There’s been too much going on in my life for the past few months, which has led to more than a few emotional meltdowns and extended periods of anxiety-induced insomnia. There is still much work to be done, but my life is currently on a bit of a hiatus with a family getaway on the Oregon coast. Simply breaking a routine has made for less stress, but there are other things that have added to an overall sense of peace and relaxation.

The first night that we were here, I volunteered to clean up after dinner. Rather than use the dishwasher, I washed everything by hand in the kitchen sink. The window in front of me was cracked open, and through it, I could smell blackberry bushes and cool, dark green foliage. Occasionally, a car would pass on the nearby road, but other than that, the only sounds were the quiet conversations amongst our family members and the ongoing shush of the ocean surf.

Our second evening here, I walked to the beach–just a few houses away–to take pictures of the sunset. I was not let down. The sunset started out beautifully and just progressed to become increasingly breathtaking. I would take pictures, then draw back and feel awed and small by the sheer scope of the sky. I have rarely seen a sunset so beautiful. I felt revived, spiritually.

Apart from our first evening here, I’ve walked in the Pacific and along the shore every day. The water is too cold to swim in–at least for me–but feeling the waves around my ankles and calves is incredibly soothing. I love the ocean. There is something about its gigantic-ness that brings peace.

Spending time with family has also been peace-bringing. Whether it is sitting around the living room with fresh coffee in the morning, getting my baby niece to giggle, or talking about nature with my [almost] six year old nephew, I feel better for having had the time to bond with family. I feel so blessed to have come from one amazing family and to have married into another equally amazing one.

I wish you all a wonderfully relaxing weekend!


Day 2: Where would you like to be in 10 years?

Geographically, I would like to be living and working internationally. I do not have a specific country or even a particular region of the world where I have my heart set on living. However, as my undergrad degree is in English/TESL and my future grad degree will be in English/Creative Writing, it makes sense that I would be living and working somewhere in the Middle East or Asia as there is a demand for native English speaker/teachers in those areas. Again, where specifically is not something that I have worked out yet. Ten years from now, I’ll be 38 years old. That’s still a long way away and anything could happen. I do know that wherever I am living/working in 10 years, I will be learning about the people around me and living in community whether that is in Kalamazoo or Kathmandu. Continue reading

Day 1: Discuss Your Current Relationship*

In roughly five months, I will have been married for four years. For someone who never thought she would get married, this is kind of a big deal. I always pictured myself gallivanting through grand adventures all by my onesies, but I’m happily surprised that I enjoy having a partner in crime. Who else would clean the litterbox and kill all the spiders** for me? I jest–except for the spider bit.

I never joke about spiders. Continue reading

What do books mean to you?

“Books may well be the only true magic.”

Alice Hoffman

Books are my escape.

I have been an avid reader since early childhood and read everything I could get my hands on from my mother’s college mythology textbook when I was seven years old to Mange-moi, s’il te plait as an adult. In college, my reading dwindled because my brain could only handle so much, but I have begun to read more since I graduated. Depending on the engagement in my current course load, I still read for pleasure where I may. (Bus commuting is prime reading/writing time.) Continue reading

Criticism and Grace

Trigger Warning: discussion of body issues (self-esteem, eating disorders, etc.)

Way back in January of this year, one of my aunts posted on Facebook about picking a word for the year. The idea was that you pick a word that becomes, more or less, your year’s theme. Some people picked thankfulness, others picked joy, I chose the word grace. My thinking going in was that I would work on extending grace both to others and to myself. Now, as we are on the eve of the new year, I think it’s a great time to reflect back on the year and see how it went. Continue reading

Quiet on the Blogging Front

I have posts in the works, but the first couple of weeks of December ran me over a few times, so the blog fell by the wayside. On top of coming down with a cold on the first of December that only went away a day or two ago, I had to wrap up this school term, which included writing a final essay on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw using narratology for my theoretical lens. Crunch time for said final paper included pulling an all nighter, which really did not help with that nasty cold, but it’s all over now. I got my final grade for literary theory, and I am happy to say that I did much better on this round than I did when I studied the subject in undergrad. Continue reading

Shake it out, shake it out…

Four days after my last post, I had a couple of interviews for two part time, complementary jobs at my alma mater. That same day, my interviewers offered me both jobs, and tomorrow is my first day. It still feels a little surreal both because I’ll be back on the campus where I did my undergraduate studies and because it all happened so quickly. I think the timing of everything was great because I started getting bored with unemployment, and I think I will be rested enough come tomorrow morning to actually be ready to get down to business. (To defeat. The Huns.)

I should already be in bed, but I wanted to post an update before I forgot. I have the feeling that life is going to be a little hectic for a couple of weeks because I’ll be learning a ton at work and school starts back up next week. Have a great week, everyone!

Enjoy the following cover of a song that seems oddly fitting in a “here’s to better times!” sort of way:

Counting Blessings

When my husband told me that our manager wanted to have an unplanned meeting with us (after which we could leave work early), I knew something was wrong. Unplanned meetings are rarely a positive sign, right? So it came as no surprise that she had bad news for us. That news? Our contract was ending early, and we would have a month left at our current positions. Continue reading

Limping through August (figuratively)

I won’t commit a lot of words to this post because I have a lot that I need to take care of, but I wanted to explain my absence from this blog for my followers–the few, the amazing! On top of wrapping up this term of grad school, my work situation destabilized, and well…there’s been more but honestly, you don’t need to hear me whine about it all. 🙂

So know that I have not forgotten about this space. I will resume writing regularly come September, or at least, that is the plan for the time being. If that changes, I will certainly let you know! In the meantime, thank you for sticking around as much as you have, and I really hope that your summers have been amazing! I’ll try to throw up some Sunday Links in our remaining weekends. Until next time, here’s Betty White being, well, amazing.

Betty White makes everything better, right? She's like the patron saint of kitties and unicorns and inappropriate jokes.

Betty White makes everything better, right? She’s like the patron saint of kitties and unicorns and inappropriate jokes.