The Poolside mixtape below is pure, unadulterated hot weather happiness. I have a feeling I’ll have this sucker on repeat all through my magical (f)unemployment.
And as if a summertime serenade isn’t enough, the Los Angeles duo will be performing a live DJ set tonight at the Hammer museum. Sweet.
Just over a month ago I returned to Los Angeles after three glorious weeks in Ireland. I think I lost my mind a little when touching down at LAX; I just wasn’t ready to return to reality. More and more I come to find that the typical American motivations of financial success and fame just aren’t for me. Me, I just want to save up enough here and there to feed my hunger for travel.
And so I gave my notice, turned down offers of sabbaticals and raises, and booked myself a ticket to Europe. This time around I’ll be enjoying 6 weeks abroad, traversing the globe solo. An exciting adventure such as this is better than any paycheck, fancy car or highfalutin lifestyle. I’m ready to go and starting my countdown now. 47 days to go until I’m in the sky and bound for Vienna, and before that I’ll be adventuring closer to home. Now that’s bliss!
Armored in a penguin suit and about 40 pounds of gear, on Sunday I became a fish.
As our dive boat cut through the turquoise waters surrounding Catalina Island, I stood at the prow with the wind in my hair and the sun on my back, rather amused that I was even here at all. Just 4 weeks ago I was flying back home from an extended holiday in Ireland, dreading my return to regular life and work and responsibility. And now here I was, bathed in fresh, saltwatery hope.
The instructor started our first day of lessons by asking what it was that made each of us decide to learn scuba. My fellow classmates answered with responses such as “a lifelong fascination with a sea” or “an upcoming trip to Mexico’s diving hotspots”…I on the other hand, kind of shrugged and replied, “I just thought, why not?”.
30 feet under the water, our class was finally able to experience the magic of the deep. We slipped between towers of kelp billowing in slow motion, and made our way down to the bottom to socialize with garibaldis and marvel at marine life of every size and shape. Jewel-colored fish seemed to come and go as they pleased, but solely for our enjoyment. And despite my lifeline of oxygen, I felt free.
The problem with working a 50-hour work week is you just run out of time. And time has that frightening snowball effect where 1 week turns into 3 months and before you blink it’s been years. Friendships too can fall into that dangerous black hole, but the strongest ties are the ones where the hands of the clock stand still, and after lengthy separations all you need is a strong hug to know few things have changed.
But that’s what I hate. No change.
I’ll be attending a friend’s wedding at the end of the month, and as I opened up the invitation a couple months ago, my thoughts flashed to that dreaded question that comes up at any gathering where people are reunited after time spent apart…
"Hiiiiii! What have you been up to?"
Too often I’ve found myself answering with, “Oh, same old shit.”. And when that happens, my soul dies a bit. I need more excitement then months of weekdays and weekends. So I think in some sort of weird backwards way, this wedding has semi-inspired me to take a leap, shake things up and fill my time with a few more conversation-worthy topics. Granted this wasn’t the only catalyst, but every bit of ammunition helps us fight the war against the routine American lifestyle.
My first plan of attack? This weekend I’m learning how to scuba dive, and it’s a story I most definitely look forward to sharing.
The entirety of my work day today was spent with a bit of a permanent shiver. And for once, the office air conditioning wasn’t to blame. No, I had important news to deliver before the clock struck 6pm…and I was nervous as hell.
Today, I quit my job.
Okay, well…not quite…but it sounds so much better written out that way. I have given my employers about 30 days notice of my departure. Where will I go? What will I do? I sure as hell don’t know, but it’s gonna be a fun ride. I hope to fill these virtual pages with many an exciting adventure once that freedom comes. Until then, it’ll be a real happy weekend.
How time does fly. It’s been almost a year since I did any sort of writing here, which isn’t saying much considering its lifespan was all of a few posts. And I can’t help but wince as I read through some of my earlier scribblings. Dreams I had 11 months ago came and went, and here I am sitting at that same chilly desk that I wrote from way back when. My new apartment still sits within that same small radius that I’ve called home since childhood. I’ve had some exciting adventures, but I haven’t exactly stretched out my wingspan to fully fly the currents.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t try again, right? I do believe the second time will be the charm.