The Nature of Goodbye

What is in a goodbye?

Goodbyes are small moments in the grand scheme of a relationship.

Some goodbyes are forever goodbyes and some are temporary.

I’ve said goodbye to a lot of people in the last year. I’ve been on three continents in the last year (North America, Asia, Europe). I’ve lived on two (North America and Asia).  In the last twelve months, I’ve called five different cities and towns home (Chiang Mai, Thailand; Nakhon Chaisi, Thailand; Bloomington, Minnesota; Arlington, Virginia; Washington, DC).

With this constant moving, I’ve met so many people. I’ve lived with some of them; I’ve begun to love some of them; I’ve learned so much from most of them. With this constant moving, I’ve said goodbye to nearly all of them.

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Green Group, TESOL certification, October 2015. It’s amazing how much people can affect you in the course of one month. Saying goodbye to this group was certainly hard.

Some of those goodbyes I surely thought would be temporary. There was the kiss on the cheek at a 7/11 in Bangkok–someone I thought I’d certainly see within the next couple months, if not weeks, but whom I left Thailand without seeing again. There was the slightly awkward, rushed goodbye the day before New Year’s Eve, also in Bangkok. A goodbye I also Continue reading “The Nature of Goodbye”

My Search for Personal Independence

One of the things I have always prided myself on is my independence.

I have never felt the need to go along with the most recent trends (as teenage Britta proclaimed more than once with much disdain, “Ugg boots are so appropriately named…because they’re soo ugly”) or to go along with societal ideals that make little sense or seem soul-sucking (there seriously has to be a more productive and effective method of working than the 9-5 job construct). I am a firm believer that we have built a society around ourselves that is much too complex, and the idea of having to participate in it is, really, somewhat maddening.

I listen to my heart and do what feels right, regardless of what other people think.

I mean, this is how I ended up in Thailand in the first place. That independent spirit, that desire for adventure and, quite frankly, the desire to avoid our ever-complicated society for as long as possible.

Seemed simple, right?

In fact, for me, it was almost too simple.

When I tell people about my Thailand experience, I often hear, “Oh, you are so brave. I could never do that.” Meaning, they could never move to a different country with a completely different language and culture.

Well let me tell you, it was hard. Living there was hard. The country and the culture were so exhausting to me and, as much as I wanted to become more comfortable there, to call Thailand a long-term home (because, oh, I did want that), it eventually became quite apparent that that wasn’t going to happen.

So, yes, actually living there didn’t work out for me. But–getting on a plane and actually moving there? Geez, that was almost too easy. Too easy that I barely even thought about it. And you know why? Because once I got there, I didn’t have to Continue reading “My Search for Personal Independence”

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”

Oh, You Just Made Me Feel a Bit Violated…

Do you want to go have sex in the bathroom?

Said the guy not two minutes after he asked to dance with me.

“Nah.”

I had nothing else to say to him on the matter. It wasn’t going to happen. Bathroom sex (we’re talking about public bathroom sex, mind you) isn’t exactly at the top of my bucket list. Well, actually, it’s not on my bucket list at all. Quite frankly, it sounds a bit raunchy to me. Plus, I’m not really one for hook ups. But that’s just me.

“Uh…okay, well it’s okay. We can still dance together.” Continue reading “Oh, You Just Made Me Feel a Bit Violated…”

Puzzle Pieces

Break ups are funny sometimes.

Despite all the pain and hurt they can cause and have caused, they’re really quite funny.

Well, at least in my experience.

A week and a half ago, I found myself up late in the Seattle hostel my friends and I were staying in during spring break. Here, I was ferociously writing about how much I still hated my ex. Even though I thought I had gotten past that stage ages ago. Granted, I was just a little (okay, Continue reading “Puzzle Pieces”