Snuggled in love. This is how I feel 99% of the time lately. From the minute I wake up each morning until I close my eyes at night, I know I am loved.
The Universe sends me emails. Thanks to the awesome that is Sizzle’s blog, I signed up for daily notes from the Universe. I received this a few weeks ago:

When it comes to choosing who will be in your life, Alida,
I recommend valuing their “Yeeee-Haaaaaaaw!” quality
above all others.

Tally Ho,
The Universe

My friends are full of yeehaw. Overflowing with yeehaw. And the best part is they share their yeehaw with me when I’m running low.
Two Saturdays ago, I lost some of my yeehaw. I got a letter from UW. A very *thin* letter. A very thin letter letting me know they would not be seeing my shining face in the fall. I stood in the hallway, reading my letter and, as a tear fell from my eye, followed by another, and another, felt my yeehaw slip away a little bit.
I wanted to curl up in bed for awhile, cry about how unfair the world is, and swear never to make plans again. But I couldn’t. See, we were celebrating JoJo’s birthday that night and my gift to her was her birthday cake. So I dusted myself off and went upstairs to make her the most delicious cake she’d ever had. It was perfect timing, actually. Baking relaxes me and I always bake when I’m most agitated. It’s my meditation, my yoga, my prayer. And when I’m baking something like a birthday cake? I focus all my thoughts and energy on the person for whom I am baking. So I poured and mixed, measured and stirred and thought about JoJo, how much I love her, how much I learn from her, and all the good things I wish for her in the upcoming year.
There is no better distraction than doing something for someone else. And the fruits of that labor? DELICIOUS. Chocolate peanut butter-y DELICIOUS.

We celebrated JoJo’s birthday in style, with a private karaoke extravaganza. And I sat, spaceboot propped up, surrounded by people singing all the karaoke standards, I started to relax. Because in that moment, it didn’t matter to me that my plans had changed. It didn’t matter that my collegiate future was a big question mark. JoJo mattered. And I had promised to sing every song she wanted me to sing. I do not believe in half-hearted karaoke, so I took the microphone whenever she passed it to me and sang my heart out to Shania, the Beastie Boys, and Miley Cyrus. And by the end of the night? I was nodding my head like yeah and feeling so lucky to be right where I was.
And then the Universe played its next card. My newer friend Brady asked me to duet with her. The song she wanted to sing? Sinatra’s “That’s Life.”
Well-played, Universe. Also? Message received. Loud and clear.
And so instead of cocooning away and allowing time to slip by without going for my goal, I woke up bright and early the following Monday and took myself to the UW admissions office, asking how I could make myself a stronger candidate for the next round of applications. I received some advice and registered for another class at community college. I will show them I’m serious about my academic goals and I will apply again for winter quarter. I might not get in but that doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Because I’m doing. I’m trying. I will not give up. There’s no yeehaw in quitting, you see.
This last weekend, I was reminded again and again of the yeehawishness of my friends. I spent Saturday evening surrounded by some of the most amazingly strong and inspiring women I know. We laughed a lot, cried a little, and for once, enjoyed an evening in. Thanks to the spaceboot, we chucked our plans to go dancing and instead curled up on pillows and sofas, eating snacks, drinking wine, and talking about everything and nothing. But mostly we laughed.
Sunday night I went over to Brady’s house. We watched the premiere of True Blood and then snuggled into the couch cushions, talking. We’re new friends, see, and in that magical part of our friendship where you can’t talk fast enough, can’t ask enough questions, can’t tell your stories quickly enough. And as we shared our stories and our lives, night turned into day and before we knew it, sunrise and 5:30 a.m. was upon us. We grinned sleepily at each other and decided to seal our friendship with breakfast from the bakery, arriving just as the doors opened, so the bread and pastries were fresh and the coffee was hot and delicious.

This weekend I found even more of my yeehaw. My plans have shifted and things don’t look like I thought they would but it turns out that doesn’t even matter. Because I have friends. Amazing, wonderful, adventurous friends who spur me onto bigger and better things, encouraging me to run forward and demand more from my life and the Universe. I’ve found my yeehaw again, thanks to the family I’ve created here in Seattle.
Tally ho, indeed.