Tuesday, March 27, 2012

All Work and No Play?

{sweater: forever 21//locket: online//jeans rolled to capris: ae//mary janes: online}

They say all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy. I have to admit that I work more than I play and it's finally paid off.

After being accepted to UofL's Master's program for English, I was beyond excited. But then yesterday I was offered a graduate teaching assistantship! Not only will I be paid a generous stipend, but my tuition is free! In exchange for all of that, I get to work in the writing center and be the Morton Chair Assistant for Dr. Henke. I feel like all of my dreams have come true. Well, so far.

I really, truly feel blessed. Last year, I got the Etscorn Honors Scholarship, allowing me to quit UPS. Then, I got to go to London for two weeks to study abroad! This year, it's all of the great news above. I really hope I can pay it forward someday--God, and the people He's placed in the world to help me--I couldn't have done it without their grace.

I'm ready to register for classes and it all just feels surreal--if only I can successfully defend my thesis this Monday, then I'll have it all.

All that aside, dressing like a French person has made me insanely happy lately. Rolled up jeans, Mary-Jane flats, striped tops, and no fuss hair and makeup. I've also found joy in the early seasons of the U.S. Office. Although I still prefer the British Office best (which Scott says is because I'm such an Anglophile) the early U.S. Office episodes are super giggle-worthy.

Michael Scott: As Abraham Lincoln once said, If you're a racist, then I'll attack you from the North.

I celebrated the good news by visiting my madre at work and stopping at McAlister's because, let's face it, McAlister's is just celebration food and even though I've been eating it at least twice a week for over two years, I'll never tire of the deliciousness. 

Maybe I'll even make a smoothie--whoa, things are gettin' cray. 

And did I mention how anxious I am to see The Hunger Games? I'm reading Catching Fire as we speak and I'm just taking it slow because the books are just so enjoyable. Scott and I got Oreo milkshakes from Dairy Kastle yesterday and had one of our random deep conversations. We drove by Baxter Avenue to see if it was playing but we missed it by half an hour. :( I need an intensely large bucket of popcorn and my Katniss/Peeta fix! 

Until then...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Left My Heart in London

I've been burdened with the same ever-revolving thought for about ten months now. If it hadn't been for my loved ones and responsibilities, I would never have left London. (Okay, and the lack of housing and money played a role too).

At least 67 times a day, I think about London. And how I want to live there. And how great it would be to win the lottery because I would give my parents half and buy an apartment in London right away. It's not just that it's a big city--I wouldn't want to live in NYC or Chicago or LA. But London. So full of history. Everywhere you go is usually at least a hundred years old. The accent. Oh the accent. It will be the death of me. Being a train ride away from Charleston Farmhouse and Virginia Woolf's house. How I long to spend a Saturday back there again. I want to go to the British Museum and Library for free; both Tate Museums (also free); I want to sit on the Thames, chill out at the Abbey and walk around the Tower one afternoon. And I wouldn't have to drink nasty beer at the pub--they have cider. 

I feel akin to Jenny in An Education who says when she graduates she'll go to Paris and see French films, listen to French music, smoke all the time, and basically become French. This is the sort of thing that every high school and college student says. "One day." One day, I'll be here, doing this, where I truly belong. And as dreamy and wish-y as it is, I feel like London is where I belong. Where I one day wish to call home, even if it's just for a short bit of time. I want to read Brit Lit in the environs of its authors and smell the hustle and bustle of the Underground, the women with their Longchamp bags, smelling euphoric in Burberry. 

I keep trying to tell myself to list all the things I appreciate about America but the task is a bit daunting. Once you've seen a place that makes your heart spill out in happiness, how difficult is it to come back home to the drudgery of everyday life; working, responsibility, getting grades, housework, etc. And the gas just keeps getting more and more expensive.

I'm not here to say I'm a hater of my country. I'm not. And honestly, if I ever moved to London, which is a bit of a lark anyway, I couldn't go it alone. I would need somewhere there. Because I know how anonymous and lonely it can start to feel after awhile unless you're being loved and have someone else to love. 

I'm really hoping to save up enough money to go to London and Paris, each for a week, after I get my Master's in 2014. I think it would be the ultimate. Because I love French culture too! I'm just not as much of a francophile as an anglophile I guess. Oh, and the theatre! What I wouldn't give for another night on the West End out to see a play! And maybe this time I could actually make it to Stonehenge and 221B Baker Street...

Enough rambling, I suppose. I've got mundane tasks that need attending.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Food Babies Are the Best

{dress: vintage via etsy ($5!)/sweater: kohl's/shoes: online/tote: from a book binding store in london}

I am back from a lengthy hiatus! I've finished writing my thesis and it's spring break. Julie and I partook in a wonderful day of good eats.

Then Julie decided to 'sample' some shampoo that she thought was lotion at Sephora. Who ever thought it was a good idea to put out a shampoo as a tester? And why is the raspberry bottle half-empty?

 While we ate our pizzas, we contemplated, 'What should we have for dessert?'

Turns out it was school spirit cookies.

And passion tea! 

My lips were burning because I forgot to bring my chapstick and they always do that when I don't have it with me. So what do I do? Search Sephora and Bath & Body Works for chapstick samples. Then Julie and I went for tea samples... twice. Because Great American Cookie Co. thinks they can sell water for 37 cents. They want us to pay for something that covers more than 70% of the earth? No.

Life feels pretty good lately. I've been on a mission to conserve my time, money, and energy for things that truly matter to me. I've cleaned out my bathroom and room and gotten rid of garbage bags full of stuff (for Goodwill donations!). I read a book about minimalism that changed my life. I want to get rid of digital clutter, physical clutter, and mental clutter. It clouds my mind and stresses me out. Less stuff, less stress, more life. 

I've stuck with my New Year's plan to eat more vegetarian. I realized I couldn't be vegan because of my unnatural devotion to cheese and my body's need for yogurt (I'm on antibiotics for acne). I realized that I don't really miss meat from most things and prefer vegetarian versions of foods anyway. I'm not sure I'm ready to go full veggie or if I ever will, but it's nice to try something new that makes you happy. And even though my allergies are through the roof and my dress is clinging at my booty today... I'm happy. I feel like I'm on the road to a better version of me. And that's not half bad.