New Year, New Chapter

2014 had more ups & downs than a soap opera, but then again, so does life. After all, what would we do if everything was just as predictable as an old rerun of Happy Days?
There was always a light at the end of the tunnel (thanks Third Day), even though I had no idea what was in store for me afterwards. December saw me finally complete the academic rat race that I’ve been running for the past six years, when I completed the final courses and graduate portfolio that fulfilled the requirements for my Masters of Library & Information Science from Pratt Institute. Soon after that, I flew home for an extended holiday as I recharged and threw myself into the job hunt full time.

During the holidays, I was able to pull myself away and focus on the uncertain path ahead. I’d never quite planned past getting my graduate degree, so for the first time in my life, I was directionless. The idea terrified me, and the feeling of being completely untethered to any sort of goal or endgame unnerved me to the Nth degree. However, God blessed my life with amazing, wise, & understanding parents, and a sweet sister who were willing to help me through the murky process of creating a solution, however temporary.

This brings me to the whole reason for this novelesque post: I’m moving away from New York City, and back to the Midwest for an unforseen amount of time. This decision was deliberated carefully, and honestly, debated hotly. However, over the past few weeks, thanks to the clear head of my parents, & a nice stock of whiskey,  I’ve come to terms with the fact that my time in New York is at an end.

My flight back to New York is January 24, and I’ll take a few days to pack & ship my clothes & books, and say my goodbyes. As LCD Soundsystem says, New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down. I always knew that my endgame was never to live in New York, but over the past two years, the Big Apple has carved out a niche in my heart all its own.

To all of the amazing people I’ve had the blessing to meet, you guys have changed my life, and have become a permanent part of it.
I’ll always be DCH4Life & a Waterbaby, and dragonboat is forever in my blood (and on my arm). I won’t stop working in hopes I’ll find myself in a boat again (along with those really weird tan lines).
DCH 2014

To my wonderful roommates, MJ and Wendy, you guys have become like sisters to me more quickly than I thought possible. I can’t believe how lucky I was to find such amazing women quite literally overnight. We took an empty apartment & made it ours, and if there was any way feasible for me to still live with  you guys anywhere in the US, I would.
I can’t possibly name every amazing person that I have the privilege of having in my life because of New York, but the memories (hazy or no) will always be with me.
The happy hours, the road trips, the weeks with only $5 to last you til Friday, the late night tattoos on St. Marks, street meat at all hours of the day (or night), and somehow being able to navigate traffic with a full cup of coffee, bagel, phone, & laptop case in hand…with the occasional umbrella (I’m still not sure how I did that)- they’ll all be missed, and there is no way they can be replaced.
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sleep nyc tuesday

times square morning 10170819_10152316114676291_2041918772877260276_n

Who knows, perhaps I’ll end up back on the East Coast someday, but til then, keep it classy, New York. You’ll always have a portion of my heart.

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Not country roots–HOME roots

I suppose that a bit of a back story is needed before you can fully understand what the hell this post means.
I’m from Kansas- the Lenexa/Olathe side of Kansas City, but I’ve lived in the ‘burbs of Missouri since I was 4.
I don’t consider myself “country” and no, i’ve never owned a horse or had an accent. My “accent” sounds just like the newscasters on any television station you listen to.
I’ve always hated the term ‘redneck’ – I’ve found it demeaning. ‘country’ I’m fine with, but I prefer ‘we just have more common sense than most.’
I’m a midwestern girl through and through: I drive stick, I love the smell of cattle & corn & dust. Gravel roads are where I’m from. Summer is made of sprinklers and lemonade stands and weekend trips to grandma’s farm where we’d feed the cows & ride on grandma’s tractor.

Fall means bonfires, grilling out every week, the roar of the football stadium and playing tag-football with the neighbor boys down the street.
Winter means ice, ice and more ice.
It means going through more clothes in two days than you usually do in a week because you go sledding after school.
It means chapped noses and cheeks, and cracked knuckles and cold hands. Winter means stocking up on firewood because the power lines might break with the weight of the snow.
It means the cows get their winter costs, so they look like a child’s drawing-all fuzzy and warm.
The Midwest means practicality before popularity.
Our ancestors worked to survive, not survived to work.
It means stopping for a stranger stranded on the highway just because you have AC and their car overheated.
It’s making eye contact with strangers just to say “good morning”
It’s home