Boston

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it’s been 10 months since we moved out here from my hometown, Chicago. Boston is now beginning to feel like the place I live, instead of a place I’ve moved to. if I were to use relationship terms, Boston & I are going steady but I’m not sure if I’m ready to take it to the next level – ha!

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don’t get me wrong – there’s plenty to love about life here. I love how it feels very European, from the seriously OLD buildings to the charming cobblestone streets to the random British-isms that have persisted. I’ve found a great local coffee shop that has that whole old-world vibe down pat, complete with a sidewalk organic flower vendor every Saturday morning (see above – the flowers are UNREAL). a quick list of other Boston things I love:

  • the ocean
  • the Boston Public Library system (and by extension, the Cambridge Public Library system)
  • the Charles River + all the bridges
  • great seafood
  • being close to my in-laws
  • being close to Maine (and a bunch of other places)

so why am I not ready to commit? I don’t know. maybe it’s because I haven’t really made friends of my own yet (a problem further compounded by the fact that I work the night shift). I also think it’s partly because we’re in a year of transition, with my husband still in the middle of his master’s program and looking for a teaching job for the upcoming school year. if there’s one thing that’s a constant in our life right now, it’s a feeling of impermanence. to even things out, here’s a list of things that I don’t love about Boston:

  • lack of daylight during the winter (really threw my depression for a loop)
  • traffic
  • aversion to straight routes to anywhere
  • Patriots anything (sorry, James!)
  • being far away from my family
  • the more reserved nature of the people (which baffles the Midwesterner that I am)

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I’m learning to live out the whole ‘bloom where you’re planted’ thing, so I’m hopeful and grateful for what we DO have right now. we’re together, starting our respective careers, making plans and making moves. I’m trying to live in the moment and savor this season of our lives even as we look towards the future. I know we’ll look back on this time and talk about how lucky we were to live a stone’s throw away from Fenway Park in the middle of it all and laughing about how parking sucked and reminiscing about the challenges of small-apartment living. it’s all about perspective.

wishing you all a good weekend!

 

proud to be a nurse

it’s nurses’s week!

I graduated from nursing school in May 2017 and officially became licensed in September. I’ve been working as an RN for 7 months now, and I couldn’t be more proud of being part of the nursing profession.

I love my job. it has its moments – crazy shifts, frustrating patients, rude family members, cranky doctors, tired feet, aching back, etc. BUT! there are so many good things, which far outweigh the bad.

it’s a privilege to take care of people when they’re sick and to be able to care for them when they’re vulnerable. it’s awesome and humbling, and I am so grateful to be able to do it for a living.

happy nurses’s week to all my fellow nurses!

this week

IMG_0587remembering almost 5 years later

happy friday, everybody!

I’m working a double today, and then James & I will make dinner at home and call it a night. I’m looking forward to a quiet night in as this is a working weekend for both of us, James with his grading and grad school deadlines and me with nursing. #adulting

we’ll just have to leave all the excitement to you guys. ;)

whatever you’re up to this weekend,  have a good one!

IMG_0585sushi date at love art sushi

IMG_0588finally got around to some spring cleaning

IMG_0589enjoyed a Japanese barbecue feast with friends…James was excited, can’t you tell?

IMG_0590my new favorite tote bag

p.s. for in-the-moment stories and pics, follow along on instagram @lovelyhes

a new adventure

hello from boston! we arrived in town last thursday night after driving through indiana, ohio, new york, and pretty much all of massachusetts. there’s nothing like a road trip to remind you how big & wide this country is!

we decided to make a little trip out of it instead of just powering through the 16-hour drive. we stopped for lunch in toledo, oh and stopped for dinner and the night in buffalo, ny. the next day we visited niagara falls (it was james’ first time!), stopped for lunch in utica, ny, and made it to boston in time for dinner at my in-laws.

I’m so glad we did it that way – we were both in need of a little break, and it was nice to be able to take our time and let ourselves take in the scenery along the way.

IMG_5378img_5393.jpgour little buick, packed to the brim

IMG_5381IMG_5380IMG_5379IMG_5383a food coma at tony packo’s (still dreaming about that stuffed cabbage!)

IMG_5391IMG_5413IMG_5402IMG_5401IMG_5404IMG_5411the original buffalo wings by night, niagara falls boat tour (aka, the site of jim & pam’s wedding) at the falls by day

IMG_5415amazing pad thai at a gem of a restaurant we found in utica

IMG_5416nothing says ‘welcome to massachusetts’ better than a bottle of polar

 

 

let’s talk | dealing with depression

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I’ve talked about having depression on the blog before, but awhile back and not in very much detail. that’s a conscious decision on my part, since I don’t want to put every thing about me and my life out there on the web, even if I am taking part in the blogging community. but I am talking about it today here on the blog, because it’s very much a part of my life right now, and if I can’t share it on the space I created to share my thoughts, what’s the point?

I got diagnosed with major depressive disorder about 2 years ago, but I’d been depressed on and off since I was around 11 years old. I come from a family and a culture where mental health isn’t really discussed or even acknowledged as a condition. my parents came from very hard backgrounds, and to them, there was nothing wrong with “being sad” – life is hard, after all. and so I dealt with the depression on my own and without professional help until James finally convinced me to go.

I still remember sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing my diagnosis. as the doctor began explaining all the hallmarks of major depressive disorder – fatigue, lost of interest, cyclic episodes, constant sleeping, low self-esteem – I kept nodding along, feeling like he had taken a snapshot of what I called my “bad days”. I began a medication regimen, and I noticed that my “bad days” were becoming few and far between. when I did have one, it was nowhere near as low as the ones previously. I would feel a little bit down as opposed to drowning in a toxic sea of guilt, shame, and hopelessness. things were getting better, and I felt so much more vibrant and engaged and in control of my mental life than I had in a long time. so when the opportunity came for James to go back to boston for what seemed like a great job and he came to me asking if I’d be ok if he took it, I said yes.

I hadn’t had an episode in over a year. we were doing well. we were happy. was happy. I wanted to show that I was truly better.

but I wasn’t. 3 days after James left, I had an episode. in hindsight, it shouldn’t have been surprising. I was working full-time while in nursing school, which was undeniably stressful, even if I was enjoying myself most of the time. I was also planning a wedding. with the additional stress of a long-distance relationship, I was done. the move wasn’t the sole cause, but it was, I think, what broke the dam.

and I’ve been treading water ever since. there are days when I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above the water, being engulfed by a darkness and hopelessness so pervasive that it’s hard to stay awake, much less get out of bed in the morning. my mind feels hazy, as though I’m in a daze I can’t get out of. on better days, I make it through the day without crying, functioning & surviving, but never quite thriving. I think back to the other extended periods of depression in my life – 6 months during senior year of high school, 2 years in college – and I am paralyzed by the fear that this tunnel is nowhere close to ending. I know I have help now, and I know how to deal with some things better, and yet, I’m afraid.

I’m afraid because I know my illness makes people uncomfortable. I can see the discomfort in their eyes, and I just withdraw even more, which makes people think I’m cold or distant or weird. I see how it embarrasses my husband to have to explain to his family why I’m unresponsive or why things are not ok, and I withdraw that little bit more, choking on shame and guilt. I’ve always found it funny that people have mistaken my depression as coldness, because nothing could be farther from the truth. my mind isn’t cold – it’s frenetic, it’s chaotic, it’s unceasing, it’s on the verge of overheating. I’ve come to realize that my parents are not alone in their mistrust and ignorance of mental illness – the misunderstanding is pervasive, and it makes the journey that much more lonely & solitary. I sometimes wish I had something tangible to point to, so I could say to people, “here, here is the manifestation of my depression” and they would understand, they would believe. but I can’t.

so I write instead, finding the words on paper that I can’t find the voice to say out loud. I write sentences to make sense of this tangle of feelings I can’t untie and set right within my head. I write paragraphs to simultaneously explain and maintain the walls I’ve put up between me and judgmental questions. I write thoughts to give what I’m experiencing a corporal existence.

I write to give life to the atrophy I’m feeling. I write because it’s the only way I know how to live my way through the dark.

thank you for reading.