Tuesday, December 1, 2015

When nothing goes unsaid.

Have you ever puked on the subway? Well, not on the subway, exactly -- or the Tube, in my case -- but gotten that feeling of utter nausea, the kind that starts in your heart and the next thing you know you're running off the train to find the nearest trashcan, bush, whatever?

I have. This past weekend, in fact.

I went to visit some friends in London. London and I have had a lot of interesting moments together. Mostly brilliant. Some rather sad. London isn't a city where you have a mediocre time. It's really not. You either have the most magical time on Earth, or you end up puking on the Tube from sadness, or maybe you experience both in a mere 12 hours span, as was my latest adventure.

I could go into details. Give you the play-by-play of what happened. But I think there are some things that should be reserved for my personal memories... or until I'm a little bit less fragile.

But here's what I do want to say: if you have something to say, something near and dear to your heart, say it. I know my saying that probably comes as no surprise, I've had a pretty strong track record of doing just that.

This weekend I did it again.

And it wasn't pretty. It was full of ugly tears, confessions of love, and utter rejection. A lost friendship to boot.

(And some puking on the Tube.)

But I walked away with not a single regret, well, aside from wishing i hadn't done that type of sob where you can't catch your breath; the one that takes you back to when you were 3 years old and your mom wouldn't buy you that doll you had to have.

But ugly tears be damned, I regret nothing.

When I'm 40 or 60, I'll never have to wonder "What if I would have just said how I felt?"

I said how I felt. And that's all I can do.

That's all we can ever do.

Love, love, love. I'll keep on if you promise you will.

"I hope one day 5 years from now you stumble across me when I’ve grown out of you and finally then after not seeing me for all this time it will break your heart."

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Quotes for this particular season of my life. || November 2015.

“Once we begin to celebrate what our body does rather than obsessing on how it looks, we start to appreciate our body as an instrument rather than an ornament.
— Unknown
“There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all to apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.
— Jane Austen
“Nothing will ruin your twenties more than thinking you should have your life together already.
— Unknown
 You will fall in love with someone who’s cold and always seemingly pushing you away. When all is said and done, they will be forever known as the one person you couldn’t get to love you. Unfortunately, it will hurt and sting worse than the good ones, the ones that chopped up your meat for you and picked out an eyelash from your eye and were nice to your mother, because love often feels like a game we need to win. And when we lose, when we realize we couldn’t get what we ultimately desired from a person, it makes us feel like a failure and erases all the memories of those who loved us in the past.
— Ryan O'Connell
“'You,' he said, 'are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.'
— Emilie Autumn
“I ruined myself for a lot of people who weren't even worth it.
— Unknown
“These are hard times. The world hurts. We live in fear and forget to walk with hope. But hope has not forgotten you. So ask it to dinner. It's probably hungry and would appreciate the invitation.
— Libba Bray
“A soft woman
is simply a wolf
caught in meditaion.
— Pavana

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Adele's 'Hello' & how I haven't stopped crying since its release

You guys. It's been nearly a week and I haven't stopped listening to Adele's new single... much to my coworkers' dismay. It's so good. You've heard it, right? And you've seen the video, right? RIGHT? Here. I'll wait.

I told you so!

So not only are her cheekbones, voice and eyeliner perfection, but she absolutely kills it in interviews, too. Oh, Adele. You're too good to us.

Maybe I also love her because we're nearly the same age and her songs are about life stages we went through around the same time? Maybe I'm reaching here, but naja.

She slayed me with this. (I want to print it off and tape it all over my apartment as inspiration.)

Adele also blessed us with this recent interview in i-D magazine. It's definitely worth a read. Here's a part that especially stood out to me.
When she was ready to start work on the record, Adele walked down to the local shop ("I do actually walk," she says, laughing) and bought herself a brand new notebook. "I do it every album. I buy a new pad, sniff it - 'cause smell is important - and then I get a big, fat sharpie and write my age on the front page. 25 has five exclamation marks after it 'cause I was like, 'How the fuck did that happen?!' 21 to 25." The record is about getting older and becoming nostalgic, she says. It's about what was, what is, what might have been. It's about missing things that you had no idea were so precious, like being 18-years-old and drinking two litre bottles of cider in Brockwell Park with your mates. "Those were the most real and best moments of my life and I wish I'd known that I wasn't going to be able to sit in the park and drink a bottle of cider again." Not because she's famous, but because her life - and the lives of her school friends - has moved on. No one is a teenager anymore. "I think the album is about trying to clear out the past," she says slowly. 
And woo boy, that's exactly what I'm trying to do right now. Kon Mari Methoding my past. 
Less than a month until we're graced with her entire. new. album. I'm dying over here! 
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Friday, October 16, 2015

I'm still here, promise!

Hi all!

I've gotten many messages and emails asking if I plan on still blogging and I do! I do! But I'm currently in the throws of building up my new apartment (!) and am quite busy at work. It's a good busy. A really good busy. I am in a good place and really trying to enjoy it. And sometimes that means going home and not flipping on your computer after staring at a screen for 9 hours already...

But I miss this so much and am really going to write more soon.

Important updates so far:

  • I've been in Hamburg a year now. A YEAR! Can you believe it? This is the start of my fourth year in Germany. I've spent four of the six years of my twenties living abroad. Insane. 
  • I have my very first, all mine, paid for myself apartment. It's a beautiful one, and I love it dearly. If only furniture were cheaper. ;) I will post about it soon. I think you'll like it. 
  • I update a lot on Instagram if you fancy following along there, and of course, twitter

Thank you for always checking in and being such loyal pals. This blog just turned 7 and I've only kept with it thanks to the dear friendships I've made along the way. 

Onward & upward. 

"Two February’s ago, all I wanted to do was sleep. I was anchored to my bed with the sadness I was letting myself drown in. Now, I daydream about surviving on 3 hours of sleep, I dread going to bed, I keep my eyes open as long as I can. My heart sinks when the sun sets, I crave daylight; I’ve fallen in love with being alive." — Madisen Kuhn, January 18, 2014 journal entry

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Monday, August 17, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

"It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for." — Amy Poehler
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Hold on.

What I'm reading over & over again this week:

Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up by Eponis

Are you hydrated?  If not, have a glass of water.

Have you eaten in the past three hours?  If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs.  Perhaps some nuts or hummus?

Have you showered in the past day?  If not, take a shower right now.

If daytime: are you dressed?  If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas.  Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.

If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep?  Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes — no electronic screens allowed.  If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.

Have you stretched your legs in the past day?  If not, do so right now.  If you don’t have the spoons for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please.  If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip.

Have you said something nice to someone in the past day?  Do so, whether online or in person.  Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.

Have you moved your body to music in the past day?  If not, do so — jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite BPM, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.

Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days?  If not, do so.  Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets.  Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.

Do you feel ineffective?  Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip.  Good job!

Do you feel unattractive?  Take a goddamn selfie.  Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.

Do you feel paralyzed by indecision?  Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day.  If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable.  Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.

Have you seen a therapist in the past few days?  If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.

Have you been over-exerting yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually?  That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.

Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in generic prescription brand?  That may be screwing with your head.  Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.

Have you waited a week?  Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause.  It happens.  Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.

You’ve made it this far, and you will make it through.  You are stronger than you think.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Questions I cannot answer at this time.

[The stairs to my apartment.]

With your twenties, and starting your career and the like, come a lot of questions. Some from caring family members. Most from curious acquaintances. As an expat I receive a lot of the latter.

Unfortunately, I cannot give a definite answer to a lot of the questions I am presented with.

They include but are not limited to:
Why are you here, like, besides for work?
How long do you want to stay?
Do you want to raise your kids here, or in the States?
What do you miss most about the States besides your family and friends?
How are the States different from Germany?
Do you like German healthcare more?
What's your favorite thing about Germany?
Do you want to marry a German?
What's the biggest difference between America and Germany?
It's funny, because most of the people who ask me these questions ask in passing, as if I have a one-word answer I can give them about any of the above. Most days I simply explain that it depends on XYZ, and change the topic. Other days I give a straight-faced answer that is absurd, like if they ask what I like most about Germany, I will just stare at them and without skipping a beat say something like, "Haribo is far cheaper here."

Because sometimes you're so exhausted from your own questions you ask yourself to deal with the inquiries of curious minds.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

“Making jokes is your way of saying ‘Do you love me?’ and when someone laughs you think they’ve said yes.” - Melissa Bank

I have never related to truer words.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quotes for this particular season of my life. || June 2015.

“To hell with being ashamed of what you like.”
— Ralph Ellison
“So you chose to stay and called it hope. Until one day you were strong enough to call it what it was and do what you needed to do all along. Walk away.
— Unknown
“Women are emotional in order to feel the divine energy at the highest levels and be supreme healers and lovers and mothers. Not to drive men insane. Her deep spiritual connection to feelings is to inspire a man to his spiritual heights as well. She is not a nag, she is an oracle.
— Raja Khan
“The worst thing: to give yourself away in exchange for not enough love.
— Joyce Carole Oates
“All I ever really want to know is how other people are making it through life—where do they put their body, hour by hour, and how do they cope inside of it.”
— Miranda July
“Don't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.”
— Don Miguel Ruiz
“Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
“Time will pass; these moods will pass; and I will, eventually, be myself again.
— Kay Redfield Jamison
“Have patience with all things but first of all with yourself.
— Saint Francis de Sales

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Friday, June 19, 2015

That time I went to the Swedish Royal Wedding...

You guys. Last week I went to Stockholm for the Royal Wedding. Of course, I'm writing all about it over on my royal blog, Duchess-at-Large, if you're into that sort of thing. :)

ALSO: I took that picture of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia with no zoom. I was THAT close. Wicked, right? ;)
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On keeping your head above water & 'How to Defeat Fear'.

I had a tough week last week. I'm in-between leases and that means I'm sleeping on a mattress on a floor in a big empty apartment. Oh, and there's no internet. So I've been staying late at work to keep that sweet sweet connection to the outside world. 
And after a weekend of being at the receiving end of a lot of hateful words, I'm barely keeping my head above water. 
But the important thing is that I am. And I will continue swimming.
But in the meantime, the Universe and big guy upstairs have been sending me a lot of messages in various forms. 
Last month, I ordered The Pocket Pema Chödrön at the recommendation of my lovely friend Mackenzie. I had forgotten about it (thanks Deustche Post strikes!) but it finally arrived last week, and couldn't have come at a better time. 
Last night, as I crawled into bed--erm, onto the mattress on the floor--I felt a panic attack coming on and reached for the book as a distraction. 

Then I opened to the following passage:
Once there was a young warrior.  
Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave instructions for the battle. 
The day arrived. 
The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful.  
The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?”  
Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” 
Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” 
Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” 
In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. 
It read it over and over again until I finally felt like the attack had passed. And then I thought about all the fear I'm facing at the moment and it felt a little less scary. 

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Monday, June 1, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

“Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.” - C. Joybell C
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

Not everyone can feel things as deeply as you. Most people, their feelings are ... bland, tasteless. They'll never understand what it's like to read a poem and feel almost like they're flying, or to see a bleeding fish and feel grief that shatters their heart. It's not a weakness, Grey. It's what I love about you most.” ― Juliann GareyToo Bright to Hear Too Loud to See
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

twenty + six.

Yesterday I turned 26.

I don't know how time has flown so quickly. But here we are.

Last year, when I turned 25, I had a simple dinner with my parents and my dad bought me a royal magazine with Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary on the cover. He had heard about how I had been writing my royal blog during my job hunt.

And less than a year later from that day I received that magazine, well, 364 days to be exact, I met Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary at Hamburg City Hall, a few blocks from the office of my (not-so-new) job.

It was in that moment, standing in front of City Hall waiting for their arrival, that I decided life is all kinds of wild.

Because a lot can happen in 365 days.

I'm certainly excited to see what's ahead for year 26.

To be alive

To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That’s crudely put, but…

If we’re not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?

-Gregory Orr 
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

To be able to say: I loved this person, we had a hell of a nice time together, it’s over but in a way it will never be over and I do know that I for sure loved this person, to be able to say that and mean it, that’s rare, señor. That’s rare and valuable.Ernest Hemingway, from The Complete Short Stories

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Friday, May 8, 2015

"Apology Letter to my Body"

I love this.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

"I want to apologize to all the women I have called beautiful before I’ve called them intelligent or brave. I am sorry I made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is all you have to be proud of when you have broken mountains with your wit. From now on I will say things like you are resilient, or you are extraordinary not because I don’t think you’re beautiful, but because I need you to know you are more than that." Rupi Kaur 

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Monday, April 20, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

I used to dislike being sensitive. I thought it made me weak. But take away that single trait, and you take away the very essence of who I am. You take away my conscience, my ability to empathize, my intuition, my creativity, my deep appreciation of the little things, my vivid inner life, my keen awareness to others pain and my passion for it all. -unknown
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hamburg Happenings. // Winter 2015

Winter in northern Europe is no joke.

While the sun manages to rise by 9:00am, it packs up and heads home for the day around 4:00pm. That lazy sun. But the clouds, the clouds seem to work overtime, so should the sun even make an appearance, the clouds make sure to block out an ray to possibly come our way. It's hard. So when I get out of work around 6:00pm, I typically find myself in a pattern of going home, cooking, showering, TV. No more, no less. I create a rut, and I find comfort in building a home there...

But... BUT (!) now the sun is staying out longer, and the clouds are taking some time off, (and this metaphor is ridiculous, I know), and this changes everything.

So farewell, Hamburg winter... and hello, Mr. Sun. I've missed you. I really have.

And I've missed this blog.

Blogs are tricky in that unless it's your bread and butter, it's hard to stay motivated to write after you write all day to earn aforementioned bread and butter. Now that the sun stays out longer, and there's a bit of light still when I get home, I feel like I have been gifted a few hours of the day, making me so much happier and optimistic. I suddenly want to jump back in to all of my beloved hobbies.

There for a while, I never knew if my desire to write for fun would return.

But it has, and for that, I am oh, so thankful.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Quotes for this particular season of my life. || March 2015.

“I have this bad habit of forgiving those who arent even sorry.”
An amazing thing happens when you stop seeking approval and validation: You find it. People are naturally drawn like magnets to those who know who they are and cannot be shaken.
— Mindy Hale, The Single Woman
I’m not the same everyday. There are times where I’m loud and chatty, and there are times when I’mr really quiet. I don’t think I can define myself.
— Jongup
“It took me years to comprehend, but now I think I finally understand. The silence, the distance, it wasn’t just some small definition of possibility. It was the epitome of impossibility. It was impossible. This, us. The ignoring, the glaring, the down right shutting out. It all mattered to me, but none of it mattered to you. That’s just the truth of it all. The truth I’ve been refusing to understand but now do. You’ve never had any interest in me and never will.”
— t.b.h.
If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.
— Paulo Coehlo
This you know is a time for taking in—taking in friendship, conversation, gaiety, wisdom, knowledge, beauty, holiness- and later, well, there’ll be a time of giving out.
— Lew & Mary Ann, A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges you lose your edge. 

Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone — profusely. But don't apologise for being who you are.
— Danielle Laporte
The sun is perfect and you woke this morning. You have enough language in your mouth to be understood. You have a name, and someone wants to call it. Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it. If we just start there, every beautiful thing that has and will ever exist is possible. If we start there, everything, for a moment, is right in the world.
— Warsan Shire
Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.’
— Elisabeth Elliot

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Monday, February 2, 2015

{Quote of the Week.}

If you can love the wrong one so much, just imagine how much you can love the right one. - comment from Humans of New York Facebook page

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Two-Thousand + Fifteen.

[insert obligatory, cliche New Year, New You spiel...]

Had you asked 10-year-old me, or heck, 20-year-old me what I thought my 2015 would look like I wouldn't have said anything slightly resembling this. 

Thank God.

My past selves would not have given me enough credit to pull off the adventure I'm currently in the throws of. Most days I can't believe it myself. 

Thank God.

I'm satisfied in the most unfamiliar of ways. Some people would pity my lack of romance (well, lack of "locked down romance") etc. etc. And I'm finally starting to realize having someone isn't when you can be deemed "officially happy." 

In fact, on Wednesday night, standing on the Hamburg Pier with new friends, a glass full of champagne, and smeared lipstick from smooching a stranger at midnight, I realized that I'm pretty stinkin' happy. 

The kind of happy you feel in your gut. And your heart. 

For that kind of happy, I thank God. 

Here's to 2015, may it be filled with many more days of friends, confidence, and of course, smeared lipstick from midnight kisses.

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