Harmonious Rest

Beauty
San Diego, California

I’m grounded at home in San Diego for the week – this means no travel! It’s incredible how much time a day has when I’m not spending the week inside of an airplane, an airport, a car, a clinic, a hospital, or a hotel (hence the super consistent posting). Weeks are full of time! It’s the first week since the beginning of 2020 that I don’t travel. What a lucky way to start March! This week, I’m just making sure all the administrative aspects of my work are up to date. Spoke to my manager earlier, whom is the second person at the company I work at, that says I should be given the “Senior” title for my work.

Still on track to pay off all of my student loans by the end of 2022. Today, I discovered that I may be able to achieve my goal by mid-2022 instead of the end of 2022! I LOVE admin weeks where I can fully delve into my hyper-organized, let’s project shit mode. LOL – The people in my personal and professional life know this: “She gets shit done.” #CAPRICORNSTELLIUMMANTRA Based on my projections, I should only work a 50 hour week! YASSSSSSSSS!!!!! My greatest dream in life (freedom) is just around the corner. Just here to remind you to never underestimate the power of what home-cooked meals, fresh water, sleep, and routine can do for your life. For those folks out there that desire a nomadic lifestyle, I commend you. I just hope you understand that travel comes with lessons, changes, and sacrifices. I’ll let Bourdain speak as he said it best:

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” Anthony Bourdain

Enjoying this week to the fullest as I prepare to head out to the following cities next week: St. George, UT; Idaho Falls, ID; Long Beach, CA.

I’ll always be a traveler, after all, the meaning of my name is literally Wanderer, Adventurous. However, I’m no jet-setter nor nomad.

Natural Cycles: Void Creation

Witchcraft in Salem

“On March 1, 1692, Salem, Massachusetts authorities interrogated Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and an Indian slave, Tituba, to determine if they indeed practiced witchcraft. So began the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Over the following months, more than 150 men and women in and around Salem were jailed on charges of exercising “Certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcrafts & Sorceryes.” Nineteen people, including five men, were eventually convicted and hanged on Gallows Hill; and an additional male suspect was pressed to death. Others died in prison. Today they are seen as victims of a tragic mistake.” {Source}

contemplative pain
I speak telepathy – Cosmic Cleopatra: Lifting the veil to find the force of unshakable protection. For a moment, I’m able to observe the encasing of my energetic body. “You can’t be reached.” They say. “We have you in a fortress. Lay down to rest – we are doing on your behalf.” I observe the forces that protect me experience an intense attack. “They don’t understand  – your strength is cosmic in nature.” I then observe myself in the middle of a room at the top of the fortress. I’m laying on a table surrounded by some of my most powerful ancestors.: Witches, Shamans, Shapeshifters. “Seer awaken!” They yell. My eyes open to their widest possibility. “Walk through the Earth as if you can see right through.” They say. “Millenia worth of strength flow through you. Prepare for a windfall. Don’t be afraid to be seen. Keep your words close to you and use them as needed. Don’t engage in energetic warfare unless it’s of the utmost necessity.  Your words are loaded with the forces of nature. We’ve protected you with the energy of the boomerang. Walk with the knowledge of the thousands in your lineage. They who come against you will only enter an energetic pocket of confusion. Let the ocean be your guide.”
ocean power
Bathing in Strength. Story to be continued…

“A witch is many things: the medicine woman, the slut, the one without children, the activist, the outcast; the witch has always lived and will always live. A witch is a healer, a woman in tune with her sexuality, someone who works with the Earth, anyone who abides by her own rules. Very often, witches were the protestors, the catalysts, the ones calling for justice and using all their tools, physical and otherwise, to create change. A witch has always been someone who refuses to abide by the societal constructs of the time. She is an outsider, rooted in her own decisiveness; the witch has always been a threat.” {Source}

Rest as Revolution

Lemongrass
Lemongrass, Encinitas, California

It was a deeply relaxing weekend on my end. On Saturday, it was waxing by day and Cacao ceremony by night. During the ceremony, I came to a deep realization that so many of us are lonely – we have these day careers, and these “must do’s” every day and in order to get “life done” and to “grind” and “hustle” we forgo human connection. Very grateful for having met Tila and Michelle. I love plant medicine and I revere it. I still haven’t taken the plant medicine journey into the deep end – I’m not ready yet, but I certainly intend to in the future.

Sunday was dedicated to a massage and the ocean. The healer who was my masseuse, provided me some information about healing services in Brazil that I think will come in handy in the future. I’ve been hearing about this on and off for a series of years. After my massage, I spent some time with Mama Ocean and ya…my soul is renewed. Have I ever mentioned how much I love San Diego?

Another Day, Another Flight

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” Walden,  Henry David Thoreau

During the first 2 weeks of January, my last week of January appeared to have NO travel. All that I had planned in my work calendar was 3 remote visits. I would have ended traveling after my week at the Mayo Clinic last week. However, 2 of my clinical sites enrolled subjects into one of the studies I’m working on. Per the study monitoring plan, the first on-site visit must occur 2 weeks from the first subject enrollment. This meant that I had to complete these visits by 31-Jan-2020. I was already traveling the third week of January (Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for the week), which meant that I had to conduct my new found visits at the end of the month. It often shocks people to find, that the clinical research world is a metric and deadline driven world. In the event that the FDA audits any of my sites, the FDA will look to see that the company I work for adhered to the protocol and study plans. Luckily, there’s a new version of the monitoring plan coming in the near future that is going to use language that suggests APPROXIMATELY 2 weeks for the completion of the first visit rather than WITHIN 2 weeks. Using flexible language when writing these plans is everything 😉 I’m not one to “work for the sake of work” – that’s silly! Sleep is always my priority. If I’m cutting my sleep short, there’s a good reason.  It is my intent to share a detailed account of my day-to-day for the past week in this blog post. Why? Because I want folks to see the process rather than focus on the product (ie. I get to travel often). I billed 70 hours in the past 5 day period. That means I worked 70 out of 120 hours available in a five day period aka I spent 58% of my week working. For those that are not familiar with billable hours, they are hours where the company that I work for uses to charge our clients (pharmaceutical companies). The number of hours I work does NOT affect the amount of money that I make. I’m a salaried employee – therefore, REGARDLESS of whether I work 1 minute or 168 hours in a 7-day week, I still earn exactly the same. I’ve had better weeks and I’ve had worse weeks.

I wanted to share this because I’ve often received messages about how “lucky I am” or how “cool my life is”, but the truth is that it’s just a ton of work. I’m not one who preaches the “hustle” or the “grind” – I think that’s a ton of bullshit that feeds crony capitalism and sustains the oligarchy. I’m also not one to sit back and “manifest” by only meditating all day. My approach has two parts: (1) Show up, (2) Give what I’ve got. That’s pretty much it – I don’t strive to be the best, but I also don’t sit back and observe. I show up and whatever results my showing up yields, I make peace with. And yes – I  have a nice salary, I’m remote (no office), I’m bonus eligible, get to keep my flyer miles, hotel points, and free car rental days. The company I work for also gives us the option of having personal “floating holiday days” in addition to PTO/vacation time. Next week, I’ll have a slower week. But as Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden remember that, “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

Here’s a detailed overview of my week:

Monday

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27-Jan-2020: San Diego International Airport, California

I left my place in Carlsbad at 7:30AM PST on Monday morning. I drove down to the airport and arrived to the San Diego WallyPark garage at 8:30AM PST. The WallyPark shuttle dropped me off at the airport at 8:45AM PST. I can’t UBER to the airport because I park my car on the street. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday, there are NO PARKING ZONES on the street for street sweeping days. At 9:30AM PST, I boarded a flight heading towards San Francisco, California (SFO). I was flying into SFO to catch a connecting flight to Bozeman, Montana (BZN). I was supposed to arrive in BZN around 4:29PM, to the go pick up my rental car and drive to Butte, Montana (about 1 hour and 10 minute drive away from BZN).

After I boarded the flight to SFO, it was identified that the flight had a mechanical issue and the flight towards SFO was not going to depart until 11:10AM PST. This meant that I was going to miss my connection in SFO. I called the travel agency that the company that I work for uses and I asked them to find me a flight that would get me into BZN. The company identified a flight via Denver an re-booked me. I grabbed something to eat and then set up my expense reports, my billable hour sheets, and did something called “site management” until I boarded my Denver flight 12:11PM PST. We took off to Denver and landed at 4:37PM MST. As soon as I was off the flight, I went to the bathroom. I then went to grab some good at the airport. At 5:15PM MST, I was in line to get food. Ten minutes later, I had my food. I finished eating by 5:35PM PST. I then opened my computer and updated my expense report and responded to the work emails I had in the interim of not checking my email. I then called Firestone. My car needed to be fixed ASAP (something that was identified by one of the awesome guys that works at WallyPark) and I wanted to see if they had availability on Wednesday morning. The Firestone guy told me to bring it in first thing Wednesday morning. Firestone in Carlsbad opens at 7AM PST. Around 6PM MST, I closed my work computer and made my way to my gate. My flight was boarding at 6:32 PM MST. I got to my gate within 5 minutes and used the remaining minutes to respond to personal texts I had received during the day. Our flight to Bozeman was delayed by half an hour because we needed to de-ice the plane. I arrived to Bozeman at 9:37PM MST. I was in my rental by 9:50PM MST. I arrived to my hotel at 11:05 PM MST.

Tuesday

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28-Jan-2020: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Montana

On Tuesday, I got up and got to the clinic I needed to work at by 9AM MST. I worked straight through, did not eat lunch, and was able to finish my work by 3PM MST. At 3:05PM MST I started my drive towards Bozeman. I arrived to the Bozeman rental car facility at 4:19 PM PST. I grabbed some food. After eating, I worked on my trip report a bit as well as my expense report. I then boarded towards Salt Lake City (SLC) at 5:19PM MST. The airplane door opened at 7:25PM PST. Due to the renovations and construction at the SLC airport, we had to be transported via a shuttle to get to the airport after landing. I arrived to the airport at 7:50PM MST. I grabbed my gate checked bag (very common with regional jets as they are small and can only hold so much in regards to carry on luggage) and made my way to Starbucks. In all sincerity, when my system is tired after a full day of work and some travel, I don’t feel like eating full meals. Smaller, “tapas” styled snacks are what I crave – Starbucks bites are perfect, they’re not huge meals. I then ate and worked on site management and my expense report until boarding for my San Diego flight at 9:45PM MST. We landed in San Diego at 11:30 PM PST. I was to my car by 11:45 PM PST. I arrived to my place at 12:35 AM PST.

Wednesday

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29-Jan-2020: Firestone, Carlsbad, California

I pulled an all-nighter and finished 3 reports due by 31-Jan-2020 by 5:30AM PST. I brushed my teeth, got ready, and made my way to Firestone to drop off my car to get fixed. While at Firestone I worked on other reports, site management, and putting off whatever fires came my way via email. I then took an hour off the clock to go to Starbucks, shower/get ready, and switch out the stuff in my suitcase – dirty clothes for clean clothes. After I was ready, I worked on reports until it was time to head to the airport again. At 1:30PM PST, I made my way to the San Diego Airport. I arrived to the WallyPark garage at 2:30 PM PST. I arrived at the airport at 2:45 PM PST. I grabbed a meal, then updated my expense report.  We boarded at 3:29PM PST and made our way to Denver. We landed at 7:31PM MST. I was in my rental by 8:00 PM MST and arrived to my hotel at 8:30 PM MST.  I grabbed dinner. I then read and answered emails that were top priority and although I wanted to continue working, my body gave out on me. I was asleep by midnight.

Thursday

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30-Jan-2020: Nick showing me his cool 90° Degree reading glasses while having dinner at City O’City – Fantastic Vegan + Vegetarian Restaurant in Capitol Hill, Denver, CO

I awakened at 6AM MST on Thursday to get ready. After getting ready I simply laid on my bed staring at the ceiling without any of my technology near me. My manager had messaged me via chat at 5:37 AM MST and I didn’t even notice. I laid on my bed for 30 minutes after getting ready. I did absolutely nothing – I was feeling a bit depleted. Initially my visit had been planned to start at 11:30 AM MST per my site’s request. The site staff had agreed to stay later as needed. On Wednesday afternoon, as I had been getting ready to fly to Denver, the site notified me that they now had availability to begin the visit at 10AM MST instead of 11:30 AM MST. Around 7:30AM MST on Thursday morning, I responded to my manager and continued working until I left the hotel for the site. I worked on-site all day and at 4:37 PM MST, I was finished. I headed towards Capitol Hill in Denver and had dinner with Nick! I’ve mentioned Nick on here before and he’s one of my favorite people on Earth. Prior to my dinner with Nick, my only non-work-related social interaction had occurred during the first weekend in January (03-05 Jan 2020) when my friend Matt came to visit me. It’s really nice when I get lucky enough to not have dinner alone! After dinner, I made my way to the airport, dropped my car off at the car rental station, and took the rental shuttle into DEN. I went into the airport, got through TSA pre-check, then to the train into my gate. By 9:10 PM MST, we were boarding. I was off the plane at 10:55 PM PST (Remember – there’s a one hour time difference between San Diego and Denver!). I then requested a shuttle to get back to the parking garage. I arrived to my place at 12:05 AM PST.

Friday

I was awakened by one of my sites with a call at 6:13 AM PST. This particular site is located in the CST time zone so when they called me it was 8:13 AM CST for them. I think it’s very common for people to forget that different time zones exist. I used the wake-up call as an opportunity to open up my computer and start working. I continued working for the rest of the day and finished working at 6:37 PM PST. Ya’ll ever have a day when you have a checklist of all the stuff you’re going to get done, but then get interrupted time after time after time, adding to the amount of time you initially intended for a task? YES – it happens to all of us. When focusing on one task, I can get things done (with pretty good accuracy) at a relatively fast-pace. I’m really good at focusing on one thing and seeing it through to completion. However, I’m an awful multi-tasker. If I’m working on a task and get interrupted 10 times to head in a different direction – I lose track of it all. I end of having to stop, re-prioritizing per importance of request, then getting back to what I was initially doing.

HOURS BILLED FOR THE WEEK (5 day period): 70.

Just wanted to share some behind-the-scenes reality with ya’ll. I have a class to attend to tomorrow morning (Sunday @ 8AM), but other than that my intent is to be a hermit and recover from the week. And as I always remind ya’ll on this blog every other day: Remember that death is life’s only guarantee. Use that knowing to adjust your life as needed. Have the best of weekends.

A Different Way

Serenity
The Pacific, Oceanside, California

Today, I just wanted to share something one of my friends shared on Facebook. I’m not sure if this story is fact or fiction (didn’t fact check). Regardless of its truthiness, it brought me joy to read it. It might for you too. Here it is:

“When he was 40, the renowned Bohemian novelist and short story writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, was strolling through Steglitz Park in Berlin, when he chanced upon a young girl crying her eyes out because she had lost her favorite doll. She and Kafka looked for the doll without success. Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would look again.

“The next day, when they still had not found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter “written” by the doll that said, “Please do not cry. I have gone on a trip to see the world. I’m going to write to you about my adventures.”

“Thus began a story that continued to the end of Kafka’s life.

“When they would meet, Kafka read aloud his carefully composed letters of adventures and conversations about the beloved doll, which the girl found enchanting. Finally, Kafka read her a letter of the story that brought the doll back to Berlin, and he then gave her a doll he had purchased.

“This does not look like my doll at all,” she said. Kafka handed her another letter that explained, “My trips, they have changed me.” The girl hugged the new doll and took it home with her. A year later, Kafka died.

“Many years later, the now grown-up girl found a letter tucked into an unnoticed crevice in the doll. The tiny letter, signed by Kafka, said,

“Everything you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way.”

Take Off

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti (via Jason Silva)

SD1
San Diego Saturday

I’m currently writing this from Scottsdale, Arizona. I arrived to my hotel earlier, bought groceries for the week, worked out, did my skin care routine, and I’m about to end the night with Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of SzukalskiMatt visiting San Diego this past weekend was precisely the medicine that I needed. Matt is on vacation for the next two weeks and he kicked it off by coming to San Diego for the weekend. I’ll share some images soon!

I like to keep this space as honest as possible. As I said in my “About” section, my intent is to “As a writer and storyteller, I invite you to join me as I peel all the layers of my not self, to uncover and share my true self.” That sentence is supposed to highlight the process of self-discovery and awareness by alluding to the onion metaphor of peeling layers. In the mental and emotional landscape, peeling layers typically takes time. It’s complex. Just when you think you’ve reached the “core”, you discover 50 more layers. That process is precisely what I think makes the human experience so fascinating. In the spirit of honesty, I’d like to share that on New Year’s day, as the day evolved I began to experience thoughts in the realm of death ideation. I’d like to highlight that death ideation and suicidal ideation are not the same. They differ. I’ve been wanting to be dead for as long as I can remember, yet that doesn’t mean that the desire to take action on that wish is present. After sharing a blog post for the day, I spent the entire day organizing my finances (I do this weekly anyway) and drafting instructions in case I’m not around.

The good news is that I know exactly what the root of the issue/trigger was – I drank alcohol on New Year’s Eve and prior to that I had last drank in October (Refer to reflection #9 in this list). When these instances arise, I know exactly what to do to re-embody myself and become grounded: (1) Time in the sun near the ocean, (2) Exercise, (3) Routine, (4) Community. Luckily, I wasn’t traveling until today, the 6th, thus building routine was easy. Exercise has to be upped to 2 HIIT sessions a day, and spending time in the sun…well San Diego has been the loveliest lately. As for community, I was super lucky Matt came to visit. I talked to Matt about two issues that were bothering me and his logical demeanor was warming. The issues being (1) My egocentrism and (2) My (non-physical) exhaustion.

(1) Egocentrism: I think I’m ridiculously self-absorbed. I’m mostly concerned with my existence and keeping myself alive. I understand and often observe the complex reality that exists outside of the little bubble of me, but my interactions with the world without are below average in comparison to other humans. I’m keeping a tally on my thoughts and actions to observe and understand just how narcissistic I’ve become. Matt (the person I most trust on this planet) and another one of my friends highlighted that my egocentrism stems from the fact that the majority of my life revolves around doing things for myself and my survival. At the beginning of each month, I look at my travel schedule and all the life things that have to get done (cleaning, cooking, laundry days, budgeting, financial organization, car maintenance, workouts, skin care routines, physical and mental health maintenance, etc.). I then add different days in the calendar where I think I can make it all work while understanding that some spontaneous work travel days may appear. I don’t have a partner. The friends that I have in San Diego are not people that I’m ridiculously close to (they’re more like high-level acquaintances or the beginning stages of friendship). My best friends (aka chosen family) are scattered in the following places: Burlington (VT  -soon to change to SF), Denver, Houston, NYC, Orange County, Seattle. I don’t have a pet (who would take care of it?!). I also spend a large amount of time teaching myself things – particularly about personal finance. I didn’t learn about investing and properly saving until about the age of 27, so there’s been a little bit of a learning curve. I’m grateful for books, podcasts, and folks on instagram that have taught me a great amount about personal finance. It’s so important! When I return home from work travel, I’m pretty depleted. I’ve been taking care of myself since the age of 17 – so I wouldn’t categorize these items as difficult, but it certainly means that the past 12 years have mostly been about me. Unless I start traveling less, I can’t envision a version of reality in which life isn’t about me. The only thing I have truly going for myself is work. Attempting to focus on anything outside of that seems horrifying because I have no kind of safety net. I’ve got me and I think I’m pretty damn strong and resilient, but there’s only one me!

(2) (Non-physical) Exhaustion: I’m exhausted – soulfully exhausted. While talking to Matt, he helped me identify the true source of my exhaustion: I need more support. I’ve needed more support for the past 12 years. While it’s impressive (and almost unbelievable) that I’ve gotten myself this far, I have reached a point where I need practical support. There are plenty of people that I can text in San Diego for a good time (ie. hiking, yoga, chat about the universe, beach time, etc.) yet I can’t name a single person that I can reach out to in confidence to help me with the practical aspects of life (ie. Would you take my car to the car wash while I work out? Would you give me a ride to xyz place? etc). Matt suggested that I outsource more of my practical tasks, but in all honesty using my salary to pay for additional services doesn’t align with my long-term financial goals. I would need a salary increase in order to outsource these tasks more often (aka I would only outsource my tasks if my salary increased by 1000%). My only shared expense right now is shared rent. Everything else is on me (and it’s been this way since 17 so nothing new). Do I have money in my account(s) that I could use towards this outsourcing? Absolutely! But there’s a difference between being able to buy something and being able to afford something. I have the money to purchase meal/cleaning/etc services, but that’s not how I want to spend my money. I would rather put towards my student debt, save, or invest the money. I don’t want to have to work for the rest of my life.

At minimum, my quality of life has certainly improved since living in Rochester. When I was in Rochester, I was a hermit. At least now, I’m simply just solitary – I go outside every chance that I get to! Over the coming months, I want to continue to observe my day to day tasks, my level of egocentrism, to then work on finding solutions. Anyway, that’s all I wanted to share. For those readers that celebrate, Happy Three Kings Day! ¡Feliz día de los Reyes!

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Surreal
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Delta: Change is the only constant
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Fragile Bluffs
SD6
Into the Setting Sun

2020

“What kept me sane was knowing that things would change, and it was a question of keeping myself together until they did.” Nina Simone

2020
The evolution of getting ready. Using Kat Von D Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, and Fenty Beauty.

Happy 2020! I had a super fun night in LA last night. Charis, Miley, and I got ready and headed to a party in the Valley to welcome in the New Year. 2019 was by far the best year of my life. I lived the entire year in my dream city (San Diego), met incredible people, and accomplished more than I thought possible. 2019 was the year that I finally broke free of patterning in life and relationships that were keeping me shackled. While 2019 was the year that I set myself free, it wasn’t something that simply occurred within 365 days. It’s been a process and it will continue to be a process. I like to view reality in terms of spectrums rather than set points.  I typically don’t place much emphasis on the significance of year marks, yet for some reason this one felt different.

I arrived in LA to Miley’s apartment yesterday morning. As we ran some errands and talked, something in my heart was pulling in regards to the significance of 2019 ending. I couldn’t figure out why. Charis arrived, we all got ready. The ambience was happy yet I couldn’t figure out what was tugging at my heart strings. After all, it was a night like all other nights. We got to the party, had a great time, and around 4:30 AM made our way back to DTLA from the Valley. When we got back to Miley’s apartment, I sat down on the couch and it finally dawned on me. These past ten years were gifted to me. In November of 2009, I attempted death by suicide and failed (Read more about it here). Because of that failure, I was gifted with an additional decade. As soon as I acknowledged the memory, my heart felt at peace. These past 10 years have been life-changing. Here’s to hoping I’m gifted with at least 10 extra years!

As for new years resolutions? I don’t believe in setting those. Whenever I want something or don’t like something in my life, I take action to attain/change it as soon as possible. I don’t rely on a the rotation of the Earth around the sun to dictate how I live and don’t live my life. Hope you all had a great holiday season. My holidays are personally not over until January 7th as in Puerto Rico we celebrate Three Kings Day on January 6th.

Lastly, since I talked about the rotation of the Earth, time, and year marks, I’ll share a quote I came across when I first awakened this morning via Jason Silva’s instagram that absolutely blew my mind:

“The speed of light is very, very special. It’s not just simply a speed of something moving through space. As you go faster and faster and closer to the speed of light, time itself begins to slow down. And space begins to contract…The entire universe becomes smaller and smaller until it basically just becomes a single point. Time, gets slower and slower until basically time is a single point at the speed of light. Light does not experience space or time.” Michelle Thaller (NASA Astronomer)

Science is so poetic, isn’t it? Back to my Denver posts tomorrow!

2020 b
M, C, W – Los Angeles, California, 2020
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A Southern California Winter Day, DTLA, Los Angeles, California
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Cello, DTLA, Los Angeles, California