Drinking more and more and more, passing the beee around, dancing like crazy to get beads from the floats… Heading to the club, arriving and seeing peeps dancing on two buses in the middle of a lawn, grabbing more wine at the Walgreens nearby & dancing with/meeting random people, going into the club and dancing some more… Eating hot cheetos with Olivia, finally heading home, eating bagels and a ton of other shit – Olivia dropping her bagel on the floor (cream cheese side down) & eating it, me spilling everything and making a puddle of water underneath me… Oh the savagery
  • Waking up dead to the NOLA squad, grabbing breakfast w/ Zach, Olivia, and Tenaya and being wretched messes, then grabbing ice cream l o l, chilling with Parks & Rec before our flight, saying our goodbyes and then suffering in the airport with Tenaya… “Me: I hate it when people spell things wrong, like that Big Eazy… Tenaya: That’s the Big Eazy for New Orleans, that’s what it’s called… Me: Oh… Tenaya: I hate it when people are ignorant LOLOL” “Tenaya: I like your shirt (to random person who doesn’t hear), Me: I’ve been wearing this all day… Tenaya: LOL not you asshole”… Getting back to Pasadena dead
  • *Mardi Gras is amazing and I am so, so, so glad I went with my cousin and Olivia and her friends, what a time, how wonderful it is to be young, and to celebrate – so happy to have such an amazing cousin in my life
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Moments made of people and places, brilliant and ordinary. ↹ Planet Earth, Milky Way

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