Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Brotha from anotha motha
It's not everyday that I blog. And it's certainly not everyday that I dedicate an entire post to one person. But this one? This one is special. This one had to come out because only once in my lifetime will someone like Brandon Lucante walk into my life and completely tear things up in the most wonderfully exquisite way.

My fellow exchange students and I have often said that that the best part of living abroad is the food. And the majority of the time, I would without hesitation nod in agreement. (Martabak manis, anyone?) Perhaps some would argue that witnessing new traditions first hand is the most stimulating part of living in a foreign land. That feeling completely at home halfway around the world is most rewarding. Or the satisfaction that follows after rewiring your brain with new language pathways. Exchange websites like to highlight the selfie phenomenon and present the multitude of photo ops as the key to living abroad. And all of these things, well, they're all integral. I have experienced all of these wonderful factors of living abroad, and about twenty pages more. I had checked all of the boxes on the proper exchange student checklist. I was complete. I was satisfied. Then I met Brandon. And only then did I realize that I was truly wrong. I had been missing something.

As I stood at the foot of the train station watching from a distance as he wiped a tear before it could fall to the escalator below him, the reality of our goodbye overtook me. My mind took off on a race, trying to grasp how absolute goodbyes can be, while simultaneously clinging to the hope of a tomorrow and forever with Brandon in it. My heart couldn't fathom it, nor could my head to write the proper words. 

So for now I guess I'll just do what we do best. Write. And pray to the author gods that this will suffice. 

"So you're from here, huh?" I beamed as a fellow American had mistaken me for a local and immediately let his remark go straight to my head. I smiled once more with his acceptance of being called Princess, and the smiles haven't stopped since. From eating dinner at tiny, vegan food kitchens, to breaking into the Opera House, or gazing at sexual art in Contemporary Art Museums, I'm grateful for every moment we together have shared. Though they be few in quantity, they are standouts in quality. Even more than the list of memorial moments we have shared in this country, I'm grateful for his laughter, and for my own. It exudes out of me in twenty second increments whenever I find myself in his presence. I'm grateful for the tears that were shed on train station benches as we talked about the big moments of our pasts, and embraced the beautiful ones that have surrounded us over the course of the last few months. I appreciate his heart. His wit. His snappy comebacks that usually top my own. His optimism and resilience. His willingness to be vulnerable while concurrently standing tall. His imagination and passion for written word. I appreciate the combustion of all qualities that make up his being, and it's my hope that I embody a few of them myself. (We often joke that I'm am the female version of him, and vice versa, so I mean, I guess I might have that going for me.)

I marvel at the strange way the universe works, constantly pulling me in directions that I don't quite understand. Events and experiences stacking upon each other, building up to the grand finale. It took crossing an ocean to find each other, but boy, I sure am glad I took that leap. Brandon makes it all so worth it. 

I'll see you on the next leg of the adventure, asshole. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Real Talk

I'm lost. Completely. Utterly. Thoroughly. Lost. I'm unsure of what way is up, what way is down, and what direction my life is trying to point me in. I laugh at the paradox that has become my life- The mingling sense of pride I have for getting this far sitting beside the lurking feeling of doubt about whether or not I've really done anything meaningful.

Often times I have found myself in situations in which people will say, 

"You are so lucky."

"You have SUCH a good life!"
"Tell me your secret. I want your lifestyle."

The phrases repeat themselves, over and over and over again, getting wrapped and twisted within the hidden corners of my brain and soul. Because the truth is, what no one is able to see is, I don't have my life together. Let me repeat that again: I. Don't. Have. My life together.

Despite what the Instagram posts and tweets allude to, never in my years on this Earth have I been faced with so much uncertainty. One day my mind is in Indonesia, reminiscing on the simple, glory days of mangos and positive company. The next I'm planning my adventures to come and vowing to never look back. To keep moving in fear of what will happen if I stop. What will happen if I "settle down."

I set my heart on seeing the world but crave being a stone's throw away from my family. I relish in packing my suitcase but despise having to unpack the memories when I get home. I have about fifty college majors looming over my head but can't settle on just one. I want to have the "college experience" but I also want the "real-world" experience of sharing stories and cultures. One day I want to study. And graduate. And make my way to the top and become the next Secretary of State. The next I just want to sleep. Cry. And let myself be completely engulfed by the lack of control I have over where I will end up. I continue to push myself to be as uncomfortable as possible, while simultaneously begging for normality. There are days when I feel like I can conquer all peaks, and days when I feel like I can't pick up my feet. 

This current path I'm walking, (more like crawling down,) is hard. Harder than I thought it would be. It's dark. It's windy. And it's ruthless. I am lost. But I think that I'm lost in the right direction. And for now, that's enough for me.