little sarah Big World

Tag: health

But Also…

…also going home was a trip (in the other sense), wherein I never fully acclimated to the time change and stayed up til three am eating whatever I wanted and writing insomnia’s best ideas. Yet somehow, I felt healthy and whole.

Mac & Cheese Burrito




What’s Different Here?

On a Bike Ride

I find myself in a writing state of mind more and more lately, but they are brief flashes, fleeting as a summer rain shower, and always at the most inopportune times–always when I’m without paper or pen. Out for a run, in the tub, on the train, with thoughts swimming and ideas taking shape. But just as readily they float away, though I beg my inspiration to stay and let me do it justice. Notions that start in a personal email and later get fleshed out on the blog, or an urge to journal that gets channeled into letters, then sent out to one of my pen-pals or friends.

And then there’s the sudden return of my inclination towards poetry, an impulse I’d thought had died out in my teens, but apparently was only lying dormant. I can feel something inside of me opening up, and with it the lines are beginning to blur. I’m not sure yet, but I think (I think) that I like it. Rainy days, muggy and muddled thoughts gave way to clear brightness, and a sharp-defined vision, which nevertheless remains just out of reach.

River Flowers

*       *       *

I dislike the feeling of repeating myself, relearning the same lessons and reliving the same mistakes. But I’ve looked at my life, as it presently stands, and seen long commutes, foreign customs and cultures, an inconsolable distance between me and my tribe. Me, in the back of the classroom, “the assistant,” writing in my journal and biding my time.

And I think, “Haven’t we been here, and done this?”

Red Bridge

So I ask myself, what’s new? What distinguishes this chapter? Why did you come here and what are you going to do about it?

And the answer is, this time, I am savoring the silence. I am okay with not knowing what will happen, for now. The answer is patience (through counseling) and presence, a meditative step towards grace, away from fear.


The answer is: writing, learning discipline, meeting goals. Rising early, staying focused, and seeking inspiration (instead of wasting time browsing lifestyle blogs, which I still do way too often, if we’re honest). In this area, I’ve still a ways to go.

Way to Go

The answer is: creativity, and space. An open time-frame and mindset that allows for pretty postcards and dance-party running warm-ups, instead of just dinner and dishes and deadlines.

*       *       *

When I picture what’s new in this season of my life, I see myself at home, working at my desk, taking breaks to run or snack or meditate. I see myself reading on the train, when I’m able, and being okay with just being, when I’m not. I see simple meals, good books, hot tea and health. I see studying, sitting, contemplation and growth.

Chaddo Reflections

This, the 27th year of my life, is a sweet vanilla silence, a blue-green color, a reflecting pond.

Alien Bridge

*       *       *

But also, it is sunshine, and warmth and cheer. It’s a pioneering spirit, a can-do attitude. In this, the land of the rising sun, I have learned to rise each day with purpose; and like the land, to be solid, yet ever-growing; like the water–clear, deep, and still.

Blue On Blue


(w/ Chad)

And so we turn towards simplicity. Towards sanity and good health, and that means early morning runs and healthy, home-cooked meals, fewer vices and better sleep.

Our first meal cooked together!

It means long walks and longer talks, checking in every morning, and after work, and before bed. It means facing our problems (for me: job stress and anxiety) head-on, rationally, and knowing the difference between a worthy challenge and a waste of time.


Most of all, a turn towards simplicity means a turn towards each other, and towards what really matters in life–our well-being, our friends and family, our passions and interests, and our sense of wonder, inspiration, creativity and drive.

And yesterday it meant epic shopping: new wardrobes for new jobs, plus bags of books to feed our hungry minds. It meant a day trip to Tokyo, a shopping field trip, with burgers and fries and iced coffee and frequent pauses to observe/avoid the madness, plus a Sunday stroll through the park, and big plans for the future.

*       *       *

It feels good to follow our own good advice.

Sick Day

Home from work today. You know the drill–headache, sore throat, runny nose, overall crummy feeling. I’ve been spending the day reading, napping, drinking miso soup, eating popsicles, and watching bad rom-coms about people who think they can just be fuck buddies but inevitably find out that love always prevails.

So…yeah. I feel pretty worthless. This is what happens when I get sick, every time: I’m too sick to really do anything, so I don’t really do anything, but then I feel like shit for having just sat around all day not doing a god-damned thing. I mean, what am I doing with my life, anyways, if I can just waste a day like this? Is watching TV really conducive to healing? Where is my motivation?

It’s pretty much an existential crisis every time.

*       *       *

In other news…I’m about to prep-n-post a shit-ton of photos from South America. You know, to feel useful. So what if I have to be constantly productive in order to affirm my self-worth? It could totally be worse. I could value my self-worth in terms of physical appearance and do crazy shit like not eat for ten days.

Oh. Wait.

Out of Anger

Did you ever see that Woody Allen movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona? Well, you should, because first off there’s this whole obsessive-style shout-out to Oviedo, and we support that, and then there’s the part where the film’s crux is that Scarlett Johansson’s character can only be sure of what she doesn’t want.

And we GET that.

We (I), too, go through life whittling away at the undefined mass of desire caged in our hearts, slowly shaving off one disagreeable fragment after another, hoping that a more concrete concept of what it is that we DO want will slowly take shape. Spain has been really good for this. It may leave a bitter taste in my mouth some days, but it’s a complex flavor, and this is how we learn.

You see, I don’t want to send home birthday presents for my friends with May birthdays, because my friends with April birthdays couldn’t be bothered to pick theirs up. I know this isn’t fair. I don’t care.

I don’t even know that I want to be fair.

Because if I make only vague plans with a friend, I want to be able to later say “Actually, I don’t really feel like it. Actually, I’m going to do exactly what I want to do, what makes me happy, instead of what’s most convenient or pleasing for you,” and I don’t want the other person to tell me that it’s not fair or imply that I owe them anything. I don’t. I owe it to myself to do as I please.

I don’t want even one more person to tell me that they miss me, things just aren’t the same without me, and when am I coming home, again? They can’t wait to see me! For me to bake them things! For things to be fun! And easy! I want them to know that actions speak louder than words. I want them to know that their continued silence and complete lack of effort speaks louder than anything.

I don’t want to keep putting more into relationships than I get in return, offering up sweet little trinkets like some naïve puppy. The type that you just sort of want to kick, and who could blame you.

I don’t want to keep searching for a father figure. Please, please, please let me above this feminine, Freudian cliché.

I don’t want to waste even one more minute of my time trying to please some boy I’m not even sure that I like, just so he’ll stick around. Just so I can have somebody to hang out with, to make out with, some little bit of excitement. I want to look up to see integrity finally won over desire.”

I don’t want to go to yet another condescending, anciano Spanish doctor to either confirm or deny the presence of kidney stones in my fracasado body. Nine times out of ten you just have to pass them on your own, and that’s exactly what I’ll do, if it comes to that–cursing and spitting like a woman possessed.

I don’t want my knees to ache when I run too much. I don’t want this viejita’s body that can’t handle anything spicy or intense or new. I want to be like all the other 24-year-olds who can drink and stay out late and still have the energy to climb mountains and make more bad choices the next day. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink to excess. I eat very well, very healthy. I exercise (cardio, strength AND flexibility)–it shouldn’t be like this.

I don’t want my body to reject life.

I don’t want my spirit to, either. I don’t want to curl into myself like a frightened child every time things get hard.

I don’t want to forget so easily. I want to remember that things will change, for better and for worse, and that I, little sarah, will still be me, that I’ll still be here, knowing what I know and thinking how I think and imagining and creating and growing stronger, battling these silly little demons (self-imposed or otherwise), and being Sarah.

And not needing any more than that.

*       *       *

I don’t want you to worry about me. ‘Cuz I’m gonna be just fine–check it out.