A Lovely Passage

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“I wonder how many people would have fallen in love if they had only spoken to each other. Strangers sitting next to each other on an airplane at night, watching the world grow smaller beneath them. Or in a tiny bookstore filled with old stories, their pages yellowed and dusty with age. Or sitting next to each other at a concert, both wanting to linger in the same note of a song that they think contains a universe. How many strangers have shared lovely, beautiful moments together? How many people would have found the love of their life if they had decided to say something?”

                 –Unknown

P.s. Photo I took in Heidelberg last night 🙂

Little Letter

IMG_6767Dear Succulents,
I tried not to buy into the succulent craze that has swept the nation in recent years, but I officially give in. You are SO cool. My friend took me to a succulent nursery the other day and I was amazed. I need to get some of you for my room in Germany.

Dear Rob Bell,
You are a great author and speaker. I’m currently reading your book “What we talk about when we talk about God” and it does not disappoint.

Dear Little Brother,
You are such a tease. I only got to spend a few hours with you yesterday before you were off again! But I sure to love the time we have together 🙂

Dear Germany,
Two and a half weeks. I’m coming for you.

Dear Hair,
Not sure what to do with you these days. Any thoughts?

Dear Summer,
You simultaneously flew by and took your sweet time.

Dear Tattoo,
That’s right, I got a second tattoo. You look more and more beautiful to me each day. I hope I’m not getting too addicted to tattoos…;p

P.s. photo from the Grand Canyon this past June

Five Things

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1. I swear I get asked the question, “What are your plans after graduation?” multiple times a day! I’ve started answering with silly things like “I plan to join the circus” or “Become an astronaut.” I have a few post-grad ideas/leads in the works, but nothing concrete. Any suggestions?

2. How is this blog always SO good? It has been my inspiration for years with no sign of stopping. I once emailed the founder/senior editor, and she emailed back right away with the kindest words of encouragement!

3. Have you heard of the podcast “Pod Save America”? I just discovered it and am enjoying listening to an episode before bed each night.

4. I started my new job as a student worker in Pepperdine’s Human Resources department. It’s a lot of new information and new faces, but I’m really enjoying it thus far. Plus, it’s fun to dress professional every now and again.

5. I started an article club on Tuesday nights with my girlfriends. We discuss an article, eat cookies and bask in each others company. Would you ever consider attending or hosting one?

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P.s. Photos from my other instagram

Six Things

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  1. There’s only four and a half weeks left of the semester, including Thanksgiving break. I can’t believe how fast this semester is flying by. I will be a college graduate before I know it…scary thought.
  2. I can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving break with close family friends this year. Even though I’m sad I won’t be with my family, these people are definitely my adoptive family here in California.
  3. I started reading “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. It’s great! I forgot how much I enjoy reading purely for pleasure.
  4. The new release of Gilmore girls is set for November 25th. Is anyone else planning to binge watch them all in one day?
  5. The election really hit me hard. It was my first time voting and experiencing the event at full capacity. You can read my thoughts on the subject here.
  6. My parents head to Germany for a conference this week. They are spending a day in Frankfurt, meeting my friends from the summer and seeing where I spent three months of my life. While I’m insanely jealous, I’m also SO excited for them and can’t wait to hear all about it when they get back. They better take tons of pictures or else!img_0899img_0911img_0928img_0961img_0987img_0991P.s. a few (unedited) photos from downtown LA the other day

Little Letter

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Dear Legs,
Do I have to shave you so often? Can we all just agree that women’s legs are perfectly natural and beautiful with hair on them? That would be great, thanks.

Dear “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”,
Although you are a classic, I am just now watching you. Audrey Hepburn is as lovely as everyone makes her out to be, especially where fashion sense is concerned.

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Dear “Still”,
You are a great song. I discovered you during the finale of New Girl and can’t stop listening to you on repeat. My house mate probably thinks I’ve finally lost it.

Dear school,
We’ve been together a long time. Seventeen years to be exact. Our relationship is complicated to say the least. Love-hate doesn’t even come close to describing it! Maybe I’ll like you more after my english exam is over.

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Dear candles,
Thanks for existing, you really add a little something-something to my room this time of year when the sun sets so early.

Dear Short Story,
I am surprisingly proud of you. You turned out quite well. Some stories never take off, but I couldn’t stop writing you until you were complete.

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Dear Jessica,
Thanks for being my friend soul mate.

Dear Halloween,
You will be here before we know it. Personally I find college kind of an awkward time to celebrate because I’m not a kid anymore but I also don’t have kids of my own yet to enjoy you with. I also have class that night…

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Little Letter

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Dear Fall,
Can’t you visit SoCal, even just for a little? Summer doesn’t seem to want to leave but I’m eagerly awaiting your arrival. My scarves are bored just hanging limp in my closet!

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Dear Polaroid,
Why do you take such over-exposed pictures sometimes? I’m always disappointed when I wait and wait but you never develop properly. Your film is much too expensive for these games!

Dear Blog,
I love you. I never thought I could grow so attached to a non-existent ‘place’ in cyber space. It’s so fun to look back in time and reflect on all the places I’ve seen and things I’ve experienced over the last three years.

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Dear Graduation,
I simultaneously can’t wait for you to come and am dreading your arrival. Lots of weird, mixed emotions over here…

Dear Parents,
Thanks for visiting me this week and taking me out to breakfast! I can’t wait to spend the first weekend in November with you in Texas.

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Dear Coffee,
You sustain me. I don’t know what I’d do with out you sweet, dark one.

Dear “New Girl,”
Season 5 on Netflix is cracking me up. You are hilarious.

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Dear Money,
Somehow you always disappear. One moment you’re in my wallet and the next you’re gone! It blows my mind to think that soon I will (hopefully) have a steady income.

Dear Sleep,
I value you more and more each passing day. How do people function with less than eight hours?

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Dear Sunsets,
Thanks for being particularly beautiful lately. I appreciate it.

P.s. I got the idea for this post from one of my favorite blogs Love Taza. And these photos are from a few weeks ago when we went out for a friend’s 21st birthday!

Seven Things

img_98301. My friend Alena flies back to Germany tomorrow– can I go in her suitcase? It’s been nice to have a friend by my side these past couple of days. I will miss her!
2. My Fulbright interview went really well last week. The national deadline is October 11th and then it’s out of my hands until I hear back in March. Fingers crossed!
3. I went to a small group Bible study through my church RealityLA for the first time on Wednesday night and LOVED IT. The people were so genuine and refreshing. I will definitely go back next week.
4. I miss Germany more and more each day.
5. I’m currently reading “Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store” by Robin Sloan. It is an easy, light-hearted read, which is exactly what I needed to break up all the required reading for school. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for some good ol’ fiction!
6. I’m listening to the podcast “How I Built This” right now. It’s all about people who built a company from the ground up, and it’s so fascinating. It makes me want to go out and scheme up some big idea to be the next Steve Jobs haha!
7. I’m getting new tires on Saturday as my early Christmas present. Being an adult sure is fun sometimes…img_9828img_9829img_9832img_9833

Do You Have A Theme Song?

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The other day I read this post on the blog Cup of Jo, and it got me thinking. Is there a song (or songs) that I consider a sort of theme or anthem for my life? That is, when I hear it, I think this could have been written about me, or it simply came to define a certain time in my life for whatever reason. Below are a few songs I might call my theme songs if I had to choose!

Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart
The song starts out with the lyrics, “A year from now we’ll all be gone, all our friends will move away. And they’re going to better places, but our friends will be gone away.” This immediately makes me think of college and how I will be graduated in less than a year. The song also croons, “My family lives in a different state! If you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate.” My parents and brother just moved to Texas, and right now just feels like a big time of transition in general. So this song touches me in a very literal way.

Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
There is one line in this song that always makes me chuckle– “It’s a long day living in Receda, there’s a freeway running through the yard.” I drive past the city of Receda all the time on the Freeway, and know exactly where he’s talking about when he says, “I wanna free fall out on Mulholland.” These words really capture what it’s like to life in Southern California. I love this song because the speaker is a ‘bad boy’ who pretends not to care/regret that he broke a ‘good girl’s’ heart. There’s also a great version by John Mayer (swoon) if you’re interested.

Tiny Dancer by Elton John
I’m sorry, but the description, “Blue jean baby, LA lady…dancing in the sand,” had to be written about me, right?! I remember doing Irish dance and Ballet at the beach growing up, twirling around on the shore avoiding the waves. I’m a big fan of Elton John in general, and even learned to play this song well on the piano.

Vienna by Billy Joel
Joel sings this song to a young person who is chomping at the bit to accomplish everything they dream of in life right now. Basically, he says slow down, take a deep breath and practice patience. You don’t want to burn out before your time, so sit back and enjoy the ride. “Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?” I think everyone at Pepperdine needs to hear this song– we’re so young, there’s no rush to conquer the world!

Gypsy by Suzanne Vega
I first heard this song in the soundtrack of the movie Perks of Being a Wallflower. I listened to it on repeat in Frankfurt this summer because, for some reason, it just struck me as particularly insightful. “You come from far away with pictures in your eyes of coffee shops and morning streets and the blue and silent sunrise.” I find the guitar in this song so beautiful and touching. Listen to it, you’ll see what I mean.

Never Coming Back Again by Austin Plaine
My parents might not appreciate this title (haha!) but I really felt like I could have stayed in Germany forever and been perfectly happy. This song expresses a longing for adventure, excitement and discovery. It’s the perfect summer anthem. Go on, give it a listen, I promise you’ll like it!

So what about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and of course I claim every song written about California girls as my own 🙂

 

Another Lesson Learned in Heidelberg

IMG_6584This summer has undoubtedly been the most violent, tumultuous periods of time in the world that I can remember in my life. It seems like every day there’s a new shooting, bombing, or terrorist attack of some kind (if not multiple). Many of these incidences are centered in Europe, and now in Germany in particular, and it breaks my heart to watch them unfold. Reading the news has become even more depressing than usual, and often leaves me posing the exasperated question, “What is this world coming to?!”

This weekend I returned to Heidelberg, the city where I studied abroad for eight months my sophomore year of college. It is such a magical town, a town that fills me with incomparable joy every time I step across its boarders. I still can’t believe I was privileged enough to call this place home. The sheer beauty of Heidelberg is enough to take my breath away. As I strolled the charming cobble stone streets munching on a sweet from my favorite local bakery, my body was flooded with an overwhelming sense of peace. I realized that even if I were to be killed by a terrorist attack today (which is a real possibility), I would be satisfied. I have been able to experience more in my short 21 years on this earth than many people are able to in their entire lives. I am richly blessed, and all I have to do is look around to know it.

As Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” I don’t know the future, but I do know it is my duty to appreciate the present. As Christians we are set free from the crippling fear of death, for Christ says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The darkness and devastation in our world are real, and should not be overlooked, but take comfort in the fact that we can have abundant life despite the present darkness.

Thanks again Heidelberg, for teaching me exactly what I needed to hear at the exact moment I needed to hear it. You never cease to amaze me. Until next time little city!IMG_6595IMG_6570IMG_6573IMG_6579IMG_6591IMG_6604IMG_6608IMG_6617IMG_6624IMG_6628IMG_6632IMG_6639IMG_6640IMG_6655IMG_6689IMG_6693IMG_6699IMG_6705IMG_6732IMG_6739IMG_6744IMG_6753IMG_6760IMG_6768IMG_6764

Reflections of a Late Bloomer

IMG_4804When it comes to the concept of ‘blooming,’ I have always been firmly in the late bloomer camp. I certainly did not peak physically or emotionally in high school– heck, I didn’t even get boobs until college (I’m looking at you, freshman fifteen)! I was crazy insecure all throughout puberty and had to give myself pep talks before talking to any boy. I wasn’t asked to homecoming, never made it in the ‘best of’ section of the year book and didn’t even attend my senior prom because I was too self-conscious to go alone.

I don’t say all this to make you feel sorry for me, but rather to reflect on how far I’ve come since then. There was a time when I was plagued (plagued I tell you!) but the thought that I’d never kiss a boy or have my own car or be able to hold an intelligent conversation with adults. But over time and with various experiences, those fears have begun to subside and been replaced by growing confidence.

Looking back, I’m incredibly grateful to have been the late bloomer type. Being a late bloomer builds stamina. It has taught me to keep my head down, power through and overcome. It has fostered patience and the belief that my dreams are worth the wait. It showed me that you don’t always have to be in the spotlight to make an impact.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, my late bloomerness laid the foundation for many of my current and future successes and pursuits in this life. A famous comedy writer was once asked the question how did you learn to write so humorously?  to which he replied, “I silently observed the class clowns growing up, and then wrote down exactly what they did.”Being a late bloomer forced me to be a silent observer as well, an invaluable skill for a writer to cultivate.  And surely I’m not done blooming yet! When you think about it, are any of us ever really done blooming? I like to think it takes an entire life to create a full, fragrant blossom.

So to all you late bloomers out there, I’d like to say don’t worry, your spring time is coming and it will be all the more beautiful for the wait!