Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raindrop Reflections/Revelations/(Ramblings)

You know that perfect stay-in-and-watch-movies kinda weather? Today is just that in Northern California. However, it gave me the urge to get out. I'm not out for a hike or a swim or anything, but I am doing my own rainy weather exploration... (Apologies in advance for the ramblings- I have no idea what I'm about to write about and it probably won't interest you in the slightest, but here it goes...)

I love cafes. I get this strange thrill when I discover a new place that offers a cozy atmosphere, noteworthy coffee, possibly a unique/healthy menu, and of course, free wi-fi. It's embarrassing to say, but I often google cafes in surrounding areas and make mental notes to try some out in the future. Well, I figured today is the perfect day to "get out" and do just that, and I knew exactly which surrounding area I was going to google. A couple weeks ago, my aunt took me to this amazing sushi restaurant in Benicia, called Matsuri. Besides the wonderful dining experience, I couldn't get over how adorable downtown Benicia was. So here I am, at Java Point Cafe, just a couple blocks from the water's edge, with my GIANT mug of coffee* and time to take a breath and write. I am a happy, happy girl.
*I still forget how much bigger everything is here in the states. I mean, this is a German stein-size mug of coffee. Soy mocha to be exact. And it was only $4! I also still think in terms of Australian prices, which is good b/c everything seems cheap to me, which in turn is bad b/c I tend to spend more money than I have. I digress.

Although I am still definitely in a limbo stage of life, I am very happy. I have no job, no house or car of my own, no money, no man... and yet, I'm smiling. A lot. I've realized that it's because of where I am (in every sense) and the quality of the people in my life. It's good to put a finger on this because honestly, I was a little perplexed as to why my mood has been so elevated since I'm kind of bored and anxious to get out of limbo (patience really isn't a virtue of mine).

If you read my "Evil Twin" entry about my frustrations with indecisiveness, you'll be happy to know that I have embraced my Geminian counterpart. Times are tough right now. I've spoken with many people who are searching for jobs, have recently been laid off, or are struggling in their own way. I now see myself as lucky to not have one profession in mind. I think I'd be good at many different things so I'm continuing to keep an open mind, throwing myself out there and whatever bites is meant to be (at least for now). I'm excited to see what fate has in store.

I'm also really happy to be up in the bay area, which is reassuring since I came up here based on my gut and without any form of a concrete plan. (I do miss Sydney every day; it almost hurts. So I just don't think about it too much.) I am an independent person and can be very content on my own (hence why it's possible for me to pick up and go to a random foreign country), but it is amazing the change I feel being in close proximity to the majority of people I know and love. I get to see and talk to my closest friends on a daily basis; a luxury I haven't really had since college days. I have also reconnected and reestablished friendships I hadn't realized I was missing so much.

In addition to the people in my life, people out of my life also contributes to this new energy and happiness. I have recently experienced an emotional breakthrough: I am finally over 'the ex.' I have persistently tried to convince myself of this, but despite my persuasive abilities, the heart won't budge until it's ready. Perhaps not knowing when it will be ready is some form of cruel and unusual punishment for ever falling in love. Now, I'm happy to say, my heart is finally on a level playing field with my head. It is still hard for me to understand the idea of someone who was once the most important person in your life can all of a sudden not exist in your life, but somehow I can accept it. And I'm so glad I have because I feel the difference; it's like I'm constantly exhaling, releasing all things unflattering about myself and toxic in my life. Hello peace of mind.

Speaking of breakthroughs, the sun has finally Red-Rovered it's way through those intimidating rain clouds. Time to go outside...

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Think I need some more content in this "WanderLoz" blog?? Well, help me wander!

There is this awesome new website called that connects people all over the world through the love of travel. It's like a facebook for wanderlusts! It's a place for people to share their travel tips, stories, photos, and possibly their couches to like-minded travel buddies.

Obviously you want to check this out and start your own profile. All I'm asking from you is while doing so, please put my name (Lauren Nicholl) in the "referred by" box. By doing this, you are helping me fulfill my dream of traveling around the world. And guess what? The winner gets two tickets. ;) IMPORTANT: In order for a referral to be counted, the new member must also have a complete profile compromised of unique responses to each section in the 'Info' tab, 1 profile photo and at least 1 additional photo in the 'Photos' tab.

Thank you to anyone who reads my blog and does me this gigantic favor. I'll see you on!



things don't always work out the way you plan
friends don't always follow through
sometimes you have too much faith in those
who have little faith in you

timing will make or break you
feelings are often unclear
love somehow fades away
to where, I have no idea

despite the bumps/forks/dead ends
you will always find a way
because you have the faith in yourself
to explore another day

sadness, pain, and disappointment:
emotions we must meet,
but help us grow and open doors
thresholding the bitter to the sweet.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Evil Twin

Ugh. I almost didn’t publish this post because it is such a contrast to its prior. Honestly, in this moment, I feel like a different person than the author of “Chais and Chats,” but that’s part of it, right? Ups an downs. And although I usually keep a level head, positive outlook, and am mindful of the big picture, it is important to vent on off-days. This is why I created this thing. So, I’m venting...

I have always been attracted to astrology. I often find myself picking up a birthday book or zodiac calendar at Barnes & Noble thinking that by reading about my sign (for the 100,000th time) will explain things to me; it will provide an answer for which I am so desperately searching. The only thing that becomes more clear to me is that I will never escape this desperation because I will always be a Gemini.

Gemini, the sign of the Twins, is dual-natured, elusive, complex and contradictory. On the one hand it produces the virtue of versatility, and on the other the vices of two-facedness and flightiness. The sign is linked with Mercury, the planet of childhood and youth, and its subjects tend to have the graces and faults of the young. When they are good, they are very attractive; when they are bad they are more the worse for being the charmers they are. Like children they are lively, and happy, if circumstances are right for them, or egocentric, imaginative and restless. They take up new activities enthusiastically but lack application, constantly needing new interests, flitting from project to project as apparently purposelessly as a butterfly dancing from flower to flower. To them life is a game which must always be full of fresh moves and continuous entertainment, free of labor and routine. Changing horses in the middle of the stream is another small quirk in the Gemini personality which makes decision making, and sticking to a decision, particularly hard for them.

I pride myself on being versatile and dynamic. Because of this I have befriended many different kinds of people. I have always enjoyed the jobs I’ve had (to an extent). Because of this, I have been able to travel the world, stay in some questionable hostels, adapt to life in a different culture, and not suffer horribly from homesickness. For this I am grateful. My endless interests and possibilities keep me going.

But some days they drag me down. I imagine it’s similar to coming down from an ecstasy high. All this energy, motivation, feelings of hope, love, and invincibility only to be struck down suddenly, leaving me feeling empty, unsure, and sad. Is there a Geminis Anonymous I can check into?

The last few days I have been doing little more than searching for jobs online and writing cover letter after cover letter. I’m good at writing cover letters because it’s easy for me to momentarily get in the mindset that THIS IS MY DREAM JOB, whether it’s an event coordinator for a high profile venue, a bartender at a spunky new wine bar, a counselor for orphans and foster families, or a media planner for a start-up ad agency (to name a few). My head is spinning. I’ve been riding on my positivity wings for a while, really believing I can do whatever I put my mind to. I just wish sometimes I could put my mind to ONE thing. This is the frustration I’m experiencing today and why this flight has come to a halt, a layover if you will.

I am so jealous of people who know exactly what they want to do. They have a plan. They take the necessary steps. Bam. Pau. They’re there. This makes me want to go back to school where things are planned and orderly; I know how many units I need and how to achieve them. One small problem: I don’t know what I want to study. Again, too many interests! Is there a degree that will give me the knowledge and skills for any and every career? If there is, sign me up! That and GA will have me set. I guess life is the closest thing to such a wildly comprehensive dream program and I’m already signed up for that so I guess it’ll have to do... Ugh.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chais and Chats

I made it. I am officially in San Francisco and although I've been here a million times, it's different this time because I am here for me. I am not here to visit someone. I am not here for a vacation. I have no return ticket.

I can't help but flash back to my first day in Sydney all those months ago. I have no idea what I'm going to do here. I don't know where I'll be living. I wonder what kind of people I'm going to meet, who will change my life in some way.

I'm very content with my first day so far. Although notably colder than Sydney, San Diego, and Honolulu, it is not raining. I'm properly layered and am currently sitting in the sunny and charming Caffe Capriccio. I am so happy to have found a place that has a great soy chai latte and GOOD coffee. I'm kind of a coffee snob and coming back to the states really had me dreading the change in coffee culture. I think I'll be okay. SF's got my back.

First impressions are pretty entertaining. I'm surrounded by typical San Franciscans. The couple to my left has been having delicate conversations about their relationship. Both are wearing glasses and are attractive in a plain, subtle way. They started off holding hands in the middle of the table and speaking quietly. The woman looked sad and contemplative. The mood seemed to lighten when their food came (mental note: I must get the granola next time!). I was able to hear them discussing their sleeping habits. The man is doing most of the talking. He's telling her how much he likes sleeping next to her. The couple to my right is not as solemn, but they also seem to be having a serious discussion. The woman was reading the man an excerpt from an artsy looking book when they sat down and I've overheard parts of a philosophical conversation sprinkled with words like "zen" and "energy." They're talking about all kinds of things- family dynamics, attraction and compatibility, high school, feelings of success; every topic decorated with colorful metaphors and deep reflection and analysis. Love it.

Oh San Francisco, how much I will learn from you. The fun we will have. I'm looking forward to our time together.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Swallow Sisters"

For you, C.M. You say I inspire you, and I want you to know the feeling is very mutual (and tell you in a way you'd appreciate). Love you :)

Swallow Sisters :)

Can you believe how we came to be?

Absolute strangers on Regent Street.

It soon became clear we were meant to be mates

Barefoot stroll to 7/11- the first of many dates.

Your zest for life and deep love for food

Cemented our bond and kept up my mood.

As a newbie to Aus, it was hard not to feel

Far away at times. It seemed quite unreal.

But you made me feel so right in place

Not only in Sydney, but in myself, in my space.

From nights in with tarot cards,

sharing magnums, apples/the flu,

facebook chatting side-by-side,

and balling through P.S. I Love You,

To arvos at the Courty

for our jug of Coopers Green,

Red wine on King Street having a laugh,

rating men, and checking the scene.

From kicking ass in Matt’s combat class

and edamame at Sushi Train,

To crazy benders in the X

and the hangovers we sustained.

I will never forget our road trip,

it was off its tit!

With our “cold coca-cola and ice”

and Buulleeeetttproof bit.

Oh Cassa darling, I miss you so.

Your never-ending song, your wit, your glow.

That cackle of a laugh while you watch 30 Rock,

Arj Barker’s “water” and Seinfeld’s “Twist Off!!”

Thank you for being my Thanksgiving,

my Christmas, and New Year.

Thank you for always sharing

your family, food, and gear.

We no longer chat side-by-side,

But you’re with me every day.

Right next to my heart, you are my wings.

And like swallows, we’ll find our way...