Editorial: Grad School Week 3

It’s Saturday night, the time is 9 P.M. The place is Washington, D.C. It’s a beautiful balmy September night and where am I might you ask? Sitting comfortably in my bed, exhausted and reading Cosmo.

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You might wonder why am I sitting in bed at 9PM sipping my tea and reading some glossies. Is it because I had a fabulous last night and am still recovering from exhaustion? If only that were true. Instead, I’ve spent 7 plus hours in the library doing work this lovely Saturday. “A Saturday, in the library? Oh the shame!” you might say but clearly you haven’t yet experienced the thrill of grad school. 

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Oh grad school, it isn’t even week three and yet I have spent more hours in the library, on a couch, at a desk  or if I am feeling risky, a bed reading and thinking than ever before in my life.  Suddenly, you have changed me grad school and am turning into a different person. You started me drinking coffee (well espressos, which truth be told I don’t really understand what they are other than something I pour probably far too much sugar and cream into to be palpable).  You have me fearful of procrastinating because of my massive amount of readings and thus I’ve written a paper more than 48 hours before it’s due so I can edit it profusely if time permits. My little group has even found a hangout, they know where to find each other without anyone texting more than one word…. Microfiche. Yeah, Microfiche section of the library, that’s where you find the cool kids. The kids with the espressos and carrots reading their jstor articles like nobody’s business 

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That’s not to say there isn’t a silver lining to you, grad school. At times, I am desperately in love with you. I love the new friendships I have formed in such a small amount of time with my fellow grad students. (I love the free espressos too)I love the exciting events and talks I have witnessed already. I love the opportunities I see now within my reach. I love this new exciting city. I love the walking to school and the new architecture and art I am surrounded by constantly. When we do go out, it’s always been an fun and sometimes adventurous time. Whether is it be an 80s themes night or a day-time crepe party, the good times are rolling (in between copious amounts of time at the library, of course).

 

So here’s to you Grad School and the next 3 years! 

Editorial: Moderating Clutter

Walking in DuPont Circle

Let me start this by saying I have now discovered Dante’s 10th circle of hell. It’s for people who try to move to big cities. In this circle, all you have to do is find an apartment without going over budget or living in Siberia. Ha. And do it in under a week. Ha Ha.

I had the lucky chance to explore this circle firsthand last week. At one point, I almost had a panic attack over not being able to find somewhere. I was literally walking in a circle around Dupont Circle.  I felt like Dorothy going to the Land of Oz, I was definitely not in Kansas anymore either. Apparently ceiling fans and AC are options in Washington, D.C. and apartment complexes don’t come with pools.  In sunny Florida, all of these are standard. You don’t even have to ask about them.

Plus, I had to take into account things that had never made me think twice before.  Like could I easily walk to the grocery store or CVS or a bus stop in the winter, uphill both ways?  Also Publix isn’t in D.C., ugh. It is a different way of life compared to my car reliant life down here. Crazy.  But also super exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited to be living in D.C., but am cautiously worried about adjusting to a new way of living.

I think I found a place. Fingers crossed. Knocking on wood. It is certainly a WEE BIT smaller than what I had before in the good ole’ Florida sun. The lack of space is quite daunting for someone like me (read: Mary Poppins but my house is my carpet bag). I have just about everything I could need for a bunch for 15, or a year’s worth of crafting supplies stored in assorted boxes and bags.

Cleaning out the Closet

This place does not have the space for me and all my crafting gizmos. I am having to make some tough choices. Scratch that, they aren’t that tough. Really. I have just decided to get rid of everything I don’t love. When it comes down to it, there are some things that I just thought “oh this will work”. Or it’s cheap, so what if I don’t love it. Well not any more. I am getting rid of all of it. It feels so good. I feel like I am suddenly more aware of my own style. I can see that I love modern looking vintage pieces (if that makes any bit of sense).  Things I fell in love with 3 years ago as an undergrad no longer reflect what I want, so out with the old (and maybe in with the new? Pesky budgets..). My mother came up with the brilliant idea to have a garage sale at the end of the summer. Hopefully, I will be able to recoup some money spent on all of these no longer loved pieces.

Not only have I been editing décor items but also clothing as well. Inspired by The 100 List and my future diminutive closet size, I have been ruthlessly editing my clothing to only what I love as well. I don’t have space or hangers to waste on things that don’t make me feel 100%. And frankly, what’s the point in owning something that you don’t feel fabulous? It is so hard to edit out things, I must admit. I have put everything in a box that I think I should get rid of and if I don’t touch them in the next six months, then out they go! I feel this makes my separation anxiety feel less strong.

Any advice on editing down to the bare essentials? Mind you, it will be a cold day in H-E-double hockey sticks before I give up my 16 champagne glasses and matching dessert plates. Everything in moderation, even moderation.

Editorial: Complexes

My Faithful BikeMy father has a Superman Complex. I have a Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better Complex. Put together, our complexes lead to some interesting feats because we are both hate losing. Last Saturday for instance, he wanted to go mountain biking. B had taken him a couple weeks ago because B’s boy scout troop had gone. Dad loved the challenges on the course and so he wanted me to go and anything he can do, I can do better…

I am no fool, I live in Florida. There are no mountains here. Thus mountain biking must be more like golf course hills or so I had naively thought. Saturday rolls around and Dad is determined to go despite the fact a) it looks like rain and b) I have a cold. But again, anything he can do, I can do better even if I am sick and wet.

We arrive and I instantly know I am out of my league. For one, I was one of three girls in a parking lot full of 50 plus cars. I was underdressed (which is rare for me) but I did not get the memo that I needed the biking shorts and matching high socks. Silly me thinking those Nike shorts that everyone and their mother owns would be good enough!

My other issue was my bike, well my mother’s bike to be exact. It’s lovely, downright pretty with its little basket and bell. And it stuck out like a sore thumb compared to all the sleek bikes at the park with their fancy gear switches and shiny tires. I removed the basket but it still was quite different from the other bikes.  But this is Florida so surely the trails can’t be that hard, no mountains here…

Those shorts everyone owns

Nonetheless, I was determined. Anything he can do, I can do better despite the fact he had a more mountain-y mountain bike. We start off through the woods, and at first it’s not so bad. It’s just dirt paths with the occasional tree root. My bike and I can handle that. SIMPLE. Phew, this won’t be so bad I think. A little tricky but nothing I can’t grit my teeth through.

I should explain something else about my esteemed father, he hates asking for directions. While I also always know where I am going (no directions needed, thank you), I like to look at signs. Turns out my father does not feel the same. He takes a sharp turn to the left and before I can glance at the plethora of signs, off we go on another trail.

Suddenly the path changes, I noticed quickly that I was not in Kansas anymore. There were more twists through paths that were just as narrow as my handle bars. I manage to barely fit through them. The roots grew larger and I realized why roots were so important to trees. They really do take root and grip quite forcefully into the ground. And suddenly, they were exposed all over the place showing their prowess.

The roots weren’t the only problem I was encountering. The shifts in the narrow path was making me the most nervous, until I saw the drops. I did not know there could be cliffs and steep hills in Florida, but apparently there are in Lithia, Florida. Who knew. Drops suddenly started appearing on the trail like spots on Dalmatians. Down I would go barreling through the twisting narrow path. Drops everywhere, 5ft or more at sharp angles and then came the inclines. You had to speed down the drops just to get enough energy to go up. I thought I was going to die on several occasions. At one point, I stopped on the precipice and my legs would not stop shaking. Luckily, my father was in front and could not see. Several times, I almost turned back but I knew I had to press on because anything he can do, I can do better. 

A Green Trail

Eventually riders start heading down the other direction towards us. They tell us we are going the wrong direction. Well that explains a lot, I think. We turn around and start back. I start to think it could be easier going the correct way but the inclines were now drops and still just as tricky. I trekked through back to the beginning cursing under my breath the entire way. I barely managed the entire ride back without falling (okay maybe I fell once trying to let another rider pass me).

I finally got to glance at my beloved signs, it denoted that trail as a black trail. As in the hardest trail. I wanted to scream. 5 minutes in and I had been forced down the toughest trail, just my luck. I refused to say anything, and my dad stayed mum as well. I could tell the trail frightened him too. But by tacit agreement, we agreed to stick to green trails the rest of the time. They provided more than enough challenges for us.

Two hours later as we made our way back to the car, I felt good. I had conquered my fears. I could say I had done it, it wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t fast but that doesn’t matter. I can now say I went mountain biking and that I went on black trail. Sometimes, the most important thing is just being able to say you accomplished it, your fears and trepidation doesn’t matter in the big scheme. It just matters that you did it and lived to tell the tale. So this was my tale of mountain biking.

Green Trail

*Note: There are no pictures of the black trail because I was too scared to even think about removing my phone to take a picture, but I swear they were scary!

Letter of Introduction

Letter of Introduction

Please let this serve as my letter of introduction. If we were but of generations past, this would have been absolutely necessary before you would have let me into your house, let alone meet me for a cup of tea. In today’s world, these letters can still be found on Facebook in a way. Perhaps a person friend-requests you and before accepting you check to see your friends in common, much like reading a letter of introduction.  You need to know if you should allow this person into your house or newsfeed. Finding friends in common is a good way to start the search.

So here is my attempt to introduce myself, I know, shocking. I am but a poor graduate student, well I will be when I start in August! Currently, I am counting down the days with both trepidation and elation! I have the attention span of a squirrel and the memory of a goldfish but I am pretty darn smart despite these setbacks.

Here we shall make merry and warily on the life and times of the 20-somethings. The 20s is supposed to be a time of growth and change, we leave our family homes and enter the real world. We are on the search for our one true love or so Taylor Swift tells us. But hey, I am just feeling 22 (actually 23).  Everyone tells me your 20s is some of your best days and worst, let’s see if they are correct!

In this blog, I shall document the big moments, the small satisfactions, and the regal rewards of my so-called life. I typically go on adventures, try to new things, experiment in the kitchen and craft away to my heart’s content.  Please enjoy the ruminations and feel free to add to the discussion.