On Change and Acceptance: Fall 2017

Periods of great change have always been hard for me. After a relatively peaceful summer, which included a much-needed trip to Germany with my family, but was otherwise very quiet–a lot of working and reading and daydreaming about a future when I wouldn’t be a coffee shop barista–I’ve found myself plunged into the very future of my summer daydreams, and am extremely overwhelmed by it all.

Intuitively, I feel very good about the future. Good things are coming. Diving further into teaching feels right, and I’m so excited to grow further as a teacher. Yet, the present in wrought with a lot of anxiety and emotion, as times of change usually are for me. I don’t sleep as well during times of change, and I tire easier–a combination of the lack of sleep and the very fact that the physical symptoms of anxiety are exhausting AF. Yet, I’m impatient. Oh so impatient. I want to rush head first into things. I’m reminding myself again and again of how, if I want to keep my mental and physical health at all in check, I have to take change slower. How that’s not a bad thing. I’ve been spending a lot of time on my yoga mat, and I’ve been doing meditation excercises. I’ve been reading, and I’ve been reaching out to people who impact my life positively. I’ve been trying to bottle up less emotion (something I’m REAL good at). I’ve been talking through feelings with friends and writing, too.

I do feel the need to write more, which feels good. It feels natural. It feels healthy. It feels like me. I also feel the need to be more social, which I’m notoriously bad at (it’s so much easier to sit at home and be an anti-social introvert!), but also desperately need. While I felt rather content to be alone for much of the summer (which was beneficial in many ways in terms of building up more self-awareness and internal understanding) I’m discovering that a healthy, balanced Britta needs positive interactions with others as much as she needs time by herself to recharge.

I feel this incredible need to go out in the world. I love my online teaching job. I love the relationships I’ve developed with my regular students, and it blows my mind that I can positively impact a child’s life from across the world with a computer and internet connection. I’ve learned a lot from them, too. Yet, I find it strangely unsatisfying to work from home. It’s convenient. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s joyful. Yet, I get antsy when I spend too Continue reading “On Change and Acceptance: Fall 2017”

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#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Things Have Been Happening

If we were having coffee, we’d be hanging at my house and I’d be sitting in my pajamas. I have deemed this morning to be a chill morning and am going about it as quietly as possible.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined the coffee share, if you haven’t noticed. If you have noticed, there’s a bit of a two-fold reason behind this. First of all, life has been really busy and I haven’t necessarily had the time to sit down and write a coffee share. I’ve also been going through a bit of a writing slump lately. I’m dutifully writing out my Hump Day Haikus (usually at the last minute on Tuesday night) to keep up with my one weekly blog installment, but other than that, I just don’t want to write I always want to write but am struggling to find my words. A lot of thoughts are happening internally and I don’t quite know what to make of them/don’t quite know how to put those thoughts into words. I’m sure time will put things into perspective but for the time being, I’m left feeling confused and lacking the inspiration to write much of anything.

Anywho.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m starting a new job tomorrow! It’s a temp position that will only last for a few months. I’ll be doing administrative work and other tasks assigned as they come in at the financial department of one DC’s neighboring city’s City Hall. Certainly not the dream job for me (I’d much rather be doing editorial work, preferably in a historical or cultural institution) but I am taking this as a new and exciting Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Things Have Been Happening”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Moved…Again

If we were having coffee, I’d start off by saying hi! It’s been a couple very hectic weeks since I’ve joined the coffee share. I moved twice, lived in three different places, and was without wifi for a week. I’ve been preoccupied with getting into my own place, figuring out housemates, and continuing my job search. I’ve been learning a lot at the coffee shop and I’ve been feeling more comfortable (in some respects) with my position there.

If we were having coffee, I’d be delighted to let you know that I’m now officially a resident of the District of Columbia. I was so flustered and nervous when I didn’t have a place by August 1, but my college friend was so accommodating by letting me move in with her to her new place. I spent one week there until my current roommate and I had our DC place secured and ready to move in to. Last Sunday, we moved into a gorgeous, fully furnished house in a great neighborhood. We’ve signed a lease to live here until December, with the intention that we’ll be more settled into DC life then and have a bit more money on our hands to spend on furniture and such for an unfurnished house. For the time being, we are happy in our house for now. I met my roommate on Facebook, in a group for those looking for housing in the DC area, and she’s been great so far. We will have two more roommates joining us in the next month, including my good friend Phoebe, whom I interned with at the National Postal Museum in 2014! I love the way life can throw surprises at you if you allow it. Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Moved…Again”

#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”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–House Hunting and Deep Thoughts About Life, Among Other Things

If we were having coffee, we’d be talking about house hunting.

I’m staying with my college friend right now, but her lease is up at the end of July–so I need to find a place by the first of August. I’ve been scouring the internet looking for housing opportunities and I’ve been feeling a lot of stress.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I thought I had one. A place to live in DC. I met with the roommates and we seemed to get along well, I liked the location, but the application ended up falling through. I took it real hard and had a bit of a rough day on Tuesday, as a result. Towards the end of the day, I realized–there are so many other housing options in DC. So many people looking for roommates. So many rooms opening up. I had gotten it in my head that this house was the only one…but it’s not. I feel so rushed because there are only a couple weeks left of July now, but a lot can happen in a couple weeks. I’m certain I’ll find a place. Plus, this house was the very first one I toured–it honestly seemed too good to be true in getting into the first place I toured…and I guess it was. Something else will come along in time.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve had a mix of good and bad days this week. House hunting is stressful…especially on a time limit…and I’m eager and anxious to get into a place of my own. I think, another part of me is anxious about actually settling down. Though I Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–House Hunting and Deep Thoughts About Life, Among Other Things”

#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”

The View from Home

It’s an incredibly good feeling, knowing that you did the right thing for yourself regardless of how hard it was or how difficult it was to get there.

As I watched the plane I was on for the first length of my journey back to the States take off from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok a handful of days ago, I was overcome with a burst of emotion and I started to cry. They were brief tears. They didn’t last long. But they were tears none-the-less.

It’s really hard to explain my feelings toward Thailand. How, at  times, while I was living there, I hated it. How unhappy I was while I was living there. How I couldn’t wait to leave when I was preparing for my two week trip to Europe in mid-March.

While in Europe, the friend I was visiting with gave me some really good advice. At that point, I was still feeling a lot of animosity towards Thailand for the hardships I experienced while living there; I was more than happy to be spending time on European soil. I was telling her how much Continue reading “The View from Home”

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–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!”