The Thankful Project Day 9: Study Abroad

Though I am still trying to compile all my amazing memories and experiences from studying abroad down to one story, or one way to simply describe it all, I am so incredibly grateful for studying abroad.

The things I learned abroad go so far beyond the classroom, I’m not even sure we can see the building anymore.

I learned so much about myself while studying abroad – my work ethic, my personality, who I’m becoming as a person. It’s hard to pinpoint when I started realizing this, but then, we are always changing.

I met some of the most amazing people while studying abroad. I came home with a group of friends that are so amazing; they are undeniably friends for life. These people are so wonderful. They supported me, and I them, while abroad – struggling with studying, homesickness, heartsickness, etc. I love them with all my heart and wish they could be with me always.

I also saw things while abroad that I never thought I’d get to see. We went to Venice, Monte Carlo, Amsterdam, London, and so many places that I am so glad I got to see. It will probably be a long time before I see any of those places again.

Ireland is also an amazing place to live. It is so different from any place I’ve ever visited, let alone lived before. And I am very grateful to have gotten the chance to live in a place like that.

All in all, while it was difficult to transition back from being abroad for so long, I am so very grateful to have had all of these experiences. I have grown, loved more, learned more, and lived more than I ever thought possible. These experiences from abroad have helped me to know myself better so very much.

I wouldn’t trade any of them (literally) for the world.

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The Thankful Project Day 5: Tacos

I guess… More than anything, I’m thankful for Mexican food. But if you ask anyone, my favorite food is tacos – so this post is dedicated to tacos.

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Here’s the thing about tacos, and why I love them so much:

They are very versatile.

Am I the only one that remembers when iCarly characters would eat spaghetti tacos? You can literally put anything in a taco, and it’s still a gift from g-d.

Everyone loves them.

There are a few (and these few are limited) that don’t like tacos, but most (sane) people love tacos. And why wouldn’t you?

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They’re easy to eat with food allergies.

This might be the most important point in this piece. When I found out I had Celiac Disease, my first thought was, “If I can’t eat tacos, I don’t know what I’ll do.” But that’s the beauty of tacos! They can come in corn tortillas, flour tortillas, with cheese, without cheese, with veggies and no meat, etc. The possibilities are endless.

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Tacos are so easy to make.

If you think you can’t cook, never fear because tacos are so easy! Just get corn tortillas, lettuce, salsa, avocados, your meat of choice (this, you’ll have to cook), and cheese if you like. Put it all together and voila! A delicious taco at your service.

To sum up, tacos are the best. They make me very happy. And thus, I am thankful for them. How can you not be thankful for a food that is delicious, perfect in every way, and so beautiful?

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Pushing Up

You and I, we wasted our time
on saints and sinners
and garageband beginners.
When sunset clouds didn’t mesmerize
you anymore, you started counting
the pulse points behind my knees.

I’m not sure it’s what you wanted,
but it’s what you got stuck with.

I buried your memories
beneath the daisies
because that’s where my mother
always told me people go
when they’re never coming back.

I’m not naive enough to believe
that anymore but
I thought this way,
I could find something beneath
the gunshot heartbeat
you tried to start within my chest.

I’m trying to translate the pattern
of prints you left on my skin
into a language I will later call
Stutters –
something a young girl can love
and think is unique to her
and then slowly get it trained out of her
and then cynically reject it
over and over and

over again.

Please Stop Telling Me My Degree Will Be Useless

Being a college student sucks. At times, I think, oh I could drop out and still make it big. But alas, life just doesn’t work like that for all of us. So I sit in classrooms, toiling away, learning about how to write a good poem, learning about writing and literature, and talking about politics.

Because, yes, I’m a Creative Writing major. So okay, even with college, I may not make it big. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.

You might say, but you don’t need college to be a writer. You might say, but who wants to read poetry anyway. You might say, why aren’t you majoring in something more practical?

And, oh, how that question irritates me. I don’t need you telling me that what I’m studying isn’t practical. I really just don’t need that in my life. Writing is my passion. Poetry is my passion. Learning about it all and getting to write it in classes is my passion. Instead of studying something ‘practical’ for life (which by the way isn’t really practical at all since most college students aren’t getting hired in their chosen field anyway), I’m studying something that’s ‘practical’ to me. I’m studying something I love, something I can look forward to and be passionate about when I talk to other people.

And yeah, I may not make it big as a writer anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream. Sure, I may not make it big really ever, but I don’t need to drive a Tesla to be happy. And okay, I may wish for more money in the future, but I’d rather be doing something I love than something I hate for the money.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m comfortable living in this world where I write my poems, work a day job and am completely happy with my life.

I understand that it may take me a while to find a job, settle in to a place, feel comfortable monetarily. I understand that I may struggle. I understand that you think my degree will be useless and I should study something more practical. I understand that underneath all of that taunting exterior, you’re just worried for me and my future. I get it.

I don’t need you to tell me my degree will be useless. Frankly, I already know that. And I’ve come to terms with that.

But I get to go to class every day and love what I’m studying. I get to learn about things I like. I get to learn about things that I’m truly passionate about. And that’s all I really care about. So you can take your teasing and taunting somewhere else.

Because I love my degree, and I don’t need your permission to do that.

Movies Full of Happy Endings, And Most of Us Get This

I’m the first one on movie night to suggest titles like You’ve Got Mail, She’s the Man, and Princess Diaries, where – no matter what – the girl gets the guy. No matter what, the credits roll over a valiant kiss and declaration of feelings. No matter what, the credits roll over: Happily Ever After.

All this is great, until the lights come on and we’re thrust back into reality. The reality where boys don’t declare their feelings so openly. The reality where we’re single as f*ck and no men in our lives show signs of recognizing our feelings. The reality where happily ever after doesn’t always happen. 

There isn’t a movie about the girl who likes the boy who sits next to her in her writing class, and he doesn’t get it. There’s not a movie portraying the playboy who stays a playboy and doesn’t fall for the cute girl down the street. There’s no movie showing us just wandering around, hoping the one randomly pops up so we can have our final kiss and live that life we dream about.

What a goddamn boring movie that would be, right? 

But that’s life. Most of us don’t find the one in high school, in the halls in college, at the receptionist desk at work. Most of us go through first date after first date and only sometimes get to the second one without feeling gross or feeling no chemistry. 

We don’t meet a guy at the bar, see fireworks, and two hours later, after wild adventures and a predictable break up, end up together forever. 

And that’s just it. No one wants to sit in a movie theatre and watch a girl go to college, drink on weekends with her friends, complain about boys, and then watch the credits roll. We want drama and passion and love. We want to watch what we could have. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching that Rom Com and pretending that I’m going to find that one day. But will I? Or will I just endlessly wander around, a circle of liking a guy and him never opening his eyes to me? And I’m not saying I need my happy ending now, but ever? 

Maybe I’m not forward enough. Maybe I’m absolute shit at showing my feelings. Maybe I’m too shy or too introspective. 

According to the Rom Coms, though, some guy is going to see me, and want to date and marry me. 

I’m calling bullshit. 

Life isn’t a movie. Life doesn’t work in a methodical, predicts way where we meet, fight, and make up just in time for the next movie to show. Life is dissatisfying for most – love-wise – and we don’t always find our soulmate. 

I might be extremely cynical. But it’s not like I haven’t had examples of true love in my life: my grandparents have been married since college, my parents have been in love since high school. But life now, in 2016, is different from the 50s, 80s, and even the 90s. 

Most men want to sleep around and sow their wild wild oats before they settle down. I say most because there are some who want to date and settle down, but where are they

This past movie night with my roommate, we watched How To Be Single, a great movie that attempts to highlight four different women and their search for love. And it was the first movie I’d seen in a long ass time that showed honestly, how it feels being single. It’s lonely at times. At other times, it’s liberating. Still, this movie ended in two happy endings, and two unresolved ones. And even still, all four women had their pick of men throughout the movie. 

That’s not true life. 

Again, I might be cynical and ranting. But please, point me to the movies that don’t end with the guy getting the girl. Point me to the men who don’t want to sow their oats. 

Point me to my happy ending.