Friday, May 31, 2013

The Memories of Goodbye

It was a chilly Virginia day with the sun glistening through the clouds as we pulled up to the building in a pretty silver 3 series. I can still remember the effort it took to get out of the car that morning and the sound of the two doors as they slapped shut behind us. My heels clicked as I made my way into the building with my head tucked slightly downward toward my chest. I wasn't ready for this.

My eyes found the coat rack and I made my way over, trying not to be seen by others but it was too late. They all knew who I was as they looked at me with sad eyes. There were so many people here. I crept out of the hallway and back into the lobby where I was immediately greeted by the familiar faces of a good family friend, Tammie, and her sister. I remember the way Tammie's hug felt. It was one of the saddest, deepest hugs I had felt but somehow it brought me comfort all at the same time.

Seconds later, Brent, the director, approached me in his suit and walked me through what the remainder of the day looked like. With his trust in my approval, I was again calmed. We were moved into a side room and minutes started to pass as though they were seconds. The lobby emptied out, there was a deafening hush, and we were ushered out to the first two pews.

With my brother on one side of me and my dad on the other, I looked outward in front of me at my mom's rich, brown casket. The smell of lavender and pink flowers flooded the air. I stared into the picture at the front of the chapel of my mom's pretty blue eyes. I still couldn't believe this moment was existing. That it was happening.

There were tears. There was laughter. I remember the moment I went up to the podium. I looked out at the chapel and for the first time, I saw it. The entire chapel was full. With family members, with neighbors, with good family friends, with friends of mine, and with people who had never even met her but knew her through stories. My mom touched the lives of so many. And this was proof of it all.

The strength to speak in front of all these people about the loss of the greatest, most important figure in my life somehow found its way into my heart. But in that moment, it didn't feel as though she was gone. It felt like she was right there behind me, showing me the way. Showing me how to get up there and speak with courage. I didn't feel alone. It was the last time I really had her there with me. Physically. So close.

I have absolutely loved this opportunity and challenge to blog everyday in May. Thank you so much, Jenni! Now, I figured I'd try something new and ask YOU to ask me questions!

What do you want to know about me? Leave your questions in the comments below or email me at chelsea.lifeisasunset [at] gmail [dot] com. I'm thinking I'll have to vlog my answers ;) What do you say?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On Letting Go

Letting go. I've learned more about letting go during the past year and a half of my life than I've learned about anything else. Letting go means releasing all control to the Universe. It means abandoning your own power, hopes, and expectations and surrendering to the outcome, whatever and whenever it may be.

I am horrible at letting go. Especially when I still feel like there is something I can do. In some cases, like when I was faced with my mom's prognosis, you have two choices: I could accept that she would die soon or I could have denied it. I chose to accept it. Which, I didn't realize until now meant that I let go. I let go of the outcome. I knew that God was going to take her and that there was nothing I could do to change that. I had to let go and accept the fact that I'd never hug her again, hear her voice again, or kiss her on the cheek.

And whether it's a life or a relationship or a job - whatever it may be - sometimes we just have to accept that, much to our dismay, it is gone. For the past couple months since I moved to San Diego, I've struggled with love. With finding the right person and not the wrong person again. And I've met someone whom, over time, I have developed feelings for but we're both kind of in this weird phase. As exciting as it has been, it's terrifying. It's exhausting and discouraging and sometimes painful to go through this process again, especially after how things ended for me the last time I fell head over heels. But, time and time again, I've been on the phone with my dad and he reminds me that I must take it one day at a time and that everything will work out.

It sounds so cliche but I know how right he is. He reminds me that I am powerless. That the Universe knows the life for me and everything will happen when it is meant to but that I have to let go. Every aspect of my life is in Limbo right now and it's a very unsettling feeling, especially for a perfectionist like me. I like planning. I like details. I like being prepared. So, when life is like it has been lately, there are some very tough days.

I am learning what it truly means to be patient. And I am learning even more so how difficult it is to be content in these phases of our life when all we can do is let go, be patient, and surrender to the outcome.

Music of My Life

Music is and has always been a vital part of my life. I am constantly listening to music. I can't get over the vivid memories that come back just by listening to a certain song. This was very difficult to narrow it down so, without over-thinking things, here are some of the songs that really take me back:

1. Under My Tree by *NSync

Under My Tree by *NSync on Grooveshark

That entire album is my childhood. My tween years. And yes, in my mid to late twenties, I still listen to it year-round. Every time I listen to that album, I am taken back to when I was twelve years old, celebrating Christmas with my awesome family. Back when it actually used to snow in the DC area around Christmastime. It takes me back to the Christmas tree all lit up, the eggnog in Santa mugs, and lying in bed, wondering when I'd hear hooves on my roof. It was exciting. We were all a family, still all living under that roof.

2. Dirt Road by Sawyer Brown

The Dirt Road by Sawyer Brown on Grooveshark

Back in the day of Brooks and Dunn, my family actually used to listen to a little country. This song would play on a cassette in my dad's car when I was a little girl. We would all sing along but I never paid attention to the meaning of the lyrics until now. What a beautiful song about something my dad always taught me...
"Daddy worked hard for his dollarHe said some folks don't but that's okayWell, they won't know which road to followBecause an easy street might lead you astray
I'll take the dirt road it's all I knowI've been walking it for yearsIt's gone where I need to go."

3. City Love by John Mayer
City Love by John Mayer on Grooveshark
This entire album was the soundtrack to the first time I fell in love. It reminds me of how hopeless, innocent, and naive love once was before heartbreak hit.

4. Kiss From A Rose by Seal

Kiss From a Rose by Seal on Grooveshark

This song immediately takes me back to the Summer of 1995. A big Summer for me. The first time I left my parents for an extended period of time. To go to acting school in New York. This song will forever be a huge part of my life. Listening to it, I can still feel the hot, humid air of those Summer nights as a kid.

5. Leavin' by Jag Star

Leavin by Jag Star on Grooveshark

I listened to this song on repeat when I made the decision nearly nine years ago that I would be moving to California one day. It is so bittersweet to listen again today, now that I am finally here.

And here are some that I just couldn't leave off the list:

I Want You Back by *NSync
I Want You Back by *NSync on Grooveshark

What? Are we surprised there are multiple *NSync songs on my list? This song deserves its own post. It's that crucial in my life. Let's just say every time I listen to this song, I am immediately taken back to the best year of my life [until now]... 6th grade :)

What If You by Joshua Radin

WHAT IF YOU - JOSHUA RADIN - by Joshua Radin on Grooveshark

I'm including this song because one day, looking back, it will remind me of this time I'm going through now. This song was playing during a defining moment recently. A moment of realizing for the first time since my last heartbreak, that I was falling again... deeply.

And that's it! I'll have to keep track of the soundtrack of my life more often. It's always fun to go back and reminisce :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Letter to My Readers

Dear Readers,

Whether you're new here or have been around since the beginning, I want to thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your constant support. Thank you for your love, your encouragement, and your belief in me.

People who are not part of this blogging community have a hard time understanding what it's all about. They don't get that 90% of the time when I'm referring to a "friend" in a conversation, it's one of you. One of you whom I've never even met in person [or perhaps I have by now!] but connect with on a deeper level than I've connected with most in real life friends I met through another venue. Blogging is so amazing and bloggers are even more amazing.

This past month of May during the Blog Everyday in May Challenge has renewed my love for writing from the heart. I have received so much positivity and encouragement from so many of you to continue doing what I do here on Life is a Sunset and I can't even tell you how much that means. Writing from the heart - about my struggles, my dreams, my fears, etc. is not always an easy thing to do. For starters, half the time I find myself in tears depending on what I'm writing about at the time. Being transparent opens up the door to the unknown. And then other times, I'm crying tears of happiness over the love I receive in your comments, emails, and tweets.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Just for caring. For caring enough to read about my life. For checking in on me. For texting me to let me know something made you think of me. For the sweet cards and occasional packages I surprisingly receive in the mail. After the detours life has taken me on lately, it is the most wonderful feeling to know that I have hundreds of you "by my side" along this journey.

Honestly, blogging wouldn't be the same if it weren't for you, my readers. While writing has always been a passion of mine and something that I could never stop doing, being able to share my writing and a good portion of my life and all the lessons I've learned along the way is a pretty incredible feeling. If I've helped at least one of you in any way, that's all I could possibly ask for.

Just know that I love you guys. I read every single one of your comments and if I ever don't respond when you were really hoping that I did [I apologize!] and just shoot me an email :) Oh, and if you're in San Diego... we should probably meet up sometime!

Blog friends make the best friends.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Creating More Support In Your Life

If you don't already know, I have a couple "life gurus" that I follow. I subscribe to The Daily Love by Mastin Kipp and start each day off by reading his daily thoughts and inspiration. I've been doing this for the past two years and can still name off stories and quotes that he's shared that have helped shape my life, my attitude, and my own thought process.

I also started following Gabrielle Bernstein and began reading her latest book, May Cause Miracles earlier this year when I was going through a rough patch. I felt trapped and wanted to live a life of miracles. This book taught me how. Well, Gabby often guest posts/vlogs on The Daily Love and while I was going back through her archive, I came across her post "Create More Support in Your Life."
This was just what I needed to read/hear. Remember a couple days ago when I posted about how I always put myself on the back burner and how, because of doing that, my entire life feels out of balance a lot of the time? Well, Gabrielle's vlog addresses this.

She tells us that in order to feel supported in life, WE must support ourselves. Wake up everyday asking yourself, "What can I do to help myself feel supported?" So, she would drink a lot of green juice, take a lot of baths, and started saying "no" more because sometimes "no" is the more supportive answer. Hmm, interesting.

It was another wonderful reminder of something I already knew. I'm going to continue to feel unbalanced and unsupported until I start supporting myself everyday. And, in turn, the Universe will not support us until we start asking it to. It makes sense. It really does.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Four Words I'll Always Keep With Me

August 17, 2011. 6 days before I would leave Utah for the last time, saying goodbye to my home and the life I had created there. 6 months and 6 days before I'd say goodbye forever to the person who told me these four words I'll never forget:

"You are so strong."

It was written by my mom at the end of an email from a long chain that had been going on as she provided her support all the way from Virginia. She would email me to check up on me, wish me sweet dreams, and remind me of any last minute loose ends to tie up as I prepared for my trek back home to the East Coast.

But on that day in August 2011, I had no idea just how important those four words were going to be for me 6 months later and again today, as I live without my mom.

This past week, I felt anything but strong. I felt small, I felt hurt, I felt discouraged, confused, and taken for granted. But deep down, I knew that I've conquered so much more compared to what life's been handing me lately. And so, I asked myself, "What would Mom be telling me right now?"

She may not have told me often but those four words above are a constant reminder from her that I am strong. That I can conquer the detours and disasters and doubts and disappointments that get thrown my way. I can.

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Fourth Worst Trait

Today, I was supposed to write about my 3 worst traits. This post was important to me as someone who likes to assess myself and my growth and what I need to improve on. However, right now, I sit here with the carpal tunnel in my left wrist worsening by the minute. My brain is fried for the day. I am spent. I want to be able to reflect and find the right words to express what this post was intended to be.

I just know I am unable to do that right now. So, here is a negative trait about me that sums up the first three. I hope this holds you over until my brain gets some time to recharge and I can write about the others.

4. I put myself on the back burner I got everything done for everyone else yesterday [almost, didn't have time to submit every design for work #1] But instead of coming home an hour and a half later than anticipated from work #2 and sitting down to enjoy some falafel I was looking forward to and working on some orders for work #3, I started preparing a salad, only to be dragged away, back to my computer by a mass group text that was started about my work #1 designs, realizing a half an hour later that a) it was 9:00pm and I still hadn't eaten and b) I left the fridge open. That whole time.

Now, here I am at 1:30 in the morning, trying to bust out this blog post that I was really looking forward to taking the time to write, and stressing about the fact that I had zero time today to put toward work #3, which again, I was really looking forward to. When this happens one day, fine. Two days, I get it. But then you realize an entire week goes by of constantly putting yourself and YOUR priorities on the back burner. It drags you down. I literally feel how it affects my self esteem.

Because I put myself on the back burner, the things that matter most to me get little to no time or thought which, in the end, makes me not proud of my work or myself. Stella, my cat, has an echocardiogram that was supposed to have been booked nearly two months ago. My June 20th deadline for the most important project thus far in my personal business [which I haven't even had time to write about] has yet to be worked on! Take a lesson from me, friends. Take care of yourself first. Because if you aren't okay, you'll soon see that everything else in your life won't be okay either.

I'm out of words. This is the worst blog post I've probably ever pieced together. Today's one of those days when I just need a mom hug...

Visit again later for my top three worst traits. Oh, yeah. I know you're excited.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Things School Won't Teach You

In school, or at least in the school systems I was a part of, we learned things based on the Standards of Learning. We had to be taught a certain criteria every year that would later show up on that test that every student in the county had to take. How smart we were was based on our grades and what college we went to was based on things like our grade point average and what extracurricular activities we took part in.

I file all of that away with the cell phones and clothes and make-up that we can't take with us when we die. I value education. But I also value life experience. The things that won't be on exams or in text books. The things we learn by living through them. So, without further ado, here are some things [some from other people and some from me] that school will not teach you. Let's just pretend these are the titles or intros to the book of life:

1. Don't settle.
Don't finish crappy books.
If you don't like the menu, leave the restaurant.
If you're not on the right path, get off it.
- Chris Brogan

2. Believing that the dots will connect down the road
will give you the confidence to follow your heart,
even when it leads you off the well worn path.
- Steve Jobs

3. Sometimes it's better to react with no reaction.

4. If we wait until we're ready
We'll be waiting for the rest of our lives.
- Lemony Snicket

5. Be brave.
Take risks.
Nothing can substitute experience.

6. The only way to succeed,
is to not worry about what anyone else is doing.

7. Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.

8. It's supposed to be hard.
If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.
The hard it what makes it great.
- A League Of Their Own

9. Fall nine times, get up ten.

10. Always say, "I love you."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Keeping Up With the Blog Joneses

It's time for a little rant. Originally, I was going to blog about the pressures of getting married and having kids. I can't log onto Facebook without reading about another engagement, wedding, or baby A, B, and C's gender reveal. Don't get me wrong - I am happy for all of you whose lives have taken you that route. I know how exciting new life events can be. However, I'm certainly in the minority over here. At least, that sure is how it feels more often than not.

Not just on Facebook but among the blogging community too. I'm in this odd phase of my life where I thought I'd be married with at least one child by now but really, my life is the complete opposite. I absolutely love the independence I have now. I've never been the "I always have to have a boyfriend" type of girl. I greatly value my alone time and freedom to learn on my own, as my mom taught me at a young age to do.

I see people [girls and guys] who bounce from relationship to relationship, all the while remaining the same. And then I look back at my past year and a half of being single, and I can see how much I've grown. Some of that growth was due to circumstances beyond my control and some of that growth was due to choices I made for myself.

But sometimes I feel like one of the odd balls. One of the only twenty-something not married, not with children, not tied down girls out there, especially in the blogging community. I certainly march to the beat of my own drum. I just wonder though... is there anyone else out there like me? Where are all the single ladies?! All the single ladies, put your hands up!

And on top of that, to make me feel like even more of an odd ball... I'm not much of a consumer. I've never bought anything from J. Crew or Anthropologie, I've had the same iPhone case for my phone since the day I bought it, and the idea of having a credit card for a store baffles my mind a little bit. [But ask me what Billabong's newest pieces are and I could basically draw them out for you. I blame it on work. I study that ish for breakfast.]

My point is - sometimes even my blog posts make me feel like an odd ball, especially upon moving to Southern California and paying over $4.00 for one gallon of fuel. My money doesn't go toward a new blog design, or eyelash extensions to write about, or a renovation of any sort on my house to show you. And I'm okay with that. I just don't know if my readers are. I write about life, whether it's funny or sad. I don't often write about material goods. Shoot, if you're wondering how single Chelsea makes it alive in San Diego and want to know my single-girl tricks on living wisely and within my means, maybe I can write about that.

But I won't be writing about a baby's brand new nursery reveal anytime soon ;)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Posts From My Past

Yesterday's post on what I'm currently struggling with didn't make it up on the blog. I'm still struggling with it but it will be posted in the near future. Today, I am sharing five of my personal favorites from my own blog archive. I've been blogging since the Summer of 2011 but realized that most of my favorite posts are from the past year.

I hope you enjoy going back and re-reading some of my favorites, each for a different reason.

Saying Yes
A post from February of this year about saying "yes" in life and doing things you wouldn't normally do because, most of the time, you end up with a wonderful experience. This post is a wonderful reminder to always open myself up to new things and the beauty that will come from them.

New Dreams and New Places
I wrote this after my first month living in San Diego. I touched on the difficult time of year and the sacrifices I had to make to be right where I belong. It's a good post for me to go back and read on the tougher days here, far away from family and security and certainty. I'm livin' on the edge now and this is why.

I've Waited So Long To Say This
The announcement I had waited so many years to say - that I'd finally be moving to San Diego :) It's so very refreshing to read this post now that I've been here for 5 months. It re-ignites the light and hope and excitement that I always had when thinking about moving here.

Some Things I Believe
This post was written in September of 2012, just hours before I left for Virginia Beach. I love looking back on this post because it reminds me of where I was at that moment in my life, and breaks it down to the simple basics of who I am.

A Letter to Mom
The last post written on this blog before my mom passed away. The last real record I have of writing to my mom in the present as opposed to the past.

Blogging has been such an amazing experience. It has introduced me to some of the most wonderful women I've "met" and has allowed me to speak my heart and learn from my own life lessons. Thank you all for joining the journey!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Five Wonderful Bloggers

Whether you're new to the blogging community and are looking for some new blogs to read or are a family member/friend of mine who's curious which blogs I love to check up on, today I share 5 of my favorite blogs with you!

1. Jenni from Story of My Life

Jenni was one of the very first blogs I read when I started blogging almost two years ago.
Everything about Jenni and her blog have been a wonderful example to me.
Her writing, her beautiful pictures, her perspective, her honesty, and her humor.
She is a witty girl with awesome pointers to help you find your voice in blogging.
But most importantly, she is transparent and real.
Jenni, you are a real gem and I'm SO very grateful to "know" you :)

2. Katie from Katie Did What

She's one of the most beautiful people I know.
Beautiful on the inside & the outside.
Her heart, mind, and soul.
In fact, we're soul sisters.
Katie and I really connected this year after she too, lost her mother.

It's like we speak [write] each other's minds.
She brings me to tears and it's in a way that's therapeutic.
It's sad and devastating but comforting at the same time.
And her blog is the perfect mixture of life, love, fashion, reflection, and hope.
Her support and her understanding make me grateful everyday.
You are a light, Katie girl. And I just love you for that.

3. Ashley from House of Glass

How can you NOT love her?
I'm so glad I can say that hot Ash above is one of my real-life friends.
Thanks to blogging :)

She's full of this energy that is so unique and contagious!
Being around her just makes life better. Seriously.
And I feel the same way whenever I'm on her blog.
She's a strong woman who knows a TON about living a healthy lifestyle all-around.
And I finally get to venture out to the Glass Ranch soon to visit her and her awesome husband ;)

I remember finding Devon's blog from a sponsor highlight on Jenni's blog over a year ago [Oh, and that also just so happens to be how I found Ashley's blog!]
Devon is a surfer girl from Southern California and that alone drew me in right away.
And then I saw her gorgeous pictures that perfectly portrayed the beauty of the San Diego area.

And then there was her writing...
Devon is an amazing writer.
She is an amazing thinker!
Every time I leave her blog, I am deep in thought.
Her perspective and take on situations is so thought-provoking.
Especially when she writes about following your dreams.
[I wrote this post and then just-so-happened to run into Devon this weekend! More to come but I am so glad we finally met!]

5. Holly from Hey, Hollywood

And last but not least is Holly. If you've been around here for a while, you probably already know her.
Since we're bloggy besties and all.
How on earth we haven't met yet in real life, we still don't know.
But she is such a true friend and I know without a doubt that her blog is a true representation of how fun and loving and genuine she truly is.

Holly's blog is always a breath of fresh air.
If I've had a bad day and just finished yet another heavy blog post [my bad] I know I can go over to her blog and laugh hysterically.
She is SUCH a positive and uplifting woman.
And I love her so much that I've blogged about her twice this month.
Such a good bestie I am ;)

Go say hi to these five wonderful ladies.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Memories of Virginia Beach

I remember it so vividly. I'd wake up early in the morning, swing my little feet over the edge of the bed and onto the carpet. I'd see my dad sitting at the table with his cup of coffee from 7-Eleven and a newspaper. I'd grab a chocolate Entenmann's donut and quietly pull the sliding glass door to the side, stepping out onto the balcony.

I'd immediately feel the warm, August morning sun on my skin and hear the soft crashes of the waves in the distance, the seagulls as they swept through the sky just several arm's lengths away, and the clink of bikes as the lifeguards rode in for the new day. It was a typical vacation morning. Just like the vacation mornings the year before, yet, it never got old.

I still remember the peace I'd feel as a young girl - just me and the sights and sounds of those August mornings. Eventually, I'd hear the glass door behind me push open and I'd look to see my mom's sleepy smile as she came out to say good morning to the coast. My brother would soon follow to sit in the morning sun. The three of us would watch as the umbrella and chair rentals were slowly set up and beach-goers started to fill the sand.

Then, it was our turn. After finishing breakfast and throwing on our bathing suits, we'd all walk down to the beach with our arms full of towels, coolers, bags, and chairs... ready for a full day in the sun. My brother and I would throw our stuff down and race into the warm salt water, seeing who would fall first into the sea. It was tradition :)

After that point, it was just me and the sea. I'd flick my hands back and forth through the water, ride the waves in until my knees were scraped up from the ocean floor, and spend the entire day in my favorite place - the ocean.

At night, after getting showered, and going out for dinner on the boardwalk, and walking "The Strip," my brother and I spent hours out on that balcony watching the evening crowd walk, jog, and sit on the boardwalk below us. It was our happy place, our way to re-charge, our time to be a family :)

I'll never forget our family vacations. I'll never forget these Virginia Beach memories from years ago. They hold a special place in my heart and now, whenever I return, my heart is full of all of the above.

All pictures were taken during our "half family" vacation when I went to Virginia Beach with my brother and his little family this past September :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

When I Was A Beautiful Little Fool

"That's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."
-Daisy, The Great Gatsby

That's me. Little three-year-old Chelsea.
A beautiful little fool.
I love this picture for several reasons.
I don't know why, but I've always viewed this picture as an outsider.
Like I'm just looking at a picture of a happy, little girl.

I see a sprightly, loving, cuddly brunette girl.
Soaking up the sun with a tender heart.
Finding happiness in something so simple.
With her mom just behind her, guiding her, caring for her.

I see myself as the girl before life hit.
The girl who knew how to express herself with only a few words and by dancing through the salt water.
The girl who didn't have to worry or plan or fear.
She just lived.

So, looking back, knowing that is me in the picture, it reminds me...
Reminds me that I was once a beautiful little fool.
But that even if I didn't know it at the time, I was a dreamer and a doer.
A girl who would later face reality head-on.
And that girl would become a woman who'd look back at that picture and smile.
Because, in the end,
life grew her and shaped her and built her.
She'd smile at that picture because, in the end,
I am her and she is I :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day in the Current Life

The beauty of my life right now is that no two days are the same - a major reason why I do what I do. There are so many pros [as well as a few cons] to not having to work an 8-5 office job like I had done up until this point since college. Working for the surf brand and working on my jewelry line give me the freedom to work from home, or the beach, or a cafe, etc. However, it also means I work all the time. Weekends, nights, 2am in the morning. I need to start practicing better self control. So, join me in one of my "typical yet not so typical" days!

Most mornings during the week start out with some form of coffee and a small breakfast. Just not usually in a cave. And not usually in a cave that makes me appear to be a ghost. It's a lot more exciting when it does happen that way though.

Then the work begins. I'm either in a day-long meeting if it's a Tuesday, running around getting things ready for an event if it's a Friday or a weekend, or doing any other miscellaneous thing for the surf brand like designing, writing, and, planning.

If I'm lucky and do have extra time before the clock strikes midnight, I do one of several things. I go for a run/life cool down in Balboa, go to the gym, get After Sunset jewelry orders made and shipped off, or watch the sunset. But on the weeks leading up to an event or any other major work priority [like this week], these things are hard to come by.

Then, depending on whether or not I have time to try a new recipe, I find something to eat in my fridge, get something work-related done on my laptop while I listen to something I DVR-ed [usually The Voice - don't tell me what's happened because I haven't had time to watch it this week!], get in bed around midnight and either blog or do administrative things for After Sunset until a three-digit time like this one:

My days are usually pretty long with a lot going on but they're not boring. That's for sure. I just have to remind myself to keep life balanced. So, there you have it! A day in the life of Chelsea. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten Bits of Happiness

Asking me ten things that make me happy is like asking me what qualities I look for in a man. Where the heck do I begin? And because I'm a perfectionist, I want to think of the top ten most important things without leaving anything out. So, this post kind of stresses me out. A post on happiness and I'm stressed out. Typical.

In all honesty though, I am the happiest I have ever been. 
Yep, ever.
I still think that's pretty crazy but it's the truth. I've found myself. I've found my passions. And I'm pursuing them.
Let's talk about my happies, shall we?

1. The Ocean

Always and forever.
My happiness, my escape, the place where it all just makes sense.

2. Acting

Everything about it.
The auditioning. The memorizing. The blocking. The late night and weekend rehearsals. The final production.
This is quite possibly the only thing in my life that literally has always felt inherent. 

3. Music
I'm always listening to music.
Usually the same several songs on repeat at a time.

Here are some current favorites:
+Capital Cities "Safe and Sound" This song makes me HAPPY!
+The Cinema "Picasso"
+Foster the People "Houdini" One of my favorite songs ever.

Other favorites I'm always listening to are Matchbox Twenty & Kavinsky.

4. Pretty Little Liars

It's no secret. [Get it? Got a secret. Can you keep it?]
I've written blog posts about my love for PLL.
Clearly I would play Hanna Marin.
Less than 4 weeks until it comes back! But... who's counting?

5. Volunteering with homeless animals

Fostering animals was one of the biggest blessings of my life.
These 3 little terrors above ripped my arms & legs to shreds but then there were moments like that one.

It was so precious. Helping animals who are helpless... and homeless.
The three kittens, two dogs [and my rescue cat, Stella] will always hold special places in my heart :)

6. Traveling

While I do not enjoy flying, I do enjoy the process of traveling.
And I obviously enjoy driving across the country multiple times too.
But traveling is so eye-opening. Whether you're far off in a distant land with new cultures and languages, or just in another part of your own country... traveling fascinates me.

7. My home

San Diego.
America's Finest City.
It is everything I knew it would be and more.
And it just keeps getting better...

8. Adam Levine when he gets really intense while listening to a performance on The Voice.
9. Ryan Gosling when... well, always. Just Ryan Gosling. Since I was seven.
10. Chocolate. Sushi. Root Beer with In-N-Out. Blueberries with honey & vanilla Greek yogurt. And Sculpin. That's happiness right there.

I was getting too obvious with numbers 1-7 so I figured I'd throw some crazy happy stuff in there as well. There are a lot of things that bring me happiness nowadays. I have a really good feeling that I'll continue to discover new things and places and people that make my smile grow even bigger :)