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How’s everyone spending their very first week of the very first month of the new year? I’ve been on a 4-day cleanse and It’s making me feel weird. I’m tired, hungry, grumpy, while also feeling really light, happy, and motivated. Is that normal? I’ve also managed to fit yoga into every day which is pretty cool. BUT, it’s only 6 days, so we’ll see how consistent I can be.

Today’s personal essay (which is late, sorry about that…life) is inspired by it being the very first week and very first month of a very new year. In my writing activity #3 post, I mentioned “10 Best Creative Writing Exercises” written by Mary Jaksch. The third writing prompt is titled “First”, where she encourages writers to “Describe a first.” Jaksch explains, “Your first kiss, your first kitten, your first day of school- all will make excellent stories.”

When I first did this writing activity, I wrote about my first time doing something explicit and because my parent’s and family make up most of my readers, I’m not going to share it. Instead, I’ll share the first time I went snowboarding.

 “Woooo!” we all cheered with excitement and butterflies. We were driving up the road that had those humps in it, that made you feel like you were losing your stomach. Each time we went over the hump and were on our way to the next one, we couldn’t help but cheer and laugh. Simple Plan was whining through the car stereo, the sunrise was finished and the sky was finally a daytime blue, and Cj was sitting beside me in the back seat. My Mom would occasionally glance in the rearview mirror to check on us. The rest of the drive felt brief. We managed to sing our way through the rest of the Simple Plan CD and Blink 182’s album.
We found a parking space in the parking lot, even though it was a packed day at Mt. High, and as soon as I stepped out of the car, the chill breeze froze my nervous butterflies. The mountain looked scary and all of the skiers and snowboarders walking through the parking lot with such urgency, seemed like they knew exactly what they were getting into.
“You excited?!” My Mom exclaimed as she stepped beside me.
I just looked at her, but my face must have given away my nervousness.
“Don’t worry,” she said softly, with her warm smile, “You’ll be fine!”
We gathered our things and headed to the ticket kiosk. Getting our tickets and renting all of my gear was horrible. Not just for me, but for Cj as well, since he already had everything he needed. My frustration toward snowboarding and everyone around me grew every minute.
We finally made it out alive and were headed to the lifts. My Mom hugged me, wished me luck, and headed straight for the lodge to get a bloody mary. I wish I knew at that time, at that very moment, that going with her would have lead to a much better day.
Cj tried to teach me as much as he could while we were wobbling to the lift. He explained things quickly with a tinge of annoyance. He was excited to be on the mountain again, but not with his girlfriend who had only learned how to ski when she was six. Having one foot on the ground and one foot bound to a snowboard was so foreign to me and having to wobble through pushy people, made for an awful experience. I already felt like I was going to cry.
By the time we were whisked away on the fast-moving lift, I was red-in-the-face-angry. Cj tried to comfort me and continued to try to explain to me what was coming next. Every word he spoke, my blood boiled even more. I watched the people flying down the mountain do it with such ease and made it seem so easy. Every person that fell or was sitting, Cj would say “See! You won’t be the only one!”
We approached the top of the lift and Cj called out, “HEY! SLOW DOWN!” which made the lift slow significantly. I replayed his instructions in my head, adjusted myself, and held on tight to the bar. Nothing could have prepared me for the feeling you have when you get off of a lift with people in front of you and a snowboard kind of attached to you. But after I fell hard, I, of course, blamed Cj.
I screamed at him and grew red. He was losing any patience of what little patience he had left and hurried over to the crowded benches. I crawled on my hands and knees over to him, getting in everyone’s way. Once I made it to him he tried his hardest to encourage me that I could do this, while he forcefully bound my other foot in the boot.
I sat annoyed and thought about how I could get out of going down the mountain like this. I looked around at everyone else, letting whatever Cj said to go in one ear and out the other, and realized every single person around me knew exactly what they were doing. In one swift motion, people would wobble over, bind their foot to the snowboard, jump up, and zoom off down the mountain. I panicked.
“Are we on the beginning slope?” cutting him off mid-sentence.
He looked around and answered, “Nope.”
My face flushed red.
“We’re on the intermediate slope. You don’t need the bunny slope!” He said with such assurance.
I was speechless and I suddenly wanted to break up with him, right there and then.
“Alright, you’re all set. Remeber what I taught you.”
He stood up, already strapped in, and started to head down the mountain. He slowed once he got a few feet away from me and turned to look at me. I was still sitting where he left me and fucking pissed. He shrugged his shoulders and disappeared.

Part one for now. Check back next week for the rest of the story. 🙂

Also! Below I’ve provided some info for you in case you give a fuck about what’s in the photos above.
Photos by the incredibly talented Devin Jenkins
Location: Encinitas, CA.
Glasses: Warby Parker Overalls & Shirt: Poshmark 

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