Quarter of a Century

Thoughts

We turn not older with years, but newer every day.

-Emily Dickinson

I hit a milestone in my life. Age may just be a number, but turning 25 was kind of like a ‘wake up call’ so to speak. But maybe in a different way than you are imagining…

When I was younger I thought by the age of 25, I would have the job I’d have the rest of my life, and maybe dating the man who would eventually be my husband. Are those two things happening? Not even close. I do live on my own though (not with my parents) – I think that’s an accomplishment nowadays (no offense to those living at home). I have a job that’s interesting and in the fitness field, but not where my passion lies (obviously with the ocean). What I’ve realized is that we are grown up with standards, kind of like a guide-book, of accomplishments and expectations for certain points in one’s life. I am definitely guilty of thinking that way and falling into the trap, but that’s all it is, a trap. Life is so uncertain, and you can’t plan too far ahead in life. Should I feel bad that I am not doing the future life profession or dating the man of my dreams – no, not really. I’m breaking the mold. I’m just living my life, the way that my life is to be lived:  Young, wild & free.

I had a deep chat with my close friend Evan this weekend about this particular topic actually. We both are young, passionate & positive individuals who know we were made to do something great with our lives. He just published his first digital book, and now has an idea in the works that I think will be a fantastic hit. I’ve discovered on my birthday, from all the 100’s of messages on my Facebook wall, phone calls, and text messages, that people recognize and acknowledge me as a positive/ocean loving/photography/adventurous/successful woman. I was overwhelmed with love and positivity this whole weekend by so many people who I’ve encountered in my life – even some surprising ones who popped up out of the blue. It just goes to show you those who truly do care about you in life, and see the passion burning in your soul and want you to succeed.

I’ve written this blog for 3 years now, and have no idea how many of my friends or strangers even read it. But now, I know the things I’m doing in life are being recognized by those around me, and it makes me smile from the inside out. I’m (plain and simple) just being: ME. 

I have expectations of what my life will look like in 5 years – I hate when people (especially in job interviews) ask you that kind of question. NO ONE KNOWS THE ANSWER. I honestly don’t really want to know the answer – life is about living in the now and enjoying each moment of it. The excitement in life is not knowing what’s around the next corner.

Basically – all I’m saying is that turning 25 just means that I still have plenty of time to accomplish what I want in life. I’m not a ‘failure’ for not being married yet or having my destined long-life job at this age. There are no rules in this game of life – only ones you create in your mind and within society. We make our own unique paths through our decisions and actions. You can either make your life worth living, or live a life that’s boring and monotonous  You choose. I choose the excitement of the unknown 🙂 Because I know I’m destined to do amazing things and I can’t wait to continue my journey for another quarter of a century.

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Thanks For Coming Into My Life

Thoughts

People

Throughout my life, I’ve realized that people come in (and out) of your life for a reason. Whether that reason be to make your life amazing or miserable – they walked along the same path as you for a purpose.

I’d like to believe that I have more people enter my life and make it more worth, than pass through my life and leave a sour taste in my mouth. Of course there are going to be falling outs with friends , relatives, and significant others. That’s inevitable. No one gets along with everyone, all of the time.

Recently, I’ve been in more contact with a variety of friends from the past who I don’t usually talk to as often as I would like. But, whenever I have the pleasure of exchanging a couple of sentences with these people, I feel a light of happiness shine bright inside me. It’s crazy how much of a connection you can make with a person you met on a weeks’ vacation in a different country. And after 7 years you still have the feeling that this person might know you better than people you talk with every week. I could go on listing examples from my past – but I think you get the picture. It’s these kind of individuals I never want to lose contact with.

This post is a genuine THANK YOU to all of those people in my life that bring me happiness and love. For all those people who have nothing but words of encouragement and heartfelt messages each time we speak – I cherish you and your opinions. It’s because of you that I am always encouraged to follow my dreams and to listen to my heart. 

And for those who entered, and then left my life, I thank you as well. There obviously was a lesson (or two) to be learned from your presence (however brief or long it ultimately lasted).

Step back and take a look at those people in your life that make you smile and feel warm inside every moment they pop back into your life. Don’t be afraid to tell them next time how much they mean to you and how happy that you crossed paths in this lifetime.

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Make Monday Worthwhile.

Photography, Thoughts

Last week was by far the longest, craziest, hectic, satisfying, and sleep deprived of my year so far. For work we did all the production for the California Philharmonic’s inaugural concert at the Santa Anita Race Track. I took a lot of great photos which I will share tomorrow (I’m editing them now 🙂 ).

Since this is a new week, I wanted to start it off on a good note. I got a delicious super detox tea beverage from a local tea joint in Pasadena with my co-worker, found $20 on the ground, and then I treated my co-worker to some awesome Thai food for lunch. Time is too precious to waste being lazy and negative, keep your head up high and a smile on your face. People want to be surrounded with positivity… it’s crazy how addictive a simple smile can be 🙂

My mom shared this photo with me today, and I just HAD to post it because it made me feel good. I’ve always wanted to swim with whales in the wild (definitely have it on My Bucket List). I want it to be me in this photo so badly!! But I know one day I will get to experience these huge amazing marine mammals in the big blue.. I can hardly wait!

So I just wanted to leave you on a positive encouraging note to : Make the Most out of your Monday

I know it’s the beginning of the workweek for most, but it’s also a chance for new opportunities and experiences. Go out and make the most of your day and overall week!

Here’s To Now.

Photography, Science, Thoughts

I apologize for the late post…it’s been a busy couple of weeks! I ran around the Rose Bowl 3 times today- which is about 15K/ 9.3 miles. It’s a good preparation for the actual 5K marathon I’m running on June 24th!

The song I posted above pretty much sums of my view on life at the moment: Here’s To Now

Step back- and take a look at your life and see if you are happy or sad with what you are seeing. If you are happy, continue doing what puts a smile on your face and figure out what else makes you a better person. If you aren’t satisfied with your  life, then I suggest focusing on YOU and what YOU feel. People can give you a lot of varying advise, but only you know what’s best for you. So, here’s to now!

Salamander!

Moving on…Here’s a summary (plus PHOTOS!) of my previous weekend of fun times! I went on an early morning hike with my friends Marisa and Nelson. Mind you, I am not the type to rise early on weekends..the only time I have to sleep in..but I made an exception in order to enjoy being around nature and friends! And I am so happy I did! We saw a cute little salamander by the creek, and I even spotted a small little snake. It’s nice to know that I only have to travel a couple of miles from my doorstep to see nature up close and personal.

The next day I woke up early again and met up with my mom and grandma in San Diego- my grandma lives in San Diego so it was nice to spend some time with her. Through my mother’s work- we got a Box at the Padres Baseball Game! It was definitely the best experience I ever had at a game! Free awesome food, unlimited alcohol, comfortable seats, lounge, and even a dessert cart rolled through that looked like something out of your dreams?!  IT WAS AWESOME! Definitely felt like high class royalty. It was also the same day as the solar eclipse- which I kind of saw afterwards at a bar we hung out at after the game. I wished I had remembered about the eclipse so I was better prepared to view it..oh well..I guess I’ll just have to wait another 11 years to see it properly!

Please flip through these photos and tell me which ones you like best! 🙂

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Santa Barbara Kind of Weekend.

Thoughts

So, I oddly have never spent more than a couple hours in Santa Barbara during my life in California. I stopped by SB late one night to eat at FreeBirds (for a famoud burrito of course)- and another time during a soccer tournament (I think?)- and once to interview with the Marine Science Graduate Program at UCSB. It’s only 2 hours away from LA…I’m surprised I haven’t visited more often!

Well I got the opportunity to go with some friends up to Santa Barbara for the weekend- so of course I said YES PLEASE! We ended up leaving around midnight on Friday- and got there around 2am so we could just wake up to the ocean in our backyard 🙂

Luckily my friend Marisa is family friends with a person I’m pretty sure everyone knows from an old popular tv show (sorry can’t say who!)- and basically this house was drop dead gorgeous, huge, and cozy! We were in a gated community with homes all along a little strip of rocky ocean shore. Life was great- I felt lucky to be able to enjoy this opportunity with great people 😀

Nelson- who was the one who was going to Santa Barbara in the first place for a wedding and invited us along- actually went to college at Westmont (which is in SB). He played baseball for them- so we headed to Westmont on Saturday to watch his old baseball team in the playoffs.

We had a great evening downtown – Santa Barbara sure had some interesting people and crazy bars! I had lots of fun meeting new friends, and shooting some pool 😉

Throughout the weekend went antiquing (I got a new lamp!), strolled along the beaches, and just enjoyed not having to do ANYTHING. Nelson also decided to take a couple amateur model photos of me..waiting on him to edit them so I can show you guys! A mini-vacation was just the thing I think we all need once in a while.

Here are some photos from this fun weekend. Let me know what you think 🙂

My First Cruise Experience.

Photography, Thoughts

Wow. All I have to say is that cruise ships are fascinating!

There were 2,700 passengers from 11 different countries- and 900 employees from 45 different countries! The food wasn’t that bad- and with ice cream cones available 24/7- needless to say we stopped by there multiple times in the wee hours of the morning haha.

Although the rooms are quite compact and the drinks are expensive-I don’t really have much to complain about my recent 3-night cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. It was awesome people watching, and a definite escape from reality for a couple days. Not having access to the internet felt nice. I think our lives are too overstimulated with social media…I miss the days of when we wrote letters and arranged time and places to meet instead of texting or calling every moment of the day. The weather was a little on the cooler side…but we still enjoyed lounging on the pool deck.

BTW- had the WORST tacos of my life in Ensenada. That was unfortunate..didn’t have any flavor at all. You’d think anywhere in Mexico had delicious Mexican food-right?! But thank goodness the beer was cheap! (I don’t think that I will go there again…)

I went with my best friend, her sister, and her sister’s co-worker. 4 ladies taking over the ship! We all kind of split into our own directions most the time…whether it was gambling until the tables closed at 4:30am, dancing at the night club with people dressed up in panda and care bear costumes, laying in bed watching The Proposal because of someone felt seasick, hot tubbing, or playing giant chess on the pool deck. We all had a blast!

There were a couple bachelor and bachelorette parties on the ship- that was entertaining. We met a group of guys from the OC that were our buddies from night one in the hot tub. It’s always a fun time making new friends!

I mainly took photos on my iPhone 4 and my old FujiFilm digital camera- basically I didn’t trust a cruise and going to Mexico with my nice Canon camera. So the quality of the videos and pictures aren’t top notch- so please don’t judge me! Haha.

I wanted to make a little vacation summary video on my Mac Book Pro iMovie application- so I did! It was really addicting once I started making this video- I’m kind of a perfectionist- so I wanted it to look and sound amazing. I want to make more videos like this one for future vacations and adventures. So I’m hoping to improve on the creativeness and quality of the videos over time.

Here’s the video and some of my favorite snapshots from the trip!

It’s a NEW YEAR.

Thoughts

Wow. 2011. What a year you were! It definitely was the year of change in my life.

I won’t bore you with the details of last year- but everything that happened helped me grow, appreciate certain people more, disregard certain people (haha), and become a stronger individual.

I don’t really make New Years resolutions- but I have just created some standards that I want to hold up throughout the rest of my life.

Such as..

1) Surround myself with  more positive people- and less with negative ones. I know it may sound simple- but really take a step back and address friends in your life and how they treat you and others. I’ve realized that I have a couple friends who are always negative nancy’s and debbie downers. And it is usually not fun to be around them when we hang out…so what’s the point? I still care about these people, but I will just spend less time with them throughout the year. Life is too short to be unhappy.

2) COOK more. I got lots of fun cooking supplies for Christmas. I feel like I should turn into Betty Crocker or Julia Child by the time this year is over. I moved into my own place in September- and I really haven’t used my kitchen at all- I usually eat out or get food made by the chefs of the restaurant connected to my office that my boss always owns. So my goal is to buy more fresh veggies and eat less frozen foods.

3) DRAW more. After taking painting/drawing in high school- I kind of became fascinated with pointillism and pencil/shading drawings. I’ve got a nice little portfolio of my drawings that I want to increase over the next year and beyond. I already started a little drawing last night for my friend’s new baby girl that came into this world a week ago. It’s an escape to relaxation and creativity that I truly enjoy. I’ll be posting my new drawings throughout the year for your eyes to feast upon 🙂 Be on the look out.

I think those are some good goals to start off with for now. All these goals will hopefully make this year better than the last. I hope you all had a fantastic New Years- filled with friends and loved ones and possibly new friends. It’s 80 degrees and beautiful here in Pasadena CA – so I couldn’t ask for a more perfect way for 2012 to start. Being a sun child..life is good right now.

Cheers to a new possibilities!

Welcoming the New Year with open arms!

Have Some Mindfulness.

Thoughts

Good morning!

I had quite the weekend- I didn’t have to work but I still had a lot going on 🙂 in a good way of course. From birthday parties with inflatable slip’n’slides, to wine tasting in Calabasas, to going away parties, to a Spazmatics concert…it was a fun-packed weekend!

I just wanted to share with you an awesome project one of my good friends has created- it’s an online magazine called:

Mindfulness Magazine 

Mindfulness Magazine

Mindfulness Magazine

My friend from college, Janaye, and her friend created this magazine a couple months ago. Basically it is a collection of pictures and writing from friends, family and beyond.  The stories people submit embody mindfulness, or awareness of the present moment. I think it’s a fantastic idea- and I definitely wanted to be a part of it!

I was featured in Issue #2. Check out my picture and poem/rant 🙂

I used to write a lot of poetry when I was younger actually. And I find it really cool if a guy can let some emotion out on paper as well. It’s a fun way to express yourself and what you are feeling- maybe you should write one!

Be sure to “like” Mindfulness Magazine on FACEBOOK! 

Here is my post from the magazine- I copied and pasted it on here (hope I didn’t break some copyright law or something haha). Let me know what you think!

ISSUE #2: CHANEL HASON [SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA]


photo credit: chanel hason [2009]

life is a journey, not a destination (as they say…)
without the journey, we would not take the wrong paths, slip and fall in the mud, and learn which plants are poisonous or not.
without these mistakes, we will never grow and become better, smarter, and more loving individuals.
life is funny, you see.
sometimes it slaps you across the face with a dead fish, or it gently caresses your feet after a long day.
your heart will be ripped apart, mended, stomped on, and sewn back together once again.
knowing this, it is best to expect the unexpected on this road of life.

being alive these past 23 years, i’ve seen and experienced a multitude of things you will never experience or haven’t yet.
this sets me apart.
i feel things in a different way.
i see things in a light others might have never thought of looking.
these experiences make me who I am and what I believe.
i dont need to follow in anyone’s footsteps except my own.
listen to your inner most thoughts.
follow your dreams.
if you give up, if give up on yourself.
accomplish the impossible.
for anything is possible, on your life journey.
enjoy it.