Ready for it

I am ready for the coming year, the challenges and victories and losses. I don’t know what to expect but I don’t want to hesitate. I have so much to be grateful for despite the state of this country and the violent reality of daily life. I’m still here and I want to continue rallying for what I believe is most important.


I want to nurture my creativity and drive. I want to continue even when it’s hard. I want to be relentless in my pursuit of my goals.


How Far I’ve Come

I made it. Here I am after my first semester of graduate school. I survived… More than survived, I worked my arse off for high marks in my courses. It’s hard to believe all that time, all that writing and relearning/learning that occurred. How everything will continue and I will continue to evolve in my academic and professional career. I can hardly believe it, it’s happening.

Indeed, more has happened. Romantically, my life is unlike anything I ever imagined. The serenity I feel in love with Stephen and the support, it’s unlike anything I’ve experienced. For some people love is meant to send them in an obsession but for me that’s too unhealthy. I find peace and affection with Stephen, we make plans and that come together even if it’s not the way we envisioned. When I fall apart, he’s there to hold me and search for a solution as my equal.

I feel like I can see our life together and it’s so real, so loving, so adventurous.

I am hoping to accomplish even more. One regret I had of this past year was the lack of writing I did. I sort of put that to the way side and I continue to struggle to write creatively on a regular basis. Now that I am on holiday, I hope to find a way to incorporate a way to write for fun and not only for school. We shall see. Here’s to the Christmas and the joy it’ll bring. On to more goals and achievements and failures and snafus with my love and my family and friends.

Past Lives

I can’t explain it properly at all.

It’s happened in dreams and when I walk around a city. Most recently it happened when I saw a photo from someone’s powerpoint.

That strong feeling that I had been to that place before. I had seen it with my own eyes when I have not visited in this lifetime. What is that feeling? This sensation that a city or structure is so familiar. That I know a place intimately despite never having set foot there.

Could it be past lives?

There’s this sense of connection and recognition. I can’t explain it but it’s there deep down, I feel it in my soul.

The Greatest

Ok sidenote, how is it that I tend to come onto my blog on a monthly basis without even knowing? It’s like I have this body clock of “I should blog” alarm going off. Wish it happened weekly, Jesus!

Anyway, I’m here not even a month into graduate school. It’s weird, cool, and teaching me a whole lot about myself. First of all, ain’t nobody going to make me do the work except me. It’s difficult to hold myself accountable. I found that I need to wake up and get out of the house or else I won’t start doing my work until nightfall. It’s a funky process. I’m super into what I am learning at school. That’s always a plus because it means I am in the right place.

It’s been tough going because I’ve had a hard time focusing. The lack of a routine has been throwing me off. I work when I can but I’m doing my best to put school first so I can get accustomed to my workload before taking on other jobs. It feels like I’m in the grad school bubble which is a bit sucky because I see my friends less and I haven’t been able to check in with family during all these natural emergencies. I’ve got this tunnel vision for this course.

One relief? It’s my significant other. He’s been incredibly supportive and we’re in this calm, lovely place in our relationship. We did all the muddling through and we’re still discovering new things to put effort to all the time, yet we’re so incredibly in tune with one another. It’s huge for me to have someone that gives me peace. To have this healthy relationship is such a blessing even when he peeves me, hah. We can just be and plan and do. I like that so much.

Before I Go To Sleep

Ok, it’s been awhile I know this. I have been to London and Colorado and now I’m chilling on my bed in Chicago, I am pretty fortunate this summer.

I’ve been reading this book called Before I Go To Sleep and it’s the 13th book for me this year. It’s a big deal last year I wanted to read what like 25 books? I didn’t make it and this year I decided to start lower and do 12 that meant 1 a month. I’m already ahead of the game which is cool. So this book I’m reading Stephen recommended because I love thrillers.

The main character, Christine, forgets her memories every night and wakes up barely remembering much aside from childhood and snippets of university life. So she wakes up believing she is 21 or sometimes a little older and it turns out she is middle aged and has a husband. Things get shady because she starts to keep a journal and has a doctor friend who calls her each day to follow up. Turns out her husband is keeping details of her life from her, such as the fact she was a writer and they had a son together. Makes you wonder who she can trust.

It made me think of what I remember and what we forget, memories are an interesting thing. Especially because we remember things differently and sometimes our version can differ from someone else’s, so she feels she can’t rely on her memories fully.

It made me think of my memories with Stephen, the beautiful moments we share and the difficult times when we disagree. I feel relief, this huge relief that I have someone that I can trust and cares for me. Someone I can go to with my facts and feelings. And books of course. I’m about to embark on this stressful time of my life going to grad school and I’m glad he’s my home base because I’m gonna be going mad come autumn. I am going to remind myself that writing is one of my best ways to cope just like it is for Christine!


I am going to London next week for the first time. I am attending a dear friend’s wedding and I’m thrilled. It’s a solo trip and I’ll admit I have nothing in the books per se. Probably the only thing in mind is the Tate Modern because my boyfriend knows how much I love art. Everything else I am leaving up in the air so I likely won’t see all the famous tourist traps. I just want a time to be and get lost as well as meet up with some locals. Lots of my friends will be in town and it’s going to great to be in a place that I don’t know well. In contrast to my Arizona trip, I have saved up money and I have been working some side gigs to be able to gallivant. There is this tiny part of me that says “you don’t wanna miss out on ALL London has to offer”, but another part of me says “let’s take a long bath in the hotel and walk dogs all day”….

I was looking at experiences on Airbnb, it’s a new feature where they sell a little outing or excursion like ceramics, street art tours, scarf making, and flower workshops. It’s unique to their site whereas you usually book a place to stay now you can book an event. It intrigues me and Stephen assures me there is plenty enough to do in London, however it has me thinking. I would love to make a scarf or learn how to make a proper flower crown. One thing’s for sure, I am definitely going to be buying and drinking tea.

Scar Tissue

Wow can it really be?

I have made it this far. I’m still here. I’m alive. I’m in a healthy relationship. I am taking care of myself better. I have goals. I am going back to school. I still have so much I want to do. I’m not completely on my shit like I haven’t written fiction properly since NaNoWriMo last year and I think about how I used to write some stories nearly everyday or every other day because of a message board I was apart of. Honestly, it was good I wrote there but I felt it took me away from my real life too much.

Now I want to revisit that fantasy world, those stories left unwritten.

Today I was taking a shower and I shaved my legs (it’s summer soon…) once I dried off to put lotion on I look at an old scar. This scar has faded significantly. In its infancy it was this pulsing burn that accompanied the pained memories of that first violent act between my ex and I. I remember how it looked like it would never heal. I thought my legs are ruined with veins and hair and cellulite now this constant reminder of what he did. It felt it wouldn’t even turn into a scab. I asked my sister in law for help and she recommended using honey as an antibacterial. It would help dry it out. Which it did. Months later I had this white spot on my knee and I felt even more self-conscious of it. A year passed and I hadn’t left him yet.

Two years after, I was free yet heartbroken. On a whim, I flew to New Orleans and I wasn’t thinking about my scar as much as I wore shorts. I was happily distracted with my new paramour.

Three years now, I forgot about it.

The end of this month will mark four years since that fateful night and I look at my knee. It is barely noticeable. I thought it would mark me forever and now I feel like myself again. Still imperfect with veins, ingrown hairs, cellulite but different scars while thoughts of that night drift further away. I still think about him every now and then.

I see the coral I picked up from Hawaii, a trip I took when I loved him. I remember picking up these stones and coral, I was alone on that beach because we were already quarreling so much. I wondered if I should discard them but I remembered I picked those rocks for me, not to remember him. My curiosity got the better of me recently and I looked him up. Despite that, I am so relieved that he’s not apart of my life anymore. Like so fucking relieved.


So I have returned from my trip to Ireland. I can say, without a doubt, that the country stirred something deep within me. I had a feeling it would. It’s like I could see my life there and it frightened me. It also thrilled me. I loved learning about the history, I loved the sights, I loved hearing the voices, the craic, all of it. I especially enjoyed spending time with my boyfriend’s family. The roots are deep in the county of Leitrim. Generations of this family and it caused me to harken to that unknown part of me. That part that yearns to learn more about my own heritage.

I also realized so much. How I want to be a mother one day even though the prospect terrifies me. The life I want for my family, a life of love and acceptance and a field to grow up in. I want to be near to loved ones. I keep thinking about what all this means because it means Ireland will be my home. Maybe not for forever but for some time–it makes nervous to think about being far from my friends and far from my brothers.

Yet, I have to forge my own life. I want my life to be my own. I don’t want to forget where I came from but I want all the goodness life has to offer. Even if that means being far away from where I was born. I am standing at the edge of a cliff and staring into the unknown. The precipice of my life and looking to dive into the next bit. The uncharted waters. I have some time to get ready for that moment. I feel I’ll be ready.


Ok I finally did it. I took my therapist’s advice after a long time thinking about it… I am ready to feel like I am ok instead of the brink of falling apart all the time. I am taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and yes that’s a mouthful. I had to ask my primary care doctor to fill me in on what it means because I couldn’t bear the thought of looking it up. My doc as kind as he is doesn’t have the best way with words, his query “so what psychological issues are you having?” had me ready to burst into tears and dash for the door. Luckily, I blinked the tears away and remembered he isn’t my therapist, I don’t have to tell him details just the bare minimum.

I’m anxious, I feel I don’t cope well when things go awry… I have a tendency to fixate and I have panic attacks. I was teetering on the edge for a long time, but making it work. I found a little balance until I entered an abusive relationship. (Doctor interrupts.)

“Are you out of this relationship?”

Yes, yes I am… but I still feel the pain. I’m trying so hard and then with school coming up. I feel I’m a mess daily because of all the changes in my life.

Cue my doc explaining to me the serotonin release in the medicine and how we’ll start off with this generic version. Check in 4 weeks to see if it’s working out, if not we’ll keep tweaking. I got my prescription today and I was already in doubt… Reading every single  possible side effect. Ummm weight gain and libido decrease?! I could have thrown those pills away if they didn’t cost me $18. But there was the line that said most people don’t have side effects and this is a lower dosage. I was already thinking of back up plans, if I end up overeating on this drug I will overeat celery and fucking carrot sticks. If my sex drive drops, I will find every single way I can increase it… so here’s hoping that in 4 weeks it’ll be nothing but good news and higher serotonin levels.


Sometimes I want to give it all up, I want to curl up and just say I can’t. I can’t do this anymore because the feelings are overwhelming and  I want to be alone again. It’s easier then. It’s easier to run away or in my case walk away. For some people the brave thing is to leave, but for me it’s the opposite. I’ve dealt with so much heartache and I have a hard time trusting myself in any situation now. It’s like if anything goes wrong, I want to call it quits and say it’s too difficult. Where’s the line between too much work and just the right amount?

When I read Brené Brown, she would talk about “ordinary courage”, it’s not any sort of fancy and amazing feat. It’s about basically showing up to those hard situations and trying to wade your way through the cesspool of fucked up feelings. She said it far more eloquently than me. I show up and I just want it to be enough but it requires lots of introspection. I have so much going on and I don’t feel ready. I feel like I have no clue what I am doing, I feel I am good at being like this will happen but how it will happen is anyone’s fucking guess. In those moments people see me as ballsy but really I am just coasting because at night when I’m alone–I’m scared shitless.

As for my relationship, people again see it through this lens of judgment because they know my boyfriend and I are comfortable in having disagreements and often or they see it in rosy tinted glasses of “wow, he travels with you, gifts you trips and talks about the future with you! you see him 2-3x a week and talk daily… that is serious” and it’s like no this isn’t some magic carpet ride where I end up in foreign cities and my boyfriend and I horseback ride into the sunset.

I have doubts and I freak out. We’re so imperfect, we argue, we are emotionally healthy thank fuck, we still try to figure out how this shit works, he is far better at it than me because my knee jerk reaction is to go outside for some air because I have to unlearn all the unhealthy shit from the past: years and years of unhealthy interactions in my memory and also managing to stand my ground while being empathetic. It can be draining. Sometimes all I can say is “I love you.”

But we have to come round and talk about the icky, hard bits and when he tells me how much he loves me I feel reassured but I told him: “love isn’t always enough” because it wasn’t. I thought it was but you need more than love to make a relationship work. Love is just a fraction of that, you need to have similar core values and empathy. There needs to be all these other components depending on how you’re wired. Like me, my independence is so crucial. My ex was threatened by my autonomy.

I have been listening to a lot of music lately to help me process and John Legend’s Ordinary People is a go to for me because seriously I can relate my life to a movie, song, or book… but it’s so true for us, we’re ordinary people, we don’t know which way to go.