23

Today, I completed 23 circles around the sun!

I went out for breakfast with Kevin this morning and enjoyed a nice day off work. I also bought myself a few birthday presents.

Last year, I received my cat Venus as a birthday gift. I feel so grateful to have this sweet (but mischevious) little creature by my side.

Thank you so much for the wonderful birthday wishes! I am blessed to be surrounded by caring people!

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Taking it all in…

Happy blogiversary! The month of September marks my one-year anniversary of this blog. I believe I originally started blogging around 2013 (Paws For Thought), but decided to scratch it and start fresh. I was 18-years old at the time and just beginning college, then after my sophomore year I don’t think I wrote much. I guess I chose to start over because I wanted something more serious and adult-ish, or whatever.

Now that I pay my rent and have a full-time job with insurance, I do feel a lot more adult-y. But at the same time I still feel like most people look at me as this naive little girl with bambi eyes who doesn’t know anything. They say that the “teens” are an awkward, in-between stage, but I highly disagree. It’s your “20s” that are the true awkward, in-between stage.

It’s crazy to think about all the changes that have happened to me in the past few years. I feel like I have to pause for a moment and appreciate all the hardships and struggles I went through to get to where I am today.

I never imagined I would meet so many people and make so many friends in a such a short timespan. I figured that after my first year of college, I would stop making friends. But everywhere I go, even though I consider myself slightly antisocial, I still find myself making friends all the time. I may not stay in touch with everyone, but they have all enriched my life. I have learned to accept the fact that people will float in and out of your life like seasons – you can’t hold onto everyone. But that doesn’t make a person any less special or important to you. You could have a friend for years, or just months, or maybe even just weeks or days, and still think to yourself later on, “wow, I’m so glad we met!” The past few years have truly taught me the beauty of letting go.

Life is strange, life is unpredictable, life is full of surprises – good or bad – but you deal with them and you move on. Life is how you see it: you can look back on a certain time in your life and only see the good times, or you can look back and only see the bad times. Our mind likes to classify every single thing as “good” or “bad,” just to make us feel like we’re in control, but the truth is that good and bad always seem to be mixed together (like the ying yang symbol). And that’s what I’ve learned.

Big news!!! My new job as an animal care tech!

So, a very huge thing has happened in my life: I was recently hired as a laboratory animal care technician! I’ve had three other jobs before, but this is my first “real” job, basically. I had to put in a lot of work to get here and I’m proud of myself for making it. I could potentially remain with this company for years (maybe even decades, which feels presumptuous to state, but it is possible) while continuing to cultivate my career path.

I am still currently in the “training” process right now, but I am certainly getting a feel of what my position is all about. I really enjoy the environment. Having the opportunity to work in a laboratory setting is something I am grateful for. I have always been passionate both animal-care taking and scientific research, and my current position lets me become involved with subjects. The job can be somewhat stressful because there is so much pressure to do everything correctly (one little mistake can ruin a whole study), however it can also be peaceful at times – it’s never too noisy, you get to do certain tasks on your own, and there is no line of impatient costumers to worry about.

I certainly feel like this is the job I was meant to have right now. I really can’t say for sure where I will go from here – it’s nice to know I have options. Within the next few years I think I would like to continue furthering my career and applying for promotions. However, it’s very hard to say where I will be 10+ years from now. I’m still interested in creating my own business someday. Presently, I’m very content with my career.

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…