Monday, September 28, 2015

9-5 Grind

The Tree and his band have a lovely song to express the tribulations of work and juggling personal life during those off-duty hours.

As mentioned before, we work to live, not live to work. I whole-heartedly believe in this philosophy... I also find that if you love your job, it helps justify the long hours put in - sure, it's still work, but life is work, whether there's a paycheck for everything accomplished or not.

Nonetheless, after working a 50-hr week {short compared to many in this country}, a trip home was long overdue.

A trip home where my roots began in order to recharge on zzz's and Mummy's cooking.

Alumni band: a homecoming of all homecomings since my Mum took over my senior year of band 5 years ago. It's incredible; no matter how many years pass, there are so many happy faces willing to come back to take the field again and to relive that magical moment only experienced by such a performance.

Our good ol' Alma Mater was represented by graduates from as recently as spring 2015 and the whole way back to 1928 with the first ever drum major for our high school band.

Many memories shared on the field, and many more to come as alumni come back and as musicians continue to participate in marching band.

11th year of twirling with my bestie! We went through middle school and high school marching band together and reconvene each year for alumni band. Nostalgia in the extreme.... Muscle memory has not failed us yet!

At the end of the day, I'm all smiles. A long week and weekend - driving 3hrs to go straight to work is a little daunting, but I'm loving what I do and enjoying the free time I have to see friends and family.

Confining myself to one minuscule dot on the world map is not how I plan on spending the rest of my life, but life is a constant journey to see new things and meet new people, to grasp opportunities, and to take those chances/jumps/leaps which we might otherwise be scared to do.

Takeaway of the post: go back to your roots once in a while to remind yourself from whence you came and give your all in your work - it'll pay off and lead to even better adventures!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jersey - not for the faint of heart

New Jersey survivor.

I survived nearly a week in Jersey.

Recovering from a business trip which took me into Jersey....shortly before the Pope's historical arrival in the Big Apple aka the cause of traffic mayhem and pandemonium.

We're all a little mad around here.

All in all, good trip. I spent my time in Paramus and had to very quickly learn to adapt to the erratic Jersey driving methods and awkward turns and loops. It's perfectly normal to have to start in the opposite direction for a few miles before taking a loop to do a 180 back in the direction you were intending on going... a 2.8 mile trip took 10-minutes and that was in fast-flowing traffic.

That special white powder.

Add Jersey-driving to my skillz on my résumé.

It was time well-spent away from the office, though. I had the opportunity to visit a new hospital with a different layout than our account and pick the brains of a few new acquaintances.

Dinner for one, s'il vous plaît.

A little shopping and dining for my first night.

Shake Shack - yum. I'm typically quite picky about my burgers, but this was one heck of meal! Peanut butter shake for the win.

Loner loser ate in her room while she watched Interstellar and worked on some work reports.

The Suburban Diner offered excellent service - total wait time for food: 10 minutes from order to arrival in front of my hungry, utensil-armed face.

The Tuscan wrap and sweet potato fries tasted insanely delicious after a long day. The macaroon was much larger than anticipated {I was thinking more along the lines of the small French pastries} but so.dang.good.

I kept the rest for brekkie the next morning.

All in all, good trip. Looking forward to more adventures ^_^

Truth be told, I was quite sad to go...our business group made such a great team for the task assigned and they made wonderful company for the long hours we spent together!

Here's to many more happy days and getting back into the swing of operations at the Med Center.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

On love and bums

Tomorrow my sissy and I have tickets to see the musical Once, which holds a special little place in my heart, not only because my lovely American friend Emily {shameless plug - check out her fantastic travel blog!} and I first saw it in London two(?!) years ago, but also for its best-known song, Falling Slowly.

Original score by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová:

...and my personal favorite remake by The Frames:


A simple love that not how we romanticize love to be? Simple and at face value, yet it's always complicated with life and circumstances, no matter how steadfast the relationship. Life tests us, sometimes to our limits.

I have fallen in love {and out}, experienced unrequited love, and been loved without loving in return, yet still admit, I don't know how to put into words, those warm, fuzzy feelings, yeah them chills, {Eminem reference, y'all} nor pretend to be an expert. It's hard sometimes to pinpoint what exactly makes one love another...I think it's love when it's not one precise trait or action, but a conglomerate of the essence of their being.

As my buddies in Drop Out Julian sing: Love's not a word, it's a feeling.

I do know that if it's worth it and feels right, you'll do what it takes to make it work, whether you're a 6 minute drive away or halfway across the world. Finding ways to stay connected is crucial because if you love someone, in a romantic or friendly or family way, you'll put forth the effort because you want to, not because you feel obligated.

Becoming all too aware of how closed up I had been in the past and how miscommunication or merely lack thereof, can have dire consequences...which leads to reflection, and lends itself nicely for a blog post ;)

So tell your loved ones and friends that you love them as often as you can, and in multiple languages if you so desire!

Being the polyglot that I am, I went a little ga-ga when i came across this...

Happy notes: I'm happy and feel loved.

And bums:

New body suit from Meowingtons
{more pictures of this wonderful piece later}
My bum is improving, despite being a lazy bum on the exercise. Me-ow

Cleaning the apartment and running around a hospital like a badass boss counts as exercise, right, no?

Monday, September 14, 2015

New town, new quirks and perks

It's crazy to think I've been in my humble little abode for nearly 5 weeks now - my own little 1-bedroom apartment with its picket-fence white walls and strange nightly noises, lovingly called Mon Petit Château {you can check the wifi}.

While I've stayed in the outskirts of town for the past two summers and from January until August with my uncle, I never really ventured into the center of town...preferring to go outside on other ventures.

As a natural-born explorer, I can't fight the urge to go for a walk/run, traversing and excavating the main pathways and the roads less traveled. My apartment building has a few interesting mere feet away...

Less than a hop and skip away down the back alley from my apartment is a beautiful display of graffiti art. While in America this is often viewed as degradation of public property {I honestly don't know the history of this shed}, in Germany, graffiti is considered an art, as this lovely piece.

Encased on all four sides, this little gem is one of my favorite landmarks on an afternoon walk.

Homeless Mike {whomever he may be} apparently has left his mark...

Hello? Yes. This is Dog.

New digs call for some new décor and of course, an alternate means of travel...for all of you Potterheads ;)

For those readers who may have read older posts, thrifting is one of my greater pleasures - finding treasures which have stories enfolded within their wrinkles and creases...

These soles have seen some sights {albeit they almost seem brand-new} and they're going to be seeing many more!

Adventures await for this relocated small town wanderlusting gal.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

When Business and Pleasure Convene

I recently had the pleasure and opportunity to travel for work - yes, my first official business trip. Little Jillian inside me was rather giddy with excitement and the badass boss bitch persona I take on to conquer the day was thrilled at the chance for training and to prove myself amongst the higher-ups during a conference call delegated to me by my manager.

Rocking the new Westeros map dress

Perhaps it had to due with my strong desire to travel {even to Philly area, which isn't all that far away} for work mixed with the hype of career-boosting training/tasks {it also didn't hurt that we started off the day with IHOP pancakes}, but I felt, overall, the trip was quite eventful and smashing except for one thing...

Traffic. Screw you, traffic. Next time, I'll be wise and take the Turnpike.

Little rant over.

In all honesty, adventures are fun, but I much prefer public transportation. Hello, 4-hr train rides!

Report-writing @2AM - it's like I never left school!
With training all said and done, a kick-ass report given to boot, I'd say it was quite a successful day. In reflecting from day one, the realization light switch has noticeably gone off - I'm confident in my ability and I finally feel that I know what I'm doing and talking about. That, my friends, is a wonderful feeling indeed.

My dreams are to travel for work and this may be the long as there are no more 4-hr drives for 2-hr routes in my immediate future. I'm not sure how well me arse can take that again.

Friday, September 4, 2015

On traveling.

Traveling grants a special kind of release and escape unlike any other....that total submersion in a new {or well-visited} environment with varying sights, smells, people, culture....whether it's the next town over or halfway across the world, getting out of town and exploring gives me that special high-on-life feeling.

I've found my anxiety will build if I'm stuck in-town for too long, keeping up with the seeming monotony of work and play, despite the fun times had during my time away from the office. I love running and reading, but my stress levels will increase just because I need to get away.

I'm a born explorer.

I've found my inspiration for new ink already....a commitment to myself to get the hell out when necessary, for my wanderlust and for my sanity.

As much as I love technology, turning on airplane mode {aha!} so I could still use my phone's camera and leaving the work brick behind for NYC made for one of the best days in quite some time. We all have our little ticks and a list of go-to's when life has us battered and bruised {well, life has me bruised most of the time since I'm clumsy}.

These are relationship goals....but also aspirations for my future. My dream has been to travel for work, but if that does not happen for some time, then I can at least make it happen on my own time.

A couple saved and saved and packed up their shit to traveled to 26 countries in one year! Kudos to them!!! And some inspiration to me - I think I have some of my life finally mapped out...albeit opportunities have a funny way of popping up rather unexpectedly.

c/o the Follow me to project
The Follow Me To Project is one I've been following for some about relationship goals ;)

In essence, I was sucked in by the beauty of the project and by the wondrous places they have seen and captured on film together.

A fear of mine when I was with Lovely was that financial circumstances {student loans suck!} and the constant tugging on heart strings with a lure to comfort in that small town would hold us back...silly me, for he was ready to follow me to the ends of the earth simply for a chance to see me once again {I'm a corny romantic, okay?}.

This beautiful couple achieved what he and I had once planned on doing - seeing the world with one's one true love...

Logophile, bibliophile, nomadic wanderer....I'm ready for the next adventure!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

On Tattoos and Piercings

I'm sorry, Mama,
I never meant to hurt you.
I never meant to make you cry,
but tonight, I'm cleaning out my closet.

Airing out the cobwebs of thoughts swirling in my mind, particularly when it comes to body modification aka ink and steel {tattoos and piercings}.

My Mum was none too thrilled when she saw the lovely e.e.cummings quote on my leg the day of uni graduation, but has come to understand hoc est corpus mium {this is my body}.

i carry your heart
(i carry it in my heart)

These beautiful lines hold a special place in my heart...those who are gone are never truly gone, tucked away in little crevices of our hearts where their memories lingers on long after their last breath.

I think of my Pop Pop and Grammie and the wondrous people who have passed on, as well as old friends whom I used to love from the bottom depths of my soul, with whom I no longer have much connection at all.

There's a certain taboo that tattoos are gawdy pieces of art displayed on the skin... like people, these permanent pieces of art can be big, small, realistic, stylized, colored, b&w....

The possibilities are endless. Ink requires quite the commitment {or the bank for future removal} so I can see why it is a big deal. However, it's also a form of expression or a means of beautifying one's body with significant symbols and words.

A cheeky little R2-D2 hides on my left hip, a comic-style homage to the fantastical world of droids and hyperspace.

While there are certain tattoo "fads" which come and go from time to time {mini mustaches from 2013 ring a bell?}, awareness for cancer and illness goes beyond what it is "in."

I love the message the semicolon conveys: an author inserts a semicolon when (s)he could have ended a sentence.

It's a continuance, holding on to an idea which could have so easily ended. In this, it is a sign of hope for those battling mental illness. A little reminder to myself that it's okay to seek help as friends have reached out to me in their times of need, I, too, can reach out to them when things just don't seem to be going well.

This semicolon represents my fight song.

Ka-Pow! Showing those negative inner voices who is boss in this world of chaos and pressures of perfection.

Messy hair, don't care

Oh! and my latest beauty... Easily shoved up my nose for work {have to remain professional when&where it counts}, loving my new septum piercing.

Sorry, Mummy.

A dainty little piercing....if you want to be a badass and have piercings all over, do you, honey. If that's your look, work it.

I only wish to provide a different facet to piercings and ink - people do them for various reasons and they can work for different looks!

When you see someone inked and pierced, don't judge. You don't know their story nor the significance of those beautiful images on their body. If you're part of the club, don't let the haters hate {might want to adhere to any dress codes for work to avoid confrontation...}.

We work to live, not live to work, so stay within the work parameters for those few hours on the work grind, but outside, be comfortable in your skin.

Time to clean and tuck the septum ring before work :)