I Wish I Knew These 5 Things in High School

I am not sure how different I really am than when I was in high school. I have surely gained a whole wealth of experiences that have changed my outlook on the world, but at the core, I am pretty much the same. I have always been myself, even if other people didn’t like it. So, in the spirit of high school reflection, here’s five things I wish I would have known to make my life a bit easier back in the day.

College isn’t what people make it out to be.

I remember my teachers telling me how hard college would be. I remember them telling me how my writing skills would have to be top notch to do well. I didn’t go to Harvard, BUT most people’s writing skills are terrible and they are vastly unprepared in every way. I think my high school education was better than most and I didn’t even realize it. I thought I would be constantly studying and stressing out 24/7. I actually didn’t find college very difficult. I know that some may have had a different experience, but nothing was really that hard. I don’t think people should be ashamed to admit if college wasn’t hard for them. I studied economics, which is by no means an easy major, but with proper time management I was just fine. With a realistic outlook, planning, and a balance–it isn’t always that bad.

These people are only my friends because I am trapped in a building with them.

I talk to about four people from high school still, which is probably more than most people do. I had no other options for friends except for the ones around me. As time passes, I realize the ones I would have been friends with outside those walls as my friendships with them still remains. In the adult world, you are once again trapped in a building with the same people everyday at work. Don’t let that turn into high school 2.0. It’s nearly the same concept–it’s like a massive group project in the real world! Remaining professional and finding the balance of friendships in the workplace while still keeping an emotional distance from people is essential. It was easy, and expected, to get caught up in all of the silly drama of high school. Well, the workplace shouldn’t be like that. I think being around the same people everyday can bring back those high school-ish instincts in  us sometimes.

No, you do not (and can’t) have a fully-evolved and deeply enriched political view like you may think.

GOSH, I WAS ANNOYING. SERIOUSLY. I was always so convinced that my political opinions were RIGHT and if you didn’t like them, you were WRONG. It was SAD. Ok, anyway, for real, your political beliefs are probably from your parents at this point. Even if you are doing everything to disagree with them, that urge to disagree is still rooted in your parent’s beliefs. If you must assert your political opinion, please, do so with an open and flexible mindset. You have no idea how you really feel as you just haven’t experienced life enough. My beliefs are still evolving but are certainly different than when I was 16.

Trying to be good at literally everything isn’t healthy.

I derived much of my self-esteem from just beating everyone at everything. I am still like that in some senses, but I wanted to be the best at everything and I wouldn’t settle for anything less than #1 for myself. It was ridiculous and none of that even matters after high school. I was so worried about my grades, perfecting my singing, and being involved in everything. I have posted a lot about my struggle with this BUT if you also  struggle with this it is best to recognize that you have a problem. Now I see that I have had a problem with this but when I was younger, I couldn’t see it. I now just stick to trying to be good at my job and use the rest of my energy to do my ever-evolving “best” on everything else. 🙂

I am not entitled to the nicest things because, well, I am a fully-dependent human being who doesn’t deserve $100 jeans.

I look back and think about how much I thought I deserved. I thought I deserved all the great things I have. In reality, I didn’t at all. There is no reason to think that you deserve expensive clothes, an expensive car, or expensive trips. I am thankful for all of that, but don’t think that you need or deserve it. I was always grateful for everything I have had, but I know that some people just expect it. It is easy to expect it if you have it, but always know that you cannot financially support yourself yet so you don’t deserve all the luxuries that come with successfully adulting.

 

There’s my top 5 things I wish I knew in high school. Subscribe to my blog and thanks for reading!

j

Advertisements

  Living A Healthy Lifestyle: No, I am not on a workout journey.

I totally suck at working out. I enjoy running until I overheat or until I become so frustrated with my lack of physical strength that I stop. I need to work on becoming more comfortable with facing my physical weaknesses head on and conquering them BUT I am on a different kind of journey lately.

It’s kind of like working out for me. I like to begin it, but I don’t like to truly pursue it. Lately, I have decided to change that. My internal dialogue and overall attitude is awful sometimes. I like to assume the worst is going to happen and that I should always be prepared for everything to crumble around me. This has made me a very prepared, successful, and adept young woman yet it just isn’t healthy. I would like to have all of those traits with a much better catalyst behind them.

I was recently shown a snippet from The Four Agreements and it awoke my heart. It was one of those “I needed someone to say this to me for a long time” moments and “I can’t believe this piece of paper is reading my mind” moments.

I used to beat myself up when I would run as well. I would run to be “skinnier” and not to be healthy. Well, I have been behaving similarly when it came to my internal dialogue. I often think “I just have to change my attitude for the moment then I can get back to feeling like crap about everything. I just have to get through this moment”. It’s like, “I need to be skinnier”—no, that’s not the true problem here. The problem is a complete lifestyle change is needed to be healthy. Well, a complete overhaul of my thinking is needed. That takes time. Truly living a healthy lifestyle takes time. It is all very similar.

I cannot expect things to change overnight without years of  work at this. I have always thought I could never change my thinking and free my mind from the weight that I create inside of it while still excelling at everything I do. Guess what? I can, and you can too. Life is way too short to not be living the four agreements that I mentioned above (I am ordering the book today).

  1. Be Impeccable with Your Word
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions
  4. Always Do Your Best

I struggle with all of these as do most people. I am not going to explain any of these as you can read the book yourself, but please think about beginning the journey to free your mind.

You are totally independent of the good or bad opinions of others.

Assumptions become truths in our mind that spiral out of control in the blink of an eye.

Your best is not always going to be the same best. Sometimes it is going to be vastly inferior to when you are on your game and that is okay. We are not super human machines isolated from the variables of life. Stuff happens and our best is an ever-changing product of ourselves.

Anxiety and depression fill the area where you are doing less than your best self is capable of.

Do yourself a favor and do some self-reflection as it is the best thing you could do to live fully. Simply realizing that you are not freeing yourself by being chained to people’s opinions, expectations, and your own delusion is powerful and more than what most people will ever take the time to realize.

Oh, I guess this is what it’s like.

Awaiting graduation day filled me with excitement and anticipation laced with a bit of anxiety. I couldn’t BELIEVE this was happening already. College went extremely quickly for me as I technically attended three colleges. I went to college in Michigan, Sweden, and Southern Indiana. Moving so many times in four years was weird and I am thankful to finally be settled where I am. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great time of adventure, but I kind of like knowing I live in one place and one place only.

The actual graduation ceremony was, for me, highly anticlimactic. I just walked across the stage, got an empty diploma, and sat back down. It didn’t feel real and I definitely didn’t feel accomplished like I thought I would. At my college, we still had finals after graduation so many people were still stressed out with final exams coming up even though they were graduation. Now, after all of my assignments are turned in, I feel totally relieved like I thought I would on graduation day. It’s ok, it settled in a few days later. The lesson here is to have no expectations for actual graduation day and just go with the flow. It’s more for your family and they will probably be more excited for you than you are for yourself! I was also .01 away from graduating with honors…so that burned (yea, I am still bitter even though it doesn’t matter in reality).

So, you may ask:

What does the big picture look like for me? 

I can’t imagine a life where I go home from work and feel like I helped a total of 0 human beings. I need to know that I helped someone, relived their stress, comforted them–anything to know I am helping the human race. I imagine a life where I feel rewarded in that sense. Secondly, A DOG IS A MUST. In fact, we are getting a Labradoodle puppy in August, and let me tell you, I AM EXCITED. Animals reach a part of my heart that humans just cannot and I am so excited to love this dog during his (amazing) life! Also, music (and Devin) are two very important facets in my life and I am not planning on living without either of those. All I want is a career that allows me to help others and allows me the income to travel and live comfortably (and spoil my dog).

What am I afraid of most?

One of my greatest fears is that I become complacent. I see so many people settling for mediocre lives, loves, careers, etc..! I refuse to be one of those people. I will always strive to work toward the best life I can possibly live. This includes putting real work into relationships, evaluating my career path throughout my life, and making sure I am doing things I love. This includes taking care of my body both physically and spiritually. I refuse to be mediocre or allow mediocre situations to consume me. I am always chasing the greatness!

What am I most hopeful for?

I hope and pray that I am making my Grammy proud. I still miss her a lot (I also miss Thom) and I hope that they can see I am doing well. I also am hopeful to see more of the wonderful world that I live in. I am hopeful for further adventures, learning how to raise  a puppy, and learning to love deeper everyday. I’ve found the greatest person to share my life with and I am hopeful that we can learn to love each other more and more, even on the hard days (which are surprisingly few so far).

What is the most valuable lesson I learned in college?

Patience, perseverance, and tolerance. It happens in the workplace and the classroom–you will be doing mind-numbing and often tedious tasks to achieve a goal. It’s the way the world works and persevering through them while embracing patience is crucial to ever completing a task well. This happens in music and business. I have learned extreme detail-orientation through music and have applied that to all things in the business world. Take your passion and find a linkage to your career (if they aren’t the same) and you would be amazed what can happen!

What am I most thankful for?

I still say it, even after graduation college, I had AMAZING teachers growing up. From my experience in both a public and private school–it was great. I was inspired and encouraged from all but ONE (not going to name names, but she was awful) and I am thankful for all of them. I’m especially thankful for my music teachers! To my surprise, I had just as great professors who have become like friends to me now. They have encouraged me, mentored me, and believed in me when I couldn’t. Not all heroes wear capes! 😉

Secondly, I am thankful for my family, my friends, my friends’ family, and all of the people in between. Many of my friends are NOT near me (like all of them) but I know I still have them and can visit them. I have friends on every continent and nearly every state at this point–someone please come live in Evansville! 😉

 

I will give you an update on my job, life, future puppy, and all of those other fun topics in a later post. I love writing and I’m not planning on stopping. Devin and I are leaving tomorrow for a two-week road trip on the east coast! Send positive thoughts our way as we may kill each other over directions and music choices (just kidding, kind of).

j

I Feel OLD.

I felt a pit in my stomach as I observed the people passing by me on campus today. I realized that most of my friends have either graduated or I never see anymore. Most of my friends are also so ultra busy that we have trouble lining up our schedules to catch up. Mainly, most of these people I have never seen in my life and I feel like they are children when I look at them.

I remember feeling like this in high school–being a senior made me feel old and like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders compared to those younger than me. I guess that sort of thing happens again in college but on a more extreme level.

I am living between two world right now; The academic world and the working world. When I come to campus from work I feel weirdly unmotivated and confused as to why I am here but I know that I still have to finish my degree. My brain has nearly tricked myself into thinking that I am done since I am in a work environment so much. Needless to say, I am pretty ready to fully enter the professional world and complete my degree.

 

_________________________________________________________________

Since I was a child, I have always felt distant from people my age. There were always the select few that I felt I connected with, but it was a bit of a rare occurrence. I’ve always had friends who were older than me and I always enjoyed talking to adults when I was younger.

It’s hard to really internalize where I am in my life. As I am looking for jobs and talking to potential employers, I feel so excited yet simultaneously surprised that this is really happening. I’ve wanted to be right where I am for as long as I can remember so it’s hard to believe that I am actually here and I am about graduate.

I know that people experience a whole range of emotions through their senior year, in particular their last semester. I hope that everyone knows that is OK and to be expected.

College doesn’t prepare you for the professional world. It just doesn’t. I can run 10,000 regressions and write 50 persuasive essays but if I cannot communicate effectively with a co-worker or navigate the waters of wage negotiation I am going to sink. It takes a certain level of strategic understanding and emotional intelligence to actually get what you want and deserve outside of these academic walls. I have learned perseverance, teamwork, and tolerance in college–yet I have learned so many more valuable lessons outside of the classroom. Studying abroad was one of the most crucial times of development in my life thus far. I’ve learned more dealing with traveling alone, deaths in my family, moving into/out of an apartment, dating a jerk, losing friends, gaining friends, traveling with my choir, etc..

I have allowed these experiences to mold me into who I am. I think that is a distinct difference of those who grow and those who either stagnate or regress from experiencing great challenge.I encourage you to allow yourself to grow into the person that you are. 

I have, and that has made all the difference in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Experience with Thin Places

I first remember hearing the concept of thin places a few years back. It is often described as a sort of intersection between heaven and earth when one can feel almost jolted out of their usual ways of seeing the world. I have experienced numerous thin places in my time, always unexpected, and always permeable.

I am a Christian yet I do not always feel that these thin places have to be solely for Christians to experience. As a firm believer that everyone experiences Christianity differently, I do not want to focus on the religious aspect of these thin places as much as the feeling and wander that they evoke.

Maybe the whole world is thin, since God’s omnipresence would lend support to this notion. Are we too blind to see how thin the world really is? Are we too caught up in the daily grind to notice the intricate and vast beauty that God reveals to us? I do not know these answers, but I find great joy when I experience a new thin place.

The most common experience I have with thin places is with, of course, music. A thin place does not mean that I am having some “spiritual breakthrough”. It is an experience of confusion actually. It’s like gaining a new set of eyes for a minute. I can be listening to a song and feel like I am almost leaving the world. My mind is almost floating between reality and something much better. If you have never experienced this, you might think that I am off my rocker. But, if you have, then I am sure you can relate. The conversation between instruments in classical music can often make me feel as though I am in a thin space.

Another way that I experience these thin places is through travel. I have been fortunate enough to visit 14+ countries and I can say, without hesitation, that these thin places are the best part of traveling. Thin places aren’t necessarily beautiful places. They can be anything–rural or urban, crowded or abandoned. Moments that are beyond the power of language to explain are thin. Moments that are so unexpectedly saturated with meaning, even non-religiously, are thin in nature. Explanations for these moments almost get in the way.

When I visited Budapest, I felt a thin place when I stood on a hill and looked at all of the lights below me. I felt overwhelmed beyond words. This place happened to be beautiful but without necessity. The Cliffs of Moher, probably the thinnest place I have ever been. I actually feel chills in my body when I think about my experience there. Standing on the most massive of cliffs, in the most beautiful of places with the sea’s waves were rushing far below me.

I have experienced far less glamorous thin places than these. Everywhere from airports to grocery stores, I have experienced this inexplainable feeling. Whether you are religious or non-religious, I urge you to have an open mind about such experiences. If you ever feel yourself being almost transcended into a different place in your mind, don’t fight it. The power of God, or the power of _____ (fill in the blank with what you believe), is absolutely incredible.

 

 

Thinking for Myself

I have received a lot of messages of support from people about my political views. I have also received a lot of backlash from my family/other random human beings about my beliefs.

In high school, I would have considered myself a super duper Republican. Elephants everywhere! Republican ideals?! I will believe them blindly based on my family’s political and religious views! Of course, my mind was easily malleable and I believed everything that my family told me. I was quite vocal about it as well. Coming from a conservative area, I couldn’t imagine deviating from the set of common beliefs that surrounded me daily.

Disclaimer: This is not an article bashing my family; It is an explanation of my evolution to my own free-thinking. 

Let’s be real, I know a lot of people. I have a wealth of love around me in Indiana and abroad. I have learned greatly from the connections that I have made. I appreciate everyone’s influence in my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for the people that surround me. I know that I will always have people there for me and that is a wonderful feeling. However, the people that I know are very contrasting. I’ve gotten to know so many people with different ideals about how the government should run and more specifically, the benefits that the government should give others.

This is what I encountered recently on Facebook, much to my own doing since I posted a photo of Trump’s plane and said “gross”. Of course, I would start a Facebook argument. I do that on occasion without meaning to.

 

“I say that anyone else in the race for the White House, is a little too late, with Public Opinion, I personally feel that The Lord is the only answer. I will vote for Trump, not a fan…but not voting gives a win to Hilllary…..bad news!!”

“Liberal people make me sick….when you have no money, but all the benefits the non working people have….and our streets are made of dirt, don’t cry on my shoulder. That is what socialism does to a society. If you own property or have even $20 bucks in the bank, it will be taken from you…think people!!!”

A personal favorite,

“Just wondering can you name one thing (that is true and not what you heard) that is awful about trump?”

I am not writing this to argue these points because they are obviously easy to refute and I don’t even want to get into the obvious flaws with these comments. I just wanted to include a few comments with this blog post to give some context.

People who have absolutely no idea what Socialism even is or how FAR our country is from it, often make fear-based, emotionally-driven statements about it without knowing what they are talking about. Of course, is Socialism a great idea for America? I’d have to say a big fat no to that. But it is unfair to broadly criticize a type of governing when capitalism is clearly flawed as well. Our often greed based, good acquiring based society is deeply flawed and I find it sad that people rely on outlets such as Fox News to make themselves a walking puppet for their beliefs.

The news is a business. Whether it is Fox news, CNN, MSNBC…they are all there to make a profit. I think that this obvious point is often overlooked. Your mind is so incredibly powerful and capable of so much more than you can imagine. Free yourself from relying on any news source as the absolute truth. Think for yourself. Gather many different views on a topic and use YOUR brain to logic through it and form your own opinion.

I saw so much good in the way the government operated in Sweden. People were happy overall and I found such peace there. I was free from the violence that surrounds me here everyday. I was free from religion trying to dictate every fabric of the government. I learned a lot there and I must say, it changed my viewpoint on America. I love my country, I really do, but we are in a time of political crisis.

Those who say that they are voting for Trump simply because they don’t like Clinton are committing a serious logical fallacy. It is false dilemma. You should not vote for Trump because you don’t like Clinton. Voting for a truly psychotic human being is not the answer to rebelling against Hillary. I believe that casting a vote is very important and that we should always use our amazing ability to have a say in who our leaders are.

Lastly, I want to point out that the best way to get someone to listen to you, is to actually form an intelligent sentence. This whole “let’s argue on Facebook and not even use proper grammar or punctuation” thing is getting old. Not everything needs to be an argument, but for crying out loud, if you’re going to argue, look intelligent. Even the stupidest things could appear more intelligent to the common eye if proper grammar and punctuation is used. I am not calling anyone out, and I hope no one is offended by this,but I feel that I need to say something. I have been attacked too many times about things that shouldn’t even be an argument. I remember, probably about a year or so ago, I made a post in support of the gay community and got absolutely ATTACKED. I remember most of those attacks were incoherent rambles. I hope that people can understand that LOTS of people can read their comments and will form an opinion of them based on their comments. Let’s think a bit more before we type. Sitting in a chair behind a computer can give someone a lot of courage, and that’s not always a good thing.

I will always have an evolving mind. The world is not stagnant and neither is my mind. My views will always be changing as I acquire more knowledge about the world around me. Let’s open up our eyes and see that change is good. Don’t box yourself into one party and refuse to deviate from their values simply so you can say you’re a “die hard Republican” and stop thinking for yourself.

Becoming Conscious: The power of the voice from within

For me, it’s easy to get lost in other people’s expectations of me. The expectations that others have for my future fall into such a wide range that it often leaves me very conflicted.  I’ve always been known for my singing—music has been my life since I was a child. The stark reality is that in about ten months full-fledged reality is going to be here and music won’t be a large part of that anymore. I think about it daily. What will I do after I graduate? What do I want to do? I have this degree and a developing set of skills, who is going to want me?

The questions are never ceasing and increase with intensity each time I think about them. Diving into the unknown is usually what I do best yet the future is seemingly staring at me with a smirk these days. My life has changed immensely in the past year and it is often hard to navigate the present while trying to plan for the future as well. I know that I can’t be the only one who feels this way. I think that most college seniors feel a lot of pressure and confusion about the future. From student loans, career paths, relationships, and housing changes—It sort of feels like you’re just waiting for to either all come together or fall apart.

Changing my inner voice is the sole way that I can gain control back. When I feel so out of control about everything around me, I know that my reaction to what is happening and my thoughts about myself in the process are the two things that truly matter. The future scares the heck out of me but so does the voice inside my head that often tells me that I am not good enough.

It’s like someone following you around all day and cutting you down constantly. No one wants that, yet it is impossible to escape your voice unless you work on changing it. I have to consciously and intentionally think about what thoughts are going through my head. I am so used to letting the negative thoughts about myself pass after I internalize them without even realizing it.

I have trouble regarding myself as someone with low self-esteem. I think that I am too driven at times and this fear of messing up has been the catalyst for that. My generation has a serious problem with the fear of failure and I could definitely be the poster child for the issue. The reasons why I am good at certain things are because of this voice. This shouldn’t be the reason why I am good at them. I should let myself feel proud of what I have accomplished and be thankful that I had the ability within me to do so.

I don’t want to tackle my future with this voice inside my head still remaining the same as it has my whole life. I want to reuse the energy that I once used to try to ‘fix’ why I am not good enough and instead use it to defeat the constant voice that is telling me these things. I have always strived for perfection in everything I do, and I must say that this voice was the driving force behind it. Just like most people who have been involved in music their whole lives, never being good enough is a staple feeling. It has brought me down yet simultaneously helped me to achieve.

If you also have a similar voice within you, I challenge you to become aware of it and to try to change it. Think positively about yourself and know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You can’t be good at everything, have the “perfect” body (which shouldn’t even be a thing), or have the most money in the world (I guess you could, but you know, work with me here). Achieving even greater things can come when you have a truly positive foundation within you.

The Waves

I find it to be completely insane that I can walk past a television & see that someone has, once again, been carelessly shot and keep walking like it’s becoming part of my daily routine.

As most people are, I am outraged and saddened over the countless acts of violence that continue to occur. Sometimes I feel sad for absolutely no reason that I can think of. There’s no specific reason for my sadness in the moment, it just comes over me and I can’t help it. I often wonder if my random bursts of sadness is because of how helpless I feel.

It’s hard to accept that I can do absolutely nothing to comfort these people, to save them, to change things; The state of the world is truly overwhelming at times.

Let’s view our lives as an ocean for a moment:

We are the waves. Mingling with other waves, crashing into each other at times, all trying to approach  the shore. The sometimes dark, foggy, and long nights are routinely relieved by the rising of the sun. All that surrounds the waves is the contrast between dark and light. Sometimes there are tsunamis, the rumbling of the Earth below…disrupting each wave in a different way.  The constant pulling and retreating of the tide, the inability to even see the shore, the struggle to know where the end even is; All a part of being a wave.

Each wave eventually reaches the shore and the long journey is over. Some arrive with great force, some glide in like they are ready for sleep. Like us, each wave that approaches is so tiny and fickle compared to the rest of the universe.

I have known too many people who’s lives have been cut short lately. I wonder if they feel free from all of the violence now. I can only imagine what it feels like to be without any of this world’s pain and suffering.

Kindness: My point to the ocean comparison. All of the waves are stuck in this giant ocean together. We can’t escape until we reach the shore. I think that America is suffering, the world in general is suffering, and I don’t see how being a little more kind to each other could hurt.

This ridiculous violence needs to stop. I can’t stop it myself but I will not become cold and closed-off from others because of it. In addition, I will not give-in to the thoughts of the candidates of this absurd Presidential election that is approaching.  The hateful words spewed out of these candidates’ mouths towards others is disgusting and I think that they could learn a little more about kindness (obviously I am mainly referring to good ol’ Trump).

I know that being kinder to the people around you won’t stop these shootings or heal the hearts of the slain, yet it is the only thing I can think of to give any remedy to what is happening in this world. When I am tempted to be less kind, understanding, and forgiving to those around me than I know I have in my heart to be–I should remember that this world has enough problems. I don’t want to be a part of the world, I want to be apart from it. I want to show the love of He who is greater than I through my actions.

“Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable.” – M. Scott Peck

 

 

 

 

The Grey That Follows Me

I unapologetically miss being abroad. I often hesitate to talk about it because I don’t want any of the people in the states to take it as an insult or that I need to move on. The beauty of the situation is that I have moved on and I am being productive, having fun, and enjoying being home again. Yet, there is this often dormant yet urgent feeling inside of me to not be here. To be anywhere than Evansville, anywhere than America.

Of course I miss the lack of responsibility that I had. I miss the people. I miss the food, the pace of life, and the amazing architecture that I saw on a daily basis. The world is totally different on the other side and I think that I crave their way of life.

At first, I thought that I just missed being so carefree. I have never felt like I totally belonged in American culture, even before I went abroad. It’s like something wasn’t right and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

As I look at (a rare occurrence) the photos of me abroad I miss the girl who had a cheesy grin on her face and a twinkle in her eye. I miss the strength that I found in Europe. It is extremely easy to put aside the person that you become once you step back on your home country’s soil. I remember seeing the American flags on the screen at O’hare and being surrounded by English speakers once again. Every voice around me was speaking English. The airport personnel was yelling at me in English. Everything was so foreign yet familiar all at the same time. I was in more shock coming home than going abroad, which is something I can say with absolute certainty.

My point to all of this is that we aren’t always meant to be where we are born. I know that moving across the world is not something that many people do who I know. I have no idea what my future will hold, but I can say that there is a pretty solid chance that I will move abroad at some point. I may return to the United States at some point, but I know for certain that I want to spend some of my years in a different country.

To my eyes, Europe was drenched with color. Once I returned home, a weird grey has followed me ever since, jading the eyes in which I see the world. The grey, buried in the back of my mind, still hasn’t left me. No matter how many friends I have here, how many amazing times I have had since I have been back, there is still a tinge of grey to it all.

Yup, I’m Still Alive

Wow, so it’s been nearly a month since my last post. BLOGGING FAIL!

I am so typical of a blogger. Starting off strong then stopping.

Anyway, I am back.

The past five weeks have been consumed by my classes. I am taking Micro Theory & European Economic Integration, which have been the realest of struggles. I have the same professor for both and I would have class for nearly 9 hours a day at times. It’s been really stressful and my exams for both classes are actually tomorrow. They are at the same time so I have to take both back to back. I am praying that I pass but I will accept it if I don’t. I’ve tried my best and that’s all you can do right?!

I had a nice trip the other weekend to Oslo, Norway. I got to see the Oslo Opera House and take a very long bike ride (Gerda & Kevin are saints for putting up with me) through the city. I have pictures on Facebook so make sure to check ’em out.

Next week, I fly from Gothenburg on Monday to visit my lifelong friend Margaret, who is studying at Oxford because she’s a smarty pants. Then I leave from London on that following Friday for my CONTIKI TRIP!!!

I think it’s been so long since I blogged that I haven’t really mentioned much about that. I will be visiting 11 countries in 23 days. It’s going to be supa-sweet yo.

London + Amsterdam + Berlin + Krakow + Prague + Vienna + Florence + Rome + Budapest + Libjuana +  Swiss Alps + Paris = The Trip of a lifetime, I feel so lucky!

This whole experience has been so deeply transformative for me. I will make a later blog describing all of that more, but for now, this is an update on my life.

All my love from Sweden!