Tag Archive: europe


I’m not sure what’s going on lately in my brain but something isn’t right.

I think my problem is that I haven’t been sleeping well.  I’ve been pretty much a mess since I’ve been home from Europe, but I feel like my internal clock should be back to normal by now.  This weekend, I pretty much just slept when I felt tired, which was at weird times. And then Sunday I basically slept all day.  I don’t think that’s a problem though because I was still suffering from jetlag then.

Lately, things have just been cray cray.  Weird stuff has been happening, stuff I haven’t experienced in my sleep before.

Usually, when I sleep I never remember my dreams or even really feel like I had been dreaming. Lately, I wake up and I know I’ve been dreaming. I still never remember my dreams but I think that’s because every time I wake up, I’m waking up in a panic so the memory of my dream gets pushed away quickly.

In the past, I don’t even really remember waking up in the middle of the night all that often.  Sure, I’d wake up right before my alarm went off, but that is totally different than waking up at 3am and wondering what the hell is happening. It’s not even like there’s an alarm or a noise or some kind of event that occurs to make me wake up in the middle of the night. I just all of a sudden become awake and freak out because I don’t know what’s going on.

For instance, last night, as has been the pattern for the last three or four nights, I wake up at, like, 3am and have absolutely NO idea where the hell I am. I wake up all confused and disoriented and it takes a hot minute to figure out that I’m at home in my own bed, sleeping alone. I don’t really know where I think I am when I wake up all confused, but I know that it’s very disturbing.  I am so confused that I literally sit up and try looking around, and then get out of bed to get my bearings. That’s when I realize, Oh, no, it’s okay. Go back to bed, you’re fine. You’re at home.  On another note, I also am not sure why I start freaking out about why I’m in my bed alone. I wake up in a panic because whoever I think is supposed to be next to me suddenly isn’t anymore.

I’m not even kidding. I spend a good five solid minutes every night, in the middle of the night, trying to figure out what the fuck is happening. And then because I get so worked up, I have to spend another five minutes trying to calm the fuck down and coax myself back to sleep.

I guess I’m just gonna hope for the best and keep my fingers crossed that this behavior eventually just stops and I can resume my normal sleeping behavior.  And quickly.

Please keep your fingers crossed that I can sleep through the night.

So, I have been mentioning my trip to Europe a lot lately.

In case I haven’t fully explained what’s happening, that’s what this post will be about.

For three weeks, I will be in Europe.  I am doing a three-week study abroad program for my MBA and will be taking a finance class and fulfilling credits for my Capstone while I am over there.  These next three weeks will be spent in London, Paris, and Barcelona.  We will have the opportunity to tour a few companies and understand international business practices.

I am so, so excited, I cannot even tell you!

For one thing, I have never traveled anywhere that far away by myself before.  I know I won’t really be alone alone but I don’t know anyone in my study abroad program so it feels like I’m alone.  Also, I meant that in the sense that I haven’t traveled somewhere (especially this far away) without my family (or a friend) by my side or who was meeting me at my destination.  I haven’t been away from friends or family for that long before either.

I live such a sheltered life.

I have been to Europe three times before, so it won’t be completely foreign to me.  When I was in seventh grade, Tam, Drew and I ventured to Italy for Tam’s 40th birthday.  Then, my senior year of high school, Tam took us to London for spring break.  Four years later, when Drewy was a senior in high school, we went back to London for spring break but this time we added a few days in Paris.

Having never been to Spain, I am beyond excited to experience an entirely new city.  I have only heard good things about Barcelona!

Here’s the thing though: I have a crazy amount of anxiety about the trip.  I am a terrible flyer. I hate packing. I’m nervous about my Final Exam in my econ class tomorrow. I haven’t started packing.  There’s an e. coli outbreak in Europe. My mom keeps asking me questions and it’s freaking me out. What if I cry on the plane and become that girl who cried on the plane? What if I get homesick and miss my mom too much?

I wanted to let you know that this will be my last post until I return, which is July 8.  I am going on a little hiatus, if you will.  I just don’t know what kind of schedule I can maintain while I’m there, and I just really want to experience all that I can while I’m there. I do hope you understand….

Anyway, I need to review some of my econ stuff and actually start packing.

(Except, when I say that, I know that I’ll just sit on the couch and watch Tangled with Seneca, since she’s here because she can’t bear the thought of being without one leg of the tripod for three weeks.)

LAHV YEW.

Oh, here’s this for you too. I found it on tumblr somewhere.

I'm done packing.

Sweet baby Jesus. It is currently 11:34 pm Thursday, June 9.  I just realized it is Thursday and I hadn’t posted yet.

I’ve been working on a finance case study and feeling anxiety about my final project for my econ class.

I’m also getting sick again.  It started with a stuffy nose yesterday. I woke up this morning feeling like death.  I decided to skip the gym and sleep until I felt better. I finally got up at 11am because I was already disgusted with myself for sleeping that late in the day, despite the fact that I was not feeling well.  All day long I felt extreme sinus pressure and my voice sounded a little off.  Now my throat is killing me and I just hope this goes away before Thursday, when I board my plane for London.

This is how today began:

Strugz City!

Today, obviously, didn’t go as planned.

When I went to get my oil changed, I realized that the hood of my car wouldn’t pop open.  The dude at the oil change place was little to no help and when I called my parents (yes, both of them), they didn’t really tell me anything I wasn’t already thinking.  I decided to take my car to the dealership and be like WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?! Except, I didn’t tell them about the scary noise it makes; I didn’t want them to take my car away from me! I just told the man that my little latchy-thing didn’t work and that the top part of my car wouldn’t open.

I spent the next hour and forty-seven minutes of my life listening to the Doppler radar report in the sitting/waiting area in the car dealership and reading the latest Newsweek.

Turns out the latch for the hood was corroded (or something???), so, for $20, they repaired that for me.  Then, they changed my oil because the man knew that I needed to get that done.  And they replaced my air filter because mine was apparently “pretty nasty looking.”

I mean, I guess I could have said no, but meh… if it’s something I’m breathing on a regular basis, I suppose I would like that to be clean.

So, 75 dollhairs later, I left the dealership and drove like a bat out of hell to Best Buy.

While I was waiting Janine (my car) to be finished with her high-maintenance bullshit, I had received a phone call from the Geek Squad at Best Buy, alerting me that my computer (JOY!) was ready to be picked up.  When I got there, I had to wait in line (Sucktown!) but I had ample time to people-watch, one of my favorite activities.  Finally, I was reunited with my computer, who had gotten a brand new motherboard.  All of my data remained on my hard-drive and everything was normal and perfect.

Obviously, the day turned into this:

Now I’m going to continue with my finance case study and drink some tea to ease my sore throat.

Please think happy thoughts and send me some “get better” vibes so I won’t be sick while I’m in Europe!! Also, thinking some “I hope you get the job you interviewed for this week!” vibes wouldn’t hurt either.

Believe it or not, I really am trying to get all my ducks in a row…

 

I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that I have created a safe guard against my increasing anxiety as the date of my departure creeps towards me.

Just today I had a mini-meltdown in the shower as I went through my mental checklist of things to do before I leave.  And my list was mainly academic.  It had nothing to do with all the other shit outside of school I need to get ready/buy/organize/plan.  I was running through the next 15 days in my head and worrying how I was to get all of my assignments done (and on time!) prior to my flight out of the lovely US of A.

I’m not sure if I’ve told you all about my trip to Europe this summer, but please don’t worry- there is more information to come.

I just wanted to let you all know right now that I took my color coding and organization to the next level today.

In a slight attempt to further procrastinate writing my ECON paper, I opened up Microsoft Excel and began building myself an Assignment & Due Date Matrix.

Why, yes, I am aware of what a nerd I am.

You can make fun of me all you want, I don’t mind.  I’ll be sitting here, stress-free and on top of all of my assignments because of it.  AND, I’ll get to feel the satisfaction of checking something off of this very specific to-do list. It’s all pretty and perfect and it’s all mine.

The best part is that as soon as it was complete, I immediately felt better about everything. Usually, when I create a to-do list or write something in my planner, I can feel good that it’s written down and won’t be forgotten.

Now, I know that instead of dreaming about failing all three of my classes this summer, I’ll start having stress dreams about what to pack for my trip.

I fucking hate packing.

If you were going out of the country for three weeks and could only bring one fifty pound bag, one carry-on, and one personal item, what would you bring??? Also, do you have any packing strategies? I’m going to need all the help I can get.

On Monday morning, one of my coworkers alerted me that the world was predicted to be ending this coming Friday, as in Tomorrow. She said she heard on the radio that we could forget about coming into work on Saturday because the world was ending Friday night. I don’t know if this was a national prediction or if it was just one that was spread through West Michigan, but either way, I guess people were pretty serious about it on Monday morning.

Obviously, she was sharing this news with us to mock the crazy people who 1.) predicted this, and 2.) called into the radio station to discuss their plans for the week to prepare for the world ending on Friday night.  In fact, the seven minutes following her divulgence of this information, those of us in the office mocked the general public and made sarcastic comments about not being “saved” and how we’d be left on earth to face Hell (except I was serious about experiencing hell- because let’s get real, I’m definitely on God’s shit list).

Seriously, if I’m going to believe anyone about the world ending, I’m going to believe the Mayans or Aztecs or whoever the fuck came up with that calendar that ends in 2012. (I’m clearly well-versed in end-of-the-world conspiracy theories.) I just feel like that’s probably legit.  At least, more legit than some rando hyper-religious alcoholic/meth-head cult leader sitting in a lazyboy in the middle of a corn field during his four day bender shouting at his cows that the world is going to end. I mean, that profile may not be accurate, but it’s probably pretty close.

If the world does end tomorrow night, though, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.  I did not live this week as if it was my last.  I mean, I did get drunk on a Monday night and I did get to color code my planner up to the first week of July, but that is just not enough.  I mean, just today I spent my free time this evening finding a new ringtone, doodling in my econ notebook because I didn’t feel like thinking, poking around on facebook, twitter and tumblr, making dinner and taking care of Chiefy, who, incidentally, is experiencing some health issues.

The world just can’t end tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to wear out my new ringtone. I haven’t had a chance to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I haven’t gone on my Study Abroad trip yet! I still have Taylor Swift’s concert to look forward to in July. My driver’s license doesn’t expire until 2013! I have food in the fridge that is still good after tomorrow.

Even if the world ends tomorrow and a bunch of people get to be saved by Jesus, I hope I’m left here.  With all the other ruffians and rejects. It’ll probably be more fun anyway because the only people left will be those with a sick sense of humor and a moral compass that doesn’t point due north, like myself. We’ll have a blast. And that way, I can still use my non-expired driver’s license and enjoy all the food still in the fridge. And all of Hollywood will still be here (because they’re fucked), so I can still see HP7.2 in July when I get home from Europe. Basically, my life will be no different.

So, I guess, here’s what I have to say about the end of the world, should it come tomorrow night: bring it. I’m ready.

I guess this might see unrelated, but maybe I'll do this sexy hair shake in preparation for the world ending.

I’ve been menstruating since, like, sixth grade. Blood coming out of my body is not necessarily a new thing.

But, um, that blood comes out of my vagina. And it’s regular, you know? Like, I can pretty much count on it.  And when I forget about it, I just have to remember the last time I cried in my bed for three days in a row for no particular reason (e.g. Drew uses the last of the milk on his second bowl of cereal Christmas morning; a stranger at Meijer gives me a dirty look; a Folgers Coffee commercial on TV) and I’ll realize that it’s about that time again.

But, this morning, when I realized that my body was gushing blood, I freaked the fuck out.

I do not like blood. I’d be, like, the worst vampire ever. It makes me queasy. Ever since Drew wrecked his face and I had to run from the neighbor’s house at age 5 (or something?) to tell our parents Drew’s lip was … not really on his face anymore, things just haven’t been okay for me and Blood. Even when it comes out of my vagina, I have to distance myself from it; I have to pretend it’s not really blood. Ugh. I have the willies just thinking about it.

Anyway, this gushing blood? It was not coming from my ladybox.

(Sorry I talked about my vagina, Drew.)

I can’t even tell you the last time I had a bloody nose.

Even though I’m clumsy as fuck and run into shit all the time, I haven’t hit my nose in a way that makes it bleed. When Drew chucked a tennis ball at my face, my nose didn’t bleed.

I wasn’t even participating in a strenuous activity. Nothing happened. There was no trauma to my face.

(This leads me to believe that something exploded in my brain and that I’m probably going to die.)

I was driving to work this morning, just driving along listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on CD when OUT OF NOWHERE my nose started gushing blood. Literally. I couldn’t get a Kleenex to my face fast enough. There was SO MUCH BLOOD. And it was everywhere.

I was so ill-equipped.  What, with the almost-empty, smashed-to-hell box of Kleenex I keep in my car, the fact I was driving at a barely-legal 78 miles an hour on I-96 at 8am, and OH YEAH I HAVE NEVER HAD A BLOODY NOSE AND ALL OF MY FIRST-AID TRAINING APPARENTLY FLEW OUT OF MY BRAIN IN A PANIC BECAUSE I DO NOT POSSESS GRACE UNDER FIRE.

My intention was that I would be able to stop at Starbucks or Beaners (fuck that, I refuse to call it Biggby) to grab a caramel macchiato or chai latte (respectively) and make it to work on time. Ohhhh, no. That did not happen, although I did pull into the Starbucks parking lot to try to stop the bleeding. To no avail.

I drove the rest of the way to work with a Kleenex shoved up my nose while I called my mother in a panic (she didn’t pick up; she doesn’t love me.) and machine gun-like sobs escaped from my lungs. I cried my way to work with a Kleenex shoved up my left nostril.

So attractive.

When I finally got to work, it looked like I had killed someone.

There was blood ALL OVER my scarf (the one Drew brought home for me from VIENNA!), my coat, the steering wheel in my car, my pants, both of my hands and all down my arms.

I was a fucking mess.

Seriously, that kid on youtube who got all upset about the blood? You know what I’m talking about: BLOOD?! NOT FUNNYYYYYYY!!! He was fucking right.

I even opened the first aid kit I keep in my car for sanitizing wipes to wipe all of the blood off of my hands and the steering wheel.  It only kinda worked, though, because the first aid kit is kinda old and it has been sitting in my car for a while so the wet-wipe thing I used was dried out.  So, mostly, I dumped a fuck-ton of antibacterial hand gel everywhere and wiped with the not-wet-at-all wet-wipe (because I DIDN’T HAVE ANYMORE KLEENEX LEFT!). Things didn’t really work out for me this morning as I was self-conscious about my bloody-ness all day long.

Here’s the silver lining though: at least this didn’t happen on a Monday. My whole week would have been fucked.

(OMG I can’t believe I’m even about to say this- because it’s terrible and very, very offensive, but oh well I’m going to anyway…) All I could think of, though, through the whole ordeal: If I had The HIV, this would be a nightmare. And if I was a hemophiliac, I would be so fucked right now.

With Drew studying abroad, it makes me wish I would have been brave and done study abroad while I was in college.

I was too much of a chickenshit to ever leave home.

I went to college twenty minutes away from my childhood home. With traffic, the car ride from my apartment at school to the house I grew up in was twenty minutes. I went home all the time. Sometimes, it was because I legitimately had a reason, like I forgot something. Most of the time, though, I went home for dumb, pretend reasons. I went home to hang out with my dog. I went home to steal food and avoid going grocery shopping (it stresses me out!). I went home to watch movies I wasn’t allowed to take with me back to school. I went home just to have my mom do my laundry (but not fold it, ’cause she does it wrong) and take care of me when I was hungover.

I’m still a pansy, but that is neither here nor there.

My point is that I am so envious of Drew’s European adventure. He posted pictures from his weekend trip to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam on facebook yesterday. Looking at the pictures from Paris, it made me want to go there again so bad. (We went my junior year of college and I skipped more than a week of classes to do so.) I saw his pictures of the Arc de Triomphe and immediately felt like I needed to go back. His pictures of Notre Dame were amazing, and I died a little ’cause I wanted to be there too. Someday, I’ll go back to Paris and I won’t be such a pansy and I’ll actually go to the top of Notre Dame, like Drew did. Twice.

I want to walk that street and shop 'til I drop.

My fear of heights really ruins my life. When we were in London, I couldn’t go to the tallest part of all the churches. Both times we were in London, I stopped at the first level and waited while everyone else ventured to the top to overlook the city from all of the beautiful churches. I panicked when we went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I didn’t go to the ledge because I immediately thought I would blow off and die. I did, however, fake it and took a cheesy picture at the top anyway.

CHEEEEEEEESE

I just really, really, really want to go back to Europe. I want to go all over and see all the sights! I want to see the things I’ve seen before and I want to see and experience new things! I love seeing Drew’s pictures and find myself living vicariously through his experiences. The weekend needs to hurry up and get here so he can travel some more and take more pictures and post them ASAP!

For now, though, I’ll leave you with this photo. We were hanging out in front of Buckingham Palace, and Mom sniped a picture of her two lovely children. Family vacations are awesome.

We were obviously really ready.