Valentine’s Day Six Years Later|Forgiveness

I came across the first blog post I wrote for this blog (Life Must Moving On-2012) while cleaning up a few blog posts. Last year I celebrated six years with WordPress and little by little this blog post was pushed in a dark corner of my blog’s filing cabinet not seen daylight for five years. A dark place really for a post full of hurt and pain. Moving on from any relationship is hard, let alone a dark sinister one filled with violence. Dating violence, domestic violence, and any form of violence have a lasting impact on someone’s life for years. Sometimes it takes a long time to fully heal from the damage someone inflicts upon you.

In the past few years, I have started to tell bits and pieces of my story, a story when played out in spoken words has an impact I never expected. See some of us who have been through it really don’t talk about it, instead choose to move forward to what the future holds for us and one day when we have an unguarded moment, we talk. I find myself only talking when I am confronted with it from another person’s life story I either read, heard or saw first hand. All the while keeping from deflecting my experiences on to the other person. It takes a lot of strength to not fall apart when helping a fellow person who is going through abuse. This strength could only come from forgiveness of my own experience.

It does take a lot to forgive someone who has done an unspeakable thing to you. Especially when they have moved on with their lives knowing well what they had done. Yet, in order for anyone to move on, you do have to forgive the person, not say it never happened, but more for yourself to move on into the future you want for yourself. By allowing forgiveness to lead you to the person(s) who would never dream of hurting you like the other person did, you start the process of healing fully.

For me, it took a long road to fully heal and to finally say I forgive them fully. It took a trip to Tanzania with Northwest University/Convoy of Hope, two positions in biotech, going back to school to finish what I started before them, finding the real true friends and family who would walk every painful step towards healing. In six years I have rebuilt my life, what it took one person to destroy in two years. In those six years, Jesus and many people along the road came through many times to get me to where I am today. Most of all to the men I dated after who even when the relationship did not work out, taught me love does not destroy another person but strengthens them to a better person than before.

Never again will I justify the scars just because I loved the person holding the knife. - Steve Maraboli

Valentine’s day is about love, but for some, the day is about love through forgiveness of one’s self and forgiveness for another person’s false love. To me, Valentine’s day is about freeing myself from abuse disguising as love, and the ultimate act of love, forgiveness.

I have said this countless time to people before,

I was a victim, then a survivor, now I am thriving!

I no longer am a victim to the pain of someone’s actions long ago anymore!

Avoid The Porch Pirates This Holiday Season

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

It’s the holidays and you know what that means? Presents go missing off the porch or even under the tree or whatever you put presents under! In the past you could have a package dropped off on the porch without a problem, but those days are long gone!

Porch Pirates or as you can call them……thieves have shown up in neighborhoods across the country!

Nothing can ruin the holiday cheer like a person walking up to your house and steal in broad daylight something from you. Here in the Seattle area there has been an increase of packages missing, outdoor objects disappearing, car and home break-ins, that have caused many neighbors to start installing security cameras and the Ring doorbell to deter or catch these people in the act.

Still, there are simple things to do to protect those packages during the holidays and year round.

1. Get a P.O. Box
It is a federal crime to steal someone else’s mail or packages. BUT, it has not stopped people! A few years ago I signed up for a P.O. Box at the local post office after mail started disappearing out of the street mailbox. Anything deemed to be important (bills, banking, birthday cards, etc.) is sent to the P.O.Box and anything not important (advertisements, catalogs, etc.) goes to the street mailbox. Any packages sent to the P.O. Box will be held securely in a locked box and the key along with the notification will be put in your P.O. Box for you. Anything that is too big would be held securely with a notification to pick it up put into the box as well.

2. Send It To Work
Some employers allow employees to send their packages to their work’s address. My current employer gives this option to all employees to send their personal packages (things consider valuable or health related) to the shipping receiving department. This option is only secure as the environment you work in. 

3. Amazon Lockers, Amazon Hub & BoxLock
Amazon Locker is a self-service parcel delivery service offered by online retailer Amazon. Amazon customers can select any Locker location as their delivery address, and retrieve their orders at that location by entering a unique pick-up code on the Locker touch screen. However, certain third-party sellers on Amazon may not be able to ship to an Amazon Locker, due to their use of other shipping services such as FedEx or UPS that require a signature. Amazon Hub is a delivery locker for apartment lobbies. The delivery locker accepts packages from all carriers (FedEx or UPS).

The BoxLock is a new app-based lock connects with delivery companies designed to prevent theft of delivery packages left by the front door. In addition to the anti-theft aspect, packages are protected from bad weather. When couriers get to your house, they scan the package for their system (they all use handheld mobile scanners) and then scan the label with the BoxLock. Once the label is approved by the lock, it opens and allows the driver to leave the package inside. After you get a notification of delivery.

4. UPS Stores
If you know the carrier is UPS, you can have it held at the UPS store location for pick up. Customers receive a notification telling them their package is ready for pickup at any of their 9,000 store locations.

5. Signature Required
By having a signature required, shippers cannot leave the package without a signature from you. UPSP recommends this for those who will not be able to receive the package at a certain location (home).

Or get a whole new security system

 Ring Doorbell System & Google’s Nest System
I have seen recent notifications on Facebook about neighbors sharing neighborhood watch videos from their Ring doorbell. If it was not for one said neighbor I may not have known there was a suspicious man walking up to people’s houses when no one was home on our block! The same goes for Google’s Nest system. I friend of mine recently installed on for her home and she has a peace of mind now after her house was broken into. I know there will be a security system in my stocking this year!

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Ring Doorbell

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Google Nest Doorbell

With these simple ways of protecting against package thievery from ruining the holiday cheer, you will have a merrier holiday season!

 

Disclosure: This post does not contain affiliate links or paid advertisement for the products mentioned above. I do not make a commission on any of the above products.  All opinion are my own!

Please Mind The Gap Between Posts|An Update

“Please mind the gap between the platform and the train.” London Underground

After a very long time silent, I am finally ready to break the silence. Little did I know back in January, this would be a long break and in the silence, I would be taking a much-needed breather to get through the tough months ahead. First of all, I want to say thank you all for hanging in there during this time, secondly, grab a cup of tea and lets get started!

Blogging has changed so much since I first started. Yet it is I who have changed along the way. I began writing A Biotechie’s Life back in 2012 as a twenty-something figuring out how to be an adult and starting out in biotechnology. So much of my life has changed since then. I’ve grown up all over again these past months on this long break and writing this post I can say the future looks bright. As I write this, I’m pondering the future of this blog, and it is very clear to me my time on this site is far from finished.

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I started this blog in my early twenties and now I’m in my thirties. Back then in 2012, it was about moving on from a relationship gone very wrong. Back then the blog was an outlet for healing, now seven years later, this blog has turned into posts about places been, transitions gone through, and the constant journey life keeps taking me on. Mostly an online diary for you my readers, family, and friends who read about this girl’s life. One other thing to make clear, this blog is and will remain a hobby of mine.

Why did I take a break from blogging?
I’ve given a reason back in January as to taking this break because I was feeling very burned out over the course of the previous year (2017). But unbeknown to myself, I needed to start making myself and my health a priority. The stress of finishing college and stress, in general, was the culprit for all the health issues arising over the past two years. Now I am 99.9% sure this is the reason why I started to burn out fast.

Another reason for the blogging break is the constant facade of being a perfect blogger. I have noticed this past year most bloggers I follow have been addressing this issue and why it is starting to take a toll on them. Blogger Molly from Styling Miss Molly put eloquently in one of her posts.

Social media has an amazing way of bringing so many blessings and wonderful opportunities into our lives, but there is a side to it that not many people address- the pressure, the comparison game, the stress and anxiety, the keep going mentality, the constant desire to be perfect and always feeling a need to be plugged-in.

Really needed to be more present in my life as it was happening, and not compare myself to others. My life is far from perfect, and I like it that way! Since I last posted, I feel rejuvenated, motivated, and ready for what comes next in life. Taking a step back allowed me to rediscover who I am, find what where I truly am passionate about. For once I have did not have to worry about blogging and could be 100% living in the moment.

In the past few months, I have…..

Graduated from Northwest University with my bachelor’s degree in biology after three years of study. I won’t lie, the last three years have been a struggle to push through to see this dream of mine realized. With life and completing goals, some unexpected roadblocks happen, but each one makes you stronger than before. Through some of the disappointments of not getting the internship, not receiving the grade you wanted even after working so hard for it and facing opposition from others, I received my degree. A degree I am very proud of!

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Found myself in beautiful places around Washington. This past summer I had the opportunity to go hiking in some of the most beautiful natural places in the Pacific Northwest. Through the experience, I realized how long it has been since I felt connected with nature and how my soul just longed to be in the middle of nowhere. Standing atop a peak looking out into the horizon reminds one there are always new beginnings with every sunset and sunrise. The phrase “the mountains are calling, I must go” has more meaning on top of a mountain.

I went back to my agricultural roots. Been a long time since I have walked down rows of plants growing the food we eat. I left just as most who grow up with a farming background to seek our fortunes in career fields promising stability of a paycheck. I no longer rely on grocery stores and farmer’s markets for all my produce, but grow more of it at home. Still, I found myself going back to the land or as Wendel Berry said “reconnecting with the land.” In a reflection of being in the moment talking with farmers, growers, producers, and agricultural scientists, I have been disconnected to the land for so long, and now it is time I reconnect back again. This does not mean only buy organic produce, it means supporting all who grow and produce the food we consume. It means Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and those who commit to sustainable agricultural methods.

Gave the blog a refresh. You may have noticed something different about the blog and some of the content as well. I have done a revamp of the blog including a whole new theme! After reviewing all of the posts from 2012-to the present, the blog needed an overhaul and updated to meet legal requirements. There are older posts now archived that are no longer relevant today, while some (mostly hiking or travel) have been updated.

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Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

What is coming next?

Moving on to a new position in a biotech company or organization. This has been a long-awaited moment, and I am excited to see what comes next for me in this new chapter of my career.

Most of all, what is coming next is a new chapter in life, and the best is yet to come!

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*For the next two months I will be recounting all the places been over the summer. stay tuned!*

Sweaty Hike Through Saint Edwards State Park

Seminary Building

Boy was it hot on the day I decided to go take an urban hike through Saint Edwards State Park! This solo adventure started off with me asking myself is this worth getting sweaty? Yes!

I started out towards the beach (Lake Washington) for a glimpse of the lake from a different angle. I started off on the Perimeter trail, but somehow found myself on the Seminary trail which lead to the beach. The beach was peaceful with the water lapping at the shore, and a few people where swimming in the lake as Kenmore Air float planes came flying overhead.

Peek of Lake Washington

After taking in the view of the lake I headed towards the Orchard Loop. The trail that connects to Orchard Loop trail ended up being the part of the hike that felt like it was going to kill me! South Canyon trail ended up being one of those challenging trails because I had to hike it all uphill!! Here I was huffing, puffing, and sweating all the way to the connection for the loop trail. I now know for future hikes to go down this trail instead of up it. Once on the Orchard Loop trail, it was all easy, and I regained my breath. Unfortunately the “orchard” was nowhere to be found, or I miss something along the trail.  I must have because there was not an orchard to be found as I made the whole loop again. Very disappointed after huffing and puffing my way to it.

After finding my way back to where the seminary buildings are, I decided to find the famous Grotto seen in wedding pictures. Ha! I ended up reading the map wrong! I thought the Grotto trail lead to the Grotto, but nope. Apparently it by passes it from the bottom of the hill instead (palm to face). I hiked all the way back down to the lake, and then had to take Seminary trail back up!

Stone Steps On Trail

Eventually I found a map with the “you are here” circle to finally be steered in the correct direction for the Grotto. Dear reader, I made it harder than it should have been. The Perimeter trail going towards the playground in a corner of the field is where the entrance to the trail leading to the Grotto starts.

Behind Look of The Grotto

Once there I really found it peaceful and secluded. A little slice of magic in the middle of the woods. I joked on Instagram I had found the place where I was getting married….when the time comes….when I find someone first…..ok then.

Selfie with The Grotto

The structure is a small stone altar with stone steps and a path leading up to it. Stone walls border around the area to make it look like small outdoor church/sanctuary. A very beautiful spot for a small intimate wedding.

The Grotto

Leading Up To The Grotto

After hiking lost all around the area, I decided it was time to head back home and get out of the heat. While walking back to the car, I decided to check out around the Seminary building.

Seminary Building From The Lawn

Entrance To The Seminary Building

There is something about old church buildings and how they speak volumes without making a sound. Lots of stories being told in these hollow halls of this building, and judging by the land action notice sign, it seems the place will have a few more to share in the coming years.

Overall I hiked a total of 5.5 miles. Not bad for an urban hike.

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Deception Pass State Park

For the longest time I have been wanting to visit Deception Pass and the bridge that keeps showing up on my news feed over the past couple of months. Over one holiday weekend Dad and I loaded up the truck with our fishing gear and headed for Deception Pass Park’s Cranberry Lake for some fishing. Along the way we stopped to take in the sight that is Deception Pass Bridge.

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On a Friday morning we loaded up the truck with fishing gear and drove an hour and a half up to Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey  Island side to Cranberry Lake. Once there we were greeted by a serene looking lake, and quietness of an early morning fishing spot. The side we ended up on was the east side of Cranberry lake near the entrance to the park’s campground. A half an hour into fishing I had caught my first fish, a medium size striped bass. For some weird reason I was more tickled about catching it than any other fish caught the whole day. Around 8:30am the Navy decided it was time for some training with the F-18 Hornets (Navel Air Base Whidbey is nearby). At one point if you were not awake already, you would have been once one turned on its after burner and then a sonic boom would jolt you awake. After awhile you just became use to the sound roaring over head as they were doing maneuvers over the lake. Later in the morning we ended up with a medium-sized catfish and a very small striped bass which sadly had to be released back into the lake.

 

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Stripped Bass

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Catfish

After a while I started catching large clumps of water weeds instead of fish. A true disappointment when you think there is a fish on the end of the line giving a fight.

After four hours of fishing we decided it was time to go when more people started showing up and crowding the dock. On the way back home we stopped at the Deception Pass Bridge Park to view the bridge by the same name. This bridge when seen in the flesh is quite a marvel of engineering, and raw beauty nature surrounding the structure in breath-taking. Being on the side of the bridge is a little nerve-wracking when cars are speeding past you close to the narrow strip of concrete you are standing on. But the view was worth the nerve-wracking, and I would never change that feeling.

 

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View Below The Bridge

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Vew From the Bridge

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The water below was a light turquoise color close to the waters around Hawaiian Islands during a rain storm and could see the swirling currents in the channel below. At one point a motor boat was gunning the engine into full throttle to get through the channel to the other side. I have heard in the past people have become stick in these strong currents coming off the Strait of Juan de Fuca into Skagit Bay.

 

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Skagit Bay w/ Strawberry Island

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Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific Ocean

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There were plenty of trails to hike down to the beaches along the channel, but I would like to save those for another time when I can devote a whole day to it. I believe another visit will be in store soon, and hopefully it will be on a sunny warm day. Driving back along highway 20, there were two lakes looking very tempting to fish. Pass Lake and Campbell Lake are the next lakes to tryout in the near future.

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North Beach Below

Now I can check this off the bucket list, and hopefully will have the chance to take out-of-state visitors to this wonderful gem close to the San Juan Islands. Maybe I will see them too. Who knows?

Seattle Rock n’Roll Half Marathon

I did it! I finished my first half marathon (13.1 miles)!

As another fellow blogger at the same event said“It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fun, but yes, I finished.” I will not lie, it was not pretty! My finished time was forty minutes behind my expected time, but I finished and I’m proud of it.

The weather was….yucks. An overcast day with light rain showers through the whole race course. I was happy for once for the Battery St and I-90 express tunnels. A disappointment after hearing past Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathons had been clear sunny warm days.

The last two miles were the worst because at this point there was a stabbing pain in my left leg, and I thought at this point I had a large blister forming on my right bottom foot. Took a whole lot of praying for strength to get me over the finish line. The last 1/2 mile into the finish I had mixed emotion of pain, joy, and tears running down my face as I went over the line. I made it!

The bands were great along the course, and liked the Asian drum line band when heading down Rainer Ave. I have never been down in this part of Seattle before, and seeing it for the first time it looked like another city.

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Half Marathon Course

In the end the half marathon was an experience I will not forget, and I am glad to have finished it. I would have loved to done this in better weather, and maybe I will.

I imagine this is how I will feel after I complete mine :p:
So true now!!