Where I’m at, Now

November has been rough.

It’s been an anxiety-ridden month filled with uncertainty and confusion.

On a national scale, I was rocked by the outcome of the U.S. election. I walked around on election day convinced, like much of the rest of America, that we would wake up the next morning to the first female president-elect ever. It was going to be historic and beautiful and I would be joyful.

On a personal level, I’ve been experiencing a massive amount of change as well. I’ve had an exhausting few weeks where I’ve been processing not only the change happening around me–in the wake of the election results and the way people have been reacting to them–but also in accepting that there is a great change happening within me.

I see a lot of parallels between the two that I’m going to attempt to articulate here.

— — — —

In the aftermath of the election, I simultaneously realized that not only was the projected outcome of this election grounded so much in expectation, but that I live so much of my life grounded in expectation–and how unhappy that makes me.

Lately, I’ve been frequently reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine back when I was in Thailand: “You think too much, and that keeps you from actually doing all the things you want to do,” she told me. It’s a truth I’ve been working on changing this entire year–and one that became increasingly apparent to me throughout the course of this month.

It’s a fine balance for me, thinking and doing. As an intuitive introvert, thinking and processing is how I understand the world around me. I love going out into the world and experiencing it. Too many experiences overwhelm and exhaust me, Continue reading “Where I’m at, Now”

#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…

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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)”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Change Happens Both Around and Within Me

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week has been incredibly busy…and tiring…

If we were having coffee, I start out with the big news first–I bought a motorbike on Thursday afternoon! My school got a really good deal on a used bike for me; some of the teachers came with me to buy it to make sure everything was in working order and to act as communication with the Thai speaking seller. One of the teachers is teaching me to ride it and with enough practice, I’m hoping to be able to ride it to and from school soon enough! I’m a bit nervous to go out onto the road on it, but also very excited. I’ve been feeling very isolated and dependent on others in my town for transportation of late and it feels very liberating to finally have a motorbike of my own. I can’t wait to explore around my province a little bit more Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Change Happens Both Around and Within Me”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–Thailand, the First Few Days Edition

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about how happy I am to be here sharing some coffee with you today.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how exhausting this week has been. After my last day at work on Sunday (which went really well, even though it was very bittersweet), I spent Monday and Tuesday finishing up  some last minute shopping and packing. Then. Wednesday.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my exhausting travel experience that began Wednesday at 12:11 Central Standard Time, when my flight from Minneapolis to Chicago took off. From Chicago, I flew to Hong Kong–where I had an exhausting 11 hour layover. I barely slept at all and I wrote this rather unenthused post. Then. Finally, I boarded the plane for Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–Thailand, the First Few Days Edition”

Anticipation

I have a funny

feeling that my world

is about to be turned

upside down

and I don’t know 

whether to feel uncertain…

or delighted

— — — —

My world is changing

preparations must be made Continue reading “Anticipation”

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”