Taryn Gets Robbed

I wish I were joking, but it’s true. Some lovely person broke my driver’s side window and stole my laptop bag, wallet, and guitar. The laptop was on its way out, so I’m not totally broken up about it. Plus I have an iPad, so I’m still able to get my work done, thank God!! I am bummed about my bag, however. My mom got it for me in Turkey and had my initials put on it. It was such a cute leather bag, everywhere I went I received compliments on it.

Wait, I’m on the East Coast?

I should mention that I’m in North Carolina. Charlotte to be exact. I had every intention on sharing how I went from being in Arizona 2 weeks ago to ending up in NC, but this robbery happened, and I figure I’d talk about that first. I will, guarantee that I will go more into detail about my recent travels. I’ve been to Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. This week, I PROMISE, I’ll share photos and my shenanigans. Anyway, I should explain how I got robbed.

On a Hike

As I’m nearing 1 week of being in NC (I leave tomorrow), I’ve been indulging in the beautiful trails that are all around Charlotte. Honestly, I’ve had such a wonderful time here. Anyway, this morning, I decided to go to a new trail instead of the 4 mile trail that I’ve grown to love. I decided to take my laptop as I was going to sit in a coffee shop after my hike to do some writing. I get to the destination, and on a stupid whim, I decided to leave my wallet in the car, because I didn’t want to carry it*

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* Friends, never leave your ID, cash, valuables in a car.

I know, it was dumb. So anyway, I spent about 2 hours on the trail, enjoying the beauty all around me. I decided to leave my camera at the house I’m staying in (thank God). As I was walking back, feeling super refreshed and in good spirits after the hike, I was greeted by a park ranger who asked if the vehicle she was standing next to was mine. I was about 50 feet away, so I could barely see her, and the car was out of my line of sight. At first, I thought I was parked in an unauthorized spot, but as I got closer, she explained that someone busted the window and opened the trunk.

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Enjoying Life’s Curveballs

To be honest, after the year I’ve had, having my car broken into didn’t even phase me. After taking the information in, I sighed, called the cops, and inspected the vehicle. The thief even stole my earbuds case, which is also its charger. What’s stupid is that I had the earbuds with me, so all they got was a case, and now I have no charger.

To add to the mania, the park ranger legit hit on me. She low key dropped the “did your boyfriend buy you that jacket” qualifying question, to see where my orientation leaned. I laughed, because who in their right mind thinks it’s wise to hit on someone who’s just gone through a burglary? I sidestepped the question and told her I prefer to be alone and that my dog was all the company I needed. After 20 minutes or so, she left, and I waited for the cops on my own. I didn’t mind, though. After dealing with the officer (I swear, both the ranger and officer were as cliche as can be), I removed the glass and drove back to the house I was staying at.

 

This may sound weird, but I’m incredibly thankful for all of the ridiculous things that have happened as of late. It’s really made me grow closer to God and to keep things in perspective. I’m safe, Abbey wasn’t there so nothing happened to her. The window  isn’t going to cost a lot to replace and will be fixed tomorrow. Aside from losing some cash, my ID, and some gadgets, it’s all well and good. I am annoyed that I will be having to go to the DMV AGAIN as I just got my license replaced in May. Also, I had just purchased some amazing InkJoy gel pens and a really adorable pen case which was in my bag. If only you knew how much I LOVE my pens. Oh, and my journals and manuscript notes were all in there. There were years of ideas and notes about my books. So, that’s a tough loss. Oh well, such is life. I’m thankful that I have parents that were kind and helpful through this ordeal. I’m grateful that everything taken is replaceable.

Motivated to Make it Happen

If you’re of the Christian faith, you know that opposition and setbacks occur as a way to discourage you from growing closer to God. I find that when you’re cultivating that relationship, expect some weird stuff to happen. So, rather than discourage me, it’s making me double down in my faith, and be who He’s called me to be. These crappy moments just make me want to sing His praises even louder. So with that being said, I’m going to finish packing and getting ready for my next destination. That and I’m going to write more and with an increased gusto as I will not be deterred in being who I am. On that note, happy Monday and I hope it’s a good one!

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Talking to Strangers

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I find it absolutely ironic that the one major thing our parents told us not to do (talk to strangers) is one of the hardest things for people to accomplish. Well, it is for me at the very least. I can be described as an introvert cloaked in an extrovert’s clothing. Meaning, I look like I’m totally outgoing and will act as such, but really I’m just a neurotic weirdo who silently has anxiety attacks when thrown into unknown social situations. When I was a “slave to the man” I had to interact with tons of people. Extroversion was a muscle that I had flexed quite a bit. Now that I’m on Bum Island, most of the time it’s just my fur-child and I.

Quick exercise science question: what happens to a muscle when you don’t use it? You lose it. Same goes for my learned extroversion. Granted I have made more friends in the past 7 weeks than I have all of last year, but the little things tend to freak me out. Grocery shopping while it’s crowded or calling customer service people for example. Recently, I’ve discovered that doing the simplest tasks involving massive amounts of people terrify the hell out of me. Seriously, I’m getting an anxiety just thinking about it. Yesterday, I had to go to the grocery store at night. It went more smoothly than the last time, however I could sense my apprehension as I entered the store. Maybe it’s because I’m not around a lot of people as I used to be but, crowds can get a little overwhelming. Now, I’m not agoraphobic, in fact, I love walking around my neighborhood with my dog. The weather has been nothing short of superb, so I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts. I also frequent the Starbucks near my house to write and to people watch. I absolutely love people, though I’ve been known to observe people instead of interacting with them. I am trying to find a happy medium between the two.

Since my whole declaration of getting out of my comfort zone, I have made progress. I chatted up a cutie at the coffee shop (my execution was laughable, but progress is progress). Also I’ve been really getting into eating healthier and exercising regularly. Now it’s time to start exercising that social muscle. Still, talking with strangers is something we need to do to make them friends right? After all, we all started out as strangers at some point.   

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Breaking Bad: Airplane Edition

I never thought I’d be directly affected by meth. I don’t know anyone immediately who does it (to my knowledge that is), but there I was on a Sunday night on an airplane with the stark reality that meth had become like  a stick caught in the bicycle spokes that is my life (I have a flair for the dramatic). I’ve flown many times. I’ve never been scared to fly nor have I had any weird/scary situations arise during flights.

After having a great birthday weekend visiting my parents in Monterey, I was at the airport waiting for my flight. They were about an hour late boarding but I wasn’t going to sweat the small stuff, so I just went with it. Finally once we boarded, it literally took them a half hour to start the taking off process. In the aisle across from me, there was a weird oily dude sitting with an oddly shaped green duffle bag. I didn’t really think too much of him initially, now I’ll never forget him.

So this guy leaves for the bathroom and leaves his bag just sitting on the floor. He’d been in the bathroom for over 20 minutes, and I could tell the flight attendants were getting concerned. My initial thought was that there was something sketchy (a bomb perhaps) in his bag which was why he had left it so conspicuously out in the open. Well, I suppose I should stop and explain how my crazy little brain works. I have very polarized ways of dealing with everything. It’s literally hot or cold, yes or no with me (I’m trying to change). There is no middle ground. I’m either thinking everything is super duper dandy and great, or the sky is falling and the world will soon end (I’m not bipolar, I swear). This case was no different. So I’m in my seat calm and silently sending a prayer to the Big Guy Upstairs to let me in, because my life as I knew it was practically over (I told you, I’m dramatic).

Finally after what seemed like an eternity, this dude comes back to his chair. This time he had like a black soot/ash on his cheeks. Now my experience with spotting drugs and people on them is severely limited, but I thought it was odd. About 10 minutes go by and then the police board the plane. A flight attendant goes behind the dude and signals him to the cops. Now, at this time he (drugged out idiot) is skittish as all get out. He’s fidgeting with a brush in his hair, looking around erratically, and just can’t sit still. Finally, I stop thinking about my impending afterlife and realize that this moron had been doing drugs in the bathroom. The cops ask him to get off the plane and come with them. To add insult to injury, this idiot had the gull to ask the officers if there was a problem (don’t do drugs kids).

The captain spoke over the intercom and said they were going to do a sweep in the bathroom to see if we’d still be able to go. We weren’t. The flight was cancelled and scheduled for the next evening. I felt bad because I had to call my parents to have them come pick me up again as I was stuck for another day. The plus side was that I got an extra relaxation day out of it; but the whole ordeal was incredibly inconvenient.

In my sick and cynical sense of humor, I teased some of the other passengers by saying, “If we had left on time maybe the junkie could’ve held on for the hour flight and done the drugs in Vegas, so thank you Allegiant Air!” (More on Allegiant Air in my next post). It got a few laughs, so I was satisfied. You’re probably wondering how in the hell does one get meth past those touchy little TSA people. Well, the Monterey airport is so small and antiquated that all they have is a metal detector. Bottom line, if you decide you want to reenact Breaking Bad, I’d advise you not to do it on an airplane, or at least not on a flight that I’m on.

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View from my window seat before we were deplaned