Me and my 100 days again – it only seemed right to do my first 100 days in the Bay after wrapping up my last 100 days in Seattle. For anyone wondering why 100 is a symbolic number for me – here’s why: When I was doing research for my first 100 day challenge, 100 days sober, I found that 30 days forms or breaks a habit, but 100 days forms or breaks a lifestyle. While I find habits fascinating, I wanted to see a bigger impact on my overall health and way of life.
10 entires, 100 days, and probably 49,394 grilled cheeses with onion from In-N-Out. The Bay has been full of life and lessons.

June 2nd: The Sweetest of Sendoffs from the Sweetest of Souls

More important that the free wine, I think you taught me an important life lesson which is that it is okay to fuck up or be unsure when coming into a new role. TL is a v undefined role and you’ve made it your own. You held us to higher than high expectations (thank you tbh) and some of us rose to the occasion. Thank you for everything and your PROBABLY LARGE nuggets will appreciate the fun that you bring to the classroom along with the Pisces wisdom that you bring. I’m so incredibly happy that I came to ADORE you as a person and so happy to see all the unlearning and learning that you’ve done this year. You. Can. Do. This.”

June 17th:

It’s so hard finally living in the same state again and knowing you’re not here anymore. I feel you in the breeze, the waves, and in moments of genuine kindness. You are here – just in a new form. I miss you a lot and wish more than anything we could go on one last beach walk. I hope you’re saving me a grilled cheese with onions in Heaven (where there is undoubtedly an In-n-Out). Thinking of you my dude, till next time. 💫

July 3rd:

I love the people I’ve met and I miss the people I love. What I’m just now realizing at the ripe age of 24, is that everyone is walking up their own mountain. It’s easy to forget that we walked different trails to get to this point where we our trails are merging. Everyone is beautiful, broken, and complex. I have enjoyed getting to know the pages within everyone’s books because there are always so many more chapters than I anticipated. 

July 10th:

No words – only chills, and peace for survivors. Thank you Kesha.

July 15th:

2017 is shaping up to be a great year for mental health dialogue/activism – I am so so glad Netflix came out with a movie tackling the glamorization of eating disorders. Yes, the film is triggering – but hey, life is triggering – yet here we stand. As much as I appreciate the thoughtfulness of trigger warnings, I often find them privileged and self-fulfilling. Most people experience trauma without warning or support. If treatment taught me anything, it’s that I am not a victim to these triggers. I can both disagree with and disobey the ED voice. I have, and I do.

I definitely recommend watching the film, especially if you find yourself thinking “I don’t get it, just eat.” This was a quote many people in my life became really fixated on, and I think it speaks to the misunderstanding that eating disorders are only about food – they’re not. They are about control, pain, and loss. Telling me to eat was telling me to give up my control, and that would often send me into a dark place.

I am now four years out of treatment, but it is still on my mind every day. I think it will always be a part of who I am and the way I see the world. Moments like these make me incredibly grateful for my support system. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

July 23rd:

The death of Linkin Park’s frontman hit closer to home than expected. It sparks in my mind the need for mental health to be treated just as seriously as physical health. I heard a great TEDTalk about upkeeping one’s mental hygiene the same way you do with your physical hygiene. I think what stands out the most to me is the importance to be proactive (as opposed to reactive) with one’s mental health.

I’ve been to therapy on and off for 5 years – never because I wanted to, but always because my parents made me. I openly hated therapy, and was sure to tell each therapist this (needless to say I was a delight). It wasn’t until this past spring that I chose to seek out a therapist on my own accord. I was preparing to leave the home I’d known for 24 years and wanted to be proactive about how to handle that transition. This was a therapist I had seen before (with the large chip on my shoulder), and I recall the huge smile she had on her face when I walked through her door this March.

What brings you back?” she inquired.

I’m finally ready. I want to be here.”

And from that point forward, my outlook on mental health changed. I was comfortable enough to tell my coworkers the reason I needed to leave work early every week, and I was comfortable saying I needed help.

I hope mental health becomes part of a more daily dialogue, and we can practice mental hygiene together.

August 4th: The Sweetest of Souls Pt. 2

Hey there sweet Tara, I just read your blog post about you and Eric’s friendship and love story. It reminded me of something I’d been wanting to reach out and tell you, but simply hadn’t taken the time to.

I can remember sitting on your bed with you in our house and you telling me the story of you and Eric, showing me pictures of him, right before and after you went down to visit Chapman in 2015, and then again hearing about when you saw him that summer in 2016 when I visited Seattle. I don’t know why I remember, it shouldn’t have been anything super memorable with all the men that we’re in and out of the house and all the stories and memories recounted between us all, but there was a magic and such a light in your eyes when you spoke about that particular boy that is so rare to see, that it stuck with me. I just wanted you to know that even other people could see that you two shared something different, something truly special.

I’m so sorry that you lost your dear friend, I can’t imagine the heartbreak. I hope someday you can find some meaning, even if it’s just that you got to be an example of true love for a time being to people you don’t even realize you touched.”

August 7th:

The 206 reminds me how truly lucky I am to have the home I do. My friends are my family and my family are my friends. I was lucky enough to call the 206 my home for 24 years, but visiting solidified that my next adventure is onward and elsewhere. From the bay to the other Washington, I’ve got my sights set on creating some new homes and paths for myself.

It was weird to be home and not see or talk to you. I hear you’re not doing well, and it makes me sad. I wish you would take better care of yourself – if not for you, then for the people who love you – I hope you know I will always be one of those people.

August 19th:

These two songs best surmise the balancing act between moving forward from a tumultuous relationship, and diving into something new.

September 2nd:

Sometimes I fear that the greatest loves in my life have already happened. With each new relationship, I become more apathetic to the idea that I could fall again. It sometimes feels like my heart is destined to want what is not available – whether it was distance or timing, it never seems to fall into place. I moved to California because I both needed and wanted a change of pace. I was becoming too much a creature of habit, and I needed to disrupt the patterns and predictability.

“Love never leaves a heart where it found it,” and I feel truly grateful that my heart is well-traveled. as I try to fall into something new, I can’t help but feel a sense of belonging to myself. It’s like my heart is flying home from time abroad. My heart is starting to feel like mine again, and I’m happy.

So – how is my life different now than it was in May?

On paper, it is a 180 – new job, new state, new friends – everything changed. But honestly, I don’t feel too different. If anything, all this transition and change has calmed me down. I haven’t felt homesick. In a lot of ways, everything I could miss, I still have, or I have found. My friends and family will always be one spontaneous FaceTime away, and the rest felt like skin I needed to shed. I’ve found a great network of people who have similar values, but still challenge me to think differently about the world. I am doing what I love, and I love what I do.Cheers to growing and going forward, y’all. 

On Deck: 100 days of teaching – Nov 2017.