To Live in the Present

Last Monday, while walking to my first day at a new job, a guy running on the street stopped to tell me I looked lovely. What a way to start off the week and the first day of a new job. Additionally, I had been feeling unusually anxious that morning, so the comment brightened my mood considerably.

That said, it was a bit of a strange occurrence for me. Generally speaking, talking to strangers in passing isn’t the most common thing in our society. That, and the fact that we live in a twenty-first century world where our eyes are glued to our phones most of the time; we make ourselves inaccessible to each other with our technology. So yes, this was a bit of a strange occurrence for me–but I realized I liked it. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people spontaneously complimented strangers throughout the day?

I liked this random occurrence so much and I thought it was noteworthy. I proceeded to tell my housemates about it when I got home and, being the millennial I most definitely am, also posted a Snapchat about it. However, I thought nothing much else about the occurrence after the fact. I merely saw it as one more noteworthy-than-average event in a string of random events that happen on a day-to-day basis.

Until Wednesday rolled around.

On Wednesday, I was again walking on the same street on the way to work. I, again, ran across the same guy. My walking to work route appeared to be his morning running route. We saw each other and there was recognition. He waved and then stopped me.

Him: “Didn’t I see you the other day?”

Me: “Yes, I think so.”

Him: “Well, you still look beautiful.”

Me: *blushes* “Well, thank you.” Continue reading “To Live in the Present”

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#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Settle In

If we were having coffeewe might meet at one of the plethora of little cafes within twenty minutes walking distance of my house in both directions. Perhaps, if we felt a little extravagant, we might be settled in for a nice, long brunch complete with not just coffee, but maybe a mimosa or two. Brunch is huge on the East Coast, at least compared to the Midwest, and DCers mean business when they do brunch. In addition to multiple brunch spots nearby, there are so many things to do see and do in my neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods. I can’t wait to explore more and find the best places for eating, drinking, and entertainment. Today is my day off, so I’m taking it slow but also want to give myself some time to explore more. When I was walking to the grocery store today, I stumbled upon two farmers markets within a few blocks of each other. I was super psyched about that and bought some local peaches from the one nearest to my house!

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I love exploring DC in general and am so excited to really get to know my neighborhood better!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my third housemate moved in earlier this week and she’s been great so far. Last night, we hit happy hour together at a nearby restaurant and it was great to talk to her and get to know her more. Overall, the dynamic of our house is shaping up to be really awesome and I think it will only improve when fourth Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Settle In”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–House Hunting and Deep Thoughts About Life, Among Other Things

If we were having coffee, we’d be talking about house hunting.

I’m staying with my college friend right now, but her lease is up at the end of July–so I need to find a place by the first of August. I’ve been scouring the internet looking for housing opportunities and I’ve been feeling a lot of stress.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I thought I had one. A place to live in DC. I met with the roommates and we seemed to get along well, I liked the location, but the application ended up falling through. I took it real hard and had a bit of a rough day on Tuesday, as a result. Towards the end of the day, I realized–there are so many other housing options in DC. So many people looking for roommates. So many rooms opening up. I had gotten it in my head that this house was the only one…but it’s not. I feel so rushed because there are only a couple weeks left of July now, but a lot can happen in a couple weeks. I’m certain I’ll find a place. Plus, this house was the very first one I toured–it honestly seemed too good to be true in getting into the first place I toured…and I guess it was. Something else will come along in time.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve had a mix of good and bad days this week. House hunting is stressful…especially on a time limit…and I’m eager and anxious to get into a place of my own. I think, another part of me is anxious about actually settling down. Though I Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–House Hunting and Deep Thoughts About Life, Among Other Things”

When You Simultaneously Yearn for and Struggle With Change (Spoiler: This is Me)

Once upon a time in a far away land (also known as my college town on the Minnesota prairie), I sat in a psychiatrists office–anxious, nervous, and really, really scared. For the past few months, my life had been turned upside down. Since January, I had been experiencing severe anxiety that often times bordered on depression on a daily basis. It was now late March and there seemed to be no end in sight. My mind was going to dark places that I had never experienced before and I was terrified. My life had never before been clouded with so much darkness and I had no idea how to cope.

Furthermore, I had no idea why this was happening. At this time, I was in the middle of my third year of college and I knew that, in a year and half, I’d be graduating. I was, admittedly, quite nervous about my unknown, post-college future. I had also come out of an extremely unhealthy relationship a few months prior. That said, I couldn’t understand how my previous relationship or my nerves about the future landed me in such a dark place, questioning my very existence daily, hourly, every single minute of every single day.

So, there I found myself in the psychiatrists office. Looking for help. Looking for answers. I had been in counseling at my university all semester and though it was helping, I wanted something more. I had tried anti-anxiety medication and within a day of taking the first pill, I became so severely depressed that my mind and body felt numb to the world. I could barely function and I was terrified. I went off the medication as quickly as I started it; I needed something more and medication wasn’t my answer.

So, I found myself in this psychiatrists office where, after an hour-long appointment of questions and discussion, I walked out with a diagnosis–though I was told I would need more than one Continue reading “When You Simultaneously Yearn for and Struggle With Change (Spoiler: This is Me)”

This is a Post Where I Make Important Realizations About Myself. That is All.

Today is a day of clarity.

Let me tell you why.

These last few weeks have been…strange. Strange in a way that I haven’t really been able to put into words. I was very aware of feeling off, but I didn’t really know how to describe it to anyone–let alone, myself–so I didn’t. I wasn’t ignoring the feeling, per se. I was more confused than anything. Being in a new town, in a new job, in a completely different country–it is all so much, and processing everything has been really hard. Unable to describe my own feelings but yearning to write, I turned to fiction to soothe my nerves…yet, I was still on edge…because although nothing was seriously wrong, I still didn’t know how to describe all these feelings going on inside of me.

But…I think I can now. After a much needed weekend to myself (seriously, I’ve done next to nothing, and it’s been amazing), I feel like I have the space to distance myself from these emotions and really consider them.

Let me explain:

Being in Chiang Mai during my October TESOL course was easily one of the highest emotional periods of my life. The amount of joy and happiness I experienced during October 2015–for such a consecutive period of time–was simply unheard of for me before that. It’s not that I was unhappy before my TESOL course. It’s not that life was terrible before TESOL. In fact, it was the exact opposite. My last year of college was an amazing period of personal growth. My last semester of college, specifically, was easily my best semester of college. A period of my life that I will always cherish. This past summer, working as an espresso bar barista at a gas station, of all places, was also an incredible experience for me. I pushed myself in new ways by working in the food service industry, and I can safely say that some of my coworkers fundamentally shaped me into the person I am today (and that is looking back to three months ago). I loved my job as a barista and will always cherish the, albeit temporary, home I Continue reading “This is a Post Where I Make Important Realizations About Myself. That is All.”

Culture Shock–In Words

I’ve grown a lot in the past couple years.

I talk about that a lot.

I preach about it, really.

Just last night, new friends of mine were commenting on my maturity for a twenty-two year old and I just said in reply, “Well, I grew up a lot in college.”

And I did. I did grow up a lot in college. I found my confidence and my independence and my strength and college and I am so thankful for that.

But today? Today I am feeling vulnerable.

Today, I am sitting my new apartment in my new town in Thailand. It’s the weekend after my first week of teaching English and I have no plans but to explore my city and get to know the Continue reading “Culture Shock–In Words”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–My Brush With Fame, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, and Other Stories

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week has been soooo busy. In a good way. But I’m exhausted and I haven’t even left the country yet!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I saw Passenger in concert this Tuesday with my friend Nicole. We went to dinner beforehand and arrived at the concert fashionably late (for the opener at least). The concert was amazing (aside from the obnoxious and very clearly intoxicated superfan right next to us who was constantly getting in our way). Mike Rosenberg, who is Passenger is so down to earth. Not only was he fabulous live (he sounded exactly like, if not better, than the recording), but he was really quite funny and engaging, also.  Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–My Brush With Fame, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, and Other Stories”

What am I Doing With My Life? (Or, Getting Through this Awkward Transition Period)

I’m struggling for something to write right now and part of me is thinking “well, nothing interesting has happened lately.”

I mean, I’m an unemployed college graduate living at home.

For the time being.

I’ve been searching for jobs and preparing for Thailand, but life is rather uninspiring right now. Cool things are going to happen in the future, yes, but they seem so far off.

Of course, things have been happening. I have been applying for jobs and Thailand preparations are in progress. I spent all of Saturday with an old friend from high school whom I haven’t seen since December.  That friend happens to have four absolutely precious two week old kittens at her place, so, naturally, I spent the first Continue reading “What am I Doing With My Life? (Or, Getting Through this Awkward Transition Period)”

The Winds of Change

Last year, I was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder.

I did not, in fact, have general anxiety like I was anticipating…I just handle change really poorly. Or rather, my body does.

My body can feel that change is in the air. It knows that and it is making my life all the more difficult because of it. It’s not just my emotions, it’s everything.

It’s the fact that my stomach has been a mess for about a week…that I think I’m Continue reading “The Winds of Change”

The Beauty of Blogging

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how blogging has changed my life.

That’s kind of a big declaration to make about something, I know.

But I’m serious. Blogging has changed my life for the better.

I have grown up a lot in this last year. I’ve matured and have become so much more comfortable in my own skin. Lately, I’ve been having little to no anxiety–of course, it still exists, it still sneaks up on me when I least expect it–but it is so much less severe than it was last year at this time and it Continue reading “The Beauty of Blogging”