Act Your Age!

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

We often go through life judging ourselves on how many trips around the sun we have taken. “Ahhh I’m almost 30!” “Oh my gosh, I am ‘over the hill!’” “Wow, I’m getting OLD!” But what if age didn’t matter, or what if you didn’t know how old you were? Would your life be different?

Our society is taught certain milestones that we must reach and at what age we must reach them.  Graduate from high school by 18 years old; go to college and get a degree/good paying job by age 25; get married and start a family by age 30; retire by age 65. It’s hard not to conform to this way of thinking, but I wish I wouldn’t.

I’m 28 and I definitely don’t feel like it! I’ve always been young at heart. Personally, sometimes I feel like I act 20 or so. I believe I am still afraid of the world and taking chances..kind of like a young adult. I have that yearning to get married and start a family, but then I look in the mirror and wonder if I am mature enough? I watch my friends and how they interact with their children and I wonder if I am ready? I’m certainly not in a hurry and I know that sometimes in life, there is no amount of preparation to get you ready for having children. Sometimes you just have to dive in. I might be 32 by the time I have my first child, and you know what…who cares?! As long as I am happy, healthy, and mentally ready, it doesn’t matter how old I am because age is just a number anyway – not a lifestyle.

So I will leave you with this, there’s no need to conform to society and give yourself milestones based on your age; it only puts pressure on yourself and causes undue stress. Listen to your heart and mind and ask yourself this, “how old I be if I didn’t know how old I was?”

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A Near Miss

I grew up on three and a half acres nestled on the Northern side of Peavine Mountain in the North Valleys of Reno, Nevada.  My front yard overlooked the Red Rock and Stead area where the Reno Air Races take place.

In all of my years of living in the North Valleys, I never actually attended the races. I guess I saw no purpose in going since I watched the show for free every year.

As I young girl, I can recall how excited I was to watch the planes write ”Pepsi” in the sky as I stood waiting for the school bus or the times my ears perked up as I heard the planes come thundering over the Peavine Mountain ridge.  

Well, on September 16th, 2011, as I was preparing for a bicycle ride, my boyfriend called and said his boss had just given him 4 free tickets in the box seat area with pit passes. He asked if I was interested in going and I agreed! I was actually very excited!

We arrived at the Stead International Airport around 3 pm, grabbed a few beers, walked around and looked at a few planes, and then headed to our seats (which were pretty close to all the flying action). We watched a few races and some stunt flying. Then the second race we watched started.  I eagerly picked a plane which I named “mine” as it flew through the laps. On the third lap, I turned to my left to watch the planes as they were headed through the start/finish line.

I cannot describe in words what I really saw.
A plane had flown over the “deadline” (course line near spectators) and over the crowd in the grandstands. I watched as it flew straight up in the air (to try and recover some say) and then fall backward, coming straight towards the ground!! My brain didn’t want to believe that he was going to crash. I kept thinking and hoping he would do some “stunt” and go straight at the end, avoiding the crash. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I watched in horror as the plane crashed its nose straight into the tarmac and explode into a thousand different pieces. It was like being in a movie, except no amount of 3D could render the image I saw.

As soon as the plane hit the tarmac and started to explode, I wanted to keep watching, but something inside of me said “SHIT!!! We are NOT far away from the impact, there will be pieces of metal shrapnel flying through the air. DUCK!!” So I took cover in my boyfriend’s lap, while he was frozen watching the whole thing.

In a matter of seconds, the plane was in pieces lying on the ground. I stood up, shaking, crying and totally confused. I looked around and all that I saw was disaster; people lying on the ground bleeding, crying, shaking, all of us in awe. I just kept looking over at the initial site crash and asking ‘if we really had just seen that?!’ Five feet in front of us, a woman was getting CPR!! I was trying to stay calm, but seeing that made me really freak out. People were dead or dying and I was lucky enough to NOT have been hit by a SINGLE PIECE OF SHRAPNEL.

After a few moments of shock, my boyfriend and I decided there was nothing we could do. Since we were unharmed physically, we gathered out things and walked to the car. I was in shock and I cannot remember much of what I saw on the way out. I only remember seeing spectators crying, laying on the ground, or covered in blood from injuries or from helping others. On the way home, we must have passed about 30 ambulances and 15 police and fire trucks.

It was the worst crash in the history of the Reno Air Races.  I am SO THANKFUL that I walked out of there alive. It was honestly the most terrifying thing that I have ever witnessed.

My heart goes out to all of those who have lost someone or know someone who is in critical condition…it could have easily been me in that place! ♥ 

And although I consider myself lucky from a near miss with death, I will continue to live each day without fear in my heart. Life is not worth living if you cannot enjoy things in it! I think back to the sounds of the planes thundering by, the words written in the skies, and the adventurous souls who fly those planes…and it makes me thankful for each passing moment and experience.  Thank you.

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Let’s get Personal

I decided to start a new blog that is perhaps more along the lines of a journal. I have a lot of fun writing this blog, but I wanted something I didn’t have to think about. To all my wonderful readers: I will still write on this blog!

Check out the link below for my “journal” blog:

http://lepetiteosieau.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/this-little-bird/

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write every piece you finish’ – John Jakes

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Happily-Ever-After

“It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis.”

- Margaret Bonnano

It’s the little things that make life interesting and fun.  The stupidest, smallest things in life put the biggest smile on my face. For instance, I love to mow the lawn.  When I owned my house, I couldn’t wait to go home, put on some shitty old shoes, grab a glass of water, and take out my lawn mower. 

There was always some gratification in the presence of the freshly cut grass. I knew that everyone who drove by would know that I took pride in my yard simply because the grass was neatly trimmed. The best part about it was that I had been given the opportunity to have a yard. It reminded me that I had something to be thankful for; and in turn, that made me happy.

Take nothing for granted because you never know what it is worth.

  • Even though tax season may be hard, be thankful that you have a job and a police station/fire station to look after your safety.
  • You may be frustrated when someone cuts you off in the parking lot and leaves you the with the farthest spot from the door, but remember that you are still able to walk.
  • When you hear all the complaints about the government, be thankful for your freedom of speech and your right to vote.
  • If the line is long at the grocery store, be thankful you’re not out in the fields with blisters on your hands.

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A Shot of Advice with a Dash of Salt

I was on the chair lift at a local ski resort the other day with a complete stranger.  We were enjoying the beautiful Sierra sunshine and snow-covered mountains while we were engaged in conversation about life, where we have been, and where we plan to go.

Sitting on that chairlift, I began to explain my current living situation, that I was unsure what I wanted to do with my business degree and all the “mistakes” that I felt I have made in the last few years. That’s when the gentleman started to give me some advice.

He shared with me his belief that people in their twenties shouldn’t know what they want to do or how to do it, and instead they should make mistakes and learn from them. By age 30, he said, people should have had enough time to make mistakes and turn them into advantages and lessons.

At age 40,you should have a plan.

A lot of you may be reading this and saying, “yeah, my life did NOT turn out like that.” That’s alright, we all march to our own drum and have our own paths that we follow; it doesn’t make you any less of a great human being. I personally just thought that his view on life made what I think to be my quarter-life crises seem more like an experience.

I find error in his beliefs with the fact that we face challenges and decisions in all stages of our lives. Sometimes people find their path early in life and have everything planned out, only to find that it is destroyed later. I don’t think there is any age that is “right” for making mistakes or having your life together. Part of what makes life enjoyable is the little unexpected turns and twists, the hardships, and the triumphs.

I took his advice with a grain of salt, maybe just seeing it as something to work towards and not be disappointed about now. I am sure that I will have more challenges, and who knows if I will ever know what I want to “do with my life” by the time I am in my thirties. I understand that it could all change in a moment as well. All I can promise is that I will be stronger, and have more life experience. I will take each mistake as a learning experience and appreciate all turns; for in the end, I am the only person responsible for my destination.

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A Lesson in Honesty

Photo taken by J.B. Lundemo

I cannot remember where I learned to be honest, I would like to think it has something to do with the time I jumped the neighbors fence when I was 9 years old. I grew up on 3 acres of land right next to some railroad tracks. Behind them was a meadow, followed by BLM land and then Peavine Mountain.

My neighborhood was spread out for the most part and everyone has owned their pieces of land since the 1970′s or so. A very old man owned the property to the east of my childhood home. My brother and I liked to jump our barbed-wire fence and hang out in his yard. We never did any vandalizing, just hung out. I am not sure why we found this so fun, it seems really silly at the moment.

One day while my brother and I were playing in his yard, he drove up the driveway and saw us running for home. He came over to speak with my Father about the situation and I denied it to the fullest. I was so afraid of being punished. My brother even stood up for me saying I wasn’t there. I must not have been a good liar from the very beginning because my father gave me a speech about how telling the truth is so important.

I felt so guilty for not telling the truth to my Father and my neighbor, Vern. I felt even worse when my brother was punished and I got away scot-free! It was surely that day when I decided I couldn’t bear the weight of lying about anything. It just wasn’t worth all the guilt, and it certainly wasn’t worth the pain of watching someone I loved be punished for something I did.

To this day I am not sure if I ever confessed to my Father that I had jumped the fence…he may find out for the first time as he reads this blog. What I can tell you, is that I learned my lesson about truth and the importance thereof.

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Come and Go

 

 

 

 

 

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln

Well, it is the New Year! I have a tough one to beat, 2010 was pretty good all things considered. Even though it started with me losing my job and needing to find a new place to live within weeks, by July I was employed with a great company, loving  life, and having fun. 

In the early months of 2010 when I was unemployed, I enrolled in a life-enrichment course which taught me the importance of loving thyself and loving others. I began to accept my faults, mistakes, and things that I wished had gone differently. It opened my eyes to a new way of living; a purer, more fulfilling life. I was able to think through my experiences and talk about them with strangers.

I certainly appreciated the time I had to explore; whether it was exploring within myself, or within the world. Sadly I must say that when you are unemployed it is hard to go far and travel. So I made due with what I had around me. I went to Tahoe often, hiked around on local trails, and soaked up some vitamin D in the sun!

In the middle of the year after much perseverance, I landed a job with Patagonia! I could not be happier about it. Some things in life just fall in place and I really think that I was meant to work here. ;)

In the fall of 2010 I was tested for sure, as you may have read in my blogs about forgiveness.  Karma comes around to those who deserve it and I truly feel I am on the rise for the good end of it.

And finally in December I graduated with my undergraduate degree in Business. While a lot of my fellow graduates are searching out high-paying jobs and moving accross the U.S., I decided to stay where I am for the moment.  I’m happy where I am at so I’m going to enjoy it for a bit!

I am excited to see what 2011 will bring me, although so far it has been a bit of a challenge mentally. I didn’t make any resolutions; it’s not because I don’t have faults (believe me I am FAR from perfect). I decided not to make any because they are always the same; eat better, drink less soda, stop cursing like a sailor, do more cardio. I have a list of things to accomplish over the whole year instead; things that are more fun like SKYDIVE, road trip on the coast of Washington/Oregon, visit Megan in Boston, get the Burning Man experience, and get a professional massage and spa day!

So 2011, here we go! You better bring me lots of luck, love, and adventure!

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