The Year of ‘Yes’

My thirty-third year of being in existence was a little…. hectic. For those of you that were there for it, yikes, I feel for ya. I also really appreciate you for helping me get through it one way or another. Everyone whose path crossed with mine offered a lesson, tiny and huge, that helped me get out of the shit storm I was in. Many, many thanks.

The moment I turned thirty-four, I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone whenever an opportunity presented itself to me. It happened almost immediately. I treated myself to a trip to SLC to see one of my greatest friends in life (yeah, you’re welcome) and he had some great activities planned for us, one of them being a huge haunted house that offered a couple of thrill options at the end. I started off by telling him I didn’t want to do anything that resembled bungee jumping, I hated that shit. I opted for zip lining, but since he does a lot of that at his job, we decided on what they call the “Free Fall”. Now, I asked the lady to describe this “ride” to me and, bless her heart, she struggled to tell us that you fall, but the cable thing slows down and catches you before you hit the ground. Hm. Yeah, ok. Whatever.

We get through the haunted house, including the part where we were separated, the ONE THING he didn’t want to happen (yet another yes), and I ended up with Freddy, he with Jason. Great costumes, lots of flashing lights, but this was in September for god’s sake, so not a lot of people. We’re then directed to the “Free Fall” and I immediately see it’s pretty fucking similar to bungee jumping. I shook my head, “you mother fucker” (he knows that’s a term of endearment, calm down), and poor guy looked genuinely sorry. In fact, the guy that was up there at the time ended up backing out and disappeared into the building. Not the best motivation, let me tell you. But something snapped in me in that moment. I said “alright, fuck it, let’s do it.” I made the decision and wasn’t going to let myself back out or stall.

We climbed up to the platform where the barely 18 year old’s were sending people to their potential deaths. I made my friend go first to see what was going to happen, but I was too chicken to stand on the platform and watch, so it was all up to me and 3 teenagers. The odds were ever in my favor. The boys could somehow sense my fear. It definitely wasn’t me telling my friend that I couldn’t believe I was up there, about to do this. Or that I was like, “hey, I’m scared shitless,” no, it was all intuition. Anyways, they were actually great and told me to look up, not out, so I wouldn’t get tripped up by my fear of heights. I stepped out to the platform, took a step to the right, then took a deep breath. Looking up and gripping the rope for dear life, I walked off into the abyss. I was free falling, then promptly slowed down before breaking both legs during the landing. Seriously, what a fucking rush. I kinda wish I’d taken a moment to look around and be a little more scared. Anyways, I took that very uncomfortable harness off to find my friend who was telling me I came down too fast for him to get any video. Good!

From that moment forward, I’ve said “Yes” to many situations I’d typically not find myself in. It’s been beyond amazing.

“Wanna go to a concert?”Jamina asked me. Hell yes!!!

“Halloween at my place?” Said Clint. Fuck yeah!!

“How about the Abbey?” Clayton and JoAnna after breakfast. Of course my friends!!

“Let’s go to my place??” asked the cute guy in glasses. Yes please!

So my mind has been blown, my psyche explored different places, got to watch my favorite band (Gogol Bordello) ON STAGE, and finally saw the inside of a tour bus. I’ve been on the best motorcycle rides. Saw James Bond in the theater. Jumped off of buildings. Kayaked in the mountains. And my biggest yes ever?? Let’s move to Mexico!!!

My decision to move came before my year of yes, but I honestly think that I would’ve changed plans if my mind had been in a different place.

Moral of the story? Say ‘yes’. Even if you’re not sure, say it. Do it. You can always change your mind, no? But you’ll regret the no’s that should’ve been yeses. You’ll regret the people you didn’t meet. You’ll regret the personal growth that would change you. And above all, you’ll regret not taking the giant leap into the unknown. Why would you deprive yourself?! I said “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and haven’t looked back.


Whatever is Happening to Me, I’m Starting to Understand Why

*I’m not going to repeat my current situation, so please hop over to other blog to catch up if you haven’t already. ūüôā

After weeks of accepting my current fate, moving forward with plans, and getting excited to once again get on the road, I’m finally seeing some of what the Universe, or whatever you like to call it, has been trying to show me.

I’m just going to dive right in here. This weekend, I met a guy who made quite an impact on me, physically and mentally. We met through a mutual friend and got along immediately. I’m not using the phrase “hit it off” because it wasn’t really like that. We had an easy rapport from the start, and shared a morbid sense of humor. Cool, I’ve actually met a lot of people like that. We hung out, let the night take us to none-of-your-business and had a great time in every aspect. It was so great that we agreed to meet up again a few days later.

Second round was as great as the first, but it also involved a little more of the “getting to know you” type of conversation. What I got to know, albeit briefly, was that as a person, I wanted to be more like him.

He is very put together and for all intents and purposes, has his priorities straight. His style is clean, it suits him well, and it’s quality without being over the top. He’s the type of person that doesn’t keep around a lot of “stuff”, but it’s not stark minimalism by any means. Not only does he look and act put together, he actually is. Well-liked by his employers and looked to for direction by his employees, this guy’s obviously going places in life. And I want that.

I want to be put together in the way I look. I don’t apologize for the days I wear sweat pants in public, but I won’t be attracting the right opportunities that way either. It’s time that I start taking a look in the mirror before leaving the house, maybe put some effort into which shoes go with my top, which earrings would look good today, and not keep them in for a month. And maybe, just maybe, see what some of the current trends are. I know I have a good sense of style, but I feel it’s time to refine it.

Next, it’s time for me to stop living like a slob in my home. I’ve been embarrassed by that for years now, but just can’t seem to get my shit together when it comes to cleaning up. When I finally get my place in Mexico, I have to get everything unpacked and put away immediately. It feels so good to have an organized home. I can’t tell you how many times I have dreaded going home because I had a month’s worth of clean laundry taking over my bed, or that my kitchen sink was full of every glass and dish I owned. I can’t even invite people over at times because it’s just too much. What a gross feeling, and I’m fucking 34 for gods sake, get a grip Barbara!

As far as my career goes, I’m grateful that I can always fall back on waiting tables, for work and extra income, but I’m also ready to find my passion. Rarely does anyone do what they love, but a lot of people I know love what they do, or at the very least it doesn’t suck and their paycheck helps. I haven’t felt lost in my life by any means, but I’ve felt unfulfilled in many parts of it and I’m still unsure of “what I want to be when I grow up.” I’m ok with that, I’ve been ok with that, but I’ve been feeling like it’s definitely time for me to figure it out.

I’m getting back in touch with my writing (obviously since I’ve kind of become a blogging fiend lately) and am looking at opportunities to work my passion into earning a paycheck. The Internet is vast and flexible, offering tons of satellite job options. It’s time for me to buckle down and search those jobs out, and start building my portfolio and resume.

Another passion I have, which cracks me up, is the krauting! I’m really good at it. It’s really good for you, and it’s part of a fast-growing food trend. I’m not sure how making fermented foods will fit in with my Mexican life, but I’m going to pull up my big girl pants, ask around, and figure it out.

These realizations are huge to me. A lot of people get to this point because of something terrible in their lives. It could be because they lost jobs, or friends, or both. I’m fortunate that’s not how this came to be in my heart and head. Did something terrible happen? Yeah, it did and it was fucked up. But it led me to meet a few amazing people, one in particular that, unbeknownst to him, has awakened in me the desire to better myself.

Finding My Zen

Earlier this year¬†I did something I’ve always wanted to do in a place I’ve never been: a yoga retreat in ¬†Costa Rica! I¬†was so¬†thrilled to go for a number of reasons.

  1. I had never traveled to an exotic, rain forest-y place before and had been longing to do it. My sister went once, years ago, and told me how beautiful and amazing it was to zip line through the tall, tropical trees, spotting monkeys here and there. So, yeah, monkeys.
  2. I know a lot of people who have done yoga retreats and they seem to be stress-free for years on their return. Everything about them screams ‘At peace with myself’ when they return and I was needing¬†that in the worst way.
  3. 99.9% of my trips out of town are for/with family and sometimes work. Yes, I go to Mexico every year. Yes, I go to California multiple times a year. These trips are great, they really are, but they are to the same place in a very comfortable setting. It was time I acted like a 32 year old and went somewhere new and different. This is not to say that I’ve ever had a bad time with my family, just a bit lackluster.
  4. Yoga is a newer hobby/passion/exercise/practice for me that 10 years ago I would have excelled at, but over time, my body is not as flexible. I like to be good at the things I enjoy doing. Two, 2-hour classes a day seemed like the best, most efficient way to improve.
  5. Also, I was in desperate need to clear my head and find my happy place again. Someone close to me had been dealing with addiction and I was letting it affect me and take me to some really dark, terrible places. I had lost my Zen, my patience, my sanity, and I really wanted it all back.
Costa Rica Travel

Heading to Costa Rica!

The trip was amazing and fulfilled everything I was hoping it would. The RAINFOREST is absolutely stunning. Just the exotic sounds constantly coming from it was enough to make me catch my breath frequently. The cicadas were doing their annual noise making, pretty much drowning out any attempt at conversation three times a day. You could set your clock to their schedule. And we did during our yoga practice. By the time we settled into Savasana¬†the bug’s song would be going at full-volume, creating an intense aural pattern that deepened my meditation.

Yoga-ing in the jungle

Yoga-ing in the jungle

When I wasn’t¬†doing yoga or resting in my tent, I was checking out the other amazing things to do in the area. The first adventure we went on was a hike not far from where we were staying. It was guided by one of the gardeners at the retreat and he pointed out flowers and small animals for us. One of my favorites was a blue shrimp in the freshwater stream.

Blue Shrimp in Costa Rica

It was humid and hot, but gorgeous and green. There was a very refreshing waterfall at the end of the trip too.

Waterfall in Costa Rica

Photographer Kristen Cheatwood was kind enough to capture us all in this heaven.

I did end up zip lining, which was so scary, but beautiful. I would like to go again because I was focusing so hard on not scaring myself or running into the poor guy waiting for me, that I didn’t have a chance to really enjoy my surroundings. Being so high up in the trees though, that was an emotion in itself. You could feel the movement of the giants as we each landed on the platforms and hear so many different, unfamiliar sounds around us. The family who owned and operated company was wonderful. Each guy was incredibly nice and obviously loved what they did, and where they lived.

Costa Rica Zip Line

Me being so dainty while zip lining.

The last, & most terrifying, take-off platform.

The last, & most terrifying, take-off platform.

The other adventure I went on was probably my favorite. Four of us went horse back riding up a trail into the jungle where our guide pointed out the super-cool Golden Orb Spider, so named for making beautiful golden webs that can be used to make Kevlar material. To prove it, our guide took a little bit of web, spun it a bit, and had us try to tear through the string. It was impossible. We also saw toucans and a very sleepy monkey hanging in trees. At the end of the trail was a beautiful, secluded waterfall that we had to take a dip in.


Perfect to cool off

My friend Val, a fantastic architect out of Tucson, was kind enough to pose for me.


Tree in a Waterfall

After the hike, we took the horses through a field with those beautiful white, soft-looking cows that you see in these parts of the world. This guy was very curious about my horse Colibri and I.


And moo are you?

We ended the ride by galloping on the beach, just like the movies, or a cheesy cliche. It was amazing.


That’s my way-too-excited face.

That day, I skipped the afternoon yoga class while Kristin¬†{photographer extraordinaire} and I hung out at the little cantina and learned more about the locale. I felt more alive and empowered that day than I had in a long time. I was nervous about the horse back riding because of the galloping that I knew was coming. But I did it, and I did it very well, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.

There were only two more days of this amazing trip, and they were equally eye opening and special. I spent time in town with an old friend and we talked about everything, and that night I welcomed the evening yoga class to focus inwardly. Dinner was delicious as usual, and the evening was left for us all to talk about our wonderful experiences, what we had learned and what the future held for us.


The dining room

The trip home was long and arduous, as it always is when traveling to and from Sun Valley, but it gave me time to reflect on what I had learned and experienced, and how I wanted to live my life from that moment on. I still do yoga, when I can, and have recently gotten back into CrossFit. I try to not let the little things get to me and to not judge others so harshly.

My life is still complicated, but thankfully not nearly as much as before this life-changing trip. Knowing that I have the ability to find calm and peace in the chaos that can be around me makes life that much easier. Namaste bitches, and thank you Beth, Patrick & Carling for the unforgettable experience.

Grizzly Love Trunk Show at Ochi Gallery

My extremely talented girl Blair Brown is having what’s sure to be the best trunk show around tonight at the beautiful Ochi Galllery {in town, not the industrial center!} and if you miss, well, that’s your loss. ūüėČ

Grizzly Love Trunk Show

Seriously some of the most beautiful jewelry I’ve seen. 4 – 8! Plenty of time to get off work and go. Don’t miss it. Don’t you dare.

Why I’ve Been Acting Crazy

Some may or may not have noticed that I’ve been acting a little crazier than normal lately. Well, I’ll tell you why. As I mentioned I have a few weddings that I’m involved in this summer and with weddings comes the bachelorette parties.

The first one is for my youngest sister in Temecula where we’ll visit the wineries and go dancing! I am so very excited to go wine tasting and see my beautiful sister{s} for the weekend. It’s going to be a great trip.

Temecula Bachelorette Party

On top of these fabulous parties and lady get-togethers, I’m in the middle of moving. While that’s not so terrible in and of itself, I will be bringing guests back from this first of 3 bachelorette parties next week. Those guests are a sister and her 3 sweetie-pie kids. And their room isn’t finished! {Don’t worry sis, it’s gonna be beautiful before you get here!}

So you’ll all have to forgive me for any cancelled plans, being completely disheveled, not making it to the gym {I miss you!} and seeming more ditzy than usual. My dogs have about had it too, so there you are! I should be back to my ‘normal’ self soon – whatever that means.

The Truth of the Matter

As most people in my life know I’m from¬†Mexico. I was born in Mexico, most of my family’s in Mexico – I’m Mexican. In fact I’m in Mexico right now visiting my grandmother and a plethora of aunts, uncles and cousins. It’s been a blast so far, as it usually is. We go out to¬†restaurants, go shopping, stay up late telling stories and joking around, and we relax. Notice here that I did not mention the following: suntan, margaritas, sand, beach, water, swimming. The majority of the time I come down here I do none of those things. This is where people think I go:

Not here...

Not here…

In actuality, I go here:

...but here

…but here

Equally beautiful, more relaxing and more sentimental. Mexico’s a large and amazing country that has some of the most beautiful landscape I’ve seen. I mean, some of it’s a little meh for me too, but so is the Mid West.

My main point here is to go out there and explore the world. England isn’t just made from round abouts. The Eiffel Tower isn’t the only sight seeing to do in France. And drunk gringos on pristine beaches is just a tich of what Mexico has in store for your eyes.

I’m on My Way – Warning: This is Long

*This post was originally written 01/14 and 01/15

Here I am sitting a little plane that’s headed to LA. I was fortunate enough to fly out of Hailey rather than having to drive 2.5 hours away to Boise or even 5 hours to Salt Lake. Why would I have to do that, one who lives near a ‘real’ airport might ask. Well, I’ll tell you – it’s because my final destination today (actually tomorrow at 6:35 am) is Mexico.

Trying to get out of my little valley in Idaho is such a pain in the ass. First of all, it costs almost twice as much to land in Hailey as opposed to Boise. If you do decide to shell out the cash during the winter, you pretty much have a 30/70 chance of actually flying to your destination. Most of the time you end up getting bussed in from Boise anyways. Is it because of the weather? Maybe, but usually it’s because the flights to Boise aren’t booked with enough bodies so they’ll borrow passengers from other flights. Honestly, I don’t know if this is indeed fact, but I’ve been bussed in on enough clear days to have my suspicions.

Well shit. Jump ahead 14 hours and you’ll find me at the Benito Juarez Airport, aka the Mexico City airport. Hoooollllyyy cannoli, it is large. Also, there is no one here that speakas da English. Fortunately, I speak very little and very poor Spanish so I can get by. And did I mention that my flight was at 1:05 in the morning out of LAX and I’m tired as eff right now? I think I forgot to say that for most of the 3.5 hour flight I felt like throwing up (something I ate, not nerves. Maybe both?). Also that the bus I planned on taking (yes, a bus, in Mexico) to my grandmother’s house left like right when my plane was landing? Yeah, all of that.

I should also inject here that traveling to Mexico goes completely smoothly for me .05% of the time. That’s a very small number for a success rate for me and I have a patient as hell sister who can testify. Is it always my fault? Absolutely not, but something almost always happens to me. There was the time Jamsicle and I were meeting up with dear ol’ dad for a quick family reunion trip to Mexico and our tickets disappeared – in the span of Jamsicle and I walking from one ticket counter to another. I shit you not, the tickets vanished from my hands. I searched up and down LAX in an effort to find them. I retraced my steps over and over again to no avail. Outcome? Trip cancelled, tears of embarrassment and shame shed, and an overall nice weekend visiting our daddy. What happened to those tickets, you ask? Well, they did eventually turn up almost a year later in the back of Jamsicle’s closet – in fucking Idaho!!! No, sissy did not secretly have them the whole time. We of course checked our luggage once getting to daddy’s house.*

Ok, back to the present here. Missed the initial bus, and the next one won’t be till 8:30 pm, but I know that Mexico’s got my back. The helpful young lady at the bus counter told me I could bus to Queretero (an amazing historical town not far from my hometown that I recommend one visits if one is in the area) and take another bus to Celaya, the homestead. I said hell yeah. I then called my aunt to have her call my grandma to let her know the arrival time change and being the saint that she is, suggested I get picked up in Queretero. Thank god! I’m so freaking tired…

So I am now, FINALLY, on the almost last leg of a very long trip. How long? Well, I left Idaho 1/14/13 at 11:30 am and it is now 1/15/13 at 8:37 am. By the time I get to my grandma’s house, it will be 1:00, 12:00 Idaho time and I will have travelled just over 24 hours straight.

And that’s how I got to Mexico!

*I have pixies. They pull this crap on me often.*