Are you good at making decisions? I am not. It is not my spiritual gift. In fact, I think one of the hardest lessons for me to internalize in life is that I can do anything, but I can’t do everything. Making a choice inherently means giving up the other choices. I ask because I have recently made a big decision. I’ve decided to quit my graduate program and move home to Texas. Boom. There it is. There are many reasons, some more private, but the main one is that the program was not the right fit for me.
As I was thinking and praying about what to do, I talked with my friend Sean on the phone. I was bemoaning how people might perceive me (re: You’re back? What happened? You quit?), when he said, “Micah, nobody cares.” Dang, haha! HE IS RIGHT. Nobody is paying as much attention to us as we think they are! Of course my family and close friends care, but his point was that if it’s the right decision for you, don’t let what others might think stop you.
My generation has so many doors open to us, that we get paralyzed. Decision fatigue sets in and so we just don’t decide. Of course, not deciding is a decision. So I’ve decided. I am going to go home, reassess, and move forward. Emphasis on the moving forward.
Remember friends, just because something is over doesn’t mean it was bad. I’m excited for this new season, and of course I’ll be blogging my way through it, so don’t go anywhere!
Exercise in the winter
Tell yourself you will go for a bike ride once it stops raining. Bundle up in coat, scarf, hat and mittens. Start sweating profusely ten seconds into your ride, but then freeze when you remove a layer. Peddle until your face is red and your lips have the consistency of sandpaper. Stop for a coffee. Stay for an hour. Ride home because now it’s getting dark. You have ridden one third of a mile. Repeat self-delusion for four months.
Deal with anxiety
Decide to meditate. You’ve downloaded an app for this very purpose! Light a candle, turn down the lights, make a cup of tea. Close your eyes and follow the soothing voice’s instructions to empty your mind…
did you take the laundry out? If you didn’t, it will get soggy…do you need to schedule an eye appointment for next week or should you chalk the problem up to ‘random medical weirdness’? And does your college roommate hate you because she didn’t respond to your text? Maybe. Maybe…
Turn off the app and stalk her on Facebook.
Do your assigned school reading
Get a snack. Your brain can’t function properly without fuel, after all. Stare at the PDF document. Read three paragraphs. Open Facebook real quick– post a picture of your middle school dance captioned ‘Throw Back Thursday’! Laugh at how witty you are as a way to stave off the growing guilt. Read three more paragraphs. Answer the pressing text message from your boyfriend asking how your day was (terrible), then return to screen. Decide to give up and do it later.
Have a long distance relationship
Calculate the time difference between the two of you. Nine hours. Alright. He times his lunch break so you can talk for an hour before you fall asleep. First try FaceTime– not working? Ok, switch to Facebook video chat. The connection is still fuzzy, so move closer to the router in the hallway. Wave to your apartment mates as they walk past, trying not to eavesdrop. Give up. Book a ticket home for spring break.
Overcome your Millenial-ness
Make a decision. Any decision. Try not to faint because this means saying no to all the other possible options.
Act like an adult around your parents
Ask your mom casually where your W-2 form is, and while she’s at it, could she explain briefly what exactly this form means. Tell your dad all about your new job and how professional it is (the blazers, the coffee, the copier, oh my!), then ask him if he will take your car into the shop this weekend because it’s making a funny sound.
This poem was brought to my attention by the blog Cup of Jo. It really got me today. The imagery is so beautiful and heartbreaking. It reminded me that everyone, absolutely everyone, struggles. And often the person who struggles the most appears the most outwardly composed. I’ve been that person at times, and like to think I am more empathetic and aware because of it. The last stanza sent chills down my spine!
I cry on airplanes. Every. Single. Time. Long or short, international or domestic, alone or with others, it doesn’t matter. You can bet I will be tearing up before we begin our descent. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because I am trapped in a metal tube barreling across the earth, or maybe because I’m removed from my daily reality. Some studies have proposed the altitude leads to a lack of oxygen (hypoxia) which can heightened emotions. Whatever it is, I know I’m not alone in this. On a recent flight to London, I noticed the man next to me tear up and then hide under his blanket!
So tell me, are you more vulnerable on airplanes? Do you stare out the window while listening to emo music? Or is that just me?
Ps. Photo via here
I am not someone who typically makes a big deal out of Valentines Day. I’m in the “every day should be valentines day” camp. But this year is my first year to have a proper boyfriend on February 14th (gasp). And although it sounds cliché, being someone’s girlfriend has made me a bit mushy. I’m not even with him today, in fact, we are on different continents! But I just want to shout out into the internet void- happy Valentines Day, Trey! It has been nice to learn more about the nature of love from you these past six months.
I am reading a few different books at once right now. Do you ever do that? I find it helps keep me entertained and engaged to have multiple different genres.
The Dip by Seth Godin
This book is all about how to quit and quit well. Are you in a dip or a dead end? How do you use your resources well and not exert energy on things that won’t pay off in the end? Easy to read and highly insightful.
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
Best friends since college, two young women work as animators in the male dominated field. They live a rough and tumble life style, and try to make it big without ruining their friendship or the relationships around them in the process.
The One and Only by Emily Giffin
This book hits close to home. It is about a woman who is obsessed with football in her small Texas college town (ahem, Baylor is that you??). She starts dating a football star but when a scandal breaks out, she starts to realized that her comfortable life may not be everything she thought…
I need recommendations for my upcoming travels. Give me all the tips!
P.s. photo by Thought Catalog
Cover letters suck to write
Friendship takes time, be patient
January is the worst but February is shorter
Call your mom, her voice will fix it
Studying is like a job. Just sit down and do it.
Volleyball is really fun, even in German
Tell your boyfriend you love him often
P.s. Photo from Google photos. I love you, coffee.
Sitting in a cafe for hours on end, drinking coffee, talking philosophy, watching bike riders pass by with flowers in their basket, happy people with free health care strolling down sunny cobble stone streets, staring wistfully out of train windows while fitting emotional music plays in the background.
Running late for the bus, sweaty, running late for the train, sweaty, climbing four flights of stairs to my apartment, sweaty, lugging backpacks full of groceries on my bike in the snow, cold and sweaty, emptying the food leftovers from the sink to the waste bin because there’s no garbage disposal, sorting my trash into six specific bins, everyone dressed in black from head to to because we haven’t seen the sun in five months.
Funny how life has a way of surprising us, isn’t it? I am somehow who sets her expectations very high (curse you, American idealism!!), and constantly has to check them and reassess.
I complain sometimes, especially in winter, but still have a huge soft spot in my heart for you, Europe. Thanks for being a continent.
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
This is one of my favorite poems. Yesterday was a chilly, melancholy winter Sunday. Today is better. What do you make of this poem?
Happy New Year! Two days in and I’m already feeling like it’s going to be a big one. My head spins when I think about all the things that happened in 2018- finishing my Fulbright, moving to Texas for the summer, meeting my boyfriend, moving to Muenster for grad school, making many new friends, etc.
I read that January is a hard month for many people. It is dark and cold without holiday festivities. Plus, there’s the feeling that you can change things about your life with a fresh start to the year, but often those changes or goals go unmet early on.
This year I am keeping things simple. I want to knit a scarf, read a book a month, keep up with my homework more consistently, and a few other small things. I hope that I can continue to create healthy habits that will last throughout the year.
Have a happy start, friends!