july.

A little over 6 weeks it’s been, and it feels as if my summer has been transformed into something…something of the likes of a Slinky Dog– strangely elongated, but regrettably compressed at any moment, simultaneously.

I had waited and wanted for so long to get to Ireland-– and to write all about it [if you’re curious, I’ve hyperlinked my adventures]–and now I’m home again and it’s crazy, it feels like it was yesterday and yet 1 year ago.

I watched an interview with Billie Eilish on some YouTube binge recently– she tells her younger self to “never put your feelings on the internet. Ever. EVER.” Of course, I saw this *after* I had temporarily taken down this site, this space, littered with a variety of crap from the ages LOL.

But I’m thankful to have taken the time away. What a lovely time to learn big lessons– observe ourselves from the inside out trough the lens of a different culture… It’s very easy to be caged in and consumed with what’s here, what’s around, what’s immediate.

It was time for a break.

And being in a different country was a *huge* help, huge change of pace, lovely opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. And what a wonderful thing it was to step back, re-evaluate, and reconcile. And even scold myself a bit for unnecessary dramatics. #y i k e s

I also got a taste of “school stress” [it wasn’t just a tourism trip, after all], but I feel like I gained back a lot of the productivity that I lost, a lot of the passion I had lost, for learning, among other things. Finishing the “semester” with good grades again in a while felt good.

read/reading // 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson.
I bought this book [along with another one I’ll start shortly] at one of the big bookstores in Galway, Ireland. This is a *delightful* mix of “abstract ethical principles, psychology, mythology, religion, and personal anecdotes”. Right up my alley, in my genre of shame [nah, my genre of UN-shame]: The Self Help Book. This guy has absolutely NO chill and straight up disses Elmo. Among other things. I find his bluntness and personal anecdote style personally hilarious. I’m trying to work through a chapter or so before bed cuz a) good habits I guess but also b) a steadfast way to get through the book. And I don’t mean “get through”– it’s a great book. A page turner not in the way a fiction read would be, but more in a sense of “oh I’m excited to see what he has to say about this next” kind of thing.

writing // here! But also a bare-bones outline of a sermon. I was asked to say words about my “mission trip” at my home church and I have all these ideas and concepts and phrases and moments swirling around my head to touch on [maybe?] but they just need to settle, and work their way into coherent, somewhat English sentences.

learning // the art of seeking positive intent, the value of listening deeper to others [and generally talking less]. Also learning to slow down, to take time, as well as learning to pay closer attention to my body and emotions/thoughts that pass their way every day through my skull.

doing / working on //

  • getting my sleep schedule back on track! I know I’m past the getting over jet lag phase but like I need to stop sleeping at 1 am and still waking up early!
  • doing design for a multitude of clients, all which are slightly different mediums, so it’s a lovely and challenging variety I’ve got to look at ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Going outside more and trying to be healthy
  • Seeing John Mayer in concert again!! What an unreal experience. No opener, just pure Mayer. Perhaps one of my favourite moments was him shredding on the guitar for “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”. He’s honestly just so stupid talented. And then I find out for his NY show he just played through the entirety of the album Continuum…just because he could. What a Mayer thing to do.
  • shaping up my portfolio
  • looking into some re-arranging/rebranding!
  • trying to finish off my travel blogging series of my last weeks in Galway. It’s funny– Henry David Thoreau writes in his culminating thoughts in Walden:
  • “It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.”

  • And I *felt that!* Well, before I left the US obviously… But even in Galway [!!! we were there for 4 weeks out of the whole 6]– I felt myself falling in, getting settled, growing used to a novelty that had previously shaken me upon arrival, and it reminded me– reminded me to keep writing, keep processing, even as I kept “adjusting” and getting “too comfortable” because it would be over soon.
  • trying to keep up with a daily gratitude Trello board as a budding mindfulness practice [because who am I kidding I suck at writing things down on paper sometimes!]

eating // yogurt! spaghetti! oatmeal! apples! and LOTS of PRINGLES LOL [so idk why, but being in Ireland, and being able to secure Pringles in Ireland just SET OFF a craving for them… the sour cream and onion ones, that is…WEIRD.]

drinking // more water. And coffee. I swear, I was dehydrated for 6 weeks, and I’m *just* now getting to correct it. Can’t mess it up now!

listening // to a whole host of things. A lot of GOOD music just dropped recently, and I think this playlist highlights at least a good chunk of it, mixed in with some of my older, guiltier pleasures that I treasured both here and abroad:

[https://youtu.be/23R7BcjWU_Y]

being inspired // by the memories I have from Ireland…now stored as photos, detailed stories, and academic work. I am also constantly inspired by the work people are doing around me–whether that’s philanthropic work, musical work, artistic work…Idk. Everyone, it seems, is falling into their creative grooves and I am HERE. FOR. IT. ๐Ÿ˜€

laughing // aloud at the newest horoscope meme instagram pages I have discovered. There are times where I’m reluctant to accept my Aries-ness but this page just seems to reinforce the nuances every. single. time I scroll through. It doesn’t help that my friends enable me too, sending stuff that’s too relatable. XD

thinking // about how some days are better than others. Some days it’s easier to just launch yourself out of bed and say “OKAY! Let’s DO THINGS! X, Y, Z, GO!”, and then some days are absolute balls of mud [whatever that means].

trying // to stick to my to – do list! Er, “accomplishments” list. Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. I’ve started keeping a list of all the things that need to get done in one place, titled with the date and “accomplishments”. Somehow, “accomplishments” feels a bit lighter and more distinguished the slogging-through-the-day connotation of “to-DO list”. Ugh. Just sounds weighty. Accomplishments sounds so much more…accomplished? Idk. Just a new thing I’m trying.

โค

hoping // to have the time and patience to catch up on all those uh…aforementioned “accomplishments”. There are a lot of puzzle pieces that need to fall into place before I can say I can start a successful fall semester… between the bills and my car being a pain in the patootie and the scheduling I am trying to make work in the next weeks– patience and discipline will be the key for these.

loving // the bursts of energy and semblance of a routine I’ve been able to utilize recently. It’s getting me pumped up and feeling ready to tackle senior year [!!!??!!howdidwegetherewowhelp]

praying // for my friends. For my family. For those who are in transition right now. For those who are going through a tough time. For those who are having trouble seeing past the darkness. For those who feel unworthy, under-appreciated, and unloved. For those who are working towards their goals. For safety as I embark on these next few weeks, for moving back to school, for patience, for those watching, for motivation and a renewed sense of purpose, for tact, and for resilience. And I pray for peace– that the peace I’ve found over the last months remains something light and easily carried.

xx

steph