Sunday, January 17, 2016

Well, hi! Coming back to this space feels a little like re-reading my old diary. A little awkward, tenuous, and something to be treated with care. Did you keep a diary when you were a kid? Or do you now? When you go back to school, no one tells you how all-encompassing the work will be. Or maybe they do, but it doesn’t resonate until you begin the work yourself. I started statistics, physiology, and organic chemistry last week. Chemistry especially feels a lot like the first few days of moving to a new city, where you don’t yet know the unspoken rules, the local dialect sounds foreign, and it feels like everyone in the room knows exactly what to do except for you. The breakthroughs are worth working for, for the dedication transition (and learning) requires. You know the feeling of starting something new? The fear of uncertainty? And the flood of relief that follows, when you can stop treading water and start to move with the current? We always get there, step by step, and our day-to-day becomes familiar again. Really the only solution (besides doing it or NOT doing it) is to practice self-compassion. You probably knew that was coming.

I’m going to apply to study nutrition within the next several weeks, but everything else over here is up in the air. Talk about opportunity for letting go, for trusting in the unknown powers at play. Maybe that is exactly the lesson I’m due to (re)learn. I don’t know what lies ahead. I can be okay with that (it’s fucking hard, yes). And so I open my hands, and I offer what I have, and trust that I’ll get back what I need.

I’ll leave here with a few photos from Burma (all from Mary Jo’s camera-thank you MJ!). Mary Jo, her boyfriend Matt, her parents Mark and Diane, and I spent Christmas and New Years in Burma and Thailand, an incredible two weeks that already seems like it happened years ago. In Burma, there is a profound instinct to show hospitality, and we were treated with a gentle, transparent kindness by everyone we met. Thailand was vivid, pungent, sensational. I’ll be back soon with a recipe and a story from our trip.

Happy Sunday to you. xo

p.s. If you’re looking for a new podcast to subscribe to, check out The One You Feed, specifically this episode about emotional first-aid. We were in a van traveling from city to city in Burma when Mary Jo passed her earbuds to me and suggested, with mild force, that I listen immediately. We grow up learning how to treat minor scrapes and bruises when they happen to us, but when do we ever learn to treat common emotional blows, like rejection, loneliness, rumination, or guilt? We don’t! The point of this episode is that we should. In fact, it’s imperative that we do.

Church on Christmas eve morning. DSC03773 Handstand races! DSC03846 DSC03856 DSC03903 DSC03918 DSC03936 DSC03952 DSC03985 DSC03976 DSC04107 DSC04024 DSC04128