England doesn’t have a kidney bank, but it has a Liverpool.

This title’s for you, Alex. Because you sent me it in November 2016 and I never actually used it. This post has a significant lack of mentioning England, kidneys, and Liverpool, but that’s alright.

When I graduated High School, Alex gave me a VWBoxVolkswagen Bus Lego set as a gift.
This one, to be specific. (see the picture!)

It sat in my room for…. 10 months. I mean, if you count it being on a huge moving boat for like, two of those months.

After months of my brother asking if we could FINALLY build the Volkswagen Bus, I gave in on Wednesday (April 12th, for those of you keeping track).

So this thing, it starts out in over 1,000 pieces. 17918690_1468116489896239_239547583_nThere’s two books, and at first when you dump everything out, it’s just a mess of red, white, gray, and black colored pieces. While my brother (who, mind you, is half the minimum recommended age) got building, I started sorting the pieces. My floor was quickly covered in many many piles.

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On Wednesday night when it was my brother’s bed time, this is what my floor looked like. Somehow- by some miracle, neither of us stepped on a Lego.

We picked it back up around 5 pm on Thursday. We started out with it looking like a boat, as pictured here to the right.17965249_1468116499896238_181761979_n

We spent until approximately midnight building, and we finished the first instruction booklet.

At the end of the night, the bus started looking more like, well, a bus. The curtains gave me so much happiness, and so did the very realistic gas pedal and clutch. I’d forgotten how incredibly accurate Lego sets can be.

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The rest of these pictures are actually going to be super good quality; I took them with my new camera. It’s a Nikon D3, and I’m super happy with the badassery it is. I’ll absolutely be taking it on any traveling I do (and I have some big travel news to announce soon!) and posting here. Anywho, back to the Lego Bus.

As soon as my brother woke up today, he came to my room and started working on the bus, even before I was fully awake. We finished the bus around 3 pm, and my brother was super exited. He was able to build most of it, and he was incredibly happy to be able to build the “orange part on the top”. It was adorable. It *almost* made up for the fact that we listened to the song Vivi Nell’aria over and over. (I’m totally kidding).

So without further ado, here are three pictures of the end result!

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This was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while, and I’m glad I was able to do it with my brother. I think I created a new Volkswagen enthusiast.

Make Lego models, not war.

-E.🌸

An Open Letter to the Hurting

Hello friend,

I know right now, nothing seems to be going right in your life at all. I know right now, you’re holding back tears and trying to smile your way through the day. I know you’re trying to take it a day at a time, trying to work with what you have. I know right now, it may feel like you don’t have anything. But that’s why I’m here.

I know I can’t snap my fingers and fix everything for you. I’d love that, yes. I’d do that in a heartbeat. And although I can’t do that, I can use the most powerful tool I have to help you. That is, my voice. So, here goes something that I want not only you to read, but everyone.

Dearest friend, you may feel like you don’t have anyone. You may feel like you’re alone in this. I promise you, you’re never alone. I will always listen to you no matter what you have to say. I will always be here for you no matter what. I won’t ever judge you. I will help you in any way you need- all you have to do is ask. And don’t worry- you’ll never be an inconvenience. Time doesn’t matter. Topic doesn’t matter. I’m always here. Someone is always here for you.

Things like “but this isn’t so bad, so many people have it much worse” may cross your mind. And you know, it may be true that people have had ‘worse’ experiences, but that doesn’t define how you have to react. Your emotions are and always will be valid. You are human, and you are allowed to feel. Cry. Scream. Write. Blog. Post angry tweets. Run. Play video games. Talk to me, or someone else. Please, do what you need to feel. But, please be careful. Don’t hurt yourself or someone else when you do what you need to. I care about you, and I never want to see you hurt.

I promise that you are worth it. I promise that you are good enough. If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it. You’re beautiful, my friend. You’re unique and nobody else will ever be like you. Nobody else has ever been like you. Your hobbies, your strengths, even your weaknesses, they make you who you are. Your smile can brighten up a dark day.

I know right now, everything seems like it’s tearing you apart. I know everything you thought you had figured out just faded before your eyes. But stop for a second. Close your eyes and think to yourself: “I got this far and I will conquer the world. Even if it’s not today, I will. Nothing will stop me”.

It’s true. Not only does “conquer” mean to defeat, to rise to the top, it also means to overcome. You, my friend, will show the world who’s boss. You will overcome this world, and teach it that it messed with the wrong person. You may conquer the world by going to work and making the best custard ever or having a great idea for the network. You may conquer the world by getting up in the morning and finding the motivation to keep going. You will conquer the world every day for the rest of your life, and your life is just beginning. Don’t stress over “maybe”s or “one day”s. Look to the future and see yourself smiling. Because you’re there, I promise. The future wants you in it.

I care. I always have cared and  I always will care. Maybe we don’t know how to deal with it, but we can get through it. I know it hurts like hell right now, but if it’s going to hurt like hell, there’s nothing better than to hurt like hell together, with a friend. Your heart may be broken right now; it may feel like it’s in 1,000 pieces that you have to pick up off the ground one by one, but I’m here to help you pick them up. You’ll never be alone.

I hope that somehow these words find you, and that somehow these words help you. I’m always here for you.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win”

-E. ♥

Good, good, great!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I considered posting happy thoughts. (Side note: I just got distracted trying to find a specific Fetty Wap song that was stuck in my head from sophomore year. I don’t even like rap. I guess I really don’t want to type happy thoughts).

Think happy thoughts.

  1. Soccer. Soccer was cool today. I taught a ten year old, and she was really cool. It was the first human social interaction I’ve had with someone around my age in two weeks. And she was 10.
  2. Food- as much as it hurts my stomach and gives me heartburn, it does taste good and I’d missed a bunch of it.
  3. Healthy. Healthy? Healthy! Bike riding here will help me lose weight or something.
  4. Uh, well, drinking is legal here at my age… I can make fun of 16-year-olds getting smashed. And that’s about the extent of that one.
  5. I’m really excited about the house we’re getting. And my room. I get to do it however I want and that’s really awesome.

Oh man- interruption! Just Skyped with my CyberPatriot team and had a Cadet Advisory Council conference call. Now I’m procrastinating on this post…. Don’t believe me, just watch. Crap… now the numbered list starts over. Oh whale. 15 more.

  1. Family. I love being close to my family.
  2. I can make money here on my year off from school.
  3. I get to play with big boy cameras here. That one’s fun. Shout-out to my grandfather.
  4. I haven’t gotten a mosquito bite here [yet]. That’s a positive.
  5. My brother is enjoying it. He already has a few friends.
  6. I have time to write blog posts!
  7. I get to see things I don’t really remember from when I was 6.
  8. My cat is here! ♥♥
  9. It’s fun to go places, and absolutely no one knows you. It’s weird running in to people who recognize you but you don’t recognize them, though.
  10. This has brought me and some of my friends in the US closer together. I found who my true friends are and who cares about me.
  11. You can drink tap water without wondering what’s in it (chlorine wise.. or chemical wise… or anything). It’s neat.
  12. It feels like things are cheaper here. You can go to the grocery store and buy 2 days worth of food and drinks for about 8 Euros. I could be wrong but it feels cheaper. I don’t know. Let me think it.
  13. I can completely avoid all the asshats in the US here!!
  14. I can get some cool clothes here. And I already got pants!
  15. There’s Cat Cafes here. Like literally; Coffee shops with cats.

And, I mean, I have lots of time to plan my return trip in December. And June. Heh…

Well, that was my effort for today’s blog post. It’s 0350 and my chest hurts. Maybe I should sleep.

Good night guys, and keep finding reasons to smile.

-E.

Oh my, the month went by!

Hello, lovely readers!

Some of you have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while… a month exactly. I’m not necessarily about excuses, but, there is a legitimate reason.

I used to reside in the delightful state of construction work and bipolar weather, however, I have since moved to the other side of the world! (And let me tell you, I’m pretty sure this is the country of construction work and well, rain).

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The picture is of the city near my hometown here in the Netherlands. If you look to your right, those boats are actually peoples’ houses. It’s pretty neat. The lights and the sky and the water all look incredible, and honestly, I only noticed that in the picture… not even in person.

The Netherlands is like a whole different world to me. Yes, I lived here until I was 7- but that means very little. I knew as much of the language as any seven-year-old does of their language. I’d picked up enough to get by in years after that, but now I’ve started to realize that the language barrier may be greater than I thought. I shy away from speaking Dutch because I know it likely won’t be grammatically correct. Maybe I’m not using the correct tense of the word. Maybe I’m just creating a word altogether. It’s a little stressful. Everyone back home says “give it a month” or “go make friends”. That’s so much easier said than done. Yes, I may have been incredibly social in America, but that’s different here.

Here, I feel insecure about what I wear. I don’t know the norms here. I never see anyone wearing a simple graphic t-shirt here. I felt awkward going into a store yesterday wearing my Paramore tee, black cargo pants, and Timberland boots. I felt like I stood out. My pants weren’t tight. My shoes weren’t “cute”. Who wears a shirt with writing on it? It’s probably all in my head… but that’s bad enough. Here, I feel awkward even talking. My voice sounds weird to me when I speak a different language.  When I’m with my mom, I let her do the talking and I awkwardly stare. Yes, usually I can follow conversations. I just don’t feel like I have enough words to choose from to be relaxed enough to participate. I’ve wished more people here would speak English to me, but then there’s the accent that bothers the living hell out of me and the reversed language barrier. I guess maybe I’ll learn soon enough. Maybe I should try harder.

My body isn’t used to the time zone yet. I’ve never had an issue with jet lag. Back in America, I had a hard time sleeping. Throw me in a country whose time zone is Eastern Time +6… I’m screwed. I have yet to fall asleep before five o’clock in the morning, and I’ve been here 8 days now. And yes, I have indeed tried putting down all electronics. I have slept through the days, though. Side note: that’s a really good way to avoid humans.

There’s not a whole lot else to blog about- since my days have recently been spent sleeping and avoiding people. I signed up to referee soccer for U11 and U9 leagues. I was the only girl in the room. It was a tad awkward.. especially because the club then posted on their website that they appreciated the “boys and fathers” that came out to the meeting. Well, I’ll show them. I guess female referees are seldom in any sport. I’ll smash the patriarchy in their face before they can even think “why is there a female ref?”.

So, yeah. I’m alive. I’m hanging in there. I’m trying to look at this like an adventure. Most people in the US would kill to spend time in Europe. Even though my situation wasn’t exactly planned… or my choice… I’m trying to be positive. It’s going alright.

-E. ♥

Sadness Poem

I have a friend, she’s not the happiest.

I try, and I try to cheer her up. To show her life. To show her happiness. Not much works. But then I remember my times, times like September 18, 2012. Times like when I wrote this poem.

Can you drown yourself in a desert?
Yes. You could.
You could drown of depression.
With a fake smile on your face,
While in reality your heart wants to die.
Crying for help on the inside,
Helping everyone else on the outside.
Trying to stay happy,
While being eaten away deep inside your soul.
That fake smile,
That fake laugh,
Covering up that all-too-real truth.
Nobody notices you,
Nobody can tell.
You’re scared to speak out,
Afraid to be truly be heard.
You’ve been hurt too much,
So you’ve learned to stay low.
To keep away from society,
To fake that smile,
Unlike speaking your mind.

So, I try to remember the times I wasn’t… me… when I talk to her. I realize I was once like her. Sad, afraid, unconfident (well.. I still am— a little), and just… depressed.

I try to help her.. but it never seems to work. Maybe she’ll realize.. I hope.