Reveries of Disillusioned Enchantment

Figuring Out A Whole New Life

After a whirlwind 8 years of living, learning and exploring in New York City, Prague, Paris, Moldova and India and countless travels around the world; I'm back home in Georgia figuring out what to do next.

My First Cleanse

So I’m almost done. I can see, taste and smell the food on the horizon. I’ve even already decided on what I’m going to eat tomorrow. I. Can’t. Wait. But to be honest, this cleanse hasn’t been half bad. In fact, I think I actually enjoyed it. 

I had decided in the last year that I wanted to do a juice cleanse. I have been vegan and semi-gluten free for a year and a half now and wanted to up the ante on the healthy eating. I recently began substituting smoothies for meals and boy have they become my favorite thing in the world. A refreshing smoothie with all sorts of fruits, a bit of juice, almond milk and tons of leafy greens? It sounds gross, but it is seriously the best thing ever. As I’ve been drinking more and more of my meals, I thought it was time to test out a juice cleanse.

Arden’s Garden, an Atlanta based juice manufacturer, had quickly become my go to for juices and smoothies on the go. It was delicious and a lot less expensive than the $8 per bottle from Blue Print Juices. Are they crazy?! It was inexpensive, delicious and good for you. What’s not to love about that? So that’s who I looked to for my first cleanse.

I initially looked at the two day cleanse but I quickly discarded that when I learned that you have to drink the same thing for two days straight (plus my friend told me the citric acid was hard on her stomach). The ‘Love Your Liver’ cleanse looked a little more appetizing with 6 different types of juice over 3 days. I went for it.  

I think the only thing difficult about this cleanse is having delicious looking food constantly around you. I’ve gotten pretty good at resisting these urges considering more than half of the food I see on a daily basis, is not vegan and therefore off-limits. But when your coworkers are eating that awesome tempeh curry and your fiance is chowing down on some scrumptious-smelling vegan dumplings, then it gets hard. When the day is done though, I wasn’t hungry. I honestly feel like I had plenty to eat. There were often times when I didn’t feel like I could possibly drink anymore, my stomach was so full. The juices, I have to say, were not as delicious as my morning smoothies but were fine to get me through the day. My favorite? Red Apple. My lease favorite? Ph Solution. Definitely not recommended for those who don’t like the idea of drinking a salad. 

All in all, I think it was a great success. I’m not quite sure if I’m feeling the full effects yet. I do feel like I have more energy but I’d have to let you know if people tell me my skin is glowing. I would, though, do it all over again. Maybe not in the next couple of months but, I could see myself doing it this year. And I will continue to substitute meals for juices when I can, but I’m still really looking forward to my Rawesome Remix salad tomorrow! 

A Simplified Life

Living abroad (when you know you’re going to leave) forces you to live a more simplified life. When you’re always on the go, you don’t have time or space to complicate your life with material items, clutter and (hopefully not too much) drama. You learn to really cherish the simple things in life. The first day of Spring when you can spend the whole day outside. Walking around for hours just to enjoy the outdoors. Seeing a friendly face. Reading a book. Riding a bike. Planting flowers. Playing with animals and the neighborhood kids. Lazily watching the world go by. The time I spent living in Moldova was filled with these serene moments. I hate that I was so eager to leave and start my new life that I forgot how much I loved those moments. I want to go back to that. I want to rid my life of its dependency on things. I want to be able to just up and leave and not have to worry about all I leave behind. I want to remember that the value of my life is all of the experiences I’ve had and not the things I own. It’s what I have seen and done. The people I’ve touched and that have had an effect on me. It’s the people I love and those that love me too. 

Bought myself a backpack. The only place that had good light in my apartment was the bathroom. Does this mean I’m ready for grad school?

Bought myself a backpack. The only place that had good light in my apartment was the bathroom. Does this mean I’m ready for grad school?

You think it’s all going perfectly … and then something happens.

But the one thing I need to remember, the one thing I need to do, is to just focus on the love. Because that’s all that matters. It’s even more true when other’s are focused on the other things, the things that don’t matter. The nit picking and the questioning. What does any of it accomplish? Can’t they see that it’s all just about the love? 

Choosing between location and location.

Choosing a graduate school and choosing a graduate school when you have to think about not only you, but the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. If it was just me, I’d choose the one that’s up in the woods, amongst nature. I’d choose the one that’s going to get me out of the US as soon as I could. I wouldn’t be choosing the one that keeps me here; the one that keeps me in the US as long as possible. I want to move. I have this innate desire to just keep moving. But I love this person. I love the life we have. I love all the work that we have put into our life here. It’s completely not what I had in mind for my life at this point, but what an amazing, unexpected surprise it has been. It’s hard to combine these dreams that have been swirling through my thoughts for so long and the dreams that have formed with this other person. Where do my dreams end? Where do OURS begin? I don’t want to take anything away from what he wants in life but I don’t want to belittle the goals that I’ve been making for myself since I was little. 

Where does one start and the other begin? Where do I sacrifice? Where do I keep investing in what I’ve always hoped for? 

I’m so excited for a Peace Corps Reunion … I mean, my wedding.

As excited as I am to get hitched to a beyond wonderful guy, I am so stoked to see my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers. The last time we were all together was before we left Moldova, almost two years ago. That’s a long time to go without the people you consider your family. These are the people who understand where you’ve been and where you want to go. They’ve been through the ups and the downs. They’ve celebrated with you and comforted you. They have the same passions for service, travel, helping others and enjoying life. I have many dear friends who I can say the same about, but there’s something about being stranded in a strange country (that most people have never heard of) for two + years that bonds you for life. Yes, I know I’m getting a little cheesy here, but that’s what the Peace Corps does to you. It makes you think a little deeper about life and the people you’re spending it with. And I’ve spent time with some incredible people from all over the world. Choosing New York University, studying abroad in Prague, picking up and Moving to France, applying to the Peace Corps; these were some of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And I’m so lucky to call the people I met in these places, friends. 

So, as much as planning a wedding can suck sometimes, it is seriously the best reason for a reunion. And I get to have several of them!

DIY- Go F*%K Yourself. I should have just sent an eVite.

I really wanted to make my wedding a reflection of me. And I thought the best way to start out was to create handmade invitations using personalized stamps I purchased off Etsy and embossing them to create a nice texture. Why I thought this was a good idea is beyond me. Yes, they’re more meaningful. Yes, they’re “cute”. But, seriously? I could have done so many more things with my life these last couple of weeks. Instead I was staying indoors, stamping like a maniac (one out of 3 came out okay), shaking embossing powder over every inch of myself and the apartment, and listening to the whir of the embossing tool for hours. I’m not even sure I even saved that much money what with the ink pens, the paper, the embossing powder and tool, the envelopes and the stamps.

People keep telling me that years down the line, I’m going to be thankful that I made these from scratch. Really? I’m going to be thankful that I wasted two weeks of my life on paper that people are eventually going to throw away? I keep thinking about this with every aspect of the wedding. You spend all of this time and money on ONE DAY. ONE freaking day and then it’s all over. It just seems so wasteful to me and I don’t know how to stop thinking about it. 

And, I do want that beautiful wedding. I want a perfect day to celebrate love with family and friends. I want everyone to enjoy themselves. But I also want to be frugal, environmentally friendly, less consumption oriented and to connect with the earth more. I know that it’s doable. But trying to be all of those things, again, takes so much time. It’s a bit of catch 22. I guess I just have to find the middle ground, where I can have my ‘green’ wedding but also make sure to have time to enjoy the here and now. It’s just a lot harder than I thought. 

There are no words for the strong emotions this video evokes. The moist poignant being of deep sadness and utter anger that our own carelessness is the cause of this. 

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…

Dr. Seuss. 

Lunch Break

Lunch Break

I wish this was me. 

I wish this was me. 

Keep Calm & Camp

God I love camping. I’d do it every weekend if I could. I keep my camping hammock available at all time just waiting for the right opportunity to use it. 

7 months ago

Writer’s Block

I need to start writing more … but what do I write? The last time I wrote on an almost daily basis, I was sitting in an ashram, waiting to move home after two and a half years abroad. It had been over 8 years since I lived at home; and there I was putting an end to an era to start (another) life in Georgia. But what to write? What to write. My wanderlust? That’s probably a good start. It’s a daily occurrence these days as I sit at a desk for hours on end. I dream of being outdoors. Out in nature where I feel the most like myself.

It was a failure of a Labor Day Weekend hike fest. I was able to do one of the three hikes I had designated for the weekend. The rest of the three day sojourn in suburbia was spent in an anxious state, waiting for the thunder and rain to cease it’s endless flow. The rain has had a weekly presence here in the Southeast. It’s put quite a damper on my plans especially those which involve daily training for a half-marathon in December. 

Just thinking about the rain now depresses me. 

Ugh. I’ve got to get over this funk. 

I’m only slightly obsessed.

I’m only slightly obsessed.

Checking things off my goal list. Sope Creek Trail in Marietta, GA is a beautiful trail full of wonderful features such as the serene pond, winding trails, rushing stream and gorgeous ruins. Abe and I sure had a good time. Off to Red Top Mountain tomorrow!