Sunday, 16 February 2014

Today I'm Grateful Because...

So basically I’ve had a bunch of amazing things happen for me in the last month, and I really don’t know what to say about it all. Rarely in my life do I have times where everything seems to be going right, or things just click. So I wanted to show my appreciation and emphasize all the good things in my life, because next week or the week after things will probably get shitty. Okay so here is a list of all the things I’m thankful for:

-England. Seriously, some days I wake up and I feel like I’m dreaming. I can’t honestly believe that I get to live here and run around the country seeing cathedrals and getting lost in castles and walking where all my people walked. It really is a dream come true, to be able to be with my people and have my heart and body and soul all in the same place.
-I have an amazing family. Shout out to my parents, who are (hopefully) still reading my blog! My family rocks. My parents have constantly offered me encouragement and support to go for my dreams, and helped me stay on track and not give up even when things look rough. Since I’ve been in England, I’ve received encouragement from various other family members, aunts and uncles and cousins, who have all in their own way let me know they’re thinking about me. It means a lot.
-I have an amazing sister. Seriously have you met my sister? She’s fucking awesome. I love her. Basically the only reason I want to go home is so that I can text her random shit every day. With the time difference it’s really hard for me to make Skype dates with people at home, but she will consistently Skype me during her breakfast time so that we have time to catch up. She rocks my world. The end.
-I have some seriously great friends. There are my good acquaintances who tell me they’re excited for me this year, and friends who will “like” my stuff on Facebook, but this one is all about the few people who know exactly how much this means to me. They’ve been listening to me talk about these places and my people for years. They understand just how important it is when I meet my hero and go see one of my people’s graves. They get it. This one’s for them, you know who you are.
-My Joy research has been credited and published in several different newspapers. I still don’t really know how to put everything that’s happened into words, it’s just so surreal. But both The Siberian Times and a Slovakian newspaper have mentioned me by name and validated the hard work I’ve done. It means so much to be recognized by international newspapers, but I’m just as proud of that as I am to be acknowledged in an article for Chips, Luther’s newspaper—all my friends and professors at school who know me and support me can see the success of this story. Front page in Chips, holla! Research like this, and having a story I care about so much published around the world, is what I hope to do with my life. Here’s to an early start!
-I have amazing flatmates who have supported me through all of it. Walking into a room with my computer and trying to announce to my flatmates that people across the world recognized my research could end up pretty anti-climactic. They are the ones who were with me when it all happened. As soon as we found out about The Siberian Times, my friend Sarah immediately pitched the idea to Chips and offered to write the article for them. Knowing that these wonderful people are proud of me means so much. Whether it’s the toasts (of shots or beer or cider) after reading the Slovakian article, or silently passing me the Kleenex box at breakfast when I found out that my Chips article was front page, they’ve been by my side.
-I have amazing flatmates in general. But actually. Here’s to the never-ending baking parties in the kitchen where we eat more cookie dough than we use to actually make cookies, the flat sing-a-longs to any of Riskay’s many quality songs, the morning jam sessions at breakfast to Yung Humma’s “Lemme Smang It,” new articles on the Wall of F/SHame, random dance parties on a Thursday night, no one talking to me in the morning before I finish my of bowl of Honey Nut Cornflakes, perfectly timed movie quote references, good times in The Smoke Yard, finally having me walking through the kitchen in a towel for my shower beer become the norm, building forts (“porn forts”) in the living room, and all the “Hi” and “How was it?!” when I walk in the door after a trip. We’re crazy and I love it. Imma miss it next year.
-I opened a UK bank account three weeks ago and finally have money in my account. The long saga of Paypal is finally done and over: it took three weeks to transfer money from my US bank account, via my US Paypal account to my UK Paypal account, and to my UK bank account. I finally caved and opened a bank account here in England since I was sick of getting fucked over by fees. Transferring money via Paypal significantly decreased my “international processing fees,” but took literally FOR-FUCKING-EVER. After finally calling them (note: the automated message system does not recognize “are you fucking kidding me?!” as an appropriate response), I got my money transferred. My first purchase with my Barclays card: 20-can case of beer from Tesco, supposed to be £15 but rang up as £13.65. It’s a sign. The approving nod from my bus driver as I got off with my case under my arm says it all.
-Living in a city that knows how to have a good time. Nottingham likes to party. Any night of the week, there is a plethora of clubs and bars and pubs you can go to and have a great time. If you don’t like clubbing, don’t come here. You’ll be bored. Going out in Notts is always so much fun! People start early and go hard, and if you like to go out you will literally never be bored. Ocean is my favorite, I will miss it so much next year. Also, HOLLA to having the UK’s best bus system! The longest I have to wait during the day to get to the city centre is about 6 minutes. It would take me about an hour to walk to campus, but with the bus I can do it in 25. I especially love the night bus, which saves me £7.50 on cab fare when I go out on the weekends. All about dat yung N77!
-I have amazing opportunities to travel in Europe. Round trip airfare to Riga, Latvia for £48? Check. Ryanair is letting me go see one of my best friends in Ireland for £19.99 one-way from East Midlands Airport. There simply aren’t these kinds of options in the U.S. for two main reasons: 1) The U.S. is fucking huge. 2) The U.S. relies on cars, not public transportation. I frequently get scoffed at by Europeans because I’ve never been to New York City, which is so “American.” After I explain to them that airfare would cost $400 or I’d have to drive for 30 hours (one-way), they tend to shut up. Europe is incredibly accessible in a way the U.S. just isn’t. I’m trying to take as much advantage of it as I can!
-I have a healthy body that does amazing things for me. I’m finally starting to push myself to do harder and longer runs. I’ve been feeling pretty pathetic, since I was running the Lake Street-Ford Parkway loop (6 miles) fairly regularly this summer, and my longest  run in Notts was just about 4 miles. But I’m done being a pansy and I’m running longer and harder and up more hills and not being scared! I’m so appreciative of the fact that I’m healthy and my body can handle tough challenges. These challenges also include yoga, which I’ve been doing regularly (mainly with a few of my flatmates) and which frequently kicks my ass. Frog and wheel, this one’s for you. It takes a really long time to love your body. But seriously. Treat your body right and treat yourself right. Love your body, and it will love you.
-I got my housing figured out for senior year and I got what I wanted. Aka I won’t be homeless senior year! It’s been really stressful trying to plan out housing for next year, since I’m not actually at Luther on campus to get things straight. Baker’s been the dream since freshman year, and I am so excited to live in an apartment and not be forced to go the caf! Depending on availability and if the 6 of us get a 6-person apartment, I might even have my own room. Which would be ballin. I’m planning on throwing a kegger for myself, which will take place around pants-off-o’clock. No one else is invited. It will be glorious.
-I passed all my classes at uni last semester. Grades were released a few days ago, and I did far better than I could have hoped in my Polish and Russian Culture classes! In the UK system, a 70 is an A, and anything above that is super good. Just gonna say it… got a 92 in Polish and a 70 in Russian Culture. I can’t believe I did so well in my Russian Culture exam, considering that I had 23 hours to study for it after getting back from a month’s worth of travel over winter break! The celebrations started Thursday and will continue forever. Also, assuming that the Russian Culture class will transfer okay, I’m officially finished with my Russian Studies minor!
-I finally finished all six seasons of Dawson’s Creek. The journey that has taken me eight months is finally complete… Not only did the good theme song come on for the last episode/series finale, but what can I say: Team Pacey forever. Not even Netflix deleting the last three seasons (coincidentally timed with me starting Season 5, aka when I actually needed to watch the last seasons…) or having the bad theme song at the beginning of every episode could deter me. Again, Team Pacey for life. Any Team Dawson fans out there… sucks to suck. What a wonderful show! So glad I finally watched it!

Honestly, life is just amazing right now. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and look at what is happening. The only thing that is wrong right now is that I just finished my last jar of Skippy peanut butter. So if anyone from home wants to send me another jar, that’d be cool. Otherwise, life is so beautiful! Go live it!

Ice Cube- It Was A Good Day

Didn’t even have to use my AK, I had to say it was a good day.

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