Because Life is Beautiful

My grandmother turned 78 years old last night. We had dinner with her, hung out, played with her great grand children, and felt very proud to be from her beautiful ancestral line.

I spent all day dreaming about what the future is going to look like for my family. For Skyler, me, our future children, our future grand children, great-grand children. I’m committed to letting myself dream and imagine. I’m committed to making myself grow into the future that I know is waiting for us.

I listened to a podcast yesterday that talked about channeling all the good feelings that we’ve had and really committing to feeling the moments of joy throughout the entire day.

These are some of the moments that I’ve been re-living in my head over and over again. They’re moments that make me happy. They make the muscles in my face turn up into a silly smile because I just can’t help but feel happy when thinking of these moments. I collect these feelings. I am going to grow them in my heart and in my mind to the very best of my ability. They aren’t in any particular order.

One: Being at the Harrah’s pool area with Chrystina in 2018 before she moved away. We sketched the hotel from a jacuzzi. We talked about islands. We laughed, and I wore a flower crown. We sipped drinks and lounged in this cozy wicker cushioned cup chair while listening to music.

Two: My 29th birthday in Idyllwild. Started the day driving up, and made a stop at Glen Ivy for lazing around and massages. Once we got to Idyllwild, Skyler and I ate a delicious dinner in town. We hung in the jacuzzi underneath the stars, cuddling, smiling, and melting into one another. Took a bath in a pink sparkly tub in a bathroom designed by Dita Von Teese with an awesome bath bomb and soap play-doh. I felt like jello.

Three: Getting married in Idyllwild, and walking down the aisle and seeing Skyler’s teary eyes as I sang Stand By Me on the way down the aisle with my mom and my dad by my side. It is the singular most vivid image in my mind from our wedding day.

Four: Petting Dini and playing with him. Watching Dini adventure in the wild and chase lizards in the yard.

Five: Rancho Bernardo Inn! Skyler had I had a day at the spa, playing in the pool, and lounging around with drinks. We had a room covered in rose petals, with chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling wine. When we went to eat at the restaurant there, Avant, we asked the kitchen to send us what they felt we’d enjoy, with the one constraint that I didn’t eat land animals. They sent out this stunning 3 course meal with wine pairings, and left us two bottles of wine. We walked back to our room, both drunk in love.

Six: A Fuerza Bruta evening with Skyler in New York City. The incredible pulse of music. And while I’m at it, a Fuerza Bruta evening with Emily, that ended with dancing in the rain inside.

Seven: Dancing to live music at the waterfront and running into Brad, Marlishea, and Anna at this concert by the bay. How excited Skyler got about outdoor urinals. Eating oysters and drinking white wine at the end of the night while enjoying the most incredible blues music. My flower crown this day looked like a Snapchat filter.

Eight: Easy Star All Stars at Harrah’s with Skyler. How much I laughed when Skyler told this woman who was not the lead singer that he was her biggest fan. Skyler being called on stage to do magic for the whole crowd. How the band wanted to hang with him afterward.

Nine: Sitting in front a cherry scented bubble machine with Jamie, Philip, Jessica, and Skyler. How hot it was, and how happy we all were. Painting our table with these metallic, bright, mermaid/unicorn colors. Having a water balloon and water gun fight boys versus girls.

Ten: An evening in Chula Vista with Skyler and his friends at Alex’s house. Feeling like I never wanted the night to end. Feeling like I desperately did not want to go to bed because I didn’t want to miss out on how beautiful life is.

Eleven: Cuddling with Skyler in Central Park by a waterfall. He was sick, but he was a trooper, and it was my birthday. He got excited about a hawk that caught a bird. I wore a blue tutu and a white lace bow. We kissed, a lot. We hadn’t seen each other in such a long time.

Twelve: When Skyler picked me up from the airport in Colorado. I wore this pink shift dress. We hadn’t seen each other in months. I was so enamored with everything, everything, everything that he is. I still am.

Thirteen: Being surrounded by colored holiday lights and talking about Goosebumps and Lisa Frank in Naomi and Jason’s garage on Naomi’s Treat Yo’Self birthday party.

Fourteen: Playing night-light frisbee with Skyler, Jamie, and Philip in the desert at night, especially when we were headed back to camp and heading toward our shared fire with Skyler’s family.

Fifteen:  Wearing and feeling comfortable in my navy blue and gold low cut strappy dress at the Magic Castle.

Sixteen: A bunch of people coming up to me asking me, “Is that Skyler up there?” during the hairy chest competition on the Carnival Cruise. People chanting for Skyler and everyone surrounding me, cheering for him. People looking at us strangely when we were eating because they wanted Skyler to do magic. People tipping him a bunch as he stood there without a shirt on doing magic on top of a chair on the main deck. People banging and tapping as they sang Snoop Dog’s “Young, Wild, Free” song at 2am. Hanging out with Johnny and Sara by the pool.

Seventeen: How proud I felt of my students as they got honored at The Old Globe for the plays that they wrote.

Eighteen: How I cried and teared up as I watched my play colored being done by Maarte Theatre Collective at OB Playhouse. They made me feel all the feelings, I almost forgot I wrote the play they were performing.

Nineteen: How my grandmother reacted to seeing Kris Aquino on screen in Crazy Rich Asians.

I can go on and on with some of these joyful moments of my life. I haven’t even begun to touch on moments with my life in school and my family life too. These are the feelings. This is what my life is made of, and I’m so glad I’m living it.

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My beautiful grandmother and my gorgeous husband.

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