New Things

I am the kind of person who gets bored easily. This week alone, I cracked open some crossword puzzles, learned how to make a bunch of different origami projects, got my first manicure ever, and read books outside of my usual genre. I’ve even bonded with my younger brother over Harry Potter puzzles of Quidditch games. Oh, and I got a new haircut and a new job.

I like new experiences. I enjoy pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. It helps me especially at this time of year, when my anxiousness begins boiling up from the harshness of winter and waiting for warmer weather. It is easily my least favorite month of the year, because there are random warm days that tease my mind with hope that finally I can go outside comfortably.

It is hard for me to stay still, but I am working on it. Never is it so important to understand that being still in times of distress is invaluable–it demonstrates your strength and builds character. Whenever I find my mind wandering into a dark space, I reign in those thoughts, slap a smile on my face, and picture myself on the beach in the sun. Just enough mindfulness to get by, just enough to recognize that I am exhausted from this season, and just enough to give my min a break, a moment to breathe.

I leave you with this:

This too shall pass.

-Marta

 

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A break

In the last three years, every break that I’ve gotten felt like it came at the right time. That is exactly how I feel right now. For the first time in three months, I slept until 10 am (technically 9 am, but fuck daylights savings) and I woke up without the rush to be somewhere or get somewhere. My first thought was a cup of hot coffee and reading the book I fell asleep reading.

This break is going to do a lot for me. You know those premonitions you have about things and people? This break is all about lucid time frame, reading, coffee dates, sunsets, smiles, recovery, and sleep.  That’s exactly what I envision this break to do for me.

Spring break, thank you for existing.

Love and light,

Miti

Let’s Get Political

This weekend, I went to Washington DC for a conference about ending extreme poverty through policy advocacy. Basically, me and 200 others were trying to save the world through politics.

At school, I am part of a chapter of the ONE Campaign, and we push our state delegates to protect foreign aid policies that save lives. This week, we were fighting to keep the 150 Account (aka foreign aid and State Department) from being cut from the federal budget. Right now, it makes up less than 1% of the US budget. Yeah.

I met with all four of my state delegates, meeting both of my senators in person. I experienced the exclusive nature of US politics, and the deep division of parties that exists in just the Capitol alone. For almost 12 hours, I was wondering through the Senate and House buildings, marching on with my comrades.

People have become too complacent in democracy, too comfortable. We have waited until protests were needed to make change, rather than give a couple hours to the government each month. We get mad when politicians make decisions we don’t like, but they have no idea what we want if we don’t say it out right. 

Call your reps and make some noise about the issues you stand for. If we look to our history books, politics have never changed of their own accord–only when the people have stood up does anything move forward.

Marta

Anxiously Waiting

I went to a yoga class recently where I learned the importance of being still amidst chaos and uncertainty. The teacher expressed this during sustained warrior poses (keep those shaking legs strong!) and balances. Just be present, be here, and be strong. Keep your mind inside your body. Feel all of the pain, fear, and anger, and let it sit. Accept it and move in.

Well, that all happened before I got my dream job.

Since being accepted into the Peace Corps, every day has felt unreal. When dreams and reality collide, I can get… wigged out. That, plus the mountain of paperwork I now find myself buried in. My saving grace is a combination of my partner, good friends, family, and journaling.

I think the worst part is the wait! I only have six months, but…. that is six whole months. It is so close, and so far away. There is so much to do, but it is still to early to do any of it (plus, I still have to graduate between now and then). I have always been the type to rip off the band aid. Don’t sit in anxiety, just rip it away. That is how I got my first tattoo–I decided to get it three days before it was inked on me forever. Or when I moved away from my home the first time to live on campus–I made the move very quick and all at once.

I don’t like letting myself sit in the anxiousness. It is uncomfortable, makes my legs shake, and slowly lose grip of my resolve to just do it. Right now I am stuck in quite the warrior pose, and there is nothing I can do but be still and absorb it all. So, here I am, excited and anxiously waiting for what is to come.

Stay fearless, kind, and hopeful,

Marta

In the world full of cynics

be the one who chooses to care.

I have been struggling with the notion of “caring” a lot lately. Maybe it’s because of all the stupid rules that are imposed in our day to day social interactions or because being casual is cool. I have been vocal about how playing-it-cool cramps my style. It is fake, insincere, and takes a lot of work. However, there are times when I see my ego get in the way and it makes me do the very things that I have been against.

I obviously step back when that happens and reconsider my actions–correct them if I have to. But it leaves me a position that makes me feel like a cling on, overbearing, and even desperate.

I was watching blue valentine last week (terribly depressing but worth a watch) and the notion of “cold love” kept coming up again and again. I think how the characters were feeling, one trying too hard and the other not reciprocating, is the way I can describe how I feel about the casualness with which people handle friendships and relationships.

Maybe I am not even a cling on, maybe just the fact that I care and that I reach out feels a lot in itself. As if, I’ve overstepped a boundary that I was supposed to maintain.

What I don’t understand is, why would someone go to lengths to make it evident that the other person is not important? Doesn’t that take a lot more effort than to just send them a message asking them how they’re doing?

Thoughts?

Love and light,

Miti

 

 

WE GOT IT

These words rang throughout my day today: we got it. My SO and I, after months and years and talking about ‘it’, finally got into the Peace Corps. I spent most of the day reading all the materials they’ve sent us to prepare, and sending messages to friends and family about the news.

In 6 months, I will be shipped off to the other side of the world.

It is such an unreal feeling, and my brain is toasted to a crisp, but in a good way. My dad sent me this text after I told him the news:

Here’s the fatherly I told you so moment: you worked hard, built up your resume, did more than just talk about helping people, and stuck through things not everyone finishes.

And here’s the thing… my dad is right. I am the kid who goes for the things others are not willing to do. I walk my talk. If I say I want to do something, I actually go and make it happen. I spent the last 2 years working for this, and it finally became a reality.

live-life

I hope this inspires you to do that crazy thing on your list. It’s bound to be in your reach,

Marta

How to Cope with Stress

I’m prepping for an interview and one of the questions they want me to be prepared to answer is how I cope with stress. I figured I would share my answer with you all here.

1. Worst Possible Scenario

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This might not work for everyone, but if you’re anything like me, you get really stressed and anxious about a lot of things. So, I use this to my advantage. I conjure up the worst possible outcome out of a given situation, hold onto it for a moment, then let it go. More often than you think, that worst possible scenario is not the worst possible scenario at all. The world won’t end, you keep going, and live to tell the tale later. Things are never as bad as they seem.

2. Take a Vacation (and, yes, you can)

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Every day, I literally go on vacation. It’s actually quite easy. I will give myself fifteen minutes tops where I don’t look at the clock, I don’t think about my responsibilities or schedule, and go on mental vacation mode. I’ll do activities I know only take 10 minutes or so, like journaling, going for a walk, playing ukulele, having a dance party, yoga flow, drawing and just about anything else. It’s amazing what these mini vacations can do for you.

3. Hold onto Hope

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I once heard the Vlogbrothers on YouTube mention that hope is an inexhaustible source of human energy. It never, ever runs out. I’ve met women who’s towns were bombed, and they are still here. I’ve met people who left everything behind and started a new life in a new country mostly on their own, and they are still chugging along. I am inspired by those who stay hopeful, and it reminds me to stay hopeful through just about anything.

Stay fearless, kind, and hopeful,

Marta