South Lake Tahoe, A Love Letter

Dear South Lake Tahoe,

I didn’t want to meet you. I thought the timing of this trip couldn’t have been worse with so much going on in my life. I just knew that my absence from my regular life would be detrimental TO THE ENTIRE WORLD. I may have over estimated my importance a little, maybe. Surprisingly, the people in my life survived without me and had I not gone, I would never have experienced the splendor of your beauty.

As it turned out, this trip came at the exact right time. While it was a work related trip, I feel as though it was a gift to me for so many reasons. It coincided with a time that my soul needed something. It’s a different kind of hunger when it comes from my soul. I truthfully had no idea what I needed. Maybe a reminder. A reminder of who I am.  A reminder that no matter who or what surrounds me, I am grounded, I am centered and I know what is true. It is so easy to get lost in the day to day and I forget the big picture of my life.

Off I went. Slim Jim’s, check. Playlist, check. Stress, check!

I arrived not knowing what was in store, but boy did you feed my soul.

The last hour of the drive to meet you was worth the trip alone. Oh, hello trees. There are so many of you, you are so green and happy. Why wouldn’t you be? You are hugged every day by beautiful mountains with surprise waterfalls that pour with delight at the chance to nourish you. Lest I forget the streams. They flowed in a way that told me I was headed to a place where peace would abound. Yes, please. That’s one thing I wanted for sure, peace.

My Buddhist tendencies keep me from going into new situations with expectations and I found it quite easy to just take the experience for what it was and be grateful.

Something I’m adamant about when traveling is walking as much as possible. Not only is it great after sitting in a car for so long, but for me it’s a better way to get a feel for my new surroundings.

I learned a few things about myself while in this gorgeous place…

One, I LOVE to travel alone. Being able to explore whatever I wanted and not having to consult another living soul was liberating. I loved driving through the mountains and performing the most amazing car karaoke that the world will never have the pleasure of witnessing. (Some gifts aren’t meant to be shared)

Two, I adore me. I thoroughly enjoy my own company. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with me. I’m adventurous, fun and might I add, a little easy on the eyes most days. My inner monologue keeps me highly entertained and I am one of the funniest people I know. Did I mention I’m also humble?

Three, the older I get, the more I talk to myself. Not a low mumble, but like regular conversation level volume talk to myself. I think the people in my life have gotten used to it, but go to a new place and all of a sudden you’re “the weird girl who wanders and has an imaginary friend”. All I have to say to that is, DROP DEAD FRED!

Let me take you through a bit of my journey..

Day one, meeting the lake.

Sunshine, but only 83°. It was 106° back home so enjoying the warmth of the sun without feeling like it was trying to murder me was fantastic.

The bluest lake I’ve ever seen..

IMG_20170709_191721_148Music is life. I feel like every situation can only get better when you have some good tunes.

Since I love music so much, I was naturally drawn to the center of town where live bands seemed to be everywhere. I listened to three different bands at various venues. All of them were great. There’s something about live music that makes me surrender to the moment.

I crossed over to the Nevada side for a bit, not as fun in my opinion, but cool nonetheless. I spent so much time walking and exploring the town that I forgot to eat dinner so I grabbed a tasty pizza from Vinny’s on my way back to the hotel. I washed it down with a Tallboy Bud Light because I am nothing, if not classy.

Day two…

Work obligations took half of the day. However, my coworker/friend and I accomplished our goal and graduated from a program we’ve been working on for a couple of years so yay to that!

We also got to enjoy lunch at Heaven’s Little Cafe which was indeed heavenly. The fish tacos were amaaaazing.

With responsibility out of the way, I ran back to the hotel to change and I was gone. I did a little Googling earlier in the day and read about Emerald Bay. I can’t explain it, but I knew I had to go. I wanted to see that view for myself. I just needed to be there so up the mountain I drove.

Along the way I saw 2 beautiful Ravens which I took as a good omen. Most of you probably know that my left wrist is adorned with one of these beauties.

My love of birds has been with me since I was a child. Yes, my last name is Nightengale. No, not like the bird and no, that’s not why.

My Mother always called me a night owl because I never wanted to go to sleep at night. Side Note: I only ever got spanked once as a child because I didn’t want to put on underwear. I guess not much has changed. I still like to be up late and still hate underwear…and pants for that matter.

I think I was a bird in a past life. Imagine the freedom of flying and being able to take a crap on whoever you want. Amazing.

I digress….so back to the trip up the mountain. I made it to Emerald Bay and it was breathtaking.

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The presence of other humans was a minor annoyance, but I had plenty of solitude and my earphones so all was well. I think that was exactly the point you were making to me, all is well. There are small matters; stress, conflicts and people who will try to rob me of my joy and peace, but at the end of the day all is well with my soul. I have what matters most in life and I am grateful.

A few fun facts..

Emerald Bay is home to the one and only Island in Lake Tahoe.

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Fannette Island

There are days I would like to be air lifted to this Island so no one can talk to me. I could send a Raven with a message should anything of importance arise, but otherwise I should be left alone.

Then there is this gem. Captain Richard “Dick” Barter made his way to Lake Tahoe in the 1860’s. He was quite the character and would row his dinghy into town to visit the saloons. Captain Dick had a proclivity for Whiskey which only makes him more lovable. There’s a story about him amputating his own toes and showing them to visitors, but we’ll just focus on the positive here.

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Just to confirm that the birds love me right back..

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He was just a little shy.

 

The biggest challenge I face is being present in the moment and enjoying myself when all of the small stuff in life tries to get in the way. It was easy to do when I was with you, none of those things existed. I messaged a friend who frequently visits you and asked him, “Is this heaven?” He replied, “Of course it is”. And that was that.

I may have found my heaven on Earth. I think you’ve stolen my heart from the Ocean who I still hold in high regard and will always visit. However, nothing can compete with the clarity I feel standing under your giant trees and looking at the majestic view of your water and mountains.

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At Inspiration Point

 

Day three, a sad goodbye..

I will miss you. I debated going back to the lake one more time, but since a 5 hour energy drink was already going to be required for the trip home I decided to get on the road.

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Not to worry, I safely drove while the phone was stationary and capturing a bit of my drive. I could drive this road every day and never tire of it.

Until we meet again, South Lake Tahoe. Thank you for the reminders. Thank you for being so welcoming and thank you for the quiet.

There is value is saying nothing at all, in quiet reflection and in a little soul searching.

 

The Fierceness of a Woman

I began writing this a couple of days ago. Then, yesterday I learned about a terrible loss. A loss so enormous that everything else seems trivial. There aren’t any words adequate enough nor would they be words for me to say so I will leave it there.

Pain can and will rock all of our worlds at one point or another. I have seen very recently that when it does, we women need to rally around each other. There is a bond, a sisterhood that only exists between women.

A close friend and I were discussing how rare it is to find new friends as women in our 30’s especially because we don’t particularly like many people at all. Actual friends; people you can trust, who you have fun with, who you don’t feel judged by and who will be there when you need them are rare.

There are so many people out there acting like douche canoes that it makes us lose our faith in humanity.

Strength of character, real love, loyalty and trustworthiness seem to be non-existent at times. As I think about the events that have taken place around me and to me over the last several months, I could easily feel defeated, but I don’t. In fact, I am encouraged and inspired.

My faith in God and deciding to have hope has played a tremendous part, but so have the incredible women around me.

Some of us are raising children, pets or both. Some are working full time outside of the home and some are managing a home and family full time. I’ve done both, and believe me, both are full time jobs.

Some are working on relationships, some are flying solo and some are learning how to adjust from one to the other which is no easy feat.

We are all uncertain about what the future holds, but what I see persist in each of us is determination. We have the determination to continue, to get up every day and handle shit. What I have loved most is seeing us protect each other, listen to each other and love each other without judgment. This is who women are.

Don’t get me wrong, I could teach a class titled Petty Bitch 101 and if you cross me or harm anyone I love, you will see that skill set…but that only has to emerge when absolutely necessary. Most of the time, I will simply say a prayer for you; thank the good Lord above that I’m not you and carry on with my happiness.

People will wrong us; treating us unfairly and downright terribly at times. What matters is how we react and that we put ourselves back together in the way that works for us. Sometimes, people take what they want as they tornado through our lives, not thinking for a second or caring about the damage they leave behind. Sometimes, life happens and there is no one to blame.

When a loss is so great or a betrayal so big, you need your people. The people who will stand by you and who will love you through what might be the most difficult thing you’ve ever faced.

And, a note from my Petty Bitch 101 class…you need your people to hate the same people you hate because dammit, they deserve it.

Maybe you need to pack up your ex’s clothes in garbage bags and pour glitter all over them. (The genius behind that one will remain nameless, but is one of my absolute favorite people and should be an inspiration to us all.)

We get hurt, we fall apart and we are entitled to a few cocktails, lots of anger and sadness, but then what?

After that comes the most important part, putting ourselves back together and there is no “right way” to do that.

When someone breaks you or life happens and you fall apart, no one and I mean no one can tell you how to begin again. Only you know what you need and you may not know right away, but one day you will get up and start over. You will laugh again, you will feel inspired again, you will try new things and you will feel genuinely happy again.

I look back at my life and the things I’ve overcome, some things I never thought I would be able to handle or survive and I realize that I am stronger than I ever knew I would have to be.

We will all undoubtedly face even greater challenges and loss, but be encouraged sisters because everything you are surviving now is preparing you and equipping you to overcome anything that is thrown in your path later in life.

As the great Tina Fey said…

I for one am grateful and feel empowered to know that we are not alone and that I am surrounded by amazingly strong women who will continue to get up every day and handle shit. You are doing it with grace, sass and a little kick ass. Whether you are fueled by caffeine, wine, music, vodka, sunshine or all of the above…carry on, ladies.

Let’s encourage each other..

Support each other

Compliment one another

Inspire each other

Make each other laugh

Stand up for each other

And don’t ever lose your fight.

xoxo

Like I Care

I don’t like to be rushed on a Saturday or any other day for that matter. 

That is all.

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Adulting

Did you guys miss me?! I can just see you now…sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation, the way I do when the bartender is making me a Michelada.

I’ve been working far too much. Adulting is pretty stupid. There’s not nearly enough time for sleep and the responsibilities are endless, but you can eat cake whenever you want so there’s that. Also, the Micheladas.

As you can imagine; I’ve continued to talk to myself, learned the lyrics (and dance moves) to a few new songs, caused my daughter to roll her eyes at me 1,348 times, tried out some new recipes, made sure my cyber stalker is still around, and learned another language. Ok, fine. I didn’t learn another language, but the intent was there and isn’t that really what matters?

I’m happy to report that no matter how much time passes, my stalker never lets me down. Weeks or months go by and whenever I check in, there she’s been, diligently watching and commenting on my every move. Well, not my every move. I guess she sleeps and everyone poops, but you get the idea.

Now, don’t think I take for granted how lucky I am to have someone so fascinated by me. Sure, I’ve had to change user names multiple times and she says unfavorable things about me, but guys….that’s just a cover! Obviously, she thinks I’m great or she wouldn’t make the effort to know what I’m up to. I’m fascinated by her fascination with me and I can’t have her getting bored and moving on to someone else.

Other than that, I’ve just been preparing for the world to end because…WTF? The incessant violence and all of the hate is sickening. I guess all we can hope for is that someone finally catches all of the Pokémon thus ridding the world of all it’s impurities and creating peace once again. That’s why everyone is working so hard at it, right? I mean, grown adults wouldn’t invest time in it otherwise. Right? Guys?

Holy Frijoles, this is the end.

There are so many things I still have to do in life. I need a pet pig, an owl habitat, and at least 2 more dogs. I have to learn how to make Sushi, fold a fitted sheet properly, and ride a unicycle. LOL on the unicycle. Can you imagine these hips and thighs on that thing?

All of this “End Times” talk makes me wonder what other people have on their lists. I don’t like to call it a bucket list because that’s a little morbid. 

I decided to ask around and here’s what we’ve got:

*DISCLAIMER* If you are under 18, have prudish tendencies, or are mature in any way, stop reading now. 

 
1 – Perform a Salsa dance on stage, with lights, live music, and an audience. Clearly, I’ll  also be wearing an elaborate dress. Have a dressing room backstage with 5 hot Latinos attending to my every need.(Ok, I added the last part for her. You’re welcome, girl.)

2 – I’d move to the beach, do some parasailing and hot air ballooning. Have a threesome. Get a Yorkie. Spend my Golden Years high as a kite.

3 – Have a partner in life. Like a female partner, with female parts. Buy a place in Vegas and gamble 24/7, 364. Everyone needs a day off. 

4 – Become independently wealthy and spend a year in Western Europe ordering a six pack of the finest everything. Also, return the power strips I stole from work. 

5 – Participate in and win a Hot Wing eating contest. Have a record breaking(partner induced) 8 orgasms. Get married at least 2 more times. Look amazing in a bikini. Own a pug farm. Learn how to properly do my makeup. Get my Bartending license. Skydive again. Get fake boobs and pierce my nipples. 

6 – Go skydiving and scuba diving. Travel Europe. Buy a black 7 Series BMW. Take a cross-country trip, stopping in every town and city to preach the difference between there, they’re, and their. 

7 – Get lip injections, a facelift, a boob job, and dye my hair blue. After successfully changing my identity, I’ll travel through Europe with my band. Obviously, I’ll be fluent in Spanish and French so what better time to settle down on a farm in New Zealand with horses and maybe have another kid. In my down time, I’ll write a Sci-fi fantasy novel series and finish all of my tattoos. That’s just the plan for next year. I’ll get back to you with my long term goals, but they will most likely include swimming with dolphins. 
  

* All names have been withheld because these are obviously some shady characters who are probably on some sort of watch list and I don’t want them getting turned in because my daily life would suffer in their absence. 

 

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Go eat your tacos like good Americans.