India was

India was hot. 115+ degrees Fahrenheit.(46+°C)  I remember coming home to 80 degree weather and wanting to put on a long sleeve shirt and the excitement to wear jeans comfortably. But I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the monsoonal rains and random down pours. Then don’t get me started on how beautiful the clouds were. As you know I spend most of my time staring at the clouds and taking pictures of them.
India was crazy. I was scared for my life the first time we got in the car. I thought you all were insane. The driving in Mumbai…. just insanity. Then the no rules…just did not make sense to me. Eventually I got used to all of the honking and I decided that India drivers are much better than american drivers, only in the sense of knowing the dimensions of their car and knowing how to maneuver their way through the streets. And I can say I rode on every kind of transportation in India and I even played Frogger on the busiest of streets in Mumbai.
India was beautiful. I still can not get over all the colors in your culture. The women’s clothing is just stunning. I wish Americans put that much though and effort into their clothing. I have already told you how much I love the clouds, but again they added so much beauty to an already beautiful country side. The views from the train were absolutely breath taking. Even the heart breaking slums, were beautiful and colorful. But the most peaceful place was at the center of the valley of the Ajanta Caves. The valley lined with green; a quiet stream at bottom; purple flowers falling on the hillside; the breeze taking every worry away.
India was dirty. My feet were absolutely disgusting after all the walking we did in Mumbai. I was so grateful for a shower everyday. But I will forever be scared from the train ride between Mumbai and Jalgaon on first class.

India was filling and yummy. I still dream about Gini Dosa and fruit smoothies on the streets of Mumbai. I would go back to India just for these street vendors. I was so happy to try all kinds of foods and go 14 days without meat. And now when I go to Indian restaurants here in the States, nothing lives up to the home cooked meals.

India was amazing. I had so much fun everyday. I loved the Holi celebration, but I still find purple and orange strands in my hair. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and so much fun. The sangeet was amazing and a wonderful transition for family and friends.
India was family. The hospitality was beyond amazing. I was never hungry and I was treated like family even when they could not talk to me in English we could understand each other by our gesture and they were always welcoming and loving.

The Next Identity Movement

Identity. A word that seems so simple, yet can be so controversial. 

Identity can be simply defined as the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. But in psychology, it is a little more complicated. Social identity is a person’s conception and expression of their own and others’ individuality or group affiliations. 

Society has been given too much power over who we are. Society defines us by the color of our skin, the clothes on our backs, our gender, our ethnicities, etc. 

The way we identify others can be used as a means of hate or love. Unfortunately, we allow words to be more hurtful than loving. 

All of this because we identify ourselves by our physical appearances rather than our actions as human beings.

I will be the first to admit that it is hard not to describe people based on their looks. For instance, if I’m talking to Sally about Billy and Sally doesn’t know Billy, I am going to describe him by his looks rather than his actions. 

This is a habit we should all attempt to stop. Actions are what should identify a person. If we allow these things define us then we are creating the stereotypes and inequality in society. 

I would say the most disgraceful identity that society gives us is fat. Fat is not an identity. 

As a personal trainer, I personally watch both men and women who are fat shamed no matter what their size, by themselves and others.

Do I want them to be healthy? Yes. But sometimes genetics gives us a little extra “junk in the trunk”.

I’ve watched people call themselves disgusting as they stepped onto the scale, allowing themselves to be defined by a number.

That number means absolutely nothing. Muscle weighs more than fat. You can weigh 200 lbs, be all muscle, and be completely healthy.

I absolutely hate the phrase “I am fat.” You may have fat, but you are not defined by your fat. In fact, every healthy person has at least some fat. It’s how your body remembers to fight disease, break down foods etc.

As a broadcast student, I am on camera all the time. I am not by any means “overweight.” But because the camera finds those angles to make anyone look bad, I have been called fat. It’s hurtful, it’s not fun, and it’s an easy way to question your own self identity. 

Do not let others’ shallow views, define who you are. You are worth so much more than that.

Look for that self confidence to find your identity in your personality. Find a way to ignore people’s judgements and define yourself. 

Stop giving society that power, take it back in order to be happy with who you are. 

It’s time we appreciate people for their actions. Let us start a movement together by focusing more on personalities and actions rather than judging them by the way they look. This in its own will create a world with more equality and acceptance. 

As Markus Zusak said, “Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.”

After all it’s the little things people do in life that make them so enjoyable and memorable. 

Free Hugs

A hug it’s such a sweet simple embrace and It’s probably something that we experience every day.

A hug can simply mean hello or good bye. But it can also mean so much more.

A hug can show our love, loyalty and strength of a bond between two people; whether it is shared between two family members, best friends, or life partners.

At the end of a bad day, a hug can be a reminder that someone is there for you, supports you, and is willing to help in anyway.

A hug can be a shared moment of celebration. One being proud of the other to start a new journey in life or to have accomplished something on life’s journey.

A hug can be a sense of security. One that shows your relationship is much stronger than before and nothing can break that bond. One that says “I’m not going anywhere.”

A hug can can also help decrease depression, anxiety, and boost the immune system. And guess what? It’s free!

A hug definitely is a little thing that is forgotten, but it’s definitely one that should be cherished and enjoyed every day.

Why Do We Love?

Love is an affection based on admiration, benevolence, and/or common interests. It’s also one of the most confusing emotions because it is a scary and risky feeling.

To feel strong enough for someone to allow them to have all of you; To have them be a big part of your life; to have them know about all your secrets; to want to spend every free moment you have with them.

We do this everyday with our family and best friends that we have known for most of our lives, but the thought of someone new coming into your life to possibly fill the empty spot in our hearts as a life companion requires you to be brave in order to share all those feelings you have been hiding from the world.

Scientifically, love is an environmental adaptation for humans to survive; and to make sure mates stay together, protect each other, and help continue the success of their offspring.

But as my friend recently reminded me, “Love is the greatest gift to mankind. True love can only exist through adversity and in a world full of sin and hardships. Love can thrive but only if we learn to fight and overcome this adversity. For with the greatest adversity comes the strongest bond of love.”

My friend continued to say that we hide our vulnerability to protect ourselves from getting hurt. But love wouldn’t be valuable if it weren’t risky.

This reminded me of C. S. Lewis, who once wrote, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Love is one of the most cherished, amazing, and admired feelings. Everyone strives to find love one day, to find their soul mate that they can walk on the same path with. To spend their life with the one person that gives them butterflies every time they see them, to find that one person that challenges them to be a better person everyday.

We would be depriving ourselves from this amazing emotion and experience if we were not vulnerable; if we did not risk showing our complete selves.

This feeling is one that gains value every time we chose to be vulnerable. Every time we risk our heart, we learn something and we become stronger. We learn a little bit more about ourselves. We learn to love a little bit more.

Why do we love? Because it is the best little thing that life has to offer us. After all, it is the little things.

Coffee is my best friend.

I don’t think I could survive without coffee.

This week I am at a climate conference. And one thing you need to know about meteorologists and climatologists, we like to drink. It doesn’t help that we are in Denver where there are tons of local breweries. So we stay up late to drink and wake up early to go to research talks. This means coffee is an absolute necessity.

The first sip of coffee is always truly amazing. The way the body almost immediately relaxes. It’s a great way to ease the stress of waking up early. And once that buzz begins so does the productive work.

Only problem is finding the line of how much coffee you should have. Too little and you are too tired to function; too much and you are too jittery to concentrate. I’m constantly in battle with the line.

But no matter what that first sip of a good cup of coffee in the morning can make make my day.

Small Talk with TSA agents

I don’t know why but getting sized up by the TSA agent at is my favorite part about going to the airport.

I always wonder what they are thinking when they check my ID. Do they ever think I’m a terrorist or threat? Do they complain about their job when the airport is insane and there are kids crying every where? Are they more worried about the people, planes, or the country; maybe their drama at home.

I challenge myself each time I travel to make them smile with the few sentences we get as we interact. You have to choose words so carefully and really read the agent’s mood. Most of the time they are too busy doing their job and I can barely get them to interact excepts he common where are you going. Either that or I failed my challenge epically.

Somedays however, I catch the agents in good moods and they smile and even keep the conversation going, if it’s slow. I just hope on those days I can make their day just a little better like they do for mine.

Sometimes it’s just one little smile that can change someone’s mood that day.

Family Matters

Today I found out that my cousin eloped this last weekend with her fiancé.

She is young and everyone is scared for her, knowing the love is not any easy thing and so much more life ahead of her.

It is so hard for everyone to see others happiness when they have been hurt or are hurting. That is why it is so important to remember that, as hard as it may be, to just be happy for some who is trying to find their own happiness.

I don’t talk to my cousin much anymore but we were really close when we were younger and we are family. My mom asked me to talk to her to let her know that I was happy for her because everyone had been giving her a hard time.

So today I took the time to let her know that she needed to concentrate on her own happiness and to prove all the doubters that she and her new husband have a love that is strong, the kind that can stay true and last forever.

It felt good to talk to her again and let her know that I was there for her. But also to realize that sometimes the simplest text can change someone’s life. It really is the little things that can change someone’s attitude, day, or life.

From now on, I am going to try and concentrate on the little things not only for myself but for the people around me.

Line dancing

I have been line dancing since I was 18 years old. My favorite part about is being able to look like a complete fool but still having a great time.

Because of school and work I haven’t been able to go for about two months. And last night my friends and I decided to make a very very last minute trip to the saddle rack for so e dancing.

I always seem to be surprised how happy it makes me. No matter how much I go, I am always energized and grinning from ear to ear.

A spontaneous trip with friends definitely one of the little things.

Going Out of the Way

Today, while working during the craziest sale of the year, I was helping a man who just got out of the army. He needed the essentials for backpacking.

I didn’t treat him any differently than any other customer. But he was just so grateful for everything. He was so used to not having very many choices. It was really refreshing to have someone so grateful after a very long day.

And on top of that after he had checked out he came all the way to the back of the store just to thank me for all my help. It made me feel good that I had helped him that much even though I was just doing my job. But it also reminded me that going out of your way to thank someone, for even the smallest things, makes the biggest difference.

It comes full circle when you voice your appreciation for the little things that people can do for you.

Finding Happiness

I am currently studying Meteorology going into my final year of college. I am not sure what I want to do just yet, but I do know that whether I take a job or go to graduate school after graduation, I unfortunately will not be able to stay in the Bay Area. I want to be able to go wherever my future takes me. Because of this, I am scared to become attached to anyone because I know I will only have a year left with them.

I have always put my future ahead of all my relationships. It’s really hard to balance wanting to be successful and believing in love. So I have decided to find love and happiness in things other than relationships, the little things.

For the next year, I plan to write about concentrating on the little things, like the people I love and things that make me happy.