My Temporary Escape from Reality

London was just that - a temporary escape from my hectic reality. I intended to divest myself of all the emotional baggage that had been draining me and I think it semi-accomplished that goal. As anyone who has ever experienced disappointment knows, it's nearly impossible to shut off your mind when it's focused on something, whether good or bad. In my quiet moments, I thought of G. But I mostly stayed busy hanging out with my fabulous friends. I drove up to NYC first and hung out with my brother and his girlfriend. They took me to, go figure, a Korean fried chicken spot called BonChon. I remember seeing it in Korea but never went there. A few other friends joined us and we made a night out of laughing, drinking (dangerous) soju and grubbing. The following night, my DC crew was in town to celebrate my girl's birthday so I hung out all day with them. I was feeling a bit down since this was a trip G and I were supposed to make together, but I tried to have a good time. My flight to London was super early, about 745am, so I barely slept. Nervous energy? Perhaps...I had some red wine to calm my nerves on the flight and thought of all the impending fun...
Seeing the Parliament Building never really gets old...it's like living art. Even in the gloomy weather, I couldn't help but stop and stare, traffic jams be damned. The traffic is probably the most unfortunate aspect of this area....too many gawking tourists like me.
the London Eye...aka the-ginormous-ferris-wheel-that-I'm-too-scared-to-ride...
A lovely pub near Westminster...there's like 2 pubs per person in London...which I just made up but it sure felt true
The iconic London Underground logo made from random objects...like clay and pencil and tape. Cute artwork.
View from the Thames River..
In Tra-FAL-gar Square, which I inevitably mispronounce and am promptly corrected by anyone within earshot.
Walking with my friend Harry, in search of ice cream
The coolest rocker momma on the planet...and her squiggly (albeit a bit grumpy) bundle of cuteness.
My new love - Strongbow cider
The man of a million metaphors...
Headed to the Tate Modern...loved every minute, especially their A-MA-ZING gift shop!! Who knew?!
Had to sneak a pic or two...you can't judge a book by its cover nor a museum by its facade. Looked like an abandoned building on the outside but how deceptive! My trip had many highlights, some of which I failed to capture on camera. Had dinner with a fellow blackgirl blogger at an adorable Thai restaurant near Piccadilly Circus. First time having ostrich since the Philippines and it tasted even better than I remembered. My friend's husband also made a proper English meal with yorkshire pudding, roast beef and gravy, potatoes, and veggies. I ate enough fish & chips and drank enough Magner's to satisfy my cravings for years to come. Even more, I enjoyed walking around Brick Lane, where I sampled divine Indian cuisine and browsed beautiful vintage boutiques.
cool graffiti near Brick Lane
When the time came to leave London, I felt ready to start on my new journey. After starting work and having an incredible summer in DC with my "framily" (friends who are really more like family), I discovered that I'd be spending the next 2 years in the glorious Caribbean island of Barbados. So, here we go... :) Until then, J


A Closed Chapter, An Open Book

**all grad photo credit goes to my friend, Cameron**

My graduation weekend was filled with lots of happiness, laughter, and amazing moments. It could not have been more perfect. Even Ash and Mimi flew in for my big day, along with my granddad, aunt, and uncle. As you can see, I attempted to get my hair straightened, only for it to be frizzy after 10 mins I actually cannot believe graduate school has ended, but I am incredibly glad that I made it. I'm ready to close that chapter of my life and start anew. I have no doubt that the best of my life lies ahead (though I've had some damn good moments to date). The weekend started on Friday night with a celebration of my graduation and my brother's birthday at Marvin on U Street. Great atmosphere and music! The DJ had everyone up and dancing. I even scored an attractive, though strangely dressed, dance partner! Nothing like a random compliment from a stranger ("I think you're cute," he said) to crack my post break-up blues. Pics below and on to my lovely trip to London.... :)

**busting a gut with Jar, Ash, and Jess at Marvin on U. Street...**

**my little cousin - he's such a cutie!**

**my rocks**

**with Ash and Mimi on a Potomac River cruise**

**looking more like my mom than I care to admit**

Until then,



UK Getaway

When the ish hits the fan, folks, that's when I pack my bags and leave the country. Call it extreme flight syndrome, but I just have to get away. Traveling not only feels amazing, but it gives me perspective. Whenever I get too lost in my own thoughts or bogged down in my world of madness, getting away allows me to breathe again. So, yesterday, I booked a 4-day trip to London to see some friends. I also plan to sightsee, find a leftover Royal Wedding trinket, and try not to go broke. Even though I hate planes, I must admit that I'm pumped to fly on Virgin Atlantic!

Anyway, this weekend is all about celebrating the people who dragged me across the finish line, offered words of encouragement, commiserated with me, and bought me lots of drinks. I love you all. And although the ex won't be around to raise a glass to me, I appreciate all of his hard work to get me here, too. It takes a village...to get a chick through graduate school.

Cheers everyone!



Things Fall Apart (or Together?)

A friend of mine has had this quote as her Gchat status for awhile now: "Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together." It really struck me, especially in the midst of some of the most important life changes ever. I graduate in a week, I start my new career two weeks later, and I'm moving to a new apartment in the city. I have no earthly clue where on Earth I will be in the next six months so this makes planning anything rather challenging. My now ex-boyfriend and I have been on this seesaw since January with him worrying constantly about our future, where I'm going, when I'm leaving and everything under the sun. Admittedly, it has been a period of great uncertainty and legitimate anxiety. Everyone who is important to me has been on pins and needles and he probably feels it even more because we spend a lot of time together. We took a break last month for five days so we could sort through some things. We missed each other terribly and realized we wanted to stay together. I felt relieved and somewhat more confident that we may survive some early Foreign Service turbulence.

But alas, it seems that things are falling apart again. Anxiety has crept back in. Doubt has pervaded, questioning the longevity and sustainability of this relationship. And I am tired. I am just tired and wondering whether I should really be fighting so hard for everything or whether I should just let things fall apart. At what point do you just stop fighting? I do not want to give up. That's just not me. But I also cannot handle the stress of having my emotions on edge every month like this. So, a large part of me feels that I've got to let this go and think more clearly about my future and what is best for me, without distractions. Am I thinking too idealistically by hoping that he could come along with me in the Foreign Service? It was never my intention to "drag" anyone with me. Since the beginning, I've only provided the tools so he can make his own decisions about it. It appears those decisions are manifesting in crushing doubt, prefaced by the "you're a great girl, but..." speech.

So anyway, it sucks for sure that in the midst of so many amazing things happening in my life, this is trying to overshadow it all. I always end up being okay when the smoke has cleared, but it just adds another unexpected layer of complexity to my life. As hard as it is to do, maybe I just have to let this go to be ready to accept what is really meant for me.

7 days til graduation. I'm hoping peace of mind will follow.

Until then,