Bob Marley and I were eavesdropping

“I could be Native American,” she said. “I mean, I like turquoise.”

It was Saturday morning and I was seated outside on the patio, at a small table in front of my favorite bagel shop, just down the road from my house. I had gone there to spend the morning writing in my journal, which was lying on the table in front of me, open to a blank page. I had just begun to spread low-fat cream cheese onto my lightly toasted onion bagel—that sweet, cherished indulgence I only allow myself on Saturday mornings after yoga—when I heard the voice of the woman next to me. I froze.

I must have heard that wrong, I thought.  

I grabbed my felt-tip pen and began writing in my journal, shaking off whatever it was I thought I’d heard. She wouldn’t have said that out loud in public, I assured myself. Not in Arizona. 

But the woman kept talking and I couldn’t tune her out. Journaling was going to be difficult.  Continue reading

The news

Today is a big day, and it’s been killing me. I have been counting down to this day for months.

In January, I applied to graduate programs at five different schools and today is the day that one of those schools promised to announce its final admissions decisions. I realize that this might not seem like a big deal. And in fact, writing it now–that one out of five decisions is coming out today–really makes it sound like today shouldn’t be a big deal. But my ego disagrees.

This isn’t just any school. This is the school where one of the professors wrote one of my favorite books, and it was a book that was hugely influential in my decision to go back to school and change careers. Continue reading

Random things

I haven’t been writing blog posts lately. I’ve been writing grad school application essays instead. Blog posts are much more fun to write, though, and I can’t wait to get back to them once this arduous application process has passed. That being said, there was one essay I really enjoyed writing—so much that it felt like a blog post. The prompt was to present a list of “25 random things” about myself. Here is what I submitted:

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What a trip

Seventeen days ago, I moved from Denver to Phoenix. The move was a disaster and I am shell-shocked from it. Writing is the only way I can seem to process it.

Right now, in some parallel universe, there is a free-spirited version of me who is sitting in the backyard on a sunny day with a group of close friends. She is describing the 858-mile journey as a video game she has just beaten. Continue reading

Can’t help myself

I just spent my lunch hour looking at random shit on the Web. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. I have almost no filter when I do this; nearly any topic is fair game.

Side note: If I’m being honest, I have little patience for people my age who won’t admit that they enjoy spending hours looking at weird shit on the Web. That’s about like telling me you’ve never masturbated; I just don’t believe you and now we can’t be friends because I won’t trust you. Anyway, I digress. Continue reading

The challenge of now

“Our life’s work is to use what we have been given to wake up. If there were two people who were exactly the same—same body, same speech, same mind, same mother, same father, same house, same food, everything the same—one of them could use what he has to wake up and the other could use it to become more resentful, bitter, and sour. It doesn’t matter what you’re given, whether it’s physical deformity or enormous wealth or poverty, beauty or ugliness, mental stability or mental instability, life in the middle of a madhouse or life in the middle of a peaceful, silent desert. Whatever you’re given can wake you up or put you to sleep. That’s the challenge of now: What are you going to do with what you have already—your body, your speech, your mind?”

—Pema Chödron, The Wisdom of No Escape

Excuses, excuses

I haven’t written on my blog in over three weeks. I really didn’t think anyone was paying attention, but now people have begun asking why they aren’t getting emails about new posts any longer. How sweet of you, readers; I didn’t you know you cared.

This post is not really meant to be a blog post, at least not in the spirit of why I started this blog. It’s more like a rambling list of excuses for the people who keep asking what’s up. I hope you’ll accept some of them.

Here are some things that have been happening lately:

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I awoke to the news that my aunt’s brother had passed away. Although my aunt lives here in the U.S., her family lives an ocean away, and I’ve never met any of them. I didn’t meet her brother, either, but I was overcome with grief when I heard the news. And I still am.

I have a brother. I have two sisters, too.

Continue reading