dreams & destiny.

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Sometimes, the fortunes in fortune cookies are just silly pieces of paper with some writing on them.  Writing that says something like “Your smile makes heads turn” or “Good friends are like warm honey.” Nice things to hear, sure, but not anything significant or meaningful.

Every now and then, though, it happens. You know.  That magic moment right as you reach for your cookie—because somehow you know it’s yours—and the paper crinkles just right, and there’s a hush that only you hear, and the cookie cracks right down the middle, and there’s a slight, suspenseful resistance from the slip of paper as you slide it from it’s shell.  Every now and then, you get a fortune that makes you smile softly to yourself, a fortune that you want to put into your wallet so you can carry it with you always and save as a reminder that there is magic in the world.

As I’m about to embark on this new phase of my academic journey—an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at UCR Palm Desert—I am filled with wonder and brimming over with dreams.  This fortune that I got the other night was synchronistic to say the least.  The truth is, I’m a dreamer.  I’ve had a lot of different dreams in the short amount of time I’ve been on this earth.  I’ve had dreams that have come, dreams that have gone, dreams that have taken me on wild tangents and back again.  My dreams have taken all sorts of sizes, shapes, and colors—they’ve ranged from wanting to own a dude ranch (don’t ask,) to joining the FBI, to being a horse whisperer, to being a photographer, to being a yoga teacher.  Some of these things I’ve pursued with success—right now I teach several yoga classes a week!—and others have simply faded as I’ve grown and changed.

But there is a dream that “keeps coming back.”

The dream that has always been there, as long as I can remember.

The dream that has never left.

And that is to be a writer.

I realize that I could write without an MFA program (and I have & do.)  But honestly, I crave guidance.  I want to take my raw understanding of writing and mold it into something more polished.  I want to be in a community with others who feel this same undeniable, indescribable urge to make sense of this madness by placing one word after another.  In the past several weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of being in my program’s Facebook group, and what I have witnessed in this short amount of time has made my heart warm.  I see people who understand what it’s like to have notebooks filled with all kinds of writing piled up in their closet, like ghosts of themselves from the past.  These ghosts are friendly—and sometimes haunting!—reminders that this is who we are.

I like to think that there are dreams that we choose along the way.

Some dreams, though, choose us.

School starts officially in a week!  I’m nervous, excited, giddy, and scared all at the same time.  The program itself feels like a dream come true.  I’m most grateful for its non-pretentious attitude/vibe and the fact that we’re encouraged to read and write what we want, not what we feel we’re supposed to want.  There’s a huge difference, and the significance of this difference is not lost on me.

I step into this new chapter of my life with an open heart and an eager mind.  Whatever challenges lie ahead, I know this one thing for sure:

I’m ready. So ready.

2013 summer bucket list

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I kind of alluded to this in my New Year’s post, but my official “word” for 2013 is: adventure. It’s the first thing that popped into my head when I thought about what kind of year I’d like to have. It’s what my soul is craving; it’s what I need. I really do think that this year will provide a lot of opportunities for adventuring.

This is not to say that I have to actually go on some grand, epic adventure. I just want to weave an adventurous spirit into all that I do, and to actively seek out ways to find mini-adventures all around me.

Because it’s the beginning of March and today was a blazing 85 degrees, I have summer on the brain. In this spirit, I’ve put together a summer bucket list. Last year, there were all these fun, summery things that I talked about doing but never did end up getting around to. This year, they’re going on a list with the hope that being able to cross things off (the nerd in me) will be even more motivation to get out there and do.

My 2013 Summer Bucket List:

  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go camping at least once (Anza Borrego, Idyllwild, Big Sur, any of these will do!)
  • Go to the drive-in movies as often as possible (is there anything more nostalgic or romantic than this? Plus at $7 per person for two movies & you can bring your own snacks and *ahem* drinks, how can you say no?)
  • Speaking of movies, try to see all of this year’s good ones on the big screen!
  • See a Shakespeare play at the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park. Drink some wine, eat some food, maybe even go with friends?
  • Hike whenever possible
  • Go to graduate school residency in Palm Desert (this one is mandatory, but I have a feeling it will be a grand adventure of it’s own!)
  • Be a beach bunny (I say this every year so we’ll see…)
  • Speaking of beaches, have at least one beach bonfire. A good one at that.

That’s what I’ve got for now, I may add to the list as I think of more. Let me know if you want in on some of these mini-adventures with me. We’ll make it a summer to remember!