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On the Roam Again

This spider taking a nap next to my window encouraged me to write. It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted, which is embarrassing. I’ve been busy, but that’s no excuse.  In the year of not posting I managed to dive into community college. Living in Austin is fun, everybody knows that, but after years of hanging out, and still being homesick, you have to have an answer for yourself when you can’t stop asking “Wtf am I really doing here?”.

Last September I saw a flyer at school and it said “Is your classroom here?”, a picture of a standard classroom with desks and a chalkboard, and another picture that said “Or is it here?”, this picture was of a metropolitan city in France for a government class. I immediately went to the library, got on the computer and applied, I had to take that class anyway in the future so why not? Since then, I’ve been stuffing money into a bright yellow envelope in my drawer and praying that at least 9 other students sign up for this program. 10 doesn’t sound like a lot, but I don’t know 10 people that would save their money and travel. I know 100 people who would talk about how expensive traveling is, unaware that the drive through they visit multiple times a week is killing their pockets. If you’re broke at least have an interesting reason for it.

I was so ecstatic when I got the email that 15 students signed up so the study abroad program could take place. I actually cried when I got another email that I was a recipient for a scholarship that I applied for through my school. It was $2,000, which isn’t a whole lot but I’m really proud of myself you guys, I wasn’t exactly a scholar back in my traditional school years. After multiple trips to Target I was ready for France! Strasbourg to be exact.

Its been a little over a week and I finally feel like a normal person. This is one of the most unique experiences I will ever have. Usually I never talk much to the other students in class, mostly because I have to focus and I’m really f’n tired from work, but here we are all in this together….in a foreign country, trying to figure out how to start the washing machine at the laundry mat down the street. Its not a vacation because usually on vacation you’re not grocery shopping and going to the post office. But what a lovely post office it is, Strasbourg, a city I had never heard of, is beyond words beautiful. Its diverse, full of nice people (except for the creeps who followed us yesterday), and is giving me what I always yearn for, a different experience than my everyday life.

My computer is barely on life support so I can only add pictures from my phone and not my big camera at the moment. Whomp.

 

 

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x+2=fart

So it’s been a little over a month now since I’ve been back from my trip. Everyday life has been good to me lately, but I still find it a lot easier to adjust to wanderlust life, than work and school life. A week after I got back to Austin I started community college, there’s a campus  two blocks down the street from me, so I’m not even going to pretend that if it wasn’t so incredibly convenient I may not have been so eager to go. So far it’s been good, but still a doozy. I soon realized that I didn’t schedule myself a day off. There isn’t a day that I’m not at work or school, or both. Staying busy and productive is what I wished for, and you know how that saying goes. If all it was was just going to class it wouldn’t seem as daunting, but it’s the amount work that has to be done outside of class that is so surprising. Homework, sigh, there is SO.MUCH.OF.IT. To someone straight out of high school it’s probably no big deal, but to someone who has been out of school for 12 years, and also hated school since the third grade, it’s a fucking lot of shit to do. Managing my time has been a challenge, I have to be  so strategic or else I may not have time to wipe my ass. I’m playing a mean game of tetris with my life these days. And why doesn’t anybody tell you that in college, even community college, nothing is explained to you?! It’s like “here ya go, figure it out. Oh and by the way, it has to be submitted online”. Wtf is this online shit?! Am I that ancient? Ahem, back in my day the only assignments we did online were English papers, now every class has assignments online. Annoying. Triple annoying when you’re computer is unreliable. As much as I sigh, and will continue to sigh with frustration, I feel really good about this experience. You probably can’t tell, but my grammar is getting better, and although I’m spent most days, I feel f’n great because I’m being stretched. When I say I hated school before, I mean I loathed it deeply. I didn’t even want to go to my own high school graduation because I thought school was the biggest waste of time. Now I realize that it’s not just specifically  what I’m learning, its me learning how to learn and focus, so I can be productive and write best selling novels that will be in Oprahs Book Club (is that still a thing?)and say badass quotes in interviews like J.K. Rowling and go on a never ending book tour.SIGH. I do feel kind of smart now because I got 100% on my math quiz last week! #firsttimeforeverything.

 

I’ve always known that my ritual of drinking tea every morning and putting on lavender before I left was beneficial to my spirit but now I know it for a fact because I didn’t do it yesterday. I took a Lyft to the airport which was great and both my flights were on time which was also a relief, there was also a Popeyes near my gate so it was just a lovely morning all around honestly. When I landed in San Diego I got my bag and got in a cab to the greyhound bus station and since I’m on vacation I decided it was tīme I acted like it and tried to pay for it with my credit card….but it was declined. As I was calling Capital One I was looking at my card and realized that it expired in March. I literally never use my credit card except when I’m on vacation which sadly isn’t too often. I immediately started freaking out because you need a valid credit card to rent a car, I had already made a reservation to rent a car the next day after I got back from Tijuana. My phone was at 40% as I waited on hold for 20 minutes with the rental car company  but I hung up because I had to get on the bus to Tijuana and needed my phone to contact my airbnb hosts. Of course at this point I’m internally crumbling wanting to cry to my mommy or lay in the middle of the highway. The whole point of a road trip is to drive! The bus to Tijuana was annoying and weird, we kept stopping in these little shopping centers to let people on and off and they didn’t even glance at my passport. I got off at a different stop than I had originally planned because it was closer to where I was staying. Of course my phone didn’t work because I was in another country so I used a cab drivers phone. My host was f’n awesome. He was so lovely and gracious, we took a walk with his dog by the beach which wasn’t too far, he was very informative and helpful. I clearly like to do my own thing so I wanted to roam alone, he made sure I knew how to get back and I went on my way. I’ve been to random places in Mexico before but only when I was working as a flight attendant and once by myself to Cabo San Lucas when I had a week off, but its touristy there. Tijuana isn’t terribly nice, some people love it but I didn’t find it very inviting, I also couldn’t relax and fully be there because I didn’t know how the car situation would turn out.  I walked along the beach for awhile and went into a coffee shop and had one of best cups of chai tea that I’ve ever had and one of the worst turkey sandwiches. I walked back to the airbnb in a hurry because the sun was going down. There were a lot of men trying to stop me, I’m never scared to go anywhere but I was definitely uncomfortable. One man in particular tried to stop me but I kept ignoring him, I thought I was lost for a second but I made it back and as I was fumbling with the key to the gate a minivan pulled up with a man and a woman and a little boy, he told me that the man I just saw was trying to tell me that another man was following me all the way from the beach, he was trying to help me. I was horrified. Thanking all the gods I was safe indoors I went to bed super early, like before 9:30 early because I just wanted to wake up and go back  to SD to see about renting a car. Of course I got up super early as a result and was listening to ‘N Sync’s “Sailing” at 5:30 in the morning to clear my head. There was also no water so I had to wash my face and brush my teeth this morning with a bottle of water I’m happy I only took 2 sips of earlier. I don’t know why but I thought an uber could take me all the way back to the SD airport, like across the border. Greyhound was weird the day before and I just wanted to go, I confirmed with the guy as soon as I got in his car and we took off. I started to notice us going in circles but I didn’t say anything but then the driver pulled over and said he can’t go across the border because he doesn’t have a visa. SIGH. Have you ever just like really wanted to leave somewhere? Not like the usual antsy-ness like getting off work, the severe desperation of wanted so badly to go and not look back? That’s how I felt about Tijuana, Mexico this morning. The driver was nice enough to drop me off at the greyhound station in Tijuana, where I should’ve just gone originally. The line to get back in the US was a doozy but it was quick!

I was elated to be able to use my phone and take a $3 Lyft to the car rental place at the airport. I was nervous walking in but the guy at the counter couldn’t care less that I don’t have a valid credit card. All I had to was show him my return flight reservation and I was good. Well that was easy. I was out! So happy to be behind the wheel of car and nice one at that. I drove to my hostel and called my mom, relaxed a little then took a walk to a farmers market by the beach. While I was there this guy who was also staying at my hostel recognized me and we walked along the beach. His name is Reed and he’s been traveling by bicycle all the way from Washington. He wants to continue all the way to South America. I hope he does, he seemed to be in a discouraged state of mind, I had to remind him that he’s come so far so he’s obviously awesome and he can do anything. We were talking about the word travel and what it really means, he said to him its doing anything you don’t normally do, even in your hometown and he’s so right! We split up and I called a few peeps to let them know I was alive, got some tea from the farmers market as well as a blanket for this annoying person in SF and here I am laying on the bottom bunk of this hostel, geez almost 1,200 words. I’m sorry, get back to your lives just know that the corny quote “It’s not the destination, its the journey”…..its true….and I’ve only just begun.

 

 

This Close

So, ahem tomorrow is the day I leave for my road trip. I’m going to try to post at least every other day but of course that will depend on my wifi situation. As of tonight I have my first 5 nights booked, which is the most planning I plan to do, after that I’m going to wing it mostly until I get to SF. I was really stressed yesterday and most of today because no one was getting back to me on airbnb and I really wanted to have a place booked near Venice Beach and now I do so I’m going to try to sleep for a couple of hours and then use this uber app that I downloaded for the first time today and go to the airport! Next time I post I’ll be on the west coast! There’s a lot I’m nervous about, but it’s more than okay, my will and nerve to do this far outweighs any anxiety I could ever have. Hot pink toes.

Sun Shower

Per usual I am watching the cursor come and go, wondering which keys I should be hitting. I’ve been thinking about it all day but if I knew what I was going to write that would kind of take the fun out of it, for me at least. For the past 7 or months I’ve been writing in my journal ballpoints of good things that happened to me that particular day. It used to be just 4 or maybe 5 things but I’ve been encouraged to write 10 things I’m thankful for everyday. Sometimes it could just be that I found a  quarter or even a penny on the ground (pennies are still money people!) or sometimes it’s a really sweet surprising gesture from a friend or customer at work. Today for example I’m thankful for the Teena Marie station on Pandora. Yesterday one of my coworkers bought me a cookie, my friend Amy came to visit me at work, and I got to christen a car with the name Dametria, because every car should have a name. I am also very thankful my friend Claudia let me borrow her gps for my trip! I keep seeing cardinals which is very symbolic and getting a lot more sleep, also the Headspace app works, maybe its all in my head *elbow nudge* get it?! Because it’s for meditation so its in your head and…yeah. Where am I going with this…. oh yes I now practice the very fine art of acknowledging even the smallest things throughout the day that make me smile and chuckle because I feel like now that I do that I’ll have even more things to smile and chuckle about. Except for the guy who stopped his car when I was walking in my neighborhood earlier today asking if I needed a ride, no thanks! Midnight blue nails.

Idk? Oh Yeah

Not sure what that title means, figure it out for me will ya? It’s about time you did something, you’re so lazy! As for me, I just realized that I’ve been jogging almost 20 miles a week for a couple of months now, small victories. I never kept track of it because I don’t want to get into some weird competition with myself but I was curious so I looked up the distance on the gps on my phone and was surprised it was that much. 6 months ago if someone would’ve told me I would be out jogging I would be keeled over laughing hysterically because I don’t think of myself as a ‘fit’ person and I still don’t, I just like getting out and having the sun on me and seeing all the cute puppies. I also really love feeling productive which is definitely unfamiliar but welcomed. I started meditating last week with this app called Headspace which has been helpful to my chakras. Maybe I’ll ask that guy I accidentally went on a date with if he wants to eat nachos on Wednesday, we’ll see, I’ll keep you posted…..get it?? because this is a blog that I post on….(elbow nudge)….Ahem.So there’s that… not even 300 words yet okay….I’m sitting here antsy because I really want to continue watching House Hunters, there’s new episodes on Netflix that I’m way too excited about. Road trip in 4 weeks and 1 day! Amethyst nails by the way.

Guess Who’s Coming to get Ice Cream?

Watching the cursor blink, I’m SO good at that. Another thing I excel at is avoiding possible good things in my life for no good reason. Some real 90’s era sitcom shit happened to me this past week and taught me once again that the universe is amusingly in total control at all times. Matt, a frequent Soup Peddler customer, gave me his phone number recently, we chat and chuckle a lot when he comes in so I wasn’t surprised but still overly nervous to actually call him. After a month of procrastinating as well as role playing with my friends about what to say IF he actually answered the phone I called him last Monday, we talked for a few minutes and I suggested we go out for ice cream soon. Exhale, I called him, finally at 30 years old I can call a man, if you knew me you’d know that congratulations are most definitely in order. The next day I get a call from my friend Regina, I was surprised because she now lives in London but is in town for her moms funeral, we make plans to get together, once again I suggest ice cream. I guess I’m all about the soft serve these days idk, I’m like Mrs. Softee or something *shrugs*. Later that same day I get a text from a random number about going out for ice cream the next day, I assume it’s Regina because I just talked to her a few hours before and I knew I had limited time with her so we texted back and forth throughout the evening and made  plans to hang out Wednesday afternoon. I didn’t save Regina’s number because she was using her friends phone and I didn’t save Matt’s yet either…….So here comes Wednesday,  I text “Regina” asking for her address so I can go pick her up,  because clearly she doesn’t have a car, she’s been living in London riding the Tube, duhh! I look up the address and its conveniently right by me…..and the Soup Peddler, I was relieved because Regina is from South Austin so I assumed whatever family member or friend she is staying with would live around there too so I was definitely happy to not have to drive across town at 4:30 in the afternoon. I throw on an old t-shirt and coochie cutters and drive about 10 minutes, get to the house, ponder walking up to the door but instead just text “I’m here”. About a minute later someone comes to my car…..but it’s not who I’m expecting. It was not Regina, it was Matt who I was texting the whole time. I was sweating so much!! I started frantically looking through my phone wondering what the hell I said to this man, there is no telling with my sense of humor. After the extreme initial shock I just smirked at how funny and helpful life has the possibility of forcing us to do things. We had a good time, we talked and laughed and made plans to hang out this coming week. If I actually knew I was texting him I never would’ve agreed to hang out so casually, I would’ve put it off FOR NO GOOD REASON! I literally have to be tricked into dating. Sigh that’s some funny shit. Also I painted my toe nails blue today.

30 going on 13

Remember in ‘The Spongebob Movie’ that came out in the early ’00’s?  In the beginning  he wakes up and he has one of those box calendars where you rip each day off well that day he got up and ripped the previous date off and the present day was March 7th, which is today and also ahem, my birthday. My 30th birthday……isn’t that supposed to mean something? I do feel different but in a great way, I feel really fortunate but even at times  when I’m sad and pissy  I still know that I’m fortunate but I’ve been feeling especially positive lately. Last night my heart was so happy because I went out to dinner with friends, one in particular came to Austin just for my b’day and I am truly so thankful for that.I just want to feel the love you guys! I am not afraid of getting older, there was a time when i was though. When I was around 12  my mom like sat me down for one of those serious-ish-talks and told me that I should start wearing a training bra #mortified. I was so freaked out, I was like any other tween except I DID NOT want to grow up, I knew it kind of sucked, I’m psychic. But I’ve turned over a new crunchy leaf and I feel no apprehension about anything that has to do with my age or all the logistics and feels of getting older. I’m a very late bloomer so sure if you’re counting my life chronologically I am 30 years old but I’m slapping my knee keeled over when the ketchup bottle makes a fart noise so there.

its about time

So I’m supposed to follow up ‘Fudgement Day’ how? By writing about something uplifting and inspiring? Adventurous and bewildering? Hell no! I could say as an excuse that I didn’t have any inspiration or I’ve been just been soooo busy but as usual I’m a big chicken shit and I don’t take the time to do this as often as I should, which is all the time. I’m going to make a commitment (something I, in the past was not particularly fond of) to post biweekly whatever the fuck is on my mind. I could write about the name of my nail polish or specific things I’m currently struggling with, which usually includes which nail polish to actually use. So yeah! Exciting stuff, I know just by reading this you’re probably shitting your pants with anticipation and suspense. For starters I, Natasha Day, am going back to school starting this summer. I really just wrote that. I still feel my eyes bulge out of my head like Large Marge every time I think about it, but yeah I need to hone my craft and just working and hanging out in Austin is not the business anymore, its redundant and honestly kind of whack. There’s a difference between having fun and being happy. I still have fun here all the time but I need something that’s stimulating as well as productive. Before I hit the books I’ll be hitting the road!! I cant just jump right into this productive responsible life, I need some adventure first. In a couple months I’ll be riding up the Pacific Coast in an old school red Pontiac wearing some cat eye sunglasses and a scarf around my head that will soar off and fly into the desert sky behind me. I can’t imagine how it could possibly be any different from that…… except I will most likely be driving an affordable rented economy vehicle, wearing the same leggings and coochie cutters everyday stopping every 2 miles to air out my butt crack, and I look stupid in cat eye sunglasses, I’m still going to feel the fantasy though. I already feel so much better just getting ready for school (which takes more effort than I realized) and planning the things that I actually need to plan for my road trip, just doing things that make me feel confident and productive makes me happy. I’d appreciate any road trip tips! and school tips! or any nail polishes I haven’t tried yet. Thanks for reading!