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.
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.
Right now, I’m sitting at Starbucks (the one my boyfriend is working at, actually,) enjoying a pumpkin cream cold brew and trying to get some work done. I don’t know if other people feel this way, too, but I find it easier to work when I’m not in my own house. If I try to work in bed, for example, I either end up napping or scrolling through my phone. So coming to Starbucks seemed like a good idea for today; I got to see Buck, reload some money on my Charlie Card, and get some work done! And coffee, of course. I get a horrid migraine if I don’t have my caffeine.
As you can see from the title, yes, I did sprain my wrist this week. I’m actually not exactly sure how I did it, but it was almost definitely caused by work. I have to do a lot of heavy lifting, so it makes sense that one wrong move or strain on my wrist could cause me to get a grade I sprain. It’s not too bad, but for the past few days I haven’t been able to put any pressure on that wrist without feeling a shooting pain. So I’ve been doing most things with my left hand, which has been tricky, but going alright. I also currently can’t really afford to buy a cast or a splint right now, so I’m sure that’s going to slow down my healing as well.
Anyway, work was quite stressful this week and physically taxing (mostly due to my injury,) so I’m really happy to have a few days off to catch up on other things and have some self-care time. On Tuesday, I had a lovely dinner with my co-workers, and we decided that we’re going to continue to have weekly dinners and rotate whose house we go to. Next week, we’re going to have fancy ramen at my friend Luke’s house which I’m really looking forward to. Obviously we talk about what’s going on at work, but we also talk about our relationships, our lives in Boston, being queer, etc. It’s really nice to know that I’ve made some solid friends for life since moving to Boston.
Then, on Wednesday, Buck came to visit me at work and ended up just hanging around until the end of my shift. We got some pizza afterwards, which was so lovely of him to treat me to, and then he ended up coming back home with me and staying the night. It’s nice to have someone to sleep next to and then wake up with; somehow, it makes the day ahead feel more bearable and comforting, knowing you are starting your morning on a note of love and safety.
Besides seeing him and my friends this week, I haven’t really been up to too much! I did buy some new bedding, which I’m currently loving a lot. Besides that tiny new update, really nothing in my life has changed. I’m just having a good time enjoying my life, spending time with my loved ones, and getting blogging done in-between. Next weekend is Buck’s sister’s wedding, which we will obviously be attending, and I’m really looking forward to telling you guys all about that! Stay safe this week and remember to take care of yourselves.
Hi folks! How are we all doing? I’ve had a pretty solid week, albeit busy with work, and now I’m relieved to have reached the weekend for some peace and quiet. I’ve been trying to hold myself to going to bed early and getting up at a reasonable time, even on weekends, so I’m happy to report I was up and walking around before 9am today. I’d ideally like to be up at 8am every day, but if I don’t have much to do, then what am I even getting up that early for?
Normally I go to the Starbucks down the street from my apartment for coffee, but this morning, I decided to take the journey outbound on the train to visit Nathaniel at his Starbucks. It was a pretty long train ride, and then I had to walk quite a bit, but it was worth it to see his smiling face and get a coffee from him.
Now I’m back at my place and I’m currently eating lunch- a bowl of macaroni and goat cheese (surprisingly delicious) and some steamed broccoli. Nathaniel might come over for a sleepover tonight, depending on what time he finishes up his homework, which would be lovely (even though I saw him literally yesterday and this morning.)
My goals for the rest of the day are to get some laundry done, cook dinner (I’m thinking spaghetti and meatballs,) and schedule a blog post for Tuesday. It’s funny how much my personality and my goals/values have shifted since graduating and moving out of my house, in a way that I have a difficult time describing. Even though my life is objectively harder now, I still feel like this is the most simple and happy life I have ever felt. COVID obviously makes things a bit confusing, but in general, I feel like I have a lot of clarity and confidence in my life right now. I’m looking forward to this upcoming fall and all the subtle changes that it brings: colder weather, pumpkin lattes, and the hintings of Christmastime ahead.
Sunday, September 20
It’s Sunday afternoon now, which means tomorrow I have to resume getting up obscenely early for work (honestly, I don’t mind that much anymore now that I’m used to it.) And besides, I’d rather go in early and get out early than get home at 8 or 9 o’clock at night. At least when I get home between 4 and 6, I have time to unwind for a bit, cook dinner, and enjoy what’s left of my day before it gets dark outside.
Buck left a little while ago; he slept over last night and went to brunch with me this morning. It’s such a nice change to see him more often now that he’s so close by for school, and it’s comforting to know I can always go to him if I need anything. Since living in Boston, I’ve felt so far away and disconnected from most of my friends and family; it’s nice to know that someone is nearby for me.
I don’t have anything particularly exciting planned for this week- just working, writing, and probably baking more delicious bread. I’m thinking either banana bread or cheesy loaf may be next- what do you guys think? I hope you all stay safe and healthy this week, and enjoy the weather as it begins to cool down (depending on what hemisphere you’re on, I suppose!)
This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but predominantly good! I worked all last week, as I normally do, but this past weekend, I was able to see one of my good friends for the first time in about a year! We met last year at a meetup in New York, and since we’ve stayed very close since, we decided to plan a one-year friendversary weekend together. Obviously it is a calculated risk to take in the pandemic, but we have both been wearing our masks and socially distancing responsibly, and since it was just going to be the two of us and not a giant crowd of people, we felt that it was a safe situation. They arrived Friday evening and left Sunday evening, and altogether, it was a fantastic 48 hours together. We did a lot of hanging out and chatting, as expected, but we also drove around the city and visited some of my favorite spots, such as The Garment District and Grasshopper. One of my favorite moments was sitting on my patio on Saturday night, drinking hard cider and just vibing out together. I’ve definitely been feeling lonely and isolated these past few months, and my circle of who I can really talk to in person is limited, so I really appreciated having those special moments with my best friend. MJ, you are amazing, and thank you for bringing me so many lovely, giant bagels from New York! They are delicious and they’ve been feeding me for days.
Today was my first day at work for the week, and as you are about to learn, it did not go as planned. One of our co-workers tested positive for COVID-19, so we had to immediately shut down the store and our manager has sent us home to self-isolate for 14 days since we were exposed to this employee. It’s obviously a surreal thing to hear, and closing down the store and leaving at 10 in the morning was really bizarre, but it’s actually not as scary or stressful for me as you may think. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very scary and it puts a lot of things into perspective for me, but I’m also aware that I am a fortunate human being and things could be a lot worse. For example, I am still going to be paid for the next two weeks, even though I am not working. I am also surrounded by a wonderful support system who have offered me so much love, including lovely friends who have offered to buy me groceries and run errands for me. I also feel absolutely fine and have no symptoms, so even though I do intend on self-isolating as I am supposed to, I definitely do not think I am infected. However, just to be safe, I have a test scheduled for Thursday, just to give myself some piece of mind. So even though things are strange right now, I just have to look at the positives! I’m basically receiving a paid two-week vacation, I don’t have to wake up at 5 in the morning, and I can catch up on other things I really need to get done. For example, while setting up my testing appointment today, I also went ahead and got myself a PCP with the clinic I called. I’ve needed to set that up for months now, so I’m glad I was able to knock out two birds with one stone. They also gave me some information about how to sign up for a therapist and have virtual visits through their services, and I really appreciated that as well. So things are actually going well, and I’m in a great state of mind. Nathaniel and I’s six-month anniversary is coming up on Friday, and although I sadly won’t be able to see him, I do have some packages coming for him in the mail. Hopefully I’ll be able to see him by the end of the month; I miss him greatly and I can’t wait until the day when we can wake up next to each other and not have to say goodbye anymore. Have a safe week, everyone!
2020 has been an interesting year for all of us, and we’re only about halfway through it. Obviously, the global pandemic is causing a lot of chaos and turmoil in my own life, but that’s not the only eventful thing to happen for me this year. In fact, every month so far has more or less brought its own changes and milestones for me. Today, I want to go through the events of my life so far in 2020 and muse over them with you. We’ve still got six more months until 2021, and I can’t even begin to imagine what the next few months will bring to my life.
January | Completely aside from coronavirus, like I said, the past few months have been an extremely eye-opening experience for me. Last September, I entered my senior year of college, and the third week of January marked my final semester as a college student. For a couple of reasons, I was entering my final semester with my head held high and a sense of relief and calmness. Fall 2019 had been a successful semester for me self-esteem and emotion-wise, but health-wise, I went through a really difficult period of insomnia and debilitating anxiety. I was looking forward to this upcoming semester because I had alleviated most of my insomnia and my anxiety, and I was really proud of the progress I had made with my health. Fall 2019 was also the first semester during which I felt really comfortable and happy with myself, so I was looking forward to continuing those friendships and seeing my friends again. I know that self-confidence doesn’t really develop overnight, but for me it kind of…did? Last fall, I really just woke up one day and noticed that I was happy with myself. I felt good about who I was and the person I was becoming, and other people seemed to notice the new me, too. I was laughing a lot and I was making other people laugh, which was an amazing feeling. This absolutely carried into January for me, and being reunited with my college friends felt so good! For the first time in my entire college journey, I was hanging out at other peoples’ dorms, eating with friends at the dining hall, and feeling comfortable giving presentations. I was also starting to daydream quite a bit about graduation (and actually dreaming about it as well;) thinking about how I was going to decorate my cap, visualizing myself walking across the stage, etc. Obviously miss ‘rona kind of killed that dream down the line, but oh well, that’s life.
February | February was probably the most confusing, stressful, wonderful, and turbulent month of 2020 so far, hands down. So where do I begin?
I guess I’ll begin on Sunday, February 2. I was single at that time, but I wasn’t really thinking too much about it or putting myself down about it. Actually, I was having the time of my life, and really enjoying going on casual dates, feeling really happy with myself, spending most of my time with my friends, etc. A couple of nights before Superbowl Sunday, on that Friday, I went to a small party at my friend’s dorm and had a pretty good time drinking wine and playing video games with my friends. I was supposed to go out on a date with a girl in Cambridge the next day, but when I woke up on Saturday morning, I was so goddamn hungover, I asked her if we could push it to Sunday instead. So we did. And on Sunday, I was still feeling like shit, but I didn’t want to cancel again because she seemed really nice and I was dying to get off campus. So I dragged myself out of bed, put myself together, loaded my Charlie Card with $4.50, and hopped on the green line towards Park Street. I remember being a little bit anxious about going out to dinner that night, predominantly because I was exhausted and I felt like shit, but also because I had basically zero dollars at the time and even the train fare was stressing me out. I also really don’t like taking the train by myself at night, and since I had to go all the way to Alewife from Riverside, well, I definitely thought about cancelling again more than once.
So I got to Alewife, and the date was okay. Like I said, she was a really nice gal, but I definitely didn’t feel a spark with her and I was totally annoyed with myself on the train ride back to Riverside. It kind of felt like a waste of an evening, considering I was already debating staying in that night, and with the way things had gone at Bertucci’s, I was really regretting the evening. I got back onto the red line, took the train inbound to Park Street, transferred to the green line, and around 9pm or so, I transferred off of the shuttle bus and made my way down to the Reservoir station for the rest of my stretch back to campus. And then something unplanned happened.
While I was waiting at the platform, checking out all of the other people waiting for the train, I noticed a tall, good-looking guy with long blonde hair falling in his face leaning against the wall, with his headphones in and his nails painted black. But it wasn’t the fact that he was cute, hunky and blonde that caught my attention, it was the fact that he went to the same college as I did and we had had a class together last semester. So I decided to go over and say hi to him; particularly after the stressful night I’d had, it was honestly such a relief to run into somebody I vaguely knew at a random train station in Boston. He told me he had just seen Little Women by himself at the movie theater, and that it made him cry a few times, and he’d probably go see it again. I told him that Little Women was one of my absolute favorite books. We got on the train together, we rode the train together, and of course, we walked back to campus together, considering we were both going that way anyway. Turns out, we lived about a house away from each other. A few minutes before we parted, I offered up my phone number, and he texted me about five minutes later. “Hi, it’s Nathaniel!”
I honestly wasn’t expecting anything to come out of this interaction. Even though I voluntarily offered up my phone number, I still didn’t really think that anything would come of this. I mean, like I said, I was just busy focusing on myself and hanging out with my friends, drinking moscato and staying up until 2am every weekend. But then I started to make time for Nathaniel, too, and I discovered that he wasn’t anything like I had imagined before. Like I said, we had a class together in the fall, and I’d always sort of imagined him as this weed-smoking bro dude who probably liked to skateboard and listen to rock and roll. And yeah, he is into rock and roll, but besides that, I got everything else wrong. He was sensitive and inherently kind, he was a bit gritty around the edges but he still had innocence, he was painfully shy but he wanted to open up to me. So, naturally, we became fast friends with a surprisingly deep bond. We went for evening walks around campus together, musing over our shared interests (and our differences,) and we swapped poetry books and movie suggestions and music trivia. As for me, I wasn’t even self-conscious of overthinking anything at all, I was just happy to have him around, with no expectations and no pressure for any specific outcome.
Then, the day after Valentine’s Day, I was at a small party in my friend’s dorm. I wasn’t drunk (or even that tipsy, to be honest,) but I was definitely feeling really bubbly and happily delirious after all the laughing and a few sips of vodka. Around the 11pm mark, I was still wide awake, but I was feeling about ready to head out. And then when the girl across from me started throwing up salad in her mouth, well, that was my call to leave. Without even really giving it a second thought, I texted Nathaniel and invited him over to my dorm to watch Sky High, and he was there, in my room for the first time ever, in about ten minutes.
We DID watch the movie, okay? But then something completely unexpected happened, which was that we started kissing after the movie ended. And that night, I went to sleep happily with Nathaniel laying next to me, with bits of blond hair falling in his face, and the window was open, letting in the cold winter breeze to air out my room a little bit. And since then, we’ve been completely inseparable. Up until coronavirus happened and all the students were sent home after spring break, we spent about 3-5 nights together, listening to the Grateful Dead and stargazing, sitting on my roof and eating peanut butter crackers.
When I started dating Nathaniel (or Buck, as his family and I call him,) I felt a sense of internal clarity that I had never experienced before. I’d been in love before, but this newfound love I’d found with him felt like I’d suddenly been let in on this big secret of the universe. Like I had discovered something magical that not everybody gets to experience until it happens to him or her, and here I was, staring at his sleeping face in the glowing moonlight, knowing without a doubt that I’d found my life partner, my perfect person, the man who I was going to marry and buy a house with and grow old with and probably have cute little babies with. And with that realization came the peaceful clarity of true love that so many of us find difficult to describe.
February wasn’t all smooth sailing, though. With the addition of Nathaniel to my life, I also lost a beautiful, strong friendship with one of my favorite people on the planet. I can’t say very much about that, since it wouldn’t be right to breach her privacy and share those details on my platform, but I will say that a very huge misunderstanding turned into the ultimate termination of a friendship I thought would last forever. What I can say is this: if you know that you are doing the right thing for yourself in your heart, then that’s just what you have to do and you can’t beat yourself up about it. Losing that friendship as a result started dating Nathaniel really sucked, and I cried a lot and even threw up a couple of times because of how I was feeling about the whole thing, but eventually I just sort of had to reach an internal peace with myself. Like I said, falling in love with him gave me so much happiness and clarity, I just had to stop caring about what other people thought about me and us. After all, our love story only concerns two people- him and me. In retrospect, I can safely say I made the right decision.
March | Ah yes, March, the month coronavirus really slapped me (and everyone else) in the face. I have to be honest, at the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t really take it seriously. I was one of those people who compared it to a bad flu and believed that everyone was overreacting. I think everything started to really hit me all at once around March 12th, because that was the week my college announced that the campus would be closing after spring break and classes would resume online. Obviously I was terrified and saddened, but I actually didn’t react as strongly as you may be thinking. I honestly think I just numbed myself out to everything: no graduation, no senior week, no more friends…I just didn’t think about it and completely shut down inside. Even still, I haven’t even really thought very deeply about it; I’ve been feeling very reclusive and quietly angry about the whole thing, but I haven’t cried once. I packed up all my stuff, cut my bangs (lol,) said goodbye to what had quickly become my favorite place in the world those past few months, and moved home. I still haven’t seen any of my college friends since, except for Nathaniel, of course. Coronavirus could take away my graduation, my friends, my classes, and my spring break, but I refused to separate (both physically and emotionally) from him. It’s hard not being able to see him every day like I did at school, but we see each other fairly often, and we’re always very appreciative of our time together.
Coronavirus was really hard on my mother too, as a nurse in the Greater Boston area. There were a couple of times when she came home from work crying from frustration, and I felt terrible that I couldn’t do anything to make the virus go away. To be honest, we probably both had it at some point, considering we lived together and she was regularly exposing herself to the virus by going to work every week. However, I’m extremely proud of her for staying strong and resilient during the pandemic, and she deserves the very luxurious, lovely vacation she’s planning with my stepfather this summer (if the social distancing regulations allow it, of course.)
April | April was supposed to be yet another milestone in my life for me, since my 21st birthday was on the twelfth, but honestly, it just felt like any other day. I’m not exactly saying that in an inherently gloomy way, because I don’t like a lot of attention on my birthday anyway, but I was looking forward to drinking margs with my friends at Chilli’s instead of spending the day by myself, locked away in the apartment while my mom was saving lives at the hospital. Unsurprisingly, I don’t really remember my birthday, but that’s alright. I’m just thankful that I got to have one, and that I am able to be on this earth for another year, safe and healthy, surrounded (afar) by my family and loved ones. I don’t know if this happened in April or not, but around this time, I also started to feel much more like an adult and like a woman. I actually just looked in the mirror one evening and realized that I felt…different. I had been doing a lot of realizing and developing since January, so I think that played a large part in it, but I definitely have felt like a different, more mature person since then. April was quietly moving and substantial, unlike February and March, which really hit me like a bus.
May | Ironically, May should have been the most exciting month of the year for me, but it was actually the most boring. I will say that I moved into my first apartment, which has been exciting, but also very…lonely. I am grateful for the things I have and the support around me, but I can’t help but wish things were different. I wish I was walking across the stage in my cap and gown, like I had been daydreaming about all the way back in January. I wish I had a job and money to spend, instead of counting my quarters at the laundry machine and forgetting my debit PIN at Walgreens because I hadn’t even used a card in so long. I wish I was living with Nathaniel and waking up next to his sweet face every day instead of waking up alone at 4am with anxiety attacks and the train thundering right outside my city window. There are so many things that I wish had turned out differently, but that’s okay. When things don’t go the way I plan, I simply try to say, “I expected that,” and then I move on with my life and hope for a better tomorrow. Life will not treat you any kinder or any fairer just because you’ve been through a few things and you think you deserve it.
June | While the spring brought the devastating wave of COVID-19, summer brings its own sparks of chaos and turbulence. Police brutality, protests and riots, and the murder of George Floyd have been centric throughout the month of June, as they rightfully should be. It’s high time we discuss these horrible racial issues in our own country, and I am proud to be a part of such a critical movement. These uprisings across the nation have also given me an opportunity to examine my own privilege and work even harder at being a better person and ally for my vulnerable friends and surrounding communities. I have donated to organizations, signed petitions, and tried my best to spread awareness on social media, but the battle is far from over. If you have the time and resources, please consider doing the same! Additionally, it is more important now than ever to support black-owned businesses and companies.
Although some may believe that 2020 is a horrible year, and I do understand that sentiment, I also believe it has sparked so much growth and conversation across the world. Rather than holding the mindset that 2020 is the worst year ever, I am trying to remind myself that 2020 could be one of the most important years for us. We must take these lessons and privations thrown at us and respond with strength, courage, and action- ranging from coronavirus to civil unrest. I truly wish everyone a safe and happy rest of the year, and I am looking forward to seeing where the rest of 2020 takes us. You are stronger than you believe, and I know we can get through anything!
I’m feeling much more settled now that my internet is set up, my apartment is unpacked, and I’m on top of my homework again. My apartment is already starting to feel homey and familiar, though of course, it’s going to be a long time before it really feels like home. I also don’t know how long I’m actually going to be living here. My lease runs until the last day of July 2021, but if Buck and I decide to move in sooner, I might end up moving out and subletting. But I don’t have to worry about that right now.
My favorite part of living on my own has been buying my own groceries and meal prepping my food (though I die inside every time I swipe my card, because even just buying the essentials is so expensive when you don’t have a job.) This week, I made overnight oats in mason jars, which has been absolutely delicious for breakfast. I also made strawberry poppy-seed salads and tofurkey wraps, which go great together. Tonight for dinner I’m either going to make ‘breakfast for dinner’ (with eggs and veggie bacon,) or I’m going to make spaghetti with veggie ‘beef’ crumble. I have a list of pinterest recipes I’d like to try, but until I find a job, I’m probably going to be living off pasta and bread for a while.
This is also basically my last week of college, and that’s kind of terrifying. I don’t like the feeling of not having anything to do- I love being busy! So I’m trying to occupy my time with lots of crafting, writing, and reading. Like I said last week, I’m trying to burn through the entire Sammy Keyes mystery series again. I’m currently averaging about one book a day, and I’ll be sure to update you on my streak.
Thursday, May 7
Now that I am mostly settled into my apartment, it is feeling much more cozy and homey to me. I’m also getting used to the noises of Boston: light rails going by every 5-7 minutes, garbage trucks, sirens, and just the general hum of the city. This week is essentially my last week of college, so I’ve been busy with wrapping up assignments and taking final exams (online, of course.) I’ve also been applying to jobs almost every day, and in my free time (which I have a lot of,) I have been painting, writing, and making books. I’ll insert a picture of my most recent photo album I made here! I’ve also been tidying and cleaning a lot, because I actually quite enjoy doing that when I have nothing else productive to do.
My mission to burn through the Sammy Keyes series is still going strong; I’m on book five right now and I’d like to finish it by tonight. It’s weird not having anywhere to be or get up in the morning for, so books have been an enormous comfort and a great way to pass the time.
I miss college, my friends, my professors, and even the gross dining hall food. I still don’t have any information about how my graduation is going to take place, or when the school is planning on holding it. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see; as long as it’s not virtual, I don’t mind waiting around for months if I have to. I am a first generation college student, and it’s been a daydream of mine for years to walk across that graduation stage.
Hi folks, hope you’re all hanging in there. It’s about six thirty in the evening right now, and I just finished working on my ethics homework and some of my marketing paper. Classes are technically back in swing now (via Zoom,) but I actually have not had the privilege of attending a Zoom class yet. My first class is tomorrow at 8am- how lovely.
I’ve been feeling discouraged with myself lately, because my motivation is at an all-time low. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog for a while, you know that I’m normally very productive and eager to jump into projects. Nowadays, with the pandemic ripping through the world, I hate even getting out of bed in the morning! However, I am trying to remind myself that this is a totally normal response, and lots of people (especially young people) are feeling the same way I am. If anything, I tend to feel a bit more productive around the evening time, so that’s why I’m trying to get some work done now as the sun is setting. I’m pretty satisfied with the work I did today; like I said, I worked on my homework, and I even did a workout for the first time in months. So maybe I am stronger than I think! Additionally, I’m keeping my spirits up by trying to be grateful for the things I do have. No one in my family has the virus yet, though it’s likely that my mom may catch it because she is a nurse. I’m also very grateful to still have my friends (from afar), and Buck, who comes up north to see me every other weekend and self-quarantine in my house with me. He’s coming up this weekend, and I’m so, so excited to see him.
Anyway, I think I’m going to try to get Thursday’s article done today, and then I’m going to dive into a stack of novels. Stay safe!
Wednesday, April 1
New month, same social distancing and quarantining! I hope you’re all able to stay busy, fulfilled, and occupied during the month of April. I’m in the home stretch of college now, which is slightly terrifying and also very exciting. I also started my online classes today, courtesy of the very elusive Zoom.
Today sort of went by in a blur. I woke up extremely early for my first online class, and then immediately went back to bed after it ended. I’ve been normally sleeping in until 11am-noon, so having an 8am class this morning really threw me off my rhythm! After catching another hour or so of sleep, I zoom’d in to my other class for the day, which actually went by pretty fast. Following that, the rest of my day mainly consisted of apartment hunting, emailing real estate agents, eating carbohydrates, and playing with my dog. Not a bad day. I also got some new film loaded into my camera, so I’m hoping to take some beautiful pictures this weekend with my lovely man.
I’m feeling so sore after my workout yesterday! The good news is, I can sleep in late tomorrow and hopefully feel good enough for my second workout of the week. Fitness is one of my current quarantine goals. What goals have you guys set for yourself during quarantine to keep you motivated?
Sunday, April 5
April has already felt like a lifetime, and we’re only five days into it. It’s been an interesting week, and a magically lovely weekend as well. Buck came to visit this weekend, and he brought me flowers and little gifts in celebration of my upcoming birthday! It was such a surprise, and I appreciated it so much. He’s truly my soulmate and my best friend, and I feel so lucky to be with him. We went on a couple of nature walks and tried to get out of the house as much as possible (in a safe, socially distanced way), but we mostly spent the weekend cuddling on the couch and watching Tiger King. We also drove along the coast of the New Hampshire beaches, which was absolutely spectacular and gave us a beautiful sunset to watch. We finished off that beautiful day with some classic New England beach pizza, which he is now a very big fan of. Overall, an amazing time!
Besides that awesomeness, though, I’ve been totally stressing and going crazy about other things in my life. One huge stress for my right now is apartment hunting. We finally found a place, but we have to put down the deposit of $2,500 by tomorrow at noon. So that’s going to be very stressful and probably take up a huge chunk of my day tomorrow. I’m super bummed that this place does not allow pets, and additionally, the maximum occupancy is three people, so Buck can’t move in with me after he graduates like we planned for him to. However, it’s only a temporary housing situation for me and I’m not locked into it forever. After my rent is up in July of 2021, we’re quite certain we want to get a place together (and then have as many pets as we want.) And, of course, he’ll be able to visit me as much as he wants until then.
I’m also just super frustrated about college being essentially shut down due to the coronavirus. I miss my friends, I miss my dorm, and I even miss the gross dining hall food. I miss going to classes and walking around campus and breathing in fresh air. I’m bummed that graduation is being rescheduled, and senior week is almost definitely cancelled.
While all of this is happening, my PMDD is really kicking my ass and making me more stressed and sensitive than I probably need to be. It sort of feels like I’m holding onto a runaway train for dear life, hoping everything doesn’t suddenly derail and crash and burn. But even though I feel crazy and stressed right now, I know it’s only temporary. Coronavirus will end, apartment stress will subside, and PMDD pain will slowly fade out as well. And through it all, I know I can rely on my friends, my family, and my amazing partner. And really, what more do I need?
I have to say, I’m loving the fact that it’s starting to stay lighter out for longer and the weather is starting to freshen up as well. I had a pretty productive weekend, I would say. I wrote a couple papers, revised my big, important ethics paper, and even had time to play The Sims for hours and hang out with my friends. Last night, I listened to some music and painted glass bottles with my good friend, Alanis, and I have to say that I love the way it came out! The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of my all-time favorite paintings, so I knew I wanted to incorporate it onto my bottle. I feel very proud of it, and I hope I can keep it and cherish it forever.
The night before last, I hung out with Buck and my friends, Kelsey and Cameron. We ended up playing cards for at least a couple hours, which I’ve recently discovered I have a love for. Apparently, I’m not very good at Egyptian Rat Screw and Bullshit, but Kelsey and Buck are. We also played Crazy Eights, which seemed to drag on forever because none of us could win!
So anyway, it’s been a really lovely weekend, and I feel very well-rested as well. It’s a bit after seven in the evening right now, and I’m currently sitting in an empty classroom listening to The Beach Boys. Buck will be out of work in a couple hours, and we’ll probably sit on the roof (and not kick off the moss) for awhile and listen to the Grateful Dead or John Denver, or something along those lines. He’ll probably drink some whiskey, which makes him taste like brown sugar, and I’ll probably drink some Earl Gray tea. And per usual, I’m sure it will be lovely to fall asleep next to him with the window still open.
Monday, March 9
It’s absolutely gorgeous out today, so I’m spending the afternoon at the beach with my good friend, Erin. Apparently it’s supposed to snow on Wednesday, but I have no idea how that would even be possible, considering it’s currently seventy degrees out. I must say, even though I’m not a big fan of the warm weather, it does feel good to wear shorts and stretch out in the sand. I probably should have been working on my ethics paper draft, but oh well, that can be done later.
I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there, wherever you are in the world. The coronavirus is scary, especially to hypochondriacs like me, so make sure you continue to wash your hands and take care of yourself!
Tuesday, March 10
It’s another day of beautiful weather here in Massachusetts, and I’m in pretty high spirits, even though I’m quite tired. Daylight Savings Time has really thrown me off! That being said, I’m loving the fact that the sun is staying out longer, and the days seem to stretch out much more now. I finally finished the final draft of my ethics paper, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. I know I’ve probably sounded like a broken record, complaining about it every night this week! I’m a bit nervous because I need to pass this paper to pass the entire class, but I’m pretty sure I will be fine. It’s just the notion that my entire degree depends on this paper that freaks me out and makes me doubt myself.
I’m really looking forward to going home Saturday morning, particularly since it’s my father’s birthday and I finally feel ready to see him again. We have a complicated relationship, but I have an optimistic feeling that everything will go well and we might be able to start rebuilding things. I’m also very excited to see my dog, of course, who I haven’t seen since winter break and I miss terribly. And, perhaps most excitingly, Buck is coming to visit me for 2-3 days towards the end of winter break! We’ve been inseparable since we got together, so those first few days without him are going to be so hard for me. Oh, to be young and in love.
Wednesday, March 11
Good morning, everyone! I hope you’re all staying happy and healthy this week. On the topic of health, the coronavirus hubbub is now front and center in Boston, and there’s certainly a lot of gossip going around. My school has not formally announced any closings, but I suppose it’s very possible they could ask us to stay home after spring break next week. Because nothing is set in stone, I’m trying not to think too much about it, but it’s still an interesting possibility. For one thing, it would suck to be away from my friends and my boyfriend. Secondly, if the school shut down and moved to online classes, I have no idea what would happen with my internship. Would I start working remotely for that as well? Thirdly, what happens to financial aid? Do I still have to pay for room and board even if I’m not on campus? It’s a complicated subject, and I’m not sure what will happen. At the same time, it’s kind of exciting to witness all of this. I guess we’ll see what happens!
Anyway, I’m in my 8am right now, and I have two more classes left after this. I might take a nap after my last class, because Daylights Saving Time is still throwing me off a bit and I’m exhausted. I’m also planning on hanging out with Erin and Buck tonight, so we’ll see how I’m feeling this evening.
Thursday, March 12
What a strange time to be alive and documenting my life on the internet.
With the obviously overwhelming coronavirus panic now taking over Boston, I’ve been forced to think a lot about the possibility that my school may close after spring break, which would be (in my opinion) wildly unfortunate and an overreaction to the situation. I’m going to publish an article on Analog next week to explore that topic more deeply for anyone who’s interested.
I’m also quite stressed over applying for jobs, because many of the jobs I’m inquiring for have hundreds of applicants. If I can’t find a job, I can’t get an apartment, and I’m supposed to do that in June. Also, one of my potential housemates is dropping out because she can’t afford to move. Also, my mom is moving two states away in June and I’m not going to have anywhere to live after she moves. Also, my internship is probably shutting down next week as well.
So yeah, I’m a bit stressed by the enormity of the crazy world around me right now. Last night, I essentially had a mental breakdown in the library and cried on my laptop, because I just don’t see how any of this is going to pan out and fix itself within the next three months. Even more, I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t move into an apartment without a credit score/cosign or a gross household income, which I don’t have due to a lack of a job. I might not even have my friends and my boyfriend around me during this time, if my college decides to pull the plug and shut its doors. Oh, what a time to be alive.
I almost feel like I have to laugh at the absurdity of everything. My goals today are to apply to two more jobs, decide what day I’m going home for spring break, decide if I want to tour the apartment that I have my eye on (but probably can’t afford because my housemates are dropping like flies), and desperately attempt to find a new roommate. Everything else in my life (minus my friends and Buck) just feels so unimportant right now. I hardly even care about my schoolwork right now, because I’m so bent out of shape about all of this.
Anyway, I don’t want to sound like I’m throwing a pity party. At least I am healthy and safe, and I have a strong support system around me. I just hate having things pan out undecided and up in the air, if that makes sense. It especially stresses me out not knowing where I’m even going to be living in three months, or where my income will come from.
The first thing I’m going to do when I get home for break this weekend is take a bubble bath, pour myself a drink, and binge out on The Office. Honestly, it’s what I deserve.
Friday, March 13
As you can probably imagine, shit is going down over here in ole Massachusetts. My university has extended its spring break by an extra week, and then, all of our classes are going to resume online. Despite this, our residence halls and services are staying open for the rest of the semester to those who wish to stay, and everyone else is allowed to go home. As for graduation and all of that, nobody has any answers or ideas about what will happen. Also, we’re technically not supposed to be within six feet of each other at school, and we can’t have any guests or other students in our dormitories. I’ll honor that expectation with my friends, but my boyfriend? Yeah, that six feet rule is gonna be a no from me dawg. My college can take away my classes, my graduation, my internship, my activities, and my clubs, but I refuse to cut myself off from my closest support system during this crisis of my life. And that’s the tea, sis.
Anyway, I’m going to tour an apartment tomorrow with my friend, and then my mom is coming to pick me up from school first thing on Sunday morning. As you can probably imagine, I’m really looking forward to relaxing during spring break and trying not to think about my university fiasco. This is definitely not the way I want to be spending my final year of college, but hey, I just have to make the best of it. At least I’ll still be able to come back to campus after spring break and see most of my close friends to finish off what has been a sufficiently chaotic school year. Of course, even that’s subject to change if things get worse. My fingers are crossed.
The past few years have been a unique experience for me, diet-wise. I went vegetarian in the December of 2017, and was strictly vegan from May 2018 to May 2019. I’ve returned to eating eggs and milk now, but I’m still proudly vegetarian and intend to stay that way forever. I might even go back to being vegan in the future, we’ll see what happens!
Anyway, it goes without saying that Thanksgiving hasn’t been the same since I’ve made these changes. Actually, it’s been better! I will say, it’s much easier to celebrate vegetarian Thanksgiving than vegan Thanksgiving. Every single side dish had to be separately prepared without butter/milk for me, and obviously turkey and meat is out of the question. This year, I’m happy that I’ll be able to enjoy the same sides as my family, and per usual, I’m opting for some very delicious Tofurkey. Today, I’m going to guide you through my Thanksgiving preparation with my mom, and spill the tea on what Tofurkey is really like for those of you who haven’t tried it.
What are you guys’ thoughts on macaroni and cheese as a Thanksgiving side? I’m personally all for it. My mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese is one of my fondest Thanksgiving memories, and although it’s not quite as good as the kind at The Chicken Connection, it’s definitely a close second. I’m not quite sure if she invented the recipe, or if she took it from an ancient cookbook, but it’s delicious nonetheless.
Now, let’s talk about fake turkey. As someone who hasn’t touched meat for almost two years, I don’t really remember what it tastes like and I don’t have anything to compare it to. I can say from personal experience that I do like the taste of tofurkey, and it’s especially delicious with the vegetarian gravy the box comes with! It’s also extremely easy to make, you just thaw it and bake it in the oven as you would with a regular turkey. In regards to appearance and texture, I think it looks just like the real deal. What do you guys think?
This year, I’ve decided to bake my own pie for Thanksgiving. I LOVE baking, as many of you probably know, but I don’t get to do it much due to always being away at college. This year, I’ve decided to make my own apple pie from an online recipe, but alter it a bit to add my own twist.
I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving, and stay safe as well. I’m looking forward to spending the holidays this year with my mom, stepdad, and our dogs, Duke and Cooper. Soviet Kitsch Analysis Part II will be out on Friday, and after that, Blogmas begins! I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, and furthermore, starting some new exciting projects in the spring semester. I feel like this year is just flying by, don’t you?