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It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?
The past month - actually, almost 2 months - have been a whirlwind. At the end of September, I went to Maine on vacation with my lovely friend Megan, where we explored Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. I could definitely see myself living there when I’m older. I loved the fresh air, disconnect from society, and open space. If you haven’t been, I’d highly recommend visiting.
After that, I enjoyed my last week in DC with those closest to me (and lots of packing in between seeing people). A little over a month ago, I left DC - and to be honest, it felt really great. I had no sad feelings about leaving, and the hardest part of leaving was saying goodbye to all of the amazing people I’d met while there. Shortly thereafter, I headed out for 10 days for a 3 legged trip: first to Denver for work, second to San Francisco for fun, then to Arizona for work again.
I’m sure you’ve been asked the question before, whether in a job interview or survey or self-questionnaire: what are you most proud of?
My initial reaction to this question is discomfort, for a few reasons. First, no matter how I answer the question I feel that I am a total brag. Second, feelings of inadequacy pop up - “will my answer be ‘enough’?”, “is this answer only coming from a place of privilege?”. Third, I haven’t figured out the depth of the emotions of pride and how it shows up in my life (how do you identify when you are feeling proud?).
I was lost in thought the other day, thinking back to last summer. My google photos reminded me that I was in Iceland this time last summer, so I browsed through all my photos again and had total wanderlust. And in my reflections of last summer, coupled with a strong sense lately of always wanting to learn and improve, I realized something I’m proud of. This answer would in no way suffice for a job interview but it felt good to identify something I’m proud of, that isn’t a big, audacious thing, like graduating college with top honors or starting a non-profit.
Let me set the stage for this before I tell you what it is.
A sampling of a list Millennial keywords includes:
Let’s talk about this last one. Passion - it’s everywhere. I can’t read a Millennial self-help article, listen to a podcast, or scroll through Instagram without hearing that word. The dictionary defines it as “a strong and barely controllable emotion.” Wikipedia expands on it saying: “Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person.”
A friend recently told me that she appreciates how intuitive and open with my feelings. I couldn’t help but chuckle in response, reflective of my surprise to her comment. I have always thought of myself as a bit bundled up with my emotions. As I thought about what she said, I realized something noteworthy. In friendships and familial relationships, her sentiment is valid. For some reason though, in romantic relationships I fail to fully express my emotions. Proof of this is ‘feedback’ from my last relationship to be more open and vulnerable - which was true.