Thank You!

“Sometimes it feels like, I’m gonna break

Sometimes this world, gives more than I can take

Sometimes, sunshine gets lost in the rain

And it keeps pouring down

It just keeps coming down.

This life would kill me if I didn’t have you…”

–Thompson Square, “If I Didn’t Have You”


This month has been exceptionally tough for me. It began with my roommate bullying me, calling me a slew of inappropriate names, making it difficult to be at home, let alone eat, think clearly, or be remotely happy. This started the apartment search, which began with me looking by myself for a place that, on my salary, would’ve been a shoebox…literally. This was stressful because I didn’t want to share with too many people the difficulties I was having, so I was working solo on finding a place and no realtor was willing to work with me at my price range. Thankfully, my lovely friend Katie volunteered to be my roomie, but even then, searching for places, talking to a million landlords/realtors, and spending several nights a week visiting everything from downright dumps to terrible neighborhoods to apartments with bedrooms the size of a closet was time-consuming and frustrating. The month ended with a 13% staff layoff in my company. Last Monday morning, we were told that multiple of us would lose our jobs; this set off a tizzy of freaking out situations throughout the following week. Fortunately, I still have a job, but my boss decided to retire early and around 30 of my coworkers were let go and asked to leave immediately. To say the least, my heart rate spiked entirely too many times this March and I was left with many sleepless nights.

Without a home to be comfortable in and with a job from which I had the possibility of being laid off, I could’ve lost my mind this month, but many people stepped up in my life to help take care of me, so this blog post is a big ol’ thank you!!! to these people:

Mom and Dad – Thank you for listening to me, sending me words of encouragement, and packing me to move for the 13th time in my adult life.

My new roomie, Katie – I’m so grateful it’s working out for us to live together! Not only will I feel comfortable in our new home, but we’re going to have so much fun!

Kira – I appreciate so much the opportunity to hide out at your house on several occasions, namely the day my roommate lashed out on me and the evening when potential roommates came to view my bedroom. You’ve let me talk for hours, so thank you for listening and always giving great advice!

Mario – I feel very lucky to have you in my life this month. Having a place to hide away during the crazy times and a person to not only let me vent, but to make me happy has been paramount in me getting through this month. Thank you!

My many other friends, coworkers, and family – Thanks for all of the words of support; knowing I’m not alone made me feel so much better. I can’t name you all, but I do appreciate it all.

In 5 days, I’ll be completely moved out of my apartment and I luckily still have a job that I enjoy going to each and every day. My situation is getting easier and I look forward to the possibilities ahead!

A House into a Home




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While living in Ottawa for three years I accumulated a vast array of decorative pieces turning my large apartment into a home that I loved. Pictures of friends and family littered my shelves, photographs of places I’d traveled to around the world hung on the walls, while vases and pretty adornments were placed throughout. When I moved to Hong Kong, I knew it was temporary so no nails were pounded into the wall and no money was spent on fancy things; instead, the only decoration was a slew of cards I received on a regular basis from family overseas who missed me. This was just a place to reside, even though I did learn to love each foot of those 330 square feet.  Now, I take up exactly 100 sq ft of bedroom space, having left the furnishing to my roommates who allowed me to be a guest in their home. Though this does make packing easier, it certainly doesn’t feel like home…or at least my home anyway. 


So this time I’m going to do it right – I’m excited to make my next house a home! Katie (my new roommate), my parents, and I traveled to Ottawa yesterday to pick through my storage unit. Along with the obligatory dining table and mixing bowls, we packed my old international pictures, a decorative metal tree, and a chandelier I received for Christmas one year. I’m ready to make my new home a warm place where I enjoy being with people I like being around. This apartment won’t be a place to merely sleep, but somewhere where my friends and family feel comfortable visiting, I feel at ease turning on the TV whenever I choose (without feeling scorned), and a sanction for the things I like. Oh, and it’ll be awesome to not wake up to creaking floors at 5:30 every morning and have bitchy roommates. Five days ‘til moving day!!

Chi-town Friends

I have a friend in Australia, many in Hong Kong, a bestie in London, friends in Sycamore and from high school around the U.S. But my friend quota in Chicago is seriously lacking. I can only call a handful of people my friend in the city which makes it slim pickings when finding activities or people to hang out with.

This begs the question: how do you make new friends? My workmates are great at work, but we don’t do things socially. I meet people at yoga classes and at Kappa alum activities but I have yet to exchange numbers with someone I’ve met there.

I had this same predicament when I lived in Ottawa, the town of married folks with kids and young townies who refuse to be friendly with newbies. My solution there was to go home every other weekend and make friends with my parents. The same problem plagued me when I moved to Hong Kong, except this time I didn’t have my parents to use as a crutch, so I spent my first few months woefully lonely. So when I came to Chicago, I was none-too-surprised to find myself back again without many friends in the immediate area. I became buddies with married folk in Ottawa, eventually gained great pals in HK, so I’m not too worried now, but it still sucks spending the weekends making plans to go to yoga at night so I don’t have to spend both nights at home.

Dating helps because it automatically gives me someone to hang out with a few nights a week and because the guy I’m dating has friends to hang out with. So what happens when he’s out of town and your best friend in the city is sick and your soon-to-be new roomie is also on vaca? You plan shopping dates with your mom, go to yoga at least twice, and watch a whole lotta TV. Most importantly, you write blogs complaining that you don’t have enough friends instead of getting out there and making them.

Take a Chance, Make a Change

“You are always one choice away from changing your life.” – a quote posted in a coworker’s office

One of my biggest fears in life is ending up alone, yet when I’m in a relationship, I tend to self-sabotage it. I get needy, raging jealousy, and stupidly defensive. Yes, I am a small part of all of these things normally (in the movies, they call these fatal flaws), but when I’m dating someone these seem to increase tenfold. Currently in a relationship, I’ve noticed these characteristics rearing their ugly heads. I’m acknowledging them, but now I need to kick their butts to the curb. No guy is going to like a girl who doesn’t act confident or self-reliant. So I’m saying sayonara to these obsessive behaviors and âllo again to the independent, happy woman I have become throughout my life’s journey.

One of the best ways to combat these terrible traits is to trust the person I’m dating, but that’s ridiculously hard to do when I’ve only just met a person and one of the last guys I dated cheated on me. It ain’t easy trusting a stranger with my full self until he’s earned that trust. Or am I backwards? Do you trust fully until that person gives you a reason not to trust them? My life in love would certainly be easier if I wasn’t constantly worried and instead enjoying the honeymoon period from which every relationship blossoms. So I’m going to work on this part of myself. Live in the moment, stop worrying, and chill the f$@* out (yea, I’m still working on that New Year’s resolution!).

Moving – Again!!

I’ve given my 30-days notice and I am getting the f@$* out of my apartment. What started out as bad, became bearable though still awkward, and grew to become a monster. After a litany of texts hailed at me from one roommate claiming that I’m ignorant, uncultured, and a white girl (um hello, I am?!), I decided that I’d had enough of walking on eggshells. I want to come home and watch TV when I’m tired without being accused of hogging the television. I want to have a grown up conversation when someone is annoyed with something I’ve done, not get called rude and offensive names. I want to have the guy I’m dating come over without getting a note telling him to put the toilet seat down. I may want many things, but none of them are unreasonable. So the apartment search begins…again. Fingers crossed!

And please send good karma my way for the strength to last 32 more days in this place. Because for the last 8 days since the name-calling, I’ve been finding it difficult to eat, my stomach is always in knots, I cry randomly, I avoid home like there’s a plague there (which there sort of is), and I’m nervous constantly. Thank heavens for the wonderful Chicago friends I have for keeping my distracted as much as possible and talking me off a ledge. I will get through this…and I’ll probably be able to eat a horse when I’m moved.

I read an appropriately great quote today that helped me feel justified in my needing to move. I only have one life and I gotta do what’s right for me before this life is adios: “At our age, the end is no longer an abstraction. It’s not in the periphery; it is right in front of us – and has definable features. All roads lead to the Big Adios.”

-Tony Fitzpatrick

New City newspaper

Monogamy = No Sharing = I Love It

Growing up, my brother and I had different interests and ideas of what was fun. He didn’t share his GI Joes, and I certainly didn’t let him take my Barbies. Yes, I learned to share in preschool, but sharing my lunch (heaven forbid I don’t get to eat that entire peanut butter sandwich my dad had so carefully prepared) or my childhood sweethearts was definitely a no-go. I’m admitting it, I don’t like to share. I didn’t back in the day, and I don’t now. When I told my friends that I’d met a pretty cool guy who fit my 5 criteria and that I’d rather get off online dating (also known as, offline dating) and see what happens with just him (yes, only him, no one else), here are the responses that I got: “Are you sure you want to put all of your eggs in one basket?” And “what about the pair and a share theory?” And this multi-dating thing is good in theory, but really freakin’ hard in practice.

An article that I recently read stated it best:

My free-spirited dream self who’d swill wine in Costa Rica wanted to believe Kainoa was the first of many flings I would have until I fell upon the right guy, or the right guy for the moment, but the serial monogamist part of myself, the part that had been in one serious relationship after another since I was 18, was dying for him to call. Dying for him to fawn over me. Dying, secretly, in the most embarrassing depths of my soul, for this random surfer dude to be “it” so I didn’t have to do any more work.

I am a monogamist. I want one guy to love only me while I only love him. Why share when I can eat that whole pb sammie all by myself? And as another friend said, “Isn’t that where we ultimately want to be?” In the end, it’s only 2 people. Why not live that way all the time? So, as my dating saga continues, it continues with only 1 guy who’s taking out to dinners, inviting me to friend’s birthday parties, and sending me text messages whenever he thinks about me. I like this monogamy thing, I think I’ll stick with it for a while.

Taking Chicago by storm…one date, one yoga class, one salsa lesson, one blog post, one trip, one drink, one meal, one new friendship at a time.