A Happy List

It’s June tomorrow (!!!), and last night I found myself reflecting on how 2015 has been so far. This year has been mostly clear skies and smooth sailing for me, and I’m making a conscious effort of to constantly practice gratitude for how great my life is. Below is a short compilation of things that make me happy and give me heart boners:

  1. Devouring a perfectly ripe avocado. Translation: finding the sweet spot between “Don’t eat yet!” and “Too late!”
  2. Landing a parking meter that still has considerable amount of time left before it expires.
  3. Listening to “Stay a Little Longer” by Brothers Osborne on mad repeat.
  4. Genuine smiles and big hugs.
  5. Discovering new and delicious brunch eateries near my neighborhood.
  6. Handwritten notes and cards, for any or even no occasion at all.
  7. When my FitBit vibrates and congratulates me for logging in 10,000 steps for the day.
  8. Finding cash still intact in my jeans pockets after it’s been laundered.
  9. Successfully parallel parking on the first attempt.
  10. Receiving as unlimited wet kisses from my dogs no matter how long I’ve been separated from them.
  11. Unexpected compliments. Compliments beyond looks.
  12. Guys who consistently open doors (especially car doors) for me and not just on the first date.
  13. Clicking the “Confirm Order” button on Expedia when booking a flight.
  14. Kind and sweet text messages that add value to my day and expect no reply in return.
  15. Shopping for succulents and fresh flowers.
  16. Being assigned the first row of a roller coaster ride.

What are some of your heart boners?

A Day In: Los Angeles

One of my biggest fears is feeling like my life has plateaued. I absolutely dread experiencing any form of inertia in my life, whether it be with my career, my relationships with others or relationship with myself.

Having lived in Los Angeles for nearly 14 years, I’m beginning to feel that little nugget inside of me that can’t help but feel stuck. Most people dream of living in the City of Angels, it’s considered one of the greatest cities in the world! 3.8 million people don’t choose to live here for nothing. I truly feel fortunate being able to afford and have this city as my playground, but at the same time, there is that small part of me that feels as if I have experienced everything this city can offer. Perhaps I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, but I just want to be anywhere but L.A.! Rome… Tokyo… Bali? I’ll take it!

It’s reached a point where I’ve seen the Hollywood sign, Pacific ocean, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, Disneyland, and other famous Los Angeles attractions so many times that I’m starting to grow tired of it. Change of scenery, please! To be perfectly honest, I secretly feel sick of all the palm trees and the weather being sunny and 75 degrees 360 days out of the year.

I came across the Youtube video above in my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago, and after seeing it, I felt reminded just how magnificent Los Angeles can be and that no matter which part of the world I end up in in the future, it will always always ALWAYS be my home.

Anicka “Angeleno for life” Nadine

A few things I’m grateful for…

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset1) Living in Los Angeles

It’s a love-hate relationship. Love for all the options/activities/food/culture it offers. Hate for all the traffic/smog and ten million complicated parking signs. Nevertheless, I really am spoiled for having such a great city as my playground.

2) Temporary people

As cliché as it sounds, people do come in and out of our lives. This year, I cut ties with numerous people. Some were easier to let go than others. Life is too short, and I’ve learned that there’s no point in tolerating toxic and unhealthy relationships with people who no longer contribute to my growth.

If my gut says they’re bad news, I have to act on that gut feeling (and not question that gut feeling — which is still a work in progress) and let them go. My instincts have been the primary decision-maker as to who stays and who goes, and so far, it’s been 100% accurate.

3) Lifers

Along the lines of what I mentioned above, I am incredibly grateful for my lifers. My family, first and foremost, and my small group of close girlfriends who I’ve known for practically half of my life. I’m blessed to have a strong support system.

On the other side of meeting temporary people these past few months, I am grateful for the new relationships I’ve started with the very few special individuals who I have a very good feeling would be lifers.

4) Getting past the stage of super self-consciousness

My body is by no means perfect, and there are A LOT of things I wish I change about it if I could. Very gradually, I’ve learned to accept that there is nothing I can do about my short legs/thunder thighs and that I will never reach my dream height of 5’7″.

I used to obsess over my scars and stretch marks, and I still have days where I struggle to love my “stripes,” but it’s liberating to accept yourself for who you are.

5) Shit that happens

It helps us grow and appreciate the good. We learn to distinguish between the petty nuisances from what really matters.

6) The possibility of love

One of my biggest fears after my devastating breakup with my ex was not being able to find someone who I can connect with the same level I connected with my ex. I didn’t believe that lightning can strike the same place twice, yet the universe is currently in the process of proving me wrong.

I practically met my dream man. He’s kind, driven, compassionate, gentle, appreciative, and he does everything with intention and purpose. He loves food and travel and adventure… He is the perfect combination of all the attributes I am looking for in a man, which I thought was unrealistic until he came along. He’s such a rare occurrence, like a needle I somehow found in a haystack.

I see a lot of myself in him, and we have shared moments that are so perfect that I still have trouble accepting that he is real. How can a guy like him exist?  And more mind-blowingly, he likes me too?

I don’t know how things will unfold down the road with him, but I’m going to let the chips fall where they may. Love is perhaps the only thing in the world that I will have blind faith on, but I am doing it. I’m trusting the process. I’m trusting what’s next.

What are you grateful for?

Anicka Nadine