Ad Astra

I wouldn’t wish this feeling upon anyone.

I feel like I’m leaving part of my life.

Today was my last day at Johnson Space Center, and I turn in my badge tomorrow. It’s been so amazing. I’ve had such a wonderful time.

I’ve grown to be much more confident. I’ve met so many amazing people. I’ve had opportunities to work on amazing projects.

There will be a longer post later. I just needed to ramble for a moment.

But I promise, NASA, you haven’t seen the last of me. I will be back.

~E.

blAUG in a timely manner

Someone slap me; that wasn’t even a good pun.august

Well, I was going to blog in a timely manner this month. I suppose August 2nd isn’t the worst I could’ve done. My laptop keeps overheating and being a general pain in the neck, which is rather ironic for a digital sciences major to be honest. 

This past month has been incredible. I had the once in a lifetime experience of releasing rehabilitated seals. I got to drive a boat. I found out some amazing news- my first semester of college is fully paid for by scholarships! I was super excited to learn that. I can’t wait for college. July was pretty freaking amazing, and I know August will be just as good. 

There will absolutely be a post about seal releasing. It was such an amazing day. I can’t even put it into words right now. Super shout-out to the Zeehondencreche in Pieterbuten for that opportunity. I can’t wait to post all about it. 

But let’s see. This year is going ridiculously fast. It’s the eight month of the year and I don’t know how I feel about that. I’m about to be living in an apartment I signed the lease on. I’ll have a roommate, a friend and Spaatz cadet from CAP. We’ll have a cat. I’m about to be an adult. College is starting so soon. I can’t wait, but I’d be lion if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m going to miss my family like hell, and I’m so thankful that they’ve been nothing but supportive and encouraging me on my journey to be the first to get a degree in my family. The first to even go to college. That feels so incredibly amazing. 

I know I’ll have to work my ass off, but I’m ready. I have the most amazing friends, family, and boyfriend I could ask for. I’m going to make them all proud. I’m going to show everyone that doubted me who I am. I am a lion.  

My July goals were kind of lame, but I kept up with them. I can actually do push-ups now, so hey. There’s a plus. I’m curious to see where I am on my year goals. Let’s review!

  1. Love myself and be happy. Do things because they’ll make me happy.
  2. Go to college and study where and what I want.
  3. Achieve at least C/Lt Col in the Civil Air Patrol
  4. Learn to stay calm and manage emotions, as well as being able to express these to others. (This one may not make sense to you as the reader, but it does to me. I’ve already started working on it!)
  5. Learn something new. Whether this is learning a new language, something about computers, anything.
  6. Make money. Save money. (Already working on the saving money! #AdventureFund)
  7. Stay hydrated. All year.
  8. Read my whole James Patterson series.
  9. Travel.
  10. Write more. (Whether this is blogging, letters, cards, journaling, it’s going to happen!)
  1. Yeah. This one’s going. Most days, I love my body. This one’s going. 
  2. Hell. Yes.
  3. This one might not be realistic due to the requirement of attending Cadet Officer School or a Region Cadet Leadership School, but I’ll be a Cadet Major on the first day of college! I’ll be a major starting my major. Ha. Thanks for that pun, mom.  
  4. This one’s a work-in-progress. 
  5. I know like, three Russian words and more German than I did a month ago? I learned a lot at CDTA? I’m wayyy too familiar with the Public Affairs Regualtions for CAP? 
  6. I mean. Yeah. I saved hella money on college this semester. And there was the $0.81 I made in interest on my savings account! 
  7. I’m working on that. *eyes water bottle*
  8. Still. On. Book. Thirteen. Traveling really killed my vibe. 
  9. Yeah, I’m so sick of that international flight. And Germany is cool. 
  10. Hi, I’m writing (and I mean, I wrote to study for my tests for C/Maj so there’s that).

I guess I’m only going to set one goal for August:

Whatever you do, do it with passion and to the best of your ability. 

This can apply to so much, and I can’t wait to show the world who I am. I won’t give up. I’m not going to be just a nobody. Mark my words. 

Alright y’all. Thank you for reading. You guys are fantastic.

Smile, you’re awesome. Take some time today to think about how far you’ve come and how you’d make your younger self proud. Be someone you would be looked up to as a child.

~E.💕

P.S. I untangled a slinky this past week and that would’ve made younger me so proud. That’s all I wanted to be able to do in life. Little things. It’s the little things. 

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. ♥

2017 Goals, Part Uno.

Well, here we are. We are approaching the end of the first week of 2017.

best-happy-new-year-pictures
heihei

2017. MMXVII. Twothousandseventeen. 2k17. There’s plenty of ways to refer to the year of the rooster. However, we can all agree on one thing. It’s new, and it’s here for 365 days.

Some people make “New Year’s Resolutions”. Some people believe in the philosophy of “New Year, New Me”. Personally, I’m not a fan of any of those things. To those of you who do, good luck, you can do it, you’re great.

For me: I’m going to try something new. Goal setting!

Okay, okay, so maybe it’s kind of like a new year’s resolution. But, there’s a catch. Goals can be made at any time. Goals can be long term and short term.

I’ll be posting my monthly goals and updates from the past month in the first week of every month.In the last week of 2017, I’ll be summarizing. But- we’ll get there. One day, one week, one month at a time.

I’ll start my goals with my 2017 goals. Here we go.

My Goals for 2017

  1. Love myself and be happy. Do things because they’ll make me happy.
  2. Go to college and study where and what I want.
  3. Achieve at least C/Lt Col in the Civil Air Patrol
  4. Learn to stay calm and manage emotions, as well as being able to express these to others. (This one may not make sense to you as the reader, but it does to me. I’ve already started working on it!)
  5. Learn something new. Whether this is learning a new language, something about computers, anything.
  6. Make money. Save money. (Already working on the saving money! #AdventureFund)
  7. Stay hydrated. All year.
  8. Read my whole James Patterson series.
  9. Travel.
  10. Write more. (Whether this is blogging, letters, cards, journaling, it’s going to happen!)

Some of these are bigger than others. But to me, they all matter. I’ll post occasional updates here as to how those goals are going. (I swear I had a water bottle around here somewhere…)

Alright. Monthly goals. I’m not making a set number for these, it’ll change depending on the month. Here we go.

My Goals for January 2017

  1. Find a routine. A schedule. A purpose. Normalize my sleep.
  2. Eat healthier.
  3. Walk/bike more. I won’t put running, because I know myself too well for that and I likely won’t run in January. But- if I get in the habit of going for a walk, who knows what February will hold!
  4. Clean up my room and hang up my framed belongings.
  5. Find a job.
  6. Keep my email organized.
  7. Learn to drive in the Netherlands.
  8. Become comfortable interacting with other people in Dutch.
  9. Wear clothes because I like them, not because I want to fit in. (Honestly, I think I can add a scarf to ANYTHING and I’ll fit in…)
  10. Overcome my hatred for odd numbered lists. (Okay, this one won’t really happen. But, it’s a pleasant thought)

Allllrighty. I’m going to go finish my NCIS episode (Canary). Apparently it also snowed. Intriguing. Enjoy a picture my mom just sent of the snow!15909691_978465505587476_1454366300_n I’m half impressed that it does actually snow here.

It’s a little bit late, but guys, have a happy new year.

 

Talk Less. Smile More.

~E.♥

Happiness Is Where You Are

Sometimes it takes not blogging for a month to really find something to blog about.

With that being said… I’ll say Merry Christmas– and then get right into my post.

So, the last time I posted was November 22nd – over a month ago. I showed you my room and talked about Hamilton and other life happenings. This post is going to have a bit of a different spin. I’m going to talk about everything I’ve done in the past month- because heaven knows it’s been… crazy.

On November 27th, my family celebrated Thanksgiving by attending a potluck supper held by other local Americans in Groningen. That was 20161127_190604pretty awesome. The macaroni and cheese was the best. And I never really liked turkey that much- but this turkey was fantastic.  The building pictured is where it was. It was really nice… a great spot for it. It was also decorated beautifully. The lights inside were amazing.

Then… the month turned. December was upon me. It still hasn’t set in that it’s almost 2017, but that’s for a different time to freak out about.

20161203_200144December 3rd I got on an airplane and I flew to Ohio.  It wasn’t spontaneous, I’d had my tickets booked since October. I had been so excited to go back for months… and it finally happened. I didn’t think time would pass that quickly… but it did. So, December 3rd. I landed in Columbus and a family friend, “L”, who was also watching my car, picked me up from the airport. The first thing we did was go to the store and buy Fruit Loops. Man, I’d been wanting Fruit Loops for far too long. The night of December 3rd I spent at L’s house. I took a long shower and slept really well.

December 4th, I woke up and drove to Youngstown where I took part in20161204_144415 Tuba Christmas for the fourth year in a row. It was absolutely worth the 3 or so hour drive. I got to see Ky and a few other friends. I even made new friends! Tuba Christmas took most of the day, but after that I went to Steak and Shake with Ky and my two new friends. It was great. I drove, because man I’d missed my car. Looking back, I’m glad I drove as much as I did. Hmph. But that will be explained later. After Steak and Shake, I drove to where I’d be staying for the remainder of my trip, with a friend named Michelle and her husband and three kids. I got there, took a bath, and fell asleep.

December 5th was relatively normal. I spent time with Michelle, and in the evening I had my first Civil Air Patrol meeting being back. It was PT night. I’d say it went rather well if you overlook me falling because my ankle gave out. Oh well. This is why I carry ankle and knee braces. I got a nice bruise from it, that’s just today finally starting to fade. That’s how you make memories, right?

20161206_122341December 6th was Tuesday. I had a chiropractor appointment for the first time in 4 months, and it was heavenly. After my appointment, I got free Panera by using my saved up rewards and my free birthday pastry. This too was heavenly. I didn’t realize how much I also missed Panera even though I rarely went there.

December 7th. CyberPatriot practice in the evening. Other than that, I spent the day with Michelle. We got really expensive macarons, and they were fantastic.

December 8th. The morning started out with Michelle and I doing one of those black face mask things that supposedly hurt like hell when peeling it off your face. It wasn’t all that bad… definitely not as bad as every video made it look. Michelle and I then got lunch at the Kitchen Post, a really awesome small business that has amazing food. That night, I had aircrew training for Civil Air Patrol. I’m studying to become a mission scanner! I don’t know of many cadets who do it, so I decided I’d give it a chance.

December 9th. I went shopping for the first time being back. I got myself a winter coat. I got a few other Christmas presents. I ate lunch at Chick-fil-A. It was a pretty fantastic morning. In the afternoon, I got my hair dyed again. The same reddish color… 1481338637338but just so the roots didn’t look as horrifying as they had. Ha. That night, I spent the night at my friend’s house. She’s a C/CMSgt in the Civil Air Patrol, and we spent the night partially because we had to meet early the next day for CyberPatriot. We’ll call her KJ. KJ’s mom made me my own pumpkin pie because I’d been so deprived of anything pumpkin here. It was fantastic. However, KJ and I both will confirm that you shouldn’t eat fresh-out-of-the-oven pumpkin pie unless pumpkin stew is what you’re after.

December 10th. CyberPatriot competition, held at Kent State University. It was my first competition as a mentor, and it was interesting. I kept track of some of my favorite quotes from the day. These included:

  • “We put an antivirus on it, right? That’s what CCleaner and Malwarebytes is, right?”
  • “The local security policy is where a lot of stuff is”
  • “That’s not how you spell ‘logging'” “have fun loge-ing on”
  • “No more messing with FTP. We’ve done enough FTP” “But there’s 5 points left! They have to be FTP”
  • “WAIT! Go to Nautilus!” “What is your obsession with Nautilus, child?!” “Well, we haven’t gone through the slash var thing!”
  • “Either this will kill it… or it will kill it and give us points”

If any of my readers know computers, those should have made you chuckle at least a little. I know it was funny in the moment. And it half hurt to not be allowed to say anything. I spent the time by designing a photo book on Shutterfly. It was a good purchase.

img_20161211_132541December 11th. I spent the previous night at KJ’s again. Her sister really liked me. She’s 6. I don’t know what it is with children.  I also cracked my phone screen on December 11th. It wasn’t fun. Oh well. I put my case on afterwards and it’s fine. Didn’t break the digitizer so all is well.

Other than that, the rest of my day was phenomenal. Hi mom, here begin the things you didn’t know about. *hides*.

December 11th, still. Alex, his girlfriend, myself, and one of my friends went to Pittsburgh to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas lights they had there. Let’s just say, the weather wasn’t the greatest. The way down was okay. We stopped and ate Chipotle. Then we drove. The lights were incredible.

The way back, we did like, 20 miles per hour in a 75. We couldn’t see. But hey, we’re alive! Shout-out to Alex for being a pretty awesome person and great driver and getting all of us home safe. Alex and his girlfriend got home at like, 3 am. But was it worth it? Absolutely.

December 12th. I spent time with Michelle during the day, and I had a Civil Air Patrol meeting in the evening. I taught drill for the first time in forever, and it was amazing to be back. I also started to get sick today. Nothing like Ohio!

December 13th. Hi mom, you didn’t know about this one either. I’m safe and alive though! 20161213_180047The Rickenbacker Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, is located near Columbus. That 3 hours or so I had to drive to get from L’s to Michelle. My friend “T” and I decided it would be fun to go down to their Christmas party, since we were invited down by multiple people. So, we went. We watched the weather all day, and when it came time, I drove. We kept a running tally, we passed 9 wrecks or 20161213_194026accidents on the way there.

It really wasn’t bad to drive in, though. Like, people are just idiots I think. We left the worst of the weather behind. As soon as it got bad in NE Ohio, we were out of there. T and I had a fantastic time at the Christmas Party. We saw some people we didn’t think we’d ever see again, and caught up with some old friends. After the party, I drove back to NE Ohio and we didn’t pass a single accident. We really did miss the bad weather. I slept good that night. Especially because of this pillow Michelle had. Ha. It was like, memory foam or something, and honestly my favorite thing on Earth.

December 14th. I slept in. Whoa! Haha. Aside from that, I visited family friends, and had CyberPatriot practice in the evening.

December 15th. I went to the movies with KJ and Lauren and saw “Moana”. I fell in love with Disney all over again. I may or may not have been listening to the Moana soundtrack nonstop since then. I’m absolutely not listening to it as I’m typing this… no… Ha. After Moana, I had aircrew training/staff meeting for Civil Air Patrol. I got my first few tasks signed off. That felt pretty good.

December 16th. I didn’t do a whole lot on the 16th. I spent it with Michelle and her family.

December 17th. This day, this day was kinda perfect. It was after all the reason I came back to visit. It started off pretty cool, I saw Alex and we did Christmas presents. Then I went shopping, to get some final Christmas stuff. Then… why I came. The Squadron Awards 20161217_200935Banquet and Christmas Party. It was… amazing. I was awarded two cyber awards, I was given my Amelia Earhart award for promoting to Cadet Captain, I got a challenge coin, an achievement award, and I was awarded Squadron Cadet of the Year. Everyone also loved the slideshow I made. It was so perfect. It was also amazing to see everyone from CAP I missed so much. The picture shows my view for most of the night. I was in charge of sound and slides. it was really cool. Definitely worth going. I’m so glad I20161218_141522 had the opportunity to.

December 18th. I spent the morning with two friends from CAP, playing Cards Against Humanity and building a gingerbread house. After that, I visited a Santa in my hometown. It was sweet. Then I stayed home with Michelle’s kids so she and her 20161218_173111husband could go out for their six month wedding anniversary. It was my first gingerbread house ever… and yes that is a gingerbread man “chalk” outline.

December 19th. Michelle and I went shopping, and out to lunch at Olive Garden. It was very nice. Then I just hung out with her until my Civil Air Patrol meeting. I left really early so I could drive the route I used to drive since it would be my last CAP meeting for a while. After the meeting I went to Arby’s with two friends, and I had my 15628903_1314648875243002_462252621_ofirst ever roast beef sandwich. And then… at 11:26 pm… when I was driving home… I slid my car off the road. It was the most terrifying moment of my life, probably. Everyone had always told me how ridiculous the 711 was in the winter. The cones by the pole in the picture were there because they had just finished fixing it that morning. I was a doors length away. I was pretty sure I was going to slam into it and die… the pole was right by my door. I called 911… I had to get towed. Something was leaking and I was stuck. Alex came and picked me up… and I got home to Michelle’s at around 3 am. I couldn’t stop shaking. I didn’t know what would happen. I was scared…

December 20th. I woke up early and filed a claim about the accident. I called my insurance. I made sure the mechanics knew my car was there and what had happened. I was still incredibly shaken up. But, it was okay. I went to Walmart with Lauren, got McDonald’s that I was craving, and I got to spend time with another family friend. It was very nice.

December 21st. Alex and his girlfriend picked me up to drive me to Columbus, since I 20161222_001946couldn’t drive myself. I’m so thankful for them. They dropped me off at L’s, and I spent time with her and her son. I repacked all of my luggage. We had dinner at TGI Friday’s. I did some incredibly last minute shopping. But, it was nice. I got everything done. I spent time with her, and I still got to sleep. After making Christmas cookies, that is.

December 22nd. I woke up and took a bath. It was nice. I listened to the Moana soundtrack while using some fancy bubble bath from Bath and Body Works. Then L took me to the airport. There was a delay, so we had a fancy lunch at an airport bar & grill. It was really good. After that, I said goodbye. Or well… not goodbye. See you later.

I took my time going through security, and sat down at the gate. I talked to a 20161222_174736few people going to Fort Worth, Texas. They were pretty cool. When I boarded the plane to Philadelphia, I had an entire row to myself and I slept almost the whole time. I had a really cool flight attendant. Also, Philly is beautiful at night.

When we landed in Philly, I had about three hours to kill at the airport. I spent $40 on books and snacks. Oops. I went to my gate and sat down to play on my computer for the rest of the time.

Then, it was time to board my final plane, from Philly to Amsterdam. I was in a bad mood, and in boarding group 4. I was ticked because someone with a frequent flyer number 20161222_165746shouldn’t be in group 4, but whatever. I got over that really quickly. I got to my seat in row 32, and I was still grumpy. That again though, didn’t last long. Once I started talking to the people by me, I quickly discovered that this would be the best flight ever. To my right there was an 18 year old named Alexander. To my left, was a woman named Susan.

Susan slept the whole time, but Alexander and I talked for about 5 consecutive hours. Then we both napped. And talked more. It was by far my favorite airplane experience. Shout-out to Alexander for making that plane ride bearable.

So… yeah. That was the past month of my life in a word count of under 3,000.

Oh! I almost forgot! I was in charge of moving Michelle’s resident Elf on a Shelf, Snowflake. Here are my favorite few:

Lastly, good luck and thank you to Alex for once again taking bamboomy bamboo in and bamboo-sitting. You’re a great person.

Thank you to everyone who made my trip possible and enjoyable. All of my friends and adoptive family members… I love you. ♥

I’ll leave you with a quote from Moana- I took my post title from it, as well.

“There comes a day
When you’re gonna look around
And realize happiness is
Where you are”

Consider the coconut.

~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).

water-in-the-dark

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. ♥

Noah’s Lost Ark & Lions

This past month, my family visited an exotic animal sanctuary, called Noah’s Lost Ark.  I thought it was really incredible- especially because of the amount of animals they had. They had everything from miniature horses and donkeys to kinkajous and lions.

Noah’s Lost Ark, however, is not your regular petting zoo. Every animal that is there has been rescued from being abused, or simply being unwanted.

The lions were absolutely adorable. You can meet them here. Multiple have been named Simba, and I thought that was the cutest thing.

So, that was my trip visiting lions. They’re really pretty cool.

Stay strong.

-E.

Welp…

Yikes. I was a wreck in my last post. I’m so sorry, guys. Really, I’m okay now. Much better, actually. I needed to get all of that down and out, and honestly… I was fine. I was really mope-y quite a while, but oh well.

WE ALL GOOD NOW.

Thank you guys for dealing with my crap.

Keep on smiling.

-E.

I’m not a lion today.

I’m not a lion today. Or yesterday. It was 7 months and 9 days… But they were, what I thought, the most amazing 7 months of my life. It felt so much longer than 7 months… We always said forever and ever… 12-1-15 to forever and ever, to be exact. Well, I guess it was 12-1-15 to 7-11-16.

I miss him like all hell. We have so many memories, and it hurts to think about them. It hurts in general. Sometimes I’m okay, but I love him. And when you love someone, who stopped loving you, well, that hurts a little (that’s an understatement). The 222 days spent in this relationship were, well, some weren’t the best, no, however they felt blissful and perfect. And oh goodness, I was happy. I thought he was, too.

When we started dating, everyone commented on how happy he always was now. I guess that came to an end. I wish there was something I could’ve done.

I’m gonna miss it. I already miss wearing his class ring on a necklace around my neck. I loved wearing it… at some point he loved seeing me wearing it. The little red diamond, the engraving, jazz and “Carpe Diem” on the sides… wow. I still wear the ring he got me in New Orleans to ask me to prom with. That’s probably not okay but… I’m still in love with him…

I will miss our breakfast dinners, our sporadic driving trips like when we got fudge at that flea market. I will miss playing music with you, singing in your car… because you truly did improve so much. Music school is a great fit for you, and you will excel and do great things (me not so much, I’m still doubting. Again. Maybe music isn’t for me?).  I still love you.

I texted him and asked if he’s still reading the notes I wrote him. I wrote him ~365 notes as as a birthday gift. He said he did, but now he stopped. I don’t know what I expected, but that hurt, too.

I will miss watching Sharknado, cuddling on the couch. We never did get our Star Wars marathon day… We did watch Ant Man, Ferris Bueller, Grease (sort of), Bob Ross (I do believe “Forest Down Oval” was your favorite episode), and that Crackling Fireplace… (crackling). Hah. We played AirConsole too, and that quiz was fun. I think at some point we watched Criminal Minds, too.

Prom… Both proms were amazing. Thank you for being my date to them. Thank you for taking me to yours. Thank you for taking me to Perkins with the group after your prom, and then going to the Drive-In after mine.

I think I’ll miss your friends, too. They were nice. The one double date we did was fun (and yes, you have some incredible athletic skills on a trampoline. It was impressive).

I’ll miss our snapstreak, which was 221 today, I believe. And how much effort we put into those stupid little heart things that mean we were eachothers’ best friends for however long…

I looked back through my album of pictures of us and you on my phone today, and I realized you haven’t genuinely smiled in a while. It hurt coming to that realization. I miss that smile… That smile was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen… and it meant so much when it was about me, or for me.

I miss the smell of you, as dumb as that is. It’s engraved in my head, and I think I even started to smell like you a little. You always smelled so good… I loved that about you, too.

Oh and hey, you can eat my fruit snacks that are at your house now.

I’m gonna miss driving by the school and looking at your tire tracks in the grass by the curve of the road where we got stuck in the snow and had to get towed by AAA.

I miss playing “Headbands” or “Heads Up” (or whatever it’s called) with you, and our swan at Cedar Point was fantastic.

I miss breaks in between Stambaugh rehearsal where I’d “perch” up on my spot, and we’d sort of sit and cuddle. I also find it adorable that you broke off a little piece of the tree branch from the tree by my spot in the Stambaugh parking lot. It was so cute…

I’m going to miss our cuddles, and our kisses, and “the cheerleader”. I do miss our cuddles and our kisses.

I’m going to miss our booth, booth 19, at Waffle House. I’m gonna miss those late night conversations with Jeremy, as well as Kaj when he worked that shift. I even miss the little thing you did with the syrup bottles at IHOP, when you’d make them talk and make “sir-yup” jokes. I’m so mad at myself for getting embarrassed by that… it was so cute.

I’m going to miss your coffee addiction, and joking around about how much of an adult you are.

I’m going to miss going to concerts with you. The Packard band ones were fun, as was Boardman. And thank you for coming to my concerts, and playing in our jazz band (you’re an amazing jazz musician, too), and thank you for letting me come to your concert.

Thank you for coming to the basketball game with us, and then judging the pep band and commentating the game. It was a nice time.

Thank you for coming to Mill Creek Park for those lights… And when you said “All these lights and she’s the only one that lights my world”. That was quite.. amazing. And the “All this sugar isn’t nearly as sweet as you”. That one was nice, too.

Thank you for coming to church with me on Easter. That meant so much too, even though I know you were out of your comfort zone.

I guess I’ll never see the first act of “Meet Me at the Corner of Robinson and Crusoe”… I tried so hard. I rushed home from robotics to try and make it… I loved it, though. You’re such a talented actor. And thank you for taking me to dinner with the drama club those nights. And after your band concert, too. We may not have gone with your senior class, but we had a great time.

Thank you for everything. Thank you for the parades you did with my family and I. The Christmas one with the tree lighting was one of our first “dates”. It was nice. I still love that selfie of us.

Thank you for coming to the Wing Conference dinner. Thank you for coming to the Squadron Christmas party. All my CAP friends loved you. All my friends loved you… We were “goals“.

Thank you for allowing me to be your date to that dance your band sponsors. The Snow Ball, or whatever.

Thank you for your awesome music taste, and your sense of humor. I’ll miss both of those, too.

Thank you for coming to the quintet show, and the graduation party we played at. And then coming afterwards and playing Cards Against Humanity with us.

Thank you for always bragging about me. As much as I hate(d) it, it was kind of cute. You loved showing me off.

Thank you for taking me skating, at your favorite place, nonetheless. That date was perfect. And cute. Although… #TeamInlineForLife.

Thank you for letting me put my fingerprint in your phone, and making your password our anniversary. And your wallpaper was always the hearts on my car window (which are still there) and then me. First that one picture of me in the hoodie… Awe. Then the cute collages you made.

Thank you for taking me to that expensive restaurant. Even though I felt a little awkward in that setting, it was so beautiful. I hope you find a lifestyle that fits you, and you can achieve your goal of eating like that once a week. And thank you for taking me to the two story Barnes and Noble and Starbucks after. That day was a nice day.

And the movies we saw together… Pan (okay, maybe I’m scared of birds), Deadpool, The Angry Birds Movie, Zootopia (and Shakira…) and the Drive-In ones; The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, and Alice: Through the Looking Glass. Those were fantastic dates. I never used to be into traditional movie dates, but damn, they were pretty awesome. Especially the Jungle Book at the drive-in, when we cuddled in the back of your car. That was after my prom.

Thank you for getting me Baby Simba in Disney… I still cuddle him, and I don’t think I’ll be discontinuing his travels. I do enjoy blogging those.

Thank you for emailing me while I was in Texas. Yes, it was unconventional as all hell, but it worked. I got to talk to you.

Thank you for making a Pinterest and a Facebook. That was cute too. Because, yeah, I hinted it but they were your decisions, and you were so enthusiastic about it.

Thank you for buying me those earrings, the paper crane ones and the diamond-like ones. Both are for different things, but both are so cute and amazing.

Thank you for making me Paper Cranes. I guess we never did get to 1,000. But I think I have like, 27. That’s not so bad, either. They’re cute. I still remember when you said “I’m making a flock so I can fly to you”. That was so adorable…

Thank you for all of your clothes I ended up stealing/using/having. I don’t even know how to put this one and sound sane. Oh well, it’s a common couple-y thing, I suppose. Your green jacket, your gray zip-up jacket, your drama club shirt, your reading clinic shirt (which I totally took to Texas, along with your hat and pajamas), the R2D2 pajamas, and your hat (and then the other I ended up with, with the Alice pins...)… I loved wearing them. They smelled just like you, too…

Thank you for being the adorable nerd you are, for going on amazing factual statements I under-appreciated. For enthusiastically talking about your favorite games like Bastion and Transistor, and the new Pyre, even though you knew I really don’t game or even understand sometimes. Or your favorite soundtracks, like Darren Korb. Or your favorite streamers and Youtubers and all of that. Because I really just loved hearing you talk about things you’re passionate about. You were happy.

Thank you for always talking about everything, and making sure I’m comfortable and happy.

Thank you for trusting me, and always saying you would never lie to me. I don’t know if you did or not, but I’ll try to have faith you didn’t. Thank you for sharing things with me I know you wouldn’t with anyone else. I know so much about you, and trust me, that’s safe with me (and I don’t love you any less because of it, and I never did).

Thank you for taking me to Cedar Point with your sister and her friend. That was a fun day. I bought you that octopus necklace and I was going to do something cute with it, but I’m sorry. I may end up just wearing it- I need a necklace now anyway, and Octopi are pretty great.

Thank you for coming to my graduation(s), and allowing me to come to yours. I’m glad I had someone to share those memories with. The graduation parties, too. Ours were nice, and so was going to the one of your friend.

Thank you for keeping that damn cotton candy machine for so long. I know it’s a pain in the neck.. but you did it without the blink of an eye. Thank you.

Thank you for helping me babysit that one day. Our little walk was fun.

Thank you for always caring about me, (and I don’t know if you still would), but thank you for practically being willing to do anything to protect me.

Your parents are sweethearts. I’ll miss them too. Thank you guys for everything, as well. And thank you for planning that Disney trip. Sorry about the extra room you have now…

Thank you for getting my brother that Jelly Bean dispenser, and the Minecraft stuff. That was sweet.

Thank you for keeping my blog open in a tab on your phone. That is (was?) so sweet.

Thank you for keeping my snapstreaks while I was in Texas.

Thank you for getting those markers for my graduation party (you solved that super well).

Thank you for keeping saltines in your car for me.

Thank you for feeding my Monster addiction, really. It was nice to have an energy drink (or two, or three) here and there.

Thank you for coming into the room where I was making parade float decorations just to give me a kiss. That was really sweet.

Thank you for doing Relay for Life with me, and even going the extra mile and wearing a dress to raise money for our team… That meant so incredibly much and you handled it so well. And when we went to the house that night and we just cuddled all night, and neither of us wanted to get up out of that bed in the morning… I really thought there would’ve been more days in the future we’d wake up together like that.

I miss kissing you, and putting my hand on the back of your head to pull you closer. I loved your new haircut too, even though I was a complete bitch about it at first. I’m sorry… You really do look great no matter what.

Thank you for those nights at Inner Circle after our concerts. We played pool, and you single-handedly destroyed the opponents; mostly since I could barely hold the pool stick thing, and you’re just that good.

Thank you for that night at Stambaugh, when I was upset, and you flicked that cork grease at me to cheer me up… and then held my hand… and well, the rest was history.

I guess this post is long (the longest on my blog yet) and maybe unnecessary for the reader, but I needed this. I’m an upset, crying mess, and have been crying almost non-stop since 12:55 (the late one) on what just turned Monday the 11th. I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep, and I feel like my heart was kinda ripped out. Oh well, maybe it was for the best. All good things come to an end, right?

I wish that I could wake up with amnesia
And forget about the stupid little things
Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you
And the memories I never can escape…

‘Cause I’m not fine at all.

-E.