Turning 30 During A Pandemic

Photo by Craig Adderley

It was late March when I started to send the first of many handmade and store-bought cards through the mail. Each package would be lightly sprayed with a disinfectant like unbathed women spritzing pungent perfume before the invention of indoor plumbing. Like everyone else, I had a different idea in mind for 2020, and I had to adjust to a changing world. I felt most terrible for the kids who missed out on seeing friends from school, students who missed out on graduations, and those who have lost loved ones during this time. However, I couldn’t help but also feel a little bummed that the kids I used to hang out under The Tree with in high school would all be turning 30 away from each other during a pandemic.

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My Syndicated Life: Why You Should Start A Journal

Two pastel-colored journals, one pink and the other white, stacked on top of each other shot close up. Two wooden art pencils with pink lead sit on top.
Photo by Jess Bailey from Pexels

I spent the better half of the last two weeks reuniting with blasts from the past like every other television show cast coming together after being off the air for years. We talked about things we saw on each other’s social media feeds like our lives were syndicated classics playing in the background. The video streaming and conference calling replaced the feeling of knowing everything about some of these people, but not truly knowing who they have become as individuals. Reaching out to life’s puzzle pieces of the past was a nice reminder that things haven’t always been bad and that things will eventually get better.

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Why You Should Make Time For Games

I hear so many people during this difficult time struggling with how to work from home, make ends meet, and keep sane while staying positive. There has been a range of difficulties and issues for all of us to overcome as we navigate through this other universe filled to the brim with anxiety and stress. However, you don’t have to stay feeling stuck in these downward slumps. You just have to allow yourself to have time to play games.

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How Camping Can Spark The Next Renaissance

Prominent prolific musicians, or those who just go off into the woods, often come up with magnificent ideas and creative projects when they camp. It refers to periods when they go off with a bunch of people to create an album. It could last anywhere from days to months at a time, but usually, it becomes a moment in their careers when masterpieces are created. The same can be done for other artists of different crafts.

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The First Job I Ever Had

The very first job I ever had was something I built for myself back in elementary school. I confess that It’s not something I can ever put on my resume. In fact, I was actually threatened with arrest at one point during the height of my business success.

The tail-end of my elementary school years changed my entire life for the better. This was around the time when I decided I would try writing more and that I would pursue a career in the arts. I picked up the pen, went through dozens of sketchbooks, notepads, journals, and paper that I stole out of the large recycling bin on campus, and started writing and drawing. This was also the time that my crazy ideas began to have more of an impact on the lives of me and everyone around me.

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The Drive-Thru Theater Adventure

The first time I ever drove on the highway was the day I left home for college. I gripped the wheel, white-knuckled, and waited for my car to swiftly slide off the mountains of the Grapevine’s edge for the entire two and a half hours it took to drive myself and my room full of belongings in the infamous minivan. I spent the majority of my first year driving around during a time without regularly available smartphones as an inexperienced driver of only a year lost with an equally confused friend.

In fact, we got lost so often from not printing out directions ahead of time from MapQuest (not Google Maps) that we would jokingly call the mishaps adventures. The cellphones that we did have barely went on the internet, and when you did accidentally click the internet button, you had to click out really fast, or your mom would yell at you for racking up her bill. I could use my aging Chocolate LG sliding phone to make calls, take photos that looked like they were taken with a shoe, and play the highly-sought-after game of snake.

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That One Time I Started A New Job During A Pandemic

My Long-Form Glassdoor Review

A laptop computer sits on a wooden desk next to a cup of coffee and a digital notepad. A small green plant sits behind the computer on table.

“You will never forget the day that you started this job.” I actually heard that a couple of times from friends and new coworkers this past Monday. I was handed keys to the office, but I wasn’t entirely sure how long I would be able to use them.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the timing of it all. I started my new job the week of California’s statewide order to stay home due to an ongoing pandemic. I felt both lucky and not-so-lucky to have slid into a new position just before I wouldn’t have the chance to do so–or at least for a while. I was able to make the change without having to wait for the all-clear that would release us back into our normal lives, and unlike so many others during this time, I was able to pick up a paycheck still.

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The Leap Year Timeline

Mobius Arch, Inyo County, California
Mobius Arch, Inyo Canyon, California

My life makes sense when you look at it in Leap Years. It’s more confusing to look at my life when you look at every year in between. It’s as if I’ve only ever hit the correct axis of time if you scrunched up the detailed map of my journey to get here—the day before the day that only exists every four years.

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The Importance of Communication In Different Spaces

Why understanding a group before joining is so important

Not everyone who joins a specific group falls under the descriptive category. In fact, I occasionally invite non-people of color to Black Girl Trekkin hikes. Some tag along excitedly, while others may shy away from the invitation. I love including people in spaces, but I make sure that the people I invite on hikes are respectful and take the time to learn about the group and the people who are in it.

I try to check my new messages and requests across all the social media accounts that I regularly manage for the groups and organizations I lead at least once a day. I watch as reaction emoji’s trickle in like the babbling brooks I love to post on my own Instagram stories. The majority of the time the messages are very positive. I’ll usually see polite questions about upcoming outdoor events and comments on how beautiful the images that I have shared from the hiking community. However, sometimes, I’ll get questions about whether people who identify as men can join the hikes that I lead for the Los Angeles chapter of the women’s group, Hiker Babes and I have to pause for a moment.

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That One Time I Actually Could Have Died Because Of My Opinions

“I’m sorry your January has been rough, Jasmine.”

I read the email and had to pause. For one, because I legitimately thought that we were in the middle of February, and two because I really had just experienced a wild ride of a month. 

I began 2020, speeding through the snowcapped Grapevine mountains from the Central Valley to Los Angeles. I brought in the New Year with my sister in shorts outside at midnight watching illegal fireworks shoot from backyards. Local residents twirled sparklers over dampened lawns in 40-degree weather, and I smiled as we took turns watching our exhaled breaths become visible against the pitch-black night sky. By January 4th, I had already hiked so many miles in the cold and been to so many holiday and birthday parties that I was for sure I needed to put down my Christmas tree because it had to have been March by now. However, I’m glad I took my Christmas stuff down the next day because, after that next week of traveling to Texas, I would actually almost die because of a case of the flu.

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