Eight Years

I’ve known you for 8 years.

Know how I know?

Because when we became friends eight years ago you were just about to turn 32. Thirty-two, the age that I thought was weird to be hanging out with a 24 year old. Thirty-two, the age that I will be in a few short days.

To me at that time, 32 sounded so old and so grown up. Thirty- two. I told you it was an age that you should have your life together, married with babies, a dog, and work at a job that you love from 9am- 5pm every Monday to Friday.

Thirty-two seemed old but you never did. You were carefree and fun and liked to dance in the living room. We stayed up till 2am on Wednesdays eating Goobers and Girl Scout Cookies and watching silly youtube videos. You’d drag me to midnight movies even though we both had work at 8am. And interestingly enough, you were the one that still got carded at the theatre.

And now that I am rounding that corner and about to be 32…

Thirty-two doesn’t seem so old.

What was I thinking back then?

There’s still lots of time to figure out the plan and be a grown up!

But now you’re closer to 40.

And that’s old.

You should really be a grown up by 40.

Unless of course when I turn 40 I decide it isn’t really the age that you have to be a grown-up…

Sincerely,
Erin

 

I’m sorry/ not sorry

I’m sorry/not sorry that I stayed in bed all morning and caught up on the League.
I’m sorry/ not sorry that I had coffee and tater tots for breakfast.
I’m sorry/not sorry that I was excited their were three kinds of kale to choose from at the market.
And I’m sorry/ not sorry that this salad does not photograph well.

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You’re just going to have to trust me on how delicious it is.

Sweet Potato, Kale, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad
Adapted from The Kitchen Mix

  • 1c quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large bunch of Dino kale
  • 2/3c cranberries
  • 1/4c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbspn coconut oil
  • 1 tbsnp agave nectar
  • salt to taste

Check the Kitchen Mix for the how-to (and some great hip-hop learnins’)

Sincerely,

Erin

Erin’s Top 3 Things to do in Costa Rica

Hello, Friend.

I’m not sure about you but I find it incredibly overwhelming to plan for vacation. As a typical type A, I like to plan activities, book travel, and have back up options for each day. But with that, I’ve found that I spend more energy planning/replanning during my trips. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, aren’t they? Ya.. that’s what I’ve heard.

Years ago I devised a planning system. No matter where you go, you can have only one Top 3 List. It’s a list that helps you prioritize your trip with the activities, places, foods, etc that are most important to you. It’s also important for your traveling partners to have their own list. So, before I left I created my list and shared it with my sister as she was my traveling partner. Thankfully, our top 2 were the same.

Erin’s Top 3:

  • Ziplining
  • Beach loungin’
  • Eat plantains, drink Costa Rican beerImage

Check. Check. Check.

Costa Rica was a success!

Erin

P.S. I’ll fill you in on more details soon!

Timing

As I turned to you face you, your brown eyes glowed amber with the light of the moon.

“But why couldn’t you have realized you loved me before? Why now?”

“I always knew I’d love your forever, I just never knew I’d fall in love with you.” you replied.

We sat there on the street curb beside my car, whispering our words in in the pale moonlight. Each word spoke only a whisper, but every word echoed deeply in my heart.

“I was in love with you, but now I know I’ll love forever.” I replied.

As the word “was” hung heavily in the air, a single tear drop fell down my cheek.

Timing is everything.

Summer Camp

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Last weekend I participated in one of the most beautiful social experiments, Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults. I’ve been trying to put my experience in words, but I fear I am not doing it justice. After some deliberation, I’ve decided that my mission is not to do it justice, but to give you some understanding of my experience. The letter, below, is to my past self.

Dear Erin,

A few words of advice for the adventure you are about to embark on…

Camp Grounded is an overwhelming, unfamiliar, scary, exhilarating, inspiring, intoxicating, warm, welcome, and magical experience. As one moment falls into the next, take it all in. There are no schedules to tell you where to be, where you need to go, or who you need to be with. The first few hours will be overwhelming and constrictive not knowing.. but you must let go.

Let go. Be in the moment. Be in the place. Be the person. Be you. Because right now, you are exactly where you should be.

Be in the moment as the beautiful voice of Aloe Vera bounces off the rock walls as you and your collection of new friends, CoolJello, Lyn Winn, Pie, and Belly,  sit wiggling their toes the swimming hole. Feel the sun fall down the redwood trees as the energy of the group remains intoxicated by the songstress and her original songs.

Be in the moment as you find your place to rest in the yurt. Engage in the quiet and energizing conversation while sipping tea that smells like Christmas.  Talk to the Snow, Willy, Repeat, and Tzing like you’ve known them for years.. and feel like you have.

Be in the moment as you eat kale for the third meal in a row. Appreciate where this food has come from, the people who prepared it, and how it nourishes your body.

Be in moment in your playshop: Learn Islamic Folk Dance. Look at the faces around you and smile at your sweaty selves as you learn these new dances. Feel the hands you hold and trust they will help guide you into the next step.

Be in moment as you play a game of roshambo with 200 new friends… all to determine the honor of raising the camp flag that morning. Realize you do not need caffeine to function in the morning, but you do appreciate the way it jolts your mind and body into the new day.

Be in the moment as you dance to 80’s music in your neon green tulle skirt. Appreciate that you can do this without alcoholic beverages. Know that you didn’t because you snuck a few sips of bourbon with Gingerrr, making you feel 19 again.

There will be a lot of moments to cherish. You will probably not remember them all but you will remember the feeling and that is the most important.

You WILL remember one of the last people, Toes, that you met as you were checking out of camp.  He’ll ask you how your camp experience went…

You’ll have no answers for him. Your answer will be a hug. You will explain that the feeling of a hug is the best way to explain your camp experience and you’ll say…

“Thank you for being a part of my experience.”

Because sometimes there are no words.

And your optimistic self will shine as bright as it once was and you’ll be happy.

Safe travels Erin. You will have a blast,
Taloola E. Mazing

P.S. More eloquent words, by another camper:  Into the Woods and Away from Technology

Y U no Wifi?

Dear Alaska Flight 25 from Boston to Seattle,

Y U no Wifi?

Seriously?!? A five-hour flight with no wifi? That’s like.. like… living in 1985!

Oh, well. Thank the stars I had my Kindle. And double thank the stars I had a book loaded.

Sans Wifi, I got the chance to start reading Jay-Z’s Decoded. It was glorious reading without the constant distraction of text, Facebook, Email, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (again). I learned four things during that cross country flight.

1. I have a short attention span.
2. I need to beef up my vocabulary.

Jay-Z claims that a good rapper is story-teller, but above all a poet. I am inclined to agree and was amazed at how many SAT words peppered his memoir. Throughout the book, he places lyrics to songs weaving the story of his life. Seeing these lyrics leads me to the final two points:

3. I have been saying some lyrics wrong for years.
4. The correct lyrics actually change the entire song.

My mind was blown.

So, thank you Alaska Flight 25. You gave me the opportunity to do some reading and blow my mind.

Sincerely,
Erin

P.S. The top 250 most difficult SAT words.