Friday, August 26, 2011


Adjective: Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.

I love people. People are so awesome, in the original sense of the word.

Every single job I have ever had has been one that directly involved people and customer service. While at Jamba Juice, the regulars and I became good friends and while I blended their smoothies we'd laugh about life. As a State Parks employee, I conducted long-distance phone interviews with archaeologists, rangers, environmental specialists and directors. At A Cup of Tea, I was the happy waitress who brought customers pots of steaming tea and they'd share snippits of their day with me as I served their scones and lemon curd. And now at the ARC bookstore, I've spent the last five days literally surrounded by t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d-s of students.

I do really love people. I love hearing about their day, finding out about who they are, what they're passionate about, what their goals and frustrations are. People are fascinating; we're so incredibly similar and yet so breathtakingly different. The people we meet have so much potential to be forces of change, of strength, of power....and usually we don't even know it. I highly doubt C.S. Lewis' friends thought he would be a famous author. Nelson Mandela's boyhood friends probably had no idea he would be so great. Paul Farmer's siblings and parents certainly had no idea he'd make so much of a global difference. And how do I know my friends and peers won't grow up to be similarly incredible people. Just today, I may have shaken hands with the future president. I may have assisted the future leader of an influential NGO. I may have laughed with someone who will save another's life. I may have shared a conversation with the future's next Nobel Prize winner. You never know....and that's what makes people so amazing.

We are all unwritten stories. Our lives are just beginning and we have the entire world ahead of us. The potential and possibilities are overwhelming when you really stop to think about it.

It's awesome, really.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

7 Minutes

In seven short minutes I'll be able to sign on and register for classes at UC San Diego.

Now only six!!

I have a list of classes I either 1) am required to take, or 2) desperately want to enroll in. I love being an upperclassmen and being able to take fascinating classes like "Immigrant and Refugee Health" and "Making of the Modern World". These are classes that will stretch me, challenge me, inspire me, and I'm ridiculously excited.

Five more minutes. The clock has seldom been slower than now. I'm sitting in the ARC library, my "home" for the past three years, and I'm almost giddy with excitement. I'm surrounded by students, Junior College-ees who have been my friends and peers for countless semesters....but little do they know, I'm a UCer. And I'm floating.


I'm on pins and needles. Transfer students got to start registering yesterday, so I'm crossing my fingers, praying, hoping, that the classes aren't entirely full yet. Please let there still be seats in three minutes when I register. Oh please, please, please.

Registering for classes will probably be a mundane and regular event in my future life, but right now, as I prepare to register in UC CLASSES for the first time, I feel as though I'm on cloud 9.

One more minute. One dreadfully long minute. One unceasing minute. Ahhhhhh.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I'm not especially good "in the moment". It's always afterwards, driving home, that I play the conversation over in my head and think of all things I should have said. Wished I had said. Kicking myself I didn't say.

Sometimes it can be quite inconvenient you can't rewind time. Can I please just go back and live that moment again with a couple revisions? Please?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bon Voyage

The ARC bookstore was an exciting place to be today! Not only are more and more customers flocking through our doors, but today was the bon voyage party for the transfer students, a birthday party, and the last day for a good handful of my coworkers. We filled the office with colorful balloons and had the biggest potluck in bookstore history. The store was filled with our energy as we ate, laughed at old memories, assisted customers, spontaneously hugged each other, organized books, and reveled in our friendship.

Transferring is turning into a very bittersweet event. I'm incredibly excited to go to UC San Diego and I can't wait to be there, yet there's a part of my heart that is saddened daily. It's hard to say goodbye to dear friends who are also transferring out - almost daily I'm having to hug someone goodbye...not knowing when I'll see them again.
I'm going to miss my friends. After spending two years at ARC, I've developed a network of close friends; excitingly interesting people more like siblings than peers. We text at all hours of the day, joke together, communicate with our eyes, dance in the bookstore aisles, savor oreos together, turn 21 together, study together, experience life together....and
now we're all going our separate ways. I have friends leaving to UC Berkeley, UC Davis, University of Colorado, USC, Sac State, UC Santa Cruz, and Biola, to name a few campuses. It's going to be hard not having my friends a simple 5-minute drive away.
I'm going to miss my professors. I'm going to miss going to their dinner parties and listening to stories of grad school and dissertations. I'm going to miss crashing at their houses and talking about the randomest things for hours. I'm going to miss tromping around Sacramento at midnight working on photography projects and playing with lights. I'm going to miss their honesty and encouragement and hugs. One in particular I'm having a really hard time saying goodbye to....I'm subconsciously in denial.

It's an exciting, wonderful time in our lives and I know that more and more opportunities will open up for all of us. I'm just having a hard time saying goodbye. Our lives will never be the same again, we'll never be in this special place together again. We've spent a beautiful two years learning, struggling, growing, challenging each other, aspiring, applying, getting accepted into schools together and sharing in each other's outbursts of excitement, and loving each other. And now the saga continues and we go our separate ways. And in the whirlwind of excitement and packing and moving and new classes and new campuses and new faces...a little part of me can't help but look back with nostalgia.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Una Boda

My mom got married to a wonderful man.

I'm so happy for her.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel

I hardly know where to start.

I’m finally in bed at the Santa Barbara Hostel; a lovely place compared to the dumpy hotels in the area, a fact which surprised me. How often are the hostels better than the hotels? This place is spacious and colorful, with bright blue doors and huge world maps painted on the walls. The guy at the front counter is darling and overwhelmed, it’s been a busy day and customers keep showing up late into the night. He’s a student at SBSU and really just wants to sleep, but the Santa Barbara music festival is this week so he’s been up the last couple nights helping the drunk partiers back into their bunkbeds.

I have the strange feeling Mark and I are the only Americans here (besides Jared the front-counter student). I’m surrounded by blonds speaking German and Dutch, and olive-skinned Italians, Spanish and an eclectic mix of other Mediterraneans. Its weird not hearing English in the hallways and bathrooms, but I’ll admit, I really love it. It feels as though I’m in Europe...without the hefty plane ticket.

We’re sleeping in a 12-bed co-ed bunkroom and I’m pretty certain I’m the only girl. There’s an Adrian above me, a Ryun beside me, two asian guys snoring quietly in the corner, Mark is kitty-corner on the left and there’s a Persian man who’s staring at the pile of suitcases and shoes in the middle of the room. The rest of our roommates have gone barhopping - I guess nearly all the hostel guests left for a grand night on the town to enjoy the cheap beers and lively music. What a town! I feel as though I could stay here for weeks and still find something new to see and do.

Speaking of new things to see and do, what an amazing last couple of days we’ve had! Last night we stayed with the other Farrells in Morro Bay and had a great time exploring downtown Morro Bay, watching the sun set over “the rock” (an ancient volcanic plug that towers over the little town), laughing together, and then getting up at the crack of dawn to walk to a little cafe for coffee and time to visit. It was a beautiful time in a beautiful town. Mark and I lingered as long as we could - it’s hard to say goodbye to cousins you love - but eventually waved goodbye as we drove back down Bonita St back to our familiar Hwy 1. It only took us about an hour before we arrived in Arroyo Grande where we knew Harry Potter would be playing in 3D and - get this! - we had coupons so it only cost us a grand total of $2.19! We laughed, we cried, we squirmed in our seats, and thoroughly loved the movie...even though both of us had seen it before and knew what to expect. What a great ending to a mesmerizing series. We set off again en route to Santa Barbara, but had to stop in Ostrich Land and Solvang on the way. We fed the ostriches, played with the ostrich chicks (shh, don’t tell!), and walked the quaint, beautiful streets of Solvang for hours. Once again, I felt as though I had been transported to Europe as I walked by windmills, rustic barns fashioned according to traditional dutch architecture, the Hans Christian Anderson museum, and streets lined with scandinavian flags. Who knew there was a little Denmark in California?

We finally pulled into Santa Barbara, but before we found our hostel, I detoured and took a tour of UC Santa Barbara. Though not the school I’ll be attending, I was accepted and they still e-mail me asking me to please it was surreal and rather fun to drive through the gorgeous campus and think of how life could have been. How weird to think this could have been “my” town. I’m still 100% in love with UCSD and beyond excited to be there, it’s just amusing to think about the possibilities.

My bed is comfy and my eyes are threatening to close on me any second. There are girls outside my door who’ve returned early, though quite drunk, from their adventures downtown. I smile as they try to explain geography to each other on the giant acrylic map in the hallway outside our room. Another blond guy came into the room and added his suitcase to the growing pile in the middle of our room...this is definitely a guy’s room. He’s already falling asleep and mumbling something in what? Dutch? German? I can’t really tell the difference.

Tomorrow Mark and I plan on getting up early to pack up, eat breakfast, and get on the road by 9am so we can get to Huntington a little early. We’re both super excited to be there...though this trip has been incredibly exciting nearly every moment. I never know what exactly to expect and I see something new and beautiful constantly. It exhilarating and I’m addicted to life.

This is perfect.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Roadrip - Day 1

I've been thinking of the words to say here all day long. I'd be in the middle of a new experience, grappling with a new obstacle, breathless at a new vista, or awestruck by beauty and think "I need to write about this!" And yet, here I am, finally in bed at a couple minutes to 10pm, and I'm so exhausted my words emerge garbled.

Today was incredible. The kind of incredible where you remember it hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute, the wonder happened so fast. I saw more new things in one short day than I have in a long time and my mind is full of beautiful moments I'm working hard to tuck into my longterm memory. I never want to forget this bewitching day.

Mark and I left Sacramento this morning and began our CA-1 roadtrip with glee. We've been counting down the days to this trip for months and finally it was here! So of our favorite memories so far:

* Dropping out of San Francisco and almost immediately being greeted by rugged cliffs, vibrant wildflowers, and the pounding of powerful waves.
* Pulling over on the side of the road to take pictures and touch the iceplant.
* Walking around the harbor at Half Moon Bay. We touched the names of the 15 sailors who have died in those waters since 1928.
* Locking the keys in the car and being forced to hang out at the beach while we waited for the tow-truck to come save us.
* Exploring the tide pools below Pigeon Point Lighthouse and finding a massive seal who snorted at us.
* Hiking through knee-high cliff grass and rugged wildflowers to a rocky cliff overlooking a solitary, untouched cove.
* Eating bagels and cream-cheese on the most comfortable wooden chairs imaginable, and watching a flaming sun dip below the vast expanse of ocean.
* Soaking in a bubbling hot-tub, separated from the pounding Pacific by only a wire fence, and watching the stars come out one by one. It must be the most incredible hot tub in the world. All you can see is ocean; ocean on every side.

Tomorrow is going to be equally amazing as well, I'm sure, but in a completely different way. I really can't wait.