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

Europe: Expectations vs. Reality

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Expectations
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.

Reality
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.

“Those Winter Sundays”

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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?
-Robert Hayden
This is one of my favorite poems. Yesterday was a chilly, melancholy winter Sunday. Today is better. What do you make of this poem?
P.s. Photo from my trip to Switzerland last year

Happy New Year!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetHappy 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!

Leiden, Netherlands

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My grad program had a conference in Leiden. It is like a mini Amsterdam with less tourists and less fear of getting hit by a bike at all times.

Enjoy a few photos!

My German Television Debut

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetSo I started singing in a choir a few weeks ago. Then one day at rehearsal they said, “Hey, we have an extra spot for this competition thingy. Who wants it?” I didn’t have anything to do that weekend, so I said ‘I do!’ Well, two days later I was sitting in a chair getting professional hair and make-up and rehearsing for my German TV debut! We competed in the semi-finals of the ‘Best Choir in the West’ competition on public TV haha. It was really fun. There was catering and a green room and a tour bus. The high life. We got out unfortunately but I was just along for the ride. It only took me three months to get on TV in this country– a sign that I’m a true star? Perhaps… ;p Then again, I’ve never made it on American television. Maybe that is my next goal!

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My first year out of college vs. my second year

IMG_0645First year

  1. What exactly is steel wool made of and why have I never used it before? It cleans dishes so well. Have people been keeping this a secret from me my whole life?
  2. My landlord is, well, not the best. How do I behave around her? What an awkward relationship.
  3. Dang, getting up every day at 6am for work is exhausting. I need to go to bed at 8pm.
  4. Where are all the young people who automatically want to be my friend? Pretty sure my personality didn’t change that much since senior year.
  5. Geez, going to the gynecologist in Germany sure is a blast…
  6. Oh, right, you’re my colleague, not my friend. Gotta remember that.
  7. Taxes. Which boxes to mark, that is the question.
  8. Are you free to hang out this week? This month? This year? Well, it was nice knowing ya.

Second year

  1. I have paid my rent on time for three months in a row.
  2. I have cleaning products I actually prefer. I literally have preferences.
  3. I cooked a well balanced meal tonight. Pasta was not involved in the making.
  4. I think this person is my friend. It only took a year of coaxing but, heck, we do stuff together sometimes.
  5. I own a blazer and slacks.
  6. My resume says I have skills. People ask me to be their friend on LinkedIn.
  7. I have a boyfriend. He has a job. Miracles.
  8. I think I can do this.