july

Today is the three-year anniversary of me going to see Belle & Sebastian with an old friend. I introduced her to the band when we were in high school, and for years it was a thread tying us together. Nobody loved them like we did. We lost touch a bit after high school but when we were both able to go to their 2017 tour, we jumped at the chance. It was like no time had passed and we had one of the best nights I can ever remember. And today, after Instagram sent me a memory of the selfie…

june

I’m starting a new job next week. In my field of choice with security and benefits and everything. It’s what I’ve been hoping for since I graduated two years ago, or maybe even before then. But before you ask: I genuinely don’t know if I’m excited. Of course, there’s the regular new job anxiety. Will they like me? Will I like them? Will I like the work? Will I be good at it? But there’s something else, too. This uncertainty in the pit of my stomach that is entirely related to the fact that last time I took this chance…

may

Grief. Let’s talk about it. grief/ɡrēf, noun. deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. We’ve all felt it at some point in our lives. It’s a regular human emotion that eventually we will all encounter. There are studies on it – the five stages, the normal life cycle of sorrow. I think people even have a tendency to anticipate it, as if expecting it to come is going to make it any easier to bear. But. Is that ever untrue. When grief comes, no matter how you’ve tried to prepare yourself for it, it comes in swinging. It lands…

do mind me

I’m always covered in bruises or running into things. I have bad balance. I’m not a good person to have on a boat. Unfortunately for me, the past year or so has been a lot like being on a boat (a metaphor I’ve drawn before x). Everything about my life has changed dramatically several times and every time I feel like I have found my footing the ground pitches and I have to fight to regain my balance all over again. I feel like I’m always sort of tilted in one direction – too much work, too much time alone,…

#BellLetsTalk (why i cried today)

I sat on my roof tonight and cried. I wish I could capture for you how extraordinary it is up here – I can see almost the whole city, lights blinking on and off. Across the valley, the house who still has their blue Christmas lights up, the gold minarets of the mosque towering over everything, crickets chirping over the faint sound of traffic. Every so often I hear a train, or a dog barking. The restaurant I can see from my wicker chair has closed, and slowly the rest of the city is shutting down and going home. The…

single-serving friendships

One of the most unique and wonderful things about the expat life is this idea that was first planted in my head by a movie – you know, that one we don’t talk about. The narrator, for some reason, traveled a lot for work. Right at the beginning, when the narrator meets the antagonist, he makes a bad joke about how everywhere he goes, things are provided to him in single portions – one meal at a restaurant, only having enough shampoo in the bottle to wash your hair one time, being given a tube of toothpaste so small you can only get…

the year of like, realizing stuff

I’ll put it bluntly: this year kind of sucked. It’s December 30, and I’m looking back at the last 365 days and, yeah, I’m seeing of a lot of happy, a lot of incredible, even, but I’m leaving 2016 defeated. I’m tired, I’m sad, I’m ready to spend 3-5 weeks in bed. I’m one of the lucky ones, too – my country didn’t elect a president who was against me. My right to life, to love, or to safety was not questioned or compromised. I had consistent and reliable access to clean water and healthy food, I had a job and a…