Saturday, July 17, 2010


Yesterday I had one of those days. Not a bad day, not a good day. But a day where I contemplate everything that is happening. Friday came at the end of a very long and interesting week. A reflective week maybe? I don't know, that may be taking things too literally. I often get philosophical when bombarded with too much external stimuli. Maybe I'm mistaking that for getting all emo. Who knows.

Death and dying are not things I think about. I recognize the inevitability of death: we're all going to die. But I prefer to keep that tucked safely away in the recesses of my mind, sort of by my thoughts of whether or not Jesus is real and paying taxes. I've been fortunate enough that my life has not been saturated with death. In fact, quite contrary, I've only been personally affected by it twice that I can remember. At least that is how many funerals I have been to. But both those times were pivotal moments for me. Because it forced me to reexamine the way I was living my life and evaluate how happy I truly was. This is what happened to me yesterday, though it wasn't the result of anyone dying.

As most people know, I'm moving to Germany in four weeks. And I couldn't be more scared. I'm excited, obviously--who wouldn't want to move to Germany simply to learn German for an entire year? I feel like I'm going to school again for the first time--completely unaware of what is going to happen or what the year will bring, but excited at the prospect of having all these new adventures. But at the same time, I've become comfortable with my life here. I live in a nice house, have lots of fun stuff and have amazing friends. And at 26, I'm not sure if I have the energy or the patience to start all over again. Yesterday I was parking my car near the Boise Library and I sat there for a few minutes staring at the window thinking "I'm going to miss this."

A year is a long time. A lot can happen in 365 days. And a lot will happen here. And I will miss it all. I've always firmly believed that everything happens for a reason. Whenever I get sad or depressed or start to question just what the fuck I've done with my life, I remember that I am where I am because that is how my life is unfolding. The decisions I've made have put me here. And I try not to regret things because 1) you can't change the past, no matter how hard you try, and 2) why would you want to? I used to think about how much different (better?) my life would have been had I not gone to U of I. But then I realize if I hadn't gone to U of I, I wouldn't have moved to Florida my freshman year, I wouldn't have gone to Humboldt State my junior year, I wouldn't have gotten the job at the prosecutor's office or with Eberle or with my current firm and I wouldn't know all the amazing people that were put in my life as a result of me taking the easy road and just going to Idaho.

Still, I can't help but question this next move I'm making or if it is the right one. In this past week, several alternate possibilities for next year have presented themselves. While I realize that ultimately turning down the chance to go to Germany simply to go on these whims may not be the smartest thing, what if these whims lead me down the path that ultimately is my happiness? More aptly put--eventually I will find the path to happiness, but going to Germany may be a more indirect route getting there. How long am I willing to forgo that exalted state of pure happiness for life lessons?

But that's not what this is about. In a roundabout way, I know that life is short and you have to make the best of it and blah, blah, blah. Insert bullshit happiness rant here. If I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with the choices I've made? And the answer is no. (Yes, I understand I wouldn't give a fuck because I would be dead, but let's talk hypothetically). Despite the fact that most of the time I come across as a hard-ass, I'm petrified of almost everything. I'm scared to be who I really am, I'm scared to move out of my comfort zone, I'm scared to start over, I'm scared to stand up for myself, and I'm scared of what other people will think. And that fucking pisses me off. I feel like all I do is fake things. I fake confidence and I fake looking like I have my shit together. I'm so concerned with what other people will think of the choices that I have made that I never listen to what I truly want. There. I said it. Now you all know. I'm full of shit. And what scares me most of all is leaving this world and having my entire life reduced to a collection of photos. I don't know if anyone else feels this way ever, and this may be an incredibly self aggrandizing statement, but I KNOW that I am meant to make a lasting impression on the world. I am meant for something great, something huge, and if I wasn't so fucking lazy, I might actually get there.

So maybe that's what Germany is. Maybe Germany is the first step. A chance for me to live and experience more of the world, to make me a better person and move me closer to what is ultimately my purpose here. I have to believe that. I have to believe that this is the right choice. I remember reading that life is just a series of moments. Each moment defines us. How we perceive those moments and react to those moments, no matter how small, changes us and the world around us. Me sitting here and typing this blog could have a domino effect half-way around the world. It makes it easier to appreciate every moment. To take advantage of everything life offers. To realize that ultimately, the decisions you make are yours and yours alone and you can't hide behind your inadequacies with material bullshit, alcohol, drugs, sex, whatever. Those things always have a way of rearing their ugly heads. Sometimes we all need to just take a deep breath and look at the entire construction of the world around us. Which is what I did.

One of my favorite quotes, from the suicide letter Virginia Woolf wrote to her husband before she killed herself, is "you cannot find peace by avoiding life." I try to remember this when I think things are too hard or I want to give up on everything. Because those moments in life, those breathtaking, spectacular moments, are what will bring us closer to our ultimate happiness.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Celebrating America's Independence...

So I just noticed I haven't blogged in a while. It's not for lack of excitement, trust me. Wait. I take it back. I've been pretty boring the last few weeks. The weather kept shifting between extremely hot and not-so-hot, and I responded by doing nothing but laying in my underwear on the couch watching reruns of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and really bad German porn. What are you going to do?

This weekend, though, this glorious, glorious three-day weekend, I went up to Lucky Peak with some friends to *cough* camp. Wait, you didn't catch that? Fine, yes. I went camping...again. And this time was far more traumatic than last due to the lack of facilities on our camp site. Which meant I had to pee out in nature. More to come on that later.

Friday evening after I got off work, I drove up to Spring Shores and met Corey and Bob on the dock. The campsite they had chosen was only accessible via boat. Which meant that once I was there, I was stuck. The campsite they had so carefully selected was up the hill from the dock, where I would spend the majority of my time. There were a group of girls there that I had not met, and as it turned out, all of them were nurses. Which is awesome should, you know, I impale myself on a branch while trying to pee in nature. They had all been there since earlier that morning and had set up tents. I was told I would be sharing a tent with Baldwin and Joe. This is what the tent looked like:

If you're looking at this thinking "you've got to be fucking kidding me," that was the exact same reaction I had. There was no fucking way. So me, being the sneakster that I am, moved my stuff from the fucked up tent to my friend Corey's nicer tent. There was supposed to be a 90% chance of rain that night. I was not about to drowned in the fucked up tent that couldn't even stay upright (as an aside, later that night, while hurricane-force winds blew and rain poured down, it took Baldwin 30 minutes to get out of his tent to pee. All you could hear was "fuck, I'm stuck in tent. I have to pee.")

Corey, Nate and Bob had procured a keg for the night, in addition to several cases of beer. And don't you know, we drank almost the entirety of the keg the first night. Clearly we were not messing around (p.s. they had been up at the lake since 9 a.m. We're not THAT big of alcoholics).

The awesome thing about camping near a lake is that if/when you need to pee, you can just wade out to about stomach level in the water and pee there. Until it gets too cold. Then, well, you've gotta drop trou. Since I had never peed in nature, I was given a tutorial by my friend Ashley. Paranoid that I was going to pee all over my one pair of track shorts, I hiked myself up a hill, found a bush, and completely disrobed from the waist down. I was not going to risk peeing on any article of clothing. Which meant that, should anyone happen to come around a corner, they would have seen me, bare-assed, attempting to not pee on myself with quite possibly the widest stance you've ever seen (8 years of gymnastics prepared me for this moment). After successfully peeing, I put my clothes back on and decided I hated peeing in nature. Someone wouldn't have invented toilets if they weren't meant to be used. This is why I don't like nature. It's so...primitive. I prefer the comforts of the Hilton, thank you very much. So I tried SO HARD to keep the seal intact for the rest of the night. I think I convinced my body that the need to pee wasn't real. It worked...sort of.

Peeing out in nature aside, we did all the normal camping stuff: we made burgers and beans;

we did keg stands;

and we got drunk and drew mustaches on our hands.

When we all decided that it was time to go to bed (combination of cold weather, rain and overall drunkenness), we went to our respective tents. I was sharing a tent with Ashley and Corey on the air mattress. Being as drunk as I was, I could not figure out how to zip up Vickie's sleeping bag, so I ended up just using it as a giant blanket. At some point during the night, Baldwin, being wasted, started singing songs. I can't quite remember right now what songs he was singing, but soon all tents joined in. I'm sure the people at the campsite down the hill from us loved us.

The next morning, I decided that one night out in nature was plenty for me. I went back to the shore so I could go home and shower and nap (since I hadn't really slept the night before). Here's what I found out: apparently when you pay for day parking, they don't do a 24-hour cycle. If you show up at 6 p.m. and intend on staying until noon the next day, you have to pay for two-days worth of parking. Okay, fine whatever. So I didn't understand their instructions. Does that mean I need a fucking $75 ticket???? I mean, for fuck's sake. It was $5 a day to park and $75 if you violated that, quite innocently? Why not just ass-rape me--I would have charged you less. Fucking douche-bag cops. Anyway.

I went back up to the lake on Sunday so I could work on my tan. At some point, more people had shown up. Enjoy photos:

Oh, and my favorite part! I got to see Raelynn! Finally! Going almost a year without seeing your best friend is way too long! (Holly, that's a note to you, too, but I will see you in a few weeks!)

So all-in-all, I had a fantastic weekend at the lake. Next time, I'll bring a little portable toilet.