An Ode to the Gas Station I Called Home this Summer

I’m not one who believes everything happens for a reason.

Life is too sporadic, too uncertain for every single thing in this life to happen for a specific reason.

Life just happens. We make meaning out of what happens. What happens affects us whether for better or for worse. But I don’t believe there’s any rhyme or reason behind it. One small second, change of plan, different action could have changed something, everything. But it didn’t…and life goes on.

I also believe that the best things in life happen when we aren’t looking.

So, around four months ago when I found a job posting on Indeed.com for an espresso bar barista at a gas station situated in the suburb over from where I live, I wasn’t looking for a life changing experience. I was simply looking for something to keep me busy between graduating from college in May and heading off on my next big adventure as an English teacher in Thailand
in September. A full time job where I could earn enough money to be able to pay for all my Thailand travel expenses without having to worry too much about finances, while spending the Continue reading “An Ode to the Gas Station I Called Home this Summer”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–Back to College (for a Day), Friends Time, and Thailand is Getting Closer!

If we were having coffee, I’d start off out by telling you that this week has been awesome. Truly awesome. I’m down to a week and a half before I leave the country for an indefinite amount of time and I want to make the most of the time I have left here…and I feel like I’ve definitely been doing that this week.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how I visited my college town earlier this week for the first time since I left as a new graduate in May. I’d tell you about how wonderful it was to be back and how I practically started crying when I drove up to campus and greeted my friends on the campus mall. There were tears and they were of the best kind. I was so happy to be back. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed campus until I was all the sudden there again. It was so wonderful to spend time with some of my dearest friends and I loved getting to see a bunch of people whom I hadn’t seen in ages. I also ran into my former history adviser and one of my favorite professors on campus, which was wonderful (hm…I’m using the word wonderful a lot in this paragraph. But this visit was so wonderful that my usual attention to variations in word choice while writing is failing me…and I don’t even know how else to describe it). I’m so unbelievably glad I got to go back before I leave for Thailand. This place means so much to me and, given my current sense of wanderlust, adventure, and a general need not be living in Minnesota for at least the time being, it’s quite possible that I wont be back again for…well, years.  Seeing so many people that I know I wont get to see for ages and ages now that I’m Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–Back to College (for a Day), Friends Time, and Thailand is Getting Closer!”

Discovery; Or, a Love Long Ignored

This weird thing has been happening to me this summer.

This summer living with my parents in my hometown in the suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. “The Cities,” as us locals call them. You don’t just go to Minneapolis or St. Paul when you make a visit to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area–you go to “The Cities.”

“The Cities,” as if one can’t exist like they other. As if they depend on each other for a mutual and comfortable existence.

— — — —

Well, they don’t. We locals lump them together for convenience. We know that going to “The Continue reading “Discovery; Or, a Love Long Ignored”

Quotes! Quotes! and More Quotes!

Back in the day (as in, the early to mid-2000’s), I was a big fan of the book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (pseudonym for American author, Daniel Handler). I remember eagerly awaiting the release of each new book in the series, going to buy them (with my own allowance money, might I add, something I was very proud of) as soon as they were available.

The books were eccentric, but that’s why I liked them. They weren’t like every single other book out there on the market and to my young, pre-teen self, that was refreshing.

So, I read these books around a decade ago and I remember the gist of the plot (three orphaned siblings are schlepped around from one exceptionally strange foster home with some sort of evil villain to the next), but that’s about it. As I was searching through my Pinterest Board the other day, I came to realize that Continue reading “Quotes! Quotes! and More Quotes!”

A Steam Tunnels Story

I’ve been in the steam tunnels twice.

The first time I was too anxious to get more than a few steps.

The second time, I made it all the way to the legendary corridor where students have left their mark for years. Finally, as a day old alum, I signed the wall.

Better late than never!

So says my contribution to the wall. It was a long time coming, after all. It was something I had been hoping to do for ages.

— — — —

I had first heard about the tunnels at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, during Community Advisor training (or, Resident Assistant for all y’all more familiar with the more common term…if you don’t even know what Continue reading “A Steam Tunnels Story”

In Which I Prepare for an Adventurous Spring Break

Hey all,

Just a heads up that I’m heading off for a spring break adventure with two of my college buddies tomorrow…I’m not bringing my computer and I’m going to try my darnedest to stay off social media!

I have some posts scheduled for next week, just because I had the ideas and Continue reading “In Which I Prepare for an Adventurous Spring Break”

Location and Geography: Where I Call Home and Where I Want to Be

I think I have become a geographically stuck up.

Wait, what? What does that even mean, Britta?

Okay, okay, let me explain:

A few weeks ago in my Minnesota History class, my professor was talking about how prevalent a dichotomy between provincialism and cosmopolitanism has become in Minnesota in the last half century or so. While, in many ways, Minnesota as a whole has been struggling to maintain its provincial roots, we have also been trying our darnedest to avoid becoming what we wholeheartedly fear other people perceive our state as already: fly over land

Fly over land. a.k.a. a space between two interesting and cosmopolitan regions, the space people fly over to get from cosmopolitan region 1 to cosmopolitan region 2. In our case, these two regions are the East Coast and the West Coast. In our Continue reading “Location and Geography: Where I Call Home and Where I Want to Be”