25 before 25: Get a massage

I’m slowly but surely (emphasis on the slowly) making my way through my 25 before 25 list!

unnamed(The only picture I took.)

Most recently I got a massage! My darling friend Susie (thank you!!) bought me this for my birthday before even knowing it was on my list. Talk about being on the same wave length. And though my birthday was almost 4 months ago, I just got around to using it.

Here’s the thing about me: I can never wait to open a gift. If someone sends me something in the mail and asks me to wait ’til Christmas Day or my birthday or whenever to open it – you can guarantee I will not wait. I might tell them I waited, but the truth is the second my hands touched it, it was opened. BUT when it comes to gift cards of any kind, I tend to hold on to them forever. So with the massage, I could totally have enjoyed it back in March but I wanted to wait til I really needed it and I AM SO GLAD I DID.

I scheduled my massage for the morning of July 3rd, which was just a couple days after moving everything into our new studio on the 3rd floor with no elevator (hello, jello legs) and also the first day of my four-day weekend! Can you say perfect timing?

The only other massage I had ever had before this one was the day after I finished my last final exam of my college career and while that one was nice, this one blew it out of the water. Everyone at Vida Organic Wellness Spa was so friendly and soft spoken. I seriously think that must be a pre-requisite to getting a job at a spa, which means I can guarantee I will never work at one!

Once I got in the room, my masseuse asked for problem areas and what I was there for. I told her I didn’t really have any problems but I just wanted to overall relieve tension and relax.

…You guys. This massage seriously changed my life. I’ve felt so different since it. I know that sounds crazy, but I really focused on my thoughts while she massaged me and especially focused on letting go of some of the emotional weight I’ve been holding on to. And by the time she was done I felt totally refreshed. Obviously I can’t add massages into my regular expenses because #nonprofitlife but I definitely want to try and get one every few months.

Seriously – I feel more relaxed even just writing about it. 


There’s a Place On Cherry Avenue…


Oh, relatively spacious apartment with grungy carpet and crazy neighbors – you were a home unlike any other. You were the first place in California where I was allowed to fully unpack and where I actually had to pay rent. You gave me the chance to live with my handsome boyfriend, something I had never done before. You proved to me that I loved living in Long Beach and couldn’t imagine ever leaving SoCal.

We had some really good times together. One of my favorites will always be the house warming/New Years Eve party we had to ring in 2013, just days after we moved in. The most hodgepodge group of people came to celebrate, we used a cooler in place of a fridge, and the night ended with the whole world spinning. We kissed and fell asleep, ready for the new year in our new home.

One of the roughest times we faced was what I like to call: The Great Bed Bug Debacle. Ugh – I don’t think I will ever forgive you for that. My legs are still scarred. Oh and the fact that the bush outside our window was home to so many birds, I felt like I was falling asleep in a Rainforest Cafe. (Seriously – what are birds doing at 11pm?!)

I will miss Girls marathons and mug cookies, waffle mornings and Nintendo 64. I will miss stumbling to DJ Old Boy and Hole Mole being just around the corner, having two closets and the three of us just hanging out. I wont miss bird lady or the freaking gates that everyone slammed too loudly, the hours spent looking for parking or the walls that stained so easily. I wont miss the crappy landlord or useless dryer, the moving out process or falling asleep to the sound of helicopters.

Honestly, I don’t remember the majority of days but when I look back on this time I will remember it as 18 months of finding myself, falling in love, and making friendships so much stronger.

 I will always think of Cherry Avenue fondly. You were good to me, and good to us. I hope whoever calls you home next does me proud.

Here’s to my new home – Gotham Lofts, you have some big shoes to fill.