“And then…” she said

Hello all,

Three years ago, I quit my corporate sales job and bought plane tickets to New Zealand. I walked through the office, turned in my badge, and danced next to my car before getting in. I gave myself permission to never look back.

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I dreamed of a “Plan B,” a life completely different from the one I was living, different people, a different job, different guy, different home. What would that look like? Plan A wasn’t going so well for me, and sometimes all I felt I had left was Plan B. In an ironic twist of fate, here I am, looking back years later. On a Sunday, three years ago, I posted this blogAnd when I read it again, I get a little choked up. (I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately, can you tell?)
I feel like no one ever really chooses to have their lives go the way they do, and, while we all have choices, there’s only so much you can control.  As one of my dear married friends once wisely told me, people in different stages of their lives just have a different set of problems. Doing things the way you’re “supposed” to doesn’t fix or change any of this. I’m going to admit that I find this to be a somewhat terrifying concept. It’s like the adult equivalent of finding out there is no Santa, no tooth fairy, or Easter bunny. “What do you mean I have almost no control over the things that happen in my life?! WHY?!” I’m convinced that everyone has this epiphany at some point or another. There’s almost a bit of beauty in that— you never know what kind of hand you’re going to be dealt.
As much as I once wanted it to be, my life is not an “and then…”  I’m grateful for it. I try to practice this gratitude every day. Some people in my life don’t understand what my life is, what I do, or why I do it. When they ask me these strangely personal, existential questions, I don’t really have answers for them. At the end of the day, all I know is that my life is exactly the way it should be, and I simply do the things I love doing. I’m lucky enough that I can. If one day, this changes, I can make my own “next steps.”
Until next time,
EVA♥
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How To Survive Your 10 Year Reunion

Hello all!

In case you all didn’t know, I’m a cool 28 years-young which, for many of us, marks the time in our lives where we get to look back on the wonderful years we spent chained to our desks.

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Your ten year reunion is often regarded as a right-of-passage of sorts, so much so that entire movie plot lines revolve around them (Romy and Michele, anyone?). They’re hyped up so much that they’re often a huge source of anxiety for some people. For many of us, not much has changed. Most of us still spend time in front of a desk every day, although most likely doing altogether different things from what we thought we would be doing.

I’m not afraid to admit the thought of attending my own reunion made me anxious to the point of nausea, but I couldn’t really explain why. I didn’t necessarily have a bad experience in high school, just not an incredibly amazing one. I was all about dance, so much so that I spent 99% of my life with my hair in a bun, with no makeup on, and a mouthful of braces that topped off the odd/awkward factor. My college experience easily trumped it, in terms of life experience. But, the more people I talked to about it, the less of an oddity I felt. There’s something loaded about reuniting with the people you spent your teenage years with. The boss lady assured me that there would be many, some married with children, that I would no longer recognize. When she attended her high school reunion, a classmate of hers already had five children, and some of the men had aged beyond recognition. No one in my graduating class had quite that many kids, in fact, I was surprised that we all pretty much looked the same, except with more makeup on and in clothes that we bought for ourselves.

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Photo c/o Shelley Truong

Needless to say, I survived, anxiety and all. On top of that, I actually had a good time and enjoyed seeing everyone again. My good friend Devyn recently attended her high school reunion as well, and experienced the same roller-coaster of emotions. If I had tips for anyone apprehensive about attending their high school reunion, they would be quite simple:

  • Like your first day of school, everyone is in the same, nervous boat. Reunions can be potentially awkward or uncomfortable, but being a friendly face in the crowd can make a huge difference.
  • Don’t overthink it. That applies from everything to your outfit, who you’ll see there, or whether or not you’ll even attend.
  • As cliché as it is, just be yourself. Don’t claim you invented post-its, and don’t max out your credit card on a new pair Louboutins. Wear something you’re comfortable in, and be ready to tell people what you actually do. They certainly will ask.
  • Liquid courage might be necessary, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be the person hunched in the bathroom all night or the mess on the dance floor that everyone remembers for the wrong reason.
  • Find things to laugh at. You might be surprised at how little things have changed. Like this sign in lieu of a coat check at my reunion:

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Stay classy, Class of 2005.

  • Mingle! I chatted with a number of people throughout the evening. Don’t be afraid to just sit down at someone’s table and strike up a conversation. That being said…
  • Think of it as practice for your conversational skills. Ask people about themselves! Share fun anecdotes about school, or things you’ve done lately. You’ll be surprised at the common memories you might bond over.

Lastly, all you need to do is just go. That’s it. Buy a ticket and march yourself out the door. You’ve probably come pretty far from who you once were. Get out there and show everyone.

 EVA♥

Halloween circa 2008

Hello everyone!

Here’s a little belated #TBT for you!

Halloween is coming up, and is frequently the topic of discussion between myself and my students. (“I’m gonna be a dead race car driver!” Creative.) I sometimes make a point of telling them that Halloween is not quite the same when you’re an adult. The emphasis is less on your fantastic costume, and more on how to get the more belligerent trick-or-treaters to stop doorbell-ditching your house.Yes, I’m slowly turning into the “Get off my lawn!” woman.  Sure, some of my more festive friends host little parties, usually involving pumpkin carving or a horror film screening, but that’s about it. While I lament this “aging-out” of Halloween fun, I’m totally satisfied knowing that there once was I time where I celebrated Halloween in the most ridiculous manner conceivable.

As some of you might already know, I went to college in Santa Barbara, which also happens to be land of the week-long Halloween. This is not an exaggeration. Every year, thousands of college students would make the pilgrimage to Isla Vista, and fill the flood light-lined streets.  It was a whole weekend of mayhem- streets were closed and mounted police invaded our beachside town to corral the mob of costumed students. Speaking of costumes, you were some sort of loser if you didn’t have at least three different costumes lined up. Case in point, the below photos are all from a single Halloween my senior year.

I was an 80’s rockstar, who, by the end of the night looked like Alice Cooper, as we all got caught in a surprise downpour and my mascara ran down my face, leaving black tracks.

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A pirate, a rag doll, and myself, alongside the Powerpuff Girls. Oh, and a grown man dressed as a crayon in the background.

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Walking down Del Playa Dr. One of the main streets in Isla Vista.

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I was also Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, which was possibly the most comfortable costume ever! My version of Lara Croft wears Uggs, okay.

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My roommate Maren and I made quite the team; she went as Indian Jones. I brandished my two-dimensional guns, and she discovered the lamp in our living room…so many adventures.

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Photos c/o Maren Masterson & Jessica Rodriguez. Hi ladies!

We always managed to host a new group of friends in our living room every year. It’s not everyday you come back from class and have to step over five people to get to your room! Costumes not pictured that I wore the same year are: Mango, the Chris Kattan inspired exotic dancer from SNL, “Super Gaucho” our school mascot, and a fairy, specifically for ballet class the day of Halloween proper. A total of five, altogether.

After that, it’s hard to find anything that lives up to the Halloween memories of my college years. No matter how spectacular your costume is, it’s just one costume. And you might be surrounded by friends, but not all of them want to sleep on the floor of your living room, or want to take twenty deliberately embarrassing photos to post to Facebook. Those were the good, uncomplicated days. There’s a lot of things that I miss about them. Gaucho ’til I die.

EVA♥