Sunday, January 17

Hey folks! How are we doing today? I’m doing much better than I have in past weeks, hence why there hasn’t been a newsletter since now. The best way I can equate it is by comparing it to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If you’re struggling with personal needs, your motivation is less likely to be at its height. I was finding it really difficult to sit down and write because I was frankly just dealing with some overwhelming stress. However, like I said, things are going much better for me now, and that’s mostly due to a change in mindset.

One thing that has been adding a bit of stress to my life is instability with my job. Starbucks has recently unveiled a new covid policy called block scheduling, which is unfortunately adding conflicts to a lot of people’s schedules (including mine.) I have extended my availability to hopefully get some of my hours back, and I’m planning on filing for partial unemployment as well. 

Things in my personal life have also been up in the air as well, which is tough for me because I am such a planner and I just want to know the answer to everything. However, through communicating with my support system, journaling about my feelings, and taking positive steps for my mental health, I think my life is headed in the right direction. One of the ways my life is going to be changing in the past few months is by moving to a new state.

I’m planning on moving to Portland Maine on May 1 for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is because I really miss my mom, and she lives fairly close to Portland (she works in Portland as well.) With covid and everything that happened last year, I have really felt like I was isolated from my family so quickly. I miss my mom and feeling that sense of security of knowing she’s nearby. Being in Boston by myself in the middle of the pandemic, dealing with food/job insecurity, my stress has become more exacerbated than it needs to be.

That sort of ties into another reason I’m moving- my rent is ridiculous in Boston for the measly minimum wage I make working at Starbucks. And especially with these new scheduling cuts, that has only gotten worse. I’m looking forward to relocating to another city where rent will be MUCH lower, and I will probably have an easier time finding a job that relates to my Bachelor’s. That being said, I do enjoy working at a coffee shop, and I’m not against transferring to a Starbucks up in Portland (as long as I get enough hours!)

I’d also like to move into an apartment that’s pet-friendly, as my current apartment is not and that gives me stress about my pet rats. I think I will feel a lot better living in an environment where it is safe for me to have animals, and I can adopt more of them, too. I’d like to adopt more rats, a cat, and maybe even a senior dog once I relocate and get settled into Maine.

So as you can see, there are a ton of reasons why I’d like to move up to Maine. There are so many circumstances in my life right now that add stress to me, and I’m ready to be done with them. Obviously May is a long way out, but I’m looking forward to updating you guys on the process!

Monday, December 28

Thankful for these little fur babies who helped me through the holidays!

Merry (late) Christmas to my friends who celebrate the holiday, and to everyone, I hope you all had a happy, safe weekend with your friends and family! My Christmas was pretty up-and-down, but overall uneventful. Actually, the entire past week was so simultaneously bad and yet anticlimactic in a way I can’t describe. I guess the best place to start would be last Tuesday.

I went into work like any other day, and the plan was that I would work Mon-Thurs and then take the bus to see Nathaniel for Christmas. That whole fiasco was actually an entirely different stress in my life, but I’ll touch on that later. For now, let’s focus on Tuesday and onward.

My roommate texted me on my ten minute break to let me and my other roommate know he had tested positive for COVID, and that’s pretty much where things took a downhill dive. Honestly, though, I feel like I was so numbed out from the other things that were upsetting me in my life, I kind of just added the COVID stress to my mental tab and didn’t immediately get upset about it. I told my shift manager, who told me I needed to go home and quarantine for ten days in isolation (over Christmas, I might add.) Which I was more than happy to do for the sake of keeping everyone safe, and I agree quarantining until I had a negative test was a good idea, but still, it was such a bummer that Nathaniel and I had been racking our heads trying to work out a plan for me to come see him, and then once I did work something out, I had to stay home anyway. 

One of the biggest things that was stressing me out was the fact that I would not get paid for this quarantine time. The first thing I did was go to Tufts to take a COVID test, which literally took two hours because the line was out the door, and then I applied for a grant from Starbucks for the pay I would be losing by staying home. After I’d done pretty much everything I could do to make my situation less stressful, I sort of just accepted the reality that I was going to have a very lonely, isolated Christmas by myself.

By the way, my infected roommate DID go home to his parents so he could properly isolate, and my other healthy roommate was out of state, so it was truly just me and the rats in the apartment. And yeah, it was kind of awesome, being able to keep my bedroom door open and play music and walk around in my underwear, but it was still eerie and sad and weird to be so isolated for so many days. However, the good news is I did NOT have to be isolated for ten days! Because my COVID test came back negative (thank god) and my infected roommate isn’t coming back until he has a negative test, I was able to properly clear myself of all exposure and come back to work today, Monday the 28th. 

Actual Christmas Eve and Christmas day felt like any other day. I woke up, I did dishes, I played the sims, I hung out with my rats, and I mostly just hung around my room. It could have been a lot worse; at least I wasn’t sick, you know? Still, and I think a lot of people feel this way, I would have been so much happier if I could have at least seen my friends and family. 

I’m happy to be back at work again, because I really love my co-workers and it’s nice to be making an income again! My boss did tell me that I have 22 accrued sick hours I can use, so I just went ahead and used all of those to make up for the three week days I was out. It all ended up working out in the end- I’m still going to have a decent paycheck and pay my rent, I spent a lot of bonding time with Susie and Jenna, and honestly, I’m just going to look back at this as a winter vacation. 

I’ve been going through a bit of a funk lately, related to numerous things in my life, and having to rely on texting and social media to communicate with others hasn’t been helpful for me because it’s so difficult to really communicate with people meaningfully and effectively that way. I’m going to try to be easy on myself this week and focus on things that make me feel happy and productive- self care, keeping my room and my apartment tidy, staying on top of chores, and giving myself a lot of pet therapy. My mom always seems to know just what to say to make me feel better, and today, her advice was that I don’t have to make a decision about anything today, I can just let my life run its course and see what happens. I’ve felt a bit better since I’ve talked to her, and I think I’m beginning to remember who I was before this fog took over me, if that makes sense.

I hope you all have a great day and a great week. I personally am looking forward to brighter days ahead and I’m looking forward to continuing on this path to 2021.

Sunday, December 13

It’s crazy how quickly December is flying by, isn’t it? Honestly, I feel like the older I get, the faster the years are flying by. I suppose that’s probably a good thing right now, seeing how we’re still in the middle of COVID-19 and so many of us can’t wait for it to be over. There’s new hope now that the vaccine is being rolled out, but I have no idea what the accessibility of the vaccine is and how quickly food service workers like myself will have access to it. 

Despite that, the past few weeks have actually been quite nice for me, and I feel extremely privileged to say that. I think that’s primarily because of my new job location and the convenience that has granted me, and additionally, I’ve just been more excited in general because it’s Christmastime! I haven’t gotten to see my family very much this year, so I’m really looking forward to spending some (safe and responsible) time with them this month. This upcoming weekend I am going to spend time with my parents and my stepfather, and the weekend after that, which is actual Christmas weekend, I am going to be with Nathaniel and his family! I have a lot of great family time to look forward to, and I just know I’m going to get super emotional when I see my mom again. 

Nathaniel and I had a tiny Thanksgiving this weekend! Complete with a vegan roast.

This past weekend was also really uplifting for me! I got to spend time with Nathaniel, which is always a treat, and we watched a movie he’s been trying to show me for a while- Boogie Nights. I have to say, I was skeptical going in, but I actually really enjoyed it and found the theme of the movie to be so interesting and thought provoking. Definitely not a family friendly holiday fun movie, but if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

I also saw my friends Alanis and Sean, who are another couple in my friend group, and we had a low-key margarita night at my apartment yesterday. Alanis and I are good friends, and Sean and Nathaniel are pretty tight too, so it’s always such a great, positive time whenever the four of us hang out. So it was a great weekend, but now it’s back to work tomorrow! I did pick up an extra shift yesterday, so it didn’t feel like a completely relaxed weekend, but I can’t complain about making some extra money. I’m going to begin my bedtime routine so that I can feel bright and refreshed tomorrow. Have a great week, everyone!!

Wednesday, December 9

I’ve been at my new store for about two weeks now, and I have to say, it’s so nice not having to commute for multiple hours a day to go work at Starbucks. Now, my commute is only about twelve minutes, and my train fare has been cut in half, so I’m saving quite a bit of money as well. My coworkers are all very kind and welcoming, but I’ll admit, I was fairly miserable for the first couple of days. Even though the last Starbucks I worked at was overall worse in every regard, I did love my coworkers like family, so it was really difficult for me to make that transition from being surrounded by friends I love to being a new girl in an unfamiliar store. Nonetheless, I do feel like I’m getting on well with a lot of my coworkers, and I’m already feeling better now that I’m more comfortable with the store and the routine. Additionally, one of my shift managers used to have pet rats, so he’s given me a lot of great advice about how to care for them and help them come out of their shell!

So that’s been all fine and normal. Aside from that, everything else in my life is going fairly normal as well. In fact, a little too boring. So last weekend, I took it upon myself to rearrange my entire room, and I have to say, I’m very happy with how it came out! I’ve been trying to dedicate more attention to decluttering my room and throwing away/donating things I don’t use anymore. Now that my work situation is a lot less crazy and exhausting, I am able to dedicate more time to doing things I love/need to do around the house. 

This upcoming weekend I am going to visit my father for a couple of days, which I’m looking forward to, and then the weekend after that I’m going to visit my mother for the holidays. And then the weekend after that is actual Christmas, so I’m going to be spending Christmas day and the following weekend with Nathaniel and his family. I feel like I have three families: my dad, my mom and my stepdad, and Nathaniel/his family. With that being said, I am doing my best to dedicate individual time with all of those three groups separately, since it wouldn’t be safe or responsible to see everyone on the same weekend. I know even now it sounds risky to go visit my family during the pandemic, but I can promise you that I’m not going out into huge crowds or putting myself (or my family) in any danger. Whenever I go to see my family, we always stay low and hang around inside the house, until it’s time for me to head back to my own city. Granted, if cases continue to get worse, I may have to revaluate my current action plan. It’s such a shame, the way everything feels like it’s being stripped away from us. I am of course grateful for the things I do have, but I still feel the pain of 2020 being a downright shitty year. Honestly, I feel like the only silver lining of this entire year is Nathaniel. I’m tired and confused and my life feels so insecure- not knowing where my groceries are coming from next week or if I’m going to be able to make my rent unless I pick up overtime- but it’s all worth it because of him. And next year, things are going to be so much different and better. We’re going to have our own place, my rent will be marginally cheaper, and most importantly, we’ll be together. He’s back at home now that the semester is winding down, and I’ve missed him so much. I can’t wait to wake up to him every day in 2021.

Hopefully, 2021 will also bring a vaccine, so that I can bring all of my family together again and see everyone safely. I’m trying not to be too optimistic, but like I said, I really feel like 2021 is going to be my year. I’m ready for positive changes.

Talk to you next week!

Sunday, November 29

Hi everybody, I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted on here so today I am trying to make a strong effort to get back into it. It’s not even that I haven’t been enjoying writing, and more so that I just haven’t been in the right headspace to sit down and do it. However, this week is going to bring about some really positive changes, and I think that is going to make a huge difference for me and my ability to focus on my passion projects. So, as some of you may know, I currently have to commute fairly far via walking and public transit to get to work, but as of tomorrow, I will be working at a MUCH closer location to my house! So that is going to save me a ton of money and time, and additionally, I won’t be spending any more time at the old store, which was frankly a very negative and toxic work environment for me and several other people. Everyone is really happy that I found a way out of the store, albeit, they’ve said they’re all going to miss me very much. I miss them too already, but it’s not too bad, because I’m friends with several of my coworkers outside of work and I see them fairly regularly anyway. I’ll definitely keep you guys updated on the new store. I am a little stressed because they haven’t scheduled me as many hours as I’m used to working and that’s going to put a damper on my ability to pay December/January bills, but oh well, it will work out. It always works out in the end.

I spent the last few days with Nathaniel and his family for Thanksgiving, which was very lovely, and we stayed locally and didn’t expand into huge groups or gatherings, which I feel relieved about. The virus is very scary, and I’ve been trying my best to take it seriously by wearing my mask and maintaining a distance from others. However, like I said, I spent this past weekend with a very small group of family, and we were all very careful, so I feel pretty good about it. Nathaniel and I went to visit some cows at a local farm we love, and we got some great pictures from that!

Unfortunately, Nathaniel’s family is currently going through the loss of a family member- his grandfather. It was very sad for me to see him suffering emotionally from that, but I am grateful at the same time that I was able to be with him and help him get through it as best as I could. I had met his grandfather a few times, and I always loved spending time with him. He’s also an artist, so we had several conversations together about art and our favorite painters. 

That’s pretty much all that’s going on right now. I’m very happy to be reunited with the girls, Susie Q and Jenna- I missed them so much! I’m looking forward to the week ahead and especially to work at my new store tomorrow. Stay safe and I’ll talk to you guys soon!

Sunday, November 15

Hi, everyone! How are you all doing? Is it starting to feel like winter wherever you live? We have plenty of chilly days here in Boston, but for the most part, it’s actually been sticking in the forties these past few weeks. Although it’s a bit concerning, environmental-wise, it is nice on my 7am walk to work. 

This past weekend I took the commuter rail up to Northern Massachusetts to visit my dad, my brother, and my good friend from high school, Eli. I don’t get to see them very often, especially with COVID and working all the time, so it was nice to take a break from city life for a few days and focus on family. One of the strangest things for me coming back to my hometown was noticing how quiet everything was. There was no rumble of the train, no shouting people or police cards- just pure silence. It was a nice change.

I took a bubble bath on Friday for the first time in six months, and even though it was just a little thing, it was so nice to sit in steaming hot water for an hour with bubbles everywhere. I sometimes find it hard to ultimately relax, especially when I’m caught up in my work cycle, so having that little bit of time to myself was extra special. I also watched Elf with my family, because once it’s November, that means it’s officially Christmas.

It was a treat to see Eli as well! We walked around downtown Newburyport (with masks, of course,) and we stopped into Starbucks as well, which is so funny for me to do when I’m not working. We also went to Marshalls, where I picked up a couple of things for the girls.

Speaking of the girls, they’re doing great! Jenna is really starting to flourish and she’s very inquisitive and energized, although she does love a good snooze on her daddy’s shoulder, too. Susie is also good, and enjoying trying all kinds of new snacks, such as kale and cheerios and blueberries. I can hear them running around in their cage right now, having an absolute blast. When they snuggle up and fall asleep together, it’s the cutest darn thing. 

So things are going really well right now, and I’m so glad I had that little break away from the city to spend some time focusing on other things. I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, but even sooner than that, I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Goodnight everyone!

Saturday, November 13

Wow, what a week it has been! I hate to be away from my blog for long, but I think we can all agree the past couple of weeks in the United States have been crazy for everyone. The entire election week was physically and emotionally draining for me- on election day in particular, I had worked 9:30-6 and then walked to the polls from my apartment, crying on my way home. I don’t really know why I was crying- I think it was just the combination of fear, exhaustion, confusion, and general tiredness of the day. I was so happy when I learned that Trump had been defeated, but with that being said, we do have a lot of work left to do in this country!

So working, surviving, and trying to understand everything politics to COVID has been exhausting for me, but I also have some good news. I have two new friends to keep me upbeat and happy through everything! 🙂

My two sweethearts

I’m reluctant to say more, because they’re technically *not* allowed to be here, but I did just want to show you guys a little bit of what’s been keeping SO busy this past week. The second I get home from work and finish all of my chores, these two girls take up my whole heart until it’s time for me to go to bed. Nathaniel has been amazing too, hanging around my apartment and keeping an eye on them. It’s been one of the happiest weeks of my life. You can tune into my instagram for more updates, too!

This weekend I’m spending some time in my hometown, visiting my dad and my older brother. I obviously don’t get to see them very much, and it’s not safe right now for them to travel to Boston, so I’m going to be spending the next couple of days here catching up with them. Don’t worry, the friends at home are being cared for by Nathaniel!

Because my dad is working today, I’m using this opportunity to catch up on blogging and making appointments that I’ve been putting off. I’m also thinking about taking a bubble bath, because I don’t have a tub in my apartment and I haven’t been able to take one in months. It’s in times like these that you realize the little things you miss in life, and right now, I miss warm baths and sleeping in until 10am. 

Anyway, I hope you guys have a great week ahead. Like I said, I’m mostly just going to be catching up in work and trying to relax and spend time with my family today. What do you guys have planned for the next week? Let me know in the comments! And I promise I will try to be back to a semi-normal posting schedule soon, hopefully after I transfer to a closer Starbucks and have more time on my hands.

Sunday, November 1

Hello! It’s November 1, and you know what that means. It’s CHRISTMAS!

Haha, just kidding. Maybe.

Speaking of Christmas, I have already completed a little bit of Christmas shopping. I bought Nathaniel a pair of Doc Martens and Dave’s Picks 20 (only Grateful Dead fans will know.) Next weekend I’m planning on going to TJ Maxx to pick out some candles, for both myself and some of my family. I’ve never met a person who didn’t like a candle for Christmas. A few days ago I bought a White Cedar candle from the brand Sand + Fog, and holy moly, I’m obsessed with it. It smells just like a Christmas Tree and I’ve already burned half of it.

Anyway, enough Christmas talk: let’s talk about Halloween! Obviously there were no giant crowds or crazy parties going on this year, but honestly, I’ve always been a homebody anyway. For Halloween this year, Nathaniel and I decided to be baristas, which is already our normal attire. All in all, a very easy and functional costume.

We also had a couple of our friends over (who get tested for COVID twice a week, might I add) and we basically just had a very low-key, good-vibes night. We ordered a pizza, ate tons of candy, and then, we played cards against humanity until I had the hiccups from laughing so hard. It was so nice to spend time with my favorite people, and I’m so glad we decided to link up. I think I really needed it after the exhausting week I had.

In terms of other eventful things this weekend, Nathaniel and I, per usual, spent a lot of time together. He slept over for three nights in a row, and while we mostly stayed in to do work and play video games, we did meander into the city once for some fancy ramen and a bookstore excursion. I wasn’t sure if he would like Wagamama or not, so I was really happy to hear him pronounce his love for it. We’ll definitely be back someday.

So I had a really lovely weekend, filled with lots of rest and good memories. I’ve already printed out so many of the pictures and pasted them into my junk journal, so mayhaps I’ll post a flip-through of my journal in the future. I’m back to work tomorrow, and then I think I’m going to go visit my dad back home next weekend (depending on if I can afford the train ticket.) I would like to visit my family more often, but right now, I’m not really making enough money to warrant constant trips back and forth on the commuter rail. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a better job in the near future, so that can change. 🙂

Sunday, October 25

I can’t believe Halloween is less than a week away- especially since the weather is still pretty decent here in Boston, it surprisingly hasn’t been too chilly lately! If fall is flying by this quickly, I can imagine it’s going to be Christmas in no time. I already bought a few Christmas presents for my friends and Nathaniel, even though I obviously don’t have to worry about that for another month or so. I truly love buying Christmas presents for others, so it’s never too early for me. Just you wait, the second Halloween is over I’m going to be putting up my Christmas decorations and playing holiday music.

I love Newbury Street on a beautiful fall day.

If you keep up with my blog every week, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been putting out as much content as usual lately. The short answer is that I’ve been so busy and I’m actually planning on rearranging my blog schedule in November so that I am only publishing two articles a week, rather than three. I definitely don’t want to stop blogging, but I know if I keep setting my expectations too high I will start to feel burnt out and discouraged. I definitely don’t want writing to feel like a chore, and right now, I’m just at a place in my life where work is so stressful and I don’t have as much free time as I would like to. As y’all know, I’ve been trying to rearrange my work load for a while now and find a better dynamic that works for me, because as of right now I’m commuting about 3 hours round trip per day and it is completely unsustainable (particularly for the wintertime as well.) Actually, right after I get my newsletter up on the site, I’m probably going to try to look for a few more jobs on Hire Culture or LinkedIn. Anything that pays a bit more and isn’t a four mile walk sounds like a good alternative to me!

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t feeling too hot last Thursday, but I think having an opportunity to sleep in and relax this weekend really gave me the boost I needed. Nathaniel and I went out on a little date this weekend and had dinner + a lovely walk in Boston, and then, we tried to make a Jenna Marbles-style soap hand, which sadly did not work because we used the incorrect type of soap. However, it was a good laugh altogether, and I have the positive takeaway of now owning four little soap boxes that will be perfect for making journals with!

I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at work tomorrow but I won’t lie, I’m hoping my time at this particular location is coming to an end soon. My managers are aware that I’m trying to transfer out, and even though they’re sad, they have said that they’re here to support me and help me. I’m looking forward to using this week to finish up projects, have some good fun with my friends, and maybe even catch up on a few books that I haven’t cracked open in a while. And of course, I am SO excited for Halloween! What do you guys want to be for Halloween? Let me know below.

Sunday, October 18

I’m happy to say I’ve had a super productive weekend, and lots of time to unwind and de-stress after working forty hours last week! I normally only work 32 hours per week, but my boss asked me to cover a Friday shift and I can always use the extra money. On Friday, Buck came over and spent the night (as he usually does on a weekend night) and we ordered delivery and watched cartoons (as we also usually do.) My back was so sore after spending so much time running around at Starbucks, I had no problem falling asleep in the blink of an eye on Friday. The last thing I remember is Buck watching tik toks and turning his phone to show me them as I fell asleep, lol.

Check out the fabulous lighting in my room! This mirror is magical.

Yesterday was catch-up-on-things-around-the-house day, so I did tons of laundry, cleaned up my room, and went grocery shopping at Target. The Target I went to was definitely not the closest grocery store to me, but I like to go there because it’s the single ONLY location I know that carries the Gardein Chick’n Florentino. I also bought a bigger reusable water bottle, because I definitely don’t drink enough water throughout the day and I’d like to make a bit more of an effort. I also started watching Coven last night, the third season of American Horror Story, despite Buck’s warnings that it’s going to be too spooky for me. I will admit, I’m four episodes in and it is quite disturbing, but I’m definitely too deep into it now and I HAVE to see how it ends. I actually don’t watch a lot of Netflix nowadays, but hey, it’s spooky season, and what better way to spend October than binging spooky television?

To be honest, it’s been really nice to focus all my attention on something besides work. I have definitely felt like Starbucks is consuming my life lately, particularly since it’s so intensive and there’s even some internal store drama going on. I’m trying to transfer pretty badly, both for my own well being and to cut my commute in half, but I’m also not opposed to finding a new job altogether. Even if I just cut back on my hours and spend more time doing freelance/remote work, that would be a step in the right direction.

On that note, today has been all about applying for jobs and getting some writing done. I’m going to start publishing two articles a week instead of three for the foreseeable future, because with my current busy schedule it’s just too easy for me to get behind. I’m looking forward to the week ahead, including weekly dinner with my friends and taking Nathaniel on a surprise date some day next weekend, and *maybe* even a response from a new job? Stay tuned!