What Is This Place?

A valid question, of late.

A lot of personal growth and change has been happening in recent months. I could go into the details of all that growth and change–a previous version of Britta surely would have–but now,  being so open on the internet seems incredibly invasive to me. While I may be one of over seven billion people in the world, and does it really matter what I write on this tiny corner of the internet?–the fact of the matter is, I’ve changed. What I’m comfortable putting out to the world–even to just a few readers here and there–has changed.

I’m not really sure where this blog is going. I’m not ready to be done with it, but I also don’t have a clear vision for its future. I have always seen this blog as an extension of myself–so I am perfectly fine with letting it mirror the changes in my life. I’m perfectly fine with taking time of off from writing to allow for further evolution in myself.

I suppose that’s okay, though. It’s okay to let ideas be for a while. It’s okay to let them form, mature, take differing and wildly imaginative shapes.

I have no idea what this place is right now, but it’ll figure itself out in time.

Twenty-Three Things I learned at 23

1. I want to be an elementary school teacher.

2. Trying to save people who didn’t ask for your help in the first places isn’t a good idea.  Doing so might, in fact, make them a bit peeved.

3. An office is not and will never be a natural work habitat for me (see #1).

4. I have been unconsciously faking extrovert for the past ten or so years…

5. …and that, in turn, has made me rather lost unproductive in a lot of respects.

6. The people who are supposed to be in your life have a habit of showing up without fuss.

7. The Washington bus system is cheaper and less high maintenance than the Washington Metro.

8. Other people process the world differently than me, and that’s okay.

9. Social progress isn’t necessarily fluid or constant (or, America can, indeed, elect a Continue reading “Twenty-Three Things I learned at 23”

On Growth and Pain and Being Open

The thing about growth is that’s it’s fucking painful.

If you’re trying to grow and aren’t feeling some sort of ache or pain in the pit of your stomach (or wherever your internal hurt manifests), you’re probably not doing it right.

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately because I’ve been focusing on experiencing and processing my world and the changes happening in and around me. My mind has been overwhelmed with a lot of internal and external stimuli, and I haven’t really been interested in sharing my thoughts with the world. I’ve been journaling a lot to help with processing, but that writing is mostly incoherent and messy.

I’m finding that I really miss sharing my internal growth experiences with the blogosphere, though. As an introvert who (generally speaking) writes better than she speaks, and who has a tendency to get lost in her head, I love the conversations that I can spark up in the blogosphere. I also appreciate the way I can find commonalities in my thought processes with other bloggers. I all too easily forget that feelings are universal and that everyone has gone through tough times, and exchanging stories helps me remember that. I suppose that’s why I read fiction, too (as opposed to non-fiction). Through stories, we can find the universality of the human condition–and that is both awe-inspiring and comforting.

Anywho, I’ve been experiencing a lot of internal growth lately, but I also feel like I have very few outlets for expressing that growth.

When I look back on old blog posts, I used to be incredibly open about my feelings and experiences (perhaps too open at times). I think people admired that about my writing, but I didn’t think twice about it–to me, being open was natural. I’m the type of person that needs to write or talk through my feelings and experiences to fully understand them. As an INFJ personality type, my introverted intuition and extraverted feeling make me really good at understanding other people–but I often find myself so caught up in figuring out what makes other people tick, that I forget to pay attention to myself. It’s why two of the major realizations I’ve had in the past year came from conversations with other people. I realized I was unhappy in Thailand because a friend explicitly pointed that out to me. I realized I wanted to actually pursue teaching as a career in a conversation when a teaching opportunity was suggested to me.

So I write it out, I talk it out, and I usually learn something in the process.

The thing is, I’ve been actively refraining from doing these therapeutic excercise because I’ve found myself in situations in the past year where my openness wasn’t received well. In some of these situations, I would say that I jumped the gun in opening up to a person–mostly because I had been so self-absorbed that I failed to realize my relationship with the other person wasn’t at a level where they were comfortable with such forthright sharing. While these situations definitely allowed me to consider whether what I’m saying to others is mutually beneficial and worth  both of our while (in other words, major learning experiences), they have still left me feeling a bit cynical about the whole process of opening up. I’ve been wondering lately–why bother with these exercises when people don’t seem to care? This mentality has spread itself to the blogosphere, where I’ve remained pretty silent about my personal life in the last few months; in other words, I unconsciously translated a few negative interactions that I had with people into a “whole world” mentality. As in: “Because a few people didn’t receive my openness well in the last year and left me feel slighted, that obviously means the whole world is going to receive my openness the same way and continue to leave me feel slighted.”

Of course, that’s not true, and such a mentality is a bit self-absorbed in its own right. That said, the human psyche is a powerful thing, and we all too often develop negative mentalities without thinking. There are nearly eight billion people in this world, and there are surely people out Continue reading “On Growth and Pain and Being Open”

Don’t Delete

I’ve thought many times over about creating a new blog and letting this one go.

In 2.5 years that I’ve written at this site, I’ve grown a lot. If you ever go back into this blog’s archives, you’ll find that my voice has been consistently changing. My writing has improved significantly since I started this blog, and my voice has grown with me.

If you ever go back into my blog’s archives, you’ll also find some pretty embarrassing stuff (I won’t willingly provide those links for you, but you can find them if you do enough sifting). As I look back at them, some of the things that were taking up my thoughts during my senior year of college were quite immature. Even in the last year (damn, the last month) I’ve matured (and am continuing to mature) in a lot of ways, and the voice I utilize in my writing reflects that.

It would be easy to delete everything, to belittle my past thoughts and mindsets as not worthy of seeing the light of day ever again. Indeed, there are a couple posts I have done that with–in one way or another, I found them inappropriate to have on my blog. That’s a rare occurrence, though, and I prefer to not make that the norm.

When it all comes down to it, my blog is my story. Since my senior year of college, I’ve documented so much that is important to me here. While I haven’t been blogging a whole Continue readingDon’t Delete

Early November 2016

Lately, every time I sit down to write a blog post, nothing makes enough sense to put it into words. Or maybe it all makes perfect sense and I just think too much. I’m not sure.

I always want to be writing, but I have no words; I only recently started to understand that maybe that’s okay.

My life is full of so many emotions and ideas and experiences right now and I understand none of it.

One of the main reasons I use writing–and  one of the main reasons I started blogging–is to makes sense of it all. To process and better understand this crazy, complicated, confusing life.

However, I’ve been realizing more and more lately that maybe it doesn’t have to make sense.

Maybe I should just let it happen and see what happens and enjoy the ride.

I’m not done blogging and I’m certainly not done writing.

There is just no room for pondering why right now.

I just want to live instead.

Blogging Thoughts: May 2016 Edition

The other day, my blog had a total of one view.

Now, this view–it wasn’t even from a recent post. It was from a really old post, back from when my blog was a baby. For some reason–probably because it shows up in web searches regarding the ever-popular topic of Myers-Briggs personality types–this post continues to get a lot of traffic, despite its age.

Anyways, that’s besides the point.

The point is, my blog got one view the other day and, more importantly, my reaction to this was:

— — — —

Every now and again, I like to revisit my reasons for blogging. While I did this a lot more at the beginning of my journey as a blogger–writing numerous posts in the first few months of this blog’s existence on that topic–it’s still something that crops up in the back of my mind now and then.

— — — —

So, about this blogging business–lately, my stats have been terrible. Let me say that again. In the past few months, my blog stats have slowly petered down to almost non-existent. While I was never garnering a huge amount of views on my blog, my stats have really been terrible of late. T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E.  The number of likes and comments I’ve been receiving have been dismal. My followers are growing steadily, but I also know that the majority of those followers don’t even read my blog.

While I would have found all this exceptionally aggravating in the past, though, I’m finding now that I really don’t care. Part of me does wish my stats would pick up. It’s always nice to see the numbers get a little higher on any particular Continue reading “Blogging Thoughts: May 2016 Edition”

#Weekend Coffee Share–Keeping Busy, Looking to the Future

If we were having coffee, I’d start off with asking how YOU are, since it’s been so long since I’ve joined the coffee share. I’d pry a little bit into your life and we might exchange a hug, if you’re the type of person who likes to exchange hugs.

If we were having coffee, I’d talk about how good it feels to be home, how I miss Thailand dearly, but how I know I made the right choice in coming back to the States earlier than anticipated. I’ve spent the last few weeks spending time with family and friends and catching up on some much needed sleep, which was very much lacking in my life during the month that I was traveling in Europe and Thailand.

If we were having coffee, I’d talking about how I’ve spent much of this week checking job postings and writing cover letters and updating my resume. It’s been nice to have this time back at home with my family. It’s been nice to relax and not having to worry about much in terms of responsibility…but I’d also talk about how ready I am to move on with my life. Continue reading “#Weekend Coffee Share–Keeping Busy, Looking to the Future”

#BeReal – BRITTA BUCHANAN

Back in February, Hasty asked me to write up a post about what it means to Be Real for her blog. This the result.

I’m currently back home in the U.S., taking some time off from the blogosphere to recharge and catch up with people in real life…but I’ll hopefully get back to posting soon!

In the mean time, I invite you to hop over to Hasty’s blog to check out my guest post and perhaps peruse around the rest of her site while you’re there.

HASTYWORDS

My #BeReal guest today is Britta Buchanan.

britta

What does it mean to #bereal?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, in the context of how I perceive myself and in the context of how others perceive me. As I write this, I am wrapping up one semester of teaching English in Thailand with the intention of heading back home to the United States after a bit of travel. Six months ago, I would have told you that I’d for sure sign on after another semester in Thailand; the idea of living abroad was still enticing and new at that point and I couldn’t imagine any context where I would want to come home. In fact, back in September, upon my arrival in Thailand, I wrote in my journal that going home would be a step back.

Why go home when there is a world of opportunity to explore…

View original post 949 more words

400

My blog has never been about the views or the likes or the follows.

(Well, except for the very early months of blogging on this site after I found the WordPress community. Then, it was. But only for a short time before I realized how unhappy trying to write for other people was making me.)

I created this site for myself. It is my way of expressing myself and quite honestly, it is the best form of therapy I’ve ever had. Writing is my release. It is how I  understand myself better and cope with my fears and anxieties and it is the best way that I’ve found for myself to learn and grow and push myself as a human being in this life that can be so damn hard sometimes.

My life has changed drastically since I started blogging….and I attribute much of that change to the blogging itself. I’ve written about everything. The good and the bad. I’ve learned so much in the process. I’ve met amazing people and their support is unending. I haven’t been the best at checking in with other people’s blogs of late (these things do happen when you decide to live an adventurous life abroad), but I have also loved exploring the work of others in the community and supporting them, as well.

So, the fact that this site just reached 400 followers doesn’t mean as much to me as it would have in those first few months of blogging. That said, it’s still pretty cool. When I first started this site in the waning months of 2014, I never imagined 400 people would find the incentive to click the “follow” button. Granted, not all 400 of those people follow along with me regularly–if at all–but still…it’s amazing to think about how far reaching my words are in this virtual space I’ve created.

With that, thank you to all who continue to read and support It’s a Britta Bottle! I’d still be here if it weren’t for all of you…but it wouldn’t be half as fun.

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”