We got Internet!

Very excited to say that after surviving a month without personal Internet, we finally had our Wi-Fi set up today. This makes things a lot more convenient. We decided to go with Verizon and were able to pick the cheapest option (boo, Comcast!)

The setup took about an hour and poor Venus was locked inside of the bathroom. I didn’t want her messing with anything. She was decently quiet until the last fifteen minutes, when she persistently meowed and clawed at the door.

Somehow, she escaped from the bathroom. Luckily the workers were finishing up — and they were also cat fans. They pet her as she rubbed herself against their legs. She made new friends today.

Big Dub Festival 2017

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For our third year in a row, Kevin and I attended Big Dub Festival. The campout music festival is located in… well, basically the middle of nowhere. More specifically it is located in southwestern PA, bordering Maryland and West Virginia. The environment is filled with unfinished dirt roads as well as breathtakingly beautiful mountains.

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Kev & me

The campsite itself takes place on Four Quarter Farm, a pagan interfaith community that celebrates nature with rituals and ceremonies that observe moon phases, changing of the seasons, etc. And during the last weekend of July, people from all over the east coast join together for an epic music festival.

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The festival is full of good music, pretty lights, and friendly faces. There are four stages: stone circle (the main stage, literally surrounded by a circle of gigantic stones), pavilion, north crook (new stage this year), and the pirate ship (my personal favorite!)

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The pirate ship! Dead men tell no lies!

There are three places to camp: Main Camp, New Camp, and Hilltop. Obviously, Main Camp is the main area where the four stages are located. Many people choose to camp here and the location consists of several “theme camps,” including themes of Star Wars, Candyland, and Gnomes (there’s no place like gnome…)

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Kandi bracelets

The first year, we camped at Hilltop. It’s located furthest away from Main Camp. The mile-long walk is strenuous but luckily there is a bus that shuttles campers back and forth. Hilltop is exactly what you think: a giant hill… which makes it hard to camp there during the summer heat with no trees for shade.

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Kikiwawa, the official mascot.

This year and last year, we chose to camp at New Camp. It is much more woodsy and secluded than Hilltop and Main Camp. It’s a great setup because you are very close to Main Camp, but far enough so that you can get some peace and quiet when you need it. The only drawback is that in order to walk to Main Camp, you must cross the river by stepping over rocks. The rocks are slippery so you can’t walk over it too fast, however there is no room for the people behind you to pass, so you still need to walk fast enough. It’s a lot of pressure, in my opinion. They were supposed to build a drawbridge this year, which would have been perfect, but they didn’t…

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Views…

The weather was awful on Friday. It rained pretty hard – all day and all night. By Saturday morning, the rain had ceased and the weather was cool and dry. But sadly, the river between New Camp and Main Camp had flooded, so we were trapped. Luckily they ran a bus that drove us from New Camp to Hilltop, and then from Hilltop we were able to walk or catch a bus to Main Camp. The bus ride from New Camp to Hilltop was actually very fun and the bus driver was hysterical, making lots of jokes with us.

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Driving home

On Saturday night, Liquid Stranger did a spectacular performance at Stone Circle. We had a really great time and met a lot of friendly people. I was a little bummed I missed the performances Friday night, but other than that it was an amazing time. Hopefully we can return to the mountain next year. If so, we may try camping at Main Camp instead. In the future I would like to attend other camping music festivals and see how they compare. Four Quarters Farm hosts two other music festivals (Flower of Life and Mad Tea Party). However I have a strong feeling that nothing compares to Big Dub!

New apartment

It has almost been a full week since I moved into my new apartment with Kevin. It has been an awesome adventure so far. Our studio apartment is a bit small, but I see it as a deluxe dorm room, which makes it feel huge. Although it feels like a big change, in some ways, it doesn’t feel all that different. I have been (sort of) living in Doylestown for a few years now. Since college, I’ve been adjusting to living on my own and handling my adult responsibilities. The apartment complex seriously feels like a much nicer dormitory hall. It has a gym, a library, a post office, and a main lobby with free Wi-Fi. The main difference is that most of my neighbors are seniors in their 80s, instead of college kids. The seniors are much quieter. I have spotted neighbors who are around my age, although they are rare.

We still have some more work to do. I have a few boxes left of stuff that needs to be put away. It’s so hard trying to figure out where everything should go. We also need to get Internet, still. We put it off because we were unsure of what type of package to get. The hardest thing I’ve had to adjust to this week is not having Internet access. The free Wi-Fi in the lobby is nice, which is where I am now. Without cable or Wi-Fi, trying to relax and watch a show has been our greatest struggle. So far we are surviving on DVDs. I think we’ll manage…for now.

I was very worried about my kitten (who turns 1-years old next week!!!) adjusting to such a small space. She is doing better than I thought. She is a very social cat and simply enjoys having company. We let her out on the porch a few times, but we had to put her on a harness/leash. Unfortunately the way the porch is designed makes it easy for her to run away or even accidentally fall off. I would love to get a better harness/leash for her and take her hiking!

Looking forward to settling into the apartment and exploring new parts of Doylestown. I will be sure to update my job situation in an upcoming blog post…

Ocean Grove 2017

Every summer, my family (parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc…) gets together for a family vacation at the Jersey Shore. When I was a child, we rented a beach house. As the house became more crowded, we switched to hotel rooms. Then, just last year, we switched back to staying at a house. Our new beach house is right across from the beach for easy access. It can feel hectic at times, but it was really great to see everyone!

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Sadly, it was the first OG since Cliff has passed away. There was a collage of his pictures posted on the front desk in memory of him. It must have been very hard for Gram. She stayed strong but we certainly all missed his presence.

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Kevin was able to visit me on the first day. Unfortunately he had to go back home that night because he was house-sitting/pet-sitting while his family was in Canada for a wedding. This was his third time visiting OG. We swam in the ocean for hours.

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My cousins Matt & Kathryn’s babies are no longer babies anymore. Annie is already 5-years old and she is becoming so independent. She walked into town for lunch with my parents, my aunt, my grandma, and me without being accompanied by her parents or her grandparents which is pretty impressive! Little Sammy is 3-years old and this was the first time I saw his personality truly flourishing. He was running around the house and talking to everybody. For the last few nights, he chose to sleep with my brother Scott who he called “scary” (in a good way, I guess?) Annie & Sammy are absolutely adorable!

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One of the highlights of my week was going to Asbury Park with my cousin Silla, sister Julie, aunt Debbie, and Mom for breakfast. We had no luck finding restaurants that serve breakfast mimosas, so after we ate, we headed to the beach bar. I had a “pineapple express.”

Until next time…

BIG NEWS!

I recently accepted a job offer at the Bucks County SPCA! I will begin in 2 weeks. I am very excited for this opportunity. I remember being 12-years old and learning about the ASPCA and hoping maybe someday I could get involved and help out this organization… ten years later and it’s actually happening!

Along with that, I will be moving into an apartment in July, located in the same town I went to college. It’s a very nice town; not your typical “college town” since DelVal only consists of 2000 students. There are many recent grads/young adults living there as well… in fact, there’s many people of all ages. Of course I am very familiar with the area since I basically lived there for the past four years. But this time, I will be really living there.

I’m really looking forward to this new chapter in my life. My time at college was so stressful, hectic, and ever-changing. I was still partially living at home, traveling back and forth during school breaks. It kind of felt like I was living on the road. I can’t wait to feel settled in.

I still wonder where the future will take me and how I will get there. But for now, I’m taking it step by step…

Little Shelter

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I have been working at Little Shelter for a few months now. Hopefully, I won’t be there for too much longer. It has been a fun experience but I am ready for something more challenging. Also… I’m moving back to PA! 🙂

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We recently received a “shipment” of 30+ dogs from Texas. I have absolutely fallen in love with this 3-year old pup named Little Foot. I am typically not a fan of little dogs (I like them large) but this little precious has stolen my heart. He is extremely nervous; his body shakes and his eyes are full of fear. But today I really bonded with him (and gave him one too many treats) and now he perks up and wags his tail every time he sees me.

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Another favorite of mine is the pup in the photo above, “Sonji.” Sadly, he was adopted yesterday before I got a chance to say goodbye! I’m happy he has found a wonderful home.

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If you can’t tell by the photos, I have a thing for blondies. I know, I’m totally biased.

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Harley is another cutie. She’s still here but I’m sure she won’t be for long. I like to refer to her as “Harley Quinn” in my head.

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Last night I had a dream about a chihuahua named Vinny who had just arrived at Little Shelter around the same time that I started working there. He was adopted a few weeks later. I had a dream I was playing with him and cuddling with him. He was one of my favorites, and after the dream, I realized how much I really adored that dog. When you work with animals, you form relationships with them. It both hurts and heals my heart to meet these little souls and become attached to them as soon as they get adopted. I won’t lie, some dogs are total brats and I can’t wait to see them leave. And then there are those few dogs that I can’t help but fall in love with. It feeds my soul.

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Angelo… Why so serious?

Anxiety

I’m feeling really anxious now… about the past, the present, and the future. It is quite difficult to explain this feeling through words, but I’ll try my best. It feels like I am right on the edge of something terrible happening, but that terrible thing never actually happens. It’s like that feeling you get before going on a roller coaster ride. You’re panicking as the fear beings setting in. But you never actually get on that roller coaster and the fear never fully sinks in.

Imagine being tied to a chair and watching a spider inch closer and closer to you. I helplessly sit in my chair, absolutely terrified of the spider that is coming my way. But the spider never actually lands on me. I’m on a time loop: just when the spider gets close enough to touch me, the scene repeats itself and the spider continues walking towards me all over again.

They say that anxiety happens when we don’t let ourselves fully feel our fear. Waiting in line to go on a roller coaster ride is scarier than actually being on one, just like watching a spider walk towards you is scarier than finding one that’s already crawling on your body. What we imagine in our minds is a million times scarier than what is actually happening in real life.

Lately, all I can do is imagine. I have big, overwhelming dreams I am trying to chase yet I’m standing a thousand miles away from where I want to be. I look at other people’s lives, people who are around the same age as me, and it makes me even more anxious. I can’t help but think, “What are they doing? Why are they wasting their lives?” and then I look at myself and I feel like I’m also wasting my life. There’s too many obstacles in the way.

It certainly feels like my life is on pause right now. I’m trying my best to make myself feel like things are going forward, but everything seems to be going backwards. I don’t need a vacation, I don’t need a break, I don’t need more patience… I need a “play” button.

Anxiety is a part of life. And just like stress, we need a healthy amount to keep us alive. It is not necessarily a bad thing to feel anxious. Because everything seems to be going backwards, my anxiety is hurting me. But once things finally feel like they are moving forward again, I can transform my anxiety into excitement.