how to consider what to do with the rest of your life

I felt a little overwhelmed the other day when I had three people — three — of totally unrelated groups! — ask me what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Answering this question comes in stages:

1. I know exactly what I want to do, and it all totally makes sense, considering my university studies!

2. Wait… I also want to include this other area of my life that I find extremely relevant.

3. This might also be an option.


Don’t let this be you.

Truth is, I know all of the things I want to do, but therein lies the problem: I have too many things. I haven’t graduated college yet, and I want to know five languages other than the two I already know.

I want to be a music journalist. I want to be a music therapist. I want to teach Spanish kids English. I want to teach English in Spain. I want to teach Spanish to college students. I want to study translations of Lorca. I want to be a UN translator. I want to do hair. I want to be a poet.

All of these are reasonable things within my capabilities, but as I consider each, I think of the time and effort involved in achieving these goals. For most of them, I have to go to grad school, which not only requires thousands more dollars than I will ever have, but also massive amounts of research, time, sleepless nights, and the dreaded GRE… I haven’t taken a math class in years! I don’t even remember what science is.

As for the others… I’m pretty decided on being a music journalist. I try to exercise my writing daily by writing blogs and reviews of songs. But internships are incredibly competitive, and you have to stand out. In a crowd, I’m the loudest one. On paper? At a concert? Naw. Not me.

While the possibilities amass in front of my face, the best advice I can give you — and myself — is just to explore. Explore what you love, examine yourself and your values, take a good luck at what you’re willing to do for something you want. If you aren’t willing to do the mostest for something, is it worth it?

While I try to balance these things, I’m going to lie in bed with Red Hot Chili Peppers serenading me and a pumpkin spice candle in the background. My room smells and feels like fall… I can’t wait to take photos of leaves.


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strange times are here

Last night was a force to be reckoned with.

I am in love with a terrible, terrible person.

My belly hurts.

And I have to analyze this poem. Make it go away 😦

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this is my favorite commercial of all time:

And I have watched it three times in a row just now and cried.

I miss Spain so much. I wish I hadn’t complained so much, or wasted so much time caring more about my grade than enjoying myself. There are lots of little things that remind me of Spain, like Nesquick. I always wish it were Colacao. Or water bottles… they’re so expensive here! I got 1.5 liters of water in Spain for like 35 cents! Bezoya was probably my favorite. It was all mineral water, but Bezoya was lighter than all the others. All the others tasted really mineral-y… and heavy on the tongue. I just don’t like waters like that. They fill me up quickly. Gross.

I miss our upstairs bathroom. I miss how the sink was weirdly placed and how tiny the shower was, and how it took so long for the water to heat up… And how quickly I had to be in and out of the shower. And how, out the window, I could see in others’ apartments. Listen to their television shows. When the rain fell, the temperature would drop slightly, and the breeze would come in over the open window and it felt so refreshing. Always.

Fanta Limon was the best… I wish we had it here.

I miss loud Spanish voices drifting through the bedroom window at 1 in the morning while I was doing homework.

I miss the Chinese supermercado, Supermercado Zen. With the hellacious walk from the city center to Myriam’s house, it was like an Oasis. We’d get Diet Coke or Fanta or water and sometimes ice cream there and then walk the rest of the way home and nap. Some days it was so hot.

I miss being able to go to a bar and ask for a sangria. What I would do to have one from El Desvan right now…

I miss being away from the stress of life in the United States. While I was in Spain, I didn’t have to think of my broken heart because I wasn’t reminded of who broke it every day. The only person I loved when I was there was Iker Casillas. Okay, and Xabi. And DEFINITELY Sergio Ramos. I didn’t go a day without hooping and hollering about futbol… I can’t get over how incredible it was the first day I was there.

Maybe I’m feeling strange right now for no reason, or maybe a good reason. I think about Spain every day, but tonight, I am missing it hard. I felt at home there, even if it was hot, and even if people were rude, and even if passing by the meat shops made me want to  vomit every day. My heart is dying for Spain, or to love something as much as I love Spain.

Everything is really hard right now, but Spain is calling… so I must push through.


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she was a daaaay tripper

Words cannot describe the effect that The Beatles have on me. I never get tired of listening to them. I say Mumford and Sons is my favorite band, but aside from Elliott Smith, The Beatles will always be my favorite.

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parting thoughts


Well, I’ve been back from the Homelandu (yes, Homelandu) for a week, and I have decided to keep up with the theme of lists for some parting thoughts.

During my last week abroad, I:

  • enjoyed a little more of what Segovia had to offer
  • missed home more than ever
  • decided to stay in Madrid with my roommate so she didn’t have to spend her last night alone (which meant leaving Segovia a day early)
  • wore a mustache in public and got into a club for free because of said mustache
  • got a lot closer to the people in the group and realized how sad I would be without them
  • had a dance-off with a smelly Spaniard… and won. His girlfriend was upset that he danced with me.. oh well.
  • Met a Kurt Cobain/Thor lookalike from Oregon
  • was followed down the street and barked at by a scary guy in the middle of the night
  • started having a sore throat which I believed to be allergies until I visited a doctor and found out it was an infection… either strep or tonsillitis, he never told me. He just gave me antibiotics.
  • Went out on the town with “strep throat.”
  • Trekked across Segovia with “strep throat.”
  • ventured to the Alcazar with “strep throat.”
  • cried when I said goodbye to my host family, then cried on the bus to Madrid, then cried again in the hotel while Alex was sleeping.
  • Ordered pancakes and syrup at the McDonald’s in the Madrid airport… but by syrup, they meant chocolate syrup…

I also watched The Hunger Games on the airplane… it was awesome. I cried.

Some things I have learned:

  • Family and friends are everything. The Spaniards spend the majority of the day spending time with their loved ones: munching on tapas at a bar, going on a paseo (walk), having a lunchtime that lasts an hour, spending time around the house during siesta, having giant meals with their families. Integrating myself into this part of Spanish life made me realize not only how much I missed everyone, but how much I loved the people I love, and how I wish our culture didn’t take relationships for granted.
  • Time is nothing. The Spanish work to live while we live to work… and frankly, I think this is ridiculous. We put ourselves on strict time schedules (I am extremely guilty) and get worked up if something goes off-track. While in Spain, I realized that homework and getting everything done in a time limit is just that: limiting. In the grand scheme, we have to make do with what little time we have, and if we don’t allow wiggle room, we’re only making ourselves sick with work and worry. There is time to work, and there is time to enjoy the world around us.
  • Be brave. This advice came from a trusted professor before I left. Traveling to another country is no time to be shy: you must adjust to a new time zone, a new culture’s schedule and way of life, and it is necessary to try new things. In order to enjoy an experience abroad, you have to be open to eating new foods, taking risks, spending money (if you have it!), and seeing all that your destination has to offer. A comfort zone will make you extremely uncomfortable when you see your friends or travelmates enjoying themselves but you are too scared to venture out of the house. I’m a worrysome, nervous, safety-conscious person, but the best experiences I enjoyed were always ones that were spontaneous and stress-inducing. I mean, I navigated the metros on my own.
  • Your experience is what YOU make it. Outside factors play a role, but it is wholly up to you to handle the circumstances and make the best out of your experience. While I was abroad, I received devastating news, and I admit that I handled it negatively by moping and being dramatic. Granted, I should not have had to find the news out while I was a billion miles away from home, I didn’t have to let it dampen and darken part of my trip. Things will come up, and you will be upset, and you will miss home, and you will get so, so stressed… but have patience. You must keep in mind that what you are doing abroad is bigger than the tiny mishaps at home, bigger than homesickness. You have the choice to enjoy yourself or be preoccupied with trifles. I spent too much time doing the latter that I regret not doing more of the former.

My favorite part:

  • all of it.

My least favorite part:

  • being homesick, tired, and hot. All the time. Boobsweat every night. Not fun.

After leaving Spain, I am more passionate about the country and its people. I could tell you the country’s history from before the Roman invasion all the way up to present times. I can also use the phonetic alphabet to write every Spanish word and identify the region from which nearly any dialect comes. I lived one of my biggest dreams by going to Spain, and I can’t wait to go back.

I’m still trying to adjust to using English in public places, though. I said “gracias, hasta luego” to a waitress at the Dallas McDonald’s and probably offended her because she was plainly Mexican… sorry, lady :l

Hasta luego.



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only six days left


I guess I’m pretty bad about exaggerating when things aren’t going how they ought to go. I’ve been going back and forth between dying to go home and wanting to stay here forever; for instance, on Monday, I thought about the fact that I had a week left and wanted to cry. Today, I just wanted Burrito Shack and air conditioning.

Here are some promised pictures from the Alhambra:

The Gardens of Generalife

And again; this is a very famous place.

Beautiful Arabic detailing

All of Granada from the Alhambra

Pretty, huh? It was my favorite thing I’ve seen since I’ve been here.

And now, LISTS!

Why my host family is the best ever:

  • Last night, when I was sick at my stomach, they gave me medicine and offered me Cola Cao even though I didn’t feel like drinking it.
  • They are HILARIOUS when they try to pronounce American words and phrases. “Frank-faste” is Frankfort; “Jooa breaki mai bols!” is “you are breaking my balls!”
  • They teach us slang phrases so we aren’t completely ignorant to peoples’ chatting on the streets
  • They make sure we are comfortable
  • They make fun of us for always wanting to sleep, but they let us sleep.
  • They try so hard to get to know us, and it’s not difficult letting them in.
  • They have taught me so much about Spain, the Spanish family, and life in general.
  • They make jokes out of everything.
  • They don’t mind that I’m messy most of the time.
  • When I’m tired or don’t talk much, they always assume something’s wrong… They obviously care about both me and my roommate.

What I have done the past couple days

  • Homework…maybe.
  • long naps.
  • Pringles
  • I woke up to a bunch of really sweet tweets from people who said they miss me.
  • Got sick to my stomach last night and wanted my mama 😦
  • went to La Granja today and saw the famous gardens and some of the fountains. there is a water shortage here, so the fountains aren’t typically running, but today they were and it was so beautiful!
  • the palace at La Granja was modeled after Versailles and the current King of Spain was born there. I went in it… it’s beautiful.
  • missed everyone
  • ALMOST finished my gift shopping.
  • died of heatstroke, came back to life, and died again

What I am doing tomorrow

  • sleeping in!
  • eating a free three-course lunch at a restaurant in Coca or Cuellar
  • going to a castle
  • going to a winery and participating in a wine-tasting!
  • going to another cathedral
  • homework 😦 (but hey, I’m almost done!)

I’m writing this blog soaked in boobsweat again. Why don’t I just call these entries The Boobsweat Chronicles? It’s fitting. It’s raining right now, and I went out to enjoy the rain. Hopefully it stops soon, though, because even though it’s peaceful, it’s 90 degrees in the apartment (promise I’m not exaggerating) and I’m unbearably sweaty.

Here is the Royal Palace at La Granja:

So many things here are perfectly beautiful. Except for my sweat. That’s ugly.



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adventures in Andalucia

Before I begin, I just gotta say that my phone not working is worse than death. Literally. Not only is my iMessage not working, but in my messages, my phone has removed the names from all my contacts with iMessage… I don’t even know what to do. I’m about to kill someone. AHHH.

Anyway, Thursday afternoon, Alex and I embarked on our journey to Malaga! It was pretty late when we got there, so the mall that was attached to the train station was closing. Instead of taking the metro or taxi to our hotel, we used a good, old-fashioned map (on Alex’s phone… but we didn’t have Wifi so we had to navigate ourselves!) and found our hotel. After settling in some, we went looking for a place to eat, and settled on a small…Chinese? or something…restaurant, where we got a giant plate of rice, a main course, a salad, and a drink for the equivalent of about 7.50 american dollars. Talk about a good deal!…until a crazy man from Madrid came and sat next to us, preventing us from enjoying our food in peace, talking about whether or not Price was the true King of Pop, and telling us about a Prince concert he went to in 1993 when neither of us were old enough to comprehend what Prince was. Um, bye.

The next day, we went to the Malagueta beach, which was nearly a 30 minute walk from our hotel. The guy at the front desk said it was the prettiest beach in Malaga, but… I don’t believe it. The sand was yuck and it was rocky, and my crusty feet couldn’t handle it. However, I spent the day sweating and bronzing in the sun, which is always nice. The water was super cold and refreshing compared to the heat outside. There wasn’t as much breeze as there was in Valencia, either, so the sweat stuck to my body.

That evening, we went shopping and bar hopping, and this time, I was the one with a bit too much to drink… someone may or may not have had to tell me to be quiet at the hotel. :l oops.

Friday night, though, we ate at a place called Delicias de Riki. I ordered chicken, and when I cut into it… it wasn’t thoroughly done. I didn’t know the protocol for undercooked meat in Spain, nor did I know if I should ask for another it and bitch and complain like an American would, so I proceeded to eat the sections that were done, hoping that I wouldn’t get salmonella, then enjoyed the rest of my night.

However, when I woke up the next morning, my stomach hurt. Bad. And I had to poop, a lot. It was miserable because I knew we were taking a special trip and I was terrified that I had salmonella. I kept thinking about what would happen if I did and psyching myself out… but after eating a little for breakfast, I felt better. Phew.

Then, Saturday, we went to my favorite place in the world, a place I’ve always dreamed of going: GRANADA! The bus situation was a bit of a mess, as we missed the first one and thought we would be late to our visit to the Alhambra. However, we got there, and took a taxi to the Alhambra, and finally figured out how to work the kiosk for previously booked tickets. While trying to get it to work, a French couple began shouting things at me in French, asking questions about how to work the kiosk, and I got to use a real French phrase back to them! It was so exciting!

Then, we toured the Alhambra. It was such a cool experience getting to see a building that I have given presentation after presentation on, and seeing things that I’ve only seen in pictures… I learned so much. It was a really hot day, and we didn’t get around to seeing the Alcazaba part of the building, but with as much as we saw, it was definitely worth it.

While waiting for the next taxi, I had a conversation with a woman from Brazil who was speaking to me in Portuguese, and I in Spanish… it was the craziest thing in life. How did she even comprehend what I was saying… much less, how did I understand her? It was actually really cool, though.

Then, we had a taxi take us to Federico Garcia Lorca park so that I could find his home-museum and cry over the fact that I was in his house. However, when we found it, we found out it was closed and it was the saddest day in the whole world. I took pictures of it anyway, and touched it, just to say that I had, and we went to the bus station to go back to Malaga, where we got to the hotel, bathed, and went to sleep.

Today, we went to the Picasso museum of Malaga and then walked around the plaza, where an older woman was handing out carnations and rosemary and asking for change. I reached in my pocket and gave her a five cent piece, like she asked for, but my roommate was digging in her wallet, and the old woman bombarded her and was touching her, and when all was said and done, I said to Alex, “I think you just got robbed.” Alex checked her wallet, and the woman had taken a 50 E bill from her! It was so scary, and I was so mad, because for some reason I knew what was happening, but it didn’t register… I didn’t care how old the woman was, I wanted to chase her down and tackle her and get the money back. She really wasn’t that old. And I was pissed and ready to Avenge that mess.

Crazy things always happen to us on the metro. Today, while waiting for the one to the bus station, a man wearing swim trunks was walking really briskly down the walkway with his eyes half closed, praying or mumbling something in a language I didn’t understand. We watched him walk all the way to the end of the walkway and we thought he was gonna jump in front of the train when it came!!! It was so scary! he didn’t, though, and although I was scared to ride the metro with him, we made it safely to the bus station.

We got our fill of Burger King and McDonald’s while away, but now we’re back in Segovia, being lax and preparing for classes tomorrow afternoon. I, however, am restoring my phone, and it is currently saying “85 minutes remaining.” It’s 12:15 and I want to be asleep. My life might as well be over and I am literally on the verge of crying. I hate Apple, AT&T, technology, Spain, and the fact that there are ten more days left until I can come home. This is the worst thing that has happened to me since I’ve been here and I could vomit I’m so angry and frustrated.

Eight more full days of being here. Nine until I’m back in the US. Ten until I’m back in MKY…can I do this? I guess we’ll see.


PS pictures to come.

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