Monday, January 21, 2013

Here's what I'm going to do

I'm going to make it through this week,
no event, person, mishap, or lack of sleep will get me down.
I'm going to make it through this quarter,
regardless of the mountain of work ahead of me.
I'm going to put it all into perspective, do what I have to do
to Keep Moving Forward.

Before I know it, I'm going to be walking across that stage, robes and hood, getting my master's degree.

after that,
the possibilities are endless.

Zach and I have talked about applying for the Peace Corps after I graduate, and the idea looks better and better every day. If we decide to go through with it, we'll have to start our application as early as this summer. With my Spanish language background, I have a good feeling they might want to place us in Latin America, if we're accepted. But who knows? Maybe at the end of 2014 Zach and I will be settling in somewhere in Africa, somewhere in Asia, or Eastern Europe. I don't even care where we go: I just want the opportunity to serve, the opportunity to travel, the opportunity to learn, and the opportunity to explore.

Our friends Bretta and Dylan just got back from a trip to India and Nepal. I never knew how badly I wanted to go to Nepal until I saw her photos. What an unbelievable trip they must have had; the photos she took were so beautiful and truly captured what life must be like there. Looking at them made me think about how much I hate to sit idly by, in one country, during the duration of my short life, for there is so much world to explore!

Oh how I'd love to pack a bag, and call it my "home."
To travel with only what can fit on my back and on my body, and experience people, culture, religion, and climate first hand, with my own eyes, ears, nose, and feet.
Lucky for me, I have a husband who would be willing to do all this at my side.

Someday, I'll have some more of my life figured out (though, they say that never really happens).
Someday, we'll manage our funds so that we can continue following our hearts by experiencing the world.
Someday, I won't even remember how many nights I cried just trying my best to complete all my papers and projects for grad school.
Someday, I won't even remember what chronic depression feels like.

I often feel "stuck," but I have to remember how far I've come already

  • I travelled with my high school orchestra to England and Ireland
  • moved 450 miles from home for college
  • Studied abroad in Chile for 4 months
  • Moved 1,600 miles from MN to WA for grad school
  • Attended professional conference in Hawaii
I must remember that all of these are accomplishments that I should be proud of. No matter what the outcome of all of them were or are. I'm blinded right now, from the stress and hardship of 2 jobs and graduate study, but every once and a while I can see clearly. Every once and a while I can see my purpose and my bright future. 

Someday, Zach and I are going to look back on our lives and say
"Wow. Look what we've accomplished. Look what we've seen. Look at what we've learned.
I'd never want it any other way."

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Whoa. Here we are again. A new year. They're going faster and faster, aren't they? I've learned that as I've gotten older. Life doesn't slow down for you, in fact, it speeds up exponentially. Suddenly you're married and living across the country for grad school at 22 years old, asking yourself, how the hell did I get here?

2012 was phenomenal and definitely my biggest year of change thus far.
(Click here for my post about 2011)
Unfortunately, I just don't have the time to go through and write about each and every important event. I should have blogged more this year, I guess. But in order to give myself a year in review, I'll bullet point some important events for each month. 

I should warn you, this is going to be a long, boring list of what happened to me this year. It's no thrilling novel.


  • I spent 2012 NYE at the house I was renting with Zach, our 2 roommates, and a ton of other friends. It was the most memorable NYE I've had to date and I wouldn't have spent it any other way. Apparently I didn't post any pictures from NYE last year, because I cannot seem to find them!
  • I remember I was still doing some KVSC shows for a while... I was always who they called when someone couldn't cover the Sisters show on Sundays.
  • The jobs I held:
    • National Events Coordinator with University Program Board at SCSU
    • Receptionist and Event Planning Intern at Element Mental Health Services in St. Cloud, MN
    • Office Assistant at Department of Foreign Languages, SCSU
    • Cashier and Attendant at Cenex [gas station]
  • Brought Cornel West to SCSU for my job and had an incredible experience meeting him and putting on the event for the Power in Diversity Conference
Got an amazing package from my host family in Chile in January :)

Myself and my volunteer crew with Sherman Alexie! February 2012
Also got my septum pierced. February 2012
Zach and I volunteering at the phone banks ALL NIGHT for KVSC Trivia Weekend!

  • Erica came all the way up to St. Cloud from Milwaukee to visit me one last time before I moved across the country!
  • Went to Q Quest Youth Fest for my internship. Learned about youth LGBT movements in the Minneapolis/Minnesota region.
  • Started the job search in Seattle via the Internet.


  • Helped put on the Central Minnesota Prom Alternative (an LGBT prom for area teens) for my internship with Element. 
  • Brought author Rory Freedman to SCSU (she wrote Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!) 
  • Also brought the author of Shut Up Skinny Bitches, Maria Rago!
  • FINALLY received my acceptance letter for grad school at Seattle University after being on the waiting list for about 3 months!
  • Had a CRAZY cool Easter experience with Zach
  • I was awarded SCSU Student Employee of the Year
  • Hosted Heads VS Feds on campus, a marijuana legalization debate.
My volunteers, advisor, and myself with the author of Shut Up Skinny Bitches!
My award! I am still so honored and thankful.


  • May 2012 was my very last UPB end-of-the-year Banquet.
  • Finally visited the Cherry and Spoon art in Minneapolis. 
  • My entire family drove 8 hours to St. Cloud to watch me graduate and we worked on mending our relationship
  • Zach and I gave away almost everything we ever owned
  • We said goodbye to our life in St. Cloud, and set off across the country on the 31st.
My very last UPB banquet. 
Finally saw this MN attraction, right before I left!
My family and I at my graduation! If only we could get a photo with ALL of us smiling.
It was so hard to say goodbye to my roommate and best friend, Tara


  • Moved to SEATTLE. Along the way we stayed with friends and family. Our lease in St. Cloud ended on May 31st, but our Seattle studio lease didn't start until June 8th; basically we took our time getting across the plains and mountains.
  • Took my very first graduate class: Best Practices in Student Services. Part of the class was an overnight field trip to Moscow, Idaho, where we stayed in Living Learning Communities at the University of Idaho and learned about their Student Affairs departments.
  • I started meeting people from my cohort. It was very exciting to put together Facebook profile photos and real, actual faces!
  • Went to Seattle Pride weekend!
Still can't believe I live here sometimes...
Julianna and I at Seattle Pride Weekend!
Out for a drink with my summer classmates and professor
First Hill: My new neighborhood! 


  • Our friend Ish surprised us with a visit early in the month! Told us that he got confirmation his package arrived at our place, and then there he was on my stoop when I went to check my mail. Best surprise visit ever!
  • Di and Mitch visited us while they were on their big move to California
  • Went to a Seattle Sounders game for work! [Professional Soccer Team]
From when the Heids visited us!
Ish's surprise visit


  • Went to a Seattle Mariner's game for work [baseball]
  • Started my Graduate Assistantship at the International Student Center at Seattle University
  • My life became so busy, no end was in sight
This is from a rally before the Sounders game!
Started meeting people in my cohort! This girlie is Eden, from Kansas :)


  • Reconnected with a dear friend.
  • Tried to survive my first few weeks of grad school. Oh it wasn't easy for me. There was a lot of crying, a lot of wine, and a lot of "I need to give up"s. Somehow, most likely with the help of my new friends, my cohort, and my husband, I managed to get through the quarter.
Myself and some of the ISC staff and student leaders after Fall Quarter Orientation!
Got to work with some students from Fukuoka University in Japan!

  • Saw Amy Goodman at Town Hall Seattle where I bought her latest book The Silent Majority. I also got her and Dennis Moynihan (the co-author) to sign it! Click here to read my post about the event.
My office at SSCC dressed up as Harry Potter for Halloween!
Attended a conference about supporting undocumented students!

  • Went to Waikoloa, Hawaii for almost a week for the Region V Annual NASPA Conference. I booked my tickets with my friend Eden and shared a giant hotel with a bunch of other students in my program. I saved a ton of money, not to mention the $300 scholarship I got from NASPA before I left!
Part of the group I went to Hawaii with. I had SO much fun with them, and learned SO much.
Everyone that attended the New Professional / Graduate Student institute at NASPA. Can you find me?


  • Managed to pull off a good GPA this quarter: A, A, A-.
  • Some of our MN friends came out to visit for NYE! They were here for about 5 days and we showed them Pikes Place, a brewery, the stadiums, International District, and more I can't even remember. I had so much fun while they were here!

Sophie, MJ, Zach, and I at the SUSDA holiday party
Group photo at the work holiday party. Lots of love in the ISC! :)
The group of Minnesotans who visited Zach and I over New Years! Twas a BLAST!

Looking back, I am incredibly grateful for this year I built for myself. I have accomplished quite a lot and I need to remember that instant gratification is impossible.  My proudest moments were the connections and relationships I've both made anew and rekindled. I am learning how to be selfless and what it truly means to put others before myself, and I'm glad I have been able to bring these individuals back into my life. 

This post took me over the course of a few weeks... I just cannot believe how much can happen in just one year. 

Here's to a beautiful 2013!