Foriegn Affairs

Exister, c'est oser se jeter dans le monde.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Pink Couch

Slamming the heavy oak door, she rushes over to the other side of the room, rain water squelching in her boots. Removing her bots in a rapid fashion, stripping the soaked wool socks from her feet and puts them on the hissing, chipped radiator. Removing her equally soggy raincoat, she goes to her coffee maker and opens up the white shaker cabinets to find her favorite roast. Starting the coffee, she walks upstairs and changes from her constraining work clothes and into the welcoming embrace of fuzzy gray sweatpants and matching hoodie. As the aroma of coffee beans diffuse into the air upstairs, she comes down the stairs, noticing the worn ikat patterned carpet that has permanently captured the size of her feet.
After the coffee is poured into an old mug from her high school days, she curls up on the pink couch. This pink isn't a little girl's pink, but more modern; a woman's couch. On second thought, she stands up and drifts to the fireplace, turning the gas on and hearing a resounding swoosh as heat comes. Grabbing a quilt made with love from her grandmother off a high wingback chair, she finally settles back on the couch. With coffee in hand, cocooned in a blanket, and the heat turned on, she looks content.
But she doesn't feel the same way.
The shifting of the apartment makes echoes in the empty hallway, bouncing off the barren walls. She thinks of no one home to greet her, smile, or even accompany her on rainy evenings like this one. All at once, she realizes something.
She is utterly alone, a girl wrapped up on a pink couch in the middle of winter with no one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Writing on Writing

I know that I may never be a great writer. I add the word may because you never know, but as of right now none of my works are amazing enough to be considered an addition to literature.
Why do I write?
Mainly, I really like to. I don't like academic writing, but creative writing. I like to express who I am through words, and I feel like I can say anything I want to. It doesn't matter what I look like, all you see are the words I write (or type) on the page. There is something freeing about that thought that lets the writer lose inhibitions and become who they truly are.
I write for myself. There was a time where I started to write for another person, and I started to see my writing and thoughts go a direction that I didn't like. It became more of an attraction technique rather than a cathartic experience. I felt like I was trying to impress instead of express. Now I know that I write for myself. I hope that I inspire people who read this to look at things a different way. A small part of me also hopes that I reach an international audience and that people I may never see in my lifetime will remember what I wrote when they stumbled on my blog or clicked on the link.
Writing isn't a chore.
Right now, I am typing away on my MacBook, hearing the rain pound on my roof. Generally, I don't have a lot of time to jus write and type, but today I didn't have much going on. I like to wrap myself in a blanket, and get super comfy. I also really like to listen to R&B when I write, it gets me into a soul type of mood. I'm not sure if that comes across, but when I hear the lyrics "Georgia's on my mind" it automatically relaxes me.
My advice: find something that you love. It doesn't have to be writing, but find something and try and do it at least once a week. I have to admit, I aspire a little to be a well-known blogger, but even if it turns out I'm the only one visiting this blog, I will be okay with that. Choose to do something that you are passionate about, not something that you will receive recognition for.

"Passion changes everything."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Love Is All You Need

Today I was thinking about love. Just in my school, I feel like we lack love as a student body. We are quick to undercut and belittle others. I also think that we lack love in the way we participate in school. Teachers give everything that they have to better students, but many choose to ignore the blessing that is teachers.
On my cross country team, I find that we lack love. One way to be a good teammate is to love one another. Without that bond, anything that is said seems fake. Over the years, I have had many relationships where I truly felt loved. I know that until the day I die, I will always remember them. That reminds me of the Maya Angelou quote that says that somebody might forget your name, but never how you made them feel, good or bad.
I want people to remember be as someone who genuinely cared about them and their well-being. I want to be remembered just like I remember certain individuals and the kindness and love that they have shown me.
I know that love would solve the world. If we learned to love others just like we loved ourselves, we wouldn't have as much conflict. I also know that people would be happier. It is hard to wallow in sadness when you are focused on serving others and their needs.
Love doesn't just have to be romantic love- it can be anything. Even a small act of smiling shows that you love that person. I am challenging myself to feel love towards others in a small act of kindness every day. In my own small way, I believe that I am changing my corner of the world by showing kindness and love.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall & Change

This is my favorite season by far. Where I live, leaves change color, the weather gets cooler, and with fall festivals I feel like I am living somewhere totally different than where I reside for the rest of the year. Fall also signals to me the start of the end of a year and other finales.
This year is my senior year, so naturally the ending of my school career is drawing to a close. I am so used to imagining a next year, but I now realize that next year will look totally different. The things I want now won't be the things I want in the future, and all the goals that I want to achieve have a time limit. I imagine a sand timer with only a little bit of sand that is left. I want for things so desperately that I imagined four years ago, but now I understand that many of those things will not come to pass unless I do something about it.
As I mentioned before, I love how the leaves change in the fall, painting the environment in bright oranges and fiery reds. In my own personal way, I am experiencing that change too. I am participating in many firsts, but also many lasts. As I begin to change to start the next phase of my life, I am a little apprehensive. I am not sure how bright I will become or even if I will have success. So far, I am choosing to remain positive and keep my perspective on the future. I am trying to repeat to myself the mantra that change is good, and only time will tell if that statement turns out to be true.


Monday, June 20, 2016

The Beginning of Lasts {& Firsts}

This week I am feeling pretty sentimental. One of my close friends is living on a mission to Chile to serve and preach the gospel for two years! As his last day in the states draws to a close, I can't help but feel like a lot of my life is changing rapidly. Taking a tally of my life in the moment, most of my friends are going on missions or college in the fall, making everyday sightings of them nonexistent. The people that I see in the summer or in the hallways will be gone in a year, and I have to admit, I'm a little sad. It seems as though I have a little sand timer with enough sand until graduation (that's in a year)! With only having a year left, I also think about what is going to change in a year and where I will be. Right now, I  am thinking about doing a humanitarian project in Central America of the Pacific next summer! Even last week, this idea didn't even cross my mind. So, as many lasts start to unfold in my life, I also look toward the beginning of many firsts. My first day of college, my first trip is crazy.
Right now, all I can say is that I know that all the events in my life so far will help me for a bigger future. It's hard to say what I'll be doing next year or even tomorrow, but I have a firm belief that it will help me along the path of life. Who knows, maybe next year I'll be getting ready to go on a mission or  be joining the Peace Corps!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Live Boldly

Over the weekend, I had the invitation to go see Me Before You with some of my friends. For the record, I am not a hopeless romantic, but read the book and cried my eyes out (something that I rarely do). After watching the movie and having uncontrollable sobs, I realized that I LOVED the story. Completely. If you don't know what I am talking about, here is the trailer. Even thought the story is fictional, I couldn't help relating it to another one of my favorite movies, The Theory of Everything, a true story of Stephen Hawking. (trailer here).

In the book, Me Before You, the story follows the debilitating injury of Will Traynor and his assistant who shows him how great life can be, despite his pain and suffering. She tries to show him not only how fully how life can be lived, but how his accident was only a set-back on a long road of promise. (I'm not revealing the ending)!
On to The Theory of Everything.

Before this movie, I had briefly heard about Hawking. After I watched the movie and did a little research, I am still not sure how I feel about him, but I have total respect for someone who loses the ability to use their body, and fights to defy the odds. As an avid runner and busy bee, I can't imagine losing the ability to move my arms, legs, even the ability to talk and sit. After being diagnosed with ALS, a terminating disease, the will to live is beyond me.
It is hard for me to imagine myself in their situations ( both Hawking and Traynor) who lose that ability.
At the end of the book, Me Before You, one of the main characters receives a letter. (I know I'm being vague, but I want you to look it up and read for yourself). Although I won't reveal what is said in the letter, I will spoil one sentence.
Live Boldly.
How do we live boldly?
I believe that it means we live without any boundaries, and push until we can't give anymore. It also means staying true to who you are; personal integrity. In light of the tragedy in Orlando, I say this- people should NOT be punished for who they are, living the life they want to lead. If, as a society, we learn to live boldly, we WILL change for the better.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Culture me, darling

For those who don't know me that well, I love to travel. I may be very picky about where I stay or what I do, but a major item on my bucket list is to travel the world. So far, I have only been out of the country once, and even though Canada is extremely nice, I didn't experience a huge culture shock. To prepare for my world travels that start next summer (more on that in a future post). At school, I learned French, all the way up to level 4. Even though I am in the higher level of the language, I still feel like I need to go to the country to try out my speaking ability! My family was able to host a foreign exchange student from Nice a year ago, and it was crazy trying to communicate with him! My French was not the best, and neither was his English. The majority of the time, we relied on Google translate, and bonded using hand signals. We were even able to communicate a little bit using Spanish. 
It is truly amazing how language can unite us together as a world, but also create distance between us. Though the world is growing in diversity, many still don't know how to speak a second language. I would say the majority of the blame lies in America, because as children, we are not pushed to learn another language. I know that my little knowledge of French helps unite me to others in another country, and helps me to understand a culture better. Even better news- once you learn an additional dialect, it is easier to learn another! This summer, I am trying to keep my french skills sharp, but I might add another language to the list. 
As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, 

“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.”


Monday, June 6, 2016

Long Time No See

I have to admit, I have completely slacked off from blogging for a solid month. My new resolution is to blog at least two times a week, so stay posted! With so many changes happening in almost an instant, I feel like I sound like a broken record say that I am busy all the time. However, this is the plain and simple truth. Unfortunately, many tell me that time does not slow down, but in fact speeds up. I wish that I could rewind the clock and tell my past self to enjoy every moment of every day.
Currently, I am working a summer job while trying to relish and savor my last high school summer. It is weird to think that I only have one year left of required education, and that the people that I see everyday will fade away in less than 12 months. I feel as if society tells us to rush growing up, seeing places, and meeting new people. All by the time I am 18, I am expected to have been a world traveler, exceptional student and athlete, leader of all my peers, have a high school romance...
For me, I think I need to remember to BREATHE. To enjoy all the little things that give me joy, and not push them off for other pursuits not worth my time. With a year left, it looks like an expiration date. All the years that I told myself to wait, to calculate every movement, is gone in a blink of an eye.
While writing this post, I think another one of my goals this summer (and year) is to live. Along with learning to take a breath, I need to jump into the deep end and take chances.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

My Instagram is full color. I don't have any black and white photos, except for one, from all the way back to freshman year of high school. 
I also don't have any selfies.
I used to be so jealous of #selfiesundays for lots of reasons. Everyone who posted a selfie looked amazing, beautiful, and confident. Each of their pictures had lots of comments, almost all positive, except for the friends that were trying to be funny. 
Six months ago, I had acne. 
It was horrible. I started going to the dermatologist in middle school, and I was a frequent visitor. While other girls were just starting puberty, liking boys, and trying to become popular, I was trying to fix my face. I had little pimples everywhere-forehead, cheeks, chest, basically anywhere there was skin. Later, I even started to get some painful ones on my back. It would make me so uncomfortable  to be around people who would complain about their break-outs! I constantly had "break-outs" all the time! 
So,  I decided some things. 
Until my acne cleared up, I would not wear makeup, not even a little bit of mascara. I would try every remedy under the sun to wash my face, to rid myself of the curse called bad acne. Around this time, I realized that I started to only have pictures in black and white, so that my acne wasn't as prevalent in my photos. 
That's why my photos are all in color, and why this picture is so unusual.
It is black and white, and a selfie.
If you were to look at me today, you would see no acne. Before I started the medicine that would clear it up, I didn't know that foreheads were supposed to be smooth, that gargantuan zits weren't a thing. I also never thought in a million years that people would tell me that my face looked good. The first time someone said that to me, I almost started to cry. 
I call this my miracle. I have more confidence and feel happier. I am now comfortable in my skin, something that I couldn't say for a really long time.
The lesson of my acne taught me something. I never thought I was pretty with my acne, but I knew that I was beautiful on the inside. I also understood that those who became my friends weren't my friends because I was attractive, but because they saw something that you couldn't see on the surface.

My words of advice- do not judge a book by its cover. It might sound cliche, but its the truth. Get to know the "ugly" kid, or the shy kid, or even the "he's kind of weird" kid. We are all going through something, why not go through it together?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Almost Done

With school ending, I'm beginning to feel spring ( or summer ) fever. The days are longer, brighter, and more enjoyable to go on a run, write, or just sit outside and listen to the sounds of nature. However, with school ending I have less and less time to do the things that I truly want to do. Preparing for tests and quizzes is not my idea of a good time. I am trying to be more positive though, and the thought of my 4th block makes me smile.

Currently, I am a French V student. I love the language and the bragging rights that go along with the title of being bilingual. In our unit that we are doing right now, we are cadet teaching to a 3rd grade class. Let me tell you- after these three weeks, I have a new found respect for teachers. Preparing lessons to children and having them engaged is one battle, but then you have to juggle different personality types, make sure that they learn, and that they stay under control. While teaching the kids about foods and drinks and how to say them in french, a group of trouble making boys thought that it would be funny to say they were drinking beer. Needless to say, my wonderful partner went over and talked to them, meanwhile I prayed that the other students and teacher didn't hear of us teaching the kids how to say an alcoholic drink! 
All in all, I love the kids. They are so smart and kind, and the best feeling in the world that I have discovered recently is being hugged by a student. It planted a smile on my face the rest of the day! 

My words to the wise are this- enjoy every moment. While wishing for the future of summer, focus instead on the moment that you are in. As the great Ferris once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and take the time to look around, you'll miss it."


Monday, April 11, 2016

Peace, finally

Today, I was touched by a feeling of contentment. Usually, I am feeling busy or stressed, and this feeling was a pleasant disturbance to my regular routine. Yesterday, I was able to relax and enjoy the day- gray and rainy, my favorite! On my favorite days, you can usually find me with a book, under my blanket. I am almost always munching on a snack, and my white Tonkenese cat is curled up with me. I'm also wearing comfy clothes, which means yoga pants and a ratty, old t-shirt. Sometimes, I might even fall asleep until my sister wakes me up! My favorite days also consist of me with my family, where we can share stories and relax.
I know that it's hard to take breaks in life sometimes (especially for me) but we all need them. Sometimes all we need to stop, look around, and be grateful for the little things in life, like rainy days and cats.

Here's to a blissful


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Gifts of Life

Recently, I've been trying to find my purpose in life. In the past month, I've had the chance to listen to a gust speaker. I can't remember his name, or anything else other than one piece of advice he gave: he told us to find our because.

Because means for the reason that. He told of different life stories where his own sibling was bullied or he was the bully, and how all his stories fortunately had happy endings because those kids had a because, or reason for living.

If we find our because, we will have joy in our lives. A lot of the time, it is easy to get caught up in our faults and shortcomings, rather than the things that we excel at.
As I search for my because, I want you to find your because, or reason for living. What makes you get up in the morning, smile, jump for joy?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Recently, I've been reading a phenomenal book- The Great Gatsby. Although I could tell you about it, take my word- just read it. 
Anyways, this led me to the subject of appearances. In the book, all the characters, even the ones who are supposed to have a moral compass, put up a facade only they have to see past. For several of the characters, this means inventing an alternate reality, where they can take pride in accomplishments that never happened. Others have woven a web so thick of lies, sometimes even they get caught in it. 

This got me thinking about the facade that I put up. As transparent as I try to be, I know that as a human I don't want my wrinkled, old self to be the image I project. I want to be a polished, perfect version that may only exist on paper, not reality. 
I also think that others do the same thing. 
How many times has the media and the world showed us only the very best of celebrities and those of influence, neglecting the dark, unattractive side that each of us harbor? In their own way, they are painting a rosy picture that we all buy in to. 
Only by tearing down our own walls can we learn to not only love ourselves, but others. To teach equality, love, and integrity, we need to practice it ourselves.
I propose a challenge:
LOVE YOURSELF. Accept yourself for your flaws and shortcomings, and then look outside to others. As one of my favorite quotes says:

Thursday, March 24, 2016


I think it is easy to say that March doesn't seem to be my month. Especially in the last couple of weeks, everything that I have tried out for has fallen through. Different things that I really wanted didn't work out. It was easy for me to say that I was unlucky, that the world hated me, and that I couldn't catch a break. I really felt like nothing good was going to happen to me. For every step forward I took, I was pushed back another ten steps.
However, I came to a realization that the world wasn't punishing me, but trying to teach me a lesson that I am enough. I didn't need recognition or awards or people to surround me to get my self-worth from. As I was running yesterday, I had a thought that came into my head. I was running ON MY OWN! Nobody was doing it for me. 
I believe that it is easy to think that individual worth comes from things that you are surrounded with, but that isn't the truth. I found comfort in knowing that I could do things on my own, and that even if my achievements and rewards weren't recognized, it didn't change who I was as a person. 
Sometimes, it's hard to think that you are blessed and lucky. The advice that I had to give myself this week was this- Stay Oriented. With a goal of where we want to be and want to become in the future, we can distinguish what actually matters most.
So, to all of you that feel as though you can't catch a break- you're not the only one. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Farmhouse for a Day

Surrounded by many acres of land sits a Victorian farmhouse, whitewashed to perfection, despite being vacant. The cracks in the grey concrete foundation do not detract from the house, and provide a home for the purple honeysuckles that grow there. The sun shines on the front of the house, illuminating they broken screen door that has lost use of its rusty hinges. Somehow, all the beautiful stained glass windows are intact, creating a multicolored display on the green grass.
If you were to walk inside the house, it might seem like the owners never left. All the furniture is in place, looking like someone might be coming to visit in the near future. Although the holes in the upholstery grow bigger, the aura of sophistication is still potent. Strangely, a window is left open, a feature in this old house. On a warm breeze floats the scent of summer and joy. In the kitchen, a farmhouse sink is placed in front of a spacious window. The view is breathtaking- golden sunflowers with other flora and fauna scattered around. The intricate rug placed by the sink is threadbare and worn, as if the owners' spent more time here than anywhere else in the house. The old wooden floors creak and grown in protest to the house settling, without the company of a family to keep it company. 
Going back outside, there isn't another house in sight. Truly, this house is on the edge of a frontier. The only company it has is the green woods surrounding the house, and the fields that stretch out endlessly. 
As you walk down the gravel path, you don't understand why one would want to leave this perfect piece of the world. Unlocking your car and opening the door, you hurriedly start the engine to blast the cold AC to receive relief from the heat. Driving away, the house gets smaller and smaller, and the tall grasses that seemed to keep you company a short time ago almost seem to be waving. Melancholy, you drive away, realizing that you might not be able to ever find this house again.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

First Date

                The clock reads 6:00, the time that she agreed to meet him at a local restaurant. However, she is running late, smoothing light brown hairs that don’t seem to stay in place. Glancing down at her outfit in the smudged bathroom mirror, she wonders if the strategic pick of her favorite dress was the right call. Knowing that is it is too late to change even if she wanted to, she grabs her purse. As she comes out of the bathroom, her brother reminds her to not forget that she had plans tonight, as if she could forget. Grabbing the keys from the hook, she rushes out the door, shouting good-byes and hearing good lucks follow her out the door.
                In the car, she can’t seem to find the right music. None of the songs are right. They are either to edgy or cliché or slow. Barely paying attention to the road, a car honks as the ruby red of the stoplight turns to emerald green against the night sky. Thoughts of backing out or not being good enough run through her mind. She punches the gas, knowing that she is now passing the time of being fashionably late to being rude. Wishing that there was a dater’s handbook or other step-by- step guide was available to first timers, she parks the car and turns off the engine. Freaking out, she sends a quick text to her friends, asking for last minute advice and comforting wishes. She is greeted with a text from him instead of them.
I parked! Let me know when you get here.
Those words scare her so much. Gathering what little courage she has, she gives herself one last look in the small visor mirror. Brown eyes with mascara and a flushed face look back at her. She pushes the door open and walks up to the restaurant. She doesn’t see him at first, and she wonders if she is doing the right thing.

As soon as she thinks this, she spots him. He turns around, and smiles. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Leap Year

I have been so busy in the past month! Between school and different clubs and sports, I barely have any time to myself. In my absence, I have created some stories, but I am in a rut with all of them. Hopefully soon I will have a finished product and posted to the blog.
This month, we celebrate February 29th, a day that only comes every four years. It's funny to think about people who are born on this day, as they only get a birthday one time in four years! However, this also got me thinking about things that we only do every four years. For example, in the US we have presidential elections. For this country, it is a very big deal. Individuals can change everyday, imagine how much a nation changes in four years!
I also likened this to a question that we always get, "What would be your perfect day?". I want to change this question to say, "What would be your perfect day that you could repeat every four years?".
For me, this would be waking up early and having breakfast in bed (biscuits and gravy, or chicken in waffles). My whole family would be there with me like a mini reunion. We would play games and go see a new movie. I would also adopt a Scottish fold cat and get a pint of Andy's vanilla and read The Help while having a picnic with my sister.
I wish that I could repeat my perfect day every four years. As life would have it, my dream will probably never happen. On the bright side, I can try and create this type of day.

Happy Leap Year,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Night Thoughts

Through the haze of smoke coating the air, she catches his eye. Quickly, she glances down at her plain black dress, realizing that she is under dressed for the party. Her friends nudge her elbow, letting her know that they are leaving her to her own defenses. Scanning the crowd, she sees no familiar faces except for one.
Her eyes are like magnets, following his every move. Watching him shake hands, play up the crowd. Why she can't get him out of her mind is a mystery to her. When they parted ways almost a year ago, it was for good. A clean, solid break- no splinters, jagged edges, or broken pieces. Now, seeing him again, it's like she never left.
Maybe you could blame it on the atmosphere of this party or her on setting headache, she fights through the crowd of girls in tight dresses and boys with too much cologne to find her friends. Grabbing her phone and Kate Spade lips clutch, she hurries to the door, forgetting her coat and leaving behind the smoke and questions running through her mind.
As she walks down the sidewalk, trying to avoid the cracks, a hand grabs her arm.
Turning around, ready to face her attacker, she is pleasantly surprised. She finds herself looking into his face, getting lost in his bright, blue eyes, streetlamps reflecting in them. His cheeks are red from running to catch her.
In ragged breaths, a hand running through his hair, he says, What happened to us? I can't stop thinking about what we used to be, what we can become. Please don't leave
She hears his words running through her head like a cassette tape on replay. How many times she heard those words, believed the empty promises. It wasn't just him or just her, it was everything else in the universe pulling them apart, exposing the worst of them piece by piece.
I can't, she says, that's the definition of insanity, trying the same thing, only to get the same results.
Turning away from him and his pained expression, she hails a taxi just as raindrops start to come down from the dark sky.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Busy as a Bee {or student}

This week has been a hectic one. Even though I know it's only Tuesday, I feel like the week is running away from me! This week I'm going to end up having four tests, multiple quizzes, and the ACT this weekend, not to mention all the homework and other after-school activities.
I am a very stressed out person. Normal remedies like smelling lavender or counting to ten just don't work for me. Maybe it's the feeling of not knowing the future and not being able to control it to a certain extent. I also feel like studying for tests dry me out of my creative writing and other ideas because we have no room for anything but facts. Either way, this seems like I'm fighting an uphill battle this week, like the kinds of weeks where you don't seem to have enough hours in the day or enough time to recharge. Going back to my previous post, this week my goal isn't necessarily to get 100% on everything, but to look for the sweetness in the week. For me personally, I think that I'm too eager to rush, rather than focusing on the journey.
This also reminded me of a speech given to BYU students called Successfully Failing. One of my favorite quotes from that says:

"At the other end of Professor Edmondson’s failure spectrum—“good failures” resulting from efforts to extend the frontiers of our knowledge—we should not be so fearful of failing that we avoid trying new or hard things merely because their very newness or difficulty increases the risk of failure. Don’t let concern for protecting your grade point average dictate the courses you take. Challenge yourself, academically and in other ways. You may discover skills, talents, and joys you would otherwise miss out on. Your mortal experience will be a more productive part of your quest for perfection if you intentionally stretch yourself with new challenges, especially those that involve a real risk of failure."

Let's fail, discover something new, and learn to go the distance.



Saturday, January 30, 2016

Inspired by Edward Hopper (Automat)

 In her haste to escape the pouring rain, she ran into this coffee shop, almost closed for the night. The aroma of coffee beans coats the air like a warm hug, enveloping her with much needed shelter from the storm. As the brass bell chimes to signal to the cashier that a customer has entered, calm floods her body. Even though she hasn't been to this shop before, something makes her feel right at home. The cashier enters from the back room, dressed in a white shirt speckled with coffee residue and a plain, black apron.
She quickly scans the menu, looking for familiar territory on the extensive list of expensive brews, exotic chai teas, and specialty pastries. Finding the familiar order of a plain cup of coffee, she pays with three shiny quarters and moves to an open table, where she finds herself the only guest in the late hour. Still shivering from the spring storm, she greets the cashier with an appreciate smile and accepts the warm cup of coffee he brings to her table, party of one. She removes one fur-lined glove and drops three sugars into her dark coffee. As she sips, she can hear the rain pounding against the glass windows while the radiator desperately splutters to try and heat the shop. Leaning back against the wooden chair, she sighs with relief.
Her job is a difficult one. A nine to five, six days a week. As secretary to a prominent business man, she must always be mindful of how she looks and acts. Only in the quiet, stormy nights like these can she find solace and be herself without the smile and the clothes.
Closing her eyes, she drinks the last of her cup. Standing up, she grabs a crumpled dollar from her handbag and drops it on the teal linoleum table. Her chair scrapes the tiled floor as she pushes it in, getting ready to leave. The cashier looks from where he is cleaning up for the night and gives a slight nod. Walking across the shop, she grabs the door and is greeted by that same bell and more rain. As she hails a taxi, she realizes that she forgot her glove. Looking back at the cafe, all the lights are turned off. Only the facade of the building is lit by the fading streetlights. Not recognizing the cafe, she almost thinks that she imagined the night, the only evidence being her missing glove.
Finally, a yellow taxi pulls up to the curb, rescuing her from the rain.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Milk and Honey

My friend and I have found an author of poems (is that a thing?) that we both love. Thanks to Pinterest, we both have discovered an individual that explains what we believe in.
I think that at one point or another, our souls all need healing. If it's from a breakup, a loss, or just the wear and tear of everyday, we need something positive in our lives to be our remedy. For many, that might be a person, place, or even a warm, cuddly quilt. 
For me, when I feel like I'm just going through the motions. I just STOP. I grab my brown and cream qua trefoil blanket, a book, and my white Tonkenese cat. However, I've now found this book of poems and short thoughts, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. To learn more about her, click here and to her personal site, click here.

This book is described on B&N:
"milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look."

I love that last part about sweetness everywhere. Too often we, myself included, tend to dwell on the negative and what has gone wrong instead of what has gone right. In the most unexpected places is where we find our joy and happiness.
My milk and honey is a little gold ring with a flower made of black stones. It is from my great-grandmother, and to me it reminds me of her story. She didn't have much. She worked for what she had. Every time I slip on this precious ring, it's like a personal salve to my own heart.  Since she's gone, I always imagine where she was when she was wearing the ring, what she did and saw. 

What is your milk and honey?


Monday, January 25, 2016

My Imitation Game

One of my favorite movies of all time that I've recently discovered is The Imitation Game. A quote from that movie that hit me hard was what  Alan Turing says to Joane Clark after she thinks she can't work for him because she's a woman.

At the time, woman were seen as inferior, bodies with no minds. Likewise, Alan was an outcast because he had too much brain. This got me thinking of all the negativity in the world. Many tell the young, the dreamers, that they won't be capable of anything. That blazing new trails won't amount to anything. I can say personally that this has happened to me . An Algebra II teacher told me not to continue higher levels of math because I was already "in over my head," and that I wouldn't be able to go further. She wrote me off without a second glance. 
Who knew that in a year, I would be going on to Statistics, getting Advanced on standardized tests...
How many people do we, maybe offhandedly write off, say that they aren't able to go the distance, do things that we can't wrap our minds around. We hear of all the underdog stories and wonder why that can't happen to us or why those events only seem to happen once in a blue moon.
I can tell you the difference.
They have heart. Now, I know that seems like a cliche, but it's not. I think today, we get too discouraged to continue to persevere when trouble and obstacles arise. The ability to stick through trials is almost an anomaly. 
We should honor the individuals who are dreamers and doers, who don't stop for the world's approval. How can we honor them?
It's simple. Blaze your own trails.

Until next time,


Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Gift of the Magi {Revisited}

Today I did a lot of thinking about thinking about others. My favorite short story of all time has to be The Gift of the Magi. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, it's basically about a young, poor couple who sacrifices what they deem as their "greatest possession" to give the other something they can only dream of receiving. 
This story used to frustrate me. I never understood why they didn't tell each other what they were planning, or why universe wanted to come up with these "star-crossed" gifts. 

But then I saw the bigger meaning.

In today's society, I don't see many of us giving or sacrificing of ourselves. Many times we give when it is convenient or when there is a social or economic deal on the table of success. Instead of highlighting those who serve in the shadows, we give praise to the fame junkies, the lime-light lovers. I wonder at what point we start to serve from the heart, to give freely without holding anything back and at times when it might not even work to our benefit.
Someone who has shown me this is my mother. She is the first to give up time, something I consider synonymous with love. When I need a cheerleader, she's there. Workout partner, athletic trainer, counselor, taxi driver, doctor....
As the great Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, put people will never forget how you made them feel."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Finding Something New in the Old

While I was looking for my whitening trays for my teeth, I found a really old scrapbook from when I was in middle school. It was super weird to see how the comments of "stay in contact with me" or "we'll face high school together" or even "nice to know you" have changed. I looked back on my section of the scrapbook where I put my dreams, and almost nothing matched up to my dreams now. Back then, I wanted to be a pro volleyball player, live in New York City, have a condo at Huntington Beach...
Back then, I didn't envision the people who came into my life and changed me, shaped me into loving the South and Maya Angelou and running. Who helped me learn life lessons, math, music, and relationships. Even today, I can look at all the people who I've formed relationships with and realize that I wouldn't have given them a second glance in the hallway six months ago.
I love that a human trait is to grow and change. I love how my favorite place isn't to shop at the LOFT anymore, but H&M, and that I don't like Land Rovers, but a Jeep Renegade. I'm in love with going to Austria and Colorado with t.mountains and rooming with my sister.
Today, using that scrapbook, I found a contact that I haven't talked to in about five years. Reaching out to them was strange at first, but I'm glad that I did. We talked a bit about our younger days and how we both went to parties and how we dressed... and I realized that time flies, and that we need to make the most out of it.
Au revoir,


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Beginning of a New Year {and new post}

Against my  better judgement, I decided to try a New Year's Resolution. Usually, I don't do one simply because I end up not following it through as soon as the middle of January! This year, however, I decided that I'm going to try this blogging thing. I don't know if anyone will see it or even care about my writing or thoughts on life, but I'm giving it a shot.
Something that made me think about making this my resolution is the cultural significance of the new year in France. In that country, they celebrate the new year the whole entire month. Weird, right? We also talked about not only making resolutions for the year but daily. This reminded me of the book I got for Christmas:
Each section is coded by a color based on your thoughts! Already I've started writing things down and honestly, it's almost therapeutic. I'm also not a huge journal writer, so I'm giving it a go! 
Until next time,