2016: A Reflection

2016, I have decided, will be a year of confidence, of poise, of adventure. It will be putting myself out there in more ways while also continuing to nurture the introvert inside of me. It will be sticking up for myself and chasing after my dreams. It will be blossoming even further into the strong, independent woman I know is inside of me. It will be having faith in my decisions, not doubting what my heart tells me.

 January 3, 2016

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 2016 was a year. On a global scale, many would agree that it sucked.

On a personal level, it sometimes sucked, but it was mostly quite full. If 2015 was the best year of my life thus far (as I’m pretty sure I dubbed it at its close), 2016 has been the most enriching. In many respects, it was a very painful year—particularly in its early months. 2016 was completely losing all sense of self while simultaneously trying my best to live in a foreign country and culture. It was being alone in Thailand on my birthday, with head lice and pneumonia in tow—at the same time. It was striking out independently in search of my place in this world and feeling a lot of uncertainty, anxiety, and doubt along the way.

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It was also leaving these cuties and the joy of teaching them (on the rare occasions when they wanted to be taught) behind, unsuccessfully holding back tears as I left their classrooms for the last time, because the love, kindness, and intellect of children is grossly undervalued and because they taught me so much.

That said, 2016 did have its bright spots: traveling in Europe with an old high school friend; showing my parents around the beautiful country I called home for six months; having no clue what the heck to do with my life post-Thailand, but trusting my gut in Continue reading “2016: A Reflection”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Settle In

If we were having coffeewe might meet at one of the plethora of little cafes within twenty minutes walking distance of my house in both directions. Perhaps, if we felt a little extravagant, we might be settled in for a nice, long brunch complete with not just coffee, but maybe a mimosa or two. Brunch is huge on the East Coast, at least compared to the Midwest, and DCers mean business when they do brunch. In addition to multiple brunch spots nearby, there are so many things to do see and do in my neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods. I can’t wait to explore more and find the best places for eating, drinking, and entertainment. Today is my day off, so I’m taking it slow but also want to give myself some time to explore more. When I was walking to the grocery store today, I stumbled upon two farmers markets within a few blocks of each other. I was super psyched about that and bought some local peaches from the one nearest to my house!

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I love exploring DC in general and am so excited to really get to know my neighborhood better!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my third housemate moved in earlier this week and she’s been great so far. Last night, we hit happy hour together at a nearby restaurant and it was great to talk to her and get to know her more. Overall, the dynamic of our house is shaping up to be really awesome and I think it will only improve when fourth Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Settle In”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Just Keep Swimming

If we were having coffee, I’d start off by saying, no I haven’t seen Finding Dory. It’s on my list, but I’m far too busy trying to figure my life out to go to the movies. That, and I don’t frequent the movies that often as it is. That said, I am just trying to keep swimming right now, so the post title is a pretty accurate portrayal of my life.

If we were having coffeewe’d still be talking about housing. It’s been a stressful week on my end that’s included multiple house tours with no luck in hearing back from people. I’ve primarily been looking to take over a spot in a shared house, as it is sooo muuccchh cheaaaaper to live with others in the DC area. That said, the housing market is crazy competitive out here and spots fill up really quickly. Also, a lot of shared houses are looking for a certain personality to match the dynamic of the house, which also makes the search more difficult–because if I don’t match the dynamic, I’m just not gonna get the spot. I’d probably be able to secure a studio apartment with a lot more ease, but that would also leave a lot more of a dent in my wallet. I’m continuing to scour the internet like crazy but have accepted that, if nothing shows up within the next couple days, I’m going to secure an Airbnb to live in for the time being once the lease in my current place is up. The lease is up, mind you, Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Just Keep Swimming”

In Which I Consider The Future…and Feelings of Doubt

Moving to a different city without any job security waiting for you is scary. I’m so glad I did it. I feel more at peace about where I am than I have in ages. It’s still scary, though.

I went to brunch with a fellow graduate from my alma mater a couple weeks ago-she recently acquired a job in DC and moved here–and we were sharing stories about our experiences abroad. She had recently studied abroad in Europe and I, of course, am a few months back from Thailand. We started talking about places and the feelings we get from those places–how she enjoyed her time abroad, but how the city she was living in during her study abroad experience just didn’t feel right for her. How she didn’t feel inspired or alive in it. I was able to relate so much with her because that’s exactly how I felt about Thailand. That’s why I moved placements at the beginning of November and why I ultimately left Thailand in the end. While my second and final placement felt more right to me, it still wasn’t enough. While I will always love Minnesota because it’s my home, living there didn’t feel right, either. Now that I’m in DC, I just know this is where I’m supposed to be for the time being. I think places are like books–the best books are the ones that you read at a time in life when you resonate with them most. Likewise, the best places are those that you can resonate with most at a given time. Thailand was a fantastic place for me to travel through at this point in my life–but it wasn’t the right place for me to Continue reading “In Which I Consider The Future…and Feelings of Doubt”

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Interviews and Alone Time

If we were having coffee, I’d start off by talking about the job search. After obtaining my espresso bar barista job on Saturday, I went in to sign my I-9 paperwork on Sunday and proceeded to hear nothing from my manager about starting work until Thursday evening. I e-mailed her to enquire about what was going on on Tuesday and she e-mailed me back on Thursday apologizing for the delayed reply (she had been off a few days) and asked to meet me to discuss scheduling.

In the mean time, I heard back from two temp agencies and interviewed with both of them this week. Although the espresso bar job is a great opportunity, I can’t survive off of that pay working full time, especially in DC. So, I’m hoping some temp opportunities come up soon while I continue to search for more permanent positions. I’ll continue to do the barista job part time, but it also won’t be my main source of income–and I will also make more as a temp.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about the brunch date I had with a fellow Morris grad last Sunday. She just moved to DC recently, too, as she accepted a job here.  It was quite lovely and it was so nice to see another familiar face in the DC area.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that today has probably been the most exciting day this week. I’ve been interviewing this week and keeping busy in other ways (such as searching for housing in DC Proper…which is a bit of a time consuming task), but today I was able to get into the city and explore a little more. I went in initially to speak to my manager about working, but ended up staying because, well, why not? I visited the Renwick Gallery, which isn’t far from Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare: Interviews and Alone Time”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Take on DC

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about how the majority of this week has consisted of job applications with minimal exploring in between. Although there is so much to see and do in the DC area, being unemployed has resulted in me staying at home and not doing a whole lot in an effort to save money. That’s okay because when it all comes down to it, I’m a bit of a homebody. However, it’s also gotten a bit excessive to the point where I’ve started having conversations with the cat in between job applications.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about the exploring I did do this week. Last Sunday, I explored more of Arlington Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Take on DC”