Week 5: It’s All About the Journey and Not the Destination

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Labor Day weekend is supposed to be the traditional sign that Summer is coming to a close, but it’s still 80 degrees and sunny here in LA so I don’t think the leaves will be changing colors anytime soon… Fine by me! That just means that the beaches are still warm, for a while… thanks SoCal 😉

This Labor Day weekend brought me on a trip up to Oregon to visit Conner’s family in Lake Oswego which is a suburb of Portland and a road trip from there to Bend, Oregon. They were both a huge contrast to constantly bustling streets of LA, and a nice break from the chaos of city life. I feel like so much time has passed since we moved here but it’s only been a little over a month.

Monday 8/27 

Monday I took a trip out of the concrete jungle into Santa Monica for a change of scenery and hung out at a cafe to apply for jobs. Applying for jobs is like putting yourself out on an invisibly thin tightrope and trying to use the skills you have to balance… over and over again… which can become mentally exhausting. To take a break I went to the beach and read a book in the warm sunshine.

That evening, Conner and I took advantage of the nice weather and visited a local downtown rooftop bar called The Standard where we watched the sun set over the buildings and I enjoyed a “raspberry beret” cocktail. Fancy 😉

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Tuesday 8/28 

On Tuesday I took a trip up to Pasadena to explore the area North of the city and tried a new coffee shop called “Jameson Brown” coffee roasters. It was really great coffee…. And definitely my high point of the day.

I wasn’t having a great Tuesday from the beginning. Starting right at 8am I had multiple job rejection emails and let downs for professional prospects.. and it didn’t get any better from there. That evening, I went to my work for trade shift at the cycling studio and I noticed that at some point during the afternoon I had badly scratched the face of my apple watch… bad enough that I couldn’t really use it… and I wear it religiously every single day (seriously, I have a “watch tan” because I’m never not wearing it. My arm is two different hues) and it had cost me $350 to buy only two months ago. I was so distraught with breaking it, that my boss sent me home from the studio because I wasn’t getting my work done well. I was sure that I was going to get completely dismissed from  being a team member at the studio, which has been the only consistent community I have to go to right now in LA. It was a horrible feeling.

But I only let it bring me down for a bit. I knew I had to get back up… because feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t do anything productive for you in the long run. Wallowing only makes you feel worse. Anyway, I had been telling my boss at the studio for weeks I’d bake her my special healthy muffins but kept forgetting to bring them to her… so that’s exactly what I did. I went home and baked her the best batch I had ever made. Then that night after the last class, I brought them to the studio and I apologized for being so disconnected at work. She told me she sent me home because she was worried about me and wanted me to get some rest, not because she wanted to “get rid of me.” It was a lesson, that things aren’t ever really as bad as they seem. And it turns out I have AppleCare, so I’m getting a new replacement watch very soon.

Wednesday 8/29

On Wednesday I went to the USC campus to apply for jobs and to get a change of scenery. It’s a beautiful campus with amazing fast and free wifi. 11/10 recommend hanging out on if you’re okay with listening to the gossip surrounding you about “what frat is on probation” and “how hard the Calc 1 midterm” yesterday was. 😉 I had a call with my Cal Poly career counselor and she told me encouraging advice and suggested I try attending some of the local career fairs which I hadn’t considered yet.

That evening Conner and I took some wine and watched the sun set behind the LA skyline over the lake in Echo Park which was beautiful. There was a really weird duck rooster looking hybrid thing which kept pestering us, though… anyone ever seen one of these things and know what it is??

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It won’t leave us alone

Then we did another IKEA trip and picked up a headboard and TV stand to go with our new TV! I haven’t had a TV in like four years so this was exciting. To watch a movie on Netflix on a screen bigger than 14 inches, *wow* Now I can watch “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” on a big screen 😉

Thursday 8/30

Today my dear friend Amanda (and her pupper Tara) came to visit me on her way up to San Luis Obispo on her cross country road trip from New Jersey. We visited the Griffith Observatory and hiked around the area before going to Lake Hollywood Park park for a great view of the Hollywood sign. It was so nice to see her and show her around the area (even if I didn’t actually know the area because I don’t actually live in Glendale) and be a tourist for the afternoon in my own city.

Friday 8/31

I started the day with another phone interview. I’ve had a lot of interview practice and it’s interesting to say that interviewing really does require PRACTICE. You don’t know exactly what they’re going to ask you and you want to stand out enough while also highlighting your skills. This interview was tough because she asked a lot of behavioral analysis questions, to see how I’d work on a team or respond in certain situations. It was a lot deeper of an interview with questions that were out of the ordinary. It went okay. I was kind of bummed out it didn’t go better but my dad called and made me feel better by saying that interviewing for a company is like dating… you don’t want to be in a relationship with a company that’s not right for you because you faked your way through the (first date) interview!!!

Friday evening we hit up happy hour and hung out at a bar called Shellback Tavern in Manhattan Beach before taking an Uber to LAX to fly on a redeye to Portland, where we met up with Conner’s dad in the airport at 12am. He had just landed too because commutes between states every week, working in Phoenix and then flying up to his family in Oregon on the weekends. Now THAT’S dedication!

Saturday 9/1 

Saturday was true Labor Day Weekend moments. In the morning, we took Conner’s family’s boat to the local farmers’ market downtown and bought some really yummy fresh produce. We spent the evening on the boat Lake Oswego eating cheese and crackers and drinking in the last bits of Summer sunshine. Dinner was at the Lake Theatre on the water, and then we enjoyed Salt and Straw ice cream with grandma’s famous chocolate sheet cake for dessert. These types of moments and memories you think back on when you’re reminiscing on good times.

Sunday 9/2: Bend, OR

On Sunday Conner and I headed south to Bend, OR. We stopped on the way and hiked in Smith Rock State Park to admire its volcanic majesty. We hiked the Burma Road Loop trail which of course ended up being a couple miles longer than we thought… and we didn’t even get lost!

We spent the evening in Bend brewery hopping. We visited Deschutes first which which exceeded my expectations. After everyone questioning whether we were actually old enough to be at the bar which is the usual deal, there were so many types of beer I wanted to try that we shared a flight! Then we walked to Crux. Watching the sun set over the cascades from Crux was definitely a highlight of the weekend. Almost everything is within walking distance in Bend, so after our brew hopping we walked back to our backpacker vibe hostel “Bunk and Brew!”

Monday 9/3

On Monday morning I enjoyed a coffee from Looney Bean right by the river which was a great way to start the day.

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Then, we drove out to Deschutes state forest and hiked the Green Lakes Trail. It was like someplace out of a fairy-tail land it was so beautiful, fresh and green. The waterfalls were endless and most of the hike was along a rushing river. The hike ended at a massive lake that was… you guessed it, green colored and backed by the mountains which I could imagine being covered in snowcaps during the Winter months. It was a challenging 11 mile hike but definitely worth every step.

All in all, a week with many (sometimes literal) up’s and downs. But hey, that’s life. And when life gives you lemons I guess I’ll just have to try to bake something out of them 😉

 

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