Tag Archives: change

learning to be fearless.

I am not what you would call “outdoorsy”. I like being outside, going for walks around the park, sitting by the waterfront with my book. But I’m not “outdoorsy”. I have come to accept this about myself and while many of my closest friends identify themselves this way, I do not.

For the past eight months, transformation, change, challenge, and discipline have been a part of my life in a big way. And it has been like nothing I have ever experienced. Much of it has come from a dear friend who has found a gentle way of pushing me out of my comfort zone. And that’s just it, I don’t like feeling uncomfortable. I don’t like change, I don’t like failing or looking foolish. I don’t like trying things I may not be good at. It’s this thing called Perfectionism and I’ve dealt with it for many years. I hold back on things that seem adventurous because I’m afraid of the unknown. I like structure, predictability, and control.

This friend of mine understands this about me and relates in many ways. In her understanding, she has found a way to convince me that trying some scary things would, in fact, be okay. This began with exercise. Crossfit. “YEAH RIGHT” was my response. There was no way. But somehow, I was getting up at 5:45am to work out in the garage of her & her husband’s house. It was HARD. I was ridiculously out of shape and it showed. Instead of feeling foolish and disappointed in myself, I chose to feel proud about a positive change. This of course was encouraged by the others at the “I Street Gym”, as we called it. And slowly, I was actually becoming stronger. Next was the food challenge- 21 days without sugars or grains. Again, “YEAH RIGHT”. But by the grace of God, I managed to get through that too and even continued most of the eating habbits. This was the most structured and disciplined I have ever been in eating well and exercising regularly. And I felt good! Imagine that!

Next, the gym. Join the crossfit gym. You can guess my response- it was a bit more like this, “HELL. NO.” This would be a place where I would surely be the only girl who is out of shape and unable to do the exercises. Plus, the trainer wanted us to take measurements every month. Yeah, not interested. But, something crazy inside me made me decide to try it. And in some strange way, I liked it. The exercises were incredibly challenging (and that is an understatement), but they were difficult for everyone. I wasn’t alone. I didn’t feel like a fool. I felt like I could actually hang with the rest of the gym rats. And soon, I found myself there 4-5 days a week. Crazy.

And then, hiking. People from the gym are going. Oh no. This is where I draw the line. I am not “outdoorsy”, remember? I will lift weights at the gym till the cows come home, but I am not hiking. I don’t know what the trail will be like. Your version of an “easy hike” and mine will most certainly be different. It might be raining, it’s the day after “leg day” so I will be too sore, I have too much on my to do list for the weekend- I could come up with EVERY kind of excuse. But, I have pushed myself this far. I have been at this new gym consistently for three months and am seeing results! So this “easy hike” just might be do-able. It might actually be fun. And it might be awful. But most things I thought would be awful have been do-able and sometimes actually enjoyable. Okay, why not?

So I went for a hike with a group of people from the gym. Rattlesnake Ridge in North Bend, WA.  Rated “easy and family-friendly”. Okay, a good place to start. I mean, I have been on a handful of hikes in the past, but I’m not “outdoorsy”. We got there and it was cold. Like low 40’s cold. And damp and muddy. But we started hiking and it was beautiful, so green and completely surrounded by trees. But then, my calves were burning, there was this heat in my chest, and I felt out of breath. I started to wonder why I agreed to this “outing”. But we kept walking, no stopping until we reached the top. I simultaneously thought, “I’m done with this” and “It’ll be worth it once we get to the top”. After an hour, we made it. And it was stunning. Breath-taking in a different way than the journey up. Four friends were already there and the fun began. We all laughed and talked, took pictures, ate snacks, and waited for the rest of the group. Okay, I may have been having a good time… wait, what?! I was having FUN on a hike?! An hour of being in the warm sun, with a crisp breeze, and a gorgeous view- that angst I was feeling may have been worth it. And the hike back down? Easy peasy.

Okay, so I did it. I’m doing it. Eight months of change, challenge, discipline. And crazy transformation. Transformation of my mind, my strength, my body. Not to mention, serious conviction that if I can be disciplined in these areas of my life, I can also be disciplined in reading God’s word and spending time with the Lord! Health and strength in all areas. What a journey it’s been. I write this only to give glory to God for the way He is challenging me to trust Him. To put my identity in Him, not in my abilities or inabilities. To realize the potential of this dwelling place He gave me. To be yet another reminder that I am not perfect, that I will fail, that things will not go my way- but His way, His grace, His goodness is so much greater. I don’t have to be “outdoorsy”. I can be strong, healthy, and choose to go on the “easy hikes” if I want to. This blog was titled “this adventure called life” five years ago. I hope to continue learning about adventure and choosing to participate in it. And thanks to Jesus, I’m learning to participate fearlessly.



following the path before me.

in light of the post below, i am excited to share a bit about where God has led me in the past 2 months…

previously, i touched on my fears of life after graduate school and that of a grown-up. little did i know how quickly the unknown would become so perfectly clear. two weeks before the end of my internship, i was told about a full-time position that would become available at that hospital. in the field of child life, after completing an internship, i would have been lucky to find an on-call/part-time job at a hospital. a full-time job would have been rare and really, super, incredibly lucky.

needless to say, i applied for the job, went through all the formal paperwork and interviews. i’d like to say that i felt confident the whole time. but i often had serious doubts, “why would they hire someone who hasn’t graduated nor any previous experience to take this position? wouldn’t they want someone more qualified? am i ready for this?” and yet, i constantly wondered about the path that God was putting in front of me, thinking that maybe this job would be the next brick…

with great anxiety the day and night before the interview, i took time to completely surrender the whole situation to the Lord. i knew that none of this was in my control. i could nail the interview or bomb it. and the result would be 100% in the hands of God. i spent all morning praying for my interview and for the plan that God had for my life. and in the end, the interview could not have gone better.

8 days later, i received a voicemail that i still have on my cell phone. it was from an HR representative offering me the job. full-time, inpatient, medical/surgical/oncology child life specialist. it was truly one of the most exciting moments of my life as i realized my dream was about to come my reality. i made phone calls, sent text messages, posted it all over Facebook. i was incredibly stoked/shocked about where God was taking my life. while all of this was amazing, it meant one big thing- i was moving to Washington. for much longer than 4 months…

during the time before my start date, i spent some quality time at home with my family and some friends.

coffee dates with L, celebration dinner with our favorite wine at our favorite Persian restaurant, farmer’s market with grams&gramps, & family adventure to a Giants game.

i graduated with my Master’s degree.

the fam at graduation. so much love!

went to the happiest place on earth.

took the trip of a lifetime with my wonderful family to the beautiful island of Kauai (which deserves a whole post of it’s own…).

unfiltered photos of the gorgeous Kauai.

and then i had to say “see you later” to my family, which was much more difficult than i anticipated. i spent some time journaling and discovered i was experiencing bittersweetness in it’s truest form. i was completely ecstatic about starting my career, yet absolutely heartbroken to be leaving my family in California. tearfully, i got on the plane to Washington and cried my eyes out on my first night back. there were a few times i questioned if this job was really worth the heartache.

i have now been “on the job” for 5 days. not only did i joyfully reconnect with my co-workers, but i have been so warmly welcomed back by nurses on multiple units, physicians, nurse managers, unit secretaries, social workers, volunteers, and even patient’s families. i had a 4-year-old sibling, that i knew from my internship, ask me if i was finished with school, i said that i was and now got to work at the hospital. the child proceeded to dance and sing “ how cool! how cool! how cool!” in the middle of the hallway. if this wasn’t proof of excitement, i don’t know what is.

duct tape welcome sign, my sweet little hospital, things from the first week of work, & my desk that my awesome co-workers decorated.

the job itself is very much like that of my internship, but with much more responsibility. the incredible team i work with is amidst a lot of transition, yet each person has so graciously made me feel 100% supported at i step into this position. i am easing into the job and all it’s responsibilities slowly, taking on one thing at a time. in each passing day, i receive confirmation that this is exactly where i’m supposed to be right now. through it all, i miss my family dearly. and i wish they, along with my friends, could all just move up here… but i continue to remind myself, this is GOD’S plan for me. not MY plan for me. i will continue to faithfully follow this path He set before me, in times that are trying and times that are exciting, because His plan is perfect. and His love is perfect. thank you, Lord.

growth in change: a post for [A Beautiful Mess]

— this past April, i had the privilege of writing for a dear friend’s blog (check it out here). this post was an honest display of my struggle with change and trusting in God’s plan. by His goodness and grace, i am excited to share the story of where God is taking me next. but first, i take time to remember where i have been. —

if you were to look through my art journal, you would find a common theme.


i really don’t like it. and choose to deal with it through writing, painting, ripping paper, scribbling, painting more, ripping more magazines/paper/tape… you get it.

change means things are no longer in my own control.
and change means that i must fully put my trust in the Creator of the Universe.
and that scares me. because, well, i can’t control the Creator.

while change is inevitable, time and time again i have stood face-to-face with change, showing her my angriest face. and as a result of that, all i found was deep pain. the changes occurred, despite my efforts to stop them. at times, i felt like my heart was literally being torn in half. these changes were significant- friends getting married, graduating from college, moving to a new city, moving to a new state. and now i face the completion of my graduate program- which means redefining my identity as a student to an employee, a workin’ girl, a real adult (i think…).


throughout all these experiences, i have been learning how to accept change with grace. i have also learned that i have serious control issues. it has become a bit of a joke among family and friends. i like being in charge and i like when things go my way. there are times when this control (or “organization”, as i like to call it) works to my advantage. but more often than not, it leads to a lifestyle of inflexibility and lots of disappointment. so, like i said, i’m also learning about grace. and as i learn about and practice grace in my own life- there is growth.

i find that the seasons can be the most beautiful example of grace and change and growth. here in the PNW, i have seen snow and ice turn into gorgeous shades of pink and yellow. as spring arrives, the trees start to bud and flowers begin to bloom. bright yellow daffodils grow wildly on the side of the freeway and tulips add sparks of color wherever i look. and the beauty of it is that the change from winter to spring is a process. these flowers did not bloom overnight. it has taken months. and there are still trees that need to blossom, flowers to open up, and vines to produce fruit. change, with grace, is a journey.


this next change is a big one. finishing my Master’s degree and learning a style and rhythm of life that does not include papers, research, and due dates will be an adjustment. what will i do with my time? what will my new rhythm be like? where will i live and work? as i finish up my internship in Washington, i begin to search out where God might have me in the next stage of life. and saying that, is a lot easier than doing it. i feel like i am constantly asking God for His lead in my next step. then i say, “amen” and start thinking about all the things i need to do. there it goes, i loose trust in Him the minute it becomes about me and what i need to do to make things happen my way… Lord, help me.


i vividly remember a conversation i had with Kristin a few years ago. i shared with her that i couldn’t wait until the day when i had my life, my emotions, my relationships “all together”. Kristin paused, and with the most love and grace said to me, “you will never have it ‘all together’, my dear.” and she’s absolutely right. things are always changing, growing, and adjusting. i am continually learning to show up to my life instead of being frustrated and anxious about each process. i can’t plan the next steps. i don’t know what will happen. and that.is.scary. but i know that the Creator is in control. no matter what. and for that, i truly am thankful. because let’s be honest, i am a mess. i am not in control of my own life. and i will re-learn this throughout my entire earthly existence. but by the GRACE of God, i am alive from one day to the next. i learn more about the Creator and more about myself through each situation that presents change. and invites grace. and produces growth.

sunshine to snowfall.

i’ve been in Washington for 6 days. and it has been quite an adventure!

before i start chatting about Washington, i just have to say that i have been blessed with the best friends of all time. while i was in southern Cal, packing up my stuff, my roommates and friends had planned a surprise going away party. it was so great to be with friends who have been so supportive along this journey! saying goodbye, or “see you later”, was harder than i expected. while i may not have showed it then, tears fell from the Pasadena apartment to the place where the 210 meets I-5. it was a bittersweet feeling to drive away from dear friends and everything that was familiar, knowing that i was going to place that could sometimes be lonely and unknown. but the whole time, i knew that this internship in Washington was a once in a lifetime opportunity that would be something i looked back on for many years!

moving on… the drive up here was absolutely gorgeous. it took mom, dad, and i (and a VERY tightly packed car) 11 hours to drive from our house in northern Cal to my aunt and uncle’s house just outside of portland. it was a long drive, we left before 6am and chugged along I-5 for the day. watching the sunrise, seeing the majesty of Mt. Shasta, driving through Oregon’s green landscapes, and slowing down somewhere between Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens- it was a drive much more exciting than from the Bay Area to L.A. we stayed the night at my dad’s sisters and had a great time catching up with my aunt and uncle and my cousins. and then it was off to Puyallup!

it was a short drive up to Puyallup and coming up to the Rochester home was such a great feeling! being greeted by Kelsey and her family was the perfect welcome. my parents help me set up my room in the Rochester house, with a few touches of my own stuff, it felt like home. later that night my friend Brett met us for dinner. it was so great catching up and exciting to know that hanging out with him could be come a more regular thing again. after spending the first night in my new home, Kelsey and i had a delicious breakfast with our parents. it was so fun to have everyone sitting around the table together. we were just missing the two younger siblings! :) Kelsey and i took my parents to the train station after breakfast, and they embarked on their long journey home.

not long after they left, it began to snow. yes- snow. as a born and raised California girl, this was quite a change for me! i have visited the snow a few times, but never lived or driven in it! luckily, Kelsey and i stayed at home and watched “White Christmas”, the weather made it feel appropriate even though the date didn’t. i have to put this video in because, well, it makes me smile and i can’t get it out of my head :)

the next morning, we went to church in Tacoma and it was awesome! i loved being there and am looking forward to jumping back into that weekly routine with Kelsey and Brett. as the day went on, the snow continued to fall, making me a little nervous to get to my first day of work that next day. while i was becoming unsure about driving to work, i was positive that watching snowfall was both mesmerizing and peaceful.

after much talk about getting to and from the hospital, Kelsey’s wonderful parents offered to take me there and back to ease my stress. this is just one example of how hospitable the Rochesters have been. i truly am beyond blessed to be here with them! they have coached me through getting around the city, and in the snow nonetheless! there are absolutely no words for how thankful i am for them welcoming me into their home and their lives. may God richly bless them!

okay, i wish i had more to write about the start of my internship. but it has only been two days! the first day was filled with talking through assignments and paperwork. and then yesterday i got to see kiddos! i am so thankful to be at this hospital. from what i can tell, it’s an amazing program that is truly focused on education and developmental appropriateness for the patients- which i LOVE! i have phenomenal supervisors that are really committed to helping me learn and guiding me in the process of becoming a great child life specialist. i am looking forward to the months ahead!

all that to say, day 3 of the internship was put on hold due to a snow day! there have been record amounts of snow in the past 24 hours and it’s been nuts! i’ve learned to take things one day at a time, therefore, i have no clue if i’m going to work tomorrow! but i did very much enjoy my day today :)

well, that’s it for now! i really am doing well here. i’m missing lots of friends and family, wishing you all could have been here to play in the snow! but don’t worry about me, i’m having fun and staying safe! staying warm… well that’s a different story ;)

movin’ on up! literally.

apparently i’m on a blog-once-a-month schedule… life is nuts.

a lot has happened in this past month! i mentioned in my last post that i was applying to internship programs for the final portion of my Master’s degree. and after a grueling process of too many interviews and loads of anticipation- i have accepted an internship in Tacoma, Washington!

my internship begins in January. which means i’m moving in less than two months! i can’t believe it’s all real. i applied to this program in Washington with the chance of getting an offer and transferring my life to another state for a few months. one regret from college was that i never studied abroad or did anything that took me out of my immediate community and comfort zone. i thought this to be the perfect opportunity to move somewhere for a few months, experience life outside of California, and push myself to try something new.

well, as i check the weather there almost daily- i’m definitely pushing myself to something different! for example here is the current match-up:

my dad says it’s just as cold in Washington as it is in the Bay Area. which is true. but the last few years, i’ve been freezing cold at home! i mean, we’re talking a 20-30 degree temperature difference! yikes!! okay, okay. i’m not going to complain about the weather. there’s a solution: get a jacket. i’m going to be just fine. the truth is, i’m getting exactly what i asked for. i took this chance and it’s real. i have no idea what to expect, but i’m going to move to Washington. and this is truly the opportunity of a lifetime.

internship location aside, i couldn’t be more excited for this dream career to start becoming more of a reality. i feel like i’ve been so out of the loop with child life. taking the summer off, being out of the hospital for over a year, and currently only taking one class (that doesn’t really discuss child life)- sometimes i have to stop and remind myself of what it is that i’ll be doing someday. and honestly, i can’t wait to do child life 5 days a week. i’m SO lucky!

as the details of all this unfolds and the mental processing continues, i’ll write more. but for today, i need to get some work done on this thesis that has seen more procrastination that it deserves. so i leave with this thought that brings such hope in times of uncertainty…

via pinterest

sweet summer…

well, another month goes by and here i am… what a busy summer it’s been! i’ve got one more month to bask in the freedom.

the past month has seen a lot of this:

this glorious interstate and i have become very close as i have been up and down California numerous times in the past month. each time was absolutely worth it! but i’m happy to say, i think there’s only one time i’ll have to drive it in August…

speaking of August- there are so many changes coming up! and i’m just beginning to brace myself for it all. my roommates and i are in the process of moving to Pasadena. and yes, it is a process. some of you may remember the dreadful moving experience of last summer. and it is not coming along any easier this summer. but we are praying VERY hard that things work out smoothly and that we’ll be moving into a new home in the next two weeks.

with that said, i have been feeling a bit of separation anxiety with our little home sweet home. i know i have blogged A LOT about this place and the beautiful memories here… i am quite sad to leave. this city has been my comfort zone and more importantly my home for the past 5 years. so i’ve had my moments of grieving. i’ve had to remind myself that it’s okay to feel upset about moving and transplanting my life to a new place. even if it’s only 20 minutes down the freeway. Pasadena is a VERY different city: fast-paced, crowded, up scale, and even a bit unfamiliar. and yet it’s those different aspects that also make our move a bit thrilling. slowly but surely, i am feeling more excited about life in Pasadena. this seems like the next step in “growing-up”, as one of my roommates had described it. we’re moving into the “city”. and it’s going to be an adventure…

the move has also brought me to the end of my job as a behavioral therapist. it has been quite a journey in this field. i have been challenged emotionally, physically, and mentally. i have learned SO much. and i have grown to absolutely adore the kids that i had the opportunity to work with. my time in this field has solidified my decision to write my Master’s thesis on providing Child Life services to children with special needs in the hospital. i am excited to continue learning and discovering ways to use my past experiences for my career as a Child Life Specialist. so while leaving is a bit bittersweet, i am looking forward to the future and a new job. but more on that later…

hmmm, what else? i’m obsessed with Pinterest. i think i mentioned that last time. but i’m serious.

i found this recipe for tequila lime frosting. it was unbelievable…

i got this idea for fourth of july…

learned how to do this with my hair…

and found these awesome posters of my 2 upcoming vacations…

see what i mean?! Pinterest has EVERYTHING. i’m in love :)

so, i’m heading to Vegas this weekend with my closest girlfriends. we’re STOKED! laying by the pool, enjoying the nightlife, seeing LOVE (the Beatle’s Cirque Du Soleil show), and making memories of a lifetime- yepp, i’m counting down the hours (approximately 60, in case you were wondering…).

and after Vegas comes Seattle to visit some great friends!! i can hardly wait- blackberry picking, Pike’s Place, a break from the California heat, and faces that i miss so dearly! i’m a lucky girl.

okay. long update, but that’s what’s going on! this life is quite the adventure, and i plan on soaking up every minute of it- the good, the bad, and the absolutely great :)

fall art journaling…

first things first- i found this image on another blog (lox papers), i absolutely love it! and had to share it with you… isn’t the layout beautiful? i would love to learn how to do this!!

** only 11 more days of October! hope you get the chance/make the time to actually do some of these things :)

okay… on to the next thing:

as i promised in the last post, here are some art journaling pages for fall :)  i did this first page last year- but since i didn’t start this blog until the winter, i never found a great opportunity to share it before… but here is one of my all time favorite pages from my completed art journal:

“i want change and transition in my own life to be as graceful, peaceful, and beautiful as the transition from summer to fall…”

i wish the same thing this year and in this season. change and transition can be so abrupt and so brutal sometimes. my recent journal pages have a similar theme to what is written above… i know change is occurring in my life, and while i know it is a good thing- it’s hard to accept. and some of this change has happened so all-of-a-sudden and i don’t know how to do it all. but each day, i take a deep breath. and i have to remind myself that i can do this. that God has put me in this exact place for a reason…

i don’t know why God does what He does. i’m not sure why He takes us down certain paths that seem frustrating and pointless. but i know that He is in control- and thank goodness for that. so i trust in Him. i will try to make this transition one that is full of grace. i know that each day is new and that i choose whether or not to make the day worth it. but i am going to look at the changing season around me and find the beauty in moments: long-lasting or short-lived, frustrating or joyful, red leaves or green leaves or no leaves :) and i will be thankful for just that- a moment that allows me to pause and breath in good times and in bad.