WPC: Nostalgia

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge, here’s a quick one on nostalgia as I prepare to run out the door and begin my day.

Facebook rolled out its new “on this day (x) amount of years ago” feature a few months ago, and as result I’ve found myself drifting off down memory lane every so often. A few days ago, this particular image cropped up on my feed and threw me back to a time of reckless, youth driven euphoria. It was fairly early in the morning, and I, like every millennial, was checking in on my social platforms half asleep, but awake enough to mindlessly scroll for a few moments before presumably drifting back into slumber.

This was taken my senior year of high school. This day was one of the happiest days of my life. Those humans were my family. And I, unlike many individuals unfortunately, actually experienced a world of happiness and transformation in high school.

I see this image and nostalgia is the sensation of transporting back to a time where running through the high school gym as a part of a sports team meant sisterhood. A time where the boy in my life stood behind me and watched partially in horror and partially in love as I danced uncoordinatedly to our drum line’s beat. It was a time where twenty four hours after receiving my drivers permit, I pilled six of my closest friends into my moms beat up Honda and shakily drove across town for burgers and fries just because I could.

I think back to this day and I’m reminded that for all the sadness I’ve felt, I’ve always managed to find happiness in my endeavors.

Nostalgia is nearing the end of an incredibly challenging year and edging closer to the end of college and feeling a sense of longing for all the good moments but yet, still realizing that these are the moments I’ll long for in the inevitable future.

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Successtressed.

Is success acing an exam? Or is success a friend landing an life changing internship and choosing to immediately text you to share their moment with.

The last seven days have been absolute academic chaos; multiple exams, a presentation, a several page paper, four internship deliverables, an internship application for next semester, and three work shifts.

My mind is spinning, my bones are aching, and my eyes are constantly drooping. And yet amidst all the chaos I find myself questioning whether what I’m achieving can even be considered success.

My exam scores say yes. My paper comments scream praise. My professors seem pleased. And yet…

My success as a human is not a reflection of the work I’ve completed in pursuit of higher education– my success as a human is reflected in the people that surround me: the one that checks in on me every few days just to ask how I’m feeling, the one that tells me I look nice today every day that they see me, the one that reminds me of assignments every night because they know I’m too overwhelmed to keep track, the one that sends me cute animal videos throughout the day because they know they make me smile, the one that promises eternal hugs the next time they see me…

I’m surrounded by so much love at a point in my life where I feel so drained and empty and it’s absolutely incredible. I am so ridiculously fortunate and humbled by the individuals around me.

But then there’s the caveat; the part where achieving academic success means saying no to grabbing drinks or going to the gym or seeing a band. The part where academic success requires selflessness turning into selfishness.

I’m at a loss these days. I’m buried deep within an ever growing vortex of assignments and to do lists, a battle against my own brain, and an army of wonderful humans who I simply want to spend time with. There is no easy answer though, there never is. But I’ll search for it regardless.

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A Day Late Thanks (+ a date)

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Kindness is driving thirty minutes across town to deliver flowers and breakfast, because. Because sadness manifests within my bones, because hurt festers, because mornings lend themselves to moods, and because I am the messiest amalgam of wayward-ness these days.
Kindness is loving someone in pain, someone who doesn’t deserve it, who cannot reciprocate… loving them regardless.
Kindness beyond what I deserve, but kindness I’m constantly surprised to find myself surrounded by.

 

I went on a date last night.
It was a first date.

And that’s all I’ll say about that for now. 

 

gloomy gloom

What is it about gloomy weather that pushes you into being pensive?

feel so much more when there are clouds involved. Arguably the sun has the same effect, but it’s so much more pronounced when there’s a chill in the air and a chance of rain.

 

the freak out

Okay, do you ever get that super panicky, super anxiety ridden feel deep within your chest? The one that slowly radiates into other parts of your body as you ride it out?

Because I currently have that feeling. And I’m in a super public setting. And it’d be super inappropriate to start heaving or crying or screaming ATM, but I’M HAVING A MOMENT. And I hate to say it, but this is exactly the kind of moment I’d usually call the man in my life to swoop in and fix. But there is no longer a man. Or even a sort of kind of man that I’d want to call anymore. Because when I began this semester I made an agreement with myself that I wouldn’t hang onto any useless relationships nor would I begin any new disastrous relationships. Because why. And so here I am, mid panic, attempting to create the allusion of a confidant by furiously banging into the keys of my laptop.

One of my internship’s requirements this week was to properly fill out our planners so that as a cohort we could compare and accordingly dole out any big projects/ assignments ahead of time. But in order to do that I had to go through my six  class syllabi and by doing that, come to terms with how many things I have to do within the span of a week. And then come to the realization that my planner is missing my GRE study time. And my EMS exam study time. And my actual internship deliverable dates. And my graduate school application dates. And my time at work. And y’know, my time existing as a social being, cause that’s a thing.

AND I’M WIGGIN OUT.
I’m wigging out. 😦

5:06 PM

Happy Sunday, kiddos.

I’ve found myself inside yet another overpriced D.C cafe today. Shocker. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve gotten up to/ experienced: I’ve maintained the same position for three hours. I’ve made eye contact with the same barista seven eight times. I’ve had five strangers sit at my table. I’ve glimpsed at my neighbor’s bookmark (it’s a photobooth strip of him and a girl) twice. I’ve all but forgotten my latte. My ice cubes have come to resemble the arctic ice caps (melted). My brain, has all but followed suit. And yet, I’ve maintained a level of resiliency known only as the millennial generation’s ability to forge on. A surge of tenacious energy keeps me buzzing and afloat as my coffee high wares off. My hunger remains satiated by the sixteen dollar bowl of Ramen I half inhaled, half consumed at noon in Adams Morgan. Why is everything in this district pricey? Coffee’s six dollars a cup, and company’s even harder to come by.

That XAmbassador’s song everyone hates bleeds into my ears. Hold on to me, cause I’m a little unsteady. As I hear those words I feel the urge to scream get your life together; as I close my eyes, a slew of faces stream through my mind. Sadness.

I find that the man in front of me is reading an article with the word ‘fiduciary’ in its title. I had to use autocorrect to spell fiduciary. I had to use Google in order to understand that I have just about no understanding of the word fiduciary. I had to ask the man in front of me for clarification under the pretense of my upcoming GRE.

  • (A) fiduciary is an individual who acts on behalf of another.
    YW, you learn something every other day.

This blog has nothing to do with traveling and everything to do with my mundane existence now. Welp.

I’m bringing in a new segment: TINY OVERPRICED COFFEE SHOP REVIEW TIME!

Today’s Subject: Filter (1726 20th Street Northwest)
DuPont metro stop, exit onto q street, hang a right so that Lou Lou’s is on your right side as you’re walking towards the Church of  Scientology (red/orange lookin building, can’t miss). At that funky intersection, cross onto the other side of the street so that Starbucks is on your left, but  walk on in the same direction past it. In about sixty seconds you’ll have arrived. It’ll basically look like you’re at someone’s apartment.

Now this wasn’t my first time here, but this was my first time using it as a study space.
Here’s my quicky review as result:

  • filter has a solid rotating bean selection — full bodied, vibrant brews for any palette and/or pastry selection
    • i currently rec the 2016 fall blend that they have available if you’re a strict coffee drinker. otherwise, you can never go wrong with a flat white.
  • they get points for their supplier being a local miroroaster (ceremony) yay local
  • this is a low key establishment – no frills, no fancy (but this lends itself to creating a v nice ambiance)
  • there’s fairly limited seating (five tables, four bar seats, and some chairs outside) but you can double up on tables if you don’t mind getting close with rando’s
    • pro tip: there are two window sills you can perch on while hunting for a free table
  • it’s a little pricey (3.50 flat white, 5.00 12oz mocha) but def tasty and caffeine-y, and lets face, anything in this area is pricey
  • there are eye candy hipstery baristas behind the bar for you single folk, heh.
  • overall thoughts: would come back to sit to study, maybe not for a casual coffee date 7.5/10

Many o’s

T

a jumbled update

Remember a few posts back when I mentioned a sense of ambivalence washing over me? Ax that. As it turns out that ambivalence was actually just masking a sense of purpose, which I have since then found.

This week has been a blur of advisory meetings and realizations but I’ve come away with one integral bit of understanding: I have an actual chance of getting into a fantastic graduate program. As in, an actual chance– as confirmed by multiple doctorate level professionals. 

These next few months are going to be so incredibly challenging, but these last few weeks have given me so much clarity as to what things in my life possess importance and value.

Streamlining your lifestyle is an absolute process, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it comes with its own array of sadness and hurt, but it also creates a standard for your life. And ultimately it creates confidence within you, because it forces you to understand that what you have and what you could have are separate things.

You either instigate your demise or create your success… strive for the latter.

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An Open Letter to my Best Friend

Thank you for loving me in a purely platonic sense. For accepting my chaos, for uplifting my sadness, for being my pal. I love you in the easiest way possible, and I will forever cherish what you bring to my life, which is happiness in its purest form.

Thank you for seeing the world as I see it. For sitting in earth shattering silence because I need it, for sharing sacred tears because I can’t hold it, and for splitting pizzas, because you know I’ll never finish it.

You are without a doubt the definition of wonderful and incredible and decent, and you will always be the standard I hold all others to.

I love you, friend.

T

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The Disintegration of “Other”

There was tangible change evident in the twenty one year old that returned home from her adventure abroad; and yet today that change appears lost, at the very least forgotten. How can a new form dissolve into the former? How can a changed entity disintegrate into a discarded shape? We argue that change is absolute, and yet we hardly consider that change is as circular as the wheels that operate our vehicles.

Whilst abroad, I grew into a new form of myself and my complicated back story found itself suddenly simplified. My being found itself dismantled into nothing more than my purpose.
“I am T; I am here to teach.”
And as Greece blurred into Italy, so did my answer. I was no longer there to teach, I was there “to search.”  I maintain that my answer doubled as a filtration system for the kinds of people I’d spend time with.

What I remember most poignantly from Italy is the briefest of meetings I had with an individual in passing. Within minutes of speaking, he exclaimed in pure elation that my happiness was as infectious as infection. I have never laughed quite so hard at a strangers remark about myself. I have, and maintain that I always will, find joy in those who learn to speak English as a second language. Their communication elicits the most literal understanding of our words, and it is nothing short of brilliant. But I digress.

I genuinely find myself at a loss these days, constantly caught between the person I found myself become and the person I thought I left behind. So much in my life has changed, and yet so much appears to have remained the same. What is this silly mindgame I find myself playing.

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Jumbled.

Inundated with a constant stream of thoughts, my brain has been running at full capacity these last few days.

Am I overwhelmed? Am I stressed out? Am I largely ambivalent to the many things simultaneously beginning and ending in my life at this very moment?

Let’s put an asterisk by that last one.

There’s this cavernous divide between the education we receive in college and the applicable life skills we garner in the four years we spend working towards our degrees. Somewhere along the way I found myself inside this hole. Like way way in it. And it terrified me. But then the ambivalence hit. That’s why I’m sitting inside my cavern right now, tucked in with a mug, hair in a bun, netflix flickering across my laptop screen as a fire flickers in front of me. (If I were in any way a talented artist/ graphic designer/ six year old with creativity– I would have honed in on those skills here, because I have a particularly vivid image of this. You could say I’ve ruminated with it for a while.)

I was in a yoga class last night, and for the first time in just about a year of semi regularly practicing, I found myself unable to stop thinking. I genuinely could not flip the switch to shut down the flurry of activity in my brain. There I was, ass tucked in, back bent backwards, staring at the sweaty legs of a great lump of a man– ticking through a to do list. I bet he wasn’t thinking about his next internship.

I’v sat with a migraine since this semester began.

 

My 120 degree sweat box failed me. And that has never happened before. Now what?

I think the worst part is that I wouldn’t even characterize myself as stressed at this point. I’ve somehow maintained the degree of calmness and acceptance I gained in Europe… but with that being said I’ve also found myself feeling some new form of irritation and overwhelming burden. Or maybe I’m just stressed and in denial. :))))) Passive aggressive emoji use 4ever 

Happy Thursday, kids.

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