What I’ve Learned

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It’s okay to be overwhelmed.

German kezboards are very different than American ones and zou need to proofread zour emails.

French press coffee is deceptively difficult to make right.

Sometimes you can buy a jacket at a flea market for fifty cents. Reader, FIFTY CENTS.

Deep breath, it takes time to make friends.

People probably arn’t thinking about you as much as you think they are.

Living on your own for the first time is quite a learning curve.

Fall, and I mean real fall, is some kind of magic.

30 minutes is not enough time to get ready in the morning. For the love of God, please give yourself 45.

P.s. this post inspired by this article and photo from here

Lists of Note

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThings I will miss when I die

Coffee

Crawling into fresh sheets

Violin music

Texting my brother

That satisfied feeling you get when you finally break through the ice with someone

Taking polaroids

Ayrick

Kissing

Things I won’t miss when I die

The insane amount of paper work required in Germany

German pronouns

Uncomfortable bras

Rejection

Dirty dishes

 

 

A Beautiful Passage

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I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a good person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward as possible.

Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

I could be walking down the street one day, blasting Rihanna or Fleetwood Mac, jamming so hard that I don’t see the bus coming. I could be walking with a book in my hand, reading until the very end. I could be paying total and complete attention, imagine the impact before it arrives.

And I’d really, really rather not die with some confusing statement I said sitting in the phone or the thoughts or the memory of someone I know, care about, need.

I know how it is—we all want to be mysterious. None of us want to get hurt. None of us want to look desperate. So we wait to respond to texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, Tweets. So we communicate our emotions in how we end our messages (no period this time? Really gonna get them.). So we say vague, half-statements and expect people to read our minds.

But what if we died?

What if the last thing you ever texted that girl was, “I don’t know, whenever,” when she asked when she should come over, even though you really really wanted to see her right now? What if you were head-over-heels in lust with some beautiful human in your Lit. class but you chose to wait 15 seconds before texting them back, only to never get the chance to text them at all?

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.

(So go text them back.)

– “Tell the People You Love that You Love Them”, Rachel C. Lewis

 

Germany Week 1

fullsizeoutput_4cf6Hello friends! I apologize for the radio silence around here lately– I’ve been busy readjusting to life in Germany. My brain is on over-drive trying to speak German and remember all the little ins and outs of another culture. It’s been both challenging and rewarding. Below are a few photos from the last week and a half in Frankfurt if you’d like to see 🙂IMG_4409Strollin’ around the Altstadt with a friend. Are those building gorgeous or what?IMG_4429IMG_4467IMG_4469I love the mix of old and new architecture in Frankfurt. Fun fact: it is the only city in Germany with a big, recognizable skyline.fullsizeoutput_4cf7Processed with VSCO with b1 presetThe Alter Oper, or old opera, is one of my favorite spots in town.IMG_4506IMG_4507My friend and I at the indoor market. IMG_4509IMG_4510IMG_4511IMG_4512IMG_4513The flower market is so beautiful. It made me want to have a garden like a good German!IMG_4515IMG_4525IMG_4527Friends at small group. It was so nice to reconnect. The little boy above has grown so much in the last year and his German is better than mine now. It blew my mind.IMG_4529IMG_4546This kiddo turned one years old. I went with a friend to his birthday party in a small town just outside Frankfurt. I want a cake like that for my 23rd birthday this year!IMG_4555Now I’m off to Cologne for a week of Fulbright orientation. Wish me luck!

I’m comin’ for ya, Germany!

21034614_10214094112849154_1542056307746449990_n.jpgGermany round FOUR, here I come! Are you ready for me?

I’ve been overcome by a strange, vague sort of homesickness. I feel a longing– but for what, where, who? I can’t pin it down exactly. These past few months have been a huge season of transition in my life. My parents moved, I graduated university and moved to Texas for the summer, and am now moving to Germany for at least a year. My sense of home is certainly out of sorts. It must be redefined.

When I first set foot in Germany at age 19, I felt as though I was coming home to a place I’d never been before. And the same is true now. I’ve missed this country more than I can articulate in a blog post, or at all really. It has settled deep in my bones and won’t leave no matter what I do or how long I’m away.

So, at the risk of sounding terrible cliché, today feels like the first day of my life. Let’s do this. 20954078_10214094112689150_3685987330583897698_n.jpg

Iceland

jhygtfrdWow, Iceland took my breath away. I had a quick two day stop before I head home to California today and I must say, two days is certainly not enough to discover this incredible island! I’m not even sure an entire lifetime would be enough. Below are a few photos from my tour of The Golden Circle and my day exploring Reykjavíc. Enjoy! asdUntitledsdafsdszvc^Our first stop was a hollowed out crater-turned-lake. I’m not even going to attempt to write the names of all these places because they are incredibly complicated. Icelandic is such an interesting language. It reminds me of German in some ways, but is considered one of the most pure languages on earth– since the island was so isolated for so long, the language has changed very little from the viking days! asdcvbasdfvsfdghvj^Next was this beautiful waterfall on someone’s private property! Imagine having this in your backyard. Iceland is definitely the land of a thousand waterfalls.cvcxvbnm^Reminds me of Montana or Wyoming!dsdgfhgjfdssfggfsd^This national park was probably my favorite stop of the day. It is the sight of the first parliament of Iceland, back in the days of the vikings, as well as the place where the European and North American plates collide! rtuyihureagfdlk^You can actually walk between the two continental plates! So cool. It seemed symbolic of my life right now– half european, half American haha.IMG_8148kdfgjhkdgfhjflsdfgh^Geysers that go off every five minutes or so. The temperature of the water was between 80-100 degrees Celsius, but I still wanted to take a bath in it. sdfgzfxgfchvcfghj

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset^I even got to walk on a glacier. This is the second largest glacier in Europe and third largest in the world. I felt like I was floating on clouds (and I got really sunburnt!).

sdfgc^Waterfall from glacial run-off! fgs^Downtown Reykjavic is so colorful! I enjoyed the Scandinavian design aesthetic. fsdxz^Cool photography shop!gfdsgfdsda^Arresting views from the Hallgrimskirkja, the famous church in town.ghfhgfsdmjnbghfvhnfgdcsikojujhgjhgfdkujgtgfdsuikyjghfgdfsdThanks for the fun times Iceland! I’ll be back one day, but for now I’m off to sunny Southern California 🙂

Aufwiedersehen Frankfurt!

 

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The day has finally come to say goodbye to Frankfurt. Who knows what the future holds after my graduation in May, but for now I need to return to school to finish what I started! This summer has exceeded my every expectation. And if leaving people and relationships can break a person’s heart, I’m certain leaving a place you love can too. Though I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends again, I can’t help but cry over leaving the new family and friends I’ve made here the past three months. But God is infinitely good and sovereign, he already has a good plan for me. I think this C.S. Lewis quote from The Four Loves fits my current situation quite well:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

I know it was worth every bit of pain, because I loved these people and this place deeply. I was vulnerable, I shared my life with them, and it made all the difference. Aufwiedersehen beautiful country, thank you for everything, again.

^A video I made of the entire summer!

Nice, France

IMG_7792I spent the past five days in Nice, France on a little solo vacation! My internship supervisor was at a conference, so she gave me the green light to travel, and I knew I wanted to spend time lying on the beach somewhere. A few friends of mine had visited Nice during our time in Heidelberg, and had nothing but good things to say about it. I had been to France three times before, but never to the Riviera. It is truly another world– sailboats gliding in the bay, kids splashing in the water, beautiful French people dining in beautiful French cafes. They struck me as such an elegant people. One day I want to learn french! My three years of spanish helped a bit, but luckily nearly everyone spoke english. The town was pretty packed with tourists, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I loved hearing all the languages and watching people interact. People watching is one of my favorite hobbies. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!IMG_7701IMG_7714IMG_7717^The old town is the definition of classy. French architecture is so exquisitely detailed.IMG_7730IMG_7744IMG_7752^One of my favorite squares in town, called the Promenade de Arts, because it’s lined with numerous museums and galleries. I visited a gallery with a photography exhibition about Princess Grace of Monaco, the Contemporary Art Museum, and the Matisse Museum.IMG_7791IMG_7808^French flags could be spotted flying everywhere. There were even flowers and candles in memorial to the victims of the recent terror attacksIMG_7819IMG_7821IMG_7876^This view was worth the long, sweaty hike to the top of the mountain!IMG_7881IMG_7889^That water though…IMG_7893^The portIMG_7907IMG_7912IMG_7920^Loved all the colorful boats, big and smallIMG_7962IMG_7969Ce la bon vie! Life is good. What do you think, would you travel to Nice? I’m back in Frankfurt now with a slight tan and a lighter wallet…haha!

Marbourg

IMG_7552Last weekend a friend from church invited me to come stay with her in Marbourg, which is about an hour away from Frankfurt. She works for the Compassion International office there, and lives in the most adorable old apartment. My brother’s girlfriend studied abroad in Marbourg back in the day, so I had heard about how charming it was, but I was completely blown away when I arrived! It is the quintessential German town, complete with a university, a river, a castle and everything else you could imagine. I had so much for exploring this part of Hessen (the German state/region) and would gladly return again one day if the opportunity arose. IMG_7409^The old town is on the side of a hill, which really reminded me of Heidelberg. IMG_7412IMG_7416IMG_7424^The adorable second-story apartment my friend lives in!IMG_7426IMG_7435IMG_7443^The university library. Doesn’t it look like Hogwarts?!IMG_7446^The Lahn river is small but cute 🙂IMG_7450IMG_7498IMG_7506IMG_7508IMG_7510^Posing awkwardly at the castleIMG_7511IMG_7529IMG_7501IMG_7403^These animal heads are from a Grimm Brothers fairytale. One of the Grimm brothers lived in Marbourg for a little while, so they claim him as theirs!

Until next time magical little city!