Hats off to 2013

What a year this has been, it started out with quite the bang for me. This time last year I was in a hospital in Prescott, Arizona experiencing the worst food poisoning as I sat by my passing Papa’s side through the night. On New Years day I rode next to him in a medical transport van to my hometown so he could be in his old home when he passed.  He passed away shortly after I returned to Los Angeles for school. Throughout this time my family kept saying how good I was at caring for him and dealing with his dementia. Looking back I think that this experience is what led to my revelations later in the year. 

 

I realized when I returned to school that there is more to life than what I was working towards and more importantly, that I want to help people. This thought has been in my mind throughout this year which has caused the shift that lead me to starting this blog. 

 

Reflection is such a great tool, lately I’ve been so consumed by what I’m not doing and what I haven’t accomplished. Today I’ve been looking back and I realized how much I’ve overcome and achieved in just one year. 

 

Highlights of this year:

  • Papa passed away
  • Started a business
  • Camped at joshua tree
  • Turned 21
  • Graduated from college
  • Moved to Sherman Oaks
  • Climbed Half Dome
  • Performed in the worst play, ever
  • Participated in a demolition derby
  • Purchased my first car, completely in my name
  • Moved my mom into a retirement community
  • Started teaching yoga
  • Ran the 5k in Disneyland with my sister
  • Began working at Elderberries
  • Became a teacher/mentor at Fusion Academy
  • Celebrated my Mom’s 60th Birthday and sister’s graduation
  • Ran in the most poorly organized 5k ever
  • Did Street Yoga Teacher Training
  • Started a blog
  • Missed one of my best and oldest friend’s wedding
  • Had my first Thanksgiving without my Family
  • Decided last minute to spend Christmas with family, and I’m happy I did

 

It’s been a challenging year full of monumental changes and I am in awe of all that has happened. In a couple hours I am heading to a friend’s house to ring in the new year by setting intentions, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now 2014 is upon us and instead of hoping for a year of smooth sailing I say bring on the hardships. It’s within these tough times that the growth happens, and that is what makes it all worth it. I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not had to deal a substantial amount of challenges. I still have so much growing and learning to do, and I can’t wait to see what this new year has to teach me.

 

Happy New Year to anyone reading this, I hope that 2014 is your most challenging year yet.

 

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Giving Thanks

Hey look, I did it! I’m writing another post! Let’s see if I can make this last, I hope it does. I don’t think many people saw my first post but I was really touched by those who did and encouraged me to keep writing. Thank you, sometimes you just need a little affirmation.

This past week was Thanksgiving, a time to spend with those you love, sharing what you’re grateful for and eating copious amounts of food. Growing up I spent most Thanksgivings with my Dad and sisters in the sand dunes. We’d ride quads, hang around the fire and of course, eat until we fell asleep. The older I got, rather the older my Dad got, we stopped going out to the sand dunes as much and had more “traditional” gatherings. 

I moved to Los Angeles about three and a half years ago and every year since moving I’ve managed to spend Thanksgiving with my family. This Thanksgiving was my first not seeing any of them and I gotta say, it was one of the best. My good friend Sarit invited me into her home to celebrate not just Thanksgiving but Hanukkah with her family. Being that I was raised Episcopalian and I’m fascinated by religions I was super excited! 

Sometime before dinner I mentioned it was my first Thanksgiving without family and they started to feel bad for me. I didn’t want them to because I felt welcome and content being where I was. It was a lovely night filled with warmth, food, tea, and cards against humanity. No fighting, no craziness, but lots of love, laughter and gratitude. 

I reflected upon this night later and started to realize some things about my life and where I am right now. When I first moved to Los Angeles I was completely miserable. I secluded myself, made no friends and became pretty depressed. This continued for about the first two years I lived here. In the middle of my time in LA I actually lived in New York (I took a semester of school there). Towards the end of the semester I had a teacher call me out. He said I was a victim from the things that have happened to me in my life and I needed to stop letting myself be one. He saw right through me to what had been going on for years and woke me up. I cried for the first time in a long time. I told myself it was time to make a change.

Upon coming back to Los Angeles I set out to create a healthier lifestyle for myself, I had been overweight for years and I knew that it was adding to my depression so I figured it was a good place to start. I ended up falling in love with hiking and the free yoga classes at Runyon Canyon. Fast forward a little over a year later, I decided to take my first yoga teacher training and that is where I discovered this incredible community of likeminded people. LA started to feel less fake, cold and lifeless. There was warmth and light within this group of people. I was able to start opening my heart up to them, and what I received for my bravery is worth so much more than any money can buy. I’ve climbed mountains, shared stories, danced with my eyes closed, gotten much needed advice and laughed so much my abs were sore with these people. I continue to meet more and more incredible people through yoga and I couldn’t be more grateful for each and every one of them in my life.

So what have I learned/realized from this Thanksgiving? I have not just one but many people here who I know would be there for me should I ever need it. I feel safe, I feel loved and dare I say it, I feel like I belong. This is a huge step for me. I know I still have a long way to go in figuring out who I am and where I’m supposed to be but right now, I’m so lucky to be here surrounded by more love than I could ask for.

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The hardest step.

I’ve had this thought for sometime that I should start writing. I’ve always loved writing, but when it comes down to it I’m bad at being consistent. I have countless diaries that recount two days of my life followed by empty pages of my forgetfulness and inconsistency. This pattern repeats itself in multiple aspects of my life. I set out to start new journals and projects always telling myself “I’m gonna go for it this time. I’m going to be consistent and it’s going to help me live a fuller and happier life”. When in reality it’s the gung-ho mentality that ultimately causes me to burn out on whatever it is I had set out to accomplish. I’ve had more hobbies than I can count, from photography and making jewelry to film analysis and fire dancing (really I took fire dancing classes last summer). I’ve invested so much energy into these activities over the years and I almost always end up burning out or giving up. This is one of the reasons I’ve been weary to start a blog (or anything for that matter).

My other hesitation comes from my self doubt. Who am I and what makes me so special that people would actually be interested in what I have to say? I doubt myself more than I believe in myself. I’m constantly putting energy into helping others achieve their dreams and find their happiness but I’m never true to myself about what it is that I need to be doing for me. I think I’m scared to admit that I’m at this place where I have no clue what I’m doing with my life. I’m scared, excited, bored, anxious, and exhilarated all at the same time. I’m 21 years old, I graduated college six months ago, I have a degree in something my heart was set on my whole life but now seems meaningless. I’ve wanted to be a performer for as long as I can remember and I was lucky enough to have a mother who supported my dreams and helped me go to performing arts school. But now that I’m finished, the idea of performing causes me stress and anxiety. I hate to say it but art school ruins artists, or at least it did for me. I can probably count the number of times that I’ve sang the past few months, even for my own enjoyment. I’ve fallen out of love with the only thing that has been constant in my life and I don’t know what to do about it.

The one thing I was “certain” about in life is no longer fulfilling. So where do I go from here?

While in college I discovered new things that made me happy, one was cooking and baking. I had never really cooked for myself before, I didn’t know anything about it but I researched, started teaching myself and ended up discovering this whole beautiful world in health food and allergy-friendly baking. I started to bake vegan for fun and eventually ended up becoming vegan myself because I loved how it made me feel. I can’t help but to laugh at that because I used to be that guy who thought vegetarians were stupid,  just being trendy and thought they were better than others. Alas the more you know the more you grow.

I also discovered yoga; With it came a community of like minded individuals who are striving to make a difference in their own lives as well as other’s. I feel more connected to myself through yoga than anything else I’ve tried. I have made connections and friendships that I am grateful for and truly cherish. I know that had I not discovered this world I would be back in Arizona, depressed and not going anywhere with my life (side note: not that I have anything against people who go back home or those who stayed in Arizona. We all have different paths, I’ve just realized is that being there isn’t part of mine at the moment).

So here I am, a young, confused twenty something with a degree in hand wondering what the hell do I do with all of this? Whenever I try to think about my big life plans/goals what constantly comes to mind is that I want to be of service. I want to help others. I don’t know what that means for my future at the moment so I’m trying to figure it out as I go; Taking small steps that will hopefully point me in the “right” direction starting with this blog. This isn’t going to be a typical yoga blog or a baking blog, but a Bobbi blog. A place for me to ramble about my thoughts, hopefully be able to help someone through my story and if I’m lucky figure out what to do with my life. Maybe this will be my first and last post because I’m inconsistent, and I’m okay with that. Because for me starting is the hardest part, and I need to give myself room to try new things and make mistakes because that’s the only way to grow.

Climbing Half Dome

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