Thursday, September 27, 2012

Longitude, latitude, and letting life happen.

I remember sitting in the university library and having an overwhelming urge to take a trip to Scotland. I had been following and adoring the hilarious Helen and her blog and was excited when she invited me to visit. I was just as excited when my parents were ok with the whole thing. I had been abroad once before when I was sixteen for an exchange program, but never had I spent anytime alone in a hotel. But they agreed to put my Christmas money toward the trip and that was that.

Two months later I found myself walking the streets of Glasgow, having a hotel room all to myself, and laughing the days away while exploring with Helen.

I knew this was what I needed. Time alone. Time to grow, stretch, reachon my own. It was during those ten days in the UK that I decided to search for opportunities to au pair...

What I learned, most of all from that brilliant, inspiring trip, was that when things are meant to be, they don't have to be forced; things will fall into place when you let them.

This is one of the biggest things I struggle with; "Letting go & letting God," as my sweet mother would say.

But I'm trying. Lord knows I'm trying. And so far, I think I'm making progress, or hope so, at least. Bit by bit. Piece by piece. My heart is starting to pace itself; my mind is starting to relax.

Nowafter having faith and patienceI find myself here. It's more wonderful than I could have ever imagined or planned.

And that's why I'm no longer a hopeless romantic; rather, my heart is overflowing with hope.
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Monday, September 24, 2012

{Quote of the Week.}

{via: tumblr.}
As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better. -Steve Maraboli
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Like the sound of the sun."

I've never really mentioned this in my blog before, though I've gone back and forth in my head often, wondering if I should share... 

I have diagnosed, severe OCD, more specifically, POCD. I decided recently to write about my struggles with POCD after having come across this article. It made me so frustrated, while these shown are phobias or quirks we all experience some variety of, it is not necessarily OCD. 

So, I submitted this article as a response and would love to share with you. It touches a bit on my struggles with OCD, but I plan on writing more about it in time. After clicking "send" and hearing that it helped some, I realized I should share my story, and honestly, I feel a little bit lighter having done so. Life's funny that way, no?

If you have any questions about POCD or OCD, please don't hesitate to ask. And if you or someone you know struggles with this disorder, this foundation and this website can help.

I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”-Maya Angelou
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Where the clouds collide with the Alps.

[Munich, September 20, 2012.]

I have arrived and it is beautiful.

It's a great contrast to my last stay in Germany scenery wise, and to be able to experience both extremes is honestly a dream. Coming from the plains of the Midwest, the past two years have been a whirlwind of different landscapes and climates. I have no favorite, but seeing the Alps from your backyard is pretty hard to beat.

I'll write more soon, as for now, jet lag has taken over.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The adventures of Bill & Cathy Cambridge.

There are no words to describe how much I love this. None. Nadda. Zilch. 
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

{Quote of the Week.}

[Munich. September 17, 2012.]

“In the history of the world, no one has done a thing that was not done for love. You must only train yourself to see it—the canny emerald strand that connects a soul to its desire and all the kinks and snarls in it, that might seem as though they tend towards wealth or power, but mean only love me, love me back, love me despite everything.” -Cat Valente
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Downton Abbey.

-images via tumblr.
I decided to find out what all the Downton Abbey hubbub was about, andoh me, oh myI am so happy I did. In one week I finished both the first and second season. Holy guacamole. How can they just up and leave us hanging like this? I miss it. So much.

At least I still have Everybody Loves Raymond. Right?

Also, here are some hilarious Downton Abbey themed tumblrs:
Downton Abbeyoncé
Downton Pawnee
Downton Tabby

and best of all:
Miss (Conan) O'brien.
(this, too.)
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11/2001


We will always remember.
Those who died.
Those who fought.
Those who rescued.
Those who sacrificed.
Those who lost so much
 that somber September day.
We remember.
We will always remember.

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” -David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law

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Monday, September 10, 2012

{Quote of the Week.}

{via: flickr.}
Don’t forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.-Charles de Lint
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

This is the dream I'm working on: Curing the mid-week blues.

{via Lark&Linen.}

I have a tough time dealing with evenings during the week. It's easy to be sucked into a crappy tv show and finish off a bag of chips you were planning on taking to the tailgate...
I read once that one way to fight these mid-week blues is to plan things you can look forward for during the week:

You need to make plans to see someone on a Tuesday because having a guaranteed fun activity in the middle of the week will keep you sane and give you something to look forward to. And let’s face it, we all need something to look forward to during the work week. -Thought Catalog

That's why I plan to host weekly, low-key get-togethers with friends that can give everyone a mid-week boost.

From Sequence and champagne to margaritas and Mario Cart, I think this idea is the ultimate cure to those mid-week blues.
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Words from Wise Women: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's writing not only inspires, but consoles and humbles. She has this way with speaking directly to you, when really, you know she has never met or heard of you. But still, it feels as though she is sitting next to you, giving you advice and cheering for you every step of the way. From the Civil Rights Movement to her poetry, Maya Angelou has affected so many with her words. She is a writer I admire, and a writer who always encourages us to keep on writing our story.

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” 

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” 

The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” 

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”  

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” 

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” 

A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face.” 

When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.” 

I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.” 

Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift. ” 

We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.” 

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” 

To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity.” 

“Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.” 

Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.” 

“You should never make someone a priority who views you as an option.” 

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

“A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally.” 

To those who have given up on love: I say, "Trust life a little bit.” 

(Trust life a little bit; I love that. Thank you, Dr. Angelou)

(above graphic by me.)
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I am simply someone who writes.

 {via: Notes to Self.}

I want to become "a writer." I studied writing (many different forms and styles). I've analyzed writing and  even had to critique others' works in fiction classes. I've also written for a newspaper and some online magazines. But still, yet, I do not call myself a "writer." For some reason, I refuse to call myself such—I feel I haven't reached that point yet. The point which I consider myself a real life, working, living, breathing writer.

Maybe it's because I fear being called a writer. I am scared of the expectations that come with that title. After years—maybe ten years—of writing everyday, maybe then I will be comfortabe with calling myself a writer. (A professor I had for poetry class always said something along the lines of "it takes doing something for 500 hours before you can consider yourself a professional." I took that to heart.)

And today, after finding this article in my bookmarks, I realized it's something many struggle with; being considered "a writer" or not. But someday I truly hope to be able to say with fervor: Yes. I am a writer.

As for now—now I say:
I am simply someone who writes.
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Monday, September 3, 2012

{Quote of the Week.}

{via: tumblr.}

“Think of how many people have sat next to you on a bus, train, whatever. Now think how many people have sat next to you on purpose with their fingers crossed in hope that you’ll talk to them. I’m sure somebody has. There’s plenty of times when somebody’s seen you and hoped that you spoke to them, but you never did because you don’t have the guts and neither do they. Don’t go around thinking nobody likes you and that you’re not loved. There’s been plenty of times when a stranger has spotted you and thought “Oh, they’re just my type” but haven’t had the courage or confidence to open their mouth and initiate a conversation. The funny thing is, neither have you.” -via.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Advice from a recent grad: What I wish I had known...

{Graduation. Spring 2012.}

This is a column I wrote for our college paper, The University Daily Kansan, for its Back to School issue. I wrote it specifically for KU students but feel college students from all over could relate to it as well. (At least, I hope so.) I hope you don't mind me sharing it... p.s. this is before the copy editor polished it. The online version is not yet available. I apologize for the errors.

As my time as a student comes to end, I can’t help but reflect on the past five years (victory lap!) while Vitamin C’s “Graduation” plays in my mind... I’m not going to put you through that, but I would like to share some words of advice.  
I’m going to go ahead and get the cliches out of the way first: College flies by. Get involved. Take advantage of the opportunities. Have fun. Study hard. Don’t take these four (or five, or however many) years for granted. Be safe. You will someday look back on this time and miss it. You will. 
Now that those are out of the way (yet, so very true) I am going to add a few of my own “what I wish I had known while at KU” lessons. 
1. The library has the best, I repeat, best resources. Learn how to use them. I’m not even saying necessarily for your projects or papers, but did you know they have an entire DVD section? Or an entire row in the stacks dedicated to Scandinavian Royals? Me neither. I didn’t know this until my last semester. They also have subscriptions to some of the raddest, most expensive websites and databases in the world. If you want a book, they will find it and help you get it into your hands. Any book. Even if it’s flippin’ Amelia Bedelia, they will make it happen. Explore your hobbies and interests now. You have the best resources to do so.  
Also, most of your Western Civ. texts can be found online for free. Most of them are public domain and can be found on google books or somewhere of the like. Wait until after you find out how much of your textbook you’ll use in other classes, then you can decide if it’s worth buying. You can always find rentable texts in different libraries and departments. Honestly, I didn’t use 85% of my textbooks.  
2. Eat at the dining hall. I know, I know, it gets old. I felt the same way. But oh, how I wish I would have listened to my older siblings when they said, “Enjoy it now, because when you have to cook yourself, it’s the worst.” Seriously. My sister would still own a pass to Mrs. E’s if she could get one for her and the rest of her family. After all, who could ever tire of a cereal bar? I think I’ll miss that the most... 
3. Talk to your professors. They are people, believe it or not, and (most) are there because they really do want to help you learn. And (most) are experts on extremely specific topics. And (most) want to tell you about what they know. Go to office hours, email them if you have questions. Know what is worth debating and what is not. That extra credit you turned in and got five out of ten, let it go. Unless, of course, they are blatantly wrong. 
4. Put down your phones and talk to the people around you. After college, you’re probably rarely, if ever, going to be around so many people in the same life stage/situation as you. Everyone is here trying to get a degree (and do so while making the best of it). We’re all on the same playing field--help eachother out. Meet people who are interested in your same hobbies. You may never again see people with the same interests on a daily basis. But don’t stick to only groups that agree with what you think or like what you like. Explore different groups and make friends with all kinds of people. This is how you learn. 
5. I think this is probably the most important thing I wish I had known: Take control of your course order. I wish I had taken more general education classes at the beginning and avoided diving into so many major-specific classes. I have more than 12 credit hours that do not apply at all to my degree. I should have been more open to the idea I would maybe change my mind (which I did, five times) before deciding on a major. General eds: Get them done. Tell your advisor you want ones that are general to many schools and can count for at least something if you change your major. Be smart about your classes. Be open to new majors. Don’t assume you will graduate with the major you started in. If you do, props. Major props (pun intended). I wish I had had my stuff together. 
But most of all get off the computer and go sledding on snow days, tailgate before games, and go to the Union movies. Because Facebook will be around ten years down the road (or so we’re told) but you won’t be on campus forever. Yes, we’re always Jayhawks, but it’s a rare time of your life when you’re surrounded by 25,000 others who hold “Rock Chalk” to heart.

I added the links for this post, not the original. ; )
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Saturday, September 1, 2012

A countdown (of sorts).

I leave for Munich in 16 days. (16 days!) I can't believe it. 

I am excited. (So excited!) And nervous. (A nervous wreck.) And really, feeling as though I'm on the cusp of something great. (Something so great I can't even put it into words.) Because this is a completely new chapter of my life.

It is, in someways, the beginning of my "adult-post-college" life.

And it feels terrifyingly good. If that makes sense?

And after reading this post, I am giddy.
So giddy to know that these things are happening.

Because when I wrote that post, way back in 2009,
I wasn't truly convinced I'd be able to see Oktoberfest in person...

But now I know I will; and it is surreal.
Surreal in the most wonderful of ways.
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