Netherlands neverland part one

I’ve grown a lot in the past couple of years and found a lot of confidence along the way. So while 20 year old me would have dreaded a solo trip, 24 year old me was so ready for it. I have a friend living in the Netherlands now, and I’ve always wanted to visit, so I took the opportunity to go visit her during spring break.

I met her where she lives in a small city called Leiden. We mostly walked around, and I soaked it all in. We passed by the house Rembrandt was raised in, ate some delicious fries, and took a few pictures.

After my little trip to Leiden, I took the train to Amsterdam to find my hotel. I got there around 10PM and had to lug my huge suitcase through the cobblestone streets while staring at Google maps and keeping an eye my dwindling phone battery. I turned a corner onto a narrow alley and was welcomed by many red lights. Much to my surprise, my hotel was nestled quite snugly in the middle of the famous red light district. How I didn’t know that when booking, I do not know. It wasn’t so bad though. The area had plenty of interesting shops to keep me entertained on my solo trip.

I took a tour of the city on a canal boat, saw some amazing art exhibits, ate my weight in cheese and falafel (definitely not dutch, but I missed it), and got in quite a bit of shopping.

Stepping Stones

I wrote this song for the band I’m in. I’m still trying to work out the second verse, but I’ve grown to be quite fond of this little tune. Special thanks to the boys that helped bring it to life.

I wanted to be a hair on your head
So I could go anywhere you did
Or pull out your teeth, wear ’em on a string
So you couldn’t eat without me

All I wanted was everything
Somehow you consumed me

I wanted to die by your side
Looking into those eyes
Like black stepping stones to your dark soul I tried to light
Once they flickered
But went out, like the fire you let die
I know now
All that’s love isn’t always right

My you have such deep eyes
All the better to deceive me
And it’s true I once believed the lies
Thought I could make you happy

All I wanted was you babe
But we burned out so easy
All I wanted was everything
Somehow you consumed me

(Chorus)

You left but left that fire burning
And I couldn’t put it out
I all but begged, sick sick yearning
But it’s flickering now, burning out

And I wanted to die in your eyes
Black stones and pretty lights
Watching stars on hot summer nights
Yeah, the shoot across the sky
They flicker then burn out
Like the love you let die
Well I know now

It’s flickering now, burning out
Is it flickering now? Are we burning out?

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imagewearing:

Zara

Jeffrey Campbell

Heather be

5.18-5.24

I think I had the busiest week of my career here last week. All of the sudden everyone I work with/for needed my help AND I had so many plans!

Around this time every year, I conduct an interview for students hoping to study in America. The program is run through my board of education, and they always ask me to help out with the English portion. It’s pretty simple; I just have to make sure the kids have decent communication skills so they don’t faint or something the first time they interact with an American in America. I knew about the date and time way before, but five of the students hoping to go this year are students at my junior high and a few of them asked me to help them prepare for the interview. We met up a few times last week, and I gauged their attitudes and skills. One girl in particular wants to go so bad, that she’s been visiting me every week after lunch or after school since the beginning of term. I love when my students are motivated and passionate, no matter what it’s about, but when it’s about English…and they want to talk to ME, I get super excited. So even though I haven’t had a break at work since March, I’m pretty happy.

The actual interview was Wednesday. There is also a high school program, and one of my favorite students from two years ago was there! I haven’t heard the results for the high school interviews yet, but I hope he gets to go to America. He is such a kind kid, and I know he’ll do great. (I did get results from the JH interview and all of my 8th grade girls are going to America! I am so proud!)

In addition to this interview’s prep, I’ve been helping students with English test prep as well. The test, called Eiken, has a speaking component from level 3 to level 1, and one of the students didn’t have an idea how to do it. I helped again during my “break time,” and I feel confident she is going to do well!

Okay, let’s go back to Tuesday. I’ve been applying to some jobs online, and I got an interview for a school in Fukuoka. The interview was via Skype so I didn’t have to go anywhere, but I was surprisingly nervous. Talking to a stranger via a computer screen is really odd. I think it went pretty well though. Even if I don’t get the job or even a second interview, talking about myself really helps me put my thoughts and dreams into perspective. I’m really starting to get a good idea of what exactly it is I want to do with my future.

I also had to practice music a ton this week because, the band and I had a show on Sunday. We messed up super super bad on one song (I blame the sound guy ha), but we performed all of our originals and had a good time. Some friends came to watch, and I saw some people I haven’t seen in a while. That’s always a treat. Anyway, I really think our sound is coming together nicely. We even finished recording some songs and sold a few copies of our single. Baby steps guys! Baby steps.

Other than that, I hung out with my friend Kina and some new friends. I’m a pretty shy person, but I’m getting better at talking to new people. BABY STEPS.

Although it was a hectic week, and I literally slept all day Saturday to make up for it, it was wonderful. Being busy with things you enjoy is certainly a good thing, and when it’s all over and you take a breath, you can look back on it and feel accomplished. Yea, I definitely feel good about last week.

party with my girl!

party with my girl!

show time

show time

Quarter of a Century

bday outfit

bday outfit

I recently celebrated my 25th birthday!! Yay! OK, so birthdays in the third world really aren’t huge achievements until you’re 85 or so, but 25 feels big. I’m a real adult now, all fully grown and perfectly me. It feels amazing.

I’ve heard from some people in this country that 25 is the age by which you should be married…or at least seriously thinking about it (totally BS btw…who actually believes that?). If you know me at all, you’ve never really expected me to get married any time soon. Up until a year and a half ago (estimate), I was certain I would never get married. Now I’m open to the idea, but I’ll also be okay if it never happens. Which is great because I haven’t been on a date in FOREVER.

I am about 90% okay with that though. I’m 25 and awesome, and I really don’t think I need a man to tell me that. Unless it’s my dad. Dad, I need you to say I’m awesome. Anyway, I have some time left before my eggs shrivel up and die, so I can patiently wait for all the cute romantic things to happen again. I’m not stressing.

So, back to my actual birthday. I spent my birthday eve with my favorite people in the eastern hemisphere, and we had a great time. There was a moose and a golf game involved. And horrible karaoke singing. And lots of hugs. It was magical, and I am so lucky to have such kind, amazing people in my life. And almost no one important to me forgot to wish me a happy birthday! I do wish I could have seen my family and friends from the US too, but overall it was a great time. I am so excited to see what 25 holds for me!
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presents!

presents!

dinner AND golf

dinner AND golf