Category Archives: Action

Present Over Perfect

So I’m reading this amazing book “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist and it’s really got me thinking. I was drawn to it because lately I’ve been trying to practice and be in the present. It’s always been difficult for me to live in ‘the now’. I tend to live in the future because I’ve always operated from a get shit done mentality. However, when I’m sad or lonely I revert to nostalgia and my past. 

I’m only a quarter through this book and holy shit I feel like a lot of it was written through me. Ok, maybe not the parts when she references being a mother and her kids and husband but damn. 

Here’s the thing… there was some divine intervention that happened in February. I lost my job and was forced to slow down. Slowing down made  sure the ice that we’ll call numbness melted. The ice was the shield of anything that got in the way of me operating at a gazillion miles an hour. With it melting it made me look at what was left underneath the water of the melted thick block of ice. It truly made me take inventory of where I was currently at. So where was I? Let me remind you. I was lost, scared, confused, lonely, sad, grateful, relieved, stressed. I was all those things and then some. My world felt pretty bleak and so so gray.

It’s now about to be September. I’ve felt even more emotions since then if you can believe it. But where I am now.. presently I’m in a place that feels new and true and challenging and beautiful and bright and authentic and right. This is where I need to be. I’m in a place of acceptance and love and openness and growth and curiosity. I’m digging in deep of the crevices of past hurt that I stifled for so long. I’m grieving. And in doing so I’m cultivating new ways of being. What used to serve me no longer serves me. 

I liken it to the metaphor of a snake shedding its skin. I want to rid myself of all this old skin, these parasites (ideas, behaviors, habits) that don’t serve me. It’s a rebirth of sorts. 

I’m really excited to get back to who I really am and who I want to be. I’m finally ready to start loving myself in all my perfect imperfections and I’m so grateful to be able to remake my life from the inside out and unfold all the goodness along the way. 

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TRUST

I’ve had a pretty emotionally charged year and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon. I keep being reminded by all the powers that be (ie my coach, my therapist, my friends, the universe…) that I am exactly where I need to be.

Only in the last few weeks have I really felt the comfort in being present. Mind you, I’m still not completely 100% comfortable with ambiguity and not being “there” yet, wherever “there” is. However, I do feel like I am where I need to be. There are things I’m now consciously working on to alter my mindset and the toxic stories I’ve told myself over my lifetime that no longer serve me.

I am now an emotionally equipped adult with the aptitude, the insight, and the wherewithal to make sound moral and healthy choices. I have to tell myself that. I’m not dependent on these stories and beliefs that I learned to survive as a child. I want to be free of these harmful beliefs because I want to be the best version of me. I want more for myself. I know I can be better.

Wow.

This is huge guys. I’m in a place where I am consciously aware and practicing daily how to negate bad thoughts and bring in positive ones. I’m learning how to trust myself, the process, and the universe.

When I started this year I decided my work was TRUST.

It’s so fitting. I’ve made peace with saying goodbye to friendships that no longer serve me. I had to trust in the fact that I lost my job (for political reasons) so that I could make space for something better. That space has allowed me to really look inside myself and start the real work. I’ve been ‘working’ for years on myself. But this shit I’m currently working on is deep. It’s digging through my soul’s crevices and dark corners to bring shit to light I’ve tried so hard to suppress and ignore.

Looks like you can’t really get over anything until you really get into it and fucking feel it. Huh. Imagine that.

When I become present I see the magnificence in it all and I feel more connected. Not just internally. When I say connected I mean connected to the world. To life. To everything that’s bigger than me and us.

I am exactly where I need to be.

With all that I am learning I’m also trying to prioritize myself. That means listening to what I really need. I’ve historically been the doer and the over-extender. The one that made other people feel special to show them the magnitude of how much i really love them. A part of me feels that in doing all these things I will get love in return.

The fact is. People will love me if they want to and it’s completely out of my control.

It’s been exhausting. I kept waiting for my turn while still over extending. It doesn’t usually come and that’s ok. Because frankly, this was my shit. People love me in the way they know how. And if I’m going to be honest I have a lot of love in my life. I choose to act in ways I thought I had to for love.

Looks like I have other choices.

I’m going to put my Self  first. I want to give myself all the love I give out. I know that this will be uncomfortable for a lot of people. For example: when one decides that a friendship doesn’t serve them anymore people will have thoughts and feelings behind it. That’s ok. If these people with these sentiments love you they will respect your decision even if it changes dynamics and status quo.  Ask me if you need more examples. I have them.

It’s tough to feel like I’ve disappointed others. I’m working through this whole ‘prioritizing myself’ thing and all the super charged feelings and reactions I have to things.

Just know that by being a better me I will be a better friend, better sister, better partner, better worker. Trust.

 

Passing through the funk

The last couple months, give or take, I’ve not been myself. Or rather I’ve not operated the way in which I’ve operated let’s say the last 8 ish or so years. I lost a job that I wasn’t happy at and although I’ve been sending out requests to the Universe to help me break away from the organization I didn’t expect it to happen at the time it did and the way in which it did.

Funny how that works.

You put out your desires and it always comes back. The Universe may not answer your requests in the way that you predicted but it certainly responds.

To be fair it’s not to say I wasn’t grateful it happened.  To paint a picture I’ve got a metaphor. Those are always good to help visualize the situation.

Let’s say I was a pinata hanging off a tree in a pretty park. Getting fired was the last crack of the bat swung by the Universe that hit the pinata and now there lay all my life’s contents on the floor along with my cracked and broken pinata shell. What do I see you ask? Right here’s a reminder that I have a credit card bill coming up. Oh look, there’s a ‘go-get-’em-tiger’ well wishes card the Universe left me. Oh what’s that sharp ugly thing? Oh that’s my pride. And there, there are the dreams I have for my future career. And look, right here, I see my savings. Aww, there’s a picture of all the people that love me. Oh, here’s the shit I didn’t want to deal with but now how to face; fear. Somewhere in there is opportunity but it seems to be hidden underneath all these fun sized rainbow colored emotions.

Sensory overload and I didn’t know which to pick up and open first.

To further play on the metaphor I was being greedy and tried to open them all at once. As if one could stomach all that at once right?

So not right.

In turn what ended up happening was a magnificent sense of feeling overwhelmed and lost and frankly, sad.

I was navigating through the shock of being fired. The relief I no longer had to work for a boss I couldn’t respect and an organization I was checked out of. The gratitude directed to the Universe that it heard my plea. The confusion of not knowing what I wanted to do next but knowing I wanted to do it (whatever it was). The anxiety of no longer having that “stability” (i.e. healthcare benefits, monthly metro card, bi-weekly paycheck, unlimited PTO etc) and having to figure out logistics of living. The loneliness of not having my core supporters enveloping me in a big empathetic hug.

It’s been a tough couple of months. I spiraled. To be fair I also had bouts of good and motivation but it was really more of the I don’t need to shower it’s not like I have fun plans I am going to lay in bed and binge watch whatever I want while eating mass amount of Trader Joe’s chicken tacos with melted cheese on top and not think about how I have to let Huxley out to do his business at the minimum of 3x a day and run the risk of seeing my neighbors variety.

I tried to come out on top numerous times and to be honest I was getting pretty angry at myself. I was mad I felt some of these things when this was my clean break. Feeling lost and overwhelmed felt like I was lacking control. And that’s always been hard for me. The not having to control since most of my upbringing I was controled.

But I realize sometimes that simply a funk is a funk and a person may need to be funky.

It’s important to grieve. In this case I was grieving a job I took pride in and worked my ass off at. I was also grieving this career I made for myself over the course of 10 years. I was grieving a dream I envisioned and fulfilled in moving and living in New York. I was grieving for a part of me I was struggling to let go.

All the while procrastinating..

Procrastination is such a bitch. Seriously, it’s the worst.

Tell me why it’s so easy to procrastinate a dream, a goal, a desire? It shouldn’t be but alas here it was. Procrastination staring at me in the face and it was ugly and whispered very sinister things at me.

I had all these ideals that I couldn’t move forward unless I knew exactly what I was going to do career wise. I wanted to go from 0 to 60. It was just like me to turn my head to all the gray area.

I was feeling that if I wasn’t there (there being a insert job title here in this awesome new career at a fantastic non profit living a fulfilling meaningful life) immediately then I would be a failure.

Ok, unrealistic expectations much?

It’s a lot right? Yeah I put a lot of pressure on myself. And when I didn’t meet the pressures I was even harder on myself.

Cue back to I don’t need to shower it’s not like I have fun plans I am going to lay in bed and binge watch whatever I want while eating mass amount of Trader Joe’s chicken tacos with melted cheese on top and not think about how I have to let Huxley out to do his business at the minimum of 3x a day and run the risk of seeing my neighbors.

So.not.fair.

I feel like I’m at a turning point. Yay. I’m starting to feel more like myself. It’s a very welcomed feeling.

Here’s to uncovering the clues for beautiful opportunities!

 

 

 

All.the.things

It’s been a while. Which is really unfortunate given how much I love to write. I frequently think of updates I want to post about or topics I want to write on or pictures I want to share but the problem has been finding the time.

Time is an ever elusive mother fucker. Yup, it sure is.

I’m currently at a coffee shop on a Saturday evening trying to pump out as much work as I can before I leave for Puerto Rico tomorrow. And no joke you guys, Tony Bennet’s song ‘I left my Heart in San Francisco’ just came on in the background. I’m going to take this as a reminder to have gratitude and think about home and my people in Cali…

*Pause to reflect*

There are so many things.

In fact today was a day of All. The. Things.

We’re talking errands (ie laundry, returns, picking up toiletries, etc.] unpacking from my Illinois work trip, repacking for my Puerto Rico trip, submitting coaching forms and homework, catching up on all the real work I missed while on my business trip, finding time to play with Huxley while battling overwhelming guilt for being gone back and forth for long periods of time, catching up on personal life stuff like bills and taxes, and the like.

yeah..

All. The. Things.

I had a conversation with my coworker while we were in Chi town about how New York has a way about it. It breaks you down mentally and physically. It has you grinding like you never had before. It has you wondering where the fuck the time went. But in spite of all of that it really has you loving it. There’s no other city like New York City, that is for fucking sure. I haven’t lived anywhere else besides the Bay to compare it to but I’ve spoken to so many people about this and it seems to be the overwhelming consensus.

I still don’t know how long I will live in New York. This July will mark 2 years. It’s speedily approaching. I have so many exciting changes in the works (more to come!) and so many things to look forward to  I can’t help but think of what else I can accomplish here. Even though I don’t give myself credit I really have given myself some things to be proud of. It’s a hard thing to remember.

Wish I could give you more but just wanted to give a quick update. I’m alive and well and busy as fuck. But most importantly I am doing ok and I am grateful. 🙂

-xx –

 

 

Teaching the little ones

I have such a greater appreciation for teachers since volunteering in Tanzania. I have never felt like I’ve wanted to become a teacher but I respect and admire those that do and those that are. It’s a commendable job that often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

A lot of the days I was left alone with the older ‘baby class’. Basically the 4 year olds who were more advanced. The other volunteer, Kelsey, would stay with Mama Frida in the ‘baby class’ of 3 year olds and a couple 2 year olds. And the 3rd volunteer, Claire, would be in the big kids class of 5-7 year olds with Madame Eva.The days when not as many kids showed up to school we would only split into 2 classes and Kelsey and I would tag team the ‘baby class’.

Below is myself, Mama Frida and Kelsey.

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My first day in my own class was trying to say the least.The problem was the communication barrier and not having an aide help translate or help keep the kids quiet and focused. Quite honestly, the first time I taught alone I left the school day feeling so frustrated and defeated. My patience was tested and I felt like I failed so I was disappointed in myself.

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I think the best advice I could give when volunteering in such a short period and when never having the experience before is to just allow yourself some forgiveness and patience. Cut yourself a break. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to save the world going into a program like this. There are time and financial constraints. What you can do is give what you can with compassion and love to the children. I had to remind myself when I became frustrated and felt hopeless that I had never done this before. That my purpose isn’t to change the educational system in Tanzania but to help provide support and to do what I can in the short amount of time I was there.I had to woosah and just roll with it. Kids are gonna be kids no matter where you are. I just needed to have fun with it and be patient!

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Any time the classroom started to get crazy and I would feel their focus start slipping away I would break into song. The kids loved to sing. They know so many English and Swahili nursery songs. It was fun to watch them get excited and become involved again. Or I would bust out the camera. The kids loved getting their picture taken and seeing it after. It was too cute.

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The other 2 volunteers and I taught them the hokey pokey when we were there. I forgot how long the song was and how much energy it required. It always left me winded. hah!

My lesson plans consisted of Math – numbers from 0-100, basic addition, problems that highlighted missing numbers etc; as well as English – going through the ABC’s, associating a word with each letter, shapes, colors, and body parts. Kelsey and I made posters for the classrooms as tools. I also used colored post its below to help re-emphasize colors.

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It was fun to go around the room and point at articles of clothing the kids were wearing for colors. They would get so excited and start bum rushing me and yell “teacha teacha” and point to their undershirt or their sock or what have you. Drilling the color purple into them was easy because their uniforms were purple.

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Sometimes I would take the kids outside to the painted mural on the side of the school so I could quiz them on animals and colors. Why there is a dinosaur with all the other animals I’m not quite sure.

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When my patience was severely tested I would break out the construction paper and crayons I would bring to school with me. I would have the kids draw through the alphabet with animals and objects or draw simple shapes that I would first draw on the chalkboard. When that failed, just having them draw anything quietly worked for me. It was fun to see them so excited about the colors. I would hand out each construction paper and have them repeat the color of it to me. I would do the same with the crayons. It was exciting when they knew the colors on their own and would ask for a specific one.

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It was even more adorable when they would show me their drawings proudly.

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Sweet Jennifer below never smiled and was very quiet but was so so lovable.

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One day the classroom I usually taught in was occupied by visitors. So we went to the church and I tried very unsuccessfully to teach them something. They were very hyper and excited to not be in the classroom. What happened instead was we sang a lot of songs, drew on construction paper, and when a couple of the boys ran around screaming through the pews of the church I conceded to what clearly was going to be a play day and I took them outside to do just that. I was told later that they could hear us in the other classrooms. Oops!

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I wasn’t always left to my own devices with my own class. Thank goodness! It was always such a great reprieve to share the responsibility of teaching with Kelsey or with Mama Frida. Kids have soo much energy.

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Look at all these adorable faces!

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On certain days we had workbooks that we give the children to practice their math. For the younger ones it can simply be tracing numbers for the older ones it was usually addition. They also had homework as well. One day I surprised Mama Frida and the kids with fresh new pencils. She was so grateful and full of thanks. Something so little can make such a huge difference and can go a long way in these schools. The kids were ecstatic! They always wanted the pencils with erasers intact and became really sad when they weren’t. This was huge for them.They broke out into a “Thank you teacher” very loudly and happily. It made my heart swell.

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Porridge time also was a bit of a reprieve. It gave us a chance to catch our breathe and observe these beautiful children.

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The stickers were reserved for really great days and a special treat for the kids. We would hand them out at the end of the day before we were picked up. The kids were so excited they got to choose which one they got.

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Each day that passed I fell more and more in love with these beautiful children. It proved to be very difficult to say goodbye. I’ll share that experience with you all soon…

Introduction: A little town called Moshi

When I signed up for Cross Cultural Solutions and I researched the organization I decided rather quickly I wanted to go to Africa. I had never stepped foot onto the continent and I frankly didn’t know when I would get the opportunity to do so. That, coupled with the fact that there is so much need in Africa and being that this was a volunteer trip, not just a vacation, made it an easy choice. CCS had 2 options for Africa at the time I signed up. One being Moshi in Tanzania in the Kilimanjaro region and 1 in South Africa in or around Cape Town. I thought that Cape Town wouldn’t be as rich of a cultural experience so Moshi won by a landslide.

To help you understand where I was below are maps of Africa and Tanzania specifically. On the Africa map Tanzania is in the East with Kenya and Uganda to the North, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Rep of Congo to the West and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the South. Moshi is in the North East in Tanzania bordering Kenya.

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To give you more background; Moshi is a municipality. A town consisting of over 200,000 people in the Kilimanjaro region based off of Mt Kilimanjaro, which is a dormant volcanic mountain. It’s the tallest mountain of the African continent and the highest free standing mountain in the world! I’ll get to more of Kili in a later post. More on Moshi. Moshi is a lovely town with even lovelier people. There are a lot of tourists given the popularity of hiking the mountain and also a lot of volunteers from the states and elsewhere that have decided to call Moshi their home. But what’s great is that you don’t get the ‘tourist’ vibe at all. All the mzungus (white people is the translated term. I know. Even I was called a mzungu because I was a foreigner. And it’s not at all meant to be derogatory) speak fluent swahili for the most part. Kiswahili is the national dialect of Tanzania, it is also the dialect of the surrounding countries I mentioned above that are in East Africa. I think it’s a beautiful language. The intonations and emphasized vowels make it seem like you’re singing happily. Hmm.. what else about Moshi? Moshi produces a lot of resources such as maize, sunflower oil, millet, beans, bananas etc. The local tribes are the Chagga tribe and the Maasai tribe. I’ll get into more of that later as well.

Anyways, I flew out of JFK and had a connection in Amsterdam. I wish I was able to visit Amsterdam this trip but I wanted to spend as much time as I could in Tanzania and many years ago I spent some time in Amsterdam so it was a quick layover of my eyes being overstimulated with fake tulips, heineken beers, and cheese then I was on my way to Tanzania.

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My flight landed around 8PM and we deplaned in the middle of the runway in the tiny Kilimanjaro Airport. For being an International Airport it had the bare minimum when landing. Immediately I was in line for customs and once I got through that a few steps more and I was at baggage claim. Easy peasy.

I got in a day before most of the people in the program were scheduled to arrive.  I had booked a hotel to get my bearings about me and get some good rest before I started the program. What was cool is that coincidentally the people I sat next to on the plane also booked the same hotel. It was a very lovely mother and her 2 also lovely daughters. They had booked safaris and such to celebrate one of the daughter’s college graduation. When we got to our hotel and settled a bit I met them at the bar and we chatted and hung out for a bit.

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The next morning I met them for breakfast and bid them a good trip. Unfortunately, it was raining so there wasn’t too much I could do and the views were a bit restricted. I caught the tail end of the rainy season my first few days in Moshi. But it wasn’t too bad as the hotel grounds were beautiful. I talked to other guests staying at the hotel headed to climb the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro and tried to learn some swahili from the bartender.

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I was getting picked up by the CCS drivers around noon so I had some time to relax beforehand but I was anxious to meet people and see the house and what not. When the drivers, Baba (Baba means father. It is said out of respect. Just like if it’s an older woman who likely has kids you call her Mama) John and Joseph picked me up we went to the airport to pick up 4 others that were on the same flight. As we waited Baba John and Joseph taught me a lot of Swahili. I already knew how to say hello or hey ‘Jambo’ and thank you ‘Asante” but they taught me how to say things like how is your morning/afternoon/evening, my name is, how much is that, car, brother, sister, etc.

Once the others finally arrived we had an hour drive northeast to Moshi. It was a beautiful drive. Endless crops of maize and sunflowers. It was during that drive when I really felt ‘holy shit I’m In Africa’.

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Once we arrived at homebase we met Mama Thea, our program director, and were greeted with fresh mango and guava juice. Mama Thea has been with CCS for a number of years and gave us a brief intro and welcome to Moshi. We were to have our complete intro once everyone arrived in the next day or so.

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It was myself and Nicole, one of the people we picked up at the airport, who were in our room first. Honestly, I expected the accommodations and bathroom situation to be worse so I was pleasantly surprised when we got there. I’ve had roommates on and off for the past 14 years but I’ve never had to share my room with anyone other than a boyfriend so I’m happy to report that it was an easy adjustment and we all got along very well and our shower and toilet schedules were not an issue in the least. All of that was definitely the biggest relief as I had some anxiety around it all.

A lot of the group arrived later that night after Nicole and I fell asleep. We woke up so confused with they got in; not knowing what the hell was happening or what time it was. And they didn’t even know we were sleeping in the rooms so there was a bit of chaos and confusion. hah!

The rest of the group got in the next day. That day we had an orientation, introduced ourselves to each other, staff included, and learned more about CCS’s involvement in the community. So much info to take in!

It was a bit overwhelming at first trying to get settled in and what not along with the jet lag and the simple fact I was in Tanzania. Also, the excitement and nervousness of volunteering kicked in hard. Nervousness seemed to be the group consensus as none of us were teachers and only 1 of the volunteers had done this previously. We didn’t know what we were getting into! Good thing we left our expectations in our home countries because we were definitely in for a ride!

More on my time in Tanzania to be continued. I am really enjoying reliving my experience in Tanzania by telling you all from the beginning how things played out. I want to hold on to these feelings as long as possible…

 

And just like that I’m back and #LOVEWINS!

Back and readjusting to life. Not well but definitely readjusting.

I’ve been back from Tanzania for a little over a week now. The adjustment and the transition of being back in ‘real life’ has proven to be difficult. The adjustment and transition of being back in New York has proven to be even more difficult.

New York is a beast of a city. It takes a certain mindset to live and succeed here. One has to want the hustle and the fast paced life. After living a Tanzanian ‘hakuna matata’ lifestyle I was in no way ready to be back in real life let alone back in NYC..

There’s a Tanzanian Swahili expression. ‘Pole pole’. (pronounced pole-ay pole-ay) It means ‘slowly slowly’. Everything in Africa is ‘pole pole’. The expression can be used whilst driving on the road and getting an ‘African massage’ because of all the potholes in the dirt roads or when waiting for a friend you had made plans with and has yet to show up an hour later. It can be used for anything really. Like, let’s say, life. Interestingly enough ‘pole’ can also mean sorry for your suffering or misfortune. It can be used when the restaurant only has warm beers, getting into a car accident or even when someone sneezes.

I’ve been reminding myself that while I’ve been back it’s ok it’s ‘pole pole’.

The travel time to get back was over 21 hours. I took 3 planes to get back to NYC. I did fairly well ‘cept for the last couple of hours. I had just about enough of sitting in planes. The last flight I was on was via KLM. The plane sucked. I wasn’t too impressed with the airlines overall. They have the vests under the seats in metal boxes so it takes up significant leg room. I felt bad for the poor guy next to me who was in the middle. What was great was that my flight prior to that from Zanizibar to Nairobi and Nairobi to Amsterdam was Kenya Airways which was a fantastic airline with amazing service. The flight wasn’t packed and I ended up having the whole row to myself. Winner winner chicken dinner! I was able to cozy up and I sprawled out along the 3 seats and slept and read comfortably and happily. Gyeah!

Since I’ve been home New York hasn’t been too good to me. (This bitch wasn’t ready to see me either apparently). The other day I woke up and my body was on fire. Somehow and someway I developed an allergic reaction and my whole body’s response was to break out in hives and emit heat like no other. The culprit? We will never know. I can’t figure it out and given that I quit my job and at the moment am not in possession of an insurance card that magically allows one to visit hospitals freely whilst paying minimal fees; I was unable to hit up urgent care. Baller on a budget y’all!

Oh, wait, we’re not done. The pretty rashes weren’t it. A few days later I lost my voice. It happened instantaneously. One sec I had my voice the next second it sounded like I was possessed. I’ve never fully lost my voice. I’ve had the slight voice loss where in your mind you think you sound raspy in a 900 phone operator sexy kind of way. But this was neither raspy, nor sexy. I sounded like a frog man. Not cute.

To add insult to injury; little Huxley bear (who, b-t-dubs, was just as elated as I was to be reunited when I returned!) was jumping up to lick my face the other day and instead of the safe zone of my cheek honed in and got my eyeball. Yup, my eyeball. It immediately started to get red and cray cray. Good thing I was meeting a new client shortly.

So has New York City welcomed me back with open loving arms? No, she certainly fucking hasn’t. But I WILL prevail! I got a lot of shit I need to get done. An ever growing list of ‘to-do’s’. One of those was to update you all of the amazing time I spent in the beautiful country of Tanzania. For now I just wanted to let you know I was back safely albeit with some forces hard at work to make things a bit shaky but alas, I am here.

In the coming days/week I will post proper updates with adjective filled stories, colorful anecdotes, and pretty pictures of the 19 marvelous days I spent in the motherland. Get excited for a beautiful tale of a girl in her early 30’s who currently resides in the crazy city of New York but originally from a wonderful Valley of Silicon who’s life was forever changed by the magnificent people of a town called Moshi in the heart of the Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania. (Doesn’t that sound like a great narrative for an awesome movie preview?! What would we call the movie? Hmm…tbc..)

***On a completely unrelated note my heart is so full from the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a right for all 50 states across the nation. All people need to be treated as equals. All people should harbor the same rights. I am celebrating today for so many people that have fought this hard fight. My heart is so happy and so full and I can’t stop crying because of it. Today I am proud to be an American. Always remember that #LOVEWINS. Equality for ALL!