Belgium with Alena and Julie

Belgium really is wonderful. The architecture is whimsical, the people are kind, and the waffles live up to the hype. Alena and I stayed in Ghent with our friend Julie and did a day trip to Brugge, a medieval city that has been preserved and restored. It felt a little like Disneyland- bands playing in the square, kids licking ice cream cones, sunshine! I was ready to ride Splash Mountain. If you’re thinking about visiting Belgium, I say go for it!

How To:

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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.

 

a beautiful and chilling poem

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!

Do You Cry on Planes?

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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

be my valentine

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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.

what books are you reading?

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile

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