how we do this on that west side

11206019_10155643254895220_5126192768675363742_nRecently I was allowed to fly free for a few weeks on the West Coast with some of my dearest friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen since my graduation (which was an upsetting three years ago, guys). I cannot even begin to put into words how rejuvenating it was for me to get out of the routine of my life here at home, clock out of the salon, leave my lipstick behind and just go. It didn’t come a moment too soon, since all work and no play was making me the dullest of boys.
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I was definitely spoiled by my friends, with so much one-on-one conversation, slice-of-life moments, reminiscing and impossibly fun scenarios–like driving all over LA in a mini coop convertible, visiting La Jolla to see the sea lions and the beautiful, wild Pacific and a chilly evening at Dockweiler for a bonfire.
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11151071_10155626169040220_312303178295700785_n10501754_10206935101755591_3516896204813691471_nMore than anything, it was amazing to feel excited again. I’ve been so focused on doing all the responsible, consistent, adult things that I’d forgotten what it was like to really let loose and have a good time.

I had so many lovely moments like, breakfast at Crave with Meghan, followed by hours of thrifting and sharing life moments together. We’ve been consistently skyping on Wednesday nights for several months now; she’s come alongside me to be my community and share in Jesus time with me because of how I’ve been struggling with church lately. Somehow she managed to do about 50 hours of writing for her spec script, radio drama, pilot and host a weekly podcast twice, and still be emotionally available to me, host me for two weeks and cart me around for LA adventures. She’s a gem.
10520523_10155643253490220_6164372294628367685_nDay trips to San Diego and Griffith Park with the only Juan for me, who’s the biggest adventurer I know and makes everything epic regardless of what it looks like on the surface:

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Slumber parties with Jenna, who’s still the feisty, little mama bird I remember her to be even though she’s got her own office and an assistant at the Dream Center and in charge of all the short term teams. I got to go out on the streets with her for Adopt a Block and go out to dinner with everyone for Lizzie’s birthday. Work hard, play harder:
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Jenna and Lizzie took me for my first tattoo experience at Alchemy Tattoo in Silver Lake the very first day I got there. What started as a consultation turned into getting the tattoo immediately since it was so simple. Shout out to the ladies for holding it down while I almost lost my cool in the moments leading up to the needle actually touching my skin.
11181873_10155615673680220_1763650329262669564_n17782_10155615550340220_2571254107121616422_nI’d been thinking about this tattoo for almost three months prior–I wanted something that I knew I would always look at with fondness, something I’d never regret. Africa was the first thing I thought of and I knew in my heart that was the one I wanted. I got a simple outline of the continent with a heart over Tanzania because I will always have a part of my heart left there. I got it on my shoulder because it’ll easily show with all the tank tops I wear, but will be easy to hide if I go overseas again with any basic t-shirt. It was just one more little adventure to have within my time in California.

Chelsea was actually the one who took the photo of my tattoo during one of our lovely little tea dates at the tea shop where she works which features a lot of really cool graffiti that I took advantage of. She’s a lovely soul and it’s so fun to see her “adulting”, as we call it, so successfully and see her giving heart to all she does.
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There’s really too much to try and recount in a post. Many of you won’t know the friends I’m referring to, or possibly about the places I went. In the end, it’s a wonderfully personal time that brought life and light to my soul again–if we’re fortunate in life, we all have kindred spirits, illuminating moments like this. So imagine that when you read this, and I think you’ll meet me where I’m at.

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Oh, Florida. It was hard to come back to you, but nothing is forever.

I thought I lost my heart way back in Florida
Then I found it in California…

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