Colorado

I arrive at Raegan airport a little after 5am. I am flying out to Denver for a weekend snowboard trip to Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail resorts. At the gate I meet my new group of friends from DCESK8. We are excited to be trading the pavement for powder. We arrive in Denver to a cold misty fog. Barren fields make it feel like we actually landed in Kansas. The drive progresses nicely into a twisting road weaving through the mountains.

After the most breathtaking drive and various stops to stock up for our weekend adventure, we arrive at Breckenridge. We hurriedly change into our snowboard gear in preparation for night snowboarding at Keystone. From 4pm-8pm we enjoy our first taste of Colorado snowboarding. The runs are endless, the trails so wide it doesn’t feel like a trail at all. It is invigorating rushing through the crisp night air. The chairlift rides are quiet and cold as we float through blackness. It is only 6pm but it feels like 2am. The slopes are empty as we race each other hooting and hollering. This is what we live for.

It snows all night and we wake up to a powder day in Breckenridge. A friend who works at Vail recommends I skip Breck and make my way an hour to Vail instead. I try to convince our group that we should take her advice, but they are deadest. After a lengthy walk from our condo to the ticket office, I am ready to hit untouched pow. Instead I stand in a ticket line, then a lift line, then make my way down a groomed flat trail only to stand in another lift line. I feel like I am trapped in a maze trying to navigate anywhere that isn’t crowed with tourists. The upper peaks are closed, and the ones that are open have zero visibility due to the snowstorm.The most exciting part of Saturday is walking down to Breckenridge village for dinner. Margs after margs appear as we enjoy our Après ski wholeheartedly at a Mexican restaurant.

A couple hours later Aaron starts suffering from food poisoning. As the only female out of our group of seven men, I take on mommy duty to drive Aaron to the hospital. It is blizzarding outside, the roads are unplowed, and I am driving 80mph to get to the hospital. Aaron has been whimpering and is slowly losing consciousness. Marc, aka the most annoying person on planet earth is backseat driving. Every glance at my GPS is followed by a “watch the road”. We are 10mins from the hospital and Aaron starts to lose feeling in his hands and body. He starts screaming that he is going into paralysis.

We arrive at the hospital with Aaron in full shock. The hospital staff if way too calm for the insanity that has taken over Aaron. We sufficiently get him checked in and begin the wait. Within an hour he is fine, the shock has subsided, and he is only suffering from dehydration and possible altitude sickness. An oxygen tank and IV seems to have cured him. 3am rolls around and his discharge is right around the corner. Until its 4am and the hospital staff tells us they got busy with another patient. At 6am I make the executive to drive back to Breckenridge to get some sleep while we wait for Aaron to be discharged. I sleep for a solid 45minutes before I get a call to pick him up from the hospital. It’s odd being the designated caretaker of someone I just met, but I am thankful he is ok.

Arriving back at the Airbnb, breakfast is made, and everyone is ready to head to Vail. I am too excited to even care that I didn’t sleep after a full night of being at the hospital. The drive to Vail is insane. The mountains are blanketed in pure white, and I can’t help but oohing and aaahing at every turn. Before we are even on the slopes I am already in love with Vail. The German style town is ridiculously cute, and unlike Breckenridge it feels empty. There is no line at the ticket booth, and we walk right on the gondola. Even though the real powder day was yesterday, there is so much untouched territory left. The sun is out giving us the most perfect blue bird day we could’ve asked for. I am in complete bliss as we shred through powder up to my knees. The day flies by and 4pm comes way too quickly. I am reluctant to leave, but already scheming for a way to come back.

Arriving back in Breckenridge we hit the hottubs and nom out on our last day. I feel infinite as I swim through the misty outdoor pool. I am so eternally thankful for making it on this trip. I feel at peace floating next to snow covered pool chairs. I let myself get lost in time, reminding myself of how special it is to be there right now. Our chill session ends abruptly after the bitchy female hottub attendant realizes I’ve been enjoying the amenities topless. She calls the cops on us and claims we are unruly. We laugh and make the trek back through the snow to the Airbnb.

We head out to the town of Breckenridge for our last night. We find a karaoke bar and wait patiently for our turn to sing obnoxiously. Everyone in the bar is singing along and cheering as if they’re at a live show. I vow to never sing Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey ever again after watching video footage of my performance. Marc sings Do You Realize by the Flaming Lips. “Do you realize that life goes fast, its hard to make the good things last.” It is the perfect ending to our ski trip.

The drive and flight home are spent reflecting on how thankful I am. Thankful that Aaron only got sick and didn’t break a bone. Thankful to be able to experience the Colorado resorts I had only heard of prior. Thankful for having the opportunity and time to make the trip out west. Landing back in Raegan, I watch the lights from the tiny houses form the veins we call our cities. Everything is beautiful from up above. I let myself get lost again in the peace I feel while traveling. Even if just for a weekend, I feel as though everything is right in the world.

 

Morning Fog

I love the morning. Waking up when it’s still dark, letting my body stretch to the first rays of sun. I imagine myself stepping out to the sunrise somewhere warm. Looking out at the waves quietly licking the shore. Smelling the salt air.

Early mornings always put me in a good mood. Maybe that’s the definition of a morning person. I love 7am flights that require waking up before the rest of society. Feeling the energy of people traveling somewhere. Maybe I should be a flight attendant.

This morning I drove from Arlington to Leesburg, from dark to light. I love watching the darkness disappear, the bright pink clouds that accompany a morning sunrise. Seeing all the cars heading into the city. Recognizing all the souls that are heading somewhere important.

I am feeling good this morning. I am a little foggy, but I like it. Calm nostalgia is my favorite blanket. I fall in love with my mind when it isn’t twirling anxious circles. The quiet fog is a nice touch to a morning sunrise while driving against traffic.

I have nowhere important to be. I toggle between heading home to sleep some more, or heading to a coffee shop. I choose King Street Coffee. I have a quiet itch to write. The past couple times I’ve tried, ugly words have appeared on the screen. I don’t like to publish my raw meanderings of the depressed mind.

Yesterday was one of those days. The darkness slipped in while I wasn’t looking. Perhaps I drank it down in my morning coffee. I hysterically bawled. I let every insecurity pour out and overwhelm my body. I couldn’t hold back the uneasiness I’ve been hiding. I felt like I didn’t have a purpose. Like I’m lost on a journey without any clue where to head to next.

But isn’t that why he put eternity into our hearts? So that we cannot know what is in store for us?

I ended my night with skittering through the streets of Washington, D.C. on an electric skateboard. It was almost freezing temperatures, but I don’t remember being cold. Bundled up like I was snowboarding, I rode the pavement. Gliding up hills, flowing down. Cold is numbing. Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved winter.

Tomorrow I have a 7am flight to Denver. I booked an impromptu trip. I tend to do that. I am excited for the emotions I know I will feel. The feeling of traveling. Of being someone important with an agenda. Tomorrow I will have a purpose.

 

 

Synchronicity

December 9, 2016 I saw Zeds Dead with Keys N Krates at Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angelos. I had been visiting friends for the week and went to the show to celebrate my birthday. In the crowd of 6,000 people I met a guy named Matthew from San Diego. We raged together all night, talking in between sets. At the end of the night we parted ways. I don’t think I ever talked to him again after that night, but that’s how it is when you go to shows. You meet interesting people for the night, say goodbye, and life goes on.

November 14th, 2018 I am with a group of friends heading to a show at U-Street Music Hall. It’s only 11pm and it’s already been a hell of night. I went from an underground bar in Georgetown, to getting lost while trying to make it to Chinatown, to meeting my friends from DCESK8. I am finally standing in line for the show when something causes me to turn my head. That’s when I see him. I look at him, and he looks at me, both of our faces twisting into an expression that can only be described as curious confusion.

“Where do I know you from?” I ask.

He responds, “We met at a Zeds Dead show in Los Angelos.”

For a second the world stops spinning. The lining of reality is pulled back, revealing the intertwining of this universe.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

“Matthew.” he says.

We stand in the crowded basement of U-street trying to make sense of it all. What are the odds? Why is he here? What does it mean? We are screaming over the crowd trying to hold a conversation, but it’s too loud.

I veer off and do my own thing for most of the show. I am obsessed with my pixel whip, creating colorful chasing light patterns across my body. Halfway throught the opener, I meet Matteo, an Italian guy I met on Facebook a day prior. We had been scheming about a way to sneak into a sold out show at Soundcheck. We decide to take our chances, leave the show, and somehow successfully sneak in no problem. Things are lining up perfectly.

It isn’t until much later that night as I am sitting outside looking at the stars that I am able to process the randomness of the night. I am at Matteo’s house for an after party and I pull out my phone and decide to try and search Matthew in my contacts. It is cold outside and I am shivering from the oddness of the stars aligning. Sure enough a contact bearing the name “Matthew ZedsDead” pops up. I must have somehow gotten his number two years ago at the LA show.

We hold a conversation over text about the craziness of seeing each other again. He tries to rationalize it, I try too. We laugh at the 2,000 mile distance between our first encounter and this one. He tells me he has a girlfriend.  I tell him “awesome!” We talk about going to another show.

The next night I lay in bed trying to make sense of the randomness. I can’t stop thinking about it. I decide to start a little research project on Google. I try searching, “what it means to meet a random person somewhere random”. A couple sites later I stumble upon synchronicity.

Synchronicity is a concept introduced by Carl Jung that injects meaning into acasual parallelisms. These meaningful coincidences happen not just because of chance, but because of a reason. Explanations of syncrhonicity range from quantam physics, probability theory, to psychology. Synchronicities stem from the law of attraction, bringing attention to the interconnectedness of the universe. Crossing between mind and matter, these occurences are eerily impossible to understand.

I love diving into rabbit holes, and researching syncrhonicity was just that. I read till my phone battery died, article after article about syncrhonicity. I didn’t find the “why” that I was looking for, but I learned that it is a certain kind of person that attracts synchronicities. For one to experience synchronicities, one must be in tune with a spiritual side of themselves that allows little hiccups in time to be noticed. Most peopele are too distracted to notice these small signs crossing their paths.

The mystery of synchronicities doesn’t end at the occurence itself. They paint a picture of our larger universe that we often tend to forget. They rip us out of our comfort zone and force us to ponder what lays behind the veil of reality as we percieve it. These coincidences make it feel as though there is something much bigger than ourselves out there. Although questioning the “why” is a tantalizing mystery, one is meant to bask in the cosmic ridiculousness rather than calculate the probability.

In a time when I have felt that things have been falling apart for the past six months, all of a sudden things are starting to line up. A childish wonder has bloomed as I scramble to find meaning. In just searching for the reason behind the randomness, the synchronicity has done its job. It isn’t the meaning that matters, but the ability to see the world with new eyes.

The last part of my rabbit hole involves the fact that Matthew and Matteo were the two driving forces behind the main sources of surprise the other night. Matthew the long lost concert goer, and Matteo the random guy from Facebook who was the key to sneaking into a sold out show.  Both of them completely different, but yet sharing the same name which bears the meaning “gift of God.” With just looking at the symbolism of their names, I have found meaning in the chaos.

Like looking at the stars on a clear night, I feel comfort in knowing my place in the universe has a purpose. It is when we lose that feeling of purpose that everything starts to spiral out of control. The astonishment and suprise brought about by syncrhonicities are reminders that everything is going to be ok. The more I pay attention, the easier it is the see the universe conspiring in my favor. Everything happens for a reason.

How I Became Addicted to DCESK8

I was sitting at Sequoia restaurant in Georgetown enjoying happy hour outside with the Surfrider DC chapter. The sky was turning bright orange and pink during a jaw dropping sunset, when flashing lights on the street caught my eye. What looked like twenty skaters were stopped nearby with blinking lights and music radiating out of their speakers. I craned my neck to get a better look at the commotion. Too nervous to ask what exactly was going on, I stared longingly at the group of people. After a couple minutes of trying to play it cool, I decided to saunter over.

When I got closer I realized these weren’t regular skateboarders. The boards resembled longboards, but with slim battery packs on the underside and blinking lights flashing on the rear. I stood there marveling at the beauty of so many different boards. Before I could even ask, I had five different people asking me if I wanted to try their boards.

Even with my background in snowboarding, I was still nervous about trying a skateboard that could zoom at the switch of a button. But I put on a full-face helmet, compliments of a tall Hollister model looking guy standing nearby, and precariously stepped onto a board. Someone handed me a remote, and I couldn’t stop thinking it was a joke for a second. It seemed hilarious to me that a remote, like in a video game, was needed to make the board accelerate.

My finger tenderly pushed the trigger down and I felt the jolt of the torque from the board as I started up the hill. I bent my knees to keep myself stable. It was so much smoother and steadier than I anticipated. I made a shaky turn at the top of the hill and braced myself for the descent down. I pushed the throttle a little harder, testing the limits of how fast it could go, feeling the whoosh of air around me as I glided across the pavement. As I reached the bottom of the hill I was greeted with smiling faces and excitement.

I hopped off the board and everyone started cheering. “Try this board!” someone yelled. I swapped boards and was on my way racing up the hill, this time with someone following close behind. “Have you done this before?!” he shouted. I pulled back the trigger making the board lurch forward and speed up screaming a “NO” in response. I was having fun, and the rush of speeding on pavement was addicting. I was immediately hooked.

Going by the name DCESK8, this group of electric skateboard enthusiasts was created from a meetup group. With members ranging from college students, to shredders in their 50s, this eclectic mix of e-board riders all share the same passion. I exchanged contact info with one of the members from the group and left with my heart racing.

On the metro ride home, I did a little research that made my jaw drop harder than the sunset. The first board I rode, a Meepo conversion with a Loaded Vanguard deck, cost around $800. The Boosted V2 I rode second, came in at $1,499. The board I had my eyes on, the Boosted Stealth, was $1,599. I was shocked at the price of getting a board. Even the low-end models cost more than a snowboard, and they certainly were not the $80 skateboard setups I was used to.

The following Wednesday I met the DCESK8 group at their official charging spot and sponsor, City Tap House in Dupont. With the help of Instagram, I had met Erwin, member of the club, who was kind enough to lend me a board. I was incredibly more nervous and excited for my first ever group ride. I arrived at the bar and within minutes we were heading off. We rode for what felt like miles, swerving through the streets of DC and dodging traffic. I slowly gained confidence that lent to deeper carves and faster speeds. I couldn’t get over the rush. A rush I had only felt prior while snowboarding.

About six miles in, we stopped at Player’s Club. I was surprised we were stopping at a bar, but I forgot that a key aspect of riding these boards is their limited range. An average board gets 7-14miles range, with the premium boards like LaCroix and Kaly.nyc getting 20-30miles. We plugged in our boards, ordered some drinks, and played a couple rounds of pool while the boards juiced up. I mingled with the club members being sufficiently impressed that I had officially joined the coolest group on Meetup. After everyone was charged we continued our ride, this time passing the monuments, reflection pool, and hitting the curvy roads down near the water. The entire ride I was in awe of these amazing humans all speeding across pavement like they were shredding down a mountain.

After that first group ride I was hooked. Any opportunity to ride I pounced on like it was my last chance to ever ride again. I’ve only been riding for a month, but in that time frame I’ve made every group ride (Wednesday’s at 7pm) and spent multiple nights riding through George Mason, NYC, and DC. I am so thankful to have met such an awesome group of people who have encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and shred the night away.

If you are in the DC area and are interested in trying out an electric board, Boosted is having a demo event this Sunday from 12pm-5pm at Alpine Ski Shop in Fairfax where you can try out an electric board for yourself. Be careful, they’re more addicting than they look.

 

When Everything Seems to Be Broken

Everything in my life is breaking. Slowly its becoming more noticeable. I go through phases, of growth and deterioration. The peak of every mountain is the bottom of another, and so it goes. I could go on to detail every last thing that unexpectedly has broken on me, but last night was the finale. With a shattered phone screen I decided to stop feeling helpless and instead do a little investigation into the meaning of everything breaking unexpectedly. That’s when I stumbled upon this:

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 2.57.56 PM

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 3.16.48 PM.png

That person who wrote that beautiful comforting message was not me. When I reached the end of the post signed Dominique, my jaw dropped and tears welled up in my eyes. Someone with my name had written those words, and out of the millions of google search results, I landed on that one. Moments after I let my knees hit the ground, touching my forehead to the floor, arms outreached in front of me and basked in the moment of cosmic ridiculousness.

Tonight I am heading to see The Goo Goo Dolls. When the lyrics to Iris meet my ears its  going to be a full surrender. “When everything’s meant to be broken. I just want you to know who I am.” Music to me has such an incredibly strong physical reaction on my body, from goosebumps, to tears, to heart wrenching pain. I am ready to surrender to all the brokenness and my life and move forward. Tonight is the night where I begin again.

 

 

My Father Is Not A Monster

I have grown up with hate licking my ears more nights than not. I have watched my mother been beaten down again and again by my father’s words. In my father’s world, something is always wrong. It’s never his fault, it’s yours.

I have learned to cope. I have learned to stay calm. I have stepped into the footsteps of my mother, choosing to dissolve the anger in my heart rather than react.

Tonight, I tried again to listen, to learn, to try and accept. My father is not a monster.

But it is hard when someone purposely belittles you. It is hard to hear your father speak to you in a tone of voice that is reserved for male locker rooms. It is hard to have him make you the enemy and speak to you like a stupid fucking democrat who doesn’t know anything.

The word fuck sounds disgusting when it is spat out by a grown man to his own daughter.

I try not to let it bother me. But when I am lying in bed trying to sleep I can hear his words pounding in my chest. I am stupid. I am uneducated. I am a dumb millennial who doesn’t listen to the radio or watch TV. I am retarded because I believe that we should pay taxes. I am not smart enough to know that the earth has been here forever and therefore we shouldn’t do anything to try and protect it.

My father is not a monster, and I am not his daughter when he starts to talk politics. I am the enemy. I’ve tried reason and fact-based arguments, but those are useless.

I am not alone. We are all living in a broken two party system of government. Everyone who has ever tried to reason with someone of the opposite political party has felt anger blossom inside of them. It is a giant game manifested by the elite to tear our society apart. It’s working, destroying us from the inside out, creating monsters out of fathers.

As he lays in bed peacefully sleeping, I am awake trying to make sense of how to expedite healing in his heart. I sit here at 2am typing because the alternative is letting the crushing emotion force me into bawling silently into a pillow.

My father is still the person who taught me to surf, his strong arms pushing me into the waves. The one who threw the lacrosse ball with me everyday after school in our side yard. The one who would take us out on the boat till sunset.  And patiently help me with math homework no matter how hard the problems were.

I turn my focus to these good memories and feel the tears start to drip down my face. My nose starts to run. The stark contrast between those memories and the way it is when he talks politics makes me want to forgive him again and again. I am crying harder than I wanted to tonight.

Next time he starts lecturing on far right conservative insanities I want him to catch a glimpse of the little girl he raised.  I want him to recognize through the hate filled anger that falls out of his mouth, that I am still his daughter. I want him to care about more than just being right in an argument. I want him to wake up from his hate filled slumber.

Please. Wake up.

Fireworks & Solitude

I like to think of myself as a firework. Lots of short bursts of fiery passion. I am a Sagittarius aka a fire sign, lighting up everyone’s world until my nomadic self gets bored. My move to Snowshoe in late July only lasted a mere month before I decided I wanted to move onto something different. My life is now back in the Post-Snowshoe era, trying to adapt to the normalcy of everyday life.

This is my life, it’s always been an escape from loneliness eventually found in one place, carrying onto the next. It displays itself in boredom. I get tired of the place, and move on. People and places are the same everywhere. Nothing ever changes. Not until you do.

The universe works in funny ways, and my new job with WeddingWire has brought on a subtle loneliness. After spending hours poring over hundreds of wedding vendors and writing overly descriptive synopsis on them, I can’t help but wonder if I will ever get to that point in my life. It’s hard to ignore the absolute joy on these random stranger’s faces.

I see all these beautiful images of fairytale weddings, and I write the words that accompany them. I’ve written over 20,000 words so far on “perfect wedding days of your dreams.” It makes me think of all my friends of friends who have already participated in this ritual called marriage. And the ones who felt the need to bring a child into a world with someone they barely know. I think of sustainability of relationships and how to have faith in someone you’ve only known for such a short time.

I think of myself, the firework, with an inability to put up with anyone for longer than half a year. I think of my purposeful decision to not let myself get sucked into a romantic relationship anytime soon to protect myself from the possibility of falling in love with the wrong person. Because everyone seems to be that person after a couple weeks.

I think of all my failed relationships and all the hearts I’ve broken. It seems unfair for me to even play into the game of dating when my opinions on someone changes so quickly. But yet I crave the human intimacy these wedding photographers portray so well. Don’t we all?

I struggle with being alone. But I know it’s my only option right now. I am facing the loneliness instead of escaping it. It’s hard. But in the end, I have no choice but to be comfortable in my boredom. I have to succumb to stillness. It is only with this solitude and quietness that I can start to create.

New paintings, new websites, new blog posts. It all comes from solitude. Everything else is just a test of my endurance.