oh december // merry christmas!

[Read/Reading]  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr [I FINALLLY FINISHED IT LOL the library has probs charged me so much overdue fee *crai*

STARTING: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon [can we just admire the cover please?! *heart eyes*]

[Writing] POSTS and applications for things! Trying to get in a New Year’s Mindset!

[Learning] that taking of from work for like, a solid 3 weeks may not have been the brightest idea. I was hit hard this year and not having a steady income wasn’t… the most ideal thing. LOL.

[Doing/Working on] more artwork, gifts for friends, relocating this blog [more on that soon!!!]

[Eating] the most random stuff, honestly. Indian food, cereal, endless amounts of Sour Patch kids…

[Drinking] milk, tea, coffee, water…!!!

[Listening] to some stuff, old and new.

[Laughing] with one of my favorite friends ever. It’s been almost exactly a year since I saw him last, as he goes to school very far away from me. Always enjoy his presence, though.

[Thinking] about how I should start the various applications for programs I want to get into, and also how I should probably check and see what books I’ll need for this semester.

[Trying] to distance myself from drama, painful circumstance, and old news. Trying to make 2018 filled with positivity and joy, and excessively living in the dark spaces isn’t going to help anything or anyone.

[Hoping] for a joyous New Year filled with family. It’s like, the first year in a while we haven’t been home for New Year’s so I just want to take the time to slow down and re-connect.

[Loving] this re-vamped coffee/gelato place near me! I took Josh there when he visited me so impromptu and it’s WAY better than any basic place I’ve been to in the recent weeks!

[Praying] that everyone survives these polar temperatures, that people have a safe and happy New Year’s, that all who are traveling get where they’re going happily and safely.



a heads-up christmas //

Too often I walk with my head down. Not an indicator of mood, necessarily but rather, an indication of where my gaze falls, where my mind is. Buried.

It was while walking a dog this chilly morning that I realized. I looked over at the black labrador and observed him. He, naturally, was looking down because for him, seeing the world around him is more than using his eyes. He ruffles around in the leaves and pokes his nose into bushes to grasp the latest gossip, to observe the territory, to truly see the world that surrounds him.

And perhaps most of the time my head hangs to also do those things… however I can’t help but feel that I am gathering that data half-heartedly, immersing only half of my senses into the heavy hunk of metal in my hand to come up with a diluted, skewed version of reality that’s preventing me from going all-out, nose-to-the-ground soul searching during the amazing wonder this time of year has to offer.

On one side of the path I am walking is housing, dressed up with the decorations of the season. On the other there is just forest, devoid of life and leaves with the exception of a lone crow squawking, making me feel like I’m in the wrong season even this close to Christmas. It’s a pretty accurate depiction of my brain’s inner dissonance, frankly. And then I thought to myself, wow. I honestly can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas. It doesn’t feel like Christmas. Except Christmas is at the same time every year, it always has been, all of what it is and what it represents has always been there, it’s just a matter of how in-tune to it I am. I’m going to say that the fact that Christmas has practically snuck up behind me like a classically trained hit-man says a lot about the readiness [or better, the lack thereof] I’ve had for the season. Heck, even ADVENT feels rushed; the fourth night is the same as Christmas Eve, which, according to my youth minister is a bit of a headache for the planning of the liturgy.

But anyways.

As much as I don’t like to think about the material parts of this holiday season it’s all too evident everywhere and I wish it were easier to slow it all down and not feel the pressure and the guilt that has this way of sneaking into our hearts when we are distracted, when we’re not present, when parts of our life are missing that we may not even know about.

But then I’m hit with moments of pure bliss, the smallest acts of kindness that I sometimes can’t process because they’re so real, so earnest, so full. Moments like kids just laughing with you [or at you, in my most recent cases], completely oblivious to any negativity and all that exists on their face is pure joy. Moments like a hand written note where the words just jump off the page and into my head as the voice of the person who wrote them, leaving me speechless with their genuine and honest rhythm. Moments like texts really late at night from someone you haven’t spoken with in far too long that are completely out of the blue and right there, unfiltered and raw that remind you of the special connection you have with them. Moments like when your dog just passes out on you after being so worked up and excited that you walked in the door. Moments when you have plans set in stone to reconnect with those so close to you but so far away that you only get to see them so much during the year.

It’s these things–no, not things. Moments. People. Emotions.  These are what snap me out of the distraction, the bitter, the material-ness and whatever shit and baggage I’m dragging around, in my heart or on my to-do list, and they remind me of a simpler, more uncomplicated joy. The one that should be, without a doubt, present not only this holiday season, but all year long.

I read somewhere recently that expressing gratitude in a moment of sadness does wonders for your mood and your present-moment outlook. Stressing about all the things I don’t have wrapped or the books I haven’t finished or the things I haven’t paid or even the views/likes/comments on posts that don’t even begin to do the vibrancy of life’s here and now justice… it isn’t at all on my list this Christmas.

Tonight I’ll be spending a considerable night at church [my little sister is going to be a horse in our pageant and later is my favorite part– being in a sanctuary loaded with parishoners who, in the dark, hold white candles softly burning with a flame that lights up the entire sanctuary as we sing “Silent Night”. [perhaps more on that later if I edit this, I’m kind of spewing things out in the moment right now.]

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday, one filled with all of the relationships, memories, and moments that are *the* absolute food for the soul.

Merry Christmas.


Finally Finals // a play-by-play, day by day [day 1]

We’ve arrived. The most stressful week of the year and the first most prominent act of procrastination: writing this post. Alright so here starts the count down to the end of this week, a basic overview of the hectic-ness that, once recorded, will be a source of relief and amusement, rather than distress and anguish.

7:00 AM – Alarm goes off. Promptly hits snooze.

7:05 AM – Alarm goes off. Promptly hits snooze.

7:07 AM – Alarm goes off. Promptly hits snooze. [Why am I like this?]

7:30 AM – Alarm goes off. Traci yells at me to turn it off. I turn it off.

8:15 AM – I have arisen. The plans to wake up at 7 are but a dusty memory, the intended studying grind has now been pushed back to 8:30.

8:20 AM – Lord, let there be coffee.

11:05 AM – So commences this post. I’ve been at it for a good chunk of time now [the studying that is] in preparation for an oral final for my upper level German course. We’re discussing the rising [and existing] tensions between the Turks and the Germans in politics and media. Whee. My stomach is also telling me that I’m in dire need of food.

2:00 PM – That wasn’t bad at all. My class is only 5 people wide so I had plenty of chances to talk. We also got into some pretty relevant shit about cross-cultural conflict. #deep.

2:30 PM – I have to go to work in 30 minutes. This is not going to be fun.

8:30 PM – Currently rethinking all of my life decisions because I opted to work during finals week?? And the head honcho Subway audit lady came in today and literally stayed all the way until closing and made us all kinds of annoyed and tense???

10:30 PM – Hitting the library to finally sit down and edit this German project.

2:30 AM [next morning] – How… did we get here. I’ve had 3 cups of coffee today and I am alive and well I feel like I could fight a bear. Just finished my project and I’m about to head home. I will stop by the 24/7 Starbucks like a basic bitch and pick up a cake pop because 1) treat yourself? and 2) I haven’t had one in ages and it fits my budget.

3:16 AM – I can’t type too loud else I’ll wake my sleeping den of roomie bears. But holy crap the streets were so empty and it was so cold it felt like a ghost town. Also I dropped my cake pop on the ground but guess what I picked it right back up again because I am a trooper and there was no one around and I really needed that cake pop. Like really. Hopefully I don’t die of some god awful disease.

With that, I’ll close, because my german presentation is tomorrow  later today. Heh.



After a myriad of odd dreams and being too cold even under my covers because we have the fricking blinds drawn all the way up on a window to let all of our heat escape, I wake up to this:

It put the biggest smile on my face. Not only is it the first snow (that I’ve witnessed, anyways) of the season but it’s also like, the most stressful time of the year (finals officially start on Monday) so waking up to this was the biggest rush of serenity I think I’ve had in a while. 
Especially after yesterday [when none of my alarms went off and I missed two pretty crucial classes but it turned out kind of okay because in those situations you just salvage what is left to the day and you make it work against all odds.] *exhale* 
And sometimes in doing so, you stumble across some little surprises. In this case, a few more hours of sleep, the realization that none of your professors you need to see have office hours on Friday afternoons, a new place to eat with a view [out the window and across the table from me], and a lovely reminder to for the love of god establish a study routine. 
Looking out the window at everything this morning has an odd way of numbing my fears about finals, easing the pain associated with returning home, and fills me with a realization that no matter how hard things fall apart, nothing is really ever non-salvageable, and, even if it seems that way, just know that you do ultimately come out on the other side changed– stronger, better, more resilient or other things. 
This snow is bringing back memories of snow days in primary school, and therefore making me not want to do anything.
Time to throw back some coffee, get in a workout, and study the butt out of this German material (-:
Happy snow day, friends!