#WeekendCoffeeShare–To Grandmother’s House We Go

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had an absolutely lovely long weekend at my grandparent’s house down in their small town in Iowa. My mom, brother, and I left on Saturday morning; we had a lovely day with Grandma, going into town and visiting all the small shops on Main Street, a ritual we have whenever we go down to visit. On Sunday, my mom and brother left; given that I currently don’t have a job and wanted a few extra days visiting, I stayed. Part of the reasons for our visit (besides spending quality time with family) was to get my car, which my grandpa–a retired pilot–stored in his airplane hanger while I was abroad. With my car, I could stay in Iowa as long as I pleased and didn’t need to go back with my mom and brother. So, I spent the next couple days mostly hanging out with Grandma, exploring some places that were new to me while also visiting old favorites in the area. It was wonderful. If you haven’t noticed, Grandpa is glaringly absent from any tales of visiting my grandparent’s. That’s because my grandpa prefers to spend most of his time in his hanger or the garage doing whatever retired pilots do in their free time. He’s a tried and true introvert, if there ever was one.

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Selfie time with Grams ❤

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that nothing productive in terms of job searching happened while at Grandma’s. The most productive thing I accomplished while there was collaboratively finishing a crossword puzzle with Grandma. I’ve Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–To Grandmother’s House We Go”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Make $7.00

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I did absolutely nothing of interest this week besides receiving seven measly dollars in return for a bagful of old CDs and books that I brought in to sell at Half Priced Books. When I first went up to the counter to receive my bid, I thought the employee said $37, which I was going to be rather surprised and gleeful about. Alas, though, when I looked at the receipt, that $7 couldn’t be mistaken for anything else–as it gazed up at me with what I swear was a smirk.

I must admit, I wasn’t expecting much from this load given most of the books dated from the early 2000’s–and given that the majority of the world doesn’t even listen to CDs anymore. I mean, even the ever so popular iPod is out of date these days with the emergence of music streaming. Even still, I was optimistically hoping for at least an even $10. Oh, woe is me! Though, I suppose, life will go on…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have spent the majority of this week searching and applying for jobs in the D.C. area.

I am saving my money in order to move to Washington D.C. and, as a result, have really been limiting my expenditures of Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Make $7.00”

#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”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Sports Day and Bangkok and More Culture Shock Happens…Among Other Things

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

So much has happened this week, it feels like it’s been a lifetime.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m getting settled in further into my town and that I’ve managed to do some exploring.

I’d tell you that I love my school and that my students are adorable. I’m getting to know them more and teaching becomes easier each day. I’m starting to understand each individual class and their needs as a whole class a little better with each passing day and I love that I’m beginning to really see my students’ personalities shine through.

I’d tell you that Friday was Sports Day and that students and staff alike have been preparing like crazy for the past two weeks for this event. Sports Day a.k.a. when all classes are cancelled and the whole school is broken up into four teams for a day of friendly competition in activities such as water polo, jump rope, and E-Sports (or, when the whole school gathers to watch two people compete in video games).

I’d tell you how I went in to teach my second class on Thursday at 9:20 am only to be told that class was cancelled. In fact, class was cancelled for the rest of the day because preparations for Sports Day were underway. Only in Thailand my friends, only in Thailand.

I’d tell you how exhilarating and exciting and exhausting (wow that’s a lot of alliteration) Sports Day was and how much fun I had seeing all of the students enjoying themselves so much. I was Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Sports Day and Bangkok and More Culture Shock Happens…Among Other Things”

#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”

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–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”

#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!”