Friday, October 14, 2016

Oh The Places You Will Go

It's been some time since I've written and I'm not sure if anyone is still out there, but I thought maybe I would look back and write about some of the things that have gone on in my absence.

At the end of last year I met the most amazing man and we decided to move in together after only two months together. Now, normally I would never be impulsive, although I am prone to impulsive decisions. We are coming up on a year together and it's still just as amazing. As soon as he can save up, he will be buying a ring and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I wish you could see that content smile I get every time I think of or talk about him.

In the middle of March, I went to Colombia to see one of my friends, which, coincidentally I met on the internet when I needed a Spanish tutor about four and a half years ago. I'm sure that also seems like a sketchy decision, but he's become one of my best friends. I would like to say that from here on out I apologize for the volume of photos, but I want to share the experience with anyone still out there reading.

The first photo is from the top of a huge, 675 step to the top rock. The view is absolutely breath taking, as were the stairs, and we had a beer with mango in it from the top. To get to this town we had to take a bus and a truck and I was the only clearly white American around, but the people were really friendly. The weather was beautiful, there were little stands with arrepas (some sort of corn tortilla looking thing that varied in taste from each region) and everything was so cheap. 
This is just one of the street art murals in Bogota, the town that my friend lives. He gives a tour where he tells you about the artist and cultural inspirations for the art work. If you're ever in Bogota, I highly recommend anyone going on this tour, which is donations only. He is extremely knowledgable and passionate about culture. Also, graffiti art is not a crime there as it is in the US and so there are some absolutely beautiful paintings and sculpture pieces around town. 

This is the view atop of the metro cable in Medellin, a huge city where we stayed with his aunt, uncle, and two cousins. I must say, I was overwhelmed by the kindness of his family. My speaking Spanish was almost non existent due to lack of use from being in grad school, but he relayed everything we hoped to say to each other. I think one of my favorite parts of this ten day trip was staying with his family and observing some of the cultural differences, like the woman taking care of everyone first. I tried to help because as most American kids know, if you aren't helping your mom to clean up, you're probably going to get a disapproving look and maybe a snarky comment. Another interesting fact was that the poor and rich lived intermingled in this city, unlike many of the cities that we are all from where there's a clear difference of who lives where. I would also recommend going here because the streets are beautiful. There's an unkemptness to the grass, but the streets and medians are covered in these lush, vibrant plants, flowers, and trees. Dream streets everywhere. 
This is the rock I climbed to the top of in Guatape, where the first picture was taken from. I'm sorry that they are out of order. :)

We went to Cartagena, which was actually my least favorite part of the trip. It's more of a Caribbean town and extremely hot and humid. The architecture was beautiful, but this is the place where I think I contracted something like E coli and returned home to be stuck in the bathroom for ten days. The arrepas were spot on though and the fish served at dinner had teeth still. 
Since Cartagena was not good to my digestive tract, my friend went to the fruit market on his own and brought back a plethora of fruits for me to try. His wonderful mother was there for Easter weekend and she cut up the fruit and showed me how to eat or break into each kind. Love his mom. She gave me the coolest, scariest key chain with a giant ant from Colombia in it and a really neat woven bag from the indigenous people. 

We climbed to the top of a castle in Cartagena, which was extremely hot and where I continued to find that Vans were not good walk wear. 

More street art. 

I put this picture up because while I am extremely sun burnt, I am drinking alcohol by the beach in a freaking pineapple. A real pineapple drink. We also went jet skiing and we found out that when thrown off into the ocean, I'm the better swimmer and would probably last at sea longer. 

I returned home with some crazy stomach anger, but I truly fell in love with the Colombian people. Seriously the kindest, friendliest people. They are also extremely politically minded and while in other places it's not appropriate table talk, it IS there. Also, they're not happy about the cocaine stereotype and they want you to go see for yourself how awesome it is. The showers are weird and when you use hot water you have to have the pressure low, the fruits and juices are out of this world, and if you go, go to Crepes y Waffles for a scoop of blackberry ice cream and then a scoop of guanabana. Seriously. I'm in love with guanabana, which you can't get in the US. Also, I saw an avocado the size of my forearm, which I don't like, but it was still cool. I really learned the importance of language and communication as well and how alone you can feel when a culture is so vastly different. 

I finished out my semester of grad school and I went to an internship interview for a treatment center and then in May I went to Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic for a Holocaust history trip. How am I affording these trips you ask yourself? Colombia is super cheap in every way and I saved for an entire year to go to Europe. Now I'm broke. We'll say I'm rich in experience. :) 

We went to Auschwitz and I can't fully rely how amazing that experience was. You felt such a heaviness and at times wanted to cry or were overcome with anxiety. It was a beautiful, peaceful day, and it almost didn't seem right in that place, and yet it was perfect. This experience will be forever etched in my heart. 
These are actual nail scratches in the gas chambers... :'(

The astronomical clock in Prague! Another check off my bucket list. It was amazing. The people in the Czech Republic were not actually that nice or friendly, which is disappointing as I'm Czech, but the architecture was breath taking. 

More beautiful Prague architecture. 

Krakow at night. We went to a Jazz bar and ate fantastic dumplings and had huge glasses of beer. The Czech Republic and Poland were extremely cheap compared to the dollar and we had amazing food and drink for cheap. 

Me in Prague, just looking at the city and taking obligatory selfies. Sorry these are out of country order. My computer made it too tedious to reorganize. :)

Faces of Warsaw.

Here is just a really cool picture in Berlin. What a cool city. Seriously. Go. 

The Brandenburg Gate!

This was a castle I had homemade peach schnaps at. This place was like the set of a movie. I also walked thirteen miles that day. 

I had too many photos to put here of course, but I rode a train and found out I get really motion sick on trains-shout out to Dramamine-and I've seen the Berlin Wall. I had wonderful candy and food, I saw the Reichstag building and the house the Wannasee conference took place in. I have seen such beautiful and amazing places this year and I'm really blessed. I always wanted to travel not just because of the beauty and culture or the history, but also because I think it's good to be uncomfortable. You throw yourself into a new environment and then you find out how strong and resourceful you can really be. I met some cool people and it makes me appreciate my slower paced Midwest city, free water at restaurants, and free bathrooms all over America. 

After my adventures I started interning, which went from hopeful to not what I thought it was going to be at all. It's now October and I finally have a client I work with with another therapist. I'm nervous that I won't be a good therapist when I get out and I'm still afraid to do solo sessions and everything a therapist has to do in general, but if there's one thing I've taken from this experience, it's learning more about having stronger boundaries and confrontations in group and individual sessions. I can actually confront something and not feel bad or like it will affect them liking me. I still fear that I'm not good for this job and that I don't have what it takes. It's scary to think that I graduate in December and how much I still have to learn, but I really really hope that someday I get there, which everyone says I will after getting more experience. Actually, many professionals I've asked say that it took them at least a year to feel fully confident so at least people I really admire and respect were where I am. 

Thursday I take my licensure exam, which has made me extremely anxious. I'm studying like crazy, I got on depression medicine to get out of the seasonal slump, and while I'm still prone to bouts of sadness and general life anxiety, things are manageable. 

So, there's an update on my life. If anyone took the time to read this thanks. :) Life has been changing and 2016 has been a ride, but I hope that when it slows down I can start to do more creative work. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Monsters meet below the summer's eve
Eat, breath, writhe, scream
Cordial hellos sliced through steel teeth
Walk among, never bring
Fog to the peripherals
For a short while pretend to be meek.
Slink in the wake
Casting dark shadows
Tease the mind
When vulnerability leaves them mellow

Cut it, break it mortal skin
Tantalize with earthly sin
Hoping they don't notice simple thigh lace hemlines
Sewed together with hemlock trees and wintery pine
The breeze floats echos of sympathy
Will you notice platonic rag bones
In shades of harsh tones
And girls making their way on bended knees?

Ashes,  Ashes,  we all fall down
Down to the bottom of bottle and pipe until we all drown.
Hone your skills of tongue and lips
Come one, come all
For it is well known that worthiness is in your hips
Crack the vase to water the flowers
Slow knife pendulum counting out your final hours
Good intentions slipping away
Only to turn up sour and vague

Run little girl
As fast as you can
Be a good pet
And play hide and seek
Dry your eyes, I can see in the dark where they leak

Now my breath is hot and close
Creeps from your neck
Down to your toes
I'll take you away into the forest
Prune insecurities like a silent florist
Pry at the locks where your soul you keep
Feel the soft soil,  make it your home
I'll keep you safe, my dear, empty and warm
Among the redwoods
Where your monsters are
The place you hide where your darkness was born.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fourth Step

I missed home tonight
Laying in my apartment deck straining to see tiny pin pricks of stars
Competing with restless city lights.
Longing for the vast ocean of fields and pastures waving like proverbial prairie waves.
I always thought how soft the grasses looked
Until I laid down and felt the scratching against my bare arms and legs.
"Remember us when you are grown.
Remember us when you are gone."
The crisp stillness pillowed on humid summer air.
Calves murmur bedtime protests to their mothers
While locusts hum midnight lullabies.
And the hardwood underneath me tugs my heart strings back down,
Down to urban loneliness.
I looked to find myself in a new place, a new country, aspirations attained
But I still feel like a child when my father texted me to say that he went to AA last night.
That he has renewed his commitment to the Lord and that his pastor believes God will use his testimony.
That God will restore his marriage with my stepmother
Besides the fourteen months of probation and domestic violence classes.
I wanted to ask him how the fourth step would go,
When he must inventory the hurts and make amends.
His daughter, at the other end of the state,
Going to graduate school, traveling the world, jn a good relationship and working.
I wonder if he thinks I'm fine in true denial fashion.
Because it hurts me when I think about how I want to tell him that God wants him to make amends with his daughter
And that sobriety, not his estranged second wife should be the focus.
Someone I think I know that he'll never truly tell me he's sorry, holding a list in his hands with tears streaming down his face.
It could have been worse but it hurt enough
Enough to make my heart twinge a bit when we talk.
Enough to make me sad in my hotel in Berlin that he doesn't know I'm there because we haven't talked in a month and a half.
Enough that I wish he'd ask me about my boyfriend and how well it's going
Or my internship and the things that I hear that make me wonder at the depth of human suffering and resiliency.
I want him to do the fourth step.
I want him to know it hurt.
But when I tell him I have some unresolved feelings he tells me that he's sorry and he hasn't been perfect but he did his best
And I can't hate him because it's true,
But it can still hurt
And I can still feel alone in my hurt
And lay on my deck wishing I could just rest in the serenity of a night at home.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Breath Deep

Let us stop now
Breath deep, breath deep
Warm winds of muggy change
Breath full,  breath full
Cups of alabaster dreams
Wake up, wake up
Lulled to sleep by morning sun

Eyes shaken,  waken
Noonday song, Noonday song
Come hither, wither
You bask in wrongs, bask in wrongs
Hold your chest now
Feel it throb, feel it throb
Take the light, ignore the plight
Before it's lost, before it's lost

Stepping on cracks to break the bough
Hush,  hush
Settle in easy to your cotton covered place
So safe,  so safe
Knit regrets amongst lies justified
Mend inside, mend inside
Whisper softly
The day has come to fly, come to fly

Saturday, May 7, 2016


I'm always sorry that moment you get home
Because today I spent curled up in a ball
Watching the sun drift down the wall
And the other yesterdays.
Today I thought I'd watch the sun come up
Change of pace
Since I kept company with the moon
Dry quiet leaving my skin cold.
I haven't thought a unique thought in days,
The pauses leaving me bewildered,
Had I even been thinking at all?
Two days ago I cried into your pillow
Because the weight was too much
But my friend called me because she had a feeling she needed to call.
I haven't slept at the right time of the day in at least two weeks
I haven't worked out consistently in a little more than three.
I was sorry when you came home today because I've been so depressed that I've laid looking at the wall,
Filling space
And you ask me what's wrong so concerned but nothing is
It just hurts.
I want to run and run but can't find my motivation.
I want to read and research but I can't stay focused.
I want to do more than sleep, shower, take care of the dog, and sit quietly.
I want to not feel the self inflicted pressure of getting a lot done or appearing as though I did before you get home.
I want to sleep at midnight and get up at nine thirty
Instead of five in the morning until one in the afternoon.
I want someone to listen, but I don't ever know what I would say.
Just the feeling of someone near to ease it when it's most difficult.
I want to tell you I'm sorry,
Because you love me unconditionally
And I'm still illogically afraid everyone will think that I, the future therapist,
Am unable to fight off my own depression, therefore crazy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Beginnings

It's been a long time since I've felt the stirring to write, or the ability.
It's not poetic like usual, but I want to tell the story, in all it's grittiness.
Over the past few months I've felt my world change and illuminate in a way I never thought possible.
I spent the summer exploring myself, sitting outside on my front steps smoking and drinking with my neighbor,
Looking at the veiled stars above the city lights,
Drinking coffee under the tree at the park while my dog explored the area we'd seen a hundred times before.
My emotionally abusive (he'd disagree) boyfriend broke up with me for a beautiful girl he'd been friends with
And I slipped into a relationship with a close friend.
I look back and I feel guilty because I know now I ran to him because I needed someone that didn't have me parking my car two blocks away before I got home so that I could cry where he wouldn't see.
I needed to be myself and know it was okay.
It was easy to fall into talk of a future and it went too far.
My ex and I still had a lease and we still had chemistry and I found myself wrapped in his sheets between times his new girlfriend would fly in
And I would see mine
Feeling that torturous question of character.
You know what I hate most?
I loved him still.
I hate him and I love him and he was a virus inside of my heart.
Thanksgiving came and despite the way my family loved him, it didn't feel just right.
We were at dinner and my mom thought I said something in a way that implied I was ashamed of something she did and I clarified what I meant.
Immediately, in front of everyone, he told me I was selfish and mean.
It happened again.
Later that night we talked and he didn't ask me what had happened between my mom and I, why I felt it was difficult to show emotions with her,
The dynamics and the history of the messy coming of age I had.
We didn't see eye to eye.
Instead of asking me how I felt and listening, he shut down, said he wouldn't say anything at all.
The attraction was never there.
I hated that he was this intelligent person who let bad choices earlier in his life cause him to lose the fire and ambition.
And so, until my birthday I didn't talk to him much.
I couldn't even try anymore and I began to resent him.
On my birthday, my friends planned a going out to a bar and so I invited a guy friend of mine to come along.
I don't know why I did that, but it seemed like what I wanted in the moment, to flirt, to be free again I suppose.
My two friends and I went to meet him at the bar, he said he brought his friends.
It was an Irish pub style bar where the drinks were strong and the crowd was relaxed.
We walked up to the table and I saw him.
Not my friend.
His friend.
I only saw him the whole night and we talked and talked, but he held back.
When the bars closed down my friend was making out with one of his friends and I was going into my friend's room.
I don't know why we had sex...
I look back and I think, that was the moment I knew I couldn't keep up with this game where I was telling myself that I was this empowered woman who was attractive and smart and doing whatever I wanted was part of that process.
When I went home that day his friend and I messaged and a week later he was driving 45 minutes to my city to have dinner.
That moment.
I want to hold on to it forever.
We talked and talked and found that we had so much in common and soon we were back at my apartment.
There was this moment where we paused and suddenly leaned in and kissed and it was the most amazing moment, but it was amazing because that was all it was, a kiss.
He stayed over that night and it was so perfectly innocent.
We saw each other the next day and the next and then I went away for Christmas and my friend that I was dating and I fought and discussed the end.
I was honest with this new one, I told him I didn't know, but I needed out of this.
There was a struggle, I couldn't say the words I needed to say...
Finally, it came.
I was having this dual relationship and I had to end it.
That was the first shift, when I started doing the right thing for once.
And for once I was spending time with this amazing person who kissed me and told me he didn't want to sleep with me yet.
He said, "I want you, but I want YOU."
The first pieces of all the broken things I had tried to clean up began to slowly come together and then all at once.
I told my ex we couldn't sleep together anymore when it happened a few times when my new guy and I were seeing each other and he was upset.
He said that we had an agreement and I was manipulative and not a real friend but for once, doing the right thing, having boundaries, sloppy ones, but boundaries, was more empowering then anything else I had been doing since.
Things exploded with growth from there.
The moments are so beautiful and so pure, so infinitely perfect.
He touched the scars on my thighs and never said a word.
When I asked him he said what happened in the past doesn't define who I am in the future.
When I cried after a sad movie he held me close and kissed my head.
When my ex moved out because he was mad at me he drove three nights a week to my city to watch my dog.
He took me on day dates, lounged with me and watched movies, spent all his free time and was so proud of me.
I can't tell you how fantastic it is to be with someone who you can trust completely and who nurtures your soul and heals your heart.
I didn't think that I was going to live this life, after everything that happened to me. I felt too damaged, though I had pieced myself together as best as I could.
Somehow I found this amazing human being that I thank God for because I know I did so many things that didn't warrant a deserving of this.
I got a counseling internship in his city.
I'm traveling to South America for spring break.
My dad went to jail for domestic abuse against my step mother and I still can't sort out how I feel about our estranged relationship, where we try and keep in contact by strings.
And at two months and a week, he and I signed a lease together.
It's crazy and I know it, but I think he's the one and life has never been so beautiful.
Nothing and everything makes sense and finally I'm making the real right choices.
I know this was a bit lengthy and not in my usual style, but I can't even do anything but feel it all so deeply.
I miss you all, say hi and let me know if you're still out there!