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Hi reader! It is my sincerest wish that this moment finds you well. Despite the months that have passed since the onset of the pandemic, I believe there remains a lot of space to be given to the discomforts and unknowns of the days and navigating the ‘new normal,’ whatever that looks like to you. We have to be gentle with ourselves and gentle with each other.

Okay, stepping away from that cheddar cheesy-ness I offered you, I want to rip the bandage off once again on sitting down and writing some words to be shared. It has been since mid-August, the Hawaiian sun beating down on me, that I wrote. I got away from the keyboard and got caught up with all the feelings and anxieties and excitements of where my life has taken me since the beach days. After a brief moment in Michigan to pack up my things, load a U-haul and say hi and bye once again, I made the journey west and I am now calling Fort Collins, Colorado home.

Somewhere in my island summer, aware that the Hawaiian adventure had an expiration date, I grappled with what I was to do next. Really since abruptly coming back to America in March due to Covid-19, I have been befuddled on making a new plan. I had spent so much time in the final months of Myanmar hyper-focused on this magical (most definitely unrealistic and quite delusional) idea of packing my bags and jumping through Southeast Asia with my friend, Tess, as we decompressed and reevaluated ourselves after our two years of service. I had this grand notion of redeeming parts of my identity that were repressed or bent to the cultural demands of Myanmar, my town, my role as a teacher, of being the foreigner amongst locals. A bit arrogantly, I longed to be the cool chick in the hostel hangout with an edge to my traveler story. I had naive aspirations to acquire an unshakeable confidence in myself based on having exposed myself over and over again to new places, people, opportunities. And surprise, surprise, none of it happened. However, surprise, surprise, maybe all of it happened, just in the form I could never have planned on?

Instead of Indonesian jungles, I hiked down Hawaiian red dirt trails. Instead of hostels of people, I sent postcards and letters to past and present friends, family, strangers, long lost acquaintances. Instead of having long conversations with strangers, I had them with myself, writing pages and pages in my journal grappling with who am I and who I want to be. Instead of late nights under city lights, I had early mornings with my coffee.

The plans that I had months to ruminate on were wiped away and the adjusted ‘no plan, plan’ became grounded in holding myself together, while the rest of the world did the same in all the different ways. The forced reset left me to trust in myself, the moment, the opportunities that arose. When my Grandpa offered me his place in Hawaii, I said yes, not difficult to do, but still knowing that arriving to a new place and community alone had its challenges. When the friend I was meant to travel with got a house in Fort Collins and offered me the second room, I said yes, despite not having a job or much other reason to show up here.

And that brings me back to words, back to now. These words are a continuation of my story as well as a fresh start to the next chapter of my life. The chapter where I showed up to a new city and I figure it out. I am walking directionless through my days, yet finding markers along the way. I don’t know if my life is supposed to lead anywhere or I just keep going around the same damn circle, relearning the same damn lessons. It doesn’t really matter. Just figured it might be interesting to write about it along the way.

So welcome back to the blog and thanks for reading!

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