24 Things I Learned at 24

Is it just me, or does 25 seem way older than 24?

Something about being a quarter century old seems a little insane (though I recognize the subjectivity of that statement).

As I move into my next year on Earth, I am, again, looking back at the lessons this past year brought. 24, overall, was a good year. It was a challenging year, and I learned a lot, but I’m better off for it all. I felt good about 24 at its outset, and that feeling delivered. I’m downright excited for 25. As I take these lessons from 24 into 25, I have confidence that my time as a quarter centurion will be memorable:

1. Life is too short to spend in toxic situations with people who don’t lift you up.

2. Mindsets don’t change overnight…it takes time and energy and practice.

3. Inner change starts with personal awareness.

4. Not everybody has a growth mindset, and that’s not something you can force on someone.

5. Saying negative things about someone for no better reason than that you don’t like the way they are as a person doesn’t accomplish much of anything. It may feel good in the moment, but moments are fleeting. Your unkind words say more about you.

6. Focusing less on other people’s (often perceived and sometimes totally inaccurate) problems and focusing more on what I can do to lift myself up is all around for the best. Continue reading “24 Things I Learned at 24”

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#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”

Where in the World am I?

Since I’ve been rather silent here on the blog for the past few weeks…

Currently: Northern Thailand. I am presently sitting in a small room in the guest house I’ll be staying in for the next few days as I explore a new part of Thailand. There’s no AC and it’s a bit dingy, but it was mega cheap and I can’t complain. It’s also quaint and homey and hearing the calm conversation of the Thai people and the small fountain outside my window is quite comforting.

The last two weeks: Denmark and Germany. I had such a wonderful time being shown around Europe by an old friend who is an au pair there. Her and her friends made my experience there so memorable. More to come on that later.

The next two weeks: Thailand. I have a few days to myself and am using that to embark on a short solo trip. My parents will arrive soon and I can’t wait to show them around this country that I’ve called home for the past six months. For now, it’s just me, myself, and the small amount of possessions I’ve carried with me for the last six months.

Later (or, when the next two weeks are over): Minnesota, U.S.A. It’ll be strange to be back in my hometown but I’m ready. These last few months have been really hard for me, but I’m so grateful for all that I’ve taken away from them and all that I’ve been able to see and do in the process. Thailand will always be one of my homes on this Earth, but it’s time to move on.

I expect to have a lot to write about once I return to U.S. soil.

Stay tuned.

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Møns Clint, Denmark. Taking it all in.

Lilly and Grandfather

Lilly looked up at the vast expanse above her head in wonder. Her wandering five year old mind never stopped taking in the world around her. So many questions, always. At her young age, she didn’t know much about the world—but she was always curious, always hoping to discover more.

“The way the world works is very strange,” her grandfather told her once. She was sitting on his lap, quietly taking in words, in his low, gentle voice. A voice that exuded tired determination. He had been in Vietnam and had seen more of humanity in a matter of years than most people wished to see in a lifetime; he was a Vietnam veteran who wondered every day how he had survived while his buddy, his best friend, was blown to pieces right next to him in the Vietnamese rainforest. Yet, despite that daily question, his aging mind was filled with those nuggets of wisdom he had picked up not just because he had survived, but because he had willed Continue reading “Lilly and Grandfather”

#WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you what an unbelievably busy week and weekend I’ve had, about my family vacation across the Midwest to spend time with more family. I’d tell you how my mom, dad, and I flew into Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday for my cousin’s high school graduation party, how we drove across Missouri on Monday and headed for central Illinois for a couple days, and how we then ended our vacation in the suburbs of St. Louis. I’d mention that my brother is currently studying abroad, hence, why he wasn’t there to join us…just in case you would have wondered.

If we were having coffee, I’d explain how much fun I had seeing family I haven’t seen in a while. I’d tell you how much I enjoyed seeing my twin cousins; even though they are nine years younger than I am, I love spending time with them. I’d talk about how we did so much–from a Kansas City Royals Game where my parents and I got dreadfully rained on (and where I Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare”

Silence is Really, Really Golden

After a nice day spending time with my family, including my aunt and twelve year old cousins whom I haven’t seen in over a year, I’m ready for some quiet, introvert time.

Only problem? No one else seems interested in that at the moment.

I am currently sitting in the kitchen at my grandma’s house in between two rooms Continue reading “Silence is Really, Really Golden”

Thinking Ahead to One Last Winter Break

Whenever lengthy breaks from school roll around, I always end up holing up in my parent’s house for a good two weeks. The introvert in me takes over and I switch off between reading for fun, watching Netflix, and sleeping to fill up my time. I might go out and see a an old friend from high school once. Maybe twice if I’m lucky.

During these breaks, it’s very possible that I wont leave the house for days unless I actively make plans with someone. This can actually turn out to be a bad thing, because when I’m not doing anything with my life, I get really anxious.

That’s not the point, though. The point is, break is so close. A week from now, I will be done with everything and this long and grueling semester will be over. Continue reading “Thinking Ahead to One Last Winter Break”