Letter to my future self

The spring of my high school senior year, I wrote a letter to myself. My peers and I were at our senior retreat and one of the activities was to write a letter to yourself 10 years from that current moment.

I received the letter today. (It’s actually been 11 years since I wrote the note). I remember writing it but hadn’t remembered any of its content.

As I scanned the letter, I recognized my handwriting. Then as I started reading and comprehending the words, I began to cry.

“I’ve accomplished nothing that my 17-year-old self sought out to,” I thought. “What have I been doing for the last decade??”

img_6428

The letter was written in April and I wrote about how I probably ended up going to college at Willamette University. It eluded to the fact that I now owned my own house with a nice kitchen.

I did not go to Willamette. I ended up staying in state and going to UW. I am nowhere near owning a house. I rent an apartment with a roommate.

But, another big part about my letter was asking me about how all my friends are doing. I’m happy to report that they are all well and good. One thing that has been a constant throughout my life are my childhood/high school friends. I’m actually waiting at the airport now, to go visit one of my friends all the way across the globe!

My life may not be like I thought it would be 11 years ago. But, I wouldn’t change anything. I’m happy.

And I’m happy that my former self was able to remind me of all the important people in my life. Thanks, high school Kristin.

Harry Potter and the reliving of the midnight book release

It was the summer of 2007 and I was reunited with two dear high school friends who had gone to college on the East Coast. We were all home in Seattle for summer break.

Mo, Allie and I took our last jaunt to Portland for the midnight book release party for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — plus tax-free shopping of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  (We had done the same thing two years prior for the release of Half-Blood Prince).

I really thought it was the end. I was sad that this would be our last midnight Harry Potter book event since it was the eighth and final book of the series.

And don’t get me started on how I felt when the last HP movie was coming out

1929135_528870547128_5622_n

The three of us were in between sophomore and junior year of college. We weren’t even of legal drinking age yet. But the Harry Potter series had been with us since grade school.

Now, in present time, I’m one year away from being 30 — and I went to another Harry Potter midnight book release party. For those of you unaware, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play script was published into a book and was released on July 31 (same day as Harry Potter’s birthday!) For those of you really unaware, Cursed Child is the story of Harry and the gang 19 years after the final book.

I even wore the same home-made shirt I made nine years ago. (Thank goodness it still fit!)

Bryce tagged along with Phyllis and I and jokingly made comments beforehand that included “What if we are the only ones who show up?” or “What will you guys do if we go and they have cancelled the event because there was not enough interest?”

Phyllis and I had high hopes though.

There were about 100 or so muggles at the Seattle downtown Barnes and Noble. The employees were dressed in house robes. I finally got sorted into Gryffindor.

But, yes, it was weird.

It was like being taken back to a part of my past. The majority of folks who joined the fun were about our age and give-or-take some years younger/older.

Phyllis also wore her homemade T-shirt from nine years ago. Mine said “Defense Against the Dark Arts Major” and hers “I play Quidditch.”

I don’t know if it is irony or what but while we were waiting for midnight to strike, a college boy walked past us wearing a grey sweatshirt with bold print reading “Yale Quidditch”and Phyllis immediately turned to me and exclaimed, “Oh my god, I don’t actually play quidditch!” We both burst out laughing.

Back when we were in college, saying you played quidditch was like saying you were majoring in Defense Against the Dark Arts. But now playing quidditch in college is an actual team sport.

IMG_5919.jpg

It was a weird experience, but I’m glad we did it.

After all, this was the very last Harry Potter midnight book release.

J.K. Rowling even says there will be no more new stories.

But, I wouldn’t complain if otherwise.

Making friends in the real world

The woman turned to Sarah and I and asked, “Are you guys old friends?”

Sarah and I, seated at our table mid-conversation at the cafe,  didn’t know exactly how to respond. Neither of us answered immediately.

“Yeah, we’re good friends,” I answered.

“She used to work with my sister, who’s in the bathroom now,” Sarah added.

“And the two of them are twins!” I exclaimed.

From this stranger’s perspective, the three of us acted as though we were “old friends.” Really, we had “only” been friends for about a year-and-a-half.

IMG_1429The woman laughed and said something about how it was just nice to hear the three of us converse and laugh and that we just seemed like we had all been friends since childhood. (I mean, yes, Emily and Sarah have technically known each other since being in the womb, but not me).

I don’t know how Emily and Sarah felt but I was kind of proud that a stranger would think we had been friends for so long. The two of them are my first post-college friends I have made. They are my first real world friends.

I am now seven years out of college and back when I was a recent graduate, I would have never guessed I would find friendship in the workplace.

But, it happens.

It’s not too difficult when Emily and Sarah are two of the most giving, caring and fun people I know. They have helped me in countless ways. They go above and beyond for me and for their friends. They are up for trying new things (like doing races with me even though they claim they dislike and cannot run!) They are super smart and hardworking. (And, I’m not just saying all this because they had birthdays yesterday!)

Back when Emily and I worked together, she walked over to my desk one day and asked me if I wanted to go to Disneyland together.

“Yes, I do!” I said.

“Great!” she said and walked back to her desk.

I wasn’t sure if she was being serious or not. After all, we had only been working together for three months at the time. Six months later, the two of us and Sarah were at the happiest place on earth together. I guess you could say my friendship with these two progressed uh, kind of fast?

But, they have shown me that real world friendships do and can exist. I’ve said in the past that I have too many friends. However, for people like Emily and Sarah, there’s always room for more friends.

Good things on the horizon

Can we just pause for a second.

How are we already one month done with 2016?

I’m afraid to blink for fear that the year will be half over!

But, there are many good things on the horizon.

  • My first ultra in a little over a month! The fact that it is so soon is terrifying to me!
  • My college roommate’s wedding in Hawaii in a month! Bonus that I have family there so I’ll get to visit my own people and it won’t be one of those “Ugh, I’m going to a destination wedding”-type of weddings. You know what I’m talking about …
  • My very dearest Phyllis is getting married in two months — are you sensing a pattern here? — and I have the honor of being her maid of honor. Ahh, I’m so excited!
  • Soccer season will be starting up again very soon! Go Sounders!

I have other things I could add to this list but I don’t want to get too excited as I type this and hear the wind blowing and the rain pouring down outside.

What are you looking forward to on the horizon?

Or, are you just ready to hit pause because you have so much going on right now?

Being busy never hurt anyone.

Getting ready to sweep at Orcas

Phyllis and I are expecting to come in last place at tomorrow’s Orcas Island 25K.

It’s not that we aren’t motivated. It’s not that we are out of shape. (I’m sure we could be in better shape, but that’s another story).

We’ll be volunteer sweeping the course.

This means we are at the back of all the runners and make sure no one goes off course, gets lost, etc.

No runner will be left behind on our watch!

I’ve never swept before but Phyllis has and she says it’s a lot of fun. So, I’ll take her word for it.

I have no idea what to wear since rain is in the forecast and we will probably be doing more walking than running for a race than I am used to. So, I have packed EVERY clothing option.

I’m not sure what to expect but when you’re running and with your main girl, it can’t be any less than totally awesome, right?

Oh, and I hear Orcas Island is pretty scenic, so get ready for some Instagram’ing overload!

 

Overflowing with love

Maybe I should wait until February 14 for this type of post, but I just can’t hold it in.

I am overflowing with love.

I hate asking people for help. I’d rather get things done on my own. Most often, it’s that I don’t want to inconvenience others. (Don’t worry, as I have gotten older, I’ve learned that sometimes you just need to ask for help!)

And, right now, I’m in one of those times.

IMG_4611

I’m about three weeks into fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a member of LLS’ Team In Training and will be racing the Anchorage Marathon in June. My friend Joanna (pictured to the right in that photo above) and I are embarking on this journey together.

I am touched by all of the support I have received from friends and family. In the three weeks of fundraising, I am already at 44 percent of my goal! I have been blown away by how many friends have already donated. I have been blown away by the email responses I have received. I have been blown away by my friends’ willingness to help more even after donating money. (Thank you!)

One of my friends even submitted a donation literally five minutes after I had sent her an email inquiring about it. (Thank you!)

I know that many of my friends are not in the position to give a lot, which I completely understand, but have contributed to my fundraising efforts even while in various graduate programs. (Thank you!)

I met up with one friend the other week and she told me her work messed up big time on paperwork and that she hadn’t received her full paycheck last month. (She is not a new hire, by the way! And, has been working her normal full-time hours! Is this even legal?) My response was, “Oh my goodness! Do you want your donation back?” Her reply was, “I’m sorry I can’t donate more! I will donate more once I get paid fully again.”

Every time I receive an email notification from LLS indicating that a new donation has been received, I feel as if I have won something. But, this money isn’t for me. These donations go directly to blood cancer patients and their families as well as for blood cancer research.

Isn’t it kind of sad that we live in a world where there isn’t ample funding for something as significant as cancer research?

I want to live in a world where my children won’t have to ask their peers to donate to such a cause. Because, the cancer research will be all done.

For now though, I’m having trouble putting into words how thankful I am for my friends and family who support me each and every day on this mission to get closer to finding a cure, and to support current patients. And, it’s not just the monetary donations. (Of course, money is great!) Even words of encouragement and running training miles with me mean so much.

Thank you seems so insignificant.

But, thank you all so much.

I’m overflowing with love.

———————

To learn more about why I’m fundraising and running with Team In Training, read here and/or here! To learn about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, go here

Running and fundraising my way to Anchorage

Why am I training and running the Anchorage Marathon with Team in Training while fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?

The short answer: Natalie.

Scan12 copy

Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) go directly towards blood cancer patients and their families. And just as importantly, the money goes toward more blood cancer research.

I support LLS so that all the Natalies in the world can live past their 18th birthdays.

My childhood friend Natalie passed away from leukemia nearly 10 years ago but I run in memory and in honor of her.

Team in Training kicked off practice this morning. We ran 40 chilly/foggy minutes on Mercer Island and a bit of the I-90 bridge. The run itself wasn’t hard but afterward I felt pretty tired since I am coming off a nasty cold. (This was my first run in a week!)

I’m excited to be training with a group of people who are all working together toward a common goal — to fight cancer. It may sound cliche but it’s true.

If you feel so inclined, please check out my fundraising page to read more about why this is important to me and how you can help. Thank you so much.