Easy

After the first time I had kissed a stranger — in the blushing light of a music festival — I was reeling by how easily it had happened.  He had seen me, chatted a little, put his arm around me…the only reason why we didn’t kiss sooner was because I was too naive to realize what he wanted.

In high school, finding someone to kiss would have been much more difficult, to say the least.  Not because I wasn’t interested in anyone — but my shy and awkward demeanor didn’t attract boys at my school.  The option of hooking up — being physically intimate with someone without the emotional aspect — was never really on the table, mostly because I was idealistic and unpopular, partly because high schoolers are actually more romantic than society portrays them as. Continue reading

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Budapest

You know how when you travel, a place can be nice, but only in a superficial and touristy way?  Like, you enjoy it of course, but you don’t feel like there’s enough substance left to visit again anytime soon?  I feel that way frequently when I travel — but not for Budapest.

As my sister and I flew from the Netherlands to Hungary, I realized how little I knew about the country.  I didn’t know anything about Hungary aside from brief mentions during history class.  I hazily imagined a quaint, sleepy city, but really had no idea what to expect. Continue reading

Planty

I did not expect, in the heart of a city, to foster some greenery of my own, yet I visit the rooftop deck of my house nearly daily to tend to six lil plants.

I have basil, lavender, chives, oregano, and a mini sunflower.  More practical than flora I used to take care of back in suburbia.  Purchased as teenage seedlings from the farmers market.  I’m not much of a chef myself, but my housemates have used my basil for dishes like lasagna.  It delights me to be useful. Continue reading

Traveling Solo

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The door’s bell tinkled as I entered the red-painted restaurant, and the waitress caught my wide-eyed look. “You can have the corner if you’d like,” she said, directing me to far right.

Feeling special, I walked over and sat at an embroidered stool.  The tiny counter was attached to a wide window overlooking a castle-like building, some boutiques, and a wheelbarrow full of flowers.  There were salt and pepper shakers and a bowl of rock salt on the counter.  But I am not special; I’m just traveling alone.  Continue reading

Monthly Me (June ’17)

June, a landmark month in many ways: it was my first time I was responsible for my own rent, food, and employment.  Adulting is hard!  I spent most of the month merely adjusting to the new independence.  I’ve enjoyed myself immensely, but I’ve also already learned a lot within these few weeks.

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Souvenirs

Hello!  Welcome to my first blog post about my May trip to Amsterdam/Budapest/Spain.

In this incredible vacation, I collected mementos very lightly, but mostly because I was so concentrated on living in the moment.  In many ways, this was my first travel experience as an independent adult, so there was a lot to relish at the time.

Still, I picked up a few things to remember this special trip by.

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a dark side of journaling

I reread some of my old journal entries from last semester, and the intensity of my preserved feelings shocked me.   They were so raw, uncensored, intimate.

My journal entries are startlingly frank because they hold nothing back: as my private outlet, there’s no self-consciousness for conventions or melodrama.  So there’s something terrifyingly real about them.  It’s like I dipped my heart in ink and rolled it around the pages, and the imprints are just as fresh and poignant as if written yesterday.

For the first time, I wished that I hadn’t amberized that time in my life.   Continue reading

Emotional Containers

This past semester, I felt locked in a post-you era.  Even though, after you said those fateful words — “I’m not looking for a relationship” — I stopped liking you and even stopped hurting for you, I failed to restart, like some stuttering obsolete computer.   I felt like I couldn’t, not without some sort of signal to transition.  I wanted to flip over the page to the next chapter of my life, but it felt like the same chapter kept going on and on — even though different stuff started happening, even though you stopped being a character.  I guess I wanted to look up at the night sky and see the stars aligned in the words: THE END.  I wanted a sign.

But now, the semester is over.  There is no boundary as definitive as the beginning of sweet summer.  I brush the dust of you and my leftover feelings into the container called Freshman Year and seal it off for good. Continue reading

Relationships

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what even is the point of having friends, family, and lovers.  Especially since — if you think about it — the definitions of these things are so abstract and bendable sometimes.  After all, isn’t a group of friends like a found family — a beautiful little eclectic clan brought together by chance?  And doesn’t a family sometimes feel like people who you’re expected to be friends with for a lifetime?  Isn’t a lover just a best friend that you also sleep with — or are friends just lovers that you don’t sleep with?  I guess the confusing thing is that the word “love” blankets all these categories — sure, you can add modifiers like “platonic,” “familial,” and “romantic,” but our clumsy language includes that baffling universal solvent: L O V E. Continue reading