Resolved. 13 to 3.

Goodbye, 2009. You were Awesome.  Let’s look at the list of things I promised you:

Wear less sweatpants. This is the beauty of a tropical climate. You own a thousand cute outfits that are perfectly wearable year round. Hello? After writing this last year, I immediately went to the outlets and bought 2 pears of comfy warm sweatpants from J. Crew- including the infamous “yellow sweatpants” from Vegas. However, after Mardi Gras, I did go organic and accidentally lose a bunch of weight which allowed me to wear pants without elastic waistbands more often. I even got new jeans. Resolved.

Do not wait until the last minute to read an entire semester’s worth of articles. You are paying a trillion dollars for this education, so you might as well learn actual theories and not just Marva Lewis’s notes on attachment via overhead (read: iChat). I never took Marva Lewis again. Resolved.

Get more than 6 hours of sleep per night. This will likely mean limiting midnight back-to-back episodes of Chelsea Lately and Sex and the City. You will manage. Ummm. Mostly resolved. It resolved itself when I went to Belize.

Remember the athletic center you are forced to pay $900 a semester to use? Go to it. Your friends used to have to come pick you up because you rode your bike too long and too far. Figure out where that bike riding joy went and reinstate it. Except, don’t ride yourself silly in New Orleans. You will get kidnapped. I never bought a bike. Unresolved. But I joined the ABT class at the Athletic center and started swimming when the weather got warm. I also took up running again for about 2 weeks. Resolved.

Do not drink Diet Coke for breakfast. Start each morning with a giant glass of water. End each day with a giant glass of water. If you must have the Diet Coke, at least buy it from the machine where Molly won $1.25 and haunted house tickets. Unresolved. End of Story.

Stop writing emails on Ambien. If you send an email after 10 pm, there’s a good chance it was written under the influence (cough, Judy Lewis). You are not more hilarious on Ambien. You simply have no filter. Find the tool on gmail that screens for irresponsible emailing and enable it.  I’m 5 months off the Ambien! Resolved!

Stop being so afraid of new things the first time around. They always turn out just fine. Unresolved. I’m always afraid of new things. I just don’t like change.

Be patient. Timing is everything. Patience is not really my thing, but in this particular circumstance (and I remember what it was when I wrote this) I was. And it paid off. Resolved!

Clean your apartment so you can begin hosting the over-promised, under-delivered hot tub reading parties and Sex and the City Sundays. Your home should be your place. That means you should be able to walk through it without having to scale piles of clothes. Cleaning- Unresolved. Hot tub parties- Resolved!

Purchase cleaning supplies and hangers. Resolved.

Be intentional with keep-in-touch-Sunday even when other things try to crowd it out. Relationships are most important. Don’t forget.  You tell me?

Ski. You know you want to. Un. Re. Solved.

You are about to become an intern again. Be yourself and trust that who you are is good enough, cool enough, nice enough, honest enough, funny enough, pretty enough, smart enough and competent enough.  Resolved. Right, Mia? Riiiight?

Embrace the next eight months and try everything. You’ll never get this season back. Resolved. Mostly- with a few grass is greener… moments.

Graduate! It’s sort of the point. Re-to-the-solved!

Allow God to lead your heart. He did a fantastic job in 2008, and if you pay attention, your whole life could be as amazing. Resolved :)

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Lets get this party started.

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Dear B,

Wear less sweatpants. This is the beauty of a tropical climate. You own a thousand cute outfits that are perfectly wearable year round. Hello?

Do not wait until the last minute to read an entire semester’s worth of articles. You are paying a trillion dollars for this education, so you might as well learn actual theories and not just Marva Lewis’s notes on attachment via overhead (read: iChat).

Get more than 6 hours of sleep per night. This will likely mean limiting midnight back-to-back episodes of Chelsea Lately and Sex and the City. You will manage.

Remember the athletic center you are forced to pay $900 a semester to use? Go to it. Your friends used to have to come pick you up because you rode your bike too long and too far. Figure out where that bike riding joy went and reinstate it. Except, don’t ride yourself silly in New Orleans. You will get kidnapped.

Do not drink Diet Coke for breakfast. Start each morning with a giant glass of water. End each day with a giant glass of water. If you must have the Diet Coke, at least buy it from the machine where Molly won $1.25 and haunted house tickets.

Stop writing emails on Ambien. If you send an email after 10 pm, there’s a good chance it was written under the influence (cough, Judy Lewis). You are not more hilarious on Ambien. You simply have no filter. Find the tool on gmail that screens for irresponsible emailing and enable it.

Stop being so afraid of new things the first time around. They always turn out just fine.

Be patient. Timing is everything.

Clean your apartment so you can begin hosting the over-promised, under-delivered hot tub reading parties and Sex and the City Sundays. Your home should be your place. That means you should be able to walk through it without having to scale piles of clothes.

Purchase cleaning supplies and hangers.

Be intentional with keep-in-touch-Sunday even when other things try to crowd it out. Relationships are most important. Don’t forget.

Ski. You know you want to.

You are about to become an intern again. Be yourself and trust that who you are is good enough, cool enough, nice enough, honest enough, funny enough, pretty enough, smart enough and competent enough.

Embrace the next eight months and try everything. You’ll never get this season back.

Graduate! It’s sort of the point.

Allow God to lead your heart. He did a fantastic job in 2008, and if you pay attention, your whole life could be as amazing.

Love,
B.

2008, we did the best we could.


January
Moved to Belize. *Carry-on bag wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment. Attendant made me take out bulge on top, which happened to be a Ziploc gallon-sized bag of underwear. Held underwear on lap for duration of the flight.

Lived on an Iguana reserve. Learned how to do laundry with a hose. Experienced Belizean wedding and funeral in the same week. Set out to teach everything I knew about conflict resolution, drugs, and AIDS. Learned everything I know about love. Got accepted into grad school.

February Caught a parasite, hiked to the top of a ruin, swam in a cave, experienced my first Belizean election and confirmation. Fought a piñata. Lost.

March Overcame fear of spiders. Discovered a new love for choco-bananas. Played with a monkey. Met real Guatemalan Indians in Guatemala. Bought skirt from them. Watched the Ruta Maya river race. Said goodbye to the Caribbean. Understood that life would never be the same.

April Got a niece! Heart opened a little wider. Fell in love with her.
Turned 27. Panicked. Cut my own bangs.

May Got another step-family. Danced! Celebrated! Laughed!
First laid eyes on my new city, New Orleans. Stabbed my foot with a parking lot spike.

June Went back to work at Boys and Girls Club. Happy to find that I still loved the kids. Got shingles. Thought I was dying.

July Sold everything I owned on Craigslist. Moved out of Fort Wayne (ten years!) Received Carrie Bradshaw as a parting gift.

August Moved to New Orleans. Found the two-story target, which I had previously thought was an urban legend. Took a family vacation to Destin. Came back. Became acquainted with city life. Loved it. Went to Tulane for student orientation after a month of waiting. Got evacuated for Gustav at lunch.

September Stayed evacuated for two and a half weeks. Went back to school. Dropped ten pounds for lack of friends.

October Made friends! Gained ten pounds. Heard that Taylor Fort Wayne would be closing. Felt orphaned. Dressed up like a ninja and fought pirates on Jackson square.

November Watched history unfold in the TSSW building with snacks and wine. Found out Bry and Jess are pregnant again. Went to Belize. Delivered school supplies. Painted a cafeteria. Provided flood relief with two armed guards on the Guatemalan border. Became acquainted with Big Mac and Quarter Pounder, the tarantulas. Realized I had not overcome fear of spiders. Had the sweetest reunions I could ever imagine at San Marcos School.

Learned that a plan is usually unfolding around me even when I am not still or patient enough to see it. Discovered that if I feel lost even for a second, all I have to do is ask for help. Understood the beauty in a prayer that goes, “Hi God, I’m an idiot and I don’t trust myself. Could you make this one clear for me?” Trusted completely. Found out I am purposed. Convinced Tulane I am purposed. Doing last semester internship in Belize!

December Wrote a thousand papers. Failed a final. Got all A’s!
Watched snow fall in New Orleans. Saw Lily take her first 3 steps.
Went to Chicago. Smile.

Nobody worry. I know First Aid.

Dear six readers, I try to keep this space creative.
I don’t live in Belize anymore, though, I’m not traveling in Europe or responding to hurricanes, and I won’t be in NOLA until August. Right now I am doing things like working, and attending parents weddings and stepping on parking lot spikes and getting soaked in downpours and flash-floods. So those things, for now, are the spirit of this space. Sorry.

NOLA
Where to even begin…
We made this death-defying trip in 3 days, leaving at midnight after my dad’s wedding on Friday and returning at midnight on Monday. We saw my dorm, worked our way around the city, visited the uptown campus, took pictures of streetcars, walked the Riverwalk, took a spin on the Free Ferry, toured the French Quarter, painted for peace, drove down Magazine & St. Charles street, ate beignets and chickory coffee, stuffed our faces with Jambalaya, shrimp and dollar Daiquiris, walked Bourbon street, listened to some Jazz, found a “place” and, most importantly, found the two-story target and snuck into the Marriott rooftop pool.

On the first day, I flipped out and wanted to go home. This is what I do—it happened in Belize and it happened in Europe. I just need a warm-up act before the real thing, and then I’m fine. These were my issues: a free clinic is outside my dorm, which is connected to the Tulane Hospital. Imagine the demographic that hangs out on the street corner. Second, me as a minority. I just had never really considered it. (Yes, ethnocentric. I’m sorry). Third, where I will live is in the exact middle of the dot on the map that says New Orleans. There is no escape. I live downtown, downtown, New Orleans. I felt so small, and the city felt impossibly large. Also, the temperature was in the lower thousands. But I’m okay with that—I like it hot.

In the end, I embraced the joys of living one block from Canal Street, four blocks from the Riverwalk, one block over and four blocks up from the French Quarter and the realization that there are no open container laws. Once I figured it all out, it didn’t seem so huge, and the dorm felt sort of cozy. I fell in love with the uptown campus, located the Social Work building and found some apartments for next June.

I am ready. I am optimistic. I am braced for Hurricane season—and crossing my fingers for both my beloved Belize and my new home in NOLA. (God please let the school still be there in August…) The next hurdle is getting the school to excuse me for two weeks in November to check in on my little Belizey with CFI.

Apartamento

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They look good in this hallway, I think they should stay…

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View from window- Tulane Hospital & Skybridge

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Terrace

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Uptown Campus

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Canal Street

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Jackson Square

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Delicious Eats

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French Quarter- Painting for Peace

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Riverwalk & Ferry

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I have to mention one more thing.
On our last night in NOLA, you know those little parking lot spikes that stick up so people can’t back up or go out the wrong entrance? I tripped on one. I couldn’t even look at it for a sec, because I was sure my toe was crooked or hanging off—but then it started bleeding profusely, and I started secretly flipping out inside, and it wasn’t until I sat down with some helpful passersby that I remembered I don’t even have insurance and couldn’t even get stitches.

My nice friends poured bottled water all over my foot and the helpful passersby, who happened to be a trainer, splinted my foot with Kleenex and rubber bands—straight out of his wife’s hair. Then we hobbled across the street to Walgreen’s to buy some first aid supplies—antiseptic, Band-Aids and gauze—and a slider sandal (they only had Youth size L) and walked off without my Credit Card, which I had to cancel the next day. If you know me, you’re rolling your eyes by now, because this sort of thing is always happening to me.

My stupid toe is broken and needed about 3 stitches and a splint. But no insurance means it only got gauze, Band-Aids and Neosporin. The experience wouldn’t be complete without a picture sequence.

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The blasted spikes

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(Look away)

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Nobody worry. I know first aid.

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Dad’s Wedding
Boogie Oogie Oogie! This is one of the best weddings I’ve been a part of. Lot’s of dancing and delicious drinks. My dad is happy, and so are we.

Link to wedding pictures: here

SATC
Loved it. Title aside, the heart of this story has always been friendship, and the heart of the movie is forgiveness. More than sex or shoes, these ladies put each other first. Episodes like the one where Miranda’s mom dies and Carrie jumps into the aisle with her and Samantha mouths “I’m sorry” or the one after Carrie’s birthday mess where Charlotte says, “What if we were each other’s soul mates? Then men could just be these great guys to have fun with” have me cross-legged on the couch up to my neck in Kleenex.
In this movie, they take care of each other. It’s beautiful. That’s all I’m gonna say.

(That, and I braved a downpour and flash-flood to be a part of this movie on opening night.)

That’s all and good night.