Fun in the (Not) Sun

So as many of you know, I went to Santa Cruz yesterday to visit one of my best friends, Susette. I have not spent any time with her in a while because she lives far and has lots of school while I have had my unreliable health schedule.

I started on my way to Santa Cruz at about 8:30AM, a little later than I had planned on because my amazing cat decided that he was mad at me and peed on a pile of shirts in my room. I actually put on a shirt before I realized that it was not wet due to the fact that I had just taken a shower. I went to smell the wet patch on my shirt and was immediately regretting my decision to wear one of my favorite tank tops (I literally have probably 10 of them in different colors) and had to take it off and put it in the sink. I just closed my door and shunned Panda and he knew I was upset because he was sitting under the kitchen table and not trying to cuddle with me. I was lucky enough that there was absolutely no traffic on the way up to Santa Cruz and made it there in good time.

Susette and I had already planned on going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium because she wanted to take me to do something and not have a boring trip. I knew that we always make things fun no matter what, but I was so excited to go to the aquarium- I don’t recall ever going to this one. She knows how into animals that I am and it turns out that she could spend all day looking at the aquarium. We managed to go through it in like two hours, I guess you could say that I really go with a purpose and wanted to get through the whole aquarium. My favorite part was seeing the sea otters, they are so cute and playful, it was too bad that they moved so fast that I found it hard to get a good picture of them. Susette’s favorite part was seeing all of the jellyfish, they are really majestic and graceful, slow, just interesting creatures. I found it so cool that I could still name quite a few of the fish and animals even after all of this time and not having Animal Planet to watch all day, besides being in the hospital. I think another part of the fun of the aquarium was when Susette and I went outside to go look at the wildlife and saw this lady who was carrying a baby in a baby carrier hanging off her stomach. The baby was strapped into what made her look like a seal or an ugly, brown mermaid. I was laughing so hard, it was not cute at all, not to mention that it did not look like the most comfortable thing for the little kid to be carried in.

After our tour through the aquarium, Susette and I headed to Bubba Gumps for some lunch because it is very well known and I had never been. We got clam chowder (which was amazing!) and I got a burger with mashed potatoes and only managed to eat like two bites out of it because I am never hungry until later in the day. Susette was able to eat all of her food while I looked like one of the girls who only eats a small salad for lunch, which is not usual for me. At least she understood that I clearly was not trying to impress anyone by eating nothing, I actually prefer to show off by eating like a champ. I never managed to get my appetite quite back to what it was my senior year.

We drove back to Susette’s apartment and talked for maybe two hours about what we have been doing and life in general. It was so awesome to be able to vent but not complain to each other, and we kind of get each other. I was also glad that I was able to finally see her, as when I found out my bad news less than a week ago, she had literally packed her bags to come back to Sac to see me. Right before she would have left, I told her that I was going to go get my tattoo done so that I would not be in town if she were to come down, and we just managed to get a perfect schedule for once for us to see each other when we did not have any plans. Oh, and I FINALLY got to meet her boyfriend! We have always had conflicting schedules so I was not able to see him any other time. I have to say that I do approve of him, he is smart and really nice. I got to meet his roommates when Susette and I went over to his place and they were all cool, chill people who actually did not get on my nerves, even after a packed day full of walking. We ended up watching a horrible, horrible “scary” movie that was more about abuse than about anything supernatural, and that put a bad taste in our mouths so we put on “Sharknado”. It was so bad that everyone was critiquing it the whole time and we were laughing so much because of how cheesy it was. It had some parts of the movie that were totally unexpected, but most of it was so obvious that we could not help but joke around about it. That put us in such a better mood, and we got to leave happy. It was about 10PM when Susette and I left, because I was planning on going to DVC the next morning and she had to study and go to school later in the day. I did not end up going to DVC because I was just pooped and needed to get back home to relax. It was such a fun trip with Susette, we got to catch up and talk about anything and everything (even in the morning when I had just woken up) and we will be hanging out again very soon!

I got back to my house by 12PM, ate, watched a little bit of TV, and then took a nap at around 2PM until 5. That shows just how tired I really was, I mean I did have a packed day yesterday and I did a lot of driving.

I guess now I will get into some of the discussion part of my writing! So I would just like to say that I am very happy with my spirituality. Am I religious, no, but I do have my own thoughts about what happens after death and I like to pick and choose different things to believe in. I believe that everyone is entitled to believe in what they choose as long as it does not hurt anyone else. If you believe in God, Allah, Buddha, etc, ok. If not, ok. Nothing is going to convince anyone one way or the other. I guess what I love so much about religion and spirituality, is that it is so unknown and there is no proof one way or the other. I think that is one of life’s great mysteries that is one that should never be solved, people should have some sort of hope one way or another of what lies beyond. I DO appreciate it when people say that they pray for me, hope for me, wish for me, anything positive that kind of shows that they do care about me and think about me. I guess that is just my two cents on that subject that I had to get across, I know that everyone has differing opinions about this, but this is mine.

I think I need to discuss how I feel about my health a little bit. Many people are wondering how I am able to stay positive throughout all of the hardships that I have faced and that I am able to put a smile on my face even though I am facing my own mortality. Well, I guess for me it is pretty simple. There is no point in making myself a “victim”. That is not what I have ever been about. I do not want the negative connotation of complaining about everything that has gone wrong in my life when it will not solve a single thing. Complaining really does not get anyone far in life. It creates distance between people and makes a negative environment for everyone around. Seriously, I just cannot stand it when people complain about every single little thing that has not gone their way in life and it just drives me crazy. I have someone who constantly talks about “bitching out” hotel employees on a regular basis and other stuff life that, seriously, it gets old very fast and it just makes me wonder if they will realize that it creates tension that is not needed and if they will ever get banned from complaining so much and being rude. But enough with that ranting, I will talk more about myself! Being that complaining and thinking negative thoughts will not get me anywhere, there is no point in dwelling on things that I cannot control. Being sad all the time will not make me get better- I believe that a positive attitude really goes a long way. Feeling sorry for myself will not make my health problems go away or make it easier for myself, my friends, or my family. Going on and doing everything in my power to do whatever I want to make myself happy (within reason!) is the way to be. I am not going to be the depressed couch potato and waste away when I am feeling physically okay. I am going to have as many awesome experiences as I can and live it up. There really is no negative side effect to that, if I get better then I have so many experiences to recall upon and if not, then I still got to experience life to a degree that other people do not get. This is why I take every opportunity to do cool things that have been offered to me, or at least try to, given that I have the energy to do so.

If anyone is wondering if I am truly happy or if it is just a mask that I put on, I truly am happy. I guess part of it is the side of me that is so stubborn and not willing to give in to anything. Some of it has to do with not thinking about all of the bad things in life. I also find things to joke about on a daily basis. If I can make light of everything that is going wrong, then other people should not take it so hard themselves. Just focus on the good and roll with it. Take the bad things in stride, adapt. As much as I hate change, I have had to adapt to my life in various ways. I will continue to adapt and just go with the flow as much as I can, even with as stubborn as I am.

I will leave you guys with some pictures of my trip!

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Oh, and I will give you my contact information again, just in case anyone has any questions, concerns, comments, or whatever.

Lauren McCullough

email: shashimi1992@yahoo.com

facebook: LaurenMccullough2

instagram: swimchicklauren

vine: swimchicklauren

twitter: swimchickLM

Yeah, I know that I have a lot of different places to get a hold of me, some days I am better at talking and getting back to people, others I am a hermit. Just an FYI! And if you want to pick up a few of my business cards/ stickers (well, I guess they aren’t business cards but awareness cards) then just let me know!

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