Sunday, August 30, 2009

sequence of tiny miracles.

I've gotten a lot of random e-mails, fb messages, texts, bbms and pulls aside at work (but surprisingly not a single phone call!) asking me what I am doing with my life at this very moment.. and if you asked me two weeks ago (right around the time I stopped blogging) I would have said I have not an effing clue (just like that too because I was quite perterbed my unknown future) and then a sequence of tiny miracles took place in a seven day time span that led me to current day. Let me take you back to the beginning.
6:01 am, Friday 8/20: Carly is returning to grad school in Atlanta this fall and her and Tammy depart for Florida after a farewell so-LA evening at Spamalot. Let the hysterics begin. Approximately twenty minutes later (fate?): the manager of the NICU at the Health Science Centre in Winnipeg called to ask me a few questions regarding the application I had submitted 4 days prior and then offered me a job in a level 3 NICU!!! Let the waterworks stop and the bouncing off the walls begin. Literally. That afternoon I began searching for a place to live online ... realizing I'm not that tech savvy when all that came up on my search engine were basements ... Mitchell (I don't think blogging about this counts as a public display of affection?) sent me the link to by Tuesday afternoon, I {or should I say we!!! okay, that might be considered PDA! =) } signed a lease on a condo in the city for this fall!!! That's like 6 weeks away!! My last day is yet to be announced but in my one year evaluation at my current job that also took place this week I mentioned to my manager that I would be leaving and because she is fabulous, she was completely understanding and really cured any apprehensions I had about leaving! I love my job and will be sad to leave the people but I am sooooo excited to move home!! In addition to completely rearranging my future I have also completely rearranged the present. I switched from night shift to day shift this week and have worked seven straight days in a row! I have moved entirely out of Carly and I's apartment in Studio City and partially into my new temp home in Glendale with my 3 new fabulous roommates and partially into my car for lack of time/energy to unpack! California is currently burning which is horribly contributing to the heat wave that has taken over the Valley... You better believe I am using the heat/smoke filled, already smoggy air quality as an excuse not to train! ... and now I am unpacking so that I can repack to fly to DC on Thursday where Megan, Danny, Mitchell and I will be spending Labour Day weekend together!! If I didn't have insomnia before, do you know how hard it is to sleep when reality is better than your dreams?! =)

Monday, August 24, 2009

right back where you started from.

Sometimes right back where you started from is right where you belong.

My days in LA have really come full circle. As each day passes (and one more piece of furniture in our apartment is sold on craig's list and one more article of clothing reminiscent of college is traded for cash) my life is slowly starting to fit back into my car and I'm beginning to find humor in how much I am essentially right back where I started from arriving on the West Coast last year ... just a little bit older and little more cultured perhaps.

I was reading a post I wrote around graduation when I was having to make huge life-altering decisions last year wondering what life would be like outside of college. Not having to study? Not getting a spring break? Not living with your best friends? ... and if I can tell you one thing, moving to LA was the perfect bridge to transitioning from college grad to quasi adult because all the little idiosyncrasies that make college life wonderful that I feared would not be conducive to the real world is... when you move to the surreal world of LA that is!

There's a reason why the city of angels bears the nickname LALA Land because it's exactly that: a state of mind characterized by unrealistic expectations; a place renowned for it's frivolous activity. Feeling like my life in LA could easily be the screenplay to a coming-of-age indie film defined by discovery, there's so much to tell but I can't seem to find the words to describe it; in which case I usually just make them up but even then I am at a total loss for lexicons. The amount of frivolous adventures I have embarked on the past few months have made the time fly by incredibly fast. I've boarded a plane at least once a month, seen a play or attended a concert almost weekly and amongst all the adventure I allotted just enough time to fall in love with the art of neonatal nursing!

The things that made my world turn in the little bubble I called college slowly faded from my everyday life and was replaced by an equally exciting chapter of my twenty-somethings era marked by endless possibilities -the possibility to arrange my schedule so every other week is a 'spring break'. The possibility to make road trips (not to attend football games but bet on them in Vegas). The possibility to have mountains and ocean side by side. The possibility to find a culture that still deems it socially acceptable to have a roommate. The possibility of being amongst a sea of people feeling like none of it matters unless you have someone to share it with.

As this fantastic residency into adulthood draws to a close, I've officially ended my complicated relationship with Carly on the facebook and I am ready to enter the real world, for real this time. I've finally figured it out. Who I need in my (daily) life to feel whole again. What matters more than the glitz and glam, I realized what means the most. When now is just the perfect time to let go of one thing to cling tighter to the next. Where life and love and laughter perfectly align. Why sometimes right back where you started from is right where you belong.

Monday, August 17, 2009

keeping up with the hofers.

When I did my practicum my senior year of nursing school, my very first day I went back for a delivery. We brought the baby to the NICU and stabilized him with Dad right by his side. This was my very first moment shared with the Hofers. Over the next eight weeks, I shared many more milestones with Charlie and Kelli and their tiny baby, Weston. Their graduation from the NICU took place not long after my grad from UF last spring. Kelli has been wonderful about keeping us updated on Weston's progress! When in Nashville last week, they graciously met me downtown so I could see just how wonderful he really is doing. He is just perfect. Bonding with fabulous families like the Hofers confirmed for me that the NICU was my niche in nursing! =)

Monday, August 10, 2009

beautiful new additions.

In addition to one husband (Anna's Chris, who we got to meet briefly saying our goodbyes!) there are also two new babies in the family - Courtney's son Zane who is turning a year old this month. He is such a happy baby!
He took some of his first steps while we were there!

all smiles!!

And our newest first cousin - Dresden Thomas Kirk - who was born on July 14, 2009.
It was so wonderful getting to meet Stormie and Phaedra too!

cousins in carolina.

In the Carolinas for a Coldplay concert, Kara and I miraculously got to see all our cousins in 2 days!! It was the highlight of my trip! =)
We had lunch with Meghan and Kirby and stopped by Monika's office to make plans for our next reunion in December.
We stayed the night with Uncle Kevin and got to meet the tiniest member of the Kirk family - baby boy Dresden, who was born 2 and half weeks before our arrival! He is beautiful!
And we couldn't plan if we had tried ... all the Overbys in one place in a matter of an hour!! It was absolutely amazing to see everyone!! I miss ya'll! It had been four years since we had seen each other (at Courtney's wedding) and it doesn't look like any of us will be getting married any time soon so we will have to make a point to not let it go this long again! =)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

do one thing a day that scares you.

chimney tops.

I have been enjoying southern comfort this week visiting Kara in Knoxville. I've had sweet tea everyday! Yesterday, we went hiking 2 miles straight up along the Tennessee/North Carolina border on a trail called Chimney Tops. It was incredibly strenuous but an awesome work-out with amazing views at the top of the Smokey Mountains!!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

they could not remember a time -

Until now, that Forever didn't seem long enough.

One year ago today, I was trolling in the middle of Dauphin Lake when Megan called to tell me she was engaged!! Only 25 days until I get to see them again and only 3 months and 13 days until the wedding!! So excited!! =)

Friday, August 07, 2009

blonde bombshell.

Meet Carly. She is Megan's little sister and because growing up Megan and I were inseparable, her parents adopted me and I've spent my summers laughing with her, Carly has always been a little sister to me! Carly attends architecture school in Miami and in her free time puts that stunningly gorgeous face to work! She started modeling when she did a runway show for charity last fall. I can hardly believe the little ten-year-old that always ran around naked (refusing to put on clothes!) has grown up to be such a beautiful, blonde bombshell. Love you, Carlita!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

countryfest 2009.

My posts of past country fests are never very long because it's incredibly hard to put into words what five nights of drinking and dancing with my favorite people entails but here are my highlights from this year's country fest:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

swim. bike. run.

I can't believe my triathlon is nearly a month away!! I nearly forgot I was supposed to be fundraising as all the proceeds go to my hospital!! =) Help support me finish my first triathlon and support the kids!!

thank you! thank you! thank you!

SYTYCD: Season Finale

Already feeling like a lottery this week when an advisory angel at UF's Registrar informed me that as nurse, I am eligible for loan forgiveness (in which the $7700 of my student loans is just written off for my good service!) I felt like I had won the lottery again when I received 2 tickets to attend the taping of So You Think You Can Dance: the Finale last night at the Kodak Theatre (where the Oscars are held)!!! The two hour finale airs tonight and while you will never be able to pick me out in a crowd of 3000, I definitely recommend you watch .... the final dances are incredible and it looks like Brandon or Jeannine is going to win!! =)

katie and kylie.

When I arrived in the Minneapolis airport on my home from Canada last month, I hadn't stopped crying since the day before and was feeling sorry for myself and my two hour layover and really just wanted to get on the next plane back to Winnipeg but I made myself go to the book store (still crying) and try to distract myself... I was browsing the best sellers when I thought I heard Katie Ryan's voice... then I heard that same voice say ... "wait a minute, Jocelyn?!" I turned around and low and behold, it was Katie and Kylie!!! I had never met Kylie before because she was still in the NICU when I was home at Christmas but I blog about Kylie periodically as she is Katie (one of my great friends' from high school)'s daughter who was born fourteen weeks too soon last October and spent nearly three months in the NICU! She graduated almost a month before her due date (when most preemies get to go home) and I truly believe this is from the amazing mom she has in Katie!! I can't tell Katie enough how incredible Kylie is doing! She is hitting all her milestones and even sitting up and rolling now!! My hour with them made my entire week!! =) I miss you girls but can't wait to be the designated baby holder at your and Dustin's wedding in December! =)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

shoulda been a cowboy.

To keep up with summer tradition, I convinced the boys to go horseback riding with me while I was home. We had the best time on our trail ride. I always have the most fun when I am with them and while I'm not sure they even know Suburbs of Utopia exists, they should because they are a huge part of my Utopia! While I believe they have mastered tuning out my lectures about what they are doing with their lives, they are two of the best guy friends a girl could ask for! Kevin (my cousin), who is horrible at keeping in touch and could really stand a good girl (cough...Kristy...cough) in his life to remind him to call his Mom and to bring his passport on international flights, has graciously let me tag along with all his friends for years! Some of my favorite memories growing up are with Kevin and Kara making bands in the basement and frying minnows on Grams' stove fireplace. It makes me happy to know I can still beat him at cribbage tournaments and that he is one unanswered text away! =) And whenever Kev tells his Auntie Bee "Don't worry, I left her in good hands!" she knows I'm with Matty, the once grade sixer who was the reason Grams had to implement the 12-inch rule at school dances! And she should probably still be following him around to socials and wedding receptions with her ruler.. just kidding! Matty is the big brother I never had - the one that will carry me when I step in a gopher hole and hurt my ankle, the one that will turn around to let me take a picture of a moose without complaining and won't make fun of me when I put on my sunglasses as I start to cry when I have to say good-bye at the end of each summer!

love them!

watch with glittering eyes.

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. - Roald Dahl

Monday, August 03, 2009

act globally, eat locally.

Today, Carly and I walked (roughly four miles round trip) to Studio City's Sunday Farmer's Market to indulge in all the super delicious locally grown fruits and vegetables! We sampled about ten different kind of pluots (in the photo above) before picking out a few to take home! It's really cute how everyone tells you to "Have a great week!" rightfully assuming we'll be back next weekend for more delightfulness.

los olivos.

Yesterday Carly and I took a day trip up the 101 to the Santa Barbara area for a day of wine tasting! We weren't really sure where we were headed and even packed a bag just in case we decided we wanted to spend the night. We put the address for Bridlewood, a vineyard with great reviews on yelp!, into our GPS and started to drive North along the most gorgeous coastline with the ocean on our left and rolling mountains to our right! The vineyard we went to had the most delectable cheese and scrumptious wine! =) From there (we actually ran into a girl that I work with) and she recommended going to Los Olivos (the quaint town pictured above)! It was incredible!! There was one street that had about ten tasting rooms in a row and fabulous wine-infused cupcakes (we tried four different kinds!) After our afternoon of awesomeness, we drove back down to Santa Barbara where we enjoyed the Spanish ambiance strolling along State Street before heading back to LA! It was a perfect day.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

if everyone is the hero of their own story

... why is this heroine in need of some rescuing?!
aaaah ... it's August. Where the h-e-(insert random object that looks like an "L" and times it by two here) did July go?! When looking back at the month of July, it becomes clear to me where the thirty-one days that make up the month went .... first 13 in Canada, second 6 working, 1 day off to clean my apt before Megan came, 7 days with Megan, 3 nights back on shift (that's right... somehow I managed to work only NINE shifts the entire month long!?) and one final Friday night to watch Guys and Dolls at the Hollywood Bowl with Carly before the calendar turned over to August One!
While usually I love how fast time flies (because I have always thought it was a direct correlation to how much fabulousness you allow into your life!) I was really dreading the arrival of the month of August... and now it's here, out of nowhere... staring me in the face, asking me how I could possibly occupy one place for an entire year and yet, still feel so out of place, harboring much uncertainty as if I am on some hyperextended vacation where sleep is an amenity and I am just a guest checked in for a 365-day stay?!
August marks the one year anniversary of living in LA ... A LOT has happened in this last year! I moved across the country. I started a career (which I love!). I have learned what it takes to maintain friendships with thousands of miles and three hour time changes between us, instead of the usual bedroom door that separated four roommates for four years. I came to the realization that true love could actually just be two people with a general attraction being at the same place at the same time...regardless of how incredible your adoration for someone may be. I discovered the exact amount of caffeine that is required to stay awake all night long, saving lives no less.
I've fondly referred to this passed year as "the year of twenty-two" where I haven't quite become a full-blown adult but have definitely gotten my feet wet in the Pacific, as well as adulthood, by making huge life decisions including but not limited to making my entire life fit into my car, moving across the country, and entering the work force! While most people my age are still finishing their last year of college (I was always too young for my grade!), I reopened my savings account instead of seeing how many times I could swipe my debit card before it stopped working (usually near the end of a semester). I meet my friends at swirly resorts for wine tastings instead of at grungy bars for shot contests. I skype with Kara to see her life instead of driving two hours to tailgate. I read the USA Today instead of the Alligator. I've acquired a couple of stamps in my passport. I used all seven tiles in a game of Scrabble. I'm a member of a S.P.I. club. I know who Girltalk is. I eat organic.
Slowly but sweetly, this twenty-something is getting a grasp on prioritizing and becoming an adult but a bit betwixt and between at the end of our twelve-month lease, I have another big adult decision to make and I can't help but feel much angst towards the more pressing issues the month of August brings.... where do I go from here??
With Carly heading back to East Coast to pursue advertising, I will not be renewing my lease ... for I'm not really sure how to live in LA without her. Not just unsure of how to live (in LA) without her, I'm not too sure how to live in LA in general. I've been here for about a year and have yet to feel like this is home to me.
Despite the walls adorned with framed memories in a pathetic attempt to make it "homey", my apartment feels just as sterile as the day I moved in. Despite being single in a sea of the most beautiful people, it turns out I still have standards and being a self-righteous, pompous industry exec didn't make the list. Despite feeling lucky a year ago at this time that I didn't have ties to anywhere and therefore had no qualms about leaving life in Florida behind, I realized that I do have roots... and while they may not be the big cities in my childhood dreams, they are implanted in a place that has always been my home.
Taking chances is built in my DNA and while I feel no regrets about my fabulous "year of twenty-two" soaking up every cultural experience that came my way this past year... life in LA is not for me. I have about six weeks before I enter the "year of twenty-three"... where I intend to say good riddance to LA LA land and take a different chance...