Happy Earth Day!

Hey guys! Happy Earth Day! Usually when I’m at home in Hawaii, we celebrate the earth today by going to the beach early in the morning and then hiking up in the mountains. I am really lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful place, so it was easy to celebrate the earth every day since I was always surrounded by so much beauty. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite photos from home. Enjoy!

 

 

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I hope you have a beautiful day!

I’m a surgery pro…

…Not really.

Hey guys! Surgery on Friday went really well, it was quick and the recovery was surprisingly quick as well! I slept a majority of Friday away and watched a lot of The Simpsons, which is the best kind of medicine. It was so helpful reading your comments while I was in the hospital, without you guys I surely would have lost my mind! I can’t thank you enough!

I won’t know the results of my biopsies until later this week, but I just wanted to check in with you and let you know that I am, in fact, alive and well! The immediate response from my doctor was positive, my organs looked really good, which was surprising since I’ve been feeling so sick lately. It’s great news that my organs are looking great, but this doesn’t help us answer the many, many questions that were raised by my illnesses in the past few weeks… So the mystery continues…

In the meantime, I am not on chemo or any of the other medicines that were making me feel sick and my body is reacting well, which is great!

I just have to keep thinking positively and things will come around eventually!

Have a great Monday!

Photos: Puppies and (lots) of selfies!

Hey guys! This is a compilation of the last two weeks since last weekend I dedicated an entire photo post to my trip to the beach. A lot has been happening in my life lately and I have a lot to be grateful for (even though I complain a lot, but hey, I’m only human!). Here’s some photos and an awful amount of selfies #sorrynotsorry. Also, Happy Easter for those of you who are celebrating!

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On Monday I got a call from the doctor telling me that she wanted to see me the next day for an emergency ultrasound. Ahhh… such is the life of someone living with a chronic disease. But it was fine because my roommates took me and the waiting room had legos and Surfing Magazine. It’s like they knew I was coming!
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I was introduced to Frank by a friend and I decided to buy some. Let me just tell you: I have never felt my skin so soft, nor have I seen my body so radiant. I am obsessed. Plus, it helps to reduce the visibility of stretch marks. And it smells. so. amazing. (it’s made of coffee grounds, citrus and vanilla. aka heaven!). Seriously, go buy some, you won’t regret it.
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My family went puppy shopping and sent me these photos. If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw these pictures and died. But really… How cute are they?!

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My roommates and I went to the beach last weekend, which was so nice. If you want to see more photos of how stunning the Oregon coast can be, view my photo post from last week!
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I had my fair share of (ahem) great hair days this past week… Do you like my Eclipse tapestry on my ceiling? Since my last name is Eclipse, I’m obsessed with all lunar/solar things… clearly.
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On Tuesday, I went to get my nails done and my nail artist gave me this gift from his trip to Vietnam! How sweet is he? It definitely lifted my spirits. Also, I thought this pastel lilac nail color was perfect for spring! (It’s OPI Do You Lilac It, if you’re interested)

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This week of classes went by really quickly and honestly, I was half-asleep for most of it. I had a lot of meetings, interviews and essays to write (and it isn’t even midterms yet!). I have a feeling this term is about to get a lot more stressful…

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WHAT. I bought my cap and gown this week… I’m graduating in 58 days, which I still can’t believe. I’m excited to be graduating and moving onto another part of my life, but I don’t want my college years to end! This is just weird…

  

On Friday I had my surgery. But first… Let me take a (few) selfies. Have you heard this song? My mom is obsessed with it!

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Friday was the day! My surgery was easy peezy and the nurses were so nice. But hopefully, I won’t have to see them for a while!

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Lastly, it started raining again… Of course the sunshine wouldn’t last here in the Pacific Northwest. But it’s supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees tomorrow!

I hope you had a wonderful week, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday (and Easter if you’re celebrating), and of course I wish you the most beautiful week!

I’m getting surgery today!

Hey guys! You’ve probably guessed from the title but… I’m getting surgery today! Okay, not really surgery, but it’s a procedure that’s going to put me out for three hours (yikes!). This is both good and bad news. Good because it means my body is strong enough for any kind of procedure. Bad because I have to get it in the first place!

I’m getting an endoscopy and biopsy, which means they’re going into my stomach, esophagus and intestines. A biopsy just means they’re going to take out a piece of my liver tissue to run tests on it. The worst part? I can’t eat or drink anything all day today and these chocolate cookies are staring me in the face…

I’ve gotten both of these surgeries done before, but this one is a little more nerve wracking because there’s a lot at stake now that I’m further along with this disease. I’m worried about what they may find. On one hand, if my organs look good, I’ll have to undergo more tests to figure out why my body is rejecting medications and why I’m feeling ill. On the other hand, if my organs look bad (worse than usual) or if the endoscopy/biopsy results show that it spread to other areas in my body, I won’t be able to get a transplant (which may solve a lot of my problems!). So there’s that.

This is just another bump in the road! However, I am really happy that I have my friend, Megan to be with me, because I don’t think I’d be able to do it alone, I’d lose my mind for sure. I’m also very thankful for the support of my family. Even though they’re not here with me physically, I can feel their love from oceans away (literally). And of course I’m so lucky to have all of your support! Reading your comments and tweets really mean the world to me, seriously, honestly, for real.

So please keep me in your thoughts today, it’s gonna be a tough one! But I’ll make it out alive, I always do! Have a great Friday!

25 things to do before you turn 25

Hey guys! Going off the theme of the week (future, graduation, setting goals, etc.) and my previous post about writing your own story, I thought I would share this article I found online. This is from Thought Catalogue, which is a great resource for young people looking for some inspiration. I’ll add my own comments to each in italics, but each number is the same as the original, which can be found here. Enjoy!

1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.

My parents and I have gotten so much closer since I moved away for college and have gotten a little older. In high school, I remember getting in a lot of arguments with them for stupid things like TV shows or wanting to stay out late. In reality, they have always looked out for me, and I’m so thankful. Now that I’m a little older, I’ve noticed that I do a lot of the same things as them, think the same way and we’re just similar people. I’m happy for that, because there’s no other person(s) I would want to be like than my parents. They’re pretty cool, what can I say.

2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.

This one is interesting. I’ve never been shy in relationships, but since I’ve gotten increasingly more ill over this past year, I’ve been a lot more hesitant to reach out to people in hopes of starting a relationship. I’ve gotten it in my head that “no one wants to date the ‘sick girl.’” Which isn’t always true and it’s unfair to those who really don’t care if I’m sick or not. But I can’t help but think that way. That being said, sickness or not, I want to make more relationships, even if they’re just friendships. We’re only on this earth for a short amount of time, you might as well get to know as many people as you can!

3. Minimize your passivity.

…and I’m working on this. I’ve always been involved in school and with friends, just because I like to be busy and well… involved. But lately I’ve noticed that I get into modes where I say “it’s not my problem” or “let someone else deal with it,” when I could easily get involved and solve an issue. Some call it laziness, others call it passivity. Either way, I’d like to stop being like that.

4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.

Ah, yes. The good old days when I worked as a waitress. I’ll never forget it! I was fresh out of high school and I needed a summer job to save up some money before going off to college. I hated it. Being on the other side of the counter, table, etc., you realize just how rude people can be. I don’t think I’ve bitten my tongue so much before that job! And I didn’t know it was possible for my feet to hurt that badly after a shift… never again.

5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.

I did this while abroad in Spain and Morocco. Although it surely wasn’t 5 a.m., it was just as exhilarating! I had taken Spanish classes, but my Spanish wasn’t as good as natives (obviously), and I didn’t know what I was eating, but it was really fun because I learned a whole different part of the culture. 

6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.

THIS ONE!!! That fear of doubt sits in the back of my head and I’m always afraid I’ll never find a job or if I do get a job, it won’t even be in the field I studied in college. I guess I’m afraid that I’ll let my parents down, but in the end, I know they’ll support me through whatever mess I make (and I make a lot…)

7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.

I’m terrible at saving money. Terrible. So I actually really need to do this because in a few short months I’m going to be a broke college graduate, so that’s cool!

8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.

I love the outdoors, but the rainy northwest makes that difficult. So when I’m back home in Hawaii, life will be grand and all kinds of outdoorsy. 

9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.

You mean my life right now? That’s all I do is eat out with friends, but it’s always a grand time because we leave the restaurant with full bellies and priceless memories (and sometimes silverware souvenirs. I’m a broke college kid, remember?)

10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.

Is there any other way to do it? I’m always straightforward, maybe a little too much so, but it’s worked so far! (I write this as I’m single, but you get the point)

11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.

This is where laziness kicks in. Sometimes I want to make changes in my life, but I’m too lazy to do so. Which sucks. I have to get out of that habit! I’ll say that fast food makes me feel gross, but I’ll continue to make McDonald’s runs… you know what I’m sayin’?

12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.

This is touchy for me because a part of me wants to completely forget college, but I know that in a few years I’m going to miss my first college apartment and I’ll want to revisit it. And a few years ago we moved out of my childhood home, but we go there all the time since we still own it (it’s a long story). It’s good to relive those memories, instead of letting them die. 

13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.

Beach, surfing, running, hiking. All these things make me feel like myself, they make me feel incredible and powerful. Plus, I get to bask in Hawaii’s beauty while doing so! But I would like to learn some new hobbies that I can do alone.

14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.

YES.

15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.

Starting over is always, always a good thing. Starting from fresh can help you reevaluate what’s important and what isn’t. Plus, it probably requires making lists, and who doesn’t love that?!

16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.

I’ve always tried to face my fears at least once. That’s why I learned to surf even though I was afraid of sharks, moved away from home even though I had severe separation anxiety, and decided to press charges against someone even though I was terrified out of my mind. There’s a sort of empowerment and satisfaction that comes with overcoming obstacles created by your own mind. 

17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.

I have a hard time letting go, because I’ve lost so much in my life. Whether that be through deaths, lost friendships, motivation, and pieces of myself through various experiences. I’ve lost. But with those losses, I also gained a great deal. With each great ending, comes a greater beginning. So I’ve got to keep that in mind when I’m afraid to just. let. go.

18. Stop hating yourself.

I hated myself so much in high school and the beginning of college because I was different. Growing up in Hawaii with red hair and light skin, you’re going to stick out. And then going off to college with that similar mindset wasn’t the best. But I started surrounding myself with positivity and I took the necessary steps to loving myself and the rest came easy! 

19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.

I think we all need to stop being so damn afraid of loving what we love just because it isn’t the popular thing to do. 

20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.

Oh believe me, I am.

21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.

I usually write these feelings in my journal, but this past year I did quit a job because my thoughts weren’t represented there and I also cut a lot of people out of my life. Baby steps, but we’re getting there. Passivity, remember?

22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first.

This should be reworded to “Date someone who says ‘I love you’ and actually means it.”

23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.

My parents would probably kill me, but this has some potential… 

24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.

Done and done. 

25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.

Done, done, done. Don’t get me wrong, I loved working for the Emerald and I’m so blessed to have done so, but my thoughts weren’t being represented and I wasn’t able to write, which is what I want to do. If you’re working somewhere just to pay the bills, quit your job. Assuming you’re in your 20s, you’ve got about 70-80 years left on this planet, don’t waste another second at a 9-5 job that you hate! Live your life on your terms and don’t die with regrets. It just isn’t worth it. On the topic of relationships, I’ve had my fair share, too many to count and none of them worth mentioning (sorry, boys). It was puppy love, meaningless and some of them were actually hurtful and really emotionally draining. I sure know how to pick ‘em! This goes alongside passivity and learning to let go. Just let go.

I hope this inspired you to create your own list or go off this one like I did. It was fun to evaluate my life a little. If you do a post like this, link me! I’d love to read it! Have a wonderful Thursday!

What’s the story of your life?

Hey guys!

So… What exactly is my story? What is my purpose here? Why am I in college pursuing — almost graduating — with a journalism/communications degree? What do I plan to do with my life? Funny you should ask, because I have no idea.

While I would love to say that I’m an (almost) college grad with it all figured out — job lined up, down-payment on my first non-college apartment paid for, set career goals. But I don’t. Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t freak out! It’s not like I’m completely clueless when it comes to what I want to do with my life (or my overpriced piece of paper a.k.a. my degree). I know that I love to write, to inspire, to create. I loved working as an editor, chief and writer for magazines and newspapers. But I also love designing and blogging and if I could make a career out of that… Yeah good luck.

So that brings us back to “What am I doing with my life?!”

The truth is: there is no clear, concise answer as to why you are put here on this earth. The only thing you can do is find your passion, set some goals, make your dreams come true and find yourself in the process. That’s life.

As for me? I want to make a mark. The story of my life is going to be a big one, I know it. And there is no way in hell I’m going to let something as silly as an incurable disease get in the way of that. I’m going to move mountains, shake the earth beneath me and become my own role model.

What’s your life story going to be? Don’t wait any longer to start figuring it out, it can be fun! Think of your life as a ball of clay, you can mold it in any way that you wish. So take your time, be gentle, but don’t be afraid to get wild and dream big.

You can be anything that you want to be, you just have to want it.

Have a great Tuesday!