A Los Angeles Fall ~ 2017

So it may not be time for the “look back at 2017 and ahead to 2018” type of post but as we edge closer to the beginning of the 12th month and the close of 2017, I thought I would look back at what I had seen, experienced, and accomplished or at least in the last few months.  (*Being type-A, “accomplished” tends to be one of my favorite words).

Moving back to California has been a phenomenal change of pace – something that isn’t always guaranteed with a big move.  I had acquired a job back in July/August-ish and had an idea of some things I wanted to do when I got back.  I wanted to move closer to the west side of LA, I wanted to see what November Project was like out here, and I wanted to join my sister’s running club.  As you can see, I still seem to work and workout so some more “fun” might need to be added in.

Los Angeles isn’t entirely new since I grew up near Pasadena but it is entirely different when you are 26 versus 10 or even 18.  My job is much better for me in terms of environment and content.  I still encounter the daily stresses but it keeps me on my toes and I have a stand-up desk so some days I literally am on my toes.  For about 6 ish weeks, I was living at home and that meant driving 80-90 minutes each way day.  Traffic – the double edge sword of living in a car congested county like this.  Anyways, there was no way I was going to plop down and sit at a computer for even more time to detail out my (what I think is boring to read) day.  So then there was the question of if I blog on weekends.  Maybe?  But over the last few months I’ve been so busy that again, sitting down to take time to blog hasn’t been the first priority.

I started this blog as a way to fill my 2012 summer if I didn’t have an internship but it slowly melded to become my travel journal and a means of keeping in touch while living across the country.  I still see it as a creative outlet but as I’ve most definitely mentioned before, I am 100% focused/addicted/interested/obsessed/addicted (yes twice for emphasis) with Instagram.  It’s a quick picture/video and a few words and boom, you’ve got widespread media that people from all over will consume.

** some pictures of November Project shot by fellow tribe members (always important to share photo creds) 

For those of you who have followed me over the last few years, you’ll know how much November Project means to me.  Well, thank goodness for tribes located around the world (44 currently to be exact) because I was able to start showing up to workouts when I touched down in LA.  It’s true that I knew a few friendly faces from when I would #justshowup during the holidays but leaders had changed, people had moved away, and it was a pretty new start for me.  Somehow I decided to start working out at the 5:27 and 6:27 group to see more faces.  As in New York, each workout has a different vibe.  Both are amazing but it’s great to see the differences and get to know so many people.  This is tough remembering names since 4 workouts means 2x the number of people but thank goodness for Facebook and the ability to just re-ask (at least once or twice).

When you move to a new place, you have the ability to re-invent yourself in a way.  You can take the parts of yourself you want to change (not like in a superficial way, but then again this is Los Angeles…) and lean into the person you want to be.  No one is forcing you to act like you did in high school or even college.  Unless you were a nice person and then don’t ever stop being a nice person.

So re-inventing yourself.  For me, I wanted to be that strong and positive person I had grown to become in New York.  When I arrived in LA, I thought hm, most of my friends back east called me Kait and there’s already a girl at NP named Katelin and I wouldn’t want to make it confusing for people.  So I introduced myself at NP and my running club as Kait.  That really threw Meghan for a loop and even confuses a few people when they are on Facebook and see “Kaitlin”.  Basically, call me anything and I’ll answer.  I have no preference and it just felt really comfortable to be known at November Project as Kait because my best NP_NYC friends called me that.

Now of course I’ve begun to type a novel when I only meant to drop a few lines.  Who knows, maybe I’ll check in a bit more frequently in December or 2018 😉

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ― Sheryl Sandberg

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Life of Late ~ 9.15.17

In all honesty I think this should sometimes be called “Sh*t Kaitlin Says.” For example there are times when what I say I think is smart, witty, and sometimes downright hilarious. Even if I am the only one who thinks this, smashing success. Just kidding. Sort of.  {FYI today is a bit of a sassy and sarcastic post so take it all with a grain of salt.}

Then there are times when it’s like “whoa please tell me you didn’t just say that?”  Last week at Questival? I really don’t think much of what came out of my mouth should be digested or recalled – nothing terrible but more or less “insert face palm emoji” and remind myself to filter.  What I really need to do is have a tattoo on my arm with the line from Hamilton where Burr advices Hamilton to “talk less, smile more”.

You could consider this like a “last night conversation hangover”. Similar to the reflection you have after maybe making some questionable decisions after a night of no sleep or a few fun drinks. Not that I’ve ever been there…I mean deciding to jump in the Santa Clara fountain multiple times senior year? Not sure why that seemed so amazing at the time. Maybe just Miss goody two shoes living on the edge.

So I apologize for what I said with little to no sleep.

Maybe it’s a fear of silence? But then that’s not entirely true because when you find a friend that can just sit with you in silence or walk somewhere without feeling the need to bring up every piece of small talk – that’s brilliant.

Anyways, last weekend I participated in an “Amazing Race” spinoff sort of deal called Questival.  This was created and hosted by Cotopaxi, a company that creates innovative outdoors equipment and experiences.  It also has a llama as its logo so that was a hook, line, and sinker for yours truly.  (note: no clue where I picked up this obsession with llamas and alpacas).  Meghan and I joined a team from November Project Los Angeles where she is a bi-monthly participant 😉 (her words not mine but you’re welcome Meghan).  I on the other hand am hoping to go a bit more frequently, of course pending my exhaustion from Tuesday night speed work.  And it seems I’ve moved off topic again.  Back to Questival!

Our team was a group of folks who may or may not have met one another.  I had only had met 2 of the other NP_LAX folks previously (including that morning) so it was similar to this last season’s Amazing Race where teammates were brand-spanking new to one another.

The kickoff “party” was held at the Los Angeles Historic State Park, an expansive new field with some lawn games (i.e. corn hole and mega Connect 4), food trucks, swag truck (where of course I got sidetracked at), and our included Cotopaxi swagpacks or backpacks.  Unfortunately there was false advertisement that Miguel the llama would be present but when I found out this was NOT an actual llama and instead just a costumed person, my disappointment lessened. Once we were at the venue we could start checking off pre-event challenges but had to wait until 7:30 until we could submit the main challenges.   When the clock turned 7:30, we were off and running like a pack of llamas.

On Friday teams took pictures by the Broad, grabbed dinner at Philippe’s, went through Olvera Street and I did a mini rendition of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dive’s.  We split up for a bit to divide and conquer only to find out that EVERY SINGLE video must have the totem (flag) in it.  So, when the guys got back around 12:30, we re-filmed a few of the outstanding challenges that we had practiced.  Around 1:15/1:30a we called it quits and tried to rack up a few hours of sleep.  When our alarms went off at 4:30 I don’t think we were entirely ready to go (again, let’s re-review, I apologize for what may have been said while I was exhausted).

That morning we hiked in Griffith Park, attempted to see the sunrise but failed since it was foggy, Jonathan ate a beetle and we picked up a few bags of trash.  Crysti and I biked 8ish speedy miles along the LA River Trail and the guys made a few goofy videos at a local diner.  I think the best part of this team was that each of us carried a different skillset and were willing to jump in with a variety of tasks.  Eating a beetle?  Yeah, I would so NOT would have volunteered for that one.   We took a picture on the Hollywood walk of stars and wrapped up the event at the park underneath the Hollywood(land) sign by 7pm.  There really wasn’t an afterparty present and most folks were either ready for bed or to go out and hit the town.  You can probably guess which route I went.

Highlights from the day included Meghan walking around in an Olaf costume, dancing along the Venice boardwalk, tai chi on a nearby wall, and Nick eating a head of cauliflower while wearing a dino costume and getting the absolute best stares from Griffith Observatory tourists.  We also got to run through the Batman cave and spend some time in Venice Beach.  Towards the end of the day we visited the LACMA and I attempted to help complete the challenge “give a stranger flowers” by picking flowers off of a bush.  In retrospect that was not the best plan and it backfired twice.  Jonathan came it to save the day and made a new friend from Japan.

 

There were two other November Project teams running around town but it was our team that maintained our place in the top 10 throughout the entire 24 hours!  (**update, NP basically dominated because there was another team in the top 10…casual) In the end we got 6th, which was a very valiant effort for a team that didn’t know one another and forgot the totem in a few too many videos.  I definitely think our team laughed more.

Would I do it again?  Oh most definitely.  In fact, I might make my own little version to help check off the murals and hikes that we didn’t get to the first time around!  Until then, carpe diem my friends.

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“Life is short.  Break the rules, forgive quickly…laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.” Mark Twain