This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.

Oh, what a month.

Last night, a memorial service was held for Beautiful. I was fortunate enough to attend with the lovely Slow J… Gosh, she is just one of the easiest persons to talk to, I am so grateful to count her as one of my friends and to have her on my side. I wish I saw more of her, but school and work keep her sufficiently busy, and I am proud. Although seeing her was bittersweet under these circumstances, having each other there was a bit of a blessing.

I learned much about Beautiful last night from people who knew her beyond the two years that I did. It warmed my heart that she met two of her close friends, both of whom spoke during her memorial, by volunteering with Animal Connection of Texas. This is the same group I have been a member of for the past several years, the group I attend most protests with. I had NO idea that she was once involved with them as well! Of course she was, though. It should come as no surprise.

I go through life hoping to meet other individuals who love animals as I do. It’s easy to love pets, it’s easy to love one’s patients if one works in the veterinary field, it’s easy to express anger when a companion animal is mistreated. I know a great number of folks who fall into these groups, not surprisingly since I work in veterinary medicine myself.

But to go beyond that and volunteer for them, to refuse to eat them, to be vocal about encouraging others to have more compassion towards them, to march around in the nude during the cold winter months (as I found out she did!) in order to make a statement for them? That, to me, is a true love for animals. That is hard to find. We are a small group. In this great city, we have maybe dozens show up for animals at our demonstrations. She was one of them, though.

I found her.

And now she is gone. I hate it.

I wish I had known her longer. I wish I had spent more time with her. I wish I knew these facts about her before so that we could talk about them. I wish she would bake more banana nut bread with apple sauce in place of eggs for me. I wish I could share more cheeseless pizza with her. I wish for so much, and it makes me feel selfish at times.

So, I decide to give.

I will give back to the world and honor Beautiful by volunteering with a local group called Foundation 45. Their mission statement is as follows:

We’re here to start a conversation to break down the stigma and reinforce the strength and connectivity in our community.

We’re not your typical suicide, addiction and mental health awareness group.

We’re musicians, artists, Deep Ellum neighbors looking to support those struggling with mental illness, suicidal thoughts, addiction, depression and anxiety. Foundation 45 funds the Interlude 45 Support Group, free group counseling supervised by Licensed Professional Counselors in Deep Ellum. We also provide support services for those left struggling with the collateral damage of losing a loved one to suicide.”

My first meeting with them is scheduled for Saturday, July 8th. By my own admission, I do not believe I have much to offer in the form of conversation. As I have stated before, I myself have never struggled with these issues. Life has been a bit of a breeze and when curveballs have been thrown my way, I have always either knocked them out of the park or come back up to the plate immediately (with help from the most amazing support system a girl could ever hope for). I can simply tell myself to dust it off and keep going. I know I cannot tell or expect others to do the same. Quite frankly, I have no idea what to say, really.

I am going through with it regardless, however. I will contribute what I can. This may mean helping more in the backscene, but it will be helping nonetheless.

Also, after learning of Beautiful’s involvement with A.C.T., I am motivated to continue to be involved and participate with them more frequently than I currently do. The animals need us. I know it, and she knew it. That is why she fought for them.

I was recently at a rally for social justice and a speaker announced that we may not live to see the results of our efforts, just as others before us have not survived to see the change they struggled for finally take place. Change takes time, the work is arduous, the impact is gradual. I am happy Beautiful lived to see Ringling Brothers shut down, I bet she loved it, I bet she was overjoyed. She will not see other results now, but who’s to say that I will? I have to simply keep going. She would encourage that, I trust. I really do. ❤

That is all I care to write for the moment.

Love your friends. Express your gratitude for them. Nurture your friendship with them.

Live fast, die slow.

I’ve got spirit, how bout you?!

Thank you for all the love on my last post. It is definitely nice to know that messages of health and compassion towards animals are well received. This world is not so bad after all.

Folks, true to my nature, I am beyond myself with happiness as of lately (save for a rough day recently that was immediately followed by a spectacular one!). This happens every year. Spring awakens me, I am inspired, I am aroused, I am motivated. The longer days, the extra doses of sunshine, and the added warmth all play to my favor. This is the time of year that I am my busiest, most productive, and most social self.

Already, every weekend through June is spoken for (the only exception being Memorial Day Weekend, but maybe I can escape to Mexico because my soul is longing for a swim in my river). Volunteering, activism, concerts, festivals, parties, celebrations, 5Ks. Oy. I am not complaining. I love it.

The trouble is this, however: it never lasts.

Year after year, the happiness dissipates. It ceases to be effortless. I have to work to make it happen. Why?

Early last year – if you read back then and remember – I was very much focused on self-actualization and becoming my best self. I went on to learn to take control and remove what was stressful and negative from my life, because only by doing so would the universe receive me as I am meant to be. Only then could I fully contribute and heal the world in my own way.

In July, I ended my six-year-long relationship, thinking that it would allow me to re-center and grow, even bloom! It did not, mostly due to the fact that I continued to live with him until just four weeks ago. He held me back, but I allowed him to. It was my own doing, I enabled him. I am not here to speak ill of him. This may disappoint you, but I refuse. I do it at times, jokingly, and immediately regret it. I cannot emphasize it enough: he is a great man, intelligent, interesting, funny, sweet, romantic, creative, handsome, and I do not know how he put up with me for so long. What I do know is that somewhere along the way, the harmony between us went missing. Whose “fault” was that?

Avoiding the tangent.

Now that I have my own space, now that we are no longer roommates, now that we are friends, I am jumping back on my path. This time, I plan to stay on it on the permanent. For good. For evah evah.

Because the universe is abundant and cares for me, I was gifted with a Wellness Expo being held at the town conference center this weekend, only a couple blocks from my apartment. There were vendors selling energized crystals, psychics providing intuitive readings, life coaches, yoga instructors, the juicing crowd, the aromatherapy lot, manifestation masters, you name it! Everything up my spiritual alley!

I was initially planning to attend Saturday only, thinking that I would spend today with family. My parents ended up making their own escape to Mexico this weekend, though – those lucky punks – so I made sure to score a ticket for today as well.

I am so glad I did. There was much to learn, essential knowledge to absorb! Gosh, let me get my notebook out… I attended the following lectures:

  • Chakra Health and Lymph Drainage Oh, the importance of that second chakra… I went back to the exhibition hall to purchase crystals to help balance it! Also, managing the energy we intake from food. Go vegan, y’all. For real!
  • We are Channels Every Day! Being in the flow, allowing ourselves to be spiritual and experience what life has to share with us. Listening to our guides and signs. Opening the heart chakra to connect with others, especially those we think we dislike or those whom we lost our connection to.
  • Spirit Speaks We are spiritual beings having human experiences. Our spine is our antenna, transmitting and receiving information, powered by our brain, heart, and spirit. We can use this every day to improve our lives. We live in a world of infinite opportunity to create abundance.
  • Practice Happiness and Vibrate Higher Creator vs Victim Mentality, Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset, Neuroplasticity, Positive Psychology (connecting, meditation, gratitude, compassion, focus, setting intention)
  • Power Language: You are What you Think and Say Our thoughts are magnetic. We are not victims, we are co-creators. We can visualize for others, hold a space for them. Everything you have or don’t have is a result of what you thought. Get the universe to shift!

    Amazing stuff, huh?!

    After the last lecture today, I ventured to the exhibition hall one final time because my gut had been telling me all weekend that I needed more amethyst. I went to a booth I had passed earlier because they had chunks of it reasonably priced. Obsidian, green aventurine, and moonstone also caught my eye. I picked my stones carefully and lovingly. Apparently, the vendor took note of this and as I was inspecting, he chose a decorative om (with a $25 price tag) for me to take home free a charge. He felt my energy and knew I would appreciate it, he said. I did. I absolutely did.

    What an experience!

    And what beautiful beginnings! This time, I will stay on this journey. It will be grand and the world will be better because of it. I am going to be the change.

    Message me if you would like more information on the speakers and presenters from this weekend. Also, follow me on Pinterest as I gather more ascension, meditation, crystal healing, chakra balancing, and yoga resources.

    Blessings!

    Whole lotta goodness!

    I have made an observation about my lovely neighborhood, one that may make it seem as though the people here are pretentious, but it is a noticeable one regardless. Everyone here is fit!

    I tell you, if I had a muffin top or more arm flab, I would stand out remarkably. Broadway brights or Vegas neons may as well point at me if I were to allow myself to put on some pounds. Men and women, young and old, all the picture of amazing health. Honest, even our more senior residents look fantastic! They are out there running circles with the fresh-out-of-college bunch. I have to say I kinda love it. It will definitely keep me motivated to stay in shape.

    I am back to trying a whole foods, plant-based diet. I look back on the last time I stuck to it and remember feeling oh-so-great. I slept well, I had an abundance of energy, my skin was clear, my hair was perfect, I could power through all my workouts with ease, and my body was bangin’. I want that again. I have been slacking for far too long, giving myself too much of a “break”, a break that only led to me not looking nor feeling my best.

    No more.

    There are now beautiful fruits and veggies in my fridge and freezer, nuts and whole grain breads and pastas in my pantry, a brand new water filter on the kitchen faucet, and determination swimming all throughout my body.

    Chipotle is still a must, although I will start forgoing the flour tortilla (maybe). And the one thing I cannot quit, the one thing I will allow myself to indulge in… is BEER. Good beer, I assure you, and not too frequently, I promise.

    This is for me, and as always, #fortheanimals.

    Love and health to you all!

    Pay up.

    I have been thinking, as I tend to do at the most inopportune times, I have been thinking about breakups. It seems as though when breakups happen, the primary focus is usually diverted to the dumpee. That person, the blindsided one, the heartbroken one, the one who is hurting. The articles written, the advice that is out for the taking, the demonstrations of sympathy – they are directed at that individual.

    What about those who do the “dumping”? What an awful term, by the way. I don’t feel that I dumped him, like a load of waste just needing to be taken out. I mentioned before, I love the fella. I want to remain his friend. Maybe some people do get rid of trash when they break up, but that is not what is happening here, I assure you. Can we call this something else?

    At any rate, I am the one who terminated the relationship. How about that as a title: The Terminator? I am the bad guy, right? The heartless one. The one who gave up. The one who will go about her life and simply move on. That’s not so, believe me. Although I know I did what is best, it sucks to know that I have hurt him. I carry a certain guilt with me regarding the whole situation. I have caused sorrow. Dammit. I also carry a degree of dread. I dread that eventually, we will not be friends. He will banish me from his life permanently, and then will certainly deserve to be called a dumpee.

    Que vida esta.

    I owe it to myself to be happy, though. I truly believe that. I am decent enough of a human being to deserve happiness, I think. More importantly, I hold this role of being what matters most to Arturo and Imelda. Did you know they are so selfless in their position as parents, that they put my happiness – and that of my brother – before their own? They are such wonderful people and they deserve to live happily, more so than I do. But, if their happiness depends on mine, then, fuck – I have no choice but to be happy. For them if anything else.

    It’s as simple as that.

    Be happy, Daisy. And do not feel guilty about it. It is owed.

    Oh my gosh, my name is so pretty. Even when it is typed out. Daisy. Yet another thing to thank my Mom for! 

    I will tell you what is making me happy at the moment. On Friday, I celebrated three whole years as a vegan. Woot woot. That is approximately 600 animal lives I have saved through my diet alone. I have also indirectly consumed about 657,000 less gallons of water than the average person on the average American diet (raising animals for food requires a ridiculous amount of water). I wish I could easily look up how many lives I have spared by not wearing leather nor wool, and also by not using products containing animal ingredients nor that have been tested on animals. It doesn’t matter. However great or small the numbers are, the lives are precious all the same.

    Y’all. This feels so good. I love animals with all my heart, I am entirely devoted to them, and I refuse to take my love for them lightly. They are worth living this lifestyle that can be pretty darn inconvenient at times, not gonna lie. I also adore the planet that I live on, twisted as it may be at times, it is still a lovely place that deserves to be mended and preserved.

    I should share that I have three friends who have themselves made positive changes recently. Kay has started to make a conscientious effort to eat as little meat as possible, Disa is mostly vegetarian now, and Lindsey has gone vegan. What?! The best part? All three credit me as being their inspiration! I am so proud!

    Oh, but as much as food animals tug my heartstrings, I still have plenty of love and time for animals in the entertainment industry, and companion animals as well.

    Earlier this month, I protested Ringling Brothers circus yet again, for the third straight year. It is absolutely necessary to educate the public about the abuse those animals must endure, and we have made gains for them in recent years (Ringling elephants and SeaWorld orcas: we did it!). The success we have obtained only motivates me to keep going. Although I am heckled, what I put up with cannot begin to compare to what animals everywhere undergo simply for being animals. How can I not do it?

    Now that the circus has left town, I am hoping to become more involved with the Texas Humane Legislation Network. I reached out to them last week and in the application to join, they ask about previous volunteer experience. Mine is as follows, dating back to 2009*:

    Looks good, right? I hope they have positions open and that I hear from them soon. I am ready for a new challenge! For the animals!

    In closing, I have a recommendation for anyone going through a breakup: Regardless of which side of the breakup you find yourself on, do what makes you happy, do what makes you proud, do what fulfills you. The breakup will seem trivial in the scheme of everything you do with your time and your abilities. If you find yourself in a doomed relationship, let it go. Why give it the energy that you could instead be using towards your purpose in life? You could be changing the world, even if you do so indirectly. You being happy will benefit all, it will bring positivity. Fucking get to it already! The world needs you!

    Our time is short. Do not let it go to waste. Do not spend it in unhappiness.

    I bet you deserve better. I bet you owe it. Pay up.

    *I remain active only in the last three, but all these organizations merit support. Please check them out!

     

    Inspiration Station

    Making like Gaston, because the wheels in my head have been turning.

    As far as work goes – let’s be real – I will likely stay in Oncology and have to move downstairs away from the people I adore so much. I am not allowing myself to be bummed about it, though, because realistically, the move will not be happening for a few months anyhow. There is still time to be spent with my crew – I just have to make it count and enjoy their company and camaraderie while I can. Once the move does happen, we will be forced to somehow spend time together outside of work, something that I am not opposed to at all. All will be well, without a doubt, whether I am in Cardiology or not.

    There is no denying that one of the reasons I was so enthusiastic and pumped (pun intended) to join Cardiology was because it would have been an entirely different field, and I enjoy the challenge of learning something completely new. Well, why not simply learn as much about Oncology as I possibly can? How can I motivate myself to do this? What exactly should my goal be?

    Answer: Get my license (as I was already planning to do) and become a Technician Specialist in Oncology.

    The process will be long (a year of work) and arduous (hours and hours of continuing education, submission of case studies, a brutal exam to pass, and much more), but I want to do this. As it currently stands, there are only fifteen Oncology members in the country! That’s it. It goes to show that this is not a task that many would uptake, it is no easy venture. This, of course, only makes me want to do it more. Just as it was when I decided to train to run a marathon, the thought of all the work ahead of me and the amount of dedication required actually thrills me. It motivates me!

    I also received extra motivation from OncoDoc. On Friday, he and I were the only ones who remained on a slow afternoon, waiting for a few of our patients to be picked up and taken home. He noticed that I was researching the requirements to become specialized, seemed pleased with the idea, and let me know that he would help me in any way he could. Awesome. I will take all the help I can get!

    Now, unfortunately, I cannot start the application process until October. In the meantime, however, I am taking online courses in Oncology, courses offered through the company that I work for. The oncologist presenting the courses is based in New York – howdy, by the way, I’m in Texas – but includes his LinkedIn information in his webinars. I immediately asked to connect and he thankfully accepted. Aaawww, yeah. Something else to do between now and October: make connections, build a network of possible mentors, know people with influence. Let’s get things going!

    I must admit, I sometimes focus so much on my personal growth that I neglect my professional life. None of that anymore. I am making things happen this year and next. And I am excited! As always, stay tuned!

    ____________________

    Oh, but personal growth and fulfillment matter so much to me!

    Things are going quite well in that aspect of life. Sometimes I feel that I cannot find inspiration, but really, it is everywhere if we only make the effort to find it. There are also times that it is waved right in our faces, clear as can be, making matters pleasantly straightforward. In the last month or so, I was fortunate enough to attend two events that served as obvious incentives to grow and make the most of my time, and my life.

    The first occurred late in March. One of my dear coworkers – I will call her Kay – invited me to see and listen to the incredible Jane Goodall speak at the University of Arlington. What can I say about Jane? No amount of eloquent words can suffice in describing what an extraordinary human being the woman is. She is in her eighties and continues to travel the world, advocating not only for her beloved chimpanzees, but ALL animals, nature, and the environment.

    I was especially pleased, though, because Jane devoted a part of her lecture to speak on behalf of the animals that tug my heartstrings the most: “food” animals. I preemptively cheered as soon as I realized that she was turning the focus of her speech to the animals raised to be consumed as food. She spoke briefly about them, but was concise and said everything that needed to be said. I cheered, I applauded, I wanted to thank her for raising awareness and encouraging others to be compassionate and mindful. Luckily, after the lecture, we were able to meet Jane and get her autograph. All I was able to say to her was all that I wanted to say to her:

    “Thank you.” 

    It was a lovely experience, one that left me filled with joy and a strong desire to continue my pursuit of making life better for animals. She’s done it decade after decade; I would love to do the same.

    How?

    That question was answered during the second inspiring event, which happened less than two weeks ago. Early in the week, I received a message from the gentleman who was once the director of The Humane League’s Dallas office. This is the same organization that I ran my marathon for, raising over $1,000 in doing so. The group was hosting a gala in downtown Dallas in celebration of their ten-year anniversary. I never bought a ticket to attend, but was told that I would be placed on the guest list for the gala anyhow. No ticket required due to all that I did as a member of Team Humane. Isn’t that great? I was so flattered that they thought of little ol’ me and appreciated my efforts, I immediately agreed to go, and became all sorts of stupid-excited.

    The night was delightful.

    Delicious vegan food was served, along with local craft beer. There was a silent auction, music, and my favorite… dessert! I recognized many faces in the crowd, including Fashion Veggie and Cykochik, both wonderful local ladies making an impact by advocating for vegan/cruelty-free fashion. At the end of the evening, we watched a presentation highlighting all the accomplishments The Humane League has made locally and nationwide. They are putting up an aggressive, successful fight and I am overwhelmingly proud to have contributed to their efforts by raising funds for them.

    The best part, though? Simply being in a room full of people who are not only vegan, but are so active in their efforts to help our fellow earthlings. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone in my views and my desires to end animal cruelty. There is a vibrant community of compassionate souls right here in my hometown! And guess what: I can be one of them!

    That very night I decided that raising money is not enough; I have to get out there, protest, leaflet, make phone calls, march, and whatever else it takes. It is all I want to do. It is where I will find fulfillment. It will give my life more meaning than what it already has and – cliche, cliche – I will grow as a person. I may never be as successful as Jane Goodall, but every little bit helps. It truly does, I am confident of it.

    ___________________

    I suppose I have my work cut out for me, but I would not have things any other way. Life is short, I have drive, there are improvements to be made. Once again, I just hope I can maintain my focus. I should be able to. I am constantly surrounded by sweet, furry faces that can serve as reminders of why I do what I do, and I have wonderful friends and family who consistently encourage me and wish me the best.

    What more do I need?   ❤

    Saturday, Saturday

    Ah, a Saturday without any plans. How perfect considering that the next few weekends will be hectic with concerts, festivals, birthday parties, and weddings to attend. And what if my Stars continue their quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup? Not complaining, but there is no denying that I needed a day like today.

    I woke up before 7 this morning to take my bicycle out for its first ride. I have had Lucifee (that’s what I named my bicycle because she’s red and black, which made me think of the devil, which made me think Lucifer, which made me think of the cat from Cinderella, whom Gus Gus referred to as Lucifee) for nine months now, but with marathon training last year, I could not expend energy nor workouts on anything but running. Then it was cold so I said, “Fuck it, that can wait.” I hate winter.

    Anyhow, being a runner, I know how quickly the day warms up once the sun is shining high and bright, and also how uncomfortable that can be for someone in the midst of a lengthy cardio session. I decided last night to start my trek early because if this first ride was miserable in any way, the chances of me sticking to cycling would not be great.

    I chose to take my well-known running route, the one that takes me through the busy intersection just north of my apartment, down the road, through a couple parks, and to the downtown train station that I actually frequent quite a bit. It’s five miles there, five miles back. This seemed like a reasonable distance for my first tour. I walked Canelo Dog, posted yet another ridiculous Snap, ate a banana, grabbed my water bottle, strapped my phone into the nifty holder I bought, got my noggin secured in my helmet, and off I went.

    I pwned it.

    Additional tours will definitely be happening! What’s even more exciting is that my friend Slow J, an amazing cyclist who 1) works at a popular local bike shop, 2) is a certified spin instructor, and 3) actually leads group rides, says that she will join me on future rides! She’s a badass. If she wasn’t such a good friend, I would be intimidated to have her pedaling along with me, but I know she will be patient, likely give me useful pointers, and be the best company I could ask for. I am stoked.

    I really think that I will stick to this. Runs will still happen, of course, but this cycling business is pretty fun. I am glad I got out and rode today. I was so happy with myself that shortly after I was done riding, I shared news of my success on Facebook. I immediately received two notifications:

    Screenshot_2016-04-23-09-53-19-2-1-1

    I screenshot like a mofo.

    Is my Mom not the most adorable thing? She is so precious, so proud of every little thing I do, whether it is truly relevant or utterly common. She is the main reason I do not deactivate my Facebook account. I did so a few years ago and she just about freaked out and told me that I would just have to text her every photograph I took and every thought I had. I love her…

    So! the rest of today was simply relaxing. The fella took me to one of my favorite places in Dallas, Reverie Bakeshop. It is 100% vegan and has yet to disappoint me with any of its offerings. Today, I walked out with two sausage kolaches, a cinnamon roll, a chocolate donut, and a slice of lemon cheesecake. I rode ten miles today, folks. I deserve all those calories and carbs! No shame in my game.

    After the feast, I relaxed a little in my hammock, read for a few, listened to music, and finally took a nap. I woke up and was motivated to make some moves. SE, my supervisor and friend that I mentioned in my previous entry, has been getting onto me about taking my State Boards and finally getting my license. She even downloaded and printed the application for me as a reminder to get it done. This afternoon, I reviewed what documents I need to turn in, downloaded the material I need to study, requested my college transcript, and registered with the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. I texted her to let her know that I have initiated the process. She seemed pleased, for certain.

    I cannot say enough about SE and how happy I am that she’s my supervisor. I can vent to her about anything and fully trust her. Initially, when I first started my job, I only went to her with work-related questions and concerns. Over time, however, I started sharing more personal anecdotes with her and we quickly became friends. She’s older than I am, which doesn’t make her any less fabulous, but it does make her wiser, so I value all the advice she has to give me. It makes me sad that because our hospital is growing, I will soon be moving to the first floor of our building with our Oncology department, all while SE stays on the second floor that we currently occupy. I won’t be able to go to her all the time as I do now. Not cool.

    Maybe I should really consider the possibility of working with CardioDoc…

    You see, when CardioDoc praised me last week, I not-so-surprisingly told SE about it almost instantly. I had to. Especially because the week before she left, she made sure to prepare me to take her place. Halfway through my week of working with him, she even messaged me to make sure everything was going well. She’s just thoughtful like that, she looks out for me. How could I not share the good news with her when she absolutely wished for and contributed to my success?

    Here’s the best part: when she returned to work on Monday, SE went to CardioDoc and asked him about me. His response? He wishes he could clone me. Well, shit. It does not get much better than that! Those are the best compliments I have received from a doctor in a while, quite honestly. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to work with him? Right?

    Meh. We shall see. I still dig Oncology, after all.

    I’ll wrap things up with yet another darling message from Mom, this one made in response to me sharing all the awesome things CardioDoc said about me. Bear with me, please. Mother’s Day is around the corner and she is wonderful so I feel that this is justified:

    Screenshot_2016-04-22-16-51-34-1

    I get my Spanish skillz from my momma.

    So what did she say? Good for you, my daughter! That says a lot about you, how dedicated you are to your job, and your love for the little animals. Keep it up and don’t ever change! Love you!

    Gaaaaaaaah. Whatever you say, Mom. ❤