Taryn and the Bear

So I’ve been slacking. This is in part due to work, preparing to head out for the last wedding, and having to cope without Abbey (Only for a few days due to the wedding). So I’m going to do a little housekeeping:

 

I’m 29!

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I turned 29 last Wednesday. Celebrating my birthday isn’t something I put much effort and energy into. This year was a little bittersweet because I normally spend the day with my rents, but they’re on different continents living their best life at the moment. They’re the ones who spearhead the shenanigans, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t bother, ha! I’m not a huge birthday person and haven’t been since I was 11. But since I didn’t want to be a complete abstainer, I did get a small cake and a mimosa for good measure. See mom, I did something! I did have fun though. Abbey and I went on a trail, hung out by the water, and just relaxed (and worked a bunch).

 

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

My nightly routine usually involves chilling in the jacuzzi and listening to some tunes. The townhouse that I’m renting has the perfect blend of “cabin-feels” without the cabin maintenance– I love it!

 

Anyway, I was outside and I had happened to take out my contacts because they were irritating me. As I was adjusting the temperature of the jacuzzi, I looked up and like eight feet in front of the gate, I saw a dark blob on the grass next to the fruit tree that generally isn’t there. I thought to myself, “huh, that blob isn’t usually there,”. I squinted to get a better look and the blob moved! It grabbed a piece of fruit, and that’s when I realized, it was a FREAKING BEAR!!!!

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My reaction, obvi.

 

You’d think that would run back inside and wait for it to pass on by but noooo… like the village idiot that dies in dinosaur/crazy animal films, I went inside to grab my camera and take photos of it. Fortunately, when I came back outside, it was further away, so my idiot self felt even more confident. As I was snapping away (with my flash on, like a genius), I guess the flash annoyed it as it made a fake charge motion towards me. Needless to say, I was pretty scared, but I was literally a step away from my door, so I squealed and ran back inside.

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What I thought was going to happen

 

There’s nothing like a little bear lunge to get the adrenaline running. As I said, it wasn’t super close, but close enough for me to rethink my bravery level. So, my takeaway is, if I can snap photos of a hungry bear, I can handle anything. That, and I’m likely the first person to die during an “animal on the loose” type of situation. ūüėČ

 

I told my brother and my parents and they all said “So that’s why Big Bear is named that”, ha! Leave it to my family to be more excited to see the bear than disturbed by the fact that I was dumb enough to stick around for a photo shoot. Perhaps that’s why they’re my family, haha! Enjoy some shoddy quality bear photos!

 

Best laid plans

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I’m not dead! Though two bouts of sinus infections would lead me to believe otherwise. So what have I been up to? Long story short, I’ve gotten sick, learned how to assert my boundaries– some relationships are better for it, others, well worse.

I’m going to be blunt. Life is awesome, yet tough, but in general, I’m in favor of it. I do my best to get along while being mindful of the needs of others. To date, I’ve spent a lot of time bending over backward to accommodate someone close to me and I¬†am proud to say, I’m at wit’s end and I’ve decided to bow out and become a reduced character in that person’s life movie.

I don’t end/distance myself from loved ones easily. In fact, I typically go the long-suffering route, enduring infractions just to keep the peace. Quite frankly, I’m tired. No matter how hard I try, I can’t make a relationship work on my own.

So toxic relationships are lame, especially when you care about the person. My love for them doesn’t change. My willingness to accept their poor treatment/character does.

“The bestlaid plans¬†of mice and men often go awry definition. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.” – Robert Burns

 

 

Hello, Old Girl

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Life has been strange and beautiful, and though I’m going to do my best to describe it to you, I don’t know how well my world will translate onto the page, but I’ll give it a go.

As I wrote last week, transitioning back into Vegas, seeing my dad off to Germany, ramping up new work plans, it’s been in intense emotional roller coaster– one of which I’m proud to say I’m riding to the best of my ability.

I’m in a period of loss, so to speak, losing my dad in proximity, and a few other things I cannot discuss yet, it’s strangely drudged up the residue of my first major loss– the death of my Grandma. Though it’s been about 9 nine years since she passed, it’s a loss that has left (or at least I thought) a gaping hole within me.

Brenda

My grandmother was magical. My childhood was full of wonder, imagination, and excitement of which she facilitated by encouraging my storytelling, love for books, and card games. Seriously, I was 2 when she taught me how to read. I’ve been reading books like a crackhead in need of a fix ever since. She saw something within me and helped unleash the madness that is Taryn into this world.

Brenda was the quirkiest/kookiest woman I’ve ever known. She laughed at odd things, remembered important dates at odd times, and when I was little, I thought she was nutty. “Crazy like a fox!”, she’d say when I told her I thought she was nuts.

At 27, turns out that I too laugh at odd things, remember important dates at odd times, and am a little nutty. I think I’m beginning to get the hang of this crazy like a fox thing.

Around 16 — I can’t remember exactly– I had this strange feeling to spend more time with my grandma. I can’t explain why, but I felt the need to spend more time with her and to say “I love you”. So each Saturday, I’d stop by her house with a DVD and we’d watch a movie.

We both shared an appreciation for good looking men, and Troy had just come about. “Brad Pitt and those legs,” she’d exclaim. I’m sure I nodded in agreement. The dude had some great legs. On that note, I need to rewatch that film, ha.

This went on for a few weeks, and sometime shortly after, she suffered a stroke on the bus she rode from work. When I first heard about it, it was hard to put into emotion because I was still removed from it. It wasn’t until seeing her in the hospital, in an altered state from the crazy lady that I adored, to a sickly being staring down mortality, that I began to shut down.

I couldn’t bear the pain of seeing my hero reduced to a mere mortal, barely hanging onto life. Though initially she was improving, it was about a year or so later that she passed, right after my first horrifically shitty year of college and some massive changes within my family. Needless to say, 2008 can go to hell for all I care.

As my sister told me the news of my grandma’s passing, I cried for a few seconds, and then I went into an emotional coma of sorts. I’ve always been terrible with feelings but this took the cake. I buried my feelings– deep into an abyss with plans to never really use them again. My world went gray, as the person who first introduced me to the vivid colors of the world was no longer with me. If I’m being frank, I thought the best parts of me died with her.

A semi kind of life

As time went on, I trudged through life, having some decent moments, but never truly allowing myself to experience joy or peace. Granted it doesn’t help that I’m an existential weirdo, lol. Anyway, it’s funny how caring for others will help you eventually learn how to care for yourself, and I’ve got an army of niece and nephews and a not-so-obedient dog to blame for that.

Over the years, I’ve dedicated a significant amount of time in helping bring up my niece and nephews. Changing diapers, potty training, school graduations, awards ceremonies– it’s been a blast. Though there are 7 of them, I can spot their unique identities, what makes them tick, and how to reach each of them on their terms. Looking back, that’s exactly what my grandmother did for me and my siblings/cousins.

So fast forward to yesterday, after spending the day watching a set of 1 year old twins, a 2 and 4 year old, memories of the craziest lady I’ve ever known came flooding back to me. It was odd, as I was walking my dog late last night (90 degrees at 10pm, yay Vegas), I began to think about what she’d say to me about how I’m “doing life”. I knew she’d never want me to live in the self-imposed prison I’ve created.

In that moment, as I was walking Abbey in the suburban streets of Vegas, I spontaneously combusted into hysterical bouts of crying. Man, was it ugly– but also peaceful, freeing, and about freaking time. On a side note, I’m so glad no one else was out, because I’m sure I looked like a mess. Even Abbey kept giving me “wtf” looks from time to time. I wasn’t crying out of sadness or grief per se, but they were tears of joy because someone who I’d hadn’t seen in many years had returned to my life — me.

Not gone, just sleeping

Maybe this is my roundabout way of accepting the loss of a loved one, but it’s nice to be able to resurface from a long slumber. Much to my initial belief, I didn’t leave, I’m not broken, I just came back from playing an unintentionally long game of hide and seek. That’s at least what I’m telling myself, anyway.

I can’t help but to think and smile because though my grandmother is not with me, I’ll always have her. I find her in the things that I do, how I behave, how I think, my work ethic– I find her in me. So as it turns out, I was never gone or broken– just hiding underneath the layers of time.

Today I say hello, Taryn. Glad to have you back, we have a lot of catching up to do.

Feelings are…

Lame! Seriously, my emotions are all over the spectrum this week.

I’ve been in Vegas for about 3-ish weeks, and while I’m happy to be back, it’s not been without its challenges.

 

I’m experiencing a few major life changes all at once. And while there’s more good than bad, my hormones are all over the place this week, which doesn’t help one iota. Fortunately, I’m aware that I’m chemically imbalanced this week, so I’m not taking myself and my feelings too seriously (hence this rant). I will admit that my dad leaving for Germany to join my mom for the next few years was more difficult than I anticipated.

My parents are cooler than me

So last year, my mom decided to take a job that would place her in Germany for at least 3 years. My dad stayed back to take care of their stateside affairs. That in of itself was tough, as I’m close to my mom, but I had my dad. But today as was ¬†I driving him to the airport, I felt like I was 5 again trying to cling to my mother’s dress instead of running to join the other kids to play.

I know I’m being dramatic, but my parents are really two of my favorite people on this planet, so to have them both in Europe (though I’m extremely happy/proud) it’s going to take some adjusting on my part. It doesn’t help that I’m 27 going on 60, which often places me out of my peer group.

 

It’s not all bad

Even though my bio parents are enjoying their European lives, I do in fact have a Vegas mom. Long story short, I met my buddy Mandy at a MeetUp a few years ago, and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s so kindly allowed me to steal her mom, Pam, who I admittedly hangout with more than Mandy (she moved to Utah last year). Pam is this is quirky, blunt Chicagoan who is a total riot. We share similar humor, so we get along famously. Every time I stop by, I’m spoiled– as is Abbey. Funnily enough, she’s been trying to get me back here since last year.

In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t move to Chicago (another story for another day) as I think being in a new city by myself wouldn’t have been that great. I’m sure I would’ve adapted, but being near family and friends is proving to be comforting.

Ok, feelings don’t suck that much

I’ll admit, I feel better after writing this. I still think that feelings are obstructions in the sense of accomplishing things, but whatevs, such is life. Anywho, I’ll try to blog more frequently, now that things seem to be settling down. I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!

My mom, the badass

It’s Mother’s Day, and what kind of daughter would I be if I didn’t write an ode to my super duper awesome, one of a kind, mom? I could write a dissertation on why my mom kicks so much ass, but for the sake of time, I’ll try and condense is down to a blog post. In short, my mom is one of the most, if not the most influential people in my life– for better and for worse. ¬†As someone who is fiercely independent and intelligent, I have to give credit to the lady who’s inspired me since day one. I also have to give her an immense amount of kudos for raising someone like me. So here’s why my mom is literally the best mom (for me) in the world!

It’s not easy parenting a “Taryn”

Since my escape from the womb, I’ve always been a conscientious objector. If you said “up”, I said “down”. You say “yes”, I say “no”. According to my mom, my favorite first words were “so what”. In addition to be a staunch contrarian, I also craved my independence, often opting to do things alone, being preoccupied with the world inside my head. I was relatively obedient, but I think it’s fair to say that out of all of my siblings, I was the odd one. God probably should’ve put a label on my behind that said “warning, this one is trouble”. Hehe

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Family circa 2004

So why am I telling you this?

Simply because, though I was/am a peculiar little dreamer with a wild imagination, intolerant of being controlled, my mom supported my choices and decisions, championing my hobbies and pursuits, with unconditional love. When I wanted to become a mad scientist– she bought me a chemistry set. When I discovered my love for writing– she bought me journals. She even supported my short story of an evil mom that I killed off with “canser” when I was around 6-7 (looking back at my childhood behavior, I think I displayed some signs of sociopathy, lol). She watched all of my basketball games, encouraged anything and everything I wanted to do. I am who I am today because my mom never put limitations on my potential, and I’m forever grateful for that.

Cheers to my mom…

for being such an incredible parent, and loving me in spite of all the grey hairs I’ve given her throughout the years. Though she’s in Germany, I think about that crazy lady all of the time. Thank you mom, for enduring me as an infant, and not putting me in an institution as an adolescent. Many could not do what you do! To all of the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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RIP Darwin

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Back in February, I was involved in a car accident in which Darwin, my car, didn’t make it. As I was driving from Long Beach to Monterey, a dude rear-ended me, spilling my newly purchased iced Macchiato all over my car. Even better, Abbey was in the car with me. Now, being involved in a car accident with my dog in the car, happens to be one of my biggest fears, so as the car impacted mine, my first thought was for the safety of Abbey.

Fortunately, she was fine, just a little spazzed out. I was fine for the most part too. Just stressed out about the logistics of the situation. The accident occurred in LA during the evening and I didn’t have any friends who were in the vicinity that could pick me up. Incidentally, I had to call a potential client turned family friend to explain my situation. I was so fortunate that she came out, picked me up as my car was being towed away and allowed me to spend the night at her house.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad accident to have. My insurance company (Progressive), was awesome at taking care of everything. Coincidentally, the guy who hit me was also insured by Progressive and it was clearly his fault, so the matter was resolved within a week. Even though I received a decent amount for my car, I was sad that my little 2010 Toyota Corolla was soon to be no more. It was my first car and I planned on keeping it until it couldn’t run anymore. But, plans change, I guess.

If I’m being honest, it wasn’t just about losing my vehicle, there were a lot of memories entangled in that car. From road trips, moving to different states, going to and graduating schools, that car had seen a lot. So, because I wasn’t able to say “goodbye” to Darwin, this is my way of doing so. I’m thankful that it kept me and Abbey safe, and for all of the adventures it helped me facilitate. Darwin will be missed.

My dog is a jerk, but I love it

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Morning Walk

Abbey and I have been buddies since March, 2013. I was sitting in a Starbucks one day thinking I needed a dog. Looking back, I was so ill-prepared, but I persevered, managing to keep us both alive and relatively sane for the past 4 years. I love my dog. She’s the best. But if I had to be completely honest, her level of obedience is about 75% at best. This secretly makes me proud.

 

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Without a care in the world

A mind of her own

I’ll admit, I’m a stubborn son of a gun, questioning everyone¬†and everything, if it suits me. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my dog behaves the same way. When we’re in the house, she’s pretty good about following directions. But if I’m away, she’ll get into food that’s within her reach, or she’ll sit on the couch. I’ve straight up come home¬†and she’ll be on the floor. However,¬†I’ll touch the couch and it feels warm (not too slick there, Abbey). Or, if we’re outside and she’s off the leash, she will not listen to me, unless I’ve called her a dozen times and I sound angry. In these moments, I’ll grumble, muttering to myself that my dog is an a**, but I’ll have a slight smile of pride on my face. This might sound crazy, but I couldn’t deal with a dog who has 100% allegiance to my command. Heck, I don’t even obey myself 100% of the time. ¬†Blind obedience means you aren’t thinking for yourself, so when she deviates from desired behavior, I’d like to think it’s because she’s doing her own thing. Part of me can never be too mad about that, lol.

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Love this crazy mutt

As that crazy mutt is approaching¬†6 this year, I’m so thankful for her and all of the fun/zany adventures that we’ve encountered. It’s funny, she’s not a big barker, but when I saw her at the shelter 4 years ago, she made sure to get my attention, and I’m so glad she did. ūüôā

Taryn and the journey back to Satan’s Buttcrack

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Yep, you’ve read that correctly. I, Taryn, am moving back to Vegas! Early readers of this blog, ¬†know that I loathed living in Las Vegas. I was always constantly dreaming and scheming of ways to move back to Cali. Last year, I did that! I even lived a 5 minute’s walk from the beach. It wasn’t a bad setup, really. So why, on earth would I want move to the place I complained oh so much about? Well…

Vegas wasn’t my enemy…

…rather my mindset was. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last year, it’s that chasing ghosts will literally get you nowhere. I also had to come to terms with that, even though unpleasant things happen (crappy job, new environment, etc.) it’s not necessarily the place that’s to blame. Recently, I had an epiphany that made me reevaluate how I looked at Vegas. I thought to myself “If I didn’t experience unpleasant circumstances, would I actually hate Las Vegas?” That answer was a resounding “no”.

Friends and Family

Last year, my mom took a job within that relocated her to Germany (more on this later). I was super stoked for her, but that meant that my parents would no longer be in California. My dad stayed back for a year to help with the transition. But as of a few weeks, all of my immediate family will either be in Germany or in Vegas. Since I’m big on family, and I have 7 niece and nephews ( I’ll explain more later), it’s high time I got back. In addition, I made some awesome friendships in Vegas, that I didn’t realize that I’d miss dearly until I left. It’s funny, sometimes what you’re looking for happens to be right smack in front of you, you just didn’t realize it.

I like Vegas

This is probably one of the harder things to admit. I took so many perks and luxuries for granted. I didn’t realize this until I move away, but man, Vegas has some neat advantages:

  • For starters, it’s wayyyyyy more affordable compared to literally anywhere in California.
  • 24 hours Starbucks (Need I say more?)
  • Mccarran Airport: it’s super easy and cheaper to fly anywhere out of Vegas
  • I also loved going to Red Rock and Mt. Charleston.
  • Live music and entertainment (Sooooo convenient)
  • No fleas!!! (Abbey was struggling in Long Beach with those pesky things)
  • I love the desert (that took me by surprise, haha)

On to the next grand adventure

So in the next few weeks, I’ll be leaving Monterey to move back to Satan’s Buttcrack! I’ll admit, the summers will be hot, but what I’m getting in return, outweighs that significantly. I’m so stoked for the move and can’t wait to see what’s in store. ūüôā

The story so far

Hi all!

It’s been a minute, I know. That said, much has happened over that last few months– a whole lot of good, some meh, but I wouldn’t change a thing!

I woke up

I’ll be honest, when I first moved back to California, the transition was TOUGH. It was the first time in years that I couldn’t hide behind family/work/friend obligations to excuse my lack of “living” so to speak. I was in a brand new city, which meant I had a lot of time to myself to think. Finally, I realized that I didn’t recognize the person I saw in the mirror and slowly started to change.

I learned how to use my brain

I’ve been considered gifted since I was a child, but I never fully understood what that meant or that it affects how I live. I just thought I was a weirdo because my ideas were so drastically different than those around me. When I was a kid, I was just so terrified of thinking differently than my peers, that I spent a crap-ton of time analyzing people; how they thought, how they talked, their emotional responses, and what they were interested in/etc, just to fit in. If I could describe it, I felt (and still feel) like a robot trying to understand human emotions. Once I realized that the “feelings” I felt were projections of those around me, it changed the game completely! For instance, I love thinking in concepts and how it impacts the world around me.

I prefer to think logically

This is a weird balance for me as I’m both logical and emotional. It’s a balance that I’m working on but I tend to stick with my logic when dealing with myself and I’ll be more emotional with others. For example, I honestly don’t care what I wear, as I find that it’s a waste of brain power (at least for me). I recognize that it’s an art form or way of life for others, and completely respect that. But for me, a t-shirt and jeans are just fine. In fact, if the world wouldn’t lock me up, I’d wear the same thing everyday. Really, I’d prefer to run around in my boy shorts, but indecent exposure and all of that jazz, lol. My thought process is that of efficiency. If it doesn’t stimulate my mind in some way, I don’t value it. Which brings me to my next point, which has also gotten me into a lot of trouble as of late.

Feelings are feelings, not dogma

Somewhere down the child-rearing line, we’ve been taught that feelings are so deep and precious, almost to a fault. One of the biggest things I’ve come to realize for myself, is that though I’m a sensitive being (somewhere on the highly sensitive person spectrum), I don’t put much stock in them as they’re unreliable and irrational. Those who are close to me have said I’ve become cold, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! I feel and empathize greatly. That said, I acknowledge those feelings and allow them to pass. When I held onto every feeling I had, it was maddening! So, just to be clear, I’m not saying feelings are a bad thing. On the contrary, they’re wonderful, but you need to keep them in perspective.

I quit being lazy

One of the first things I discovered was that, I wasn’t depressed, I was lazy. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. It’s true, we have emotions, that said, we can control how we react to said emotions. Instead of sitting around trying to numb myself, I began to volunteer, help others, and work on creative projects. Also, being outside and surrounded by nature is just such a great feeling for me! I’m more inclined to go for a walk or hike than anything else at this point. Interestingly enough, I found that I had an abundance of energy and emotional satisfaction that I had to give up caffeine!

I love tea and I’m hyperactive!!!!

My final experiment (which caused me to drop 60 pounds in 2 months), was giving up caffeine/surgery energy drinks. The detox period was terrible, but what I discovered is that I’m naturally hyper (apparently being gifted and ADHD goes hand in hand). I wake up around 4:30 every morning, walk 5-8 miles with Abbey and then I start my day. I can’t tell you how TREMENDOUS this has been for my mind. In my head, I have about 18 TV¬†screens that focus on different aspects of my life. I blame my parents as they’re¬†both gifted in their¬†own right (Dad: musical genius, Mom: literary genius). It’s no wonder my mind is INSANE! Growing up, my house was constantly filled with music (all my siblings and I play multiple instruments), books, and intellectual/critical thinking conversations, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised on how I think.

Sometimes the world is wrong

I think for me, and those who are like me, living according to what the world expects is just not possible. I can’t work in a 9-5 setting because I complete office tasks within a quarter of the timeframe, and sitting around doing nothing is like Hell on Earth for me. Further, I think more in a compartmentalized manner, which is usually a trait ascribed to men. I don’t participate in¬†a lot of “girly things” and would much rather be involved in my thoughts and projects rather than anything else. ¬†This is frustrating as it leads to me being misunderstood (i.e. cold or obtuse). But meh, I’m working on it. As I venture out into the world with a better sense of who I am and how I operate, life is so much more fun!

What’s next?

I’ll still try and blog from time to time, but I find that I don’t like talking about myself all that much. I will, however, be blogging about freelancing and how to navigate that world a lot more on another site I have. I’m currently reworking it, so be on the lookout for an update come Monday!

 

Waves of Change

I hate change– in all forms. Think about it, pennies and nickels are a nuisance. If I counted all of the change that is hiding around my room, I’d probably make a dent in my student loans. On that note, I must sign off to scour my apartment for loose change. Just kidding… ūüėČ Continue reading “Waves of Change”